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Week 2 Fantasy Football Matchups

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Editor's note: Dave Richard breaks down every game from a Fantasy perspective each week with the help of CBSSports.com NFL Insider Pat Kirwan, who will provide his unique take to assist owners in their lineup management.

Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers -- Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET, Lambeau Field
Chicago Bears
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Jay Cutler Only had two 2 TD games in six games w/ Bears vs. Packers, but has never had weapons like this.
RB Matt Forte Just one TD in 8 career games against the Packers (four w/ 100 total yards).
RB Michael Bush Different world than last week. Packers have allowed 5 rush TDs in last 10 at Lambeau.
WR Brandon Marshall Last week's thrashing of Colts secondary a good sign for his future.
WR Alshon Jeffery No. 2 WRs have four TDs in Packers' last three games.
DST Bears Packers hung 62 points, 755 yards in their 2011 meetings. Hester returning kicks helps.
Green Bay Packers
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Aaron Rodgers Eight TDs, no INTs in meetings with Bears last season. If you sit him you shouldn't play Fantasy.
RB Cedric Benson Ex-Bear had 189 yards & TD vs. old mates back in '09, but role in GB suggests limited reps.
WR Jordy Nelson Had 115 yards and two scores in last game against Bears; hasn't gone scoreless in back-to-back Lambeau games since late 2010.
WR Randall Cobb Exciting start against Niners last week; could pick up chunks of yardage on unde
TE Jermichael Finley Monster must-start. Has 70+ yards and/or 1+ TD in each of last four against Bears, who struggled to contain Fleener last week.
DST Packers After failing to slow down the Niners, defense could have its hands full with the Bears. Cobb returning kicks helps.

The Bears will be intrigued by the 49ers run schemes and personnel groupings. San Francisco did a great job of using extra tight ends and tackles to angle-block the Packers front and pull the backside blockers. Chicago’s biggest weapon is to force double coverage on Brandon Marshall, which will happen, and hit the check-down to Matt Forte on the same side. On the other side of the ball Rodgers has been sacked too often (one sack for every 15 pass plays in his career) and it was more of the same last week. The Packer defense has given up 108 points in its last three home games dating back to last year. That forces Aaron Rodgers to come out throwing knowing he needs to generate close to 36 points to win. Expect a lot of passing. -- Pat Kirwan

Arizona Cardinals at New England Patriots -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Gillette Stadium
Arizona Cardinals
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Kevin Kolb Clutch stats replacing Skelton late last week, will have to throw plenty this week.
RB Ryan Williams Triple whammy: Tough run D in Pats, Cards will play from behind & he'll split reps.
RB Beanie Wells Expectations are small but worth noting Wells had 2 TDs in five outdoor games in '11.
WR Larry Fitzgerald Kolb knows he has to utilize Fitzgerald to keep starting job, not to mention have a prayer at winning.
WR Andre Roberts   One career TD has come outside of Arizona (at MIN, 2010).
DST Cardinals   Don't even think about it.
New England Patriots
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Tom Brady Brady should play matchups here, target DBs Toler, Gay and Rhodes.
RB Stevan Ridley 8 of last 9 RBs to have at least 18 carries vs. ARI have had at least 8 Fantasy points. Love Ridley to deliver big again.
WR Brandon Lloyd If he can avoid Patrick Peterson he should be able to get another chance or two to score on a deep play.
WR Wes Welker One to watch: Obviously underperformed last week but has 100+ yards and/or a TD in 6 of last 9 at Foxboro.
TE Rob Gronkowski Intriguing showdown with Adrian Wilson. Cards have allowed 9 TDs to tight ends in last 27 games (5 last year).
TE Aaron Hernandez Too good to bench but Cardinals might try to use Peterson on him. Not a Top 3 tight end if that happens.
DST Patriots Defense looked much improved last week vs. Titans, should be able to corral Kolb.

Kevin Kolb knows why he lost his job to John Skelton, he didn’t throw the ball to Larry Fitzgerald enough! Now that it looks like Kolb will go rest assured he will target Fitzgerald at least 10 times against the Patriots. Larry has played against the Patriots twice in his career and was targeted 22 times with eight receptions and a TD. New England will be on a 40 point scoring pace. Tennessee called 45 pass plays against New England last week and the Cardinals should come close in matching that number. That should lead to Fitzgerald padding his stats with six receptions and a touchdown. -- Pat Kirwan

