Week 2 Start 'Em and Sit 'Em
Eddie Lacy had a productive debut in a tough matchup in Week 1, so what can owners expect this Sunday? Jamey Eisenberg shares his lineup recommendations in this week's Start 'Em and Sit 'Em.
Disclaimer ... Before you start reading, please understand that we are not in the business of stating the obvious and wasting your time (or ours), so you won't be reading here why you need to start Drew Brees, AP, Calvin Johnson or any other top-tier players. We're here to help you with the tough decisions.
Depending on when you drafted, Packers running back Eddie Lacy might have been a steal. He had that dreadful picture taken in training camp that made him look fat and out of shape, and it could have scared off many Fantasy owners.
After one week, Lacy looks like a potential starter in all leagues. He opened the season with a strong performance against the 49ers on the road with 14 carries for 41 yards and a touchdown and one catch for 31 yards. He lost a fumble, which is never good, but no other tailback had any carries in the game for Green Bay, meaning the job is all his.
|Chris Johnson||at HOU|
|Frank Gore||at SEA|
|Rashard Mendenhall||vs. DET|
|Giovani Bernard||vs. PIT|
|Lamar Miller||at IND|
This week, we would start Lacy with confidence against the Redskins in his home debut. Washington just got torched on the ground by Eagles running back LeSean McCoy for 184 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries.
Now, Lacy isn't going to get that many carries. Far from it, barring an injury to you know who under center. But Aaron Rodgers will hand off enough for Lacy to get double digits in Fantasy points again, and he should continue to run well.
The Packers appear to have a running back they can depend on, which is a good thing for Fantasy owners. And anyone who passed on Lacy this offseason is likely going to be disappointed because he could end up being one of the better bargains from this year's draft.
|Player||Fantasy Pts. (proj.)||Fantasy Pts. (actual)||Start %||Pos. rank|
|Ben Tate, RB, Texans||10||5||27||31|
|Colin Kaepernick, QB, 49ers||22||36||83||2|
|Jared Cook, TE, Rams||10||24||80||1|
|Shane Vereen, RB, Patriots||9||15||40||5|
|Cam Newton, QB, Panthers||19||14||77||26|
|Cecil Shorts, WR, Jaguars||8||4||51||55|
|Montee Ball, RB, Broncos||8||2||31||55|
|T.Y. Hilton, WR, Colts||12||2||71||79|
|Chris Givens, WR, Rams||9||2||34||78|
|Lamar Miller, RB, Dolphins||10||0||65||71|
|Owen Daniels, TE, Texans||8||18||45||5|
|Vincent Jackson, WR, Bucs||10||15||94||14|
|Ryan Mathews, RB, Chargers||7||11||37||10|
Cam Newton (at BUF): A funny thing happened to Newton in
Week 1. He struggled, as expected, at home against the Seahawks while
nearly every other quarterback in the NFL played well. There were 20
quarterbacks who scored at least 20 Fantasy points in a standard league,
and Newton finished with just 14 -- two less than Jets rookie Geno Smith. Some owners may consider giving up on Newton already,
but that would be a mistake, especially this week. In Newton's last five
road starts he has eight passing touchdowns and one interception and
three rushing scores, finishing with at least 21 Fantasy points in four
of those outings. The Bills held Tom Brady
to 19 Fantasy points last week, but we expect Newton to better that mark.
Michael Vick (vs. SD): Vick looked great in the new offense Monday night against the Redskins with 203 passing yards on 60 percent completions with two touchdowns and nine carries for 54 yards and a touchdown. He did have a questionable fumble and took a few too many hits, but as long as he's healthy he should be considered a potential starter in all leagues. He has a favorable matchup this week against the Chargers, who just allowed Matt Schaub to pass for 346 yards and three touchdowns with an interception. Vick should continue to roll in his first home game.
Eli Manning (vs. DEN): This is the third time Eli will face Peyton in the Manning Bowl, and the younger brother is going to be throwing a lot to keep up with Denver's offense. In two previous games against Peyton, both when he was with the Colts, Eli combined for 408 passing yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions. Eli looked solid in Week 1 against Dallas with 450 passing yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions, and he could post a similar stat line this week. The Broncos just allowed Joe Flacco to throw for 362 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions -- on a whopping 62 attempts -- and we expect Eli to do what he can to top Peyton in this matchup.
