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Week 2 Start 'Em and Sit 'Em

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

Start 'Em & Sit 'Em is our weekly look at the best and worst matchups from around the NFL and how they might affect lineup decisions for your Fantasy Football team. We are not in the business of stating the obvious, so you won't be reading here why you need to start Drew Brees, Chris Johnson, Andre Johnson or any other top-tier players.

We're doing something a little different this week. Instead of just one Start of the Week we're giving two guys the honor.

Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan have been joined at the shoulder pads since entering the NFL in 2008. Both had early success in making the playoffs as rookies, and both played well in their sophomore season. Both, as expected, also struggled in Week 1 based on tough matchups, but that should change in Week 2.

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We'll start with Flacco, who faced the Jets in Week 1 and finished with 248 passing yards, an interception and a fumble. He gets the Bengals this week, which isn't a great matchup, but it's a much easier task. In four games against Cincinnati, Flacco has just 790 passing yards, three touchdowns and four interceptions with a rushing touchdown, but the Bengals were abused last week by the Patriots.

Tom Brady had 258 passing yards and three touchdowns against Cincinnati, and the Bengals pass rush struggled and their safeties looked a step slow. Flacco should play well and spread the ball around with Anquan Boldin, Derrick Mason, Ray Rice, Todd Heap and T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who is facing his former team.

Ryan also has an easier matchup this week against Arizona after passing for only 252 yards and an interception in Week 1 at Pittsburgh. The last time Ryan faced the Cardinals was the playoffs in January of 2009, and he had 199 passing yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions and a lost fumble.

Ryan didn't have Tony Gonzalez in that game, and Roddy White was still developing. The Cardinals also had more talent on defense, and last week Arizona gave up 253 passing yards, one touchdown and three interceptions to rookie Sam Bradford in St. Louis.

The Cardinals are now going to the East Coast for a 1 p.m. start, which is never easy for West Coast teams, and Ryan should play well. We expect all the Falcons to be stars this week with White, Gonzalez and Michael Turner running wild.

Fantasy owners who were hesitant to start Flacco and Ryan in Week 1 should have confidence now. We had them pegged as breakouts for 2010, and this should be the time when they start to prove it.

Full Disclosure from Week 1
Recommended starts that made us look good
Player Fantasy Points (projected) Fantasy Points (actual) Start percentage
Arian Foster, RB, Texans 14 41 83
Matt Forte, RB, Bears 15 30 82
Jay Cutler, QB, Bears* 21 24 63
Recommended sits that made us look good
Brett Favre, QB, Vikings 12 10 52
Joe Flacco, QB, Ravens 13 5 63
Mike Sims-Walker, WR, Jaguars 8 0 58
Recommended starts that made us look bad
Terrell Owens, WR, Bengals 12 5 75
Michael Crabtree, WR, 49ers 12 1 74
Malcom Floyd, WR, Chargers 12 4 68
Recommended sits that made us look bad
LeSean McCoy, RB, Eagles 7 13 65
Anquan Boldin, WR, Ravens 6 11 82
Hines Ward, WR, Steelers 6 10 54
Our favorite sleeper in Week 1 was ... Derek Anderson, who was started in 10 percent of leagues and projected for 20 Fantasy points but finished with 15, which was as many as Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers and more than Matt Schaub (eight).
* - Start of the Week