Baltimore Ravens at Philadelphia Eagles -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Lincoln Financial Field
Baltimore Ravens
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Joe Flacco Temper excitement for Flacco because of tough road matchup. Blitz, tough secondary could make things tough.
RB Ray Rice Eagles run D slammed Richardson last week but gave up nine 100+ total yard games to RBs in '11.
WR Torrey Smith Of the last five WRs to score on Philly, none had more than 47 yards receiving.
WR Anquan Boldin Has 4+ catches in 9 of last 15 games (80+ yards or a TD in 6 of those 8).
TE Dennis Pitta Has TD in 5 of last 8 games. Has 5+ catches in 3 of last 4. Worth stashing on the bench.
DST Ravens Might feast on Vick, who has thrown 1+ INT (11 total) in 7 of last 9 vs. 3-4 defenses.
Philadelphia Eagles
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Michael Vick If Maclin's out, Vick could struggle. Ravens haven't allowed a QB to throw 2+ TDs in 21 straight!
RB LeSean McCoy Tough matchup? Yes. But don't psych yourself out. BenJarvus Green-Ellis just had 91 yards & a TD against them on Monday.
WR Jeremy Maclin Maclin banged up and against pass D that gave up 4 100+ yard games & 8 TDs to WRs last year.
WR DeSean Jackson Bad matchup but weird stat: Has 110+ total yards in 3 of 4 career Week 2 games (last year was the dud).
TE Brent Celek Sick: Ravens have allowed 8 TDs to tight ends in last 37 games!
DST Eagles Expectations have to be lowered here. Eagles might sack Flacco a bunch but they could get steamrolled by Rice.

Michael Vick is starting to concern me about having enough left to ever lead the Eagles to a championship. For his career he gets sacked one every 11 pass plays and the injuries are mounting. His four interceptions last week is another big problem. Look for the Ravens to get after him with pressure calls from Ray Lewis as well as the outside rushers like Paul Kruger. I would not play Michael vick on my fantasy team this week. -- Pat Kirwan

Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Paul Brown Stadium
Cleveland Browns
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Brandon Weeden   Opposing QBs have tossed 2 TDs in 7 of last 10 regular-season games vs. CIN. Still wouldn't touch Weeden.
RB Trent Richardson Bengals allowed 6.8 yards per carry to Rice on Monday & 4.7 yards per carry to Bernard Pierce. Richardson should rebound.
WR Josh Gordon   Explosive play was on display on his two catches last week. Only worth rostering in dynasty formats.
WR Greg Little   Went catchless Week 1. Scored in 2011 meeting at Cincy, one of five TDs Bengals allowed in last five home games.
WR Travis Benjamin   Expect the Browns to keep taking downfield shots. He's a Hail Mary Fantasy play.
DST Browns Bengals totaled 50 points, 683 total yards in two meetings with Browns last year.
Cincinnati Bengals
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Andy Dalton Single TD in each matchup against Browns last season.
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis Ran like a champ last week against Ravens. Bengals have called 21+ runs for starting RB in each of last 3 vs. CLE.
WR A.J. Green As you might expect, Green posted double-digit Fantasy points in both games vs. CLE last year. Love him this week.
WR Andrew Hawkins Looked like he was Bengals' low-rent version of Sproles. In a pinch he could be decent in PPR leagues.
WR Jermaine Gresham Pitta repeat? Gresham scored in both games against the Browns in 2011.
DST Bengals Great matchup. Browns offense totaled 9 points vs. Philly, last year had 37 total vs. CIN.

Trent Richardson has a good chance to be a 1,000-yard running back this year even though he only rushed for 39 yards Week 1. As the passing game improves and teams play the Browns offense honestly, his production will go up. I wouldn’t start him this week though because Cincinnati should score points on Cleveland without Joe Haden to help slow down the pass and that means another 35 pass day for Weeden -- and another tough game for Browns fans to watch. -- Pat Kirwan

Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, EverBank Field
Houston Texans
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Matt Schaub One multi-touchdown game in three of last four vs. Jaguars. Texans like to lean on the run.
RB Arian Foster Last touchdown-less game vs. Jaguars: Never. Has at least 1 TD in four games vs. Jags.
RB Ben Tate Foster gets all the fun vs. Jags: Tate totaled 68 rush yards in two games vs. Jaguars in '11.
WR Andre Johnson Came back from hamstring injury at Jacksonville last year & did nothing. Had TD in previous two trips to JAX.
WR Kevin Walter   4 of last 5 TDs have come on the road including one at Jacksonville in 2010.
TE Owen Daniels Should stay involved vs. Jaguars even though he didn't score on them last year.
DST Texans Held Jags to 27 points & 429 total yards in both games in '11 with 8 sacks & 3 INTs!
Jacksonville Jaguars
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Blaine Gabbert Don't even bother to check his history vs. Texans. It's nasty. Keep him benched.
RB Maurice Jones-Drew Clobbered Texans for 120+ total yards and/or at least 1 TD in all but one game since '09.
WR Justin Blackmon Makes home debut. Came up small at MIN last week and has much tougher matchup here.
WR Laurent Robinson Texans allowed 90+ receiving yards to a WR just five times all of last year (none in Week 1).
TE Marcedes Lewis Has never topped 53 yards in career vs. Houston, only one career TD vs. HOU (11 games).
DST Jaguars Texans have 102 points in last four vs. Jaguars. You can pass on this DST with ease.