Carson Palmer (vs. DET): The performance you got from Palmer in Week 1 against the Rams should be indicative of his stat line most weeks. He will likely be around 40-plus passes with the chance to have 300-plus yards and multiple touchdowns. He also could struggle with turnovers, and he had two to start the season. The Cardinals are going to throw a lot, and Palmer has tremendous weapons in Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd and Andre Roberts with a limited rushing game. Detroit did a good job limiting the Vikings last week, but Palmer and his receivers are a much different challenge than facing Christian Ponder and Co.
Robert Griffin III (at GB): Griffin looked sluggish in Week 1 against the Eagles, which is understandable in his first game back from last year's knee injury. But if sluggish is 23 Fantasy points then you'll take that every week. He'll get better and develop a rhythm with his receivers, and he might be throwing a lot this week against the Packers. Green Bay just allowed Colin Kaepernick to pass for 412 yards and three touchdowns and get seven carries for 22 yards, and Griffin could have similar success.
|Jay Cutler||(vs. MIN)||He's averaged two TDs per over last five with MIN and looked good Week 1.|
|Terrelle Pryor||(vs. JAC)||In two NFL starts he has at least 21 Fantasy points thanks to his rushing.|
|Matt Schaub||(vs. TEN)||He has at least two TD passes in each of his past five with TEN.|
Russell Wilson (vs. SF): Wilson had a decent day throwing
the ball in Week 1 at Carolina with 76 percent completions, 320 yards
and one touchdown. But he lost a fumble and finished with just 16
Fantasy points. As we noted with Newton, that didn't cut it based on the
other quarterbacks in Week 1. Wilson was good against the 49ers at home
last season with four touchdowns and one interception, but he passed for
just 171 yards. It's hard to expect a four-touchdown performance this
week, and Wilson might not produce enough stats to rank among the top
quarterbacks this week. Look for another option if you can.
Ben Roethlisberger (at CIN): The loss of center Maurkice Pouncey (knee) for the season is brutal, and Roethlisberger looked lost in Week 1 against the Titans with 191 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception. With no semblance of a running game, the Steelers looked like they missed Mike Wallace and Heath Miller. Look for Roethlisberger to be throwing a lot on Monday night, but he's struggled with the Bengals of late. In two meetings last year, Roethlisberger passed for 498 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions.
Joe Flacco (vs. CLE): Flacco doesn't have a good history against the Browns from a stats standpoint. In his past five meetings with Cleveland, Flacco has passed for more than 160 yards just once. He does have three games with multiple touchdowns against the Browns over that span but only one time with more than 20 Fantasy points. Flacco did have 22 Fantasy points last week against the Broncos, but he attempted 62 passes, which is not Baltimore's typical plan of attack. Look for Flacco to again have modest stats in this matchup, and he's not worth starting in most leagues.
Sam Bradford (at ATL): The Falcons actually held up well against Drew Brees last week given their expected issues in the secondary and lack of pass rush. Brees still managed 357 passing yards with two touchdowns and one interception, but with all the talk about Atlanta's defense this offseason, you would have expected a massacre. Bradford did well in Week 1 against Arizona with 299 passing yards, two touchdowns and one interception (it should have been three scores if Jared Cook held onto the ball), but this will be a tougher test. We'd only start Bradford in two-quarterback leagues this week.
Andy Dalton (vs. PIT): Dalton played well in Week 1 despite the tough matchup against the Bears and being without left tackle Andrew Whitworth (knee). He had 282 passing yards, two touchdowns (both to A.J. Green) and two interceptions for 19 Fantasy points, but as we pointed out, that left him a little short for top quarterbacks. Dalton doesn't have a great history against the Steelers with 688 passing yards, four touchdowns and five interceptions in four career meetings. The Steelers might be struggling on offense, but the defense can still carry this team. They should make it difficult on Dalton this week, especially if Whitworth remains out.