Quarterbacks

Start 'Em

Brett Favre (vs. MIA): Favre's home opener will be much better than his Week 1 game at New Orleans. We expected Favre to struggle against the Saints, but the Dolphins defense, while improved, won't have the same pass rush or quality of playmakers in the secondary. The Vikings also have extra time to prepare for this game since their season-opener was Sept. 9, and that should allow Favre's injured ankle to be even better as well as his chemistry with his receivers. Percy Harvin and Visanthe Shiancoe are quality Fantasy options in this matchup, and Bernard Berrian and Greg Camarillo, a former Dolphin, also have upside.
Eli Manning (at IND): This game will go one of two ways. Either the Giants will follow what the Texans did in Week 1 and run all over the Colts, or the Colts will come out gunning and build a lead, forcing the Giants to throw. Ahmad Bradshaw and even Brandon Jacobs are worth using this week in case the former happens since the Colts defense is still trying to tackle Arian Foster, but don't be surprised if little brother Eli is trying to keep pace with big brother Peyton. The Colts aren't going to lose twice in a row, especially in their home opener. Eli will have to make plays, and he's worth the risk as a starting option this week based on his performance in Week 1 against Carolina.
Michael Vick (at DET): We're going on the assumption that Vick will start in place of Kevin Kolb (concussion), and he has a tremendous matchup against the Lions. Detroit was abused by Jay Cutler in Week 1, which showed the problems in the secondary from last year are still there. Vick played well when he replaced Kolb in Week 1 against the Packers with 175 passing yards and a touchdown and 11 carries for 103 yards. The Lions don't have the team speed to stay with Vick, who will use this game to show he should still be considered a starting NFL quarterback.
Donovan McNabb (vs. HOU): McNabb struggled as expected in Week 1 against Dallas with only 171 passing yards and 17 rushing yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. But this week he has a much easier matchup against the Texans, who allowed 443 passing yards and three touchdowns against the Colts. Now, McNabb is nowhere near the level of Peyton Manning, but this is a week where McNabb can be considered a starting Fantasy option. Houston has a rebuilding secondary, and McNabb is close to 100 percent with his injured ankle from the preseason. Washington offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan also gives McNabb an edge since his previous job was in the same role with Houston. Shanahan will know the tendencies of the defense McNabb is facing.
Kyle Orton (vs. SEA): Orton shouldn't be considered a must-start Fantasy option, but if you lost Kolb or Matthew Stafford (shoulder) this week then consider Orton a quality replacement. He did a solid job in Week 1 at Jacksonville with 295 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception, and his receiving corps played well with Jabar Gaffney, Eddie Royal and Brandon Lloyd leading the way. The Seahawks looked dominant against the 49ers, but I'm not convinced they can play at that level twice in a row, especially on the road in Denver. Orton could lose some red-zone snaps to Tim Tebow, but he has Top 15 potential this week.

Sleeper alert: Jason Campbell (vs. STL): I went back and forth between Matt Cassel (at Cleveland) and Campbell in this spot, so we'll see who finishes with the better performance. I decided on Campbell since it's his home debut, and the Rams secondary wasn't impressive in Week 1 against Arizona, allowing Derek Anderson to pass for 297 yards and a touchdown. Granted, Campbell struggled in Week 1 with 180 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception and 34 rushing yards at Tennessee, but he has the chance to rebound in this matchup. He's another quarterback who is a good replacement option for Kolb or Stafford.

Sit 'Em

Vince Young (vs. PIT): Young was a star last week against Oakland. He was efficient (13 of 17 passing for 154 yards and two touchdowns) and showed off his rushing skills (seven carries for 30 yards and a fumble), but the Steelers present a much tougher challenge. Pittsburgh shut down the Falcons passing game in Week 1 by holding Matt Ryan to 252 passing yards and an interception, and I'm not ready to trust Young unless I'm stuck due to the Kolb/Stafford injuries. This matchup is just too risky to consider him a starting Fantasy option.
Alex Smith (vs. NO): The Saints shut down Favre in Week 1 while Smith struggled at Seattle. He's not going to turn his fortunes around in this matchup, but Smith will have better days ahead, starting with Week 3 at Kansas City. You'd like to see signs from Smith that he can still be a productive Fantasy option, and hopefully he will play well Monday night. But Smith is not worth using as a starting Fantasy option in the majority of formats.
Jay Cutler (at DAL): Cutler, the CBSSports.com Start of the Week in Week 1, played great against the Lions with 372 passing yards, two touchdowns and an interception, and he also added 22 rushing yards and a fumble. But the Cowboys defense played great as well last week in not allowing any offensive touchdowns and holding McNabb down. Cutler is going to be throwing all day in this matchup, so the yards will be there, but so could the turnovers. In his past five road games, Cutler has averaged just 215 passing yards with six touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
Derek Anderson (at ATL): Anderson was our sleeper quarterback last week, and he played well with 297 passing yards and a touchdown in his first start with the Cardinals at St. Louis. But this week we're shying away from him since he should struggle against the Falcons. Atlanta played well against the Steelers in Week 1. Even though it was Dennis Dixon at quarterback, the Falcons only allowed 236 passing yards with an interception. Atlanta's defense is a step up from the Rams, and there's also our favorite theory of West Coast teams playing on the East Coast for a 1 p.m. start, which usually leads to a sluggish performance. Consider Anderson a No. 2 Fantasy option this week.
David Garrard (at SD): Garrard was impressive in Week 1 against Denver with 170 passing yards and three touchdowns, but now he has to overcome a part of his game that has been a problem the past two years: playing on the road. In 2009, Garrard averaged just 197 passing yards with three touchdowns and five interceptions in eight road games. In 2008, he averaged 215 passing yards with seven touchdowns and eight interceptions over that same span. All the Jaguars struggled on the road last year, and the joke was they weren't used to playing in front of a crowd. San Diego should be able to contain this passing attack, and last week, with the help of some rain, the Chargers limited the Chiefs to just 68 passing yards.