Maurice Jones Drew is ready for his typical workload against Houston which means 18-20 carries for 90 yards and a touchdown, but he has never caught a touchdown pass against the Texans in 10 games. Gabbert looked better last week and should be better than he has been against Houston. Last year he only completed 39 percent of his passes and was sacked 7 times or once every nine pass plays. I wouldn’t play either quarterback in this game but I do think Gabbert will throw for 225 yards and distribute the ball to 8-9 different receivers which means the Jacksonville receivers are off limits as well. -- Pat Kirwan

Kansas City Chiefs at Buffalo Bills -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Ralph Wilson Stadium
Kansas City Chiefs
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Matt Cassel Was hammered by Bills in 41-7 loss in Week 1 last year, throwing for 119 yards & TD.
RB Jamaal Charles Chiefs OC Daboll torched Bills with MIA RBs in '11: 66 carries for 327 yards and 2 TDs!
RB Peyton Hillis Hillis had 100-yard game against Bills in 2010. His offensive coordinator? Brian Daboll.
WR Dwayne Bowe Has 33 total yards in '10 & '11 matchups vs. Bills with one TD. Still expect him to get some deep targets.
WR Dexter McCluster Great debut last week vs. ATL. Wouldn't be shock to see him come close to those numbers vs. Bills.
DST Chiefs Bills offense hung 41 points, 364 yards on Chiefs last year. KC had INT & Tamba Hali sack.
Buffalo Bills
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick Threw four touchdowns in Kansas City last season. Expect him to come out gunning again.
RB C.J. Spiller Scored on limited reps vs. Chiefs last week. Kansas City's
WR Steve Johnson Scored on Chiefs in '10 and '11 matchups. With secondary ailing & David Nelson out, Johnson a big target.
WR Donald Jones Found a TD on otherwise weak day vs. KC in '11. Has had 4+ catches in 4 of last 8 games.
TE Scott Chandler Scored two TDs vs. KC (with Eric Berry hurt). Bills love his mismatch qualities in red zone.
DST Bills Tall order to slow down Chiefs RBs after Jets bludgeoned them last week (and scored 48 points).

The Bills were grooming David Nelson to be their version of Aaron Hernandez and he will be missed. In fact they don’t have another hybrid receiver/tight end type. What it does mean is more targets in the passing game for Donald Jones and C.J. Spiller. I could see Spiller getting close to 25 touches in this game and over 125 yards and a score. Look for the Bills disappointing pass rush from last week to come alive in this game and get after Cassel. -- Pat Kirwan

Minnesota Vikings at Indianapolis Colts -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Lucas Oil Stadium
Minnesota Vikings
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Christian Ponder 270 yards passing last week was 2nd highest in career. Might top it this week but TDs aren't a given.
RB Adrian Peterson Bears scored three rushing TDs vs. Colts in Week 1. AP scored two vs. Jags. Stop drooling.
RB Toby Gerhart   Might sneak in for short TD run like Michael Bush did last week but obviously a Fantasy risk.
WR Percy Harvin Six catches on eight targets with five carries last week. Gotta love it. No one on Colts can run with him.
WR Michael Jenkins   Still just keeping Jerome Simpson's spot warm.
TE Kyle Rudolph Colts safeties and linebackers could have trouble matching up with Rudolph.
DST Vikings Decent sleeper. They should get sacks (Bears had 3) but pass defense still suspect.
Indianapolis Colts
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Andrew Luck Solid sleeper. Should top 300 yards against Vikings shaky pass D, especially with a full receiving corps.
RB Donald Brown Scored, looked OK despite nine carries last week. Game should be closer this week.
WR Reggie Wayne Last week's performance was awesome but returns of Collie, Hilton could cost him some chances. Still a good start.
WR Austin Collie Expected to play. Not expected to dominate. Had over 50 yards receiving twice last year.
TE Coby Fleener Vikings couldn't contain Marcedes Lewis last week; Fleener had 10 targets vs. Bears. Sneaky starter.
DST Colts Bottom-barrel DST. Peterson's return, Ponder's weapons and Freeney's absence are bad news.

