Week 1 is in the books, and it’s time to look at who you should pick up for Week 2 and who you should jettison.
Mike Bell - We told you he was poised for a breakout game against the abysmal Lions defense, and he certainly delivered. Now Saints head coach Sean Payton is sending mixed signals about who will be the Saints’ featured back once Pierre Thomas returns from injury. Bell remains inexplicably unowned in far too many leagues. Add him now. You might be getting a top ten back.
Cadillac Williams – So much for the "2-2-1" timeshare Bucs head coach Raheem Morris promised the team would employ. After the first week, Cadillac Williams and Derrick Ward appear to be in a strict 50-50 timeshare. And if Williams continues to impress with his assertive, powerful running (and can stay healthy), he could easily emerge as the featured back. He is criminally unowned. Pick him up now.
Darren Sproles - Somehow Sproles is unowned in a tenth of leagues. And as you might have heard, LT is already banged up. And even when (if?) LT is back to full strength, he could very well find himself in a platoon with the diminutive Sproles. If he’s somehow unowned, scoop Sproles up now, and try to pry him away from his owner in a trade if he’s not.
Shaun Hill – His throwing motion may be unconventional (and evoke comparisons to Uncle Rico from Napoleon Dynamite), but somehow, someway, he puts up respectable fantasy numbers. His 209 passing yards and one touchdown line from Week 1 are certainly good enough to plug in during a bye week or for an injured starter (cough, Donovan McNabb, cough).
Laurent Robinson – This little known pro who lit it up for the Rams during the preseason went for five catches and 87 yards in Week 1. More importantly, he received ten targets from quarterback Marc Bulger. The Rams figure to be trailing in a fair number of games, so they will be in pass-happy mode quite often. Robinson should benefit.
Earl Bennett – Maybe all that talk about former Vanderbilt teammates Bennett and Jay Cutler having a special bond. Bennett received 13 targets, hauling in seven passes for 66 yards. Someone will catch balls in the Bears offense (and sometimes, they’ll even be wearing Bears uniforms). Bennett appears to have the inside track at this point.
Antwaan Randle El – After moving back into the slot to make way for second year pro Malcolm Kelly on the outside, Randle El went off – to the tune of seven catches for 98 yards. He had nine targets on the day, so quarterback Jason Campbell looked his way frequently. Randle El is worth stashing in deeper leagues as a strict matchups play.
Todd Heap - Look who’s hit the rejuvenation machine! The largely forgotten former fantasy darling got eight targets with five catches for 74 yards and a touchdown in the Ravens’ opener against the Chiefs. With the Ravens beginning to take the training wheels off Joe Flacco, and Heap appearing healthy for the first time in years, the former Arizona State standout could be back for a vintage season. If you’re not thrilled about your prospects at tight end, Heap is definitely worth a look.
Steve Smith - No, not the Panther’ star receiver; the other Steve Smith – you know, the former USC standout on the Giants. Against the Redskins, Smith received eight targets, with six catches for 80 yards. Smith is as good a bet as any to emerge as the Giants' top target. Pick up the sure-handed wideout and stash him.
Earnest Graham – Graham toted the ball once in Week 1. Too bad "unselfishness" isn’t a fantasy stat. Dump him.
Chris Chambers - Chambers is the forgotten man in the Chargers’ passing game. You should forget him too.