NFL Week 2 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em
Rex Grossman could have a big day against a suspect Cardinals secondary
Raheem Morris said Bucs want to win with LeGarrette Blount as a primary option
Trying to match Drew Brees should make Jay Cutler a fantasy star in Week 2
It is Week 2. We get closer to midseason form, but there are still a lot of uncertain situations. What makes it feel slightly like midseason, though, are the injuries we are already dealing with.
Missing will be RB Steven Jackson (quad), WR Marques Colston (shoulder) and Nate Kaeding (knee). Those losses make sleepers out of Cadillac Williams, Devery Henderson, Robert Meachem and kicker Nick Novak.
Then Arian Foster (hamstring), Hakeem Nicks (knee), Knowshon Moreno (hamstring) and Mike Tolbert (leg) could be questionable options, which make Ben Tate, Mario Manningham, Willis McGahee and Ryan Mathews far more intriguing.
As for the players who are healthy and coming off great Week 1s, we get rookie breakout Cam Newton drawing a fierce matchup against the defending champs and Tom Brady gets the best pass defense in the NFL. Only one of those passing leaders from Week 1 should remain active in Week 2 (we will let you guess which one).
Here is Week 2's start 'em, sit 'em broken down game by game:
Note: It should be mentioned, the obvious choices are omitted here. We focus our energy on the players you might actually be making a decision on.
QB Rex Grossman, RB Tim Hightower, WR Santana Moss, TE Fred Davis, TE Chris Cooley
Grossman torched the Giants secondary and now he draws the only team that gave up over 400 yards passing to a rookie starter in his NFL debut. The Cardinals secondary was exposed, so this should be another productive day for the Redskins through the air. Davis has emerged as the more intriguing fantasy option over Cooley, but both are viable starts at the tight end position this week. Hightower should also be productive against a Cardinals defense that was suspect against RBs last season.
QB Kevin Kolb, RB Beanie Wells
The Redskins secondary gave up big plays to the bumbling Giants, so Kolb should have a solid day -- this time with Larry Fitzgerald. Also, the Cardinals won't make the same mistake the Giants did by not establishing a running game. Wells is going to have a good day.
WR Early Doucet, Cardinals D/ST, Redskins D/ST
Doucet broke a long one in Week 1, but he was a wasted pick off the waiver wire, a flash in the pan. Don't trust him. The defenses look like bad plays in a game that should feature plenty of offense and passing.
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, RB Fred Jackson, RB C.J. Spiller
The Raiders gave up 300 yards passing to the Broncos, a team that should have tried to run the ball. The Bills will, so consider Jackson a starter and Spiller a viable flex. Fitzpatrick is also one of the better unheralded fantasy passers.
RB Darren McFadden
This is a bit obvious, but the Bills did almost blank a higher-rated rusher in Jamaal Charles. They won't be able to stop the only thing the Raiders offense has going for it. Don't use anyone else on the Raiders not named Sebastian Janikowski.
TE Scott Chandler
Congrats on getting him off waivers. You should have picked someone else, like the Redskins' Davis at TE. Chandler is not yet worthy of starting in fantasy.
RB Joseph Addai
We have to figure the Colts can't play a wide-open game with Kerry Collins under center. They should focus on ball control and the running game now. Addai and Delone Carter should benefit, but Addai is the only one to trust against a usually solid Browns run defense that was made to look silly late last week against Cincy.
TE Ben Watson
Watson showed he is a pretty nice sleeper at the position.
WR Pierre Garcon, WR Austin Collie, QB Collins, RB Carter
The Colts offense laid an egg against one of the most suspect defenses in fantasy. None of these guys can be trusted until we see something, anything, out of them. Only Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark look viable for the Colts on a regular basis now.
QB Colt McCoy, WR Mohamed Massaquoi, WR Greg Little, WR Brian Robiskie
The Colts aren't a defense to worry about, but the Browns are still an offense to avoid. If they were going to break out, it should have come against the Bungles. They proved the progress is not there yet. Only consider Peyton Hillis viable, and extremely productive, here.
WR Percy Harvin, D/ST Vikings
Harvin and the Vikings didn't show much against the Chargers, but they were in that game late and that is impressive enough to consider these two viable options coming back home against a far less talented Bucs team. Harvin was more involved in the running game than the passing game, but that could have been a function of a good Chargers secondary. The Bucs secondary isn't bad, but this should be a far more productive week for the woeful Vikings passing game.
