People always say week 1 is the hardest week to predict because there is so much unknown. Is week 2 any easier? Do we really know more based on one weeks worth of results?
Football is a week-to-week game, just as baseball is a day-to-day game, and just because someone has a huge game one week does not mean much for the next. Making assumptions based on one weeks worth of results is hard to do, but it is all we have at this point Here’s to hoping you drafted well and no matter what your choices are you can do no wrong.
For the start/sit section: just because one player is a start and one is a sit does not necessarily means I would sit one player for another. Just because I say start Heath Miller and sit Greg Olsen does not mean I would sit Olsen for Miller.
The starts and sits are all based on to their perceived value and what I think they will do this week. For example – I see Carson Palmer having a big game against the Bears, and coming into the year many viewed him outside the top 12 at quarterback.
The “digging deep” section is for those in deep leagues or really in a pinch due to injuries, and when we get to that part in the season, bye weeks.
If you have any question in terms of individual lineup questions you have ask me on Twitter or in the comment section.
Drew Brees vs. Buccaneers: Brees gets to play the defense that has Marcus Mariota looking like a Hall of Famer after one game. Brees has better weapons and ability than Mariota at this point so expect a big day from him.
Carson Palmer at Bears: The Chicago secondary isn’t very good, and that is putting it nicely. The Cardinals are built to pass. They have a lot of quality receiving options and the running backs are built to catch the ball out of the backfield. They are also without Andre Ellington this week so there is even less incentive to run the ball than normal.
Colin Kaepernick vs. Patriots: For people in two quarterback leagues or leagues with 14 or more teams. Don’t expect Kaepernick to be a top 5 option, but as Tim Tebow and many other running quarterbacks have shown, rushing stats can help support a quarterback who isn’t a great passer. If you are swinging for the fences Kaepernick could be a good play.
Cam Newton vs. Texans: This might seem like a contradiction after recommending Kaepernick in deeper leagues. Cam was drafted as a starter or a platoon option for people in leagues of 12 teams or less. He doesn’t have the weapons to support a good passing game. Teams can double his only weapon in Greg Olsen and let the Panthers beat them with Ted Ginn and Philly Brown.
Phillip Rivers at Bengals: He won’t be in the same position he was in last week. They wont be trailing big and in catch-up mode the majority of the second half. Rivers could have a nice game, but don’t go crazy and start him over a top option who struggled last week like Russell Wilson.
Tom Brady at Buffalo: Brady doesn’t get the Steelers this weekend. The Bills have a much stingier defense and I don’t see New England scoring like they did last week. Brady might end up having a decent fantasy game when it is over, but unless you drafted after his suspension was overturned, odds are you have another good quarterback that is worth starting this week.
Justin Forsett at Raiders: The Broncos shut down Forsett last weekend, but I don’t see the Raiders doing the same. Expect to see Forsett involved in the passing game as well with the Ravens still lacking pass catchers.
Rashad Jennings vs Falcons: The Giants seem to have a three-man rotation at running, but Jennings was the lead man last week and I don’t expect that to change. If Jennings would have punched in a goal line carry at the end of last weeks game people would be viewing him a lot different today.
T.J. Yeldon vs Dolphins: Yeldon looked good in his first NFL game and Alfred Morris just had a big game against this defense last week. If the Jaguars give Yeldon the chance to get 15-20 touches he could have a big game as well. The concern with Yeldon is the Jaguars get behind early and abandon the run.
Lance Dunbar at Eagles: Dunbar was used heavily in the passing game last week and with Dex Bryant out I wouldn’t expect that to change. He should be a good option in PPR leagues and he could provide 60 plus yards receiving.
Mark Ingram vs Buccaneers: I am going against the grain a bit on this one and this comes on the condition, C.J. Spiller plays Sunday. Ingram only received nine carries last week in splitting carries with Khiry Robinson. Ingram did most of his damage as a receiver hauling in eight passes for 98 yards on nine targets. I don’t expect much to change with Ingram in terms of rushing; I expect about 12 carries a game, but his receiving and snaps should drop from their week one levels.
LeSean McCoy vs Cowboys: McCoy is no lock to play this week, but even if he does I would be leery of using him. Odds are people don’t have better options if he does play so you might be stuck. McCoy re-aggravated his hamstring late in the week and is coming off a less than stellar week where he played one of the NFL’s worst run defenses. If he sits, Karlos Williams is an obvious start in his place.
