Week 2 Hot Hands and Cold Shoulders

Don’t get all reactionary when you are setting your lineups this week. If your stud disappointed in his first showing — and there is no evidence supporting his failure, i.e. horrible line in Jacksonville and St. Louis — just forget Week 1 happened.

This week, we’ll move into more of a Q&A mode with the start-or-sit recommendations. No matter how many people I name, you will always have a call between two players that I don’t address. Here’s your chance.

If I don’t mention one of your tough calls, or you have a follow-up question, post it in the comments (or you can send me direct messages through Twitter.)

Hot Hands

Chris Johnson vs. Bengals: If you thought he looked good against Jacksonville…

Brandon Jacobs, Eli Manning, Plaxico Burress vs. Rams: Big Boy make ‘em pay. Eli and Plax should connect a few times just as McNabb did with everyone on his team last week.

Derek Anderson vs. Steelers: When these two teams play each other, the QBs have a habit of going off.

Ben Roethlisberger vs. Browns: Same as Derek Anderson.

Ryan Grant vs. Lions: Ryan Grant vs. Lions, Ryan Grant vs. Lions. I’m just going to keep repeating it. It’s the Lions. They let Michael Turner run through them like Red Rover. As long as Grant starts, he will look big in this one — injured hammy and all.

While I am at it…

All Your Packers vs. Lions: Again, IT’S DETROIT. Everyone but Donald Lee is worthy of throwing in your lineup unless you have studs that outrank them.

Brian Griese vs. Falcons: Because there’s talk that Jeff Garcia might be getting traded, because Atlanta corners don’t scare me, because if I was faster, I might be able to start at corner for Atlanta and because he was worthy of starting last year when he was with the Bears. The Bucs have a better receiver group.

Jerricho Cotchery vs. Patriots: Clearly, he’s a favorite target of Brett Favre, and he’s had success in New England. The Jets want to win this one and Cotchery will be a big part of it.

Bills defense vs. Jaguars: Looked creative and aggressive against Seattle. Marcus Stroud should be looking for a nice “reminder” game — as in, remind the Jags why they never should have let him go. I’m scared.

Felix Jones vs. Eagles: Marion Barber hurt his ribs in Week 1. Jones scored a TD in that one. I see him getting more chances this week.

Bubble Boys

Philip Rivers vs. Broncos: Yes, Rivers has a great record in Denver, but I don’t like him this week. LaDainian’s best buddy is probably going to watch L.T. blow through the Denver run defense so badly and limit Rivers’ opportunities. If San Diego gets down in this one like I believe they might, he could turn it on, but my gut feeling is that he has a TD and a few yards. Surely, you drafted him as a QB2, so you can probably bench him in favor of your stud QB as long as your stud has a great matchup as well.

Damon Huard vs. Raiders: I know Oakland gave up every yard that Jay Cutler wanted last week, but that was Jay Cutler. This is Damon Huard. The corners might redeem themselves, but if you lost Tom Brady or Vince Young, you might not have better options.

Jay Cutler vs. Chargers: Cutler hasn’t had a lot of good games against San Diego, but he looks stronger this year. Having Brandon Marshall back from suspension, Eddie Royal and Tony Scheffler won’t hurt either. If he’s your best guy this week, why not give him a chance?

Lee Evans vs. Jaguars: Evans should be a solid WR2 or WR3 this year. If the Buffalo offense keeps this up, he might even warrant WR1 status in bigger leagues. Unfortunately, Jacksonville knows that he is a weapon and will probably lock him down this week if they can. Start him as a WR3 if you must, but don’t count on a huge week.

Tony Scheffler vs. Chargers: I’m going to go out on a wild card here and say Tony Scheffler is an okay start this week. Cutler faces one of the toughest defenses (without their best defensive player) and Scheffler might see the red zone targets if Brandon Marshall doesn’t finish all his catches in the red zone.

Cold Shoulders

Steve Slaton and Chris Taylor vs. Ravens: The Texans looked miserable against the Steelers. Do you really think they change that against the Ravens? No. That’s the answer.

Any Rams not named Steven Jackson or Randy McMichael vs. Giants: Not worth starting until they have an offense. Randy McMichael is an exception since it looks like he will be the only productive thing on offense, and you know Marc Bulger is going to want to get rid of the ball quickly to avoid shattered ribs.

Eagles defense vs. Cowboys: It’s hard to get sacks against the Cowboys, and this one could be high scoring. While the Cowboys defense might weather the storm, I don’t think Philadelphia will fare as well.

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  • Chris

    I have three solid running backs and need to start two of them. Joseph Addai, Matt Forte, and Chris Johnson….please advise!!

  • Chris

    I have three solid running backs and need to start two of them. Joseph Addai, Matt Forte, and Chris Johnson….please advise!!

  • http://www.fantasyfootballfools.com Jacob

    @Chris:

    Chris Johnson vs. Bengals is a MUST START this week out of those three. I think he’ll get at least one big break touchdown, and I like the advantage in carries it looks like he has over LenDale White.

    Joseph Addai is the immediate call otherwise since he’s your stud, but he faces the tough Minnesota defense. Matt Forte has a decent matchup against Carolina, but the Panthers kept LaDainian Tomlinson relatively in check. The Panthers will also focus on stopping Forte (since he IS the Chicago offense).