Bust alert: Colin Kaepernick (at SEA): Kaepernick was awesome against the Packers last week. He had 36 Fantasy points and picked apart a weak defense as expected. This is a much tougher test against the Seahawks, especially in Seattle. Kaepernick struggled in Seattle last season with 244 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception and seven carries for 31 yards. Only one quarterback had multiple touchdowns in Seattle last season, which was Tom Brady, including matchups with Rodgers, Tony Romo and Kaepernick. The Seahawks also shut down Newton last week for 125 passing yards and one touchdown and five carries for 38 yards. It's obviously hard to bench Kaepernick after his performance last week, but he very well could struggle in the toughest place to play in the NFL.
Darren McFadden (vs. JAC): He's back! Well, for one week at
least, but as long as McFadden is healthy he should be active in most
lineups. This week he faces a Jaguars defense that he should have
success against. Jacksonville just allowed the Chiefs running backs to
gain 175 yards of total offense, with Jamaal Charles getting 16 carries for 77 yards and a touchdown and
three catches for 23 yards. McFadden had 17 carries for 48 yards and a
touchdown and three catches for 18 yards against the Colts in Week 1,
and we expect him to reach double digits in Fantasy points again.
Darren Sproles (at TB): Fantasy owners don't appear to have complete confidence in Sproles based on his start percentage in Week 1, which was 73 percent on CBSSports.com. Sproles should be universally started since he's the best Fantasy running back for the Saints and one of the best in the NFL. He did well in Week 1 against the Falcons with eight carries for 22 yards and six catches for 88 yards, and he now he has a favorable matchup with the Bucs. Sproles has a touchdown in four of his past five meetings with the Bucs, with at least five catches in three of those outings. We know owners in point-per-reception leagues are starting Sproles, but he should be active in all formats based on his overall play and history in this matchup.
David Wilson (vs. DEN): Fantasy owners appear to want nothing to do with Wilson this week against the Broncos. His start percentage was 91 percent in Week 1, but after fumbling at Dallas and being benched at halftime, he is now started in just 72 percent of leagues as of Wednesday. The owners who bench Wilson are making a mistake, and he should rebound this week. Don't worry about Brandon Jacobs, who was signed Tuesday. He could steal goal-line touches, but he's not keeping Wilson on the sidelines. And Da'Rel Scott, who could share carries with Wilson, injured his knee in practice Wednesday and could be limited. The Giants need Wilson, and he will bounce back. He should still be considered a starter in Week 2, and hopefully he won't continue to fumble moving forward.
DeAngelo Williams (at BUF): Williams was a nice surprise in Week 1 with his performance against the Seahawks. He had 17 carries for 86 yards (a shocking 5.1 yards per carry) and three catches for 14 yards. He did lose a fumble, but 100 total yards against Seattle is not an easy feat. He has a much easier matchup against the Bills this week, and Shane Vereen just ran through Buffalo's defense for 101 yards on 14 carries. Factor in Stevan Ridley, and the Patriots averaged 6.4 yards per carry. With Jonathan Stewart (ankle) out, Williams will get the majority of carries, and he's worth starting as at least a flex option in Week 2.
Ryan Mathews (at PHI): Mathews is a risky starting option based on his playing time. Despite leading the Chargers in carries in Week 1 against the Texans, Mathews saw less playing time than Ronnie Brown even though San Diego had the lead. The good news is Mathews produced when he was on the field with his first ever receiving touchdown, and he finished with 11 Fantasy points. He'll need to do better than 2.5 yard per carry, but the Chargers might give him more work this week to slow down Philadelphia's fast-paced offense and help their defense get some rest. Alfred Morris also scored against the Eagles in Week 1, which was the sixth game in a row going back to last year where a running back scored against Philadelphia. Consider Mathews a flex option this week.
