Back by popular demand, Thursday night football has come early this season! For those of you still celebrating last week’s fantasy football victory enjoy it for another few hours because week two starts tonight at 7:20 CST. For those of you who suffered defeat in week one, brush up on your pregame knowledge and get the right players in your lineup!
Chicago at Green Bay–
The season’s first Thursday night game should provide ample fireworks. Green Bay is coming off a loss and will most likely be without Greg Jennings so look for Jordy Nelson to draw number one receiver targets and coverage (most likely he’ll have Tim Jennings on him tonight if Charles Tillman can’t go so get Tim Jennings in your lineup if you play in an IDP league) James Jones should draw the start in place of Greg Jennings which doesn’t mean a whole lot with the way Aaron Rodgers spreads it around. I still do not expect much out of Cedric Benson but I could see him punching one in unless Aaron Rodgers steals the goal line carry. On the flip side Brandon Marshal has proven he can be a stand out fantasy football wide receiver despite the heaviest of coverage. I expect Green Bay to be up in this one giving all of the Chicago starters ample opportunity for fantasy points. Sneaky start in deep leagues – Michael Bush, my nomination for the 2012 touchdown vulture of the year!
Kansas City at Buffalo –
A couple of soft defenses paired with two of the most dynamic fantasy running backs in the league should make for some fireworks. Expect big gains and big points from Jamaal Charles and CJ Spiller both should hit pay dirt as well. The Bills secondary is underrated so I would not expect a ton of fantasy points from Dwayne Bowe but could see Tony Moeaki scoring a touchdown this week. Brandon Flowers is most likely out again this week making Steve Johnson a nice play as your number 2 fantasy football wide receiver.
Cleveland at Cincinnati–
Benjarvis Green-Ellis showed some strength as a true number 2 fantasy running back against the Ravens on Monday night. News flash, the Browns are not the Ravens – Green-Ellis should go off this week. With Joe Haden suspended AJ Green’s value should only go up 80 yards and a score should come easily. I am starting all reasonable Bengals in week two. Perhaps this will be the week Trent Richardson lives up to the hype, but I do not think so. Expect the Bengals to key in on the talented rookie running back and bottle him up. If you own him you are starting him, you just better hope he gets to the goal line.
Minnesota at Indianapolis –
Adrian Peterson returned in glorious fantasy football fashion last week scoring two touchdowns. Don’t expect the soft Colts defense to stop him this week especially with their leading tackler Pat Angerer on the mend. For IDP purposes expect Antoine
Bethea to rack up tackles as Adrian Peterson breaks into the secondary time after time. Just as predicted, Reggie Wayne did not disappoint and nothing about the Vikings secondary scares me in this game. Donald Brown should get a full clip of carries in this one as the score should a bit closer than it was last week.
New Orleans at Carolina –
This one has shootout written all over it. Both teams are coming off unexpected losses and both should be out for blood. I am still not touching any Carolina running backs but Cam Newton should light it up through the air and on the ground. I do expect Drew Brees to have his typically strong fantasy game like he does every week and Marques Colston should catch his touchdown looks this week as opposed to dropping them. My pick for a not so sneaky play for the saints is Lance Moore in deeper leagues.
Houston at Jacksonville –
Arian Foster should eat this defense for lunch on Sunday. Jacksonville will be out of it early so Ben Tate might even get some totes as the game wears on. I can see Ben Tate as a flex play if you are desperate. At this moment Maurice Jones Drew is the only Jaguar I am starting but feel free to throw Laurent Robinson out there as a desperation wide receiver play if need be.
Oakland at Miami –
This pillow fight should have a good amount of fantasy relevance as I see both running backs (Darren McFadden and Reggie Bush) having strong games. If Carson Palmer was ever going to light it up, this would be his week. Odds are good Darrius Heyward-Bey will draw coverage from Sean Smith. Until he proves he can beat coverage of any type only start him if you have no better option. The band of street bums known as the Oakland Wide receiving corps will produce a couple touchdowns but the question is who catches them? If Denarius Moore plays it should be him.
Arizona at New England –
New England’s Defense might be the strongest play of the weekend if they can contain fantasy super star Larry Fitzgerald. I think they can simply because no one else on this team is a threat. Start all your Patriots wide outs along with Steven Ridley who seems to have secured his job as a featured running back. This one should be a blow out. If you were thinking of starting any Cardinals other than Larry Fitzgerald, think again.
