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The harsh reality of football fantasy, Week 2: The Steelers you Ben waiting for

Back again for a round of players you won't want to play this week, including a number of players from a team that has won two Super Bowls in the last eight years. That probably won't be three in nine.

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Last week I debuted this series that looks at the bottom five starters for fantasy football purposes. Why do something like this? I guess I just didn't have enough trolls on my timeline.

Players like Julius Thomas, Kellen Winslow, and even Terrelle Pryor stepped up for some production but otherwise it can be somewhat easy to predict the fails. I've added a "Surpriser of the Week" which is like a "Riser" except it's more like a guess that a good player is about to fall.

Perhaps nobody fell harder in Week 1 than the Pittsburgh Steelers. Are they finally too old to compete with the rest of the AFC, are the Titans better than we think (no) or was it just an anomaly?

One thing seems to be certain right now: You probably don't want to start any of them for Monday night.


32. Chad Henne, Jaguars at Raiders

Jaguars starter Blaine Gabbert would have easily had this spot to himself after completing 45.7 percent of his passes in Week 1 for 3.5 yards per attempt, no touchdowns and two interceptions, but Gabbert is out this week with a cut on his hand. So why not replace him on this list with the man that replaces him in the lineup?

The Raiders had a surprisingly decent performance against Andrew Luck and the Colts last week. It won't be as surprising if they shut down the Jaguars.

31. Christian Ponder, Vikings at Bears

Ponder's 8.43 yards per attempt in Week 1 was tied for the second-best of his career, but his 4.32 adjusted yards per attempt (which accounts for touchdowns and interceptions) seems to show how not-far Ponder has come in his career.

Ponder has thrown one touchdown in four career games against Chicago.

30. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers at Bengals

Are the Titans all of a sudden a good defense or perhaps the Steelers are just starting to show their age? Last year against Cincinnati, Roethlisberger had two touchdowns and three interceptions in two games. Will he fare any better on Monday night on the road?

29. Geno Smith, Jets at Patriots

Hey, the Jets are 1-0! And Geno Smith wasn't all that bad! Now, would you mind traveling to New England on three days rest and doing even better? Great, thanks.

28. Jake Locker, Titans at Texans

Tennessee also pulled off a Week 1 upset, but Houston is a far better team and defense than the Steelers. Despite allowing four touchdown passes to Philip Rivers last week, the Texans probably aren't in the mood to allow the same from Locker.

Oh, and even if they were in the mood, Locker has 14 touchdown passes in his entire career. So he's a threat on the ground, right? Well, we certainly were thinking that would be the case but the only danger when Locker runs is whether or not he'll get hurt.

E.J. Manuel, Josh Freeman, Brandon Weeden, and Terrelle Pryor escape the cut this week.

Surpriser of the Week: Is the Bucs pass defense for real and how will that affect Drew Brees?

Keep up with all of our Fantasy Coverage

Running backs

Though you won't find Marshawn Lynch and Frank Gore on this list, neither had a very good game in Week 1 and they'll be facing each other's defenses on Sunday night. Who are the bottom five?

32. Knowshon Moreno, Broncos at Giants

The quarterback threw seven touchdowns last week, you share the ball with Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman, you carried in nine times, and the Giants could have an above-average run defense.

Oh yeah, definitely start Moreno or any other Broncos running back.

31. Chris Ivory, Jets at Patriots

Ivory had 10 carries for 15 yards against the Bucs, Bilal Powell had 12 for 29. Now, Tampa Bay has an elite run defense but is there anything satisfactory about split carries for the New York Jets on a short week against a team that just shut down C.J. Spiller?

Oh yeah, so appealing.

30. Isaac Redman, Steelers at Bengals

Last week I placed Felix Jones at 32 and he didn't play because he's not familiar enough with the offense. So I would say that was a pretty good placement of Jones but we'll stick with the same team. Redman and LaRod Stephens-Howling were both terrible against the Titans in Week 1.

Oh yeah, I'm so sure they'll be better against the Bengals on Monday night. I'm so not being sarcastic.

29. Pierre Thomas, Saints at Bucs

Like I said, Tampa's run defense is elite. Even if it was only okay, New Orleans is still sharing the ball between three running backs and Thomas's 43 rushing yards led the team in their Week 1 win over Atlanta.

Darren Sproles is still the only viable option for fantasy football.

28. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Bengals vs Steelers

I may not be much of a fan of the Steelers offense, but they held Chris Johnson to 2.8 yards per carry and no touchdowns in Week 1. Green-Ellis would love to see 2.8 yards per carry this week after rushing for only 25 yards on 14 carries against the Bears.

