Fast forward, Week 2 (con't ...)
Cedric Benson, Packers -- Green Bay apparently took notes in its loss to the 49ers in Week 1. It learned it has to have a running game, something it just didn't bother with all of 2011 and in the opener. Benson's arrival as a top-24 fantasy back is official. You might even want to consider starting him against a good Seahawks run defense in Week 3.
Ben Tate, Texans -- Perhaps his quiet Week 1 was more of a function of his own health than the early season reliance on Arian Foster. Tate is one handcuff and backup RB that is worth considering a starter in all of fantasy. The 74 yards and two TDs might not be enough to make him a sure-fire starter next week at Denver, though.
Donald Brown, Colts -- He hasn't been as good as he looked in the preseason, but his next matchup is against the Jags, who have been abused by Peterson, Foster and Tate through two weeks. Brown should reward faithful owners next week.
Mark Ingram, Saints -- They found their running game and Ingram looks like he will be among the must-start options against the Chiefs, who were abused by Spiller in Buffalo. Even Pierre Thomas might be considered in deeper formats, after he rushed for 110 yards on just nine carries. Ingram is the better option because of his TD potential, if you're choosing between the two.
DeAngelo Williams, Panthers -- He rebounded with 69 yards and a TD, even with Jonathan Stewart playing and taking a receiving TD. This is encouraging for the Panthers running game after that stinker against the Bucs, but Stewart is the better play on the short week as they face the Giants on Thursday night. Stewart will get the important touches in the passing game and the Panthers just aren't a team to get either back more than an average load of carries. Figure it will be even more limited carries in the short week.
Ryan Williams, Cardinals -- That was a very unfortunate fumble for Williams, not that you started him this week. It will mean he won't be trusted to run out the clock in future weeks. Beanie Wells owners have to be smiling a little bit more right now. Williams has loads of fantasy potential, but he is merely a Wells backup and fantasy handcuff right now.
Jackie Battle, Chargers -- He might have taken over from Curtis Brinkley and Ronnie Brown as the backup to Ryan Mathews (shoulder), who could be back in Week 3. Battle rushed for 69 yards and two TDs, but he might be a limited contributor going forward if Mathews returns. You can cut Brinkley and Brown now, though.
Lamar Miller, Dolphins -- If he didn't leave college early, he might have been a first-round pick down the road. Instead, he will have to bide his time behind Bush in a contract year. Miller is the handcuff right now because Daniel Thomas has a head injury, but he isn't worth owning otherwise. There won't be many blowout weeks that afford him a late TD like that.
Randy Moss, 49ers -- His limited use makes him not worth owning, much less starting in fantasy. You should consider Mario Manningham over him, even. Michael Crabtree is Alex Smith's go-to receiver, while Vernon Davis is an oft-targeted tight end. San Francisco also likes to play it close to the vest and throw to the backs. Moss might be a factor for a few red-zone tosses a week -- he did draw a pass inference penalty -- but he isn't going to be left wide open like he was against the Packers in Week 1.
Dez Bryant, Cowboys -- The added rest should have made Bryant more potent against the Seahawks. Instead, fantasy owners are left wondering which Bryant will show up next week against the Bucs. Barring injury, Bryant has to be kept active, though.
Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs -- So much for the talk the holdout kept Bowe from being a big part of the Chiefs offense. He just doesn't have the whole playbook consumed ... blah, blah, blah. Bowe is one of fantasy's receiving stars. He is a must-start at New Orleans next week. There should be a lot of garbage time in that one.
DeSean Jackson, Eagles -- His hammy limited him far less than a hip issue limited Jeremy Maclin, apparently. Jackson's 7-114 makes him a solid starter in all leagues for Week 3, especially if Maclin remains on the injury report.
Vincent Jackson, Buccaneers -- He had a huge day (5-128 and a TD) against a banged-up Giants secondary, but he will find things harder to come by against the Cowboys' great corners next week. Regardless, this effort will force you to start him in almost all leagues.