Tre Mason at Redskins: Mason still isn’t 100 percent after injuring his hamstring in the preseason. He is listed as questionable but is expected to play. The Washington defense played good against the Dolphins last week and I don’t expect Mason to dominate the backfield when he isn’t at full strength and Benny Cunningham proved he can be a viable option last week.
Julian Edelman at Buffalo: The Buffalo defense is a scary matchup, but I expect them to let the Patriots beat them with the dink and dunk underneath passes while taking away Gronk. Edelman will most likely be a PPR stud again this week. Edelman won’t have a huge week in standard leagues, but expect his steady 80-100 yards.
John Brown and Larry Fitzgerald at Bears: Picking on the Bears again. Palmer will have plenty of options in the passing game and I expect a big day for the Cardinals through the air. Fitzgerald has turned into the teams’ possession receiver. Brown could have a huge week but comes with slightly more risk as he hasn’t fully taken over the number two job yet.
Steve Smith at Raiders: The Ravens have to move the ball better this week and I expect them to force-feed Smith the ball in the passing game. He is the only viable receiver they have at the moment.
Eddie Royal vs. Cardinals: Alshon Jeffery suffered a setback with his calf injury and may not play Sunday. Even if Jeffery is active I expect better numbers from Royal. Royal played the most snaps of any Bears receiver with 65 snaps (84 percent of the offensive plays). He doesn’t have great upside, but he could be an option for a T.Y. Hilton owner looking for a replacement.
Rashad Greene vs. Dolphins: He was a target machine last week but only manage seven catches for 28 yards. Like with any running back, its all about the volume.
Andre Johnson vs. Jets: He did not look good last week, and with Hilton expected to be out he should get Revis in coverage. Usually the number one receiver going down means good things for the number two, but keep expectations in check for Johnson this week.
Alshon Jeffery vs. Cardinals: As I mention with Royal, Jeffery suffered a setback and might not play Sunday. If he does play I would expect him to be very limited. Stay away at all costs.
Allen Robinson vs. Dolphins: He is going to face Brent Grimes this week. Expect him to struggle again as Blake Bortles goes elsewhere with the ball.
Martellus Bennett vs. Cardinals: Arizona is horrible against tight ends and Bennett has a great track record of starting the season strong. Odds are you weren’t planning on benching him, but just in case you were he is an obvious start.
Heath Miller vs. 49ers: Miller should continue to get targets with Martavus Bryant and Le’Veon Bell suspended. Don’t expect a high ceiling, but he should be in line for a week similar to what he did against New England and he always has a chance to get a touchdown when the Steelers get near the goal line.
Jason Witten at Eagles: He should be in line for a lot more work with Dez Bryant out for a while.
Daniel Fells at Bears: I don’t expect Fells to be a great option, but if your league mates tend to draft more than one tight end and you ended up with Delanie Walker and Antonio Gates… If you need a complete dart throw I think Fells is worth a shot.
Greg Olsen vs. Texans: I highly doubt anyone has a better option than Olsen. If for some reason you drafted Olsen and Bennett or Eifert, those would be better options. Defenses have no one in the passing game to fear except Olsen and the Jaguars were able to completely take him out of the game. I was high on Olsen coming into the season, but the lack of weapons in the Carolina passing attack brings all the focus on Olsen.
Jordan Reed vs. Rams: The Rams are great against tight ends. Jimmy Graham’s 51 yards and a touchdown was one of the Rams worst weeks against a tight end in recent years. Reed is also nursing a sore quad.
Baltimore Ravens at Raiders: The top option this week for those who like to stream defenses. They aren’t out there in a lot of leagues, but if they are scoop them up as soon as possible.
Tennessee Titans at Browns: Johnny Manziel is a turnover machine and the Browns just aren’t good. Most likely they are on most waiver wires, owned in only 22 percent of standard ESPN leagues.
Carolina Panthers vs. Texans: The quarterback play in Houston is awful. Luke Kuechly isn’t expected to play, but that doesn’t mean this defense can’t get a few interceptions.
Seattle Seahawks at Packers: Like other top options I doubt you have another option to start this week. However if the Ravens are on the waiver wire I would start them. I could also be talked into starting Carolina over the Seattle.
San Francisco 49ers at Steelers: The Steelers offense will bounce back this week and betting on a west coast team in a 1 p.m. start isn’t the best idea.
Like I said in the introduction, if you have any positional rankings question feel free to ask me on Twitter @TheSportsGuy40 or in the comment section below. Include as much of your league specifications as possible, I will assume standard leagues unless you say otherwise.
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