By Mike Cannici
Start Em’/Sit Em’ for Week 2
This is a list of guys who obviously aren’t no brainer, every week starters. These are guys on the cusp, who have the talent to crack your starting lineup but just aren’t there yet. This week there are a few exceptions, but for the most part that is who this article will be focused on. Steve and I will both be contributing to this article weekly so you can get a taste for both our opinions and knowledge. At the end of the day though, its ultimately your team. As I always say when all else fails, go with your gut and that’s what I try to do because your gut is almost never wrong.
Michael Vick PHI vs. Detroit- Kolb is out with a concussion and Vick is a must play vs. the weak Lions secondary. The Lions were pretty solid against the run last week against the Bears but gave up almost 400 yards passing to Jay Cutler. Vick won’t throw for 400 yards but 300 total(rushing/passing) yards and 2 scores is definitely in the cards. Start Vick with confidence this week.
Matt Ryan ATL vs. Arizona- Ryan struggled last week, but take that with a grain of salt since it was against the Steelers. Rookie Sam Bradford threw for 252 yards against that Cardinal secondary. Matt Ryan and Roddy White should be in for big days especially at home in the dome.
Jonathan Stewart Car vs. TB- Stewart was limited week 1, more or less because he didn’t play a single snap in preseason and just wasn’t fully ready. I think things get back to normal this week during the Panthers home opener and Stewart and DeAngelo Williams lean back towards a split in touches. Stewart and Williams have coexisted together for two seasons now and been solid fantasy starters. This should be the last week you see him in this column because he’s in for a big day along with his counterpart.
Brandon Jacobs Giants vs. Indy- Jacobs is a guy who is probably on the bench in most leagues, but if you have a questionable #2 or flex, you may want to start him this week against the terrible run defense of the Colts. Bob Sanders is once again done for the year with an injury and without him there run defense is putrid. Jacobs should see 70 yards and a TD this week so plug him in.
Michael Bush/Darren McFadden OAK vs STL- Bush practiced Wednesday fully and once again expected to play. McFadden looked very good last week against the Titans even though I didn’t foresee that happening but you can’t always be right in this business. They are both excellent plays this week, with McFadden being the better PPR play and Bush the better standard scoring/TD heavy play.
Mike Williams TB vs. Car- Williams had a solid rookie performance that saw 9 targets while catching 5 of them for 30 yards a TD. Williams seems to be QB Josh Freeman’s go to guy and with what we saw Hakeem Nicks do last week against Carolina, Williams could be in for a big day as well. After Carolina’s secondary ruined my sit em’ for Nicks, I can’t recommend sitting another receiver against them, I just can’t. Williams is a solid #3WR this week or flex.
Mohammad Massaquoi CLE vs. KC- Massaquoi had a decent week 1 performance, with 6 targets along with 2 catches for 46 yards and TD. It looks like Seneca Wallace will be the QB this week and MM looks like he should see similar targets, hopefully catching a few more them this time. He is the go to receiver in Cleveland and could have a good game. The Chiefs defense was good last Monday night; they did allow Rivers to throw for 298 yards. Wallace is by no means Phillip Rivers, but does have a good arm and is able to move around the pocket to find the open man. MM as I’ll call Massaquoi from now on is a solid flex play this week.
Legedu Naanee SD vs. Jax- Naanee had a very solid week with 9 targets. He caught 5 of those for 110yds and a score. Now some say that score was a fluke, but hey all that matters in fantasy is getting yards and the scores so no worries, that could happen again too or against anybody. Naanee should have another big week at home against the jaguars corner’s after they allowed Kyle Orton to throw for 295 yards. Naanee is one my breakout players this year and should be inserted into your lineup this week if you missed the boat last.
Chad Henne MIA vs. Minn- The Vikings are back home and are not too happy about the close loss against New Orleans to open the season. It’s not that I trust the Viking defensive backfield as much as I trust Jared Allen and the Williams wall to come after Henne constantly. If you own Henne in a committee, start the other guy because this will not be Henne’s week, especially the way he performed against a much lesser opponent in the Bills week 1.
Sam Bradford STL vs. Oak- The rookie looked pretty good against the Cards in week 1, but is going into a different atmosphere called the Oakland Coliseum this week. The raiders are coming off a shellacking in Tennessee, but they were run on, not passed on. Bradford is going to be a very good QB in this league for a long time, but if you own him, you don’t want him in your lineup regularly just yet. He still has some growing pains to endure, but dynasty leaguers hold on to this guy for obvious reasons.
CJ Spiller BUF vs. GB- This young man has a load of talent, but if you have another viable option, bench Spiller this week against GB. In a PPR league you may want to keep him active, as they should be behind early and often and Edwards may use him as a check down. Standard leaguers should leave him on their bench this week at Green Bay who has a very good run defense. Spiller, like Bradford will be a very good player in this league, but the key to fantasy is to know when to start them and know when to sit them, and folks, this is one of those weeks.
Beanie Wells AZ vs. ATL- Wells is expected to play this week, but is not a good start vs. the Falcons run defense. Yes they allowed 120 yards to Rashard Mendenhall but 50 of those were in overtime on one play. Wells isn’t completely healthy yet and is not a recommended start. Keep him on your bench for at least one more week if possible.
Fred Taylor NE vs. NYJ- Taylor is not a guy who is owned in a lot of leagues, and really shouldn’t be trusted this week against the Jets defense. The Jets, without DT Kris Jenkins for most of the game, and now for the year shut down one of the top backs in the league in Ray Rice. Fred Taylor will do his best to find some wholes but doubt he’ll find any. As I said, you won’t find him on many rosters, but I do own him in two leagues, because he is STARTING RB in the NFL. However, you won’t find him in any of my starting lineups this week. Don’t drop him if you’re an owner, but leave him riding the bench week 2.
Randy Moss NE vs. NYJ- Your eyes aren’t deceiving you and this isn’t the Randy Moss from NFL network, the real Moss I’m talking about. With all this back and forth smack talk between Moss and Revis, I don’t foresee the same thing that happened last week where Revis isn’t blanketing the opponents best receiver. There are reports that Revis is dealing with a little hamstring discomfort, so obviously if he was to not play, Moss goes into lineups immediately. As of now though I’m not reading too much into it. Last year in two contests against New York, Moss finished with 9 catches for 58 yards and a TD. That TD however didn’t come with Revis on Moss. The Jets have already said that Revis will follow Moss all day and I’m telling you, you should have another option this week. He is one of the 5 best WR’s in the game, but the way Revis plays, Moss won’t have that kind of day this coming Sunday. BENCH HIM!!!!
Mike Williams SEA vs. Den- Both Mike Williams are in this article, but this is not the one you want to start this week. Last week he had a solid game, (4catches 64 yards) but is now dealing with a thigh injury, and better yet, if he were to play, he’d be matched up against Champ Bailey. Any doubters in Champ Bailey look how many yards his receiver Mike Sims-Walker had last week, ZERO. Make sure you bench the right Mike Williams, because I don’t want to hear it Monday morning.
TJ Houshmanzadeh BAL vs. Cin- Housh saw just 4 targets in his debut against the Jets, and I don’t see that increasing much just yet. Cincy regardless of what happened last week, is very solid against the pass. The one thing he may have working in his favor however, is that this game is against his old team so he may come out trying to prove something. This is a dicey one, but if you have better options wait an extra week before starting TJ.