Week 2 Where to Put em

Thursday, Sep 15, 2011 at 12:00 pm ET

fantasy football rankings
Where to Put 'em is the Fantasy Football Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for the week. Decisions are based upon the FFN rankings and matchup analysis. Given the known conditions, these matchups are the ones to watch and/or avoid.

This list does not generally include the elite players that you are going to start regardless of matchup. You don't need us to tell you to start Aaron Rodgers, Andre Johnson, or Adrian Peterson. Where to Put 'em takes a look at other players on your team that we believe either have great matchups or should be avoided for multiple reasons. Factors like opposing defense, performance trending, and peer comparisons may influence our decisions.

Put 'em In The Game: Matt Schaub
Don't get too worried over Matt Schaub's performance last week. He should bounce back nicely this week against a Dolphins secondary that got completely ripped apart by Tom Brady and company. Schaub will not throw for 500+ yards like Brady did, but he will put up enough numbers to make him a great start this week.
Put 'em In The Game: Rex Grossman
Just like Schaub above, Grossman gets to face a defense that got murdered the week before. Rex Grossman is not a flashy QB but he's steady. He hit the 300+ yards mark last week and threw two scores against the Giants which was a solid performance. The Cardinals just let rookie Cam Newton completely dominate them. Grossman isn't going to throw for the same 400+ yards and 3 TD's like Cam did, but he should still put up some pretty respectable numbers.
Put 'em In The Game: Jahvid Best
Jahvid Best looked decent last week against the Bucs running for 72 yards and tacking on an additional 42 yards receiving. Buffalo basically had their way with Kansas City last week and it's hard to imagine Stafford, Megatron, and Best not doing the same. KC got burned through the air but they also gave up 164 yards on the ground. Best should be solid, particularly in PPR formats.
Put 'em In The Game: Cedric Benson
It's always nice to see one of your backs reach the century mark as Cedric Benson did last week. It's even nicer when that back also sees the endzone as Benson did. This week he faces a Denver defense that basically laid down for Darren McFadden on Monday night. One would assume that they would stack the box given the lack of a passing threat, but Benson should still tear up the Broncos.
Put 'em In The Game: Peyton Hillis
You probably took Hillis with your 2nd or 3rd round pick in the draft and you were probably disappointed last week when he failed to deliver any fantasy goodness. No worries - he'll redeem himself this week. Ben Tate filled in for superstar Arian Foster and not only went over the century mark but he also saw the endzone against the Colts. Hillis is better than Tate and the Colts won't be able to stop him.
Put 'em In The Game: Robert Meachem
Who is the #1 receiver in New Orleans? The answer is: who knows? Brees spreads the passing game around a lot, and with Marques Colston out for at least a month, the top spot is up for grabs but will most likely be Meachem or Henderson (Lance Moore is still a question mark). We're giving the nod to Meachem. His 5 for 70 yards and a score against Green Bay was solid. The Bears aren't easy to throw on, just ask Matt Ryan, but Brees is an elite QB who will get the ball down the field.
Put 'em In The Game: Steve Smith
It feels so good to put Steve Smith on the Start 'em List. We've said it so many times over the past two years: Steve Smith is amazing IF he has a QB who can get him the ball. Delhomme was not that guy. Cam Newton is. Before we gush too much on him, it would be appropriate to temper our expectations. He and Newton tore up the Cardinals, but they're not facing the Cardinals this week. Green Bay gave up a lot to Brees but don't expect them to lay down for Carolina. Steve Smith - say hello to Charles Woodson. Even against Green Bay, we expect Newton to focus on getting the ball to Smith as often as they let him.
Put 'em In The Game: Santonio Holmes
Kenny Britt left the Jaguars scratching their heads last week. Expect Holmes to do the same. We suspect that Sanchez (who is also a good play this week) will take to the air quite a bit and Holmes is the primary target.
Put 'em In The Game: Jimmy Graham
Jimmy Graham looked solid in the NFL opener. He's a big, strong, and fast target - the perfect attributes for that Saints offense. When the long option is not available to Brees, expect him to target Graham. 4 for 56 yards and a score against the Packers was a nice performance. We're expecting similar results again this week.
Put 'em In The Game: Rob Gronkowski
Whether Brady is going to throw more to Rob Gronkowski or Aaron Hernandez is going to be an ongoing question. Both are great options this week. When you compare his targeting of his two TE's to Branch and Ochocinco, Brady clearly favored the tight ends. The Chargers have a solid secondary but the Pats should exploit the linebacker matchups on Gronkowski and Hernandez.
Put 'em In The Game: Brandon Pettigrew
We like Brandon Pettigrew this week. We liked him last week as well, and probably would have loved him if he would have caught that TD pass. The Chiefs are not going to be able to stop him.
Put 'em In The Game: Alex Henery
Picking kickers is often a fruitless endeavor, but Philly's rookie kicker grabbed our attention earlier this year and has stayed on our radar. Robbie Gould of the Bears chipped in some nice fantasy points last week against Atlanta and we're expecting the same type of performance out of Henery this week. Vick's got extra motivation this week facing his old team which should get Henery close enough to the uprights to make it count.
Put 'em On The Bench: Donovan McNabb
One word: Yuck! That basically sums up McNabb's opening day performance for the Vikings. His 39 yards through the air (yes - 39) and 3 scampers for 32 yards were terrible. While we think there's still some gas left in that tank, Tampa Bay is going to pressure McNabb all day. Combine last week's performance with a right wrist injury and it's tough to find the upside here. Sit him until further notice.
Put 'em On The Bench: Cam Newton
Chances are that you hit the waiver wire after Week 1 and grabbed Cam Newton (we did!). While there's a chance that he could go off on the defending Super Bowl champions this week, it's highly unlikely. We think Newton has the potential to be the next Michael Vick and we fully intend to use him as the season progresses, just not this week. If he produces a monster stat line this week, we're ready to eat some crow.
Put 'em On The Bench: DeAngelo Williams
Can someone check to see if DeAngelo Williams still plays for Carolina? His production last year was lackluster at best and he turned in a terrible performance in Week 1. Based on that past history, we're not ready to recommend him any time soon. Even though he's listed at the top of the depth chart, he looks to be be playing second to Jonathan Steward (similar to Ryan Grant and James Starks in GB). Facing the Freezer and the rest of the Packers D is going to be tough. Williams - have a seat.
Put 'em On The Bench: Knowshon Moreno
Based on what he was able to accomplish last week against the Raiders, it's tough to find much love for Moreno. Assuming that he's cleared to play (an MRI is scheduled for his hammy), it's hard to expect him to do much against the Bengals who held Peyton Hillis in check. If Moreno doesn't suit up, don't expect much more from Willis McGahee either.
Put 'em On The Bench: Austin Collie
Peyton Manning spelled fantasy success for a lot of players. Without Manning, Collie is a stretch to reach WR3 status. Kerry Collins targeted Collie a few times against the Texans but Collie wasn't able to deliver. Looking at an aggregate view of all of the teams entered into the FFN Lineup Analyzer, Collie is on more teams than we anticipated. We'd like to see a little bit of consistency before we take his name off of this list.
Put 'em On The Bench: Chad Ochocinco
We've come to expect a lot of talk out of Chad Ochocinco, but he's usually backed it up with his performances. That wasn't the case last year, and sadly, that doesn't appear to the be case right now. When he was on the field (and it wasn't that often), he wasn't getting the targets that his peers were. Welker, Branch, and the twin towers at TE were more productive and better fantasy options. Have a seat Chad.
Put 'em On The Bench: Chris Cooley
For quite some time, Chris Cooley has been a fantasy staple at the TE position. The times, they are a changin' my friends. Fred Davis outplayed and outshined Cooley last week. Davis saw the century mark, which is fantastic for a TE. Cooley saw 2 catches for 21 yards. We hate to say it, but maybe it's time for Cooley to have a seat.
Put 'em On The Bench: Visanthe Shiancoe
Homer Simpson would love Visanthe Shiancoe, but when Shiancoe throws up a big ol' doughnut, we don't like him. Other than Adrian Peterson, the whole Vikings offense is suspect. Besides the brilliant kickoff return, Percy Harvin was a major disappointment too. There's no logical reason to put Visanthe Shiancoe in as your starting TE unless you have absolutely no backup.
Put 'em On The Bench: Jay Feely
Kickers are never going to put up huge numbers for you. All you can really ask for is some consistency from a fantasy perspective, and if consistency is what you want, Jay Feely is probably not the guy for you. Lawrence Tynes delivered 2 points last week against Washington and Feely most likely won't do much better.