The Colts are home for the first time and that makes a world of difference for Andrew Luck. The Colts let him throw it 45 times against the Bears and they should let him approach that number this week against the Vikings. Blaine Gabbert was able to throw two touchdown passes against the Viking secondary, including a fourth-quarter bomb to nearly pull out the victory. Luck should be able to work his own magic. Reggie Wayne was targeted 18 times last week and will remain his go-to guy but Luck also threw at seven other receivers in his first pro game which tells me he can see the field. Luck will learn a lot from his three interceptions last week and could easily wind up with another 300-yard day and two scores. -- Pat Kirwan

New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Bank of America Stadium
New Orleans Saints
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Drew Brees Ripped apart Panthers for 7 TDs in two games last year (two at Carolina).
RB Darren Sproles Struggled for "only" 90 total yards at CAR last season. Still worth starting.
RB Mark Ingram Scored at Carolina last week but upstart Bucs run defense could challenge him.
WR Marques Colston Broke 2 1/2 year skid vs. Panthers with 145 yards & 2 TDs in Week 17 against them.
WR Lance Moore Not good away from the dome: 5 career TDs, four 50+ yard efforts in career outdoors.
TE Jimmy Graham TD or 120+ yards receiving in each of last 3 games against Panthers.
DST Saints Allowed 44 points, 682 total yards to the Panthers in two games last year.
Carolina Panthers
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Cam Newton Three total TDs at home vs. NO last year but was stifled in finale in New Orleans (one TD).
RB DeAngelo Williams 10 or fewer carries in 12 of last 17 games including 2 vs. NO in '11. Did have 115 yards & TD home vs. NO (9 carries) last year.
WR Steve Smith Had TD in each game against Saints in 2011 with 82.5 yards per game.
WR Brandon LaFell Weak stats vs. NO last year but improved role should create opportunities.
TE Greg Olsen Scored in home game against Saints last year; had seven targets last week.
DST Panthers   Allowed 75 total points to the Saints last season. Not a good idea to use them.

Cam Newton looked sloppy last week and got a rude wakeup call against a defense he beat up badly as a rookie. Now he faces a Saints team he lost to twice last year and averaged 191 yards passing and 30 yards rushing. The Saints couldn’t contain Robert Griffin III last week and Newton has no excuses this week to get back on track. I like Newton to make up for Week 1 and throw for 300 yards with two passing scores and a rushing score for good measure. If you are looking for a third wide receiver, consider Saints Lance Moore. He was targeted 10 times last week and pulled down six for 120 yards and a TD. -- Pat Kirwan

Oakland Raiders at Miami Dolphins -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Sun Life Stadium
Oakland Raiders
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Carson Palmer Gotta love that the 297 yards Palmer had in Week 1 was his second-lowest in four games.
RB Darren McFadden Last 1 p.m. ET start he made: 143 total yards, 2 total TDs at Buffalo in Week 2 last year. Miami's defense no match for him.
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey Was targeted deep vs. SD but couldn't connect. Good sign for his future.
WR Rod Streater TD in debut but also a fumble along with limited speed. Can probably do better than this Week 2.
WR Denarius Moore   Has a chance to play. If so, matchup is juicy vs. Dolphins unproven corners. Sleeper material.
TE Brandon Myers Tight ends have been big in Greg Knapp's offenses. 6-foot-4 Myers could be worth stashing on deep rosters.
DST Raiders Dolphins offense totaled 3 points last week, granted it was at Houston. Raiders D looked OK vs. Bolts.
Miami Dolphins
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Ryan Tannehill   Even with a favorable matchup, Tannehill can't be trusted in Fantasy play.
RB Reggie Bush Totaled 115 yards last week, has big potential vs. OAK, who didn't have a real RB threat last week.
RB Lamar Miller   Might make NFL debut with Daniel Thomas out. Worth keeping an eye on.
WR Brian Hartline Eight targets last week. Very sneaky sleeper vs. banged-up OAK pass defense.
WR Davone Bess   Seven targets last week, catching five. PPR sleeper vs. banged-up OAK pass defense.
DST Dolphins   With McFadden healthy and Palmer slinging it, the Dolphins DST still can't be trusted.

It isn’t fair that the Raiders played on Monday night and travel to Miami for a 1 p.m. ET game. The Dolphins will struggle covering Darren McFadden in the passing game as well as Heyward-Bey. Carson Palmer looked 100 percent better against San Diego with zero interceptions. Look for the Raiders passing game to get close to 300 yards and two touchdowns because Ryan Tannehill will throw a few picks and put the Raiders on a short field. -- Pat Kirwan

