September 9, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) reacts after throwing a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints during the first half of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE
Week 2 is upon us, and several big names will be facing tough matchups this weekend.. We break down the fantasy implications.
Now a week into the regular season, we have a little more of a bearing on what is going on around the league and which players are standing out. However, there are still plenty of questions yet to be answered as we head into Week 2. Let's take a look at who should be in your starting lineup this week, and who should take a seat on the bench.
Robert Griffin III, QB, Redskins - It's hard to believe anyone expected RG3 to completely tear apart his first ever opponent in the NFL, but he sure looked impressive doing so against the Saints. This week the rookie sensation takes on St. Louis, a team that yielded the most passing yards in the NFL in Week 1. Somehow Matthew Stafford managed to make the Rams secondary look like a formidable opponent after throwing three picks, but he still finished with 355 yards through the air. Roll with RG3 while he's hot.
Stevan Ridley, RB, Patriots - The Patriots might actually have a bell cow for 2012. Ridley exploded on the road in Tennessee for 125 yards and a touchdown last week, and now will head home to take on the Cardinals. Arizona gave up 85 yards to a semi-injured Marshawn Lynch this past Sunday. Let's not forget the Cardinals also allowed an average of 124 rushing yards per game in 2011. Ridley is in for another solid week, and you don't want to miss out.
Brandon LaFell, WR, Panthers - We can probably go ahead and pencil in the Saints vs. Panthers to be a shootout in Carolina. New Orleans made Robert Griffin III look like a god among men in his first pro start, so this should be a good week for Cam Newton to bounce back after leading the Panthers to just 10 points in the opener. LaFell finished with 65 yards and a touchdown in Week 1, and he should continue to benefit from being the clear-cut No. 2 receiver in 2012. Newton will find him open eventually against the Saints awful secondary.
Coby Fleener, TE, Colts - Andrew Luck's college buddy was on his radar in Week 1. Fleener caught six passes for 82 yards on 10 targets against Chicago. Austin Collie's return will likely take away from everyone's target numbers, but Fleener is still a top option for Luck. While Fleener is a great PPR play, he might find the end zone for his first touchdown against the Vikings, who allowed Marcedes Lewis to score in Week 1.
Cincinnati Bengals, DST - Picking any team playing against the Browns for your D/ST is a wise idea these days. Sure, the Bengals were dismantled by the Ravens in Week 1. Don't let that deter you from starting them in the second week of the season. Brandon Weeden finished with a 5.1 quarterback rating in his first start, and it looks like he'll still be the guy going forward. Have fun racking up the points with this matchup.
Blaine Gabbert, QB, Jaguars - Gabbert actually looked like a decent starting QB in Week 1 against the Vikings. Don't expect the same results this time around. He'll take on the Houston Texans, a team that manhandled Ryan Tannehill in his first career start last weekend. The Texans picked off three passes and didn't allow a single offensive touchdown against the Dolphins. If you're realistically considering starting Gabbert in Week 2, prepare for some ridicule from your opponent.
Kevin Smith, RB, Lions - If you're not aware of the 49ers complete dominance against the run game, you probably haven't been watching football for the past year. Smith will face off against a San Francisco defense that allowed just 18 yards on nine carries to Cedric Benson last week and gave up a ridiculously low 77 yards per game on the ground in 2011. The Lions travel to the West Coast, and sorry to say, Kevin Smith, but this isn't going to be your week.
Torrey Smith, WR, Ravens - You won't see Smith on the sit list very often this year, but bare with me on this one. As Baltimore takes on Philadelphia this week, Nnamdi Asomugha will be right on Smith the entire game. To add to that, Smith caught just two passes in Week 1 after looking like he was ready to burst onto the scene in the Ravens new and improved hurry-up offense. He'll likely finish the year with strong fantasy numbers, but you might want to look elsewhere here.
Fred Davis, TE, Redskins - Chalk this one due to lack of evidence. There were no indications that RG3 was going to rely on his No. 1 tight end in 2012, and Week 1 proved to be a disappointing display for Davis as well. He caught just two passes against the Saints, and until he finds a way to increase his production with the Redskins rookie quarterback, you should shop around for alternative options.
Denver Broncos, DST - After coming out of Week 1 with a victory to build off of, the Broncos are going to have their hands full come Monday night when they travel to the Georgia Dome. Matt Ryan is 7-1 at home against AFC teams in his career, with 16 touchdowns and just two interceptions in those eight matchups. Denver did a good job of shutting down the dynamic Steelers receivers at home last week, but Atlanta will be a tougher test. Expect a high scoring contest between these two teams.
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