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Fantasy Football: Week 2 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em

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After just one week of play in the NFL, it's hard to get an accurate read on which performances were flukes and which provided a glimpse into the future of similar things to come. Well, we've studied the tape of Week 1 games and have come away with our take of what you can expect in Week 2. 

Start 'Em

James Jones - WR - Green Bay Packers

Head coach Mike McCarthy said that today (Wednesday) will be a "big day" for Jennings to determine if he plays in the Thursday Night Football game. McCarthy also termed Jennings injury an "endurance issue." So it sounds like Jennings can get around and play a bit, but just may not be at full-steam, or be able to maintain quality play for four quarters. Jennings was held out of Tuesday's practice. So it sounds similar to what Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson endured for much of the 2011 season (and continues to deal with). 

With Jennings either sitting out, or likely to miss significant action in Week 2, James Jones will have a larger role. Jones put together a solid statistical night in Week 1 going for four catches, 81 yards and a score. He received only the fifth most targets on the team overall, however. With Jennings likely to miss time, Jones' reps and opportunities will increase. He's a solid start for Week 2. 

And you're obviously starting Randall Cobb. Cobb is the answer to the question: "What would Percy Harvin be like on a team with an explosive offense?"
 

Jonathan Dwyer - RB - Pittsburgh Steelers

Jonathan Dwyer has outplayed Isaac Redman consistently. In Week 1, Dwyer averaged 4.8 YPC, while Redman turned in a 1.8 YPC performance. Dwyer received 42 of the Steelers' snaps and Redman saw only 24 snaps. 

Head coach Mike Tomlin stated that Dwyer has earned an increased role going forward. So Dwyer's snap count is likely to rise in Week 2. The 11 carries Redman received in Week 1 could be going to Dwyer. They should. Redman has done absolutely nothing with his opportunity thus far.

Dwyer will run against the New York Jets on Sunday. C.J. Spiller exposed the Jets defense in Week 1 and Dwyer should have similar success.


Lance Moore - WR - New Orleans Saints

The Saints re-signed wide receiver Greg Camarillo yesterday, which means that Devery Henderson's head injury is not minor. With Henderson likely out, Moore gets a solid bump to his already decent value in the Drew Brees led offense. 

Moore had an incredible stat line in Week 1 (6 catches, 120 yards, 1 touchdown), but those numbers weren't produced until Henderson left the game. For years, fantasy owners wondered what Moore's production would be if Robert Meachem and Devery Henderson were not playing in New Orleans. Week 2 provides you the answer. Start him.


Andrew Hawkins - WR - Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals hit a home run by drafting A.J. Green. Green had a spectacular inaugural season. The question for Cincinnati coming into the 2012-13 season was who would be able to take the pressure off of Green—would they have a solid No. 2 wide receiver? 

Hawkins is the answer. And the answer is a resounding, "yes." 

Watching Hawkins reminded us of Wes Welker, circa 2011. He showcased blazing speed and uncanny quickness. Standing at 5'7" on a phonebook, Hawkins was able to find open spots throughout the Baltimore Ravens defense. In Week 2, Hawkins will line-up against a Cleveland Browns team that has been decimated by injuries—and stupidity. Starting cornerback Joe Haden will begin to serve his 4-game suspension this week. 

Look for Hawkins to be Andy Dalton's favorite target again this week. Pluck-and-play the little known wideout before he becomes Week 2's hottest waiver add.

Andrew Hawkins_run


Antonio Gates - TE - San Diego Chargers

Philip Rivers has got his groove back, and a threatening defense that will put him in scoring position often. With Rivers coming back to form this season, Gates will continue to produce at a high level.

In Week 1, Gates was a near miss on a couple of touchdown opportunities. Look for him to capitalize on those opportunities against a Tennessee Titans defense that was brutalized by the Patriots' tight ends.


SUPER SLEEPER: Mardy Gilyard - WR - Philadelphia Eagles: It appears that Jeremy Maclin's hip injury will keep him out, and Jason Avant is struggling with a wrist injury of his own. Look for Gilyard to fill-in for the Eagles and be a decent play in Week 2.
 

Sit 'Em

Torrey Smith - WR - Baltimore Ravens

Torrey Smith started Week 1 hot, but cooled off real quick. He caught a 52-yard pass to open Monday Night Football and then went quiet until the third quarter. The Bengals clearly focused their efforts on stopping Joe Flacco's No. 1 receiving target. His next—and final— catch didn't happen until the fourth quarter and went for a paltry five yards.