Dave Richard's Top 150 Flex
Name Pos Opp
1 Steven Jackson RB @OAK
2 Michael Turner RB ARI
3 Ray Rice RB @CIN
4 Maurice Jones-Drew RB @SD
5 Adrian Peterson RB MIA
6 LeSean McCoy RB @DET
7 Chris Johnson RB PIT
8 Roddy White WR ARI
9 DeAngelo Williams RB TB
10 Frank Gore RB NO
11 Ahmad Bradshaw RB @IND
12 Darren McFadden RB STL
13 Miles Austin WR CHI
14 Knowshon Moreno RB SEA
15 Arian Foster RB @WAS
16 Jamaal Charles RB @CLE
17 Ryan Mathews RB JAC
18 Greg Jennings WR BUF
19 Andre Johnson WR @WAS
20 Reggie Wayne WR NYG
21 Jerome Harrison RB KC
22 Brandon Jackson RB BUF
23 Rashard Mendenhall RB @TEN
24 Antonio Gates TE JAC
25 Larry Fitzgerald WR @ATL
26 Steve Smith WR TB
27 Marques Colston WR @SF
28 Marion Barber RB CHI
29 Jahvid Best RB PHI
30 Joseph Addai RB NYG
31 Ronnie Brown RB @MIN
32 Brandon Jacobs RB @IND
33 Vernon Davis TE NO
34 Eddie Royal WR SEA
35 Calvin Johnson WR PHI
36 Hakeem Nicks WR @IND
37 DeSean Jackson WR @DET
38 Mark Clayton WR @OAK
39 Santana Moss WR HOU
40 Cedric Benson RB BAL
41 Shonn Greene RB NE
42 Jermichael Finley TE BUF
43 Visanthe Shiancoe TE MIA
44 Thomas Jones RB @CLE
45 Zach Miller TE STL
46 Kellen Winslow TE @CAR
47 Anquan Boldin WR @CIN
48 Johnny Knox WR @DAL
49 Terrell Owens WR BAL
50 Dez Bryant WR CHI
51 Pierre Garcon WR NYG
52 Wes Welker WR @NYJ
53 Tim Hightower RB @ATL
54 C.J. Spiller RB @GB
55 Matt Forte RB @DAL
56 John Carlson TE @DEN
57 Todd Heap TE @CIN
58 Dallas Clark TE NYG
59 Brent Celek TE @DET
60 T.J. Houshmandzadeh WR @CIN
61 Chad Ochocinco WR BAL
62 Jabar Gaffney WR SEA
63 Dwayne Bowe WR @CLE
64 Brandon Marshall WR @MIN
65 Reggie Bush RB @SF
66 Cadillac Williams RB @CAR
67 Clinton Portis RB HOU
68 Aaron Hernandez TE @NYJ
69 Jeremy Shockey TE @SF
70 Chris Cooley TE HOU
71 Louis Murphy WR STL
72 Malcom Floyd WR JAC
73 Steve Breaston WR @ATL
74 Steve Smith WR @IND
75 Legedu Naanee WR JAC
76 Mike Williams WR @DEN
77 Randy Moss WR @NYJ
78 Willis McGahee RB @CIN
79 Steve Slaton RB @WAS
80 Kevin Faulk RB @NYJ
81 Pierre Thomas RB @SF
82 Tony Gonzalez TE ARI
83 Donald Driver WR BUF
84 Austin Collie WR NYG
85 Kassim Osgood WR @SD
86 Hines Ward WR @TEN
87 Jonathan Stewart RB TB
88 LaDainian Tomlinson RB NE
89 Jermaine Gresham TE BAL
90 Jason Witten TE CHI
91 Devin Aromashodu WR @DAL
92 Percy Harvin WR MIA
93 Jerricho Cotchery WR NE
94 Danny Amendola WR @OAK
95 Mike Williams WR @CAR
96 Nate Washington WR PIT
97 Felix Jones RB CHI
98 Justin Forsett RB @DEN
99 Tony Scheffler TE PHI
100 Dustin Keller TE NE
101 Early Doucet WR @ATL
102 Lee Evans WR @GB
103 Brandon Lloyd WR SEA
104 Mike Thomas WR @SD
105 Chris Chambers WR @CLE
106 Greg Camarillo WR MIA
107 Robert Meachem WR @SF
108 Jeremy Maclin WR @DET
109 Mike Wallace WR @TEN
110 Bernard Scott RB BAL
111 Ricky Williams RB @MIN
112 Fred Taylor RB @NYJ
113 Darren Sproles RB JAC
114 Evan Moore TE KC
115 Marcedes Lewis TE @SD
116 Derrick Mason WR @CIN
117 Devin Hester WR @DAL
118 Mohamed Massaquoi WR KC
119 James Jones WR BUF
120 Kevin Walter WR @WAS
121 Mike Sims-Walker WR @SD
122 Brian Hartline WR @MIN
123 Bernard Berrian WR MIA
124 Mario Manningham WR @IND
125 Michael Crabtree WR NO
126 Anthony Armstrong WR HOU
127 LaRod Stephens-Howling RB @ATL
128 Beanie Wells RB @ATL
129 Fred Jackson RB @GB
130 Chester Taylor RB @DAL
131 Peyton Hillis RB KC
132 Correll Buckhalter RB SEA
133 Leon Washington RB @DEN
134 Julius Jones RB @DEN
135 Greg Olsen TE @DAL
136 Owen Daniels TE @WAS
137 Anthony Fasano TE @MIN
138 Heath Miller TE @TEN
139 Bo Scaife TE PIT
140 Roscoe Parrish WR @GB
141 Jordan Shipley WR BAL
142 Roy E. Williams WR CHI
143 Nate Burleson WR PHI
144 Jacoby Jones WR @WAS
145 Braylon Edwards WR NE
146 Sammie Stroughter WR @CAR
147 Micheal Spurlock WR @CAR
148 Kenny Britt WR PIT
149 Joey Galloway WR HOU
150 Marshawn Lynch RB @GB