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Giants -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, MetLife Stadium
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Josh Freeman New Bucs OC, Mike Sullivan, is ex-Giants WRs coach. Lots of intel on Giants DBs, which are banged up.
RB Doug Martin After DeMarco pulverized the Giants, Martin should total a good number (had 118 total vs. CAR).
WR Vincent Jackson Meaningless: Had 2 TDs in '09 game at NYG. Meaningful: Giants secondary is a mess.
WR Mike Williams Still risky despite scoring last week, but matchup vs. banged up Giants defense isn't awful.
TE Dallas Clark Lost in the shuffle among Bucs receiving options and quality Fantasy tight ends.
DST Buccaneers Not ready to roll with Bucs DST even though they held explosive Panthers in check last Sunday.
New York Giants
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Eli Manning Bucs yielded 2+ TDs in 6 of 8 road games last year, though Eli's had 2+ TDs at home in 3 of last 6.
RB Ahmad Bradshaw Not buying Bucs' run defense just yet. Panthers RBs totaled 7 carries last week. Giants more committed to Bradshaw.
RB David Wilson Might be another game before we see the Giants trust Wilson with even 7+ carries.
WR Victor Cruz Steve Smith weaved his way for 100+ yards vs. Bucs last week. Cruz had 99+ yards in 5 of 8 home games last year.
WR Hakeem Nicks Pedigree, results at home make him trustworthy. Bucs' improved defense suggests uncertainty.
TE Martellus Bennett Revenge TD vs. Dallas last week was sweet. Consistency has been big issue for Bennett in the past, he's worth scouting.
DST Giants Freeman's Bucs have 21+ points in 16 of 42 career starts. Giants allowed 21+ pts in 4 of 9 home games last year.

I don’t think I would want to be playing the Giants in New York after the embarrassing opening day loss. The Giant pass rush will get after Josh Freeman. Freeman completed 16 passes last week but for less than 9 yards per completion. After Vincent Jackson it’s a lot of check-downs and screens to the backs. Cam Newton threw for over 300 yards against these Bucs and so will Eli Manning. Victor Cruz will not drop as many passes again. The focus will be sharp for the Giants. -- Pat Kirwan

Dallas Cowboys at Seattle Seahawks -- Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, CenturyLink Field
Dallas Cowboys
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Tony Romo SEA pass D has limited QBs to under 2 pass TDs in 8 of last 9 games' Romo had 279 & 2 TDs vs. SEA in '11.
RB DeMarco Murray Seattle had gimme matchup vs. Cards last week but allowed 186 total yards to Murray in '11.
WR Dez Bryant Held to 76 yards on four catches (nine targets) in win vs. Seattle last year.
WR Miles Austin Had just 53 yards vs. SEA last season but hurt hamstring in the game. Should fare better.
WR Kevin Ogletree Zero TDs in first 31 games, two in his 32nd. Can't call him a safe starting option.
TE Jason Witten Scored in 2 of last 3 vs. SEA including one against them last season. He's over spleen issue.
DST Cowboys Seahawks put up 16 points, allowed three sacks and an interception to Cards last week.
Seattle Seahawks
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Russell Wilson Weak stats last week killed his upside against a good-looking Dallas defense.
RB Marshawn Lynch DAL was part of Marshawn's TD march last year -- he had 135 yards & a TD.
WR Sidney Rice Rice limited to 69 yards vs. Dallas in 2011, Cowboys DBs looked great vs. Giants WRs last week.
WR Doug Baldwin   Impossible to trust in Fantasy until Sidney Rice begins to miss time.
TE Zach Miller   Tight ends have scored on Cowboys in 3 of their last 5 games. Still wouldn't trust him.
DST Seahawks Cowboys scored 23 points, had 442 yards of offense in '11 matchup. Packers up next for Seattle.

Seattle is a tough place to play but not much tougher than New York on opening night. The Cardinals offensive line should have never been able to block the Seahawk pass rush but they did and only had one sack in 37 pass plays. Dallas was solid against the great Giants pass rush and should buy Tony Romo the time to throw for 250 yards. Lots of people smell an upset in this game but keep in mind that is still a rookie quarterback in Russell Wilson up in Seattle. Now that Ogletree had his big day in New York with eight receptions and two touchdowns it should loosen things up for Miles Austin and Dez Bryant when the Cowboys use their three-receiver set. -- Pat Kirwan

Washington Redskins at St. Louis Rams -- Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, Edward Jones Dome
Washington Redskins
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Robert Griffin III Rams an underrated threat but Griffin's playmaking ability gives him solid edge.
RB Alfred Morris Should score, come close to 20 carries vs. Rams defense that allowed 2 rush TDs last week.
RB Roy Helu Desperation sleeper after Kevin Smith scored on TD catch last week.
WR Pierre Garcon Assuming foot is OK Garcon will take off vs. pass D that's allowed No. 1 WRs to have at least 80+ yards in five straight.
WR Santana Moss Will play plenty but not as appealing a Fantasy option as others (LaFell, Moss, Britt).
TE Fred Davis Rams were tough vs. tight ends last year but Lions TEs totaled over 100 yards against them last week.
DST Redskins Should post lots of sacks vs. Rams' banged-up O-line. Two INTs of Brees last week.
St. Louis Rams
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Sam Bradford Has three games with 250+ pass yards in his last 12. Still tough to even own him.
RB Steven Jackson Bottled up by the Lions but still totaled 84 yards. Redskins run D looked good against Saints.
WR Danny Amendola Should have chance to match 5 catches for 70 yards he had last week.
TE Lance Kendricks Redskins have allowed TDs to TEs in each of last 3 and 4 of last 5 dating back to 2011.
DST Rams Excellent game last week against the Lions but tough to expect a similar outcome vs. Washington.

