I’ve come to the realization that predicting Week 1 outcomes is like predicting the weather in a Midwest City.
Last week was difficult. If you missed my “Really Neat or Take a Seat” column for Week 1, then you failed to see that I told you to bench Demaryius Thomas and Mike Wallace, and start Eric Decker and Antonio Brown. If I would’ve known Champ would be shadowing Antonio Brown, or that those Broncos corners would’ve played so outstanding, I would’ve just avoided the situation all together.
And even worse, I told you to start the Bills’ defense against the pre-season-worst New York Jets’ offense. I also said that Titus Young would reap the benefits of being covered by a rookie cornerback.
But, to be fair, there were some gems in my column last week. I specifically told you to start “the RGIII to Pierre Garcon connection”, as well as Patriots’ running back Stevan Ridley. I said that Malcom Floyd and Brandon Marshall would both be solid starts as well (alright, Marshall wasn’t much of a prediction, but Floyd had a nice game).
Week 2 is always different. You’ve seen a glimpse of what teams are made of, and are able to better predict the result of player performances. That’s why I feel even better about this week’s picks.
Really Neat Week 1 Players
Bears’ running backs are really neat.
Did you see what the 49ers were able to do against the Packers last week on the ground? I expect both Forte and Bush to have solid games, and this game to end up with a lot of touchdowns.
Jordy Nelson is really neat.
The good part is that Greg Jennings won’t be playing Thursday, making Jordy Nelson the number one target on the Packers. The bad part is that Jordy Nelson is the number one target for the Packers.
Jamaal Charles is really neat.
That Bills’ defense was poor against the Jets on Sunday, and Shonn Greene rushed for almost 100 yards. While his average per carry wasn’t all that spectacular, I think Kansas City will be able to showcase what they want to do this year, and that’s run the ball.
The Bengals’ defense is really neat.
It’s sad, but any defense playing against Brandon Weeden is a great fantasy play. Even a defense that looked awful against Joe Flacco during Week 1.
Cam Newton, Steve Smith and Brandon LaFell are really neat.
RGIII was able to pick apart that leaky Saints’ secondary on Sunday, so why can’t Cam? I think the Panthers turn things around on offense, especially through the air.
The New England offense is really neat.
It’s going to be very difficult to bench anyone on this offense from week to week, including the Week 1 underperforming Wes Welker. I called Ridley right last week, and I see it happening again versus Arizona.
Josh Freeman is really neat.
The Giants’ secondary is far from spectacular, as shown by Tony Romo’s performance last Thursday. If Josh Freeman is on your bench, and you’ve got a questionable starter, feel alright about putting him in your lineup this week.
Eric Decker is really neat.
I admit it. I was wrong about Decker last week. Not that 5 receptions and 54 yards is horrendous, though. I just had higher expectations. With Brent Grimes falling to a season-ending injury in Atlanta, I could see Peyton and company having a field day in Atlanta this week. Peyton is back indoors!
CJ Spiller is really neat.
Spiller becomes a must start in all league formats after the injury of Fred Jackson. His matchup isn’t horrible either.
James Jones is really neat.
The Packers’ wideout saw 6 passes come his way and caught 4 of them for 81 yards and a touchdown during week 1. With Jennings out, James Jones’ should see an increased role against Chicago.
Alfred Morris is really neat.
While I’m an advocate of selling Alfie high, he does have a very favorable matchup against St. Louis this week. Start him if you have him.
Jonathan Dwyer is really neat.
Mike Tomlin has said that he wants to get Dwyer the ball this week. Given the way the Jets covered the run last week, that could be great for Dwyer owners. But I must warn you: Rashard Mendenhall is practicing, and Dwyer missed practice today with a hurt foot. Watch the situation closely.
A healthy Antonio Gates is really neat.
Healthy is the key word. Gronkowski and Hernandez both scored against the Titans last week, and I’d expect the same from the Chargers’ tight end.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is really neat.
Isn’t he coming off of an awful performance against the Jets? Yes, he is, but he’s also playing against a defense that was torched by Matt Ryan. No, Ryan Fitzpatrick isn’t Matty Ice, but if you’re weak at quarterback, you could do worse.
Other Really Neat Players: Jimmy Graham, Jermaine Gresham, Jared Cook, Roddy White, AJ Green, Percy Harvin, Darren McFadden, Arian Foster, Ray Rice, Ahmad Bradshaw, Adrian Peterson, Drew Brees, Cam Newton.
Take a Seat Week 1 Players
Kevin Smith should take a seat.
Cedric Benson owners know what happens when a running back meets the 49ers defense. You’ve been warned.
Chris Johnson should take a seat (in non-PPR leagues).
My pre-season love for Chris Johnson was slowed when I became infatuated with other top backs. Luckily I don’t own him in any leagues, but given the matchup against the Chargers, bench him if you have workable options. Just don’t be stupid, please.
Russell Wilson and Sidney Rice should take a seat.
Those corners in Dallas looked pretty good against Eli, huh? Don’t take the gamble with these Seahawks this week against the Boys.
Cardinals’ running backs should take a seat.
The New England front seven is much improved from last season, and the Cards’ running backs couldn’t get any movement against the Seahawks on Sunday. If I’m a Ryan Williams or Beanie Wells owner, I’m looking elsewhere.
Blaine Gabbert should take a seat.
You may be wondering why Blaine Gabbert is even on this list, but he actually put up decent numbers against the Vikings last week. Now he’s got Houston. Good luck if you start him.
DeAngelo Williams should take a seat.
While the matchup is encouraging, DeAngelo Williams just looks like he’s lost a step. With Jonathan Stewart potentially stepping in this week, I’d stay away from the once fantasy stud.
Anquan Boldin should take a seat.
He had 5 targets against the Bengals, including a “touchdown”. (Come on, he didn’t keep control of that ball.) I just wouldn’t gamble on him this week against a good Eagles’ defense.
Titans’ wide receivers should take a seat.
While Carson Palmer put up decent yardage numbers against the Chargers last week, the real reason I don’t like Titans’ wideouts is due to the uncertainty throughout the offense.
Andy Dalton should take a seat.
As much as I dislike Michael Vick as a quarterback, I don’t want to blame his entire performance from Sunday strictly on him. The Browns’ defense is legit, folks. And it has been. Dalton is a marginal start anyway, but stay away from him in this divisional matchup.
Chargers’ running backs should take a seat.
It doesn’t look good for Mathews this week, and the Chargers had the third worst rushing performance in the NFL during Week 1. NOPE.
Ben Roethlisberger should take a seat.
The Jets’ defense made Ryan Fitzpatrick look silly. Ben Roethlisberger is clearly a better quarterback, but I wouldn’t expect more than a mediocre performance. (Written before Revis’ injury.)
Other Take a Seat Players: Michael Vick, Jeremy Maclin, Michael Turner, Roy Helu, Isaac Redman, Justin Blackmon, Dennis Pitta