Posted: 9:00 a.m. Friday, Sept. 13, 2013
By Alex Welch
Week 1 didn't exactly go as some fantasy owners (I'm one of them) planned. Zach Sudfeld made zero impact, David Wilson was benched for fumbling and Anquan Boldin put in one monster performance. Now that we've at least seen every team in action, deciding on who to start for Week 2 will be somewhat simpler.
If your team is 0-1, don't abandon ship. Fantasy owners are quick to panic with an early loss, but there's plenty of time to hit the waiver wire, make trades and climb your league's rankings.
Let's look at a few players you need to start for Week 2, and some bigger names that need to be on the bench. A warning in advance, we're not listing Calvin Johnson and Adrian Peterson on the list.
Michael Vick (vs. Chargers) - Which Monday night performance was more memorable? Vick and Chip Kelly's new offense going 100 mph, or San Diego completely collapsing with a huge lead? The Chargers ended up allowing 329 passing yards and 120 rushing yards to the Texans. As long as Vick makes it through another game without getting hurt, he'll be a solid starter for Week 2.
Eddie Lacy (vs. Redskins) - LeSean McCoy just shredded Washington's defense. Lacy isn't quite on Shady's level, but the Packers are going to rely on him. His Week 1 fumble earned him a few series on the bench, but he's Green Bay's best back by a long shot. Lacy will see at least 15 touches and goal line carries.
Cecil Shorts (at Raiders) - Why does Blaine Gabbert still start? Fortunately for fantasy owners, Chad Henne will be under center in Week 2. Shorts averaged over 20 yards more per game with Henne under center in 2012. Throw in the fact that he's playing the Raiders defense, and it shouldn't take long to forget about Shorts' three-catch opener.
Jordan Cameron (at Ravens) - A popular sleeper pick actually went off in Week 1. While that can be rare, Cameron is going to be the focal point of the Browns passing game for at least one more week, as Josh Gordon is still on suspension. Julius Thomas scored two touchdowns against the Ravens in the season opener. It didn't look like Baltimore even remembered he was playing half the time. Maybe they'll forget about Cameron as well.
Bengals D/ST (vs. Steelers) - Cincinnati's defense was ranked as one of the top in the league heading into this season. The Bengals gave up 24 points to the Bears. It wasn't exactly a bad performance, but they'll have a huge bounce back against a Steelers offense that rushed for a whopping 32 yards in Week 1.
Joe Flacco (vs. Browns) - Flacco has played against Cleveland 10 times in his career. He has 13 touchdowns over the span. Not the ratio you want to see for your fantasy lineup. Joe Haden will have Torrey Smith locked down. Even if Flacco throws 62 passes again, there are better options at quarterback.
Ryan Mathews (at Eagles) - He was in for 20 snaps in Week 1. While Mathews found the end zone in his first game, it's unlikely he'll score often on wheel routes out of the backfield. The Redskins were out of sync, but the Eagles still put up a good fight against the run. Don't plan on Mathews to do much damage.
James Jones (vs. Redskins) - Jones played all 63 snaps against the Niners. He didn't record a single catch. That probably won't happen again, but it's clear he's far down the pecking order in the Packers passing game. Aaron Rodgers will look for Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson and Jermichael Finley before Jones.
Kyle Rudolph (at Bears) - A boom-or-bust option at tight end, Rudolph caught two passes for 27 yards last week. In four meetings against Chicago, he's averaged 22.5 yards per game. Unless you feel like rolling the dice, get a more reliable option.
Titans (at Texans) - Don't be fooled by Week 1. The Titans played a Steelers offense was playing together for the first time ever. The Texans struggled early against the Chargers, but as we witnessed, Matt Schaub and co. found a rhythm and stormed back for a 31-28 win. Expect Houston to score several touchdowns in its home opener.