Week 2 Sit-Start Where to Put em

fantasy football rankings
Where to Put 'em is the Fantasy Football Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for Week 2 of the NFL season. Decisions are based upon the FFN rankings and matchup analysis. Given the known conditions, these matchups are the ones to watch and/or avoid.



This list does not generally include the elite players that you are going to start regardless of matchup. You don't need us to tell you to start Aaron Rodgers, Andre Johnson, or Ray Rice. Where to Put 'em takes a look at other players on your team that we believe either have great matchups or should be avoided for multiple reasons. Factors like opposing defense, performance trending, and peer comparisons may influence our decisions.

Put 'em In The Game: Robert Griffin III
Madden perhaps summed it up best when he said that RG3 is like Tim Tebow...except that he can throw. We recommended RG3 as a start last week and he didn't disappoint throwing for 320 yards and a pair of scores against a Saints defense that seemed incapable of rattling him. He'll face the Rams this week and should be able to dominate that secondary as well. Griffin is certainly playing like a QB1 so we're going to treat him as such.
Put 'em In The Game: Peyton Manning
Last night on Sirius XM Radio, legendary running back LaDanian Tomlinson said that there's nobody in the Atlanta secondary that scares him in the matchup with Peyton Manning and the Broncos. If Matt Ryan and the Falcons take to the air, you can expect Peyton and company to do so as well. Thomas, Decker, and Tamme were fantastic weapons last week and that should continue this week.
Put 'em In The Game: Philip Rivers
I think I speak for all of fantasy nation when I say that we expected a bit more out of Philip Rivers last week - not that he was terrible by any means - we just expected...more. 231 yards and a score is still a good day. We're expecting an uptick this week at home against the Titans. When Ridley wasn't running all over the field, Tom Brady and the Pats were able to carve up the Titans secondary, particularly with their TE's. Expect a healthy does of Rivers and Gates.
Put 'em In The Game: C.J. Spiller
When Fred Jackson went down last week, CJ Spiller filled in nicely. Did I say "nicely"? I meant to say ridiculously awesome. In just 14 carries, he amassed a whopping 169 yards! This was reminiscent of last season when Jackson went down and Spiller flourished in his absence. While Michael Turner didn't WOW anyone against KC last week, CJ Spiller is much more explosive than Turner the Burner right now. We're expecting double digit fantasy points out of Spiller this week.
Put 'em In The Game: Reggie Bush
Reggie Bush is unquestionably the best offensive weapon for the Miami Dolphins. Tannehill looked every bit the rookie that he is. Bush averaged a solid 4.9 yards/carry on 14 carries. His value gets a bump in PPR formats as he chipped in 6 receptions for 46 yards. With nobody else stepping up, expect to see Reggie Bush take the lead for Miami.
Put 'em In The Game: Stevan Ridley
The Patriots are much more well-known for their passing game than they are for the ground game. You wouldn't have known that by watching Stevan Ridley run circles around the Titans last week. With a lethal passing game, the Pats can create opportunities for Ridley. He has a decent matchup this week against the Cardinals.
Put 'em In The Game: Eric Decker
Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker could be one of the most potent 1-2 punches in the NFL. With Peyton Manning under center, Decker's value can only go up. The Falcons can be thrown on and Manning will likely do just that. With Thomas helping to spread the field, Manning should be able to target and find Decker throughout this game.
Put 'em In The Game: Reggie Wayne
As expected, Reggie Wayne became the security blanket for Andrew Luck. Wayne was the most targeted wide receiver in Week 1 against a pretty solid (yet Tillman-less) Chicago defense. Luck and Wayne will face the Vikings this week who are no longer the defensive powerhouse that they once were. Wayne should be very involved in this offense which brings him back to WR1 status.
Put 'em In The Game: Steve Johnson
Kansas City was torched last week by the Atlanta Falcons so expect the Bills to borrow from that playbook. All reports indicate that Stevie Johnson's groin injury wasn't aggravated against the Jets so it's a happy, healthy Johnson this week. David Nelson is out this week so Johnson should see an uptick in targets.
Put 'em In The Game: Jacob Tamme
It feels a bit weird to be on a Broncos love fest, but what's not to love about a team that looked so dominating last week? We called Tamme our breakout TE candidate for 2012 and he didn't disappoint on Sunday night. He caught everything that came his way including a short pass for a score. As long as the Broncos are rolling, we're hitching a ride.
Put 'em In The Game: Coby Fleener
There's an old cliche that says that sales is a numbers game. The more opportunities you have, the more sales you can achieve. Fantasy football can be very similar. After Reggie Wayne, Coby Fleener was the next most targeted guy on the team last week. Fleener saw ten targets which is huge by any standard. He had 6 receptions for 82 yards last week which is a good day for any starting wide receiver much less a tight end. With opportunity comes success and Fleener has the opportunity to see fantasy success this week.
Put 'em In The Game: Matt Bryant
What's one thing Matt Bryant and Nate Kaeding have in common? Each lit up the fantasy stat columns last week scoring more points than Greg Jennings and Wes Welker...combined! When the Broncos head into Atlanta on Monday night, the scoreboard should change often enough to give Matt Bryant a boost in his fantasy value.
Put 'em In The Game: Houston Texans
The Houston defense is starting to deliver on preseason expectations. They are coming off a double-digit fantasy week and looking to take on Blaine Gabbert and the Jacksonville Jaguars. It doesn't look like J.J. Watt and company are missing Mario Williams. This is a beautiful matchup for the Texans.
Put 'em On The Bench: Mark Sanchez
How in the world can anyone suggest benching Mark Sanchez after coming off an incredible Week 1 performance? The reason is that the Steelers are not the Bills and Mark Sanchez is not Peyton Manning. We're not alone in this assessment as most experts are pegging Sanchez outside the Top 12 this week making him more of a QB2 this week. While the potential exists for Sanchez to light it up, the odds are slim.
Put 'em On The Bench: Joe Flacco
Joe Flacco came out swinging on Monday night. His opening play had him tossing it downfield to Torrey Smith for a big gain. As the pundits would have us believe, Flacco is on the verge of a breakout year. It could happen, but it won't likely be this week. The Eagles secondary is one of the best in the NFL and QB's tended to struggle against them last season. Brandon Weeden was pathetic against them last week, and Flacco will certainly do better than Weeden, but not enough to warrant QB1 status.
Put 'em On The Bench: Michael Turner
We're not saying that Turner is in a must-bench situation, but we want to temper expectations for him this week. When Matt Ryan and company face off against Peyton Manning and the Broncos, it's likely to play out a lot through the air. The Falcons went to the air hot and heavy last week leaving Turner the Burner with only 11 carries for a disgustingly low 32 yards. If you have a better alternative to Turner this week, play the alternative. Otherwise, cross your fingers and hope for some goal line opportunities.
Put 'em On The Bench: Kevin Smith
You know that warm fuzzy feeling you had when watching Kevin Smith get into the endzone twice last week? Well...forget about it. That's not going to happen this week against San Francisco. The 49ers do not like running backs and it's awfully rare to see any of them see the endzone. Not that it was all that hard to do, but the 49ers rendered Cedric Benson a complete non-factor last week. Benson could have stayed on the sidelines and his fantasy stats wouldn't be all that different.
Put 'em On The Bench: Torrey Smith
We might sound like a broken record here, but we'll say it again: Torrey Smith is a boom or bust player. When he delivers, he delivers in a big way. When he doesn't...well, his consistency isn't what we'd like it to be. This week we're anticipating a low fantasy day - likely similar to his 2 for 57 yard performance on Monday night. He'll be lined up against Nnamdi Asomugha and that's a tough assignment for any wide receiver.
Put 'em On The Bench: Kenny Britt
Please don't email asking whether or not to start Kenny Britt. A lot of people drafted Britt and got excited to see that he'd only serve a 1 game suspension. Just because he's back doesn't mean that he should be started though. He's a risky play this week. Jake Locker will likely play but he's coming off a non-throwing shoulder injury and Britt himself is coming off knee surgery. Britt has potential - even against San Diego - but I'd like to see what kind of shape and rapport he has before plugging him into a lineup.
Put 'em On The Bench: Brent Celek
The addition of Clay Harbor to the TE mix in Philadelphia has hurt the fantasy value of Brent Celek. We saw it in the preseason when Harbor outplayed and outscored Celek. We saw some of that again last week against Cleveland with Harbor seeing the endzone and Celek seeing only 4 receptions. The Ravens are incredibly tough on opposing TE's coughing up the 2nd-fewest points to them last season. The only saving grace for Celek this week would come if Jackson and Maclin are unable to go. At that point - who else is there to throw to?
Put 'em On The Bench: Steven Hauschka
Steven Hauschka did well against the Cardinals last week but the Seahawks will have difficulties moving the ball against Dallas this week. In the season opener, Dallas held Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes to just one field goal. Hauschka will likely face the same obstacle.
Put 'em On The Bench: Denver Broncos
The Denver/Atlanta game on Monday night will likely be a shoot out. Matt Ryan will throw a lot, and as good as the Broncos are on defense, it won't be enough to stop Julio Jones, Roddy White, and Tony Gonzalez from seeing the endzone. Kansas City thought they could put the clamps on the Falcons and they ended up giving fantasy owners negative points. That's not what you want if your fantasy matchup depends on what happens on Monday night.

