Week 2 of the NFL is upon us and so are my Fantasy Football week 2 Studs and Duds. As always, I try not to state the obvious, and look for real value, or overvalued players on a week to week basis. I have some awfully interesting names on this week’s list. Check them out. All predictions are based on standard scoring leagues, good luck this week!
WEEK 2 STUDS:
Cleveland Browns RB Trent Richardson (90 Rushing Yards, 25 Receiving Yards, 2 Touchdowns)
Not the greatest NFL debut by any means. Trent was treated by a feisty Philadelphia Eagles defense and only managed a measly 39 yards on 19 carries. I don’t put it all on the rookie from Alabama though. The Browns offensive line was horrid and gave him little wiggle room all afternoon. Not too mention rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden did little to help Trent’s cause. While most are probably already cussing themselves out on taking a chance on Richardson, I will keep my faith in the rookie. Trent is no Ray Rice, but the Cincinnati Bengals did give up a total of 100 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries in week 1. Trent was the only Browns running back to receive a carry in week 1, and I believe that will transgress into a productive Sunday this week. Keep the faith Richardson owners, I know it’s hard to believe, but I think we might get two out of the rookie.
New York Giants QB Eli Manning (325 Passing Yards, 2 Touchdowns, 1 INT)
Disappointing start to the season for the defending Super Bowl champs and quarterback Eli Manning. Eli was off against the Dallas Cowboys in week 1 as he only threw for 213 yards and one touchdown. The only plus from his sub par performance was that he didn’t turn the ball over. Now he gets to redeem himself against a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team who just defeated Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. I’m not buying into the Bucs just yet, who did give up 300 yards through the air last week. Manning has faced Tampa Bay three times in his career. 5 TD passes and zero picks and rarely has two bad games in a row. Eli and the Giants also don’t want to start the season 0-2 with the first two games on their home turf. Look for Eli to air it out on Sunday and right the ship in New York with at least two touchdowns.
Detroit Lions WR Nate Burleson (6 Receptions, 85 Yards, 1 Touchdown)
Nate is a good sleeper play this week against the San Francisco 49ers. Matthew Stafford targeted Burleson eight times in week 1, catching six of them for 69 yards. Expect the 49ers to key on Calvin Johnson, thus opening things up for receivers like Burleson. The Lions don’t exactly have a stout running core, so if they want to win this game, it will have to be through the air. The 49ers run defense is just too strong, so expect somewhere around eight targets again for Nate. I suspect Nate finds the end zone in this one. Even better play if you are in a PPR format.
St. Louis Rams WR Danny Amendola (6 Receptions, 75 Receiving Yards, 1 Touchdown)
Another sleeper play for the week is Rams receiver Danny Amendola. Rams QB Sam Bradford clearly likes to look Amendola’s way often, and I believe the Rams have a legit chance at beating Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins today. The Rams offensive line is beyond poor so Bradford doesn’t get much time to look down the field. This plays to Amendola’s advantage being the slot receiver and I suspect he sees quite a few balls come his way against the Redskins.
New England Patriots WR Brandon Lloyd (6 Receptions 85 Receiving Yards, 1 Touchdown)
The days of Tom Brady to Wes Welker may be diminishing as there are talks that they are “phasing” him out of the offense. Whether that’s true or not, the reality is Brandon Lloyd was the most targeted receiver on the Patriots in week 1. That should continue against the Arizona Cardinals and pay off dividends to Lloyd owners. Historically, Lloyd is very successful against the Cardinals, and that’s when he was with the lowly Rams. Last season, he faced the Cardinals twice and had ten receptions for 154 yards and a touchdown. Let the good times roll.
WEEK 2 DUDS:
San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore (75 Rushing Yards, 1 Touchdown)
Frank Gore was a week 1 stud carrying the ball only 16 times for 112 yards and a touchdown. Looks like the 49ers are going to go with the philosophy of keeping Gore “fresh” by keeping his workload to a minimum. Last year, Gore had 15 carries for 145 yards and a touchdown against the Detroit Lions. As much as I want to believe he will repeat that, I just can’t do it. The Lions are a run and gun team, and if the 49ers happen to find themselves in a hole early, they may have to abandon Gore and his smash mouth style of play. I just think 16 carries will not be enough for him to produce like he did last week.
Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (225 Passing Yards, 40 Rushing Yards, 1 Touchdown)
That’s right, the talk of the NFL, Mr. Robert Griffin III has made it to my duds list. After an impressive outing in week 1 against the New Orleans Saints, Griffin’s stock has shot through the ceiling. I’m not a buyer yet, it’s going to take more than just one win to prove to me that he’s starter material. The Rams are not a very good team, but let’s give respect where it’s due. They held Matthew Stafford in check last Sunday, picking him off three times, only to lose in the final seconds. Jeff Fisher is a great coach and he knows how to prepare properly as we all saw last Sunday. I’m pretty sure coach Fisher has a good idea of how he wants to handle RG3 and it will show today in the turnover game. I think the Rams even bring the NFL world back to reality by beating the Redskins, and hushing the ridiculous hall of fame talk surrounding RG3. Start ‘em if you want, but he won’t repeat last week’s performance.
Denver Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas (4 Receptions, 69 Receiving Yards)
After one week, Thomas is the 3rd best fantasy WR in the league. He only caught five passes last week, but one of those receptions resulted in a 71-yard touchdown. So why does he qualify for my duds list? Simply because he’s a home run hitter, looking for the long ball and only the long ball. Let’s just say he doesn’t haul in that 71-yarder on Sunday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers. His stat line would look like this: 4 receptions, 39 receiving yards. Not exactly top three numbers by any means, but that’s all it takes is one strike from Peyton Manning and he looks like fantasy gold. The Atlanta Falcons secondary gave little room to the Kansas City Chiefs receivers last week, only allowing 5 receptions for 83 yards, and are the 2nd ranked pass defense through week 1. While I don’t expect Atlanta to hold Peyton and co. to those type of numbers, I do believe they will take the long ball away from them. Thus, hindering the production of Demaryius Thomas. If you like to gamble, then start Thomas, but don’t whine when he doesn’t haul in any 70+ yard touchdowns on Monday night football.
Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch (80 Rushing Yards, 20 Receiving Yards)
Lynch carried the load for Seattle in week 1, carrying the ball 21 times for 85 yards and no touchdowns. He has been dealing with some back problems, but he’s probable and will start against the Dallas Cowboys today. The Cowboys front four held the Giants to just 82 rushing yards in week 1, and also forced a fumble. I suspect DeMarcus Ware and the Cowboys will own the front line in this game and wreak havoc on rookie QB Russell Wilson. With no passing game to really fear, Lynch will not see many holes in this one.
Dallas Cowboys TE Jason Witten (4 Receptions, 35 Yards)
Was quite impressive that Jason Witten even saw the field last week against the Giants with a spleen injury, but he was out there throwing blocks and going about his business as usual. While I respect his toughness and effort, he’s just not start material at the moment. I would give it a week or two more before we see the real Jason Witten, as he can’t possibly be 100% with the spleen ordeal. The Seattle Seahawks surrendered 5 receptions for 40 yards against the Arizona Cardinals tight ends last week, and I suspect Witten will have a very similar stat line. Monitor Jason’s progress the next two weeks to see how that spleen is holding up, but don’t start him this week. You will regret it.
That will complete my fantasy football week 2 featured start em, sit em, or as we are calling them this week, studs and duds. As always, don’t hesitate to contact me if you have a lineup dilemma or fantasy football related question. Best of luck this week.
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