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The Grogan Verdict Week 2
 
The Grogan Verdict by Kelly Grogan (9/12/12)


Week 2


QUARTERBACKS

Jake Locker/QB/TEN separated his non-throwing shoulder last week against the Patriots, but there was no structural damage.  He may be wearing a brace this week against the Texans, but he still is a risky fantasy start this week.

Philip Rivers/QB/SD is facing a Titans defense which had a difficult time holding down the Patriots offense last week.  The Chargers will be relying on their passing offense while RB Ryan Matthews remains on the bench with his shoulder injury.  Rivers is a fantasy start in most leagues this week.

Mark Sanchez/QB/NYJ faces a Steelers defense that is coming off a loss on the road to Denver and Peyton Manning.  The Steelers actually didn't do a bad job holding Manning down to 253 yards passing when you consider that 71 of those yards came on TD play to WR Demaryius Thomas.  I think Sanchez is in for a tough game here and don't see a repeat performance of 3 TD's as he threw for last week against the Bills.

Ben Roethlisberger/QB/PIT threw for 2 TD's against the Broncos last Sunday night.  He looked comfortable in the offense and I would consider him a solid fantasy starter against a Jets defense that gave up 3 passing TD's last week to QB Ryan Fitzpatrick of the Bills.

Christian Ponder/QB/MIN was efficient in last week's overtime win against Jacksonville completing 74% of his passes.  He did throw for 270 yards, but no TD's.  Chicago's Jay Cutler did have success against the Colts defense last week throwing for more than 300 yards and 2 TD's.  With a running game led by RB Adrian Peterson, Ponder should be considered lower end fantasy option.

Andrew Luck/QB/IND threw for over 300 yards in his first NFL start, but facing a tough Bears defense was picked off 3 times.  It's a learning process no matter if you are the number one pick or not. The Vikings did give up 260 yards passing to Jacksonville QB Blaine Gabbert to go along with passing 2 TD's.  I would consider starting Luck this week and I do like the fact he has a veteran WR like Reggie Wayne on his side and a possible return of WR Austin Collie (concussions).

Matt Ryan/QB/ATL should be considered a starting fantasy QB this week against the Broncos.  He is coming off a 3 passing TD, 299 yard performance last week against the Chiefs.  With Peyton Manning on the other side of the ball, this is expected to be a high scoring game.

Matt Cassel/QB/KC has struggled last game against the Falcons throwing for 258 yards, 1 TD and 2 interceptions.  One of the criticisms of Cassel over the last 3 seasons is lack of consistency.  This week both the Chiefs and the Bills are coming off blow-out losses.   The fact that the Bills gave up 3 passing TD's to Jets QB Mark Sanchez in week 1 is a plus for Cassel this week.  Week to week Cassel is a risky fantasy play, but he has a little more upside this week.

Ryan Fitzpatrick/QB/BUF did throw 3 TD passes in week 1, but he also threw 3 interceptions.  I think he has a little more fantasy value this week going against a Chiefs defense that is limited due to injuries.

Blaine Gabbert/QB/JAX had a nice week 1 with 260 yards passing and 2 TD's.  He's not a great option this week going against a tough Houston defense, but if he keeps progressing, could be an option on a bye week.

Carson Palmer/QB/OAK did throw for 297 yards and 1 TD last week against the Chargers, but the Raiders receivers are hurting so bad, Palmer is a high risk fantasy option.  WR Jacoby Ford had foot surgery and is expected to miss the next 6 weeks.  RB Darren McFadden was the leading receiver in week 1 with 13 receptions for 86 yards while being targeted 18 times. 


RUNNING BACKS

Chris Johnson/RB/TEN is coming off the worst NFL game of his career with just 4 yards on 11 carries last week.  It's not going to be easy this week against a Chargers defense that held Oakland's Darren McFadden to 32 yards on 15 carries.  The Chargers game plan was to stack the box and force the Raiders to pass on them.  Considering the QB situation here in Tennessee, we may see a similar game plan by the Chargers against the Titans.