RB LeGarrette Blount, QB Josh Freeman, WR Mike Williams, TE Kellen Winslow
We have at least one coach who recognizes the error of his ways in limiting his linchpin in Week 1: "That's not how we want to win games," Raheem Morris said. "We want to win games with Blount bludgeoning you for 130 yards and having a couple of play-action bombs and being efficient with [Josh Freeman]." It should like a busy day here for Blount, even if the Vikings run defense is solid. Then, as the secondary creeps up to slow him, Freeman and his pair of primary targets will have room to operate up top.
RB Earnest Graham, QB Donovan McNabb, WR Michael Jenkins, TE Visanthe Shiancoe
You wasted a waiver pick on Graham, who was a beneficiary of circumstance in Week 1. His points are going back to Blount. You might consider buying low on these Vikings options but you shouldn't trust them in your starting lineup at this point.
QB Joe Flacco, TE Ed Dickson, K Billy Cundiff
There is no real reason to sit anyone for the Ravens in this one. They crushed arguably the best defense in the NFL in the Steelers and now get the Titans. It should be another productive week all around. It will be interesting if we can even get contributions from Lee Evans in this one. We should.
RB Chris Johnson, WR Kenny Britt
Johnson was quiet in a great matchup and now faces a very difficult one. Don't worry. He is going to break one, and/or when the Ravens get up three scores, he will be heavily used in the passing game. As for Britt, it should be obvious he is headed for a breakthrough as a third-year receiver.
K Rob Bironas, QB Matt Hasselbeck, TE Jared Cook, RB Ricky Williams, D/ST Titans
Johnson and Britt are the only Titans that can hold water against the Ravens defense. Williams was surprising in Week 1, but he isn't yet enough of the offense to consider week to week at the flex position.
RB James Starks, WR Jordy Nelson, TE Jermichael Finley
The Panthers are not a good defense, and Starks is already getting his coach's attention as someone that needs the ball more. Nelson has taken over as the Packers' second-best receiver to Greg Jennings, and Finley should continue to improve the further he gets from knee surgery.
WR Steve Smith, TE Greg Olsen
A quarterback that is breathing makes Smith viable again. Why couldn't the Panthers quarterbacks figure out how to get him the ball a year ago? As for Olsen, the Panthers offense uses the tight end to move the ball and Smith to hit homers. Olsen is the clear favorite over Jeremy Shockey.
RB Ryan Grant, WR James Jones
These two guys looked like huge busts in Week 1, enough to avoid them even in this favorable matchup. Still, they will have surprising weeks this season, but gauging it with all of the other Packers' threats will be tough. Rookie Randall Cobb is stealing Jones' thunder, but we wouldn't use him either.
QB Cam Newton
Newton is worth owning after his smashing debut, but he shouldn't be active in any one-quarterback leagues. The Packers are just too good, despite what Drew Brees did in Week 1. This is the perfect test for Newton coming off his 400-yard performance, though. If he can prove productive against the Packers, look out for a huge rookie season.
QB Ben Roethlisberger, WR Hines Ward, TE Heath Miller
This is a game where you start all Steelers and sit all Seahawks. This trio of Steelers might be the only ones you're really questioning. They should be productive here. Emmanuel Sanders might be, too.
RB Marshawn Lynch, WR Mike Williams
Don't dare trust them, no matter what the Ravens did a week ago. It is payback time for the Steelers D/ST. The Seahawks are going to get shut out, at least fantasy-wise.
RB Maurice Jones-Drew
He was sturdy enough in Week 1 to consider him an every week starter -- for as long as his knees stay healthy. The Jets aren't a good matchup, but MJD is too good to sit, even against the Jets.
RB Shonn Greene, RB LaDainian Tomlinson, QB Mark Sanchez, WR Santonio Holmes, WR Plaxico Burress, TE Dustin Keller
Like the Steelers, start all Jets, and even both running backs. Greene struggled against the Cowboys as L.T. was needed in throwing situations during a rally. The Jets won't need to rally here. It should be a busy enough day for both backs against a Jags defense that was awful against RBs last season -- opening week 2011 against the Titans' Johnson not withstanding.
TE Marcedes Lewis, WR Mike Thomas, QB Luke McCown
Lewis is banged up after his Week 1 disappearing act. The Cowboys moved the ball and scored against the Jets, but the Jags won't, save for MJD.