|Knowshon Moreno||(at NYG)||NYG just allowed DeMarco Murray to catch eight passes for 39 yards.|
|Joique Bell||(at ARI)||Should be considered a flex working with Reggie Bush, who is banged up.|
|Ben Tate||(vs. TEN)||He looked better than Arian Foster in Week 1 but didn't play enough.|
|Bryce Brown||(vs. SD)||McCoy will need more of a breather on a short week. Brown could exploit SD.|
|Isaiah Pead||(at ATL)||Daryl Richardson has a toe injury, which could open the door.|
Lamar Miller (at IND): I hate this Miller-Daniel Thomas split. I hate seeing Miller run for less than 1 yard per
carry in the season-opener at Cleveland and lose goal-line work to
Thomas. I hate calling Miller a sit because I'm
still expecting a breakout campaign. But it's too hard to
trust him right now even in what should be a favorable matchup. The
Colts did limit McFadden to 2.8 yards per carry, but he 66 total yards
and scored a touchdown. You'd be giddy if Miller got 20 touches like
McFadden had last week, but it's highly doubtful that will happen. Keep
Miller reserved until he starts to play better, which will hopefully
Rashard Mendenhall (vs. DET): You're going to look at what Adrian Peterson did against the Lions last week and think their run defense is shoddy. Peterson had 18 carries for 93 yards and two touchdowns and caught four passes for 18 yards and a touchdown. But Peterson had a 78-yard touchdown run on his first carry -- then finished with 17 carries for 15 yards the rest of the game. Mendenhall struggled in his first game with 16 carries for 60 yards and one catch for 4 yards against the Rams. He could be considered a flex option this week, but don't underestimate the Lions defense just based on Peterson in Week 1. This isn't a newsflash, but Mendenhall isn't on Peterson's level.
Montee Ball (at NYG): Fantasy owners are desperate for running backs, which is probably why Ball is still being started in 22 percent of leagues as of Wednesday. There's always the chance he scores a touchdown, but his playing time is going to remain limited. Denver coach John Fox said the team will continue to rotate all three running backs in Ball, Knowshon Moreno and Ronnie Hillman, and Ball was limited to eight carries for 24 yards in Week 1 against Baltimore. We hope Ball's playing time will increase, but until it does he can't be trusted. The only Denver running back worth consideration this week is Moreno as a flex.
Giovani Bernard (vs. PIT): At some point we're going to see Bernard post some quality stat lines, but for that to happen the Bengals will have to further reduce BenJarvus Green-Ellis' role. In Week 1 at Chicago, Green-Ellis had 15 touches to five for Bernard. The difference was Green-Ellis averaged 1.9 yards per touch while Bernard was at 6 yards. This week, neither Bengals running back should be trusted. The Steelers held Chris Johnson to 70 yards on 25 carries last week, and Bernard has to prove himself first before being considered a safe option. At best, consider Bernard a flex, and hopefully the Bengals realize he needs more touches to be successful.
Ahmad Bradshaw (vs. MIA): Bradshaw was a major disappointment in Week 1 against Oakland. He had just seven carries for 26 yards and one catch for 7 yards. By comparison, Vick Ballard had 13 carries for 63 yards and one catch for minus-5 yards, but the outlook for Bradshaw got better this week with Ballard (knee) now out for the season. Bradshaw will now get the majority of touches and could be considered a flex option, but we're still not ready to fully trust him as a starter in this matchup. The Dolphins just held Trent Richardson to 13 carries for 47 yards and two catches for 30 yards, and Miami's run defense should be stout all year. Let Bradshaw prove himself first before starting him in the majority of leagues.
Bust alert: Frank Gore (at SEA): Gore looked awful in Week 1 against the Packers. He finished with 12 Fantasy points, which was solid because he scored, but he averaged just 2.1 yards per carry on 21 carries against a weak run defense. Seattle will obviously present a much tougher test. The Seahawks held Gore to six carries for 28 yards and no catches last season at home, and only Cedric Benson and Peterson reached double digits in Fantasy points in Seattle in 2012, including matchups with DeMarco Murray, Ridley, Steven Jackson and Gore. As we saw last week, all it takes is for Gore to find the end zone to be successful, but it could be tough for him given the matchup. Most Fantasy owners can't afford to bench Gore, and we hope he comes through, but he needs to run better than he did against Green Bay.
Julian Edelman/Kenbrell Thompkins
(vs. NYJ): With Danny Amendola
(groin), Rob Gronkowski (back) and Zach Sudfeld (hamstring) not expected to play and Shane Vereen (wrist) out, the Patriots will need someone to step up
in the passing game. Aaron Dobson and Josh Boyce could play a role, as could someone like Leon Washington, but we expect Edelman and Thompkins to lead the
way. Edelman had a great game in Week 1 at Buffalo with seven catches
for 79 yards and two touchdowns on nine targets, and Thompkins had four
catches for 42 yards but tied Amendola with the team lead in targets at
14. Brady has 13 touchdown passes in his past five games with the Jets
and four games with 320 yards over that span. Someone has to catch those
passes, and we're counting on Edelman and Thompkins.
