Week 1 left many fantasy owners with a face that read, “are you SERIOUS?!”. I don’t remember the last time I’ve seen two top 20 running backs get benched in week 1. Steven Ridley and David Wilson both found themselves watching the rest of their teams respective games after fumbling the football and losing the trust of their head coaches. Of course, most fantasy owners drafted these guys in the top 4 rounds, and I’m assuming both players were started in almost every league.
People that owned the likes of Calvin Johnson or Dez Bryant also were kicking themselves as they watched their top receivers who were supposed to be the back-bone of their WR1 slot break with little production. Want more big names with little production? CJ Spiller, Roddy White, Cam Newton, Dwayne Bowe, Lamar Miller, etc.
People. Week 1 was crazy. These players aren’t busts. Far from it. Yes, some situations are more concerning than others, but every player mentioned above should be just fine. Week 2 shall bring better results for you owners that were crushed by your star players.
Looking Forward: Week 2
New York Jets @ New England
-With Steven Ridley getting benched in week 1, Shane Vereen got the opportunity to shine. It looked like Ridley’s job was lost, but now Vereen is on IR until at least week 11, so it’s assumed with the lack of talent in the backfield for the Patriots that Ridley will get the workload. Ridley owners probably have little alternatives to replace him, so don’t over think it. Start Ridley.
-Amendola, Vereen, Gronkowski, and Sudfeld are all hurt, so somebody else has to get targets from Tom Brady. Pick up Julian Edelman. Also, Geno Smith relied on Kellen Winslow last week as a security blanket. He will continue to do this as he becomes more comfortable in the offense. Winslow is an interesting TE if you are desperate.
St. Louis @ Atlanta
– Roddy White’s ankle looks worse than expected, but it doesn’t seem like he’s going to sit out. But I’m telling you to sit him.
– Steven Jackson and Tavon Austin appear to be important players in their respective offenses. Thought the production wasn’t necessarily great last week, it’s a matter of time before one of these guys has a big day and wins you a week.
Carolina @ Buffalo
-Carolina doesn’t play Seattle this week. Start your Panthers with confidence.
-Really? Do I need to tell you to start CJ Spiller? Cummon.
Minnesota @ Chicago
-Christian Ponder looked bad in week 1, and that isn’t going to change this week, next week, the week after, next year, or really at any point in his NFL career. Greg Jennings owners can’t be confident right now. Sit Jennings, and if the production doesn’t start to pick up consider him droppable.
-Matt Forte, Adrian Peterson, and Brandon Marshall. The only names you should be starting in 10 team standard leagues. That includes Kyle Rudolph. He is TD dependent and I feel you should be looking elsewhere for the TE position until you see him start to produce.
Washington @ Green Bay
-RG3 for 3 quarters looked tentative and cautious, but in the 4th he started to look better and still finished with a good stat line. I can’t imagine Washington is going to beat Green Bay, so I’m assuming they will be throwing a lot in this game when they are down. Lots of speculation on RG3 right now, but I’m staying confident and letting you know to start him this week.
-Eddie Lacy is a buy low option for people looking for a RB. The Packers played the 49ers last week and you can’t expect a rookie RB to tear it up against arguably the top run defense in the league, but he was still productive for fantasy owners. Go get Lacy, and start him this week.
Miami @ Indianapolis
– Lamar Miller looked terrible last week. I’m guessing you used a reasonable draft pick to get this guy, but if there is any other option on your bench to replace him, do it. I don’t want to start Lamar Miller until he’s shown me he can actually produce. The physical skills are there, but he has yet to show any way of using them in the NFL.
-Andrew Luck’s stock fell at the end of last year and this lead to him falling in fantasy drafts. Experts said something like, “he doesn’t get red zone designed runs, so he won’t be getting those rushing TDs he had last year”. He ran one in last week. This guy is talented and a solid starting QB for fantasy teams.
Dallas @ Kansas City
-With Dez Bryant banged up, watch for Miles Austin to keep getting a lot of targets in this offense. Start confidently.
