Week 2 Fantasy Faceoffs
Our Dave Richard, Jamey Eisenberg and Nathan Zegura debate the Fantasy value of Chris Johnson, Greg Olsen and others in their Week 2 Fantasy Faceoffs.
Editor's note: Each week Dave Richard, Jamey Eisenberg and Nathan Zegura will tackle lineup dilemmas that you might be facing. These subjects are derived from discrepancies in Dave's and Jamey's weekly rankings .
Wells took advantage of a great matchup last week at home against
the Panthers and totaled over 100 yards and a touchdown. Now he's
got the exact opposite -- a challenging matchup on the road -- so I
can't expect the same thing. The Redskins run defense looked great
against the Giants, holding them cumulatively to under 4.0 yards per
carry, which is a definite improvement. The Redskins should be able
to handle the Cardinals' average O-line and catch up to Wells, who
still hasn't flashed great speed. If anything, this is a week where
Wells will be tested and Fantasy owners can figure out if he's truly
an every-down back worth leaning on. If you're thin at running back
then going with Wells should yield some stats, but it would be a
mild upset if he scored and came close to the yardage from Week 1.
I'd rather start: Cadillac Williams (at NYG), Joseph Addai (vs. CLE), Reggie Bush (vs. HOU)
Wells was a standout Fantasy option in Week 1 as our Start of the
Week after he ran well against Carolina with 18 carries for 90
yards and a touchdown and four catches for 12 yards. He should have
at least 18 touches again this week against Washington, which is
clearly a tougher matchup, but you're not going to bench him. The
Redskins still allowed
to score last week, and Wells should be able to reach double digits
in Fantasy points again in this matchup, especially if he remains
involved in the passing game. I don't like Wells as much as I did in
Week 1 because this is a tougher opponent on the road, but I'm not
buying the Redskins as a shutdown run defense just yet. If Wells
were facing the Ravens this week then I would consider benching him,
but don't let the Redskins scare you into keeping Wells on your
bench. He's a quality No. 2 Fantasy option in this matchup.
I'm starting Wells over: BenJarvus Green-Ellis (vs. SD), Cadillac Williams (at NYG), LaDainian Tomlinson (vs. JAC)
There are only a handful of true featured backs who get the ball on
all three downs and at the goal line, and
is one of them. That is reason alone to consider him
a good starting option week in and week out unless he has a brutal
matchup. The Redskins are far from a shut down run defense (they
allowed 127 yards per game, seventh most, and surrendered 15 rushing
touchdowns, eighth most, in 2010) and I think Wells can produce
similar totals to the Giants tandem of
in Week 1 when they combined for 19 carries for 73 yards and a score
in a losing effort. Wells himself opened the year with 90 yards and
a touchdown on 18 carries against the Panthers to go with four
catches for 12 yards. For his career, Wells has now topped 100 yards
or scored in eight of the 10 games in which he has seen at least 14
carries. I like those odds and I would continue to start Wells in
Week 2 against the Redskins.
I'm starting Wells over: DeAngelo Williams (vs. GB), BenJarvus Green-Ellis (at SD), Chris Johnson (vs. BAL)
turned the ball over five times last week doesn't mean the Ravens
secondary is outstanding. We saw
take advantage of a weak Jaguars pass defense last week, racking up
136 yards on five catches with a pair of scores. Is the matchup
tougher this week? You bet. Will the Titans have to throw to keep
up? You bet.
Britt 10 times in Week 1, making it clear that he likes what he's
got in his big third-year receiver. With the Titans expected to play
from behind on Sunday, Britt figures to be a key player in the
will get his
work in too, but it's hard to pass up a player like Britt given the
expected number of chances he will have and his physical gifts.
I'm starting Britt over: Percy Harvin (vs. TB), Brandon Marshall (vs. HOU), Roddy White (vs. PHI)
Would I start Britt this week? Yes. Do I like him as much as I did
in Week 1 at Jacksonville? No. The Ravens should be able to
overwhelm the Titans this week, and
will be running for his life. I just see better
receivers out there with better matchups who have the chance for
more Fantasy production. As we always tell you, don't panic when
your Fantasy team loses in Week 1, and don't overvalue players when
they have big outings either. Britt was great against the Jaguars as
expected because Jacksonville doesn't have a good defense. The
Ravens do, and they will scheme to stop two players -- Johnson and
Britt. He is still worth using as a No. 2 Fantasy receiver in most
formats, but there are other receivers in better situations to
succeed this week based on the matchups. As you can tell, I'm
expecting the Ravens to win this game in blowout fashion.
I'd rather start: Anquan Boldin (at TEN), Santonio Holmes (vs. JAC), Brandon Marshall (vs. HOU)
is proving to be a dominant receiver in the NFL
when healthy and I think he has earned the right to be considered an
every week starter for your teams. Including Week 1 of the 2011
season, Britt has scored a touchdown in eight of his last 10 full
games, with 11 total scores during that span. He has a 90 percent
consistency rate in those games, which would be the best among all
receivers and is clearly off to a good start with new quarterback
. Britt saw 10 targets and netted five catches
for 136 yards and two scores in Week 1 against the Jaguars. The
Ravens are a great defense, but I am much more concerned about
than I am Britt.
still topped 100 yards against the Ravens in Week 1 and Baltimore is
starting a rookie and a former practice squad player at cornerback.
