Jay Cutler @ DAL
O RLY?, says the Internet meme owl. YES RLY. I wouldn’t be surprised if Cutler racks up decent yardage, but Cutler is at his worst when he’s getting hit and hurried — and the Cowboys D-line shouldn’t have any trouble getting through the Bears blockers. Be very careful if your league penalizes turnovers heavily as I wouldn’t be surprised to see 3+ picks/fumbles from Cutler.
Tom Brady @ NYJ
Brady is the polar opposite of Cutler — I foresee depressed yardage but I wouldn’t be too worried about his TD/INT numbers. Revis is a concern, but possibly as important is the loss of Kris Jenkins. If the Patriots feel like they can run on the Jets, there may not be much opportunity for Brady to accumulate his typical numbers.
Michael Vick @ DET
I’m not quite as high on Vick as some folks — his passing was still pretty inconsistent, and while he did run well, it was more along the lines of “Oh, look, that QB is a good runner”, not the old Vick who looked like he could have started at RB for any team in the league. That said, this is Detroit, it’d be surprising if Vick didn’t put up at least respectable starter numbers this week.
Joe Flacco @ CIN
Don’t let the 1st game difficulties dissuade you from using Flacco this week. The Bengals have their own shutdown corner, but Leon Hall’s shutdown isn’t the same as Darrelle Revis’s shutdown. I expect Flacco to bounce back with 200+ yards and a couple TD’s.
Ronnie Brown @ MIN
Pierre Thomas had some success against MIN, but a lot of those yards came late in the game, and I don’t think the Vikings will be quite as scared of Henne as they were Brees. I’d consider Brown a RB2 or lower this week.
Tim Hightower @ ATL
Beanie Wells is likely to return this week, and even if he’s not 100%, Hightower’s lackluster performance in Week 1 against a weak STL defense doesn’t bode well for role in the offense. He got his TD last week, but I wouldn’t count on it again.
Ahmad Bradshaw @ IND
We’ve seen what the Indy run defense looks like without Bob Sanders. You’ll be disappointed if you expect Arian Foster’s Week 1 numbers, but I’d look for 125+ yards and at least 1 touchdown. I’d even consider throwing Brandon Jacobs in there as a borderline RB2/Flex play. The Giants will want to keep the ball out of Peyton’s hands, and slow down the Colts’ pass-rushers, and that means a lot of running.
Cadillac Williams @ CAR
I’m not a huge Caddy fan, but he’s got his moments. Specifically, his moment is facing a bad run defense early in the season before injuries take their toll. Start him this week, enjoy the line, and then shop him around.
Calvin Johnson vs. PHI
Too talented to bench outright in most leagues, but the loss of Stafford does hurt. Megatron has demonstrated that he can put up respectable numbers with almost any at QB, but it’s certainly a downgrade, and a disappointment after finally thinking that we’d get a full season of CJ with a competent passer looking his way.
Donald Driver vs. BUF
Driver salvaged his first week with a TD, but he’s looking like a clear #3 behind Jennings and Finley, and with what should be an easy day against the Bills, he may not get enough looks to make him a worthwhile play.
Malcolm Floyd vs. JAX
Naanee’s performance overshadowed Floyd, but don’t overlook the fact that Naanee benefited from a defensive breakdown, and Floyd was targeted 12 times. While he isn’t likely to suddenly become a very efficient WR, it’d be extremely unlikely for him to only convert 25% of the balls thrown his way. This is the second week in a row I’ve put Floyd in the Start section, so I’m doubling down and hoping to cash in.
Desean Jackson @ DET
Don’t let Vick’s presence scare you off Jackson. Vick isn’t the best downfield thrower, but then Jackson’s big plays often come on shorter routes with lots of yards after the catch, and if the Eagles can get the ball to him, he can abuse the Lions secondary.
Todd Heap @ CIN
I still like Heap’s ability and role in the offense, but rather a caution that Heap didn’t practice on Wednesday and expressed doubt that he’d be ready for Week 2. I wouldn’t rely on him even if he plays — go ahead and find your replacement.
Chris Cooley vs. HOU
See what I did? Fantasy football is risk management. 2 TE’s were coming back from serious injuries, and I had them both as Sits last week. Owen Daniels didn’t look ready to resume his role in the pass offense, but Cooley shed any lingering doubts. Play him with confidence.
Jets vs. NE
See, this is why I never draft a defense early. If you have the Jets defense, you undoubtedly took them several rounds before the end of the draft. Now you feel compelled to hold on to them. And now you have to decide if you can risk starting them against what looks to be an explosive Pats offense. If you decide you can’t, then you’ve got to drop them (and risk losing them to another team) or drop another player from your bench to make room for a second defense.
Titans vs. PIT
And conversely, this is why I love streaming defenses. I played Miami in Week 1 against Buffalo, and then had no qualms about dropping them for the Titans who are facing a Dennis Dixon-led Steelers team that was somewhat less than an offensive juggernaut last week.