Comments

Jscott11
September 13, 2012

Peyton Manning or RG3 to start - thx for the help. Both are on the road. Atlantas D if tougher than St. Louis. RG3 is playing on turf in the dome. Help!

Nerd
September 14, 2012

That's a tough one. I think Peyton is likely the safer play only because we know so much more about him, but I like RG3 to ultimately have the better day.

irishgobrah
September 14, 2012

Do you think R. Mathews will play enough to make a difference in week 2? I'm trying to avoid the week 1 A.P. fiasco.

Miss. Ko Jones
September 15, 2012

Who to start Rivers or RG3, last week I went Rivers and you all know what happen

Nerd
September 15, 2012

@irishgobrah: I have Mathews myself in several leagues and I'm not comfortable starting him yet.



@Miss. Ko Jones: You never know what will happen but I'd take my chances with RG3 this week.

coachtice89
September 16, 2012

Dwyer-Pit or Holmes- jets on flex spot. Leaning toward dwyer.

Nerd
September 16, 2012

I'd play Jonathan Dwyer

Lutefisk
September 16, 2012

According to the rankings a banged up D Murray v. Seahawks ought to get the start over Ridley v Cards. Would you stick to the stats or maybe give Ridley the start? An even tougher call is Luck or Alex Smith this week? Thanks.

Dr. Strangelove
September 16, 2012

With Garcon out for the game today, what is your thought about playing Aldrick Robinson? Had a big game last week with Garcon out and RG3 will be looking for him. Dez Bryant, Michael Crabtree or Heyward-Bey are other WR. L says hi!

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