And Giovani Bernard, just four carries last week, would love his job.

DeAngelo Williams, Rashard Mendenhall, and Ahmad Bradshaw may have just escaped the bottom five. Stevan Ridley gets a bump from Shane Vereen's injury.

Surpriser of the Week: Alfred Morris has a lot to prove after a career-low rushing total and a fumble in Week 1. He must recover against the Packers in Lambeau. Oh yeah, that's easy.

Wide receivers

64. Ace Sanders, Jaguars

Perhaps the league's worst passing offense, now with more Henne! Cecil Shorts could have a good day against the Raiders but it would be more surprising to see anyone else do good. And Shorts led the team with 40 receiving yards in Week 1.

63. Stephen Hill, Jets at Patriots

Substitute Hill with Jeremy Kerley or Santonio Holmes if you like. Either of those three will fit in just fine right here. I don't know if the Thursday night game is going to be low-scoring overall, but it should be low-scoring on the Jets side at least.

In Week 1, Kerley had 45 yards, Hill had 39, and Holmes had 13. Kellen Winslow turned out to be the focal point for Geno Smith, catching seven for 79 yards and a touchdown. He may continue to be the safety net for Smith, leaving Hill and the Gang in the dust.

62. Kenbrell Thompkins, Patriots vs Jets

Conversely, what about the Patriots side of the ball? Same short week but with the added detriment of yet another Danny Amendola injury. It seems pretty clear that Amendola has been in line to fully replace Wes Welker's production and perhaps Julian Edelman can replace Brandon Lloyd's, but what about Thompkins?

The big-hype preseason sleeper slept to the tune of four catches for 42 yards in Week 1. The Jets played well against Josh Freeman (or was that all Freeman?) and the piling on of injuries for the Patriots should allow New York to pile on Thompkins.

Keep stashing him (Aaron Dobson becomes the new sleeper).

61. Kyle Williams, 49ers at Seahawks

The good news for Colin Kaepernick and San Francisco fans is that Anquan Boldin is still really good and Vernon Davis is on the same page as his QB. The passing game looked just fine against the Packers, but it didn't include anyone else besides those two.

Whoever is lined up against Richard Sherman is in trouble and whoever isn't lined up against Sherman is still probably in trouble. Boldin could be a fine play, Davis could be a good one, but every other 49er that is supposed to catch balls probably won't catch many balls. Williams had just three of those last week.

60. Riley Cooper, Eagles vs Chargers

San Diego's defense isn't super excellent and they got burned over and over again by Andre Johnson in Week 1. I would expect a similar performance from DeSean Jackson this week and probably a repeat flop from Cooper and Jason Avant.

Some of the players to just miss the cut (sorry, guys) are injured receiver Dez Bryant, Denarius Moore, and people that have to catch passes from Christian Ponder.

Surpriser of the Week: Roddy White. He's playing but he's playing hurt and he likely won't be at full speed for a couple more weeks. In addition to all of that, the Falcons take on a good pass defense against the Rams in Week 2.

Tight ends

32. Luke Stocker, Bucs vs Saints

Last week, Stocker came in at 31 on this list. He played every offensive snap for Tampa Bay and caught.... zero passes. Neither did any other tight end for the Buccaneers.

31. Cardinals tight ends, Cardinals vs Lions

Rob Housler has been injured and in his steed, Jim Dray and Kory Sperry combined for three catches and 37 yards in Week 1. Even if Housler wasn't hurt, he'd be about this low on the list.

30. Jaguars tight ends, Jaguars at Raiders

Combine the quarterback situation with Marcedes Lewis's injury and you've got a winning formula. That is, if you're trying to "win" a spot on the bottom five of this list.

29. Jeron Mastrud, Raiders vs Jaguars

Same game, same position, still no idea who Jeron Mastrud is. Or maybe the starter will be David Ausberry or Mychal Rivera. Would it matter?

The answer is no. No, it wouldn't.

28. Brandon Pettigrew, Lions at Cardinals

Because some of you are still thinking of Pettigrew as a viable option in fantasy football. He had two catches for six yards in the season opener and the Cardinals defense isn't all that bad. They did allow a big game from Jared Cook last week, but Pettigrew hasn't had a big game since 2011.

Just missing the cut are Scott Chandler, Fred Davis, the disappointing Zach Sudfeld, Ed Dickson, and of course anyone on the Steelers. The big riser from last week was Kellen Winslow.

Surpriser of the Week: Greg Olsen had a couple of big drops against the Seahawks. Can he recover against the Bills in Buffalo?

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