Shonn Greene/RB/NYJ was a nice surprise last week running for 94 yards and a TD against the Bills.  But, you should consider it was in a blowout, 48-24 game and a third of his rushing yards as well as his TD came in the fourth quarter when the Jets were trying to run out the clock.  He is the focus of the Jets running game and worthy of a starting position in larger fantasy rosters.

Isaac Redman/RB/PIT was listed as probable last week going into the game against the Broncos with his ankle injury.  He did have 11 carries but for only 20 yards.  The Steelers should have a better opportunity to run the ball this week against the Jets who gave up almost 7.5 yards per carry (ypc) to the Bills in week 1.  With RB Jonathan Dwyer expected to see more carries this week, Redman should be considered a flex option at best this week.

Adrian Peterson/RB/MIN surprised many fantasy football pundits with his performance last week.  He looked fine and is a no-brainer in all fantasy lineups as long as he is healthy.

Donald Brown/RB/IND only had 9 carries last week against a tough Bears defense, but he did average over 5.0 ypc.  The Vikings defense is tough too, but Brown is the main running back for the Colts and I would consider him as an RB3 or flex option for this week.

Willis McGahee/RB/DEN to no one's surprise handled a majority of the rushing opportunities for the Broncos in week 1 against the Steelers and we expect to see that again this week against the Falcons.  Las Vegas is looking at this game to be one of the higher scoring games of week 2.  Even though Knowshon Moreno did get Denver's lone rushing TD in week 1, McGahee is still the featured back and is a fantasy starter this week against a Falcon defense that gave up 4.6 ypc to the Chiefs last week.

Knowshon Moreno/RB/DEN will see playing time, but Willis McGahee is the main back.  There could be an opportunity for Moreno this week in Atlanta as the Falcons did give up 2 short yardage goal line TD's last week against the Chiefs.  He's a risky fantasy option, but one that could be used if you are limited by an injury.

Michael Turner/RB/ATL was held to only 32 yards rushing on 11 carries last week in Kansas City.  It's not expected to be an easy game for the Falcons rushing attack as the Broncos were able to hold the Steelers under 3.0 ypc in week 1.  I still would play Turner as a starting fantasy back as he will receive a majority of the running attempts for the Falcons.

Jamaal Charles/RB/KC played well last week rushing 16 times for 87 yards.  The Bills gave up 94 rushing yards and a TD to Jets RB Shonn Greene last week.  But, take into account much of Greene's rushing stats came at garbage time when the Jets were trying to run out the clock.

Peyton Hillis/RB/KC only had seven carries in week 1 against the Falcons.  If the Chiefs can get their running game going, Hillis should be more involved.  He is a risky fantasy option when Jamaal Charles is running well.

CJ Spiller/RB/BUF fantasy value increased this week with the injury to RB Fred Jackson, who will miss at least the next 3-8 games.  Spiller will see more opportunities and is a good choice this week as a flex option.

Trent Richardson/RB/CLV did have 19 carries week 1, but the problem was he only produced 39 yards rushing.  He played a lot week 1 considering he misses most of training camp.  I expect more fantasy value from him this week against a Bengals defense that gave up 2 rushing TD's and 122 yards on the ground to Baltimore in week 1.

BenJarvis Green-Ellis/RB/CIN was, as expected, the featured back week 1 for the Bengals. He should remain in your fantasy line-up this week against the Browns, who gave up 5.0 ypc to Eagles in week 1.

Maurice Jones-Drew/RB/JAX is and has been a no brainer fantasy starter. After having missed all of training camp it was a surprise to see how involved he was in the offense week 1.  RB Rashad Jennings likely out this week, with a Knee injury, MDJ should not be left out of any fantasy line-ups.


WIDE RECEIVERS

Kenny Britt/WR/TEN was not available for the first game due to a one-game suspension.  He is coming off three knee surgeries in the past year.  How much he will contribute and a risky QB situation makes him a risky fantasy play this week.