Mike Williams, Buccaneers -- He reeled in another TD, but unlike Jackson, Williams doesn't have to be in fantasy lineups against the Cowboys in Week 3. The good news with Williams is he and Josh Freeman look a lot closer to their 2010 form than what we saw in 2011.
Marques Colston, Saints -- You have to be frustrated after a dud week from him, but you cannot sit him against the suspect Chiefs defense, whether or not CB Brandon Flowers plays. Stay patient with Colston. You drafted him knowing full well the Saints spread the ball around. You have to keep Colston in your lineup or you run the risk of missing his best week(s).
Malcom Floyd, Chargers -- Let's call this one: Floyd is Rivers' go-to WR with Vincent Brown (ankle) out until at least midseason. Robert Meachem just doesn't get the targets, or catches, Floyd gets. Consider Floyd a decent starter because of his dominance as the go-to WR for a top-12 QB.
Randall Cobb, Packers -- That went over terribly Thursday night. Cobb is a solid sleeper in deeper leagues, especially PPR formats, because he is working as the third-down back in a pass-heavy offense, but lining him up at RB does subject him to front-seven punishment a small-framed receiver just isn't accustomed to. He was banged up against the Bears and it might affect how he is used in future weeks.
James Jones, Packers -- Like Cobb, Jones was a huge bust in Week 2, when he should have gotten all the targets that usually are reserved for Greg Jennings (groin), who was out. Somehow the Packers learned to use their running game. Good news for Benson going forward. Not great news for those hoping Jones was going to be Jennings-like or even Jordy Nelson-like as a stopgap.
Darrius Heyward-Bey, Raiders -- This was supposed to be a breakout year for him, particularly with a full camp and season with Carson Palmer, but Denarius Moore was the more productive WR. Moreover, the Raiders are looking like a team that will spread the ball around a lot. Don't consider any of the Raiders WRs a true fantasy start before the bye weeks.
Kevin Ogletree, Cowboys -- We warned you. He wasn't going to have big weeks with Miles Austin and Bryant healthy and getting a full complement of practice reps. Ogletree should be owned, but he just isn't a fantasy starter until the bye weeks start.
Andrew Hawkins, Bengals -- If Week 1 didn't do enough to open your eyes to this sleeper slot man, that 50-yard catch and run should. Hawkins looks like he might be worth owning in deeper fantasy leagues. Just don't bother starting him against that Redskins secondary next week.
Donnie Avery, Colts -- With Austin Collie (head) not contributing right now, Avery is the possession guy for Andrew Luck. It makes Avery a decent sleeper in three-WR formats, particularly PPR leagues. The Colts are going to be a pass-heavy team in most weeks.
Brian Hartline, Dolphins -- You shouldn't dare start him against the Jets next week, but Hartline clearly is Ryan Tannehill's go-to guy. In that offense, there could be plenty of targets and receptions for Hartline. It makes him an intriguing sleeper in PPR formats and a bye-week replacement when the matchup is right down the road.
Dexter McCluster, Chiefs -- His receptions totals were down, but he was still the second-best receiver Matt Cassel had. The game in New Orleans next weekend should be a decent one to consider McCluster, especially in PPR formats.
Leonard Hankerson, Redskins -- The sophomore moved the needle again with a 68-yard TD reception. You cannot count on this in future weeks, especially because Pierre Garcon was inactive. Aldrick Robinson and Josh Morgan (not Santana Moss) might still be more intriguing WR fliers than Hankerson at this point.
Jacob Tamme, Broncos -- It wasn't the mere two catches for 13 yards that should lead owners to cut him for a more productive tight end off waivers. It is the amount of targets that led to interceptions or near interceptions. Manning threw picks trying to force the ball to buddies Tamme and Brandon Stokley. The old quarterback genius will be turning to those to far less as the season wears on.
Dante Rosario, Chargers -- OK, so we were wrong about Antonio Gates playing. If you have Gates, you have to handcuff him with Rosario, who reeled in three TDs in Gates' place. Rosario is only worth using in fantasy if Gates is out against the Falcons next week.
Jason Witten, Cowboys -- After a quiet opener, Witten owners have to feel more comfortable about their TE. He looks like he can start, regardless of the matchup, going forward.
