Week 2 Start/Sit
NFL Week 2 Sit/Start
By: Eric Pripstein
Matt Ryan @ Cincinnati: Matt Ryan carved up the Saints last week, ending with 448 yards with 3 TDs and no interceptions. I’ve seen concern over his matchup this week against the Bengals defense, which is warranted, but Ryan owners shouldn’t be hitting the waiver wire looking for replacements. The Falcons are 5 point underdogs, but the over/under on the game is reasonably high at 47.5. If there’s one thing you can count on, it’s that Ryan will be slinging it again. The Falcons’ running game is simply too weak to rely on and the Falcons will probably be playing catchup.
Jake Locker vs Dallas: Targeting Dallas will be a theme this season, as their defense is looking like it may end the season with historically bad stats. Locker is no stud, but performed very well last week against KC and threw the ball 33 times despite the Titans dominating KC for almost the entire game. He also added 6 rushing attempts. The Titans are only a 3 point Vegas favorite, which bodes well for Locker, as Dallas is expected to keep the game close. Look for Locker to easily repeat his 250+ yard, 2 TD performance, with 300/3 upside. He’s worth a spot start for hesitant Rivers/Romo/Cutler owners.
Other QBs I like: Andrew Luck, Nick Foles, Colin Kaepernick, Andy Dalton
Philip Rivers vs Seattle: This is an easy one. I’m not taking QBs against Seattle, home or road.
Jay Cutler @ San Francisco: Monitor this situation, but as of now Cutler may be without Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery this week. While I don’t expect the 49ers defense to make every QB look as bad as they did Tony Romo last week, we all know Cutler is prone to making mistakes. Marshall and Jeffery are elite talents that can bail him out, Santonio Holmes is not. Stay away from Cutler if he’s without his top weapons.
RG3 vs Jacksonville: The Redskins are a sizeable favorite this week against Jacksonville, but I still find RG3 hard to trust. He went 29 of 37 for 267 yards last week against Houston, but didn’t generate much scoring. Additionally, he fumbled twice (1 lost) and only rushed 3 times for 2 yards. Of his 29 completions, 7 went for 10 or more yards, only 1 of which occurred in the first half. I don’t expect the Redskins to suddenly open it up and let RG3 lose. The Jaguars put a good amount of pressure on Nick Foles last weekend, and I expect more of the same against the Redskins. RG3 will also be without Jordan Reed this week.
Frank Gore vs Chicago: Gore was a bit disappointing last week against Dallas, but that was more a function of the way the game played out than Gore’s performance. Last week Buffalo rushed 33 times for 193 yards against Chicago (5.8 ypc), and I expect the 49ers to mimic this effort. In a game where the Bears may be without Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, look for the 49ers to lead early and play their traditional conservative offense that heavily features the running game.
Arian Foster @ Oakland: Foster was on this list last week and while he didn’t score a TD or put up a massive yardage total, he did get 29 touches. Don’t let his moderate fantasy score scare you away. This is what Foster owners want to see. The Texans are not afraid to give him a heavy load, and that leads to fantasy production. This week he gets to face an Oakland team that gave up 212 yards on 34 carries (6.2 ypc) and 1 ruTD to the Jets last week. Look for Foster to eclipse 20 touches again this week and hopefully find the end zone.
Alfred Morris vs Jacksonville: While I don’t like RG3 this week, I do like Alfred Morris. He only saw 14 carries last week, but turned them into 91 yards (6.5 ypc). In a game where the Redskins should be leading instead of trailing, Morris could see a significant workload increase.
Other RBs I like: Gio Bernard, Shane Vereen, Pierre Thomas (PPR), Shonn Greene
Detroit RBs @ Carolina: By now everyone knows the Carolina’s front 7 is to be feared. If I knew that either back was going to get 20 touches, I’d consider playing them, but with the backfield split I’m not gambling on Reggie or Joique producing on what could be 8-12 touches. The Lions are slight underdogs in this game that features a low over/under of 43.5. Stay away from these two this week.
Toby Gerhart @ Washington: The Jaguars took an early lead against the Eagles this past Sunday and still weren’t able to establish any kind of running game. Gerhart managed a measly 42 yards on 18 carries and has been dealing with a sprained ankle this week. Signs point to him playing on Sunday, but don’t rely on him for any fantasy production. The Jaguars are 6 point underdogs and are projected as one of the lowest scoring teams of the week. The Redskins defense limited Arian Foster to 3.8 ypc, and Gerhart is a significantly inferior back.