Stephen Hill/WR/NYJ had a great game last week against the Bills with 2 TD's and 89 yards receiving.  With Santonio Holmes still feeling the effects from a preseason rib injury, Hill is worth a flex option in larger leagues this week against a tough Steelers defense.

Antonio Brown/WR/PIT was targeted 8 times by QB Ben Roethlisberger last week in Denver.  It appears that the Steelers would like to spread around the passing game to 4 guys, Brown, Wallace, Sanders and TE Miller.  These 4 players were targeted 29 times out of Roethlisberger's 40 passing attempts in Week 1. Brown is a fantasy option who comes with some risk.

Demaryius Thomas/WR/DEN is a sure fantasy starter this week against the Atlanta Falcons.  This game is looking like it will be a high scoring shoot-out and Thomas should benefit.

Eric Decker/WR/DEN was targeted 7 times last week by QB Peyton Manning and I expect he will see a lot of opportunities this week too.  If this is a high scoring game as most suspect, Decker will be in the mix and is worthy of a starting fantasy option consideration.

Dwayne Bowe/WR/KC had a poor fantasy performance in week 1 with just 3 receptions for 53 yards.  Bowe normally is a week in, week out fantasy starter.  I still like him this week going against a Bills defense that gave up 3 T passing TD's to the Jets in week 1.

Andrew Hawkins/WR/CIN made his case for more playing time with his performance week 1; 8 receptions for 86 yards.  Nothing is set in stone here for week 2.  But, I would like to see his production for the next couple of weeks before putting him a starting fantasy line-up.

Austin Collie/WR/IND was inactive for week 1 due to concussions.  He has been cleared to play.  If he plays he will start opposite WR Reggie Wayne.  I would be cautious starting him in a fantasy line-up week 2.  I would like to see him playing before putting him in my line-up.


TIGHT ENDS

Antonio Gates/TE/SD was targeted 8 times by Philip Rivers last week and is expected to be counted on this week against the Titans.  Last week the Titans gave up 119 yards and 2 TD's to Patriots TE's.

Heath Miller/TE/PIT was targeted 7 times by Ben Roethlisberger last week against the Broncos.  He did have 4 receptions for 50 yards and a TD.  I like him as a starting fantasy TE this week against the Jets as Roethlisberger has confidence using him in the red zone.

Kyle Rudolph/TE/MIN had a nice week 1 with 5 receptions for 67 yards.  He is a guy to keep an eye on if you are hurting for a TE with the upcoming bye weeks.

Coby Fleener/TE/IND was targeted 10 times by QB Andrew Luck in week 1 and pull down 6 receptions for 82 yards.  He was the first TE drafted in the 2012 rookie draft, but didn't play like a rookie.  Fleener is a key target for Luck in the red zone and I would consider him a starting fantasy TE this week.  The Vikings did give up a red zone passing TD to Jacksonville's TE Marcedes Lewis in last week's game.

Jacob Tamme/TE/DEN continues to be on the same page as QB Peyton Manning.  Tamme was on the receiving end of 5 Manning passes in week 1 and picked up a score.  I like Tamme as a starting fantasy option this week.  The Falcons did give up 5 receptions for 69 yards and a TD to Chiefs' TE's in week 1.

Tony Gonzalez/TE/ATL is most weeks going to be a no-brainer fantasy start.  There is no change this week as he is a key look for QB Ryan in the red zone.

Scott Chandler/TE/BUF had an okay week 1 with 4 receptions for 38 yards and a red zone TD.  He is still a marginal fantasy option.

Kevin Boss/TE/KC was limited to just 2 receptions in week 1, but one was a red zone TD.  TE Tony Moeaki was targeted 6 times in the game.  Boss' fantasy value takes a bit of a hit with Moeaki in the line-up.

Owen Daniels/TE/HOU had another solid performance week 1 with 4 receptions for 87 yards.  I like the fact he was targeted 8 times by QB Matt Schaub.

Marcedes Lewis/TE/JAX had 5 receptions for 52 yards and a red zone TD in week 1.  If you are hurting at TE he's not a bad option for a possible red zone score.

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