We break down the big fantasy football performers and notable injuries from Week 2 of the 2012 NFL season.
Week 2 of the 2012 NFL season wraps up with the Atlanta Falcons hosting the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football, but in the meantime, it was a wild Sunday of football. We saw upsets galore, and some late rallies provided huge contributions for victorious fantasy football-ers. We will take a look at some of the notable injuries from Week 2, and also a look at the top performers at each position.
It was not a huge day of injuries, but unfortunately there were some notable names that could be out for extended time. Aaron Hernandez suffered what is being described as a high ankle sprain. He will have it examined further, but a high ankle sprain often can mean upwards of four to six weeks on the sideline.
Ahmad Bradshaw suffered a neck injury and will likely undergo an MRI on Monday to determine the exact nature of the injury. The Giants' running back is hoping it is just a stinger, but with a short week before Thursday Night Football, this could be a dicey situation. Andre Brown got the bulk of the work after Bradshaw went down, leaving rookie David Wilson holding the bag. Brown would be the play in Week 3 if Bradshaw sits.
The San Diego Chargers surprised some folks as they deactivated tight end Antonio Gates. Most were expecting Gates to play, but he was a late scratch, leaving fantasy owners scrambling. Dante Rosario went off for three touchdowns in the game, but is no threat to Gates' playing time. The drawback might be that the Chargers take a bit more time in getting Gates back on the field.
Steven Jackson found himself in a rather bizarre situation. He was pulled from the Rams' win over Washington for all of the second half after an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty following a rush ruled short of the end zone. The initial thought was he had been benched, but it turns out he may have injured his hamstring. The truth could be anywhere in between, but with Daryl Richardson impressing, Jackson injury reports will be something to pay close attention to this week.
Wild shootouts were the order of the day, as Giants' quarterback Eli Manning overcame three interceptions to help guide his team to victory. Manning threw for 510 yards and three touchdowns. The Giants are not a bad team, but they are not quite in Super Bowl defense shape, which means they could find themselves playing from behind a bit more often. The Giants are heading to Carolina next week, which bodes well for Eli's fantasy prospects.
Of course, Manning had to settle for the second best performance of the day, as the Redskins' Robert Griffin III showed exactly why fantasy owners fell in love with him. RGIII threw for a pedestrian 206 yards, one touchdown and one interception, but it was his 82 yards rushing and two rushing touchdowns that provided what was the highest scoring day in many leagues. The Redskins make their home debut against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 3, which should be a raucous affair for Redskins fans. RGIII is fast emerging as a smart start week in and week out.
Cam Newton owners had to be excited as he utilized his legs to boost fantasy owners in Week 2. Newton and his Panthers clawed their way to victory over the Saints thanks in part to Newton's 253 yards passing and one touchdown, along with 71 yards rushing and one touchdown. He is line for a wild one next week against a dodgy Giants' defense.
The biggest performance on the day, and potentially the biggest fantasy point scorer in Week 2, goes to running back Reggie Bush. The Dolphins' running back is out to show last season was not a one-year wonder. After a modest Week 1 performance that featured 69 yards rushing and 46 yards receiving, Bush blew up in Week 2 with 172 yards rushing, 25 yards receiving and a pair of touchdowns. The Dolphins host an inconsistent Jets squad in Week 3 that shut down the Steelers quasi-rushing attack in Week 2.
C.J. Spiller was right behind Bush as he accumulated 123 rushing yards, 47 receiving yards and a pair of his own touchdowns. Spiller's numbers were actually limited as the Bills went to the bench in their blowout victory over the Chiefs. Spiller will remain a strong fantasy value while Fred Jackson gets healthy. Spiller's performances these past two weeks might convince the Bills to take as much time as needed in getting Fred Jackson on the field.
Trent Richardson fans have to be as happy as anybody right now. After a rather inauspicious start to his career in Week 1, Richardson bounced back with one of the best performances of the weekend. The Brown's running back rushed for 109 yards and a touchdown, and hauled in 36 receiving yards and a touchdown, notching him at No. 3 in Yahoo! standard leagues. He squares off at home against the Buffalo Bills in Week 3. If the Browns can keep it close, Richardson should be in line for another solid day.
It was a big day for the Giants' two starting wide receivers as Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz combined for 378 yards receiving and two touchdowns. The Giants had to climb back from a two-touchdown hole as they put up 25 points in the fourth quarter. Wide receivers tend to benefit from those kinds of things. The Giants head to Carolina in a Week 3 contest that could provide another chance for a shootout. Nicks and Cruz will be must-starts next week.
Danny Amendola continued to prove his worth as Sam Bradford's security blanket, hauling in 15 passes for 160 yards and a touchdown. One would think defenses would roll over more on Amendola, but somehow he keeps on hauling in passes from Bradford. The Rams travel to Chicago in Week 3. They are facing a tough Bears defense, but if Bradford is going to keep looking to Amendola, it seems like he is developing into a decent No. 2/Flex option until he proves otherwise.
Dwayne Bowe proved to be the master of garbage time points on Sunday as he hauled in 102 yards and two touchdowns in a game the Chiefs were never in. Bowe spent much of training camp waiting to sign his franchise tender, which seems to lead to slow starts at times. At this point, Bowe is likely close to 100 percent, which bodes well for fantasy owners. The Chiefs head to the Big Easy to face a Saints' defense that is not doing much of anything right at this point.
It was a big day for tight ends, as three folks leapt past Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham with strong performances on Sunday. Chargers' tight end Dante Rosario led the way thanks to three touchdown passes on 48 receiving yards. Antonio Gates was a late scratch, which opened the door for Rosario to emerge as a red zone threat for Philip Rivers. If Gates is good to go in Week 3 against the Falcons, Rosario could prove to be a one-week wonder. The Chargers might try and work him further into the red zone offense, but don't waste waiver priority on him.
Brent Celek led tight ends in receiving yards as he hauled in eight catches for 157 yards. Celek was held out of the end zone, but it was still nice to see the Eagles' tight end emerge with a strong performance. Many viewed him as too much of a blocking talent to be an elite tight end in 2012. While he is not going to be with the Gronk and Graham's of the world, a banged up Eagles wide receiver corps could continue to boost his value.
Vernon Davis put together a strong showing to close out Sunday, catching five passes for 73 yards and two touchdowns in the 49ers win over Detroit. Davis exploded in last year's playoffs and will look to build on that in 2013. He remains a must-start each week, but the two touchdown-type performances will not be an every week occurrence.
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