I do not see how you sit Britt right now given his recent stat sheet
I'm starting Britt over: Julio Jones (vs. PHI), Steve Smith (vs. GB), Percy Harvin (vs. TB)
I get the argument for starting Olsen: He's a tight end against a
Packers pass defense that doesn't corral the tight end very well.
That's all well and good, but if
proved one thing last week it's that he doesn't mind throwing to
either of his tight ends. Now Olsen gets more looks than
, that's true, but
was the true apple of Newton's eye (11 targets). The Packers are
going to do three things defensively when they know the Panthers are
going to throw: They're going to harass Newton, they're going to
contain Smith and they'll pay close attention to Olsen, who is
basically the Panthers' No. 2 receiver. This is a good week to ride
a hotter hand at tight end and not settle for the numbers Olsen will
give you. Olsen is fine if you own him but count on other tight ends
to put up better stats.
I'd rather start: Owen Daniels (at MIA), Aaron Hernandez (vs. SD), Rob Gronkowski (vs. SD)
Olsen is a must-start tight end this week based on his play in the
season opener at Arizona, his role in the offense and the matchup
this week against Green Bay. Olsen had four catches for 78 yards
against the Cardinals on six targets. All that was missing was the
touchdown, and that could happen this week against the Packers. The
way to attack Green Bay is in the middle of the field since they
have tremendous cornerbacks, and last week the Saints found success
, who had four
catches for 56 yards and a touchdown. I don't expect
to play as well against the Packers as he did
against the Cardinals because it is a tougher matchup, but he should
be able to find Olsen enough to make him a starter in all formats.
There will not be 12 tight ends better than Olsen this week.
I'm starting Olsen over: Kellen Winslow (at MIN), Jermaine Gresham (at DEN), Brandon Pettigrew (vs. KC)
I do not love the matchup with Green Bay for either
I would continue to roll with tight end
. Olsen saw six targets in Week 1 and caught four
passes for a solid 78 yards. The only real area of the Green Bay
defense that has been exploitable for Fantasy owners over the last
17 games has been their inability to keep tight ends out of the end
zone. Last year, seven of the 16 scores (a league high 44 percent)
that the Packers allowed via the pass went to opposing tight ends.
In Week 1,
Saints found the end zone as well. I am not saying Olsen is going to
blow up this week, but I think he will see eight targets as the
safety valve for Newton against the Green Bay pressure packages and
has a great chance to score, keeping him in my top 12 at tight end
in Week 2.
I'm starting Olsen over: Tony Gonzalez (vs. PHI), Marcedes Lewis (at NYJ), Scott Chandler (vs. OAK)
|I think the Bills have it in their heads that they can throw the ball with relative ease. Ryan Fitzpatrick didn't throw a lot last week (25 attempts) but still notched four touchdowns, and the secondary he'll see on Sunday won't be well-rested after playing on the road on Monday and flying across the country to play at 1 p.m. ET. It wouldn't shock me in the least if Fitzpatrick burned the Raiders secondary for two or three more scores. Sanchez could do the same thing, though I suspect the Jets will run more than they did last week against the Cowboys. Bottom line? Both of these quarterbacks are going up against cupcake secondaries. I think Fitzpatrick is the better option this week.|
|I've found myself getting on the Mark Sanchez bandwagon more and more as the preseason went on, and I was impressed with his play against the Cowboys in Week 1. The addition of offensive consultant Tom Moore, who was with Peyton Manning for most of his career, should do wonders for Sanchez as the season goes on. He also has quality targets in Santonio Holmes , Plaxico Burress , Dustin Keller , Derrick Mason and LaDainian Tomlinson , and this week he has an amazing matchup against the Jaguars at home. Jacksonville's secondary is a tremendous weakness, and Sanchez has the opportunity to have consecutive 20-point Fantasy weeks after starting out with a 21-point performance against Dallas. The Jaguars just allowed 20 Fantasy points to Hasselbeck, and Sanchez is clearly better than Hasselbeck at this point in their careers. If you need a quarterback for this week, I would go with Sanchez over Fitzpatrick since I expect Sanchez to have more Fantasy production.|
|I think both Mark Sanchez and "The Genius" Ryan Fitzpatrick are solid starts in Week 2 against the Jaguars and Raiders, respectively. If I had to pick one, I would go with Sanchez over Fitzpatrick this week because I like his pass catching group of Santonio Holmes , Plaxico Burress , Derrick Mason , Dustin Keller , and LaDainian Tomlinson much better than their counterparts in Buffalo. The Jets are becoming more of a passing team and Sanchez just threw for a career high 335 yards and two scores against the Cowboys. The Jaguars are a very generous pass defense (28 touchdowns allowed in 2010, sixth most last year) and they just surrendered 263 yards and two scores to the Titans in Week 1. My only concern with The Sanchize is that the game gets out of hand and the Jets run a lot with Shonn Greene , which is why I would actually start Rex Grossman over both of them.|
