Studs and Duds – Week 2: Ryan Grant ready to roll!
After all the dust has settled and the injury count has been tallied (bye bye Brady, Burleson, Alex Smith and for a little while, Colston), it’s time to recount my predictions for the previous weekend and give you a few more for week two of the season. According to my slightly-biased count, I finished last week 13-7-6, which isn’t all that bad I guess. Some of my better picks included Thomas Jones, who re-assumed his spot in fantasy football relevance with a strong showing against the Dolphins and Chris Perry, who did very little with his first chance to shine as the Bengals new starting running back, as expected. On the flip-side, I did miss a few picks, including Ricky Williams, who returned to his role as a deadbeat (in fantasy production that is) against the Jets, while Brandon “The Bruiser” Jacobs taught me (and LaRon Landry) never to doubt him again. Anyways, it’s time for your week two studs and duds, so hopefully I can provide a little insight that can help your team this upcoming weekend…
Ryan Grant, RB, Packers: Unless Michael Turner is one of the greatest running backs of all time, I see no reason why Grant shouldn’t be able to exploit the same gaping weakness in the Lions defense that the Falcons did when they obliterated (for some reason the word seems like an understatement) them for 318 rushing yards in week one!
LenDale White, RB / Chris Johnson, RB, Titans: If the Ravens, minus an injured Willis McGahee, could pound it out for 229 yards last weekend against the Cincinnati Bungholes, I have to believe a more talented duo can at least do the same. You should expect LenDale White (thunder) and Chris Johnson (lightning) to run the ball non-stop while the quarterback position for the Titans is currently going through somewhat of a a rough patch.
Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings: Although the Vikings have absolutely no passing game and teams are stacking the box against Peterson, he continues to get his stats (100+ yards and a score last week). I see no reason why he won’t do just as well, if not better, this week against a Colts defense that gave up 123 yards and a touchdown to rookie Matt Forte last weekend.
Ray Rice, RB, Ravens: Although Willis McGahee could return this weekend and Le’Ron McClain could steal more carries, I have to believe Ray Rice can put up some serviceable fantasy stats against a Texans defense that Willie Parker torched for a boat-load of yards and three touchdowns last week. (Update: Game being postponed to week 10…don’t start Rice!!!)
Willie Parker, RB, Steelers: Don’t expect three touchdowns again, but you can expect Parker to put up some great numbers against a Brownies defense that was abused by Marion Barber and Felix Jones this past weekend.
Eli Manning, QB / Plaxico Burress, WR, Giants: If Donovan McNabb can pass for over 300 yards against the Rams with all the wide receiver problems the Eagles have, I think the reigning Superbowl champion quarterback can put up some fantasy friendly numbers as well. Burress should be getting looks all day long and should finish with around 100 yards and a score.
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers: While the Browns keep bolstering their offense, it’s their defense that is really the problem…and the Cowboys proved that last weekend. This week won’t get much easier for them, as Big Ben and his cronies come to town and should have a great game passing against the Brownie paper bag defense (feel confident starting Santonio Holmes and Hines Ward as well.)
Jay Cutler, QB, Broncos: Cutler killed the Raiders secondary last weekend even without his numero uno target, Brandon Marshall, and this week you can expect big things again against a Chargers defense that has now lost Shawne Merriman for the remainder of the season and let up nearly 250 yards through the air to a Steve Smith-less Carolina Panthers last weekend.
Brandon Marshall, WR, Broncos: Last week was Eddie Royal’s time to shine, but now the big man on campus is back, with Marshall returning from his suspension this weekend. Although you can expect Royal to get some good looks, Marshall should take over as Cutlers go-to guy.
Others: Roddy White, WR, Falcons; Dwayne Bowe, WR, Chiefs; Santonio Holmes, WR, Steelers
Matt Schaub, QB / Kevin Walter, WR, Texans: Even if it was the Bengals that did most of the work in producing one of the worst offensive efforts I’ve seen in a while (99 passing yards from Carson Palmer…is Matt Cassel now the most talented USC quarterback in the league?), the Ravens defense had to have something to do with it. This week Schaub and the Texans get to play this same Ravens defense and while Andre Johnson will probably get his yards again, Schaub’s overall stats will probably take a hit.
Marc Bulger, QB / Torry Holt, WR, Rams: The Rams looked bad in the preseason and they still look very bad through one week of the regular season. This weekend it won’t get any easier either, as they take on the G-Men, who are probably frothing at the mouth thinking about sacking Bulger about 10 times. Torry Holt was nearly invisible in their game against the Eagles and he will be double covered all game long as the Giants force Bulger to find another capable receiver.
Tarvaris Jackson, QB / Bernard Berrian, WR, Vikings: I thought Berrian was a sneaky pick in my fantasy drafts this year, but the way the passing game of the Vikings looked in week one is starting to make me think that I was the only one thinking that. The Colts were solid against the pass last week, holding a nearly-as-bad quarterback, Kyle Orton, to under 150 yards, and I wouldn’t be surprised for Tarvaris Jackson to put up around the same numbers as the Vikings pound the ball on the ground all day.
Derek Anderson, QB / Braylon Edwards, WR, Browns: The scheduling gods are doing no favors for a Browns team that is trying to get back in an offensive rhythm that they built up last year, forcing them to play the Cowboys and Steelers in the first two weeks of the season. Expect another rough one for Derek Anderson and Braylon Edwards until they can prove they’re on the same page again.
Thomas Jones, RB, Jets: T. Jones had a great game last weekend, but it was against the Dolphins. While the Patriots may have lost their offensive leader, they should still throw all the Belichick tricks at the Jets on the defensive side of the ball, holding Jones to a more last-season-esque type of game this time.
Fred Taylor, RB, Jaguars: The Jaguars offensive line is a mess right now and the Bills just finished handing out quite a beatdown to the Seahawks. I’m thinking that the Jags are going to have another rough go of it on the ground and splitting poor stats between two running backs is never a good thing.
Others: Chris Perry, RB, Bengals; Ahman Green / Steve Slaton, RB, Texans; Laurence Maroney, RB, NE; Jamal Lewis, RB, Browns
Slightly-biased record to date: 13-7-6