Bust alert: Carson Palmer (vs. BAL): Sometimes you have to follow a trend and history, and Palmer has a suspect track record against the Ravens. In his past five starts against Baltimore, Palmer has averaged just 211 passing yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions. That's with Chad Ochocinco and Chad Johnson. That's with Houshmandzadeh and without. Palmer should play better than his previous stats suggest against the Ravens with all of his new weapons, but not by a lot. The Ravens shut down the Jets passing game last week, which isn't saying much, but only allowing 74 passing yards is still impressive. Start Palmer with caution this week if you keep him active.

Running backs

Start 'Em

LeSean McCoy (at DET): In Week 1, the Lions allowed a running back who can catch the ball out of the backfield in Chicago's Matt Forte to have seven catches for 151 yards and two touchdowns. McCoy won't do that to Detroit this week, but he should play a similar role and has the chance for 100 total yards and a score. McCoy played better than expected against a tough Packers defense in Week 1 with 82 total yards and a touchdown, and he should be considered a must-start Fantasy option in this matchup.
Pierre Thomas (at SF): Thomas showed in Week 1 that he can be a matchup buster when he ran well against the Vikings. He got 19 carries against Minnesota and finished with 71 rushing yards and a touchdown and also added three catches for 15 yards. He should be able to do that most weeks, and the Saints will be well-rested for this matchup having last played Sept. 9. Reggie Bush will play his usual role, but Thomas is the star of this backfield. He should be considered a starter in all leagues, especially with San Francisco already in panic mode following the Week 1 loss at Seattle.
Darren McFadden (vs. STL): Michael Bush (thumb) might return this week, which lowers McFadden's value, but this is a great matchup for a player coming off a stellar performance in Week 1. We've been waiting to see this McFadden since his rookie year in 2008, and he had 18 carries for 95 yards and six catches for 55 yards in Week 1 at Tennessee. He's easily capable of reaching 100 total yards and a touchdown against the Rams, so consider him a flex option this week. Tim Hightower had 94 total yards and a touchdown at St. Louis in Week 1.
Knowshon Moreno (vs. SEA): Don't worry about the recent addition of Laurence Maroney from New England. Maroney is more of a problem for Correll Buckhalter than he is for Moreno, and we like Moreno this week. He ran well against the Jaguars in Week 1 with 15 carries for 60 yards and a touchdown, and he should be able to find similar success against the Seahawks. Seattle's run defense played great against Frank Gore in Week 1, but let's see how the Seahawks perform on the road. Consider Moreno a No. 2 Fantasy running back or flex option in this matchup.
Ahmad Bradshaw (at IND): We had Bradshaw in this spot last week, and he rewarded Fantasy owners with a solid performance against Carolina with 20 carries for 76 yards and a touchdown and two catches for 17 yards. The Colts just allowed Foster to run for 231 yards and three touchdowns in Week 1 and don't have Bob Sanders (arm) for this game. Jacobs could steal a touchdown from Bradshaw, but you have to consider him at least a No. 2 Fantasy running back or flex option based on his first game against the Panthers and the suspect defense he's facing in this matchup.

Sleeper alert: Brandon Jackson (vs. BUF): Fantasy owners who lost Week 1 and were first on the waiver wire should consider themselves lucky because they landed a potential Top 20 Fantasy running back for the rest of the season. With Ryan Grant (ankle) out for the year, Jackson has the chance for 15-plus touches on a weekly basis, and that should lead to quality production. This week, you should consider Jackson as a solid starter in all formats. The Bills run defense wasn't good to begin with, and losing linebacker Paul Posluszny (knee) will cause further detriment. Jackson could lose some goal-line carries to John Kuhn, but he should have the chance for double digits in Fantasy points in all scoring formats.