-Jamaal Charles should be fine, but this guy seems to always miss games. Knile Davis should stay in your radar as a potential waiver wire add. Keep alert.
Cleveland @ Baltimore
-Jordan Cameron is a must add TE in all leagues. He will be the top receiver for targets in this offense.
-As for Baltimore, the opposite applies. Dallas Clark put up a good stat line in week 1, but he looked terrible. I don’t expect Baltimore to keep putting Clark in these situations. Stay away from Clark.
Tennessee @ Houston
-It probably is hard to since you drafted him so high, but try to find a way to bench Chris Johnson. I have been off his bandwagon for a while now and he has given me little reason to get back on. Houston run defense is good so this week could be brutal for Johnson owners.
-Though Arian Foster didn’t look explosive in week 1, I expect him to bounce back and be great this week. Watch out for a big performance.
San Diego @ Philadelphia
-The new Chip Kelly offense in Phili has fans and fantasy owners drooling over the potential. Desean Jackson, Michael Vick, and Lesean McCoy are all looking to have a huge season. Overreacting after one week? Maybe. But whatever. It was entertaining and electrifying.
-Philip Rivers didn’t look terrible. Good for him. This team has little fantasy value on the roster besides maybe Ryan Matthews so don’t get cute and pick up Rivers. He’s not good.
Detroit @ Arizona
– Reggie Bush looked amazing in week 1, but it turns out he has two injuries now and his workload may be limited. Joique Bell is a must add in all leagues and a potential flex play for week 2.
ESPN’s Eric Karabell discusses Joique Bell
-I can’t decide on Andre Roberts or Michael Floyd as the #2 receiver in Arizona. Carson Palmer is going to throw a ton, so either player is worth the risk. I’m leaning Floyd because the physical skills are better than Roberts, but in a PPR league Roberts is a safer option.
New Orleans @ Tampa Bay
-Another preseason of Mark Ingram hype in New Orleans, and it still seems nothing has changed. Him and Pierre Thomas will continue to split the carries, while Darren Sproles remains the only RB you are starting in your fantasy lineups.
-Doug Martin runs for over 100 yards and finds the end zone twice.
Jacksonville @ Oakland
-Terrell Pryor is the most interesting waiver addition after week one after running for over 100 yards as a QB. Is he the Cam Newton of 2013? Or maybe Tim Tebow in Denver? Either way, those outcomes make him a fantasy starter in all leagues. Keep and eye on him and don’t be afraid to add him. Huge upside.
-Oakland defense is my sleeper defense for this week. It’s not that they show me anything to get excited about, its just the fact that Jacksonville is terrible. So terrible that I can’t write anything about them for this week that you don’t already know.
Denver @ New York Giants
-With so many mouths to feed it may seem a little scary to start Julius Thomas with confidence, but the Denver running game has some more time until they have confidence to start Monte Ball, so the production in rushing yards will suffer. Manning will keep throwing, so start all receivers, the Thomas’, Welker, and Decker with confidence.
-David Wilson isn’t going to get benched. He will get a few carries early and earn his job back. Start Wilson. Also, consider Rueben Randle a sleeper for this week. Potential flex option if desperate.
More on Randle from ESPN’s Eric Karabell
San Francisco @ Seattle
-Anquan Boldin is a must start this week even playing against Seattle’s defense. Colin Kaepernick looked amazing last week, picking up where he left off in the playoffs last year. Boldin’s and Vernon Davis’ stocks are as high as ever.
-Russell Wilson owners should look to find someone else to start this week. Wilson didn’t look great in week 1 and I assume if you own him you have another QB on your roster. Strongly consider benching Wilson for week 2.
Pittsburgh @ Cincinnati
-Pittsburgh’s backfield will be a hot commodity for next couple of weeks when people are hitting the waiver wire looking for running back depth, but I’m telling you to stay away until Le’veon Bell is back. He will be the only running back on this team that is fantasy relevant.
-Giovani Bernard was a mid-late round flyer this preseason in drafts, but week 1 he failed to get enough touches to produce. I’ll say that this week will be no different, but stay patient. Bernard will be great once he gets a respectable amount of work.