Roddy White: See Matt Ryan. Just like last week, look for Roddy to have a big game with Ryan slinging the ball.
Kendall Wright: See Jake Locker. Wright reeled in 6 catches on 7 targets for 46 yards and a TD. Not a stellar performance, but the Titans dominated this game from start to finish and had no reason to throw heavily. They should be in a close game against Dallas this weekend and Wright should see a healthy number of targets against a weak Dallas secondary.
Reggie Wayne: In his first game back from an ACL tear, the ageless wonder returned for 9 catches on 13 targets for 98 yards. Still Luck’s most trusted receiver, Wayne should be heavily targeted again in this week’s highest over/under game. The Eagles were one of the worst passing defenses in the league last year which doesn’t bode well for them with Andrew Luck coming to town. I expect the Colts to take to their air early and often in what figures to be a MNF shootout. Wayne should easily eclipse double digit targets and hopefully find the end zone this week.
Eric Decker @ Gren Bay: The Jets are not expected to score much in this game, with a projected total of only 19 points. However, if they want to keep up with the Packers, they’re going to have to try to take it to the air. Decker is the undisputed #1 WR on the team and the Packers secondary looked poor against Russell Wilson and the Seahawks. Decker caught 5 of 6 targets last week for 74 yards against Oakland and should see a target increase this week with the Jets throwing the ball more often.
Other WRs I like: Cardinals WRs, Marques Colston, Emmanuel Sanders, Kelvin Benjamin Julian Edelman, Andrew Hawkins
Victor Cruz: Eli Manning and the NY Giants don’t look like they know what they’re doing on offense right now and I don’t think 1 week is going to make a significant difference. Add the fact the Cruz will likely see a healthy dose of Patrick Peterson and this is an easy sit.
Keenan Allen vs Seattle: See Philip Rivers. Allen saw 9 targets last week against Arizona but was only able to catch 5 for 37 yards. This week he lines up against the toughest secondary in the league. It’s hard to sit him knowing his talent, but his floor is low against the Seahawks. If you’re not an Allen owner, look to buy low on him next week.
Zach Ertz @ Indianapolis: Ertz only caught 3 balls on 5 targets but he made the most of them, turning in a 77 yards, 1 TD performance. The Colts just gave up 3 TDs to Julius Thomas and look to be in another shootout this week. The Eagles have touted Ertz as a prime red zone target, look for him to find pay dirt again against the Colts.
Delanie Walker: This is a desperation play, but if you’re a Jordan Reed or Jordan Cameron owner you might need one. Walker only saw 4 targets last week, but one was a 5 yard TD. It’s hard to expect a big game from him, but you might get a lucky TD against Dallas’ horrific defense.
Travis Kelce vs Dallas: Kelce was featured here last week and is here again. Some owners were probably encouraged by his 49 yard day, but the fact remains that he only played on 32% of snaps. That’s simply not enough to be a consistent fantasy producer. Leave Kelce and his hype on the bench until he sees more playing time.
Tamba Bay vs St. Louis: The Rams offense is in shambles right now. Shaun Hill is dealing with a thigh injury and may not play, leaving 3rd stringer Austin Davis as the starting QB. Lock in Tampa as your #1 WW defense.
Washington vs Jacksonville: Aside from Henne’s two TD passes to rookie WR Allen Hurns, the Jacksonville offense looked miserable against the Eagles this past week. The Jaguars only converted on 2 of 14 third downs, and were probably lucky to score the 17 points they did. They were never able to establish a running game and Chad Henne was inconsistent at best. The Redskins defense isn’t elite, but it doesn’t take much to stop Jacksonville.
Other D/ST options: Green Bay, Arizona, Houston, Denver
Cincinnati vs Atlanta: The Bengals are a 5 point favorite in this game, but I’m not starting their defense against a rejuvenated Atlanta offense. Matt Ryan was sharp against New Orleans and is a threat to throw another 3 TDs. There are better streaming defenses available.
Tennessee vs Dallas: Tony Romo is not as bad as he looked last week against the 49ers, and the Titans defense is not as good as they looked last week against the Chiefs. This is a high over/under game in which the Titans are only 3 point favorites. I know their defense is tempting after watching Romo throw 3 bad picks last week, but there are safer plays.
Fire any sit/start questions to me @EPripstein on Twitter and good luck this week!