Sit 'Em

C.J. Spiller (at GB): What happened in Week 1 against Miami will not be the norm for Spiller since he's too talented. But seven carries for 6 yards and four catches for 8 yards? That's an embarrassment and shows the lack of talent around Spiller could hurt his production. The Packers run defense should be among the best in the NFL this year, and Spiller will be their main focus in this matchup. Let Spiller prove himself first before you consider him a potential starter in most formats.
Ronnie Brown (at MIN): Brown played well in Week 1 at Buffalo with 13 carries for 65 yards and a touchdown and two catches for 20 yards, but that was a much easier matchup. The Vikings defense, especially at home, is nasty and will test this unproven offensive line. The Dolphins have three new starters at center and both guard spots, and that's the area where Minnesota dominates with defensive tackles Kevin Williams and Pat Williams. The Vikings haven't allowed a 100-yard rushing performance at home since 2006, and Brown had fewer carries than Ricky Williams (18 carries for 62 yards) against the Bills. It's hard to sit Brown, but it might be the right move to make.
Jahvid Best (vs. PHI): The Eagles might not have LB Stewart Bradley (concussion) for this game, but they played well without Bradley last year when he was out with a knee injury. Philadelphia is going to key in on stopping Best with Shaun Hill starting in place of Stafford. Best had two touchdowns in Week 1 at Chicago, but he only managed 20 yards on 14 carries and five catches for 16 yards. He's going to get plenty of touches, but the Eagles know that as well. Best should only be considered as a flex option in deeper formats this week.
Felix Jones (vs. CHI): There's a posting on Jones' player page on CBSSports.com that says "the three-headed monster in Dallas is killing me." It's killing all of us as well. Jones has tremendous upside, but with Marion Barber and Tashard Choice getting touches it's hard to count on any of them to do well. Our choice for this week is Barber since he could end up scoring, but from the preseason through Week 1 at Washington, none of the running backs in Dallas have done much to prove they are starting Fantasy options. The Bears also held the Lions to 18 carries for 24 yards in Week 1, and when Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs are healthy it will be hard to run on Chicago's defense.
Tim Hightower (at ATL): My colleague Dave Richard said in Week 1 that the Falcons defense would contain Rashard Mendenhall in their matchup with the Steelers, and he was right until Mendenhall's game-winning 50-yard touchdown scamper in overtime. Hightower will face that same defense, but he could have company this week with Beanie Wells (knee) possibly returning after missing last week's game at St. Louis. Hightower played well against the Rams with 94 total yards and a touchdown and two fumbles, but he should take a step back this week based on the matchup and losing touches to Wells.

Bust alert: Matt Forte (at DAL): Forte's first game for offensive coordinator Mike Martz could be a sign of things to come based on how Martz likes running backs who can catch the ball. He had 17 carries for 50 yards and seven catches for 151 yards and two touchdowns in Week 1 against the Lions with a lost fumble. But there is some cause for concern in Week 2 since Dallas is a much tougher opponent, and Forte struggled in Week 1 to score when the Bears were at the goal line in the fourth quarter, showing the flaws of their offensive line. The Cowboys held Clinton Portis to 18 carries for 63 yards last week and won't let Forte run free like he did against the Lions. It's hard to sit Forte, especially in leagues where receptions count, but if you have another quality option you might consider sitting him.

Wide receivers

Start 'Em

Austin Collie (vs. NYG): If you've followed what we do here, we don't always look at production, we look at involvement on offense, and for wide receivers that means targets. Collie led all Colts receivers with 12 targets in Week 1 at Houston (only Dallas Clark had more with 13), and he finished with 11 catches for 163 yards, one touchdown and a lost fumble. He's going to see his share of targets this week again with Anthony Gonzalez (ankle) injured and the Colts expected to be throwing as usual. The Giants secondary will improve this season, but they don't have enough talent to match up with Reggie Wayne, Clark, Pierre Garcon and Collie. And Collie will dominate in the slot.
Malcom Floyd (vs. JAC): Floyd might be a better example of how important targets matter since he had a disappointing game in Week 1 at Kansas City with only three catches for 48 yards. But looking at the targets, he was thrown at 12 times, and when you factor in the weather you can assume his production will improve as the season goes on. This week, the Chargers get the Jaguars, who struggled in Week 1 with the Broncos' trio of receivers with Gaffney, Royal and Lloyd. Each had at least nine Fantasy points, so look for Floyd, Antonio Gates and Legedu Naanee to play well in their first home game.
Dwayne Bowe (at CLE): Don't panic with Bowe's performance in Week 1 against the Chargers when he had just one catch for 13 yards. It's not often the Chiefs will be playing in a downpour and playing with a lead, and he's too talented to consider a bust after one bad week. Bowe had four catches for 56 yards against the Browns last year, and Cleveland allowed two passing touchdowns in Week 1 against Tampa Bay. The passing attack for Kansas City will improve in this matchup, and Bowe will benefit.
Santana Moss (vs. HOU): Moss played well in Week 1 against the Cowboys with six catches for 77 yards, and he was targeted nine times. He should see a healthy amount of targets each week with McNabb's weapons limited to Moss and Chris Cooley. The Texans were torched last week for 433 passing yards and three touchdowns, with receivers accounting for 22 catches, 317 yards and two touchdowns. Moss has the chance for a big game this week, and he's worth using as a No. 2 Fantasy wide receiver.
Jeremy Maclin (at DET): Maclin actually didn't see a hefty amount of targets in Week 1 against Green Bay, but he scored a touchdown. His final stat line was four catches for 38 yards and the score on five targets, and he should improve this week. The Lions struggled against the Bears in Week 1 with their pass defense, and Vick should be able to find Maclin, DeSean Jackson and Brent Celek in this matchup. Maclin is worth using as a No. 2 Fantasy wide receiver.