Brent Celek, Eagles -- He wasn't great in Week 1, but he was a monster here. It makes him one of the top 12 TEs to trust on a regular basis in fantasy. His 8-157 shows he isn't reliant on a TD reception like so many other marginal TE options.
Heath Miller, Steelers -- He is in a contract year and has reeled in TDs in each of the first two weeks. He is a threat for a short TD just about every week, if you need a sleeper at TE.
Kyle Rudolph, Vikings -- He is probably Christian Ponder's second-best target after Percy Harvin. That makes him a potential low-end starter at TE, although not against the 49ers in Week 2.
Dennis Pitta, Ravens -- Coming off a TD reception Monday night, he followed up with eight catches for 65 yards, proving to be Flacco's leading receiver against the Eagles. Pitta has outperformed fellow tight end Ed Dickson, who still isn't 100 percent, but Pitta probably isn't a great play against the Pats. They were one of the best teams in fantasy against TEs a year ago and are off to a good start in that category again. Pitta will be popular off waivers, but we might have seen the best of him already. Dickson can make up ground as we move forward.
Coby Fleener, Colts -- He didn't quite get as many targets this week and probably is less than a top-12 fantasy starter. Also, fellow rookie TE Dwayne Allen vultured a TD catch.
Brandon Myers, Raiders -- He was busy this week, but he is merely the latest TE to have a surprising game. He is more of a guy to watch on waivers than one to pick up right now.
Scott Chandler, Bills -- Much like his start to last season, Chandler reels in a TD pass in back-to-back weeks. The problem with trusting him in fantasy is the Bills' inconsistent QB play and the fact he doesn't get a consistent number of targets or receptions. It is very hard to calculate what weeks those short TD passes might come. Don't consider him in fantasy, unless you're OK with rolling the dice on a short TD reception.
Anthony McCoy, Seahawks -- A rookie QB's best friend is a good TE and McCoy led the Seahawks receivers, but he isn't a reliable fantasy option just yet. Consider one of the TEs above.
Adam Vinatieri, Colts -- A more vibrant Colts offense makes Vinatieri a solid fantasy starter, especially on his home turf. He kicked three field goals Sunday, including a 53-yarder to win it.
Redskins -- Week 2 saw a discouraging outing against the Rams. As bad as it was, though, the losses of two starters for the season -- including star linebacker Brian Orakpo (torn pectoral) -- are worse. This is a unit you can cut to stream D/STs with better matchups going forward.
Packers -- Their annihilation of the Bears makes them one of the elite units in fantasy again. That secondary loads up on picks, even if the Packers did give up garbage-time yardage. The front is a lot better than most give it credit for being. The Packers are a must-start in Week 3 at Seattle.
Giants -- The NASCAR rush was supposed to make this a serviceable fantasy unit and force turnovers. Well, the elite defensive ends aren't getting to the QB and the banged-up secondary is getting torched, particular on the non-Corey Webster side with Terrell Thomas (knee) out for the season and Prince Amukamara (ankle) still unavailable. It might be time to consider cutting this overrated unit. You definitely shouldn't start it against Cam Newton on the short week.
Bengals -- You can cut this unit now. If you make the rookie Weeden look like that, you are not a fantasy-worthy D/ST. That is a bad matchup in Week 3 at Washington, but if you cannot trust this unit against the Browns at home, who can you trust it against anyway?
Seahawks -- That was an impressive performance taming the Cowboys offense, but forget about using them against the Packers in Week 3. The Seahawks generally are a good play at home, but you don't want to use them against the Packers. After that they hit the road for two and face the Patriots at home after that. You cannot count on the Seahawks as a primary fantasy D/ST.
Raiders -- You did the right thing adding this unit, but now you can cut it. If Oakland cannot limit that Dolphins offense, you won't want it starting against anyone.
Eric Mack writes fantasy for SI.com. You find him on Twitter, where you can mock him, rip him and (doubtful) praise him before asking him for fantasy advice @EricMackFantasy. He reads all the messages there (guaranteed) and takes them very, very personally (not really).
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