The Redskins will run the ball over 30 times -- not counting what Robert Griffin III does. That means 25 touches for Alfred Morris, who is starting to remind me of a young Terrell Davis with his running style in the zone scheme. Last week Kevin Smith of the Lions averaged 4.8 against the Rams. Morris will not take as long to get going with a game under his belt. Stay away from any offensive player on the Rams and that includes Steven Jackson now that they lost two offensive linemen. -- Pat Kirwan

New York Jets at Pittsburgh Steelers -- Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, Heinz Field
New York Jets
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Mark Sanchez Has yet to throw INT vs. Steelers in 2 career games (3 total TDs). Can't trust him.
RB Shonn Greene Has 92 rush yards in 2 career games vs. PIT. RBs ran for TDs twice in eight home games last year.
WR Stephen Hill Great debut in the "Plaxico" role. Worth owning, not worth starting in Steelers home opener.
WR Santonio Holmes Scored on Steelers last time he played his old team. Motivation factor is there as will targets (eight last week).
TE Dustin Keller Tamme's TD was just the sixth TE score vs. PIT in last 23 reg. season games. 83 total yards in 2 games vs. PIT
DST Jets Steelers totaled 320 yards, 19 points last week. Jets should provide good challenge.
Pittsburgh Steelers
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Ben Roethlisberger Roethlisberger vs. Rex Ryan's Jets (2 games): 397 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs; 46 rush yards & rush TD too.
RB Jonathan Dwyer Foot issue seems to have subsided. Playing time still huge issue.
RB Isaac Redman Looked unhealthy vs. Broncos. Can't trust him, especially if Steelers' backfield is crowded.
RB Rashard Mendenhall   In last two vs. Jets has chewed them up for 220 rush yards & 2 TDs. If only his knee was strong …
WR Antonio Brown Jets allowed 2 TDs to WRs in blowout loss last week, 4 in final four '11 games.
WR Mike Wallace Scoreless in two career games vs. NYJ (one 100-yard game). If Revis is out, he'll shine.
TE Heath Miller Seven targets last week. Could be sneaky tight end no one's talking about.
DST Steelers 48 points scored by Jets last week most since '08. Jets averaged 23.6 poings per game.

Playing in Pittsburgh against a Steelers team coming off a loss is no easy task. Last year the Steelers were 7-1 at home and only gave up 10 points a game at Heinz Field. In their last 35 games the Steelers have not lost two in a row at any time. The Jets did beat Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh in 2010 by rushing for over 100 yards and getting a special teams touchdown. Sanchez did not throw a touchdown pass in that game and only had 170 yards passing. Stay away from the Jets offensive players in this game. You can also be sure that the Steelers players are hoping Tim Tebow comes on the field. With questions about Darrelle Revis because of a concussion I would consider a Steelers receiver like Antonio Brown or Emmanuel Sanders because Antonio Cromartie should be on Mike Wallace. -- Pat Kirwan

Tennessee Titans at San Diego Chargers -- Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, Qualcomm Stadium
Tennessee Titans
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Jake Locker Will face SD secondary that allowed 297 yards to OAK last week. CB Jammer playing with broken hand too.
RB Chris Johnson Little risky, especially after McFadden couldn't run vs. SD on Monday, but potential too big to ignore.
WR Nate Washington Decent matchup if he plays, but clock's ticking on potential with Britt coming back.
WR Kenny Britt Has 12 TDs in last 15 games, but also has knee issues that could limit him.
TE Jared Cook Chargers safeties could struggle vs. big tight end (six targets last week).
DST Titans Pass defense will have its hands full; Rivers averaged 283 pass yards per home game in '11.
San Diego Chargers
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Philip Rivers With no solid run game, Rivers will have to throw. Titans have allowed 2+ pass TDs in 6 of their last 7.
RB Curtis Brinkley Led Bolts in carries last week -- with 10. And had 12 yards. Desperation Fantasy play.
WR Malcom Floyd Had six targets to Meachem's two last week. Has better chemistry with Rivers.
WR Robert Meachem With Saints, had 15-yard catch vs. Titans last year. Much more expected this week.
TE Antonio Gates Shouldn't be a surprise: Titans have yielded TD to Gates in 4 of 6 games.
DST Chargers Risky move going with Chargers DST as Titans' offense has potential. Should rack up a few sacks & an INT.