Tampa Bay at New York Giants –
Expect a nice bounce back out of Eli Manning and get him into your lineup. Both Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz should be
productive and I think victor Cruz gets a long score in this one. Ahmad Bradshaw will score and gain 60-80 yards rushing. Judging by the way Tony Romo lit the G men up last week I am getting Vincent Jackson into my starting lineup right away. I could see Dallas Clark as a sneaky Tight end play if you are desperate but I am not expecting big things out of Doug Martin this week. Let’s not forget Demarco Murray was pretty well bottled up until that big run later in the game.
Baltimore at Philadelphia –
The Ravens beat up on the lowly Bengals in week one but draw an opponent with much more firepower in week two. If Benjarvis Green-Ellis can get loose against Baltimore certainly Lesean McCoy can as well. Either way you’re starting him regardless of matchup. Ray Rice should once again gash the Philly defense and prove why many have him as their number one overall fantasy football running back. Keep an eye on Jeremy Maclin who may sit this one out and start Desean Jackson who was targeted a ton last week.
Washington at St. Louis –
Owners of Robert Griffin III should be licking their chops with this matchup. Let’s just hope Pierre Garcon is a go. If not plug
second year man Aldrick Robinson right in, he should draw a lot of the targets Garcon would have had as he did last week when Garcon left with the injury. This is a tasty matchup for Alfred Morris but look at me if you get Shanahan-ed. Keep your eyes on perennial sleeper Danny Amendola, he is the only Rams player I am starting other thanSteven Jackson.
Dallas at Seattle–
Get those Cowboys into your lineup. Start all receivers, even Kevin Ogletree in deeper leagues as I think Seattle’s Preseason defensive hype may have been overstated. One way or another we will find out this week. For Seattle I am not sure who to trust in that wide receiving corps so I would take a wait and see approach for fantasy football purposes. Marshawn Lynch should be back to full strength this week and ready for beast mode.
New York Jets at Pittsburgh –
Word has it Jonathan Dwyer will get the start if healthy, either way he should only be used in the deepest of fantasy leagues as this is not a favorable match up. Darell Revis may be out this weekend making all Pittsburgh wide outs viable fantasy options. I expect Antonio Brown to get the touchdowns this week. I was not fooled by Shonne Green and I feel we may well have seen his best game of 2012. Start him if you must but do not expect more than 7 or 8 points. Look forSantonio Holmes to reassert himself as the Jets number one fantasy receiver as the Stephen Hill hype dies off a bit this week.
Tennessee at San Diego –
For those of your fooled by Chris Johnson don’t expect it to get much better this week. Perhaps the Chargers drew up an excellent game plan for their Monday night matchup with Darren Mcfadden and the raiders but they might actually be good, the jury is still out. Keep Kenny Britt out this week but keep him on your roster. The Chargers should continue to reassert their passing game with Ryan Mathews still out and no other running back stepping up. I like Antonio Gates and Malcolm Floyd to score in this one.
Detroit at San Francisco –
For as good as Kevin Smith looked last week I cannot advise starting him this week against a stout 49ers defense. The same should be said for Frank Gore but I do think Gore is a viable number 2 fantasy running back. The Lions Defense is good but not “bench your studs good” Keep an Eye on Calvin Johnson’s injury. The Sunday night kickoff should help but be sure to have a back up in place just in case. If you have a decent backup quarterback it might not be a bad idea to start him over Matt Stafford, this defense gave Aaron Rodgers fits last week.
Denver at Atlanta–
This should be one heck of a Monday night game. Atlanta will win it in the Georgia Dome but Peyton Manning and his two minute offense will give them a run for their money. Both he and Matt Ryan should have big nights. If Willis Mcgahee and Michael Turner do not score in this one I will officially be worried. Start all wide receivers in this one. That means Roddy White, Julio Jones, Eric Decker and Demaryrius Thomas are all in my top 20 wide receiver for week two. I expect Roddy White to have a good game and score silencing his doubters. Julio Jones should be covered by Champ Bailey if he can keep up.
Be sure to write in if you need help with your week two lineup!