Sleeper alert: Dez Bryant (vs. CHI): Bryant didn't have a dominant debut in Week 1 at Washington, but he was heavily involved. Bryant had eight catches for 56 yards on 12 targets, and he will benefit all season long from single coverage thanks to Miles Austin and Jason Witten. This week, Bryant faces a Chicago secondary that limited Detroit's receivers to six catches for 88 yards, but the Cowboys passing game presents a much tougher test, especially in Dallas. This is Bryant's first home game, and we would consider him at least a No. 3 Fantasy wide receiver if not a definite starting option.

Sit 'Em

Mark Clayton (at OAK): I love what Clayton did in Week 1 against Arizona when he had 10 catches for 119 yards on a whopping 16 targets. But the Rams threw the ball 55 times in that game, which isn't going to be the norm with rookie quarterback Sam Bradford. Hopefully you added Clayton off the waiver wire since it appears like he's the No. 1 target for the Rams going forward, but don't use him in this matchup. This is Bradford's first road start, and Clayton will likely see a lot of Oakland standout cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. Clayton's not going to have the same type of performance like he had last week and is worth keeping in reserve.
Michael Crabtree (vs. NO): Crabtree had one of the most disappointing games in Week 1 with just two catches for 12 yards at Seattle. He had dropped passes, ran wrong routes and looked like the lost time in the preseason with the neck injury took a toll. He will definitely rebound as the season goes on, but you shouldn't trust him in Week 2 against the Saints. New Orleans only allowed four receptions for 56 yards to Minnesota's wide receivers in Week 1 and should be able to contain Crabtree in this matchup.
Mike Sims-Walker (at SD): When we called Sims-Walker a bust alert in Week 1 against Denver we were expecting him to struggle, not disappear. He had no catches and only two targets, and a lot of the credit belongs to Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey. Sims-Walker won't face that same challenge against the Chargers this week, but he was miserable on the road in 2009. In seven road games, Sims-Walker had just 19 catches for 232 yards and one touchdown. Based on his performance last week and his history on the road, he's worth keeping in reserve this week, and hopefully he can get rolling soon.
Mike Wallace (at TEN): Wallace is always a threat to score based on his big-play ability, but we would keep him reserved this week because a.) Dennis Dixon is still the starter with Ben Roethlisberger suspended, and b.) the Titans secondary should improve this season with everyone healthy. Wallace had two catches for 62 yards in Week 1 against the Falcons, and he was targeted five times. The Titans, albeit against a weak passing game, limited Oakland's receivers to just eight catches for 58 yards last week.
Mike Williams (at DEN): Williams is worth adding in the majority of leagues since he has the chance to be Seattle's No. 1 wide receiver and No. 2 target behind tight end John Carlson with Houshmandzadeh now in Baltimore. And Williams played great in Week 1 against the 49ers with four catches for 64 yards. But if you want an example of what to expect from Williams this week, scroll back up and look what Sims-Walker did last week against the Broncos and Bailey. This is not the week to consider Williams a starting Fantasy option.

Bust alert: Randy Moss (at NYJ): You know the drill by now, it's Moss vs. Darrelle Revis, and that's a tough matchup. Jets coach Rex Ryan said Revis will follow Moss, and that means Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson have targets on their backs that Brady will expose just like Flacco did in Week 1, which is why we love Wes Welker this week. Are you going to bench Moss? Probably not. But you should consider it if you have quality reserves. Moss faced Revis twice in 2009 and finished with nine catches for 58 yards and a touchdown in both games. He's an elite talent, and elite talent usually rises to the occasion. But Revis is an elite player as well, and we would be remiss not to suggest that Moss could struggle this week.