Steve Smith (at BUF): Our new Fantasy Football Today analyst Chad Johnson said in Week 1 that he would start Smith even in a tough matchup against Seattle. He was right since Smith had six catches for 51 yards and a touchdown on seven targets. Smith should have an easier time this week since the Bills are banged up in the secondary with Stephon Gilmore (wrist) and Jairus Byrd (foot) likely out. The Patriots just had three receivers combine for 21 catches, 225 yards and two touchdowns. Get Smith back in your lineup -- and listen to Johnson every Sunday morning at 11 a.m. ET on CBSSports.com.
Cecil Shorts (at OAK): I didn't like Shorts in Week 1 against Kansas City because quarterback Blaine Gabbert was playing with a bad thumb on his throwing hand. Shorts suffered as a result with three catches for 40 yards despite 10 targets, but Gabbert is out this week, which helps Shorts against the Raiders. Chad Henne should give Shorts a better chance to succeed simply because he's healthy, and Shorts can now pick up where last season left off. He has double digits in Fantasy points in five of his past seven games going back to 2012, and the Raiders have allowed the last three No. 1 receivers they've faced to score a touchdown, including Reggie Wayne in Week 1.
Mike Wallace (at IND): Wallace wants the ball more, and he's going to get it this week now that he's free from Browns cornerback Joe Haden. The Dolphins went away from Wallace in Week 1 (five targets for one catch and 15 yards) because he was shadowed by one of the best cover guys in the NFL. The Colts don't have a player of Haden's caliber, and six of the past seven No. 1 receivers to face Indianapolis have reached double digits in Fantasy points if you include Oakland's Denarius Moore last week. Look for Ryan Tannehill to feed Wallace the ball, and he's worth the gamble this week as at least a No. 3 receiver in the majority of leagues.
Eric Decker (at NYG): Decker is on our redemption tour this week along with Newton, Wilson, Shorts and Wallace as expected starters in the majority of leagues who struggled in Week 1. Decker called his performance against Baltimore last week ridiculous, which is fitting since he dropped a touchdown while four other Broncos caught Peyton Manning's seven scoring passes. He should rebound this week as Manning looks to get him back on track. The Giants did a great job against Dez Bryant and Miles Austin last week, holding them to 14 catches for 94 yards and no touchdowns. Slowing down Denver won't be easy, and Decker could get plenty of single coverage after last week's woes. We're counting on a bounce-back performance in this game.
|Andre Roberts||(vs. DET)||He could be a starter in PPR leagues after eight catches on nine targets.|
|Marlon Brown||(vs. CLE)||No. 2 WRs shine vs. CLE because teams avoid Haden.|
|James Jones||(vs. WAS)||Don't give up on him after no catches and only two targets. He'll rebound.|
|Chris Givens||(at ATL)||Had a quiet first game in Week 1 vs. ARI. Should rebound in Week 2.|
|Rod Streater||(vs. JAC)||In two games with Pryor he has nine catches for 147 yards.|
Anquan Boldin (at SEA): I can't wait for all the hate mail
from 49ers fans, which is fine if you think I'm railing against your
team. I'm just expecting a tough matchup on the road against a great
defense. Boldin was amazing in Week 1 against the Packers with 13
catches for 208 yards and a touchdown on 17 targets. He lined up all
over the field, and he will make it difficult for Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman to potentially shadow him. But if Sherman stays with
Boldin he should limit his stats. The Seahawks held Michael Crabtree to four catches for 65 yards on nine targets in
Seattle last season, and Boldin could suffer a similar fate. Consider
him just a No. 3 receiver this week.
Torrey Smith (vs. CLE): Smith did a nice job in Week 1 at Denver with four catches for 92 yards on nine targets, but he should struggle this week because of Haden. Smith scored in the past two games against Cleveland, but Haden missed one of those outings because of a suspension. We'll gamble on Haden in this matchup, especially since he just locked down Wallace in Week 1. No. 2 receivers have a good history against the Browns (see Brian Hartline last week), so Flacco could look for Marlon Brown this week more than Smith, which is why Brown is a sleeper.