Jake Locker was okay against the Patriots but with a left shoulder issue could be a risk. The fact that Chris Johnson rushed 11 times for 4 yards should keep you away from him for this week as well. Three teams traveled from the east coast last year to play the Chargers (Miami, Buffalo, Baltimore) and they all lost and scored a combined 40 points (avg. 13) Rivers should get the Chargers up early and force Tennessee to throw more than they want to. In those three games against visiting east coast teams the Chargers defense had 11 sacks. Things could get one-sided for the Titans and their ailing quarterback. -- Pat Kirwan

Detroit Lions at San Francisco 49ers -- Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET, Candlestick Park
Detroit Lions
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Matthew Stafford Had 293 yards & 2 TDs vs. Niners last year. Has 350+ yards in each of his last five.
RB Kevin Smith Jahvid Best totaled 110 yards vs. SF last year as Lions' primary RB. Smith could get there.
WR Calvin Johnson Had 111 yards last week, had 113 yards vs. Niners last season. Good expectation.
WR Nate Burleson Burleson only Lions WR to score on Niners in their 2011 meeting.
WR Titus Young Benched for part of Week 1 for dumb penalty. Looking for some of his late 2011 magic.
TE Brandon Pettigrew Pettigrew 1 of 3 TEs to score on Niners last year. They've already yielded one TE TD this year.
DST Lions Lions allowed 17 points to Rams offense last week, 25 points to Niners in '11.
San Francisco 49ers
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Alex Smith Including playoffs, Smith has 4 straight with 2+ total TDs. Lions' secondary a mess.
RB Frank Gore Had 141 yards on 15 carries with a TD at DET last season. Has 16+ carries in 4 of last 6 overall.
RB Kendall Hunter Until Gore stumbles, Hunter won't do much. But is worth rostering as a handcuff or sleeper.
WR Randy Moss Home debut for Moss. Played about a third of the time for the Niners last week, could continue this week.
WR Michael Crabtree Caught nine passes for 77 yards against the Lions last year. Has 76+ yards in each of last three regular season games.
TE Vernon Davis Stunner: Lions held Davis to just 8 yards on 2 catches in their '11 matchup. Like that'll keep you from starting him.
DST 49ers Risky considering opponent but Stafford was off his game last week. Worked out well for Rams D.

Alex Smith looks primed to take a big step in his passing game but be careful about a game like this one. San Francisco is a run-first team and they will want to keep Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson off the field. Also the 49ers are struggling with their pass protection and don’t need to see Smith sacked four times again. Look for San Francisco to run the ball over 30 times and keep Smith to 25 pass attempts. Crabtree should get at least six receptions against the Lions corners. -- Pat Kirwan

Denver Broncos at Atlanta Falcons -- Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET, Georgia Dome
Denver Broncos
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Peyton Manning Ugly matchup looks a lot better with CB Grimes lost for the season.
RB Willis McGahee Falcons allowed 132 yards on 29 carries to Chiefs last week. Makes McGahee iffy.
RB Knowshon Moreno Scored last week. Falcons allowed two rush TDs last week: One to QB, one to backup RB in garbage time.
WR Demaryius Thomas Has 90+ yards and/or 1+ TD in 6 of last 8 games. Obvious Fantasy starter.
WR Eric Decker Big receiver matches up well against depleted Falcons secondary. Had first 4+ catch game in last 11 in Week 1.
TE Jacob Tamme Nice TD last week inspires confidence. Falcons allowed TD to TE in 2 of last 4 overall.
DST Broncos Falcons have scored 40+ points in 3 of last 4 games overall.
Atlanta Falcons
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Matt Ryan Has 2+ pass touchdowns in 4 of last 6 games with no INTs in any of them.
RB Michael Turner Ugly start could be compounded by Broncos D that held Steelers to 75 rush yards in Week 1.
RB Jacquizz Rodgers Playing time is on the rise, Fantasy prospects could follow pending Turner's numbers.
WR Julio Jones Sick: Eight TDs in last five regular-season games. You know what to do.
WR Roddy White White might go one-on-one with Champ Bailey in the game. Could put a cap on his stats.
TE Tony Gonzalez 4 of 6 TDs last year came in Georgia Dome.
DST Falcons The Chiefs put up 393 total yards on the Falcons. The Broncos are better. Move along.

The loss of starting cornerback Brent Grimes hurts the Falcons against Denver. The Broncos love 12 personnel (one running back, two tight ends) and force matchup issues all over the field. Manning will get one of his receivers on a backup corner and his no-huddle offense will keep that player on the field. Atlanta let the Chiefs go 11 for 16 on third downs last week and Manning could be even better. As for the Falcons receivers, Julio Jones and Roddy White had 12 receptions for 195 yards but things will be tougher against the Broncos pass rush and defensive backs Tracey Porter and Champ Bailey. Last week Kansas City was missing their best pass rusher, cornerback and free safety, and that opened the door for the Falcons to hang big numbers on them. It'll be tougher this week even though they'll be at home. -- Pat Kirwan

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Player News
49ers shopping LaMichael James
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(5:06 pm ET) The 49ers are looking to trade running back LaMichael James in advance of next month's NFL Draft, reports the Sacramento Bee.