Tight ends

Start 'Em

Zach Miller (vs. STL): The Rams were one of two teams along with Miami to not allow any receiving yards to a tight end in Week 1, but then again they were facing an Arizona team that rarely uses that position as a receiver. Miller had a quiet opener last week at Tennessee with four catches for 40 yards, but he'll improve in this matchup based on the Rams lackluster secondary. In Miller's last three home games he has 17 catches for 149 yards and two touchdowns.
Chris Cooley (vs. HOU): Cooley isn't Clark, but Clark torched the Texans' secondary in Week 1 with 11 catches for 80 yards and a touchdown. Cooley should have similar success against Houston this week. His first game with McNabb was stellar as he had six catches for 80 yards against Dallas, and he was targeted nine times. Cooley looks like he's back as a No. 1 Fantasy option.
John Carlson (at DEN): The Broncos allowed Marcedes Lewis to catch two touchdown passes in Week 1 at Jacksonville, and Lewis and Zach Miller combined for four catches for 39 yards against Denver. Carlson should see plenty of targets in this matchup, and he's ready for a big game after a quiet Week 1 against San Francisco with just three catches for 39 yards on six targets. Carlson has a two-game scoring streak on the road, and Matt Hasselbeck played well in Week 1 against San Francisco. Hopefully for Carlson that will continue in Week 2.

Sleeper alert: Aaron Hernandez (at NYJ): If you watched the Monday night game in Week 1 between the Jets and Ravens you saw a lot of Heap running down the middle of the field against a linebacker or safety, and Heap had six catches for 72 yards on 11 targets. That should be Hernandez this week as the Patriots will look to exploit the interior part of the Jets secondary. Hernandez had two targets in Week 1 against the Bengals and finished with one catch for 45 yards. Rob Gronkowski could also play well, but Hernandez has more upside this week based on his role in the offense.

Sit 'Em

Jeremy Shockey (at SF): Shockey had three catches for 23 yards in Week 1 against Minnesota, but he only had three targets. He's not an elite tight end anymore, and this week he has a difficult matchup. The 49ers are good against opposing tight ends and last week limited Carlson's production. He might be on an explosive offense and have name recognition, but Shockey is nothing more than a No. 2 Fantasy option at this point in his career.
Owen Daniels (at WAS): We expected Daniels to struggle in Week 1 against the Colts, and he only had one catch for 9 yards on two targets. He will get better as the season goes on, but his knee is not 100 percent yet, which will limit his production. The Redskins also did a good job against Witten in Week 1, holding him to three catches for 27 yards. As we told you last week, let Daniels prove he's healthy first before considering him a must-start Fantasy option.
Tony Scheffler (vs. PHI): Scheffler had a decent debut with the Lions in Week 1 at Chicago with six catches for 43 yards on seven targets, and we liked Scheffler as a sleeper coming into the season. But that was with Stafford as the starter and not Hill. Scheffler also has a difficult matchup in Week 2 against the Eagles. Philadelphia held Jermichael Finley to four catches for 47 yards in Week 1, and the Hill-Scheffler combination is not worth trusting.

Bust alert: Jermaine Gresham (vs. BAL): Gresham might not be too excited about this matchup against the Ravens after watching what Ray Lewis did to Dustin Keller in Week 1. Lewis hit Keller so hard that even Jets fans were shaking, and Keller was limited to two catches for 13 yards. Gresham got off to a great start in his first NFL game as the rookie had six catches for 25 yards and a touchdown at New England last week. He was targeted 10 times and nearly scored a second time before being tackled at the 1-yard line. Gresham has a lot of upside for this season, but this is not the week to consider him a No. 1 Fantasy option.

Defense/Special teams

Start 'Em

Chargers (vs. JAC): The Chargers gave up 21 points against the Chiefs in Week 1, but the defense didn't play poorly. One of the touchdowns came on a punt return, and the Chiefs only gained 197 yards of total offense. San Diego will play better in its first home game, and as we've illustrated above with Garrard and Sims-Walker, the Jaguars tend to struggle on the road. Look for the Chargers to finish as a No. 1 Fantasy option in Week 2.

Other DSTs with good matchups: Chiefs (at CLE), Titans (vs. PIT) and Raiders (vs. STL)

Sit 'Em

49ers (vs. NO): The 49ers defense will definitely play better as the season goes along, and they only gave up 24 points in last week's 31-6 blowout to Seattle. But only one sack and one turnover to the Seahawks is a concern when the next opponent is the Saints. New Orleans is well rested for this game and should be able to put up plenty of points. Save the 49ers DST for Week 3 at the Chiefs and look for them to finish the season strong following a slow start.