Roddy White (vs. STL): You probably have to be loaded at receiver to bench White if he plays, but if you can afford to sit him it might be the right idea. He's not healthy, and playing hurt ruined a lot of Fantasy owners in Week 1. He was a decoy for most of the game because of his high ankle sprain and finished with just two catches for 19 yards on two targets. We hope he feels better Sunday, but he said this injury could linger for a few weeks. We anxiously await the return of White at 100 percent, and hopefully it happens soon.
Kenny Britt (at HOU): Britt is going to have some big games this season. I'm confident of that, and he could get going as early as Week 3 against San Diego. But this week could be tough for him even though he has a good history against the Texans. In his past three meetings with Houston going back to 2009, Britt has double digits in Fantasy points in all three outings with two touchdowns over that span. The problem is Britt tends to get lost in the shuffle for the Titans like Week 1 at Pittsburgh when he had two targets and finished with one catch for 15 yards. Until Britt proves he's ready to play like a No. 1 receiver you can't consider him a starting option. Keep him reserved in the majority of leagues.
Greg Jennings (at CHI): If Jennings has another bad game this week you might see Fantasy owners decide to cut him. He struggled in Week 1 at Detroit with three catches for 33 yards on seven targets, and he was outplayed by Jerome Simpson (seven catches for 140 yards). Jennings struggled against the Bears last season when he was with the Packers with four catches for 50 yards, and he has just one touchdown against Chicago in five previous matchups overall. We were concerned the downgrade from Rodgers to Ponder would be severe, and after one week Jennings already has Fantasy owners frustrated.
Bust alert: Marques Colston (at TB): It's hard to know how the Bucs are going to use cornerback Darrelle Revis in just his second game back from last year's ACL injury. In Week 1 against the Jets, Revis stayed on one side of the field, but that could be misleading since the Jets don't have a receiver worth shadowing. That could be different this week because of Colston. The last time Colston and Revis met was 2009, and Revis held Colston to two catches for 33 yards. Colston also has just two touchdowns against the Bucs in the past five meetings, although both were at Tampa Bay. He's too talented to bench in the majority of leagues, but just consider this a warning if he locks up with Revis. He got the better of Colston once and he could do it again this time around.
Julius Thomas (at NYG): Thomas was one of the breakout
stars from Week 1 with his performance against the Ravens. He had five
catches for 110 yards and two touchdowns on seven targets and is
immediately worth starting this week. He will remain heavily involved in
this explosive passing attack, and the Giants just allowed two
touchdowns to Jason Witten on eight
catches for 70 yards.
Owen Daniels (vs. TEN): The Titans weren't tested by Pittsburgh's tight ends in Week 1, especially with Miller out. That will change this week with Daniels, who starred in Week 1 against the Chargers with five catches for 67 yards and two touchdowns. Tennessee allowed the most Fantasy points to opposing tight ends last year, and Daniels contributed to that with six catches for 72 yards and a touchdown at home. He struggled in the second meeting with three catches for 43 yards, but teammate James Casey scored in that matchup. Daniels is worth trusting this week.
Brandon Myers (vs. DEN): The Broncos were among the worst teams at stopping tight ends last season, although Myers did nothing in two meetings when he played for the Raiders with two catches for 29 yards in both games. But the Broncos started this season where last year left off when Dallas Clark had seven catches for 87 yards on 12 targets. Don't be surprised if Myers has a similar stat line, especially if the Giants are chasing points. He did well in the Week 1 comeback effort against the Cowboys with seven catches for 66 yards and a touchdown on nine targets, so Manning already trusts him.
|Brent Celek||(vs. SD)||He scored in Week 1 at WAS and SD just gave up three touchdowns to HOU tight ends.|
|Dallas Clark||(vs. CLE)||PPR owners should consider using him after he had seven catches for 87 yards in Week 1.|
|Tyler Eifert||(vs. PIT)||He was on the field a lot vs. CHI in Week 1 and the production will start to come soon.|
Brandon Pettigrew (at ARI): Pettigrew had a rough Week 1
against Minnesota with two catches for 6 yards and a fumble on just four
targets. He was outplayed by backup Joseph Fauria,
and the Lions praised Pettigrew for his blocking. It adds up to a risky
start even in a favorable matchup. The Cardinals were just torched by Jared Cook, but we can't count on Pettigrew now until he proves us
Kyle Rudolph (at CHI): The Bears didn't have a problem with any single tight end in Week 1 against the Bengals, but Tyler Eifert and Jermaine Gresham did combine for 10 catches for 82 yards. That could bode well for Rudolph this week, and last year in Chicago he had five catches for 55 yards and a touchdown. He followed that up with no catches on two targets in the rematch, and that's the problem with Rudolph. When he doesn't score, he leaves you empty handed, which happened in Week 1 against the Lions when he had just two catches for 27 yards on four targets. We don't view Rudolph as a starting option this week.