Smith will face the Eagles cornerbacks in Week 2 and will be the point of emphasis for Philly's defense. The Ravens have made it no secret that they are running a pass-oriented hurry-up offense this season. They ran their no-huddle on 36.2 percent of their offensive plays in Week 1.

The Eagles are gearing up to shut that offense down. There are two main offensive threats to shut down on the Ravens: Ray Rice and Torrey Smith. Rice can't be shut down, Smith can. The Eagles will shut down what they can.
 

Cedric Benson - RB - Green Bay Packers

After Benson was signed by the Packers, he became an immediate candidate for RB2 status. After all, he landed on a team with arguably the best passing attack and would never see an eight-man box. Well, in Week 1, he saw Patrick Willis and Navarro Bowman and the Niners' No. 1 run defense.

In Week 2, things don't get much better. Benson will be eyeing up the Chicago Bears defense that ranked fifth against the run in 2011. He's going to have similar stats in Week 2 that he did in Week 1: around 50 yards and no catches. Sit him.


Chris Johnson - RB - Tennessee Titans

There goes another awful performance (his worst yet), and here comes another excuse. "It was the offensive line." Or, "Chris Johnson is tip-toeing around the line of scrimmage." Either way, the running game in Tennessee is atrocious and should be avoided at all costs. And once he does turn in a good game or two (even a blind squirrel finds a nut), trade him.

Week 2 won't be one of those good games. He faces a San Diego Chargers defense that held Darren McFadden to 32 yards on 15 carries. Sit him where Shaun Phillips will put him, on his butt.

 

Mark Sanchez - QB - New York Jets

We're not believing the hype, or the stats. Yes, Mark Sanchez threw for three touchdowns in Week 1. But you just witnessed his best game of the season. 

Against the Pittsburgh Steelers (that may have James Harrison back), Sanchez will slip into his usual mediocre-to-horrible mode. You remember, the mode that made the Jets not only consider, but sign Tebow.

Mark Sanchez_fumble


Cecil Shorts - WR - Jacksonville Jaguars

Jags quarterback Blaine Gabbert looks to have improved tremendously in his second season. As part of that success, he hooked up with Cecil Shorts a handful of time on Sunday. Shorts recorded four catches, 74 yards and a touchdown on seven targets. 

Shorts' stat line sounds promising, but it's misleading. He only played in 15-of-78 snaps the entire game. He just happened to be targeted on almost half of the plays he ran. To put Shorts' targets into perspective, that would be like Brandon Marshall being targeted over 30 times. Reggie Wayne was the most targeted receiver in Week 1 with 18 targets, which is a ton.

Shorts had a solid week, but don't expect the same going forward. Sit him.

Cedric Hopkins

Cedric Hopkins Bio

Cedric Hopkins runs this sports law/fantasy football blog. If you have issues with it, it's all his fault. Cedric was an athlete-student at the University of New Mexico (Basketball - Go Lobos!). He then morphed into a student-athlete when he attended law school in San Diego. Age replaced athleticism and now he writes appellate briefs for criminals (alleged criminals, of course) in state and federal cases, including writing U.S. Supreme Court briefs.

For years Cedric has researched and written about legal issues but maintained a love for sports. With FieldandCourt.com, he's combining his two passions: researching and writing about sports. When he's not in court arguing a case before a judge (or writing about himself in the third person), he'll be doing the same with his articles on FieldandCourt.com. Follow me, er, him on Twitter (opens in a new window).

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Cedric Hopkins

Cedric Hopkins runs this sports law/fantasy football blog. If you have issues with it, it's all his fault. Cedric was an athlete-student at the University of New Mexico (Basketball - Go Lobos!). He then morphed into a student-athlete when he attended law school in San Diego. Age replaced athleticism and now he writes appellate briefs for criminals (alleged criminals, of course) in state and federal cases, including writing U.S. Supreme Court briefs.

For years Cedric has researched and written about legal issues but maintained a love for sports. With FieldandCourt.com, he's combining his two passions: researching and writing about sports. When he's not in court arguing a case before a judge (or writing about himself in the third person), he'll be doing the same with his articles on FieldandCourt.com. Follow me, er, him on Twitter (opens in a new window).