    With Manning limited and rusty, the Colts could lean on Addai (and his receiving ability) in this one. Even though Forte’s big Week 1 was mostly a result of that one long TD run, I believe he has the spark. He’s a better play than Addai against Minnesota even if Carolina is looking to stop him because you know he’ll be heavily involved in the offense.

    Start Chris Johnson and Matt Forte.

  • http://www.fantasyfootballfools.com Jacob

    @Chris:

    Chris Johnson vs. Bengals is a MUST START this week out of those three. I think he’ll get at least one big break touchdown, and I like the advantage in carries it looks like he has over LenDale White.

    Joseph Addai is the immediate call otherwise since he’s your stud, but he faces the tough Minnesota defense. Matt Forte has a decent matchup against Carolina, but the Panthers kept LaDainian Tomlinson relatively in check. The Panthers will also focus on stopping Forte (since he IS the Chicago offense).

    With Manning limited and rusty, the Colts could lean on Addai (and his receiving ability) in this one. Even though Forte’s big Week 1 was mostly a result of that one long TD run, I believe he has the spark. He’s a better play than Addai against Minnesota even if Carolina is looking to stop him because you know he’ll be heavily involved in the offense.

    Start Chris Johnson and Matt Forte.

  • Tyler

    I’m starting Steven Jackson in my RB1 slot, but do I star Laurence Maroney or Sammie Morris in my RB2 spot? Thanks in advance!

  • Tyler

    I’m starting Steven Jackson in my RB1 slot, but do I star Laurence Maroney or Sammie Morris in my RB2 spot? Thanks in advance!

  • http://www.fantasyfootballfools.com Jacob

    @Tyler:

    Sammy Morris has consistently had more fantasy points than Laurence Maroney when all three New England RBs are in the game. Morris is the preferred goal line option and should see the most work.

    Start Sammy Morris.

  • http://www.fantasyfootballfools.com Jacob

    @Tyler:

    Sammy Morris has consistently had more fantasy points than Laurence Maroney when all three New England RBs are in the game. Morris is the preferred goal line option and should see the most work.

    Start Sammy Morris.

  • Chirs

    I just picked up J. Culter in a trade for D. Anderson. My other QB is K. Warner. I’m leaning towards starting Warner against Miami, against a weaker D, but starting Cutler is still tempting. What do you think? I also have to choose 3 RBs between Barber, Addai, LJ & Forte. I have difficultly benching Addai when he was my #1 pick. I’d like to see Forte have another good week before relying on him. What are your thoughts?

  • Chirs

    I just picked up J. Culter in a trade for D. Anderson. My other QB is K. Warner. I’m leaning towards starting Warner against Miami, against a weaker D, but starting Cutler is still tempting. What do you think? I also have to choose 3 RBs between Barber, Addai, LJ & Forte. I have difficultly benching Addai when he was my #1 pick. I’d like to see Forte have another good week before relying on him. What are your thoughts?

  • http://www.fantasyfootballfools.com Jacob

    @Chirs:

    That’s a good trade. I like Jay Cutler this week (and for 2008). I think he’ll pull off the win, but I also really like Kurt Warner against the Dolphins. The smart play is Warner since he’s likely to do at least as much as Favre could in Week 1.

    Start Kurt Warner.

    As for your RBs, I like Larry Johnson, Matt Forte and Marion Barber. Larry Johnson is traditionally very good against Oakland, and you saw how they let the Broncos walk over them in Week 1. Matt Forte is the focus of the Bears offense. Carolina gave up a lot of yards in Week 1, and I think they’ll give for Forte this week as well. Marion Barber should get the tough carries in this one against the Eagles, bruised ribs and all. With the Dallas offense firing on all cylinders, he’s likely to get a TD and good yardage before Dallas pulls him out to rest and heal up.

    Addai is a great play if you didn’t have these three RBs already, but against the Minnesota defense with a VERY talented QB in Manning, I think the Colts will air it out all day against the Vikings’ secondary. Addai will have his carries, but the yardage will be tough and a TD might be too much to ask of him. If Adrian Peterson puts the Colts in a hole, I don’t see Addai getting the chances. Great week to play Reggie Wayne and Peyton Manning though.

    Start Marion Barber, Matt Forte and Larry Johnson.

  • http://www.fantasyfootballfools.com Jacob

    @Chirs:

    That’s a good trade. I like Jay Cutler this week (and for 2008). I think he’ll pull off the win, but I also really like Kurt Warner against the Dolphins. The smart play is Warner since he’s likely to do at least as much as Favre could in Week 1.

    Start Kurt Warner.

    As for your RBs, I like Larry Johnson, Matt Forte and Marion Barber. Larry Johnson is traditionally very good against Oakland, and you saw how they let the Broncos walk over them in Week 1. Matt Forte is the focus of the Bears offense. Carolina gave up a lot of yards in Week 1, and I think they’ll give for Forte this week as well. Marion Barber should get the tough carries in this one against the Eagles, bruised ribs and all. With the Dallas offense firing on all cylinders, he’s likely to get a TD and good yardage before Dallas pulls him out to rest and heal up.

    Addai is a great play if you didn’t have these three RBs already, but against the Minnesota defense with a VERY talented QB in Manning, I think the Colts will air it out all day against the Vikings’ secondary. Addai will have his carries, but the yardage will be tough and a TD might be too much to ask of him. If Adrian Peterson puts the Colts in a hole, I don’t see Addai getting the chances. Great week to play Reggie Wayne and Peyton Manning though.

    Start Marion Barber, Matt Forte and Larry Johnson.