Fred Davis (at GB): The Packers couldn't stop 49ers tight end Vernon Davis last week since he had six catches for 98 yards and two touchdowns, but this Davis won't play like that one. Fred Davis has yet to catch a touchdown from Griffin in eight career games together. And in Week 1 against the Eagles, Griffin threw more passes at No. 2 tight end Jordan Reed (six targets) than Davis (four). While it might be a good matchup, we need to see Davis and Griffin show more of a rapport before Fantasy owners can start him with any semblance of confidence.
Bust alert: Jordan Cameron (at BAL): Most people aren't going to bench Cameron after his breakout performance last week against Miami. I get it, especially since Thomas dominated the Ravens last week. But Baltimore was spread thin trying to stop all the weapons for the Broncos, and after Thomas did most of his damage in the first half, the Ravens adjusted and held Thomas to one catch after intermission. Cameron will be tough to stop, but Baltimore was No. 1 in Fantasy points allowed to opposing tight ends last year. Without Josh Gordon (suspension) for one more game, Cameron should see plenty of extra coverage from a Ravens defense that was embarrassed in Week 1. He'll get plenty of targets as well, but he might not have the same success he had against the Dolphins in this matchup.
Panthers (at BUF): The Bills offense played well in Week 1 against the Patriots. They lost two fumbles, but Buffalo didn't allow a sack and scored 21 points. All things considered, with rookie EJ Manuel making his first start, that was a positive performance. And now they have to do it again vs. one of the most underrated defenses in the league. Carolina just held Seattle to 370 total yards and 12 points with one fumble and two sacks. They have one of the best middle linebackers in the NFL with Luke Kuechly, and the addition of rookie defensive lineman Star Lotulelei shores up their run defense. It could be a tough day for C.J. Spiller and Co., and consider the Panthers DST a starting option. A few more performances like Week 1 could open Fantasy owner's eyes that this unit is worth using in the majority of leagues.
Buccaneers (vs. NO), Colts (vs. MIA) and Chiefs (vs. DAL): The three top sleepers DST options last week all had varying degrees of success. The Chiefs were the top unit in standard scoring, the Buccaneers were No. 7 and the Colts were No. 20. But this week you should cut ties with all three units since the matchups are tougher. The Bucs will obviously be challenged on a much different level from the Jets to the Saints, and the Chiefs won't push around Romo like they did with Gabbert. And if the Colts struggled with the Raiders then the Dolphins should also prove to be a difficult matchup. If you're looking for a DST replacement for these teams grab the Panthers or Eagles, who are owned in 15 percent of leagues or fewer on CBSSports.com.
|Dan Bailey||at KC|
|Randy Bullock||vs. TEN|
|Caleb Sturgis||at IND|
David Akers (at ARI): Akers looked good in his debut for the Lions in Week 1 against the Vikings with two field goals and four extra points. He should continue that momentum this week against the Cardinals, who allowed Greg Zuerlein to kick four field goals against them last week. Akers has a good history against the Cardinals after being in the NFC West the past two seasons with the 49ers. In four meetings since 2011, Akers has three games with multiple field goals and three with at least nine Fantasy points. The Lions should have success moving the ball against Arizona, giving Akers plenty of chances to shine.
Adam Vinatieri (vs. MIA): The last time Vinatieri had double digits in Fantasy points was Week 9 last year, which ironically was against the Dolphins when he scored 11. In the four home games following that meeting with Miami, including Week 1 this season against Oakland, Vinatieri has four field goals and 12 extra points. The Colts do a good job converting touchdowns instead of settling for field goals, which limits Vinatieri's chances. Fantasy owners continue to start Vinatieri based on name recognition, but he doesn't produce enough to be used in the majority of leagues.
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