Start ‘Em: Quarterbacks
Nick Foles (@ IND)
Foles looked bad in the first half of Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but came back strong in the 2nd half and finished with 14 fantasy points. Even with his Week One struggles, I like his matchup against the Colts, who “only” gave up 22 fantasy points to Peyton Manning Sunday night. The Eagles also lost All Pro guard Evan Mathis, one of the most dominant run blockers in the NFL, to an MCL sprain, which may mean the Eagles will ask more out of Foles. Against an unimposing Colts’ defense, I’m expecting a shootout Monday night.
Jake Locker (vs. DAL)
Locker was impressive in his season opener against the Chiefs, throwing for 266 yards and two touchdowns with zero interceptions. Perhaps the most encouraging item that came out of that game was that he spread the ball around, hitting eight different receivers and posted an 8.06 yards per passing attempt, good enough for 8th best in Week One. He now gets the Dallas Cowboys, who allowed a 125.5 passer rating to Colin Kaepernick. Expect QB1 numbers this week.
Sit ‘Em: Quarterbacks
Russell Wilson (@ SD)
Even with an impressive showing against the Packers last Thursday, Wilson still only posted 17 fantasy points. While the Seahawks had a comfortable lead heading into the fourth quarter, don’t forget that one of Wilson’s touchdowns essentially came during garbage time. Without that, he would’ve finished with just 13 points. While the Chargers gave up more than 300 yards and two scores to Carson Palmer, both touchdowns came in the latter portions of the game. There’s a lot of buzz surrounding Wilson and his potential to be a dominant fantasy quarterback, which may happen at some point, just not this week.
Tom Brady (@ MIN)
Brady was awful against the Dolphins, completing just 12.5% of his passes that were 15 yards or longer. Whereas Locker was in the top 10 with yards per passing attempt, Brady was dead last with at 4.45. He’ll likely outscore his nine point dud against the Dolphins, but the defense of the Minnesota Vikings is legit. Granted they looked ferocious against the hapless St. Louis offense, don’t forget that Mike Zimmer produced one of the top defenses in the NFL last year with the Cincinnati Bengals. I like the Patriots chances to win the game, but I don’t expect much statistically from Tom Terrific.
Start ‘Em: Running Backs
Jamaal Charles (@ DEN)
A total of two fantasy points scored in Week One may be enough to discourage the average fantasy football owner, but don’t be that guy to overreact. Even in a game where the Chiefs will likely struggle to keep up on the scoreboard, Charles will get plenty of work. In his past seven games, he’s averaged 126 total yards per game. Don’t overthink it, you’re starting Charles.
Carlos Hyde (vs. CHI)
The Bears defense got gashed on Sunday, giving up 193 rushing yards to the Buffalo Bills. That comes out to 5.6 yards per carry. That’s only slightly worse than what the Bears gave up all of last season, where they gave up 5.3 yards per carry to opposing backs. Both Frank Gore and Hyde are going to eat in the first regular season game at the new Levi’s Stadium. I’m viewing Hyde as a low-end RB2 this week.
Sit ‘Em: Running Backs
Eddie Lacy (vs. NYJ)
This marks the second straight difficult matchup for Lacy, who is about to clear the mandatory NFL concussion protocols. Even if he does suit up, he’ll find difficulty finding holes against the impressive front seven of the New York Jets. Last year the Jets allowed just 3.4 yards per carry to opposing backs, and held the Oakland Raiders to just 1.7 on Sunday. The Packers will also be without starting RT Bryan Beluga, which just further gives me reason to sit Lacy this week.
Andre Ellington (@NYG)
Ellington looked good at times on Monday against the Chargers, and was able to turn 18 touches into 80 total yards. Still, his was clearly limited and was seen limping at times, and even gave up a goal line opportunity to Stepfan Taylor. Say what you want about the New York Giants and their struggles against the Lions, but they held Joique Bell and Reggie Bush to just 2.5 yards per carry. It’s going to be a roller coaster ride all season for Ellington owners, and Week 2 may just be one of those dips.
Start ‘Em: Wide Receivers
Vincent Jackson (vs. STL)
Number one WRs have had plenty of success against the St. Louis Rams. 13 out of the last 17 WR1’s that have played the Rams have either scored a touchdown or had 100+ receiving yards. Cordarrelle Patterson continued that trend last week. Jackson has the reputation of being a boom-or-bust type receiver, and I think Week 2 is where he’s going to boom.
Mike Wallace (@ BUF)
Wallace had a big week against the Patriots, hauling in seven receptions for 81 yards and a touchdown. He did this even with Darrelle Revis covering him for most of day. Now he goes up against a Bills secondary that allowed four different Chicago receivers to get 70+ yards. It seems like new OC Bill Lazor is determined to be creative in his use of Wallace, which bodes well for the speedy wideout’s fantasy success.
Sit ‘Em: Wide Receivers
Keenan Allen (vs. SEA)
Allen goes from Patrick Peterson to the Legion of Boom. That will usually dampen a receiver’s fantasy outlook to start the season. While the Seahawks won’t use Richard Sherman to shadow Allen the way Peterson did, it’s still going to be rough going for the second year wideout.
Cordarrelle Patterson (vs. NE)
It’s tough to rely on a receiver who is so reliant on his rushing statistics to be fantasy relevant, and that’s exactly what is going on with Patterson. Patterson is going to be a weekly high upside WR2 because of his ability to put up points on the ground, but he’ll also be inconsistent. Going against a motivated defense that just got thrashed by the Dolphins, I’m leaning towards sitting Patterson this week.
Start ‘Em: Tight Ends
Delanie Walker (vs. DAL)
Walker has posted four receiving touchdowns in his past eight games with Jake Locker at the helm, and that success continued into this season. With Ken Whisenhunt calling the plays in Tennessee, I like Walker to remain valuable in Week 2. He plays a Dallas defense that allowed 8.8 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends in 2013 and that just gave up two touchdowns to Vernon Davis last week.
Charles Clay (@ BUF)
The Bills have struggled to cover tight ends in the red zone, as they have given up a touchdown to opposing tight ends in five of their last seven games. Rob Gronkowski was a prime example of that last Sunday. Look for the Dolphins to look for Clay often as they get in close, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he came down with a touchdown.
Sit ‘Em: Tight Ends
Jordan Cameron (vs. NO)
This has more to do with his injury status than anything else. Jordan reaggravated an old shoulder injury on Sunday, and is questionable heading into this week’s contest against the Saints. While Cameron would be a must-start were he to suit up, the fact that the Browns signed free agent TE Gerell Robinson makes me think that they aren’t very optimistic about him playing this week.
Heath Miller (@ BAL)
Miller received just three four targets on Sunday against the Browns, despite the Steelers putting up 376 yards through the air. That’s a discouraging statistic that is made even worse by the fact that the Ravens allowed a league-low 54 total receptions to tight ends last season. Miller is a shaky TE2 heading into Week 2.