Join the Discussion

IvanB CommentedSep 16, 2011 11:00 am

Where would you put Ryan Mathews?

Nerd CommentedSep 16, 2011 11:00 am

Somewhere in the middle. Tolbert won't repeat his performance from last week, but he was clearly dominate and his presence isn't helping Mathews' value.

JuJu's Tigers CommentedSep 16, 2011 11:00 am

Where would you put Ryan Grant?

JuJu's Tigers CommentedSep 16, 2011 11:00 am

Also, who would you start Robert Meachum or Santana Moss?

Nerd CommentedSep 16, 2011 11:00 am

Grant is a tough one. I have him in two leagues and I'm personally sitting him. It looks like Starks is the man and will likely get more than half the load. I don't have a lot of wiggle room in those leagues, so sitting Grant is a safer choice for me.

Re: Meachum and Moss, personally I'm running with Meachum but I wouldn't be surprised to see Moss outperform him this week.

Nerd CommentedSep 18, 2011 11:00 am

Time to eat some crow. FFN was wrong on Cam Newton this week. Even against the Packers, his 400+ yards and 3 INT's still produced a solid fantasy day.

Overall, it looks like we did a pretty decent job with the sit/start advice this week. Let's see what Week 3 brings.

IvanB CommentedSep 19, 2011 11:00 am

Cam had another great game but I am still skeptical of him because The Packers D has gotten absolutely torched both weeks! Overall, great job on the picks nerd.

onehumpor2 CommentedOct 1, 2011 11:00 am

Where would you you put Nicole Kidman?

onehumpor2 CommentedOct 1, 2011 11:00 am

I have none. I mesed-up.


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