If you pulled out a victory (or victories) on opening weekend, congratulations. If you came up short, there’s no reason to panic. It’s only one week.
Stay active on waivers, investigate any and all trade opportunities and keep a positive frame of mind. These are the tricks of the experienced and savvy fantasy owner.
And by all means, continue putting in the time and research required to set your optimum lineup…
Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions: The third-year quarterback out of Georgia just torched the Buccaneers defense for 305 yards and three touchdowns and now gets to come home (and indoors!) to play a Kansas City team that surrendered 41 points at home to the Buffalo Bills last Sunday. With Chiefs safety Eric Berry out for the season (ACL), Stafford should make another run at 300 yards this weekend.
Peyton Hillis, RB, Cleveland Browns: Hillis contributed just 57 yards on 17 carries to a disgustingly bad Cleveland performance last Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. Look for the Browns to get back to basics and feature a heavy dose of the running game at Indianapolis this Sunday against a Gary Brackett-less Colts defense that gave up 167 rushing yards and 34 total points in Week 1. As we always say, “You’ve got to keep the ball away from Kerry Collins!” Wait, what?
Malcom Floyd, WR, San Diego Chargers: Floyd caught only three passes for 45 yards in Week 1 against the Minnesota Vikings, but he was targeted eight times and is walking into what many believe will be a high-flying shootout against the New England Patriots. With Bill Belichick’s crew preparing to limit playmakers Vincent Jackson and Antonio Gates, Floyd will benefit from favorable coverage matchups, just like Davone Bess (5 rec, 92 yards) did this past Monday against the Patriots.
Tony Gonzalez, TE, Atlanta Falcons: No team in the NFL surrendered more fantasy points to opposing tight ends in 2010 than the Philadelphia Eagles. Guess who Tony G plays this weekend? While Philly’s elite cornerback unit of Nnamdi Asomugha, Asante Samuel and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie should have some success against Roddy White and Julio Jones, the Eagles’ young and inexperienced linebacking unit is in for a big test against a savvy veteran like Gonzalez.
Jahvid Best, RB, Detroit Lions: For all the reasons we listed above when discussing why you should start Stafford, along with the fact that Fred Jackson posted 117 total yards against this defense last Sunday. Best will make a run at a 20-point day.
Minnesota Vikings, D/ST: The Buccaneers mustered a semi-respectable 20 points at home against the Detroit Lions last weekend, but now must travel to Minnesota to take on a Vikings team that is 18-6 at home over the last three years. During that stretch, Minnesota gave up an average of just 18.4 points per game with 39 forced turnovers and 69 sacks. It’s going to be loud in the dome on Sunday, which gives a guy like Jared Allen a major advantage in regards to the snap count.
Chad Henne, QB, Miami Dolphins: If you own a guy like Brees, Rodgers or Brady and Henne is your backup, stick with your stud. However, Henne makes for a nice start this Sunday at home against a Houston Texans team that is a bit overvalued at the moment coming off their Week 1 annihilation of the Indianapolis Colts. This guy isn’t perfect, but Henne did throw for 400+ yards last week and finally figured out a way to take advantage of Pro Bowl wideout Brandon Marshall. The game could turn into a shootout in a hurry.
James Starks, RB, Green Bay Packers: Starks rushed for 57 yards and a touchdown in Week 1 against the Saints despite touching the ball only 12 times. While he’ll lose some carries once again to Ryan Grant this Sunday, the Packers travel to Carolina to take on a Panthers team they should have absolutely no problem building a lead on. Once that happens, look for Starks to see nice piece of the workload as Green Bay attempts to grind down the clock.
Jabar Gaffney, WR, Washington Redskins: Gaffney rolled up 11 fantasy points (standard scoring) on seven targets in last week’s win over the New York Giants. This weekend, the former Florida Gator gets a crack at an Arizona Cardinals secondary that just surrendered over 400 passing yards to a rookie quarterback who was making his NFL debut. Quarterback Rex Grossman should light this defense up, with Gaffney playing the role of one of his top targets.
Ed Dickson, TE, Baltimore Ravens: The second-year man out of Oregon burst onto the fantasy scene in last Sunday’s blowout win over the Pittsburgh Steelers when he hauled in five passes for 59 yards and a score on five targets. I think Baltimore may get caught overlooking the Titans in Tennessee this Sunday, but Dickson should be used enough on offense to produce a respectable fantasy total.
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