Meanwhile, James is aware of the trade rumors, apparently for a while now, since he tweeted Wednesday "when old news becomes new news" following the report.

James, a second-round pick in 2012, finds himself behind Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter and perhaps Marcus Lattimore on the depth chart at running back this season. James served as the team's primary returner last year, but he wants a bigger role since he carried the ball just 12 times in 2013.


Joe Reitz stays with the Colts
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(2:11 pm ET) Offensive lineman Joe Reitz signed his restricted free agent tender offer on Thursday, giving him another year with the Colts. He started three games last season. 

Chris Johnson says arthritis reports 'not accurate'
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(2:10 pm ET) On a conference call with New York media, new Jets running back Chris Johnson said the report that he had arthritis in his knee was "not accurate," adding that he was "pretty sure I wouldn't have passed the physical" if he did have it. 

Earlier Thursday ESPN reported the Jets had "some concerns" about his knee

Johnson is expected to serve as part of a one-two punch at running back with Chris Ivory for the Jets. 


Vikings sign Kurt Coleman
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(11:31 am ET) The Vikings signed safety Kurt Coleman on Thursday. He spent the past four seasons with the Eagles and has seven career interceptions.

Coleman will try to make the final roster in Minnesota as a reserve defensive back and play on special teams.


Dwayne Bowe pleads guilty to amended charges
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(10:54 am ET) Chiefs receiver Dwayne Bowe pleaded guilty to amended charges relating to his Nov. 10 arrest for marijuana possession, the Kansas City Star reports. He paid $610 in fines and didn't get probation. It remains to be seen if he'll be subject to the NFL's substance abuse program. 

Report: Giants should consider dealing Ryan Nassib
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(10:43 am ET) Now that the Giants have signed Josh Freeman to a contract, does it mean that second-year quarterback Ryan Nassib will be off the roster soon? 

The Newark Star-Ledger believes the Giants should assess Nassib's value going into the draft considering the lack of great quarterback talent available. A team looking for a quarterback-of-the-future could make an offer. 

Nassib had 19 pass attempts during the preseason last August and wasn't active for a single regular-season game. 


Robert Griffin III looking like old self
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(10:43 am ET) A couple of members of the Redskins organization have started raving about how good quarterback Robert Griffin III looks this offseason, reports the Washington Post.

Receiver Santana Moss said via an ESPN podcast that Griffin "looks more comfortable because he don't have to worry about that brace. I think the brace was the big discomfort last year. You know, he’s a young guy with those fiery legs that want to do so much, and that brace probably gave him a little pinch in the behind because he couldn't do the things that he was normally accustomed to doing. You can already see, when we're out there in conditioning and stuff, he's running around, looking like the old Robert Griffin."

And former tight end Chris Cooley, currently one of the team's radio broadcasters, said "he's another person right now. I was like, 'you're running unbelievably well.' It was silly to watch. ... When you watch him run, you're like, 'You're a freak. You're seriously a freak.'"


Report: Jets have concerns over Chris Johnson's knees
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(10:33 am ET) Less than 24 hours after signing Chris Johnson to a two-year deal that might be worth as much as $9 million, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the Jets have some concerns over the condition of his knee. Johnson apparently has some arthritis in it stemming from his torn meniscus in 2013 (which he played through). 

Johnson hasn't missed a game in five straight seasons. He's expected to form a one-two punch with Chris Ivory in the Jets' backfield this year. 


Brian Cushing says he's 100 percent
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(10:27 am ET) Posting a picture of himself with his son from a beach, Texans linebacker Brian Cushing said via Twitter that he's been cleared for football. Cushing missed the last nine games of last season with a knee injury. 

"Quick Trip to Pensacola with my lead blocker, better believe I'm 100% #beachday #cleared #fivesixback," he wrote. 


Could Peyton Manning throw less in 2014?
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(10:23 am ET) Peyton Manning might be asked to throw less so "the offense can be more," ESPN speculated on Thursday. Manning threw 659 passes last season, completing 450 of them (68.3 pct.) for 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns with 10 interceptions. The yardage and touchdowns are NFL records. 

The thought process behind Manning being asked to throw less is that it would accentuate the run game and give the offense (read: Manning) more of an opportunity to build confidence in the running backs, namely Montee Ball.

No one on the Broncos has come out and suggested Manning will throw less. He still passed 583 times in 2012, seventh-most that year. Expect Manning to still throw plenty in 2014.


 
 
 
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