There are times when you’re right and then of course times when you’re wrong. It’s crazy how life and fantasy football can mirror each other. First, let me say how sorry I am for anyone who decided to run with Ben Roethlisberger. The Titans DST played an amazing game, and Pittsburgh’s offensive line couldn’t stop the rush. It also doesn’t help when your best lineman gets hurt and is now going to miss the entire season. So with that being said, I will never promote the Steelers offense for the rest of this season. Based on what we saw, they have more problems than 1 man can fix. Even when Le’Veon Bell returns, the offense is a disaster in the making. I only wish I could have seen it earlier. Let’s get to some matchups for week 2.
• (CAR) QB Cam Newton vs. Buffalo Bills – Cam’s lackluster effort in week 1 can be attributed to his coaching staff as much as himself. Head Coach Ron Rivera was accused of being conservative in their offensive scheme against the Seahawks. Even if that were true, Cam needs to find a way to thrust his offense into a full throttle aggressive version of themselves. Buffalo will have their hands full as the training wheels will come off Sunday and Cam should throw for twice as many yards as he did against Seattle.
• (OAK) QB Terrelle Pryor vs. Jacksonville Jaguars – I can almost guarantee this will be the only time I will recommend Mr. Pryor as a start ‘em option. The only team that may have looked worse than Pittsburgh last week was Jacksonville. The Jags lack play makers on both offense and defense and Blaine Gabbert has shown little to make fans believe he is the answer at QB. When a QB can’t push the ball down the field, it creates a burden on all the defensive players. They will be on the field more than the opposing teams defense. The longer the defense is on the field, the more likely mistakes will be made and the Raiders will have opportunities to score. Start Pryor with confidence this week and this week only.
• (JAX) RB Maurice Jones Drew vs. Miami Dolphins – As much as Blaine Gabbert looks overmatched, Jones Drew looked revitalized in pre-season. Yes he didn’t fare well in week 1, but playing against the Raiders defense in week 2 is a match up worth taking advantage of. The Raiders allowed over 100 yards on the ground last week, and since Mo-Jo is the only real threat on Jacksonville’s team I consider him a fair bet for a good week. Jones should be thought of as a RB2 with potential for better results if he finds the end zone.
• (PHI) WR DeSean Jackson vs. San Diego Chargers – I picked on San Diego last week. Consider it a theme until they prove to be a unit that can contain their opposition. Jackson looked amazing in the high paced Chip Kelly offense in the first half, but the team as a whole seems to have worn themselves down. Though everyone is wondering if the Eagles can run 75+ plays a game consistently, the fact that they’re going to try makes Jackson’s value very high. He is really the only threat in the passing game and should take advantage of as many targets as he can handle. Week 1 is certainly not going to be his only 100 yard game this season. He is assured to rip off another quality performance against San Diego.
• Cleveland defense vs. Baltimore Ravens – If you think this is a dicey pick, you’re right! Baltimore was trounced by Denver in the first week, but their offense still looked pretty good. I believe in Cleveland’s defense this year as I mentioned in week 1. They need to prove themselves and week 2 will be a great opportunity. BAL will run the ball all day, but that will highlight the Browns defensive strengths. They have an underrated front 7 and corners to play against the pass. The Ravens will not be held scoreless by any means. I still expect Ray Rice to be a dynamic playmaker. Joe Flacco will be under pressure all day, and his targets will rarely be wide open. Consider the Browns DST a good play worthy of picking up off the wire if your defense seems over matched this week.
Less Appealing Options
• (SEA) QB Russell Wilson vs. San Francisco 49’ers – Wilson played well in week 1 vs. the Panthers, and he has had success against the 49’ers in the past. However his total yardage while playing against San Fran has always been low. Touchdowns are never guaranteed vs. a good defense and that’s why I would hesitate here. Sure he can run; SF has great LB’s. Sure he can pass, San Fran has good safeties. Yes! This is one of the best rivalry games in football right now! All the more reason to think that the 49’ers will be ready to attack. I have a really tough time believing that Wilson is going to put up high profile QB1 numbers. Consider him a mid-range QB2.
• (DAL) QB Tony Romo vs. Kansas City Chiefs – Romo played admirably against the Giants in week 1. Though he was sacked twice and threw a pick. My concern here is that Romo will be left to make plays strictly on his own considering Dez Bryant’s injury concerns. Murray and Witten will be more than serviceable options this week, but KC is no slouch on defense. They know how to guard against the run and that will leave Romo throwing more often than he would prefer. When that happens the defense will learn to disguise their coverage and Romo will be left running for his life, or throwing into double coverage. Romo will usually put up low end QB1 numbers. Don’t expect it in week 2.
• (NYG) RB David Wilson vs. Denver Broncos – Wilson fumbled twice and had serious pass protection problems in week 1. It led to the Giants resigning long time RB Brandon Jacobs after letting him go last year. Jacobs stands no chance of playing anytime soon, but it does show you what the team thinks of Wilson. I would expect a smaller workload for Wilson over the course of the next few weeks until he can solidify his value and prove to the coaching staff and teammates that he can handle the rigors of the NFL. Coach Coughlin has been known to be very temperamental against fumbling issues and based on his reactions from the sidelines in week 1, I wouldn’t expect his value to be higher than a flex play until the head coach can feel more confident in Wilson,
• (DEN) RB Monte Ball vs. NY Giants – This should apply to all Denver running backs as it is clear to see, they plan on moving the ball through the air this year. Peyton put up monster numbers and it would seem like he will have another opportunity to continue throwing the ball against NY’s suspect secondary. Ball was given 6 carries in the fourth quarter of last Thursday’s game and managed just 24 yards in total. Between his inconsistencies, the pass happiness of Denver’s offense and him sharing the backfield with Moreno, the likelihood of Ball being fantasy relevant is low. Sit Ball if you have the chance. Let him earn a bigger role in the offense as the season progresses. At least that is the hope.
• (ATL) WR Roddy White vs. St. Louis Rams – White suffered a high ankle sprain late in the pre-season and he certainly didn’t look like himself on Sunday as he caught only 2 passes for 19 Yards. He also missed multiple days of practice this week. If he was the only option in the passing game, you could hope for a few more plays to come his way, but that is definitely not the case in Atlanta. Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez should be huge targets until White can get over the ankle sprain. In the meantime, give White a week to heal. As we saw from Wes Welker players can come back and look good, but only if they are given the opportunity to get treatment. Sit White at all costs this week, and look for him to come back strong against Miami in week 3.