Fantasy Football Week 2: Versus Decision-Maker
Week one of the 2012 NFL season is already in the books, and, as you scramble to quickly nab the likes of Kevin Ogletree and Alfred Morris off the waiver wire, week two is already upon us, with the Packers having smacked the Bears around Lambeau Field last night 23-10.
So, in lieu of you racking your own already-drained, end-of-the-week brain regarding your tough roster decisions, allow me:
Matt Schaub (Texans) vs. Robert Griffin III (Redskins)
Chances are, you watched helplessly Sunday as RGIII absolutely torched the Saints in leading the Redskins to a shocking 40-point barrage as he sat simultaneously on your fantasy team’s bench. Chances would also seem likely that he did this at the same time somebody like Matthew Stafford or Michael Vick single-handedly torpedoed your team’s chances of victory by repeatedly throwing the ball to the defense.
This week, Griffin and his Redskins will take on the Rams. While this looks favorable on paper by virtue of it being, uh, THE RAMS, remember that they did intercept the aforementioned Stafford three times in their narrow loss in Detroit last week.
Matt Schaub, meanwhile, looked good in his return from a Lisfranc injury against Miami, throwing for over 260 yards with a score and no interceptions. He’ll be going up against a Jacksonville unit that allowed Christian Ponder and his ragtag bunch of receivers to throw for 270 yards last week.
While it’s obviously tough to completely buy into a rookie like Griffin, remember the situation in which Schaub finds himself. He’s the maestro of a highly-potent offense, and, as such, will likely be playing a large chunk of the game in Jacksonville with a lead. This means that, while he may enjoy great success through the air early on against the Jaguars, the Texans may be content to run, run and run some more in the latter half of the game, as they did in last week’s easy 30-10 win over Miami.
Factor in Griffin’s potential as a runner and the choice is fairly evident. Ride the RGIII wave and hope he picks up where he left off.
Stevan Ridley (Patriots) vs. Chris Johnson (Titans)
Ridley ran all over the Titans in week one, picking up 125 yards with a score. However, the number that jumps out most of all is that he got 21 carries. The Patriots have a history of using several backs, making it tough to trust them from a fantasy perspective. Ridley, it seems, has bucked that trend and taken over as New England’s primary ball-toter. Hallelujah!
Johnson, on the other hand, had an abysmal showing against the Pats, rushing for just four yards on 11 carries. The lone bright spot was that he did catch six passes for 47 yards. Unfortunately for Johnson owners, it likely isn’t getting any easier this week against a Chargers unit that limited Darren McFadden to just 32 yards on 15 carries.
I’m not completely giving up on the artist formerly known as CJ2K just yet, but I’m not crazy about his outlook this week. New England is facing Arizona, and seems likely to build a comfortable lead before running clock with the ground game, meaning plenty of action for Stevan Ridley.
Ridley over CJ.
Trent Richardson (Browns) vs. Jonathan Dwyer (Steelers)
Richardson’s NFL debut last week didn’t go too smoothly, as he amassed just 39 rushing yards on 19 carries. With a suspect offensive line and seemingly zero passing game whatsoever, it could be a rough rookie year for No. 33.
Dwyer didn’t start last week’s game against Denver, but gained 43 yards on nine carries and (expectedly) looked far superior to Isaac Redman. It would be a major surprise to see Dwyer not getting the majority of the looks in the Pittsburgh backfield this week against the Jets.
The matchup for Richardson should prove more favorable this week against the Bengals, and it is encouraging to see that he’s the only guy getting carries for the Browns. I know the Jets’ defense may have been coasting through the majority of last week’s game with a huge lead over the Bills, but they didn’t exactly bottle-up C.J. Spiller, allowing him to run all over them to the tune of 169 yards on just 14 carries.
I don’t feel too comfortable promoting Richardson as a viable option until I see that his teammates can actually give him some holes through which to run, meaning I’m giving Dwyer the slight edge this week.
Roddy White (Falcons) vs. DeSean Jackson (Eagles)
Roddy White caught six passes for 87 yards in the big win over the Chiefs in week one, but was completely overshadowed by the two-touchdown effort of his counterpart, Julio Jones.
Similarly, Jackson caught four balls for 77 yards, while watching teammate Jeremy Maclin pile up 96 yards and with a visit to the end zone.
With Jackson hampered by a hamstring injury heading into this week’s tough matchup with the Ravens, it may be best to temper expectations a bit, especially with how erratic his QB looked against Cleveland.
White will still be very productive in Atlanta’s now pass-happy offense, and, with Jones likely facing a matchup with Denver’s Champ Bailey on Monday night, should be able to find plenty of room in which to operate against the Broncos.
White instead of Jackson.
Michael Crabtree (49ers) vs. Danny Amendola (Rams)
This one’s primarily for you PPR people.
Crabtree looked like a major player in the San Francisco short-passing offense, racking up seven receptions for 76 yards. Amendola (AKA Wes Welker West), caught five for 70 in the narrow loss in Detroit last week.
You’re honestly probably fine starting either one of these guys this week, with Crabtree facing the Lions and Amendola going up against the Redskins.
Crabtree was targeted more than any other San Francisco receiver last week, but he’s also more likely to get lost in the shuffle with the 49ers’ array of potential pass-catchers.
I like Amendola’s potential in week two slightly more than that of Crabtree.
Coby Fleener (Colts) vs. Jason Witten (Cowboys)
Fleener, unsurprisingly, was on the same page as college teammate Andrew Luck last week, hauling in six passes for 82 yards in the loss to Chicago.
Witten shockingly played against the Giants after suffering a lacerated spleen during the preseason, and was clearly not yet at 100 percent, catching a pair of passes for 10 yards.
As Witten continues to heal up, Tony Romo should have no issues finding other capable receivers with Miles Austin, Dez Bryant and possible flash-in-the-pan Kevin Ogletree all on board this week against the Seahawks.
Witten should be good-to-go again in a few weeks, so until then, feel comfortable using Fleener as a solid fill-in.