|I realize that Nnamdi Asomugha and Asante Samuel won't be asked to defend Tony Gonzalez much on Sunday night, but I still give the Eagles secondary credit for being good against tight ends. Lance Kendricks had a terrible first game last week against Philadelphia and left a lot of stats on the field, and Gonzalez is far more polished and able to not drop the football. But the Eagles in their self-review have to know that Gonzalez will be a key factor in what the Falcons will do. Heck, he scored on them twice last season (on three catches). The Eagles can't let him crush them again. Winslow's matchup is great -- the Vikings safeties are a liability and the Bucs should be able to have their way with them. I'll take the safer tight end in Winslow.|
|Gonzalez was a pleasant surprise in Week 1 at Chicago with five catches for 72 yards on seven targets, and he should have at least that kind of production, if not more, against the Eagles. The way to attack Philadelphia's defense is over the middle since they have amazing cornerbacks, and Gonzalez could be featured in this matchup. The Eagles were the worst team at defending tight ends in 2010 based on Fantasy points allowed, and the Rams should have had more success against Philadelphia last week. Rookie Lance Kendricks had five targets against the Eagles, but he had two drops and finished with one catch for 18 yards. Don't expect Gonzalez to drop too many passes, and last year at Philadelphia he had three catches for 19 yards and two touchdowns. He might not score twice again this week, but he should come close to double digits in Fantasy points. And I would start him over Winslow this week based on the matchup.|
|I don't love either of these guys in Week 2, but I would side with Kellen Winslow just by a little over Tony Gonzalez . On paper, Gonzo has the better matchup against the Eagles, who allowed the most points per game (10) and most touchdowns (11) to tight ends in 2011. However, I am just not sold on him this year and with Julio Jones in the mix, I see Tony as the third option in the Atlanta passing game. I also expect the Falcons to try an exploit a suspect Philadelphia run defense that surrendered 154 yards rushing (eigth most) on 5.9 yards per carry (fourth highest) to the Rams in Week 1. That means we should see a very healthy dose of Michael Turner in this game and if Gonzalez does not score, I expect very mediocre numbers. Winslow is really the second passing option in Tampa Bay and hauled in six of his eight Week 1 targets for 66 yards, so he is a little safer to me.|
|James Starks is a nice inside rusher, and sure, he's a candidate to get a lot of reps in garbage time against the Panthers. But to lose faith in Johnson after one game where he had nine carries is absurd. Offensive coordinator Chris Palmer knows that Johnson has to be more involved or else it's going to get ugly. I suspect we'll see Johnson hit the edges and catch plenty of screens. The Ravens' run defense did get off to a terrible start last week against the Steelers as Rashard Mendenhall had 44 yards on his first eight carries, then the game got out of hand for the Steelers and Mendenhall couldn't get the work, thus making the Ravens run defense look great. Johnson should stay involved regardless of the score and should find a way to do better than Starks. I can't recommend benching your first-round pick for a good, not great, running back that is still losing some work to another back.|
|Most Fantasy owners drafted Johnson to play him each week, and rightfully so. But sometimes you have to make tough decisions with your lineup, and this could be one of those weeks. If you drafted Starks as your No. 3 or 4 running back, you should consider playing him over Johnson. He has a better matchup, and he should be more successful. In Week 1, Starks showed that he is going to be the best running back in Green Bay with 12 carries for 57 yards and a touchdown. Even though Ryan Grant is the starter, Starks played more and should again be more productive in Week 2 at Carolina. Johnson, meanwhile, struggled against Jacksonville with nine carries for 24 yards and six catches for 25 yards. We can all agree he is going to be more involved against Baltimore, but we also know the Ravens run defense is much better than the Jaguars. It's a tough call to bench Johnson, but in Week 2 Starks will have more Fantasy points.|
|Starks is looking like he will become the main man in Green Bay and I love his Week 2 matchup with Carolina. In 2010, Carolina was 10th against the run, allowing 124 yards per game and they also gave up 20 rushing scores, second most. They did not get off to a much better start in 2011 as Arizona's Beanie Wells picked up 90 yards and score against them on only 18 carries. Adding injury to insult, the Panthers will also be without middle linebacker Jon Beason , who is out for the year after getting hurt against the Cardinals. Look for Green Bay to be playing with the lead in this game and I expect a monster second half from Starks, who has more upside to me than Chris Johnson running behind a suspect offensive line against the Ravens. After all, the Ravens have allowed an NFL low five rushing touchdowns in their last 18 regular season games and have held Rashard Mendenhall (for comparison's sake) to less than 50 yards rushing in four of their last five games. Johnson will catch some passes, but he averaged just 5.5 yards per catch last year and had six catches for 24 yards in Week 1, so that will not make up for the low rushing totals. I know it is a little risky, but I would go with Starks in what should be a blowout win for Green Bay rather than Johnson in a very tough test against the Ravens.|
Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Dave at @daverichard , Jamey at @JameyEisenberg and Nathan at @NathanZeguraTFC .
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