I receive Tweets, posts, comments, and emails weekly about who to play and who to sit out. So I decided to write an article to help you see what I am thinking and why. I will not be mentioning the elite players here because it is a waste of time, as they should be started regardless of matchup. If you should play them I list them under “Cash In” and if you should sit them, I list those under “Keep Out”.
If Drew Brees, Calvin Johnson, or Adrian Peterson is active, then play them. Look back at my 12 Fantasy Rules to Live By and you will see that Rule 4 is to play your studs, so do it. I heard a story about an owner starting Terrelle Pryor over Peyton Manning in week 1. While Pryor had a good fantasy debut, Manning tripled his score. Play your studs!
Here are a few sneaky plays for week 2 and a few guys I would consider benching depending on your team.
Michael Vick, in that new high powered Philadelphia offense will be torching the San Diego Chargers defense. The Chargers let Matt Schaub throw for almost 350 yards on Monday night. This defense will be tired and beat up while traveling to the east coast. This has a big game written all over it for Vick and the rest of the Eagles.
Jay Cutler looked very good week one, especially on the game winning drive. The Chicago Bears beat a tough Cincinnati Bengals team and did it with all the pressure on them, which is different for a Cutler ran offense. This week they play the Minnesota Vikings who looked bad against the pass last week. Expect Cutler to have a couple touchdown tosses at least.
Terrelle Pryor might be the surprise of the year. He beat out Matt Flynn for the starting job in Oakland and scored over 20 pts week one. He has actually scored over 20 pts in both the games he has started in his career (2012 season finale). This week he goes against Jacksonville Jaguars, who made Alex Smith look elite. Pryor could be in for another big game.
Ben Rothlisberger is at Cincinnati with no real run game and missing his best offensive linemen. This is just a horrible match up to begin with and just keeps getting worse. This is like a car crash that you just can’t help but watch.
Sam Bradford facing up against an Atlanta Falcon team that held Drew Brees to an average Qb type day will be ready for the Rams. He did good week one but most of his damage was to his TE, Jared Cook. Cook shouldn’t do that well this week when the Falcons are used to playing Jimmy Graham twice a year. Not a good fit this week.
Colin Kaepernick has a lot of hype right now and rightfully so, but this could be a tough week for him. The San Francisco 49ers will face a tough Seattle Seahawk team in Seattle. Last week the Seahawk defense held Cam Newton in check. Do not expect week one numbers from Kaepernick this week and I would avoid playing him if you have a solid backup.
David Wilson of the New York Giants had an awful week one, I know. He was benched, I know. He has more competition for carries, I know. That being said, the Giants will have to establish a run game to give their defense a break and ease up the pass rush from the Denver Broncos. Rice did good against this defense week one, I expect Wilson to do the same.
DeAngelo Williams did better than most thought against a tough Seattle defense. He now faces a Bills defense that was torched by Shane Vereen of the New England Patriots last week. The offensive line looked like they could open some holes and Williams was running hard. I expect this to continue throughout the year to help Cam Newton and the offense as a whole
Knowshon Moreno will still be the leading back for the explosive Denver Broncos offense. The New York Giants let a fragile DeMarco Murray get going in the rush and pass game. This could be a great play this week when all the focus is on the pass game.
Lamar Miller of the Miami Dolphins have many of us fantasy owners nervous, including myself. He came in with a lot of hype, won the job in preseason and disappointed us all in week one. Well, unless you were playing against him, bet you were happy. Until we see he can get a rush longer than 3 yards you should hold him out.
Rashard Mendenhall gets this spot due to the fact that Detroit Lions held AP in check for the whole game but one big run. That in addition to the way Detroit can score points, it should be a pass happy game. This leads to a bad game for Mend.
Any Patriots Receivers versus the Jets. Tom Brady will throw the ball and those guys will have to catch it, especially Kenbrell Thompkins and Julian Edelman. Thompkins was targeted 14 times in week one and Edelman scored two touchdowns. All the injuries to other Patriot pass catchers will lead to big game for these guys.
Steve Smith, my boy, sorry I doubted him last week but won’t do that again. He racked up over 50 yards and a touchdown on 6 receptions against the Seattle secondary. The Carolina Panthers will look his way and he normally cashes in when he gets his chances.
Marlon Brown gets the start for Baltimore Ravens and in our cash in segment. He goes up against the Browns who made Hartline look like a big time receiver a week ago. I expect him to get many targets and make good on enough of them.
T.Y Hilton, who I loved a week ago and did nothing, lands on the beware side of fantasy. He has all the skills to be a good receiver in the NFL but the new offense and him not being a great run blocker limits his snap count. Until we see the coaching staff getting him more involved, he has to stay on the bench.
Marques Colston is going to the island known as Revis Island and no one catches much there. I like Lance Moore this week but not Colston at all. He should be man covered with a floater on the top, which equals a bad day!
There has been lots of chatter about Chris Givens, but I’m not sure it should be positive. I would wait to play Givens until we know he will be used more in the Rams attack. This might be more than just a trend.
Julius Thomas, the greatest call of my LIFE might have been this guy. There are too many weapons on this team and he should be the one left open the most. Peyton will throw to the open man and Thomas will catch it, that’s a great combo if I ever heard of one.
Brent Celek is a great fit into that new Philadelphia offense. He will be open in the middle often and get the red zone looks as well. This starts looking more and more like a must play.
Brandon Myers is a popular choice this week but it shouldn’t be. He is fighting for looks with three other guys who are better than him and Eli Manning likes his main guys better. Denver also saw they were exposed by the TE’s of Baltimore but they couldn’t cash in, I see them making adjustment to stop it.
Dallas Clark of the Baltimore Ravens. He forgot how to catch and has lost a lot of trust in the offense. This makes him a wait and see type of player, so yea do that.
Green Bay Packers play the Washington Redskins who couldn’t get the run game going and had a hobbled RG3. The Packers will tee off on RG3 and cause havoc on that offense, great start. One name, Clay Mathews.
San Francisco has a scary defense but this weekend they will be hit by an explosive offense. The Seahawks can get plenty of yards and points and might find themselves in a track meet with the 49ers which is bad news for a banged up defense. Also Lynch wants to shut up the haters, what a better time than now.
Once again if you have any questions feel free to ask and follow me on Twitter @coachf22 where I answer every question you got. Good Luck!