Kicker

Start 'Em

Matt Bryant (vs. ARI): The Cardinals defense is set up for a rough game this week, which is why we like all the Falcons in this matchup. The same goes for Bryant, who was the lone Atlanta player to score in Week 1 with three field goals. The Cardinals also allowed two field goals on three attempts at St. Louis last week, and Bryant has the chance to reach double digits in Fantasy points based on what the Falcons should be able to do on offense in their first home game.

Other kickers with good matchups: Lawrence Tynes (at IND), Jeff Reed (at TEN) and Sebastian Janikowski (vs. STL)

Sit 'Em

Phil Dawson (vs. KC): It looks like Jake Delhomme (ankle) could miss this game, which means we're talking about Seneca Wallace as the starting quarterback for what already is an inept offense. The Chiefs defense also played surprisingly well in Week 1 against the Chargers, and San Diego didn't attempt any field goals. Dawson also missed his lone attempt in Week 1 at Tampa Bay and should not be considered as a No. 1 Fantasy kicker most weeks, including Week 2.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter . You can also follow Jamey at @jameyeisenberg . Do you have a question or a comment for our Fantasy staff? Drop us a line at dmfantasyfootball@cbs.com .

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Player News
Larry English's release suggests Dwight Freeney will be ready
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(5:59 pm ET) The Chargers' release of outside linebacker Larry English means the team is confident Dwight Freeney will come back strong from the torn quad that ended his 2013 season in Week 4, reports ESPN.com. Freeney, 34, was limited during offseason workouts but has vowed to be ready for the Sept. 8 season opener at Arizona, the report said.

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(5:52 pm ET) The Rams put safety Christian Bryant (ankle) and defensive tackle Ethan Westbrooks on the non-football injury list. They can be removed at any time and start practicing.

X-rays negative on Jameel McClain
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(5:44 pm ET) X-rays on Giants linebacker Jameel McClain's foot came back negative, reports ESPN. If McClain is still feeling soreness Wednesday, the team might follow up with an MRI.

McClain is a candidate to start at middle linebacker while Jon Beason recovers from his own foot injury. McClain suffered his injury in the team's first practice Tuesday.


Eric Fisher getting an early start
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(5:34 pm ET) Chiefs left tackle Eric Fisher, last year's No. 1 overall pick, practiced with rookies and fringe players at Tuesday's minicamp ahead of the full-squad training camp that opens Thursday, reports ESPN.com. Fisher is coming back from shoulder and sports hernia surgeries.

"I had the surgeries, so I needed to get out here, get situated before the vets get here," Fisher said. "I’m glad to be here early so I can get a jump on things."

Fisher played right tackle last year, so the extra time should help him adjust to protecting Alex Smith's blind side. He said he hasn't lost strength despite not being able to bench press following the shoulder operation.

"I’ve been in there working," he said. "When you can’t bench, there’s other things you can do. That’s what I was doing."


Jaguars put four on injury lists
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(5:23 pm ET) The Jaguars put receiver Ace Sanders and cornerback Aaron Colvin on the non-football injury list and cornerback Alan Ball and linebacker Dekoda Watson on the PUP list.

Marcus Lattimore, Ian Williams head list of unavailable 49ers
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(5:13 pm ET) The 49ers placed six players on the non-football injury list, including second-year running back Marcus Lattimore (knee). Also on the list are receiver Bruce Ellington, center Marcus Martin, fullback Trey Millard, cornerback Keith Reaser and guard Brandon Thomas.

In addition, the team placed nose tackle Ian Williams (ankle) on the PUP list along with linebacker Aaron Lynch (hamstring) and defensive lineman Kaleb Ramsey

All the players can come off the list and start practicing at any time.


Texans make roster moves
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(4:42 pm ET) The Texans cut fullback Brad Smelley and defensive tackle Tim Jackson and signed tight end Chris Coyle.

Bernard Pierce fully cleared
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(4:34 pm ET) Ravens running back Bernard Pierce, who had offseason rotator cuff surgery, said he's been fully cleared by doctors, reports the Baltimore Sun. Pierce also said he's lost weight and now weighs 223 pounds.

Pierce could be in for a big early-season workload if Ray Rice is suspended as expected.


Falcons ink Pat Angerer
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(4:31 pm ET) The Falcons signed former Colts linebacker Pat Angerer after working him out Tuesday, reports the National Football Post.

Andre Johnson's agent in touch with Texans brass
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(4:30 pm ET) The agent for Texans receiver Andre Johnson said he's in contact with the organization but declined to discuss the content of those conversations, reports the Houston Chronicle. Johnson was spotted at the team facility Monday. ESPN.com reported he was learning the new offense.

However, a source told the paper Johnson's appearance is not a guarantee he will attend training camp. The Texans open practice Saturday.


 
 
 
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