It’s Week 2 of the NFL season, but you already knew that. What you may not be certain of is who to start in Week 2 (for those of you looking for some free agent advice check out Free Agent Action, Wk.2). In this piece I’ll break down a bunch of players matchups for this weeks games pointing out some solid setups for players to excel on the field.
WEEK 1 REVIEW – IT’S A PASSING LEAGUE
12 of 16 games were decided by seven or fewer points, tied for the most on kickoff weekend.
Six quarterbacks passed for 350 or more yards, an NFL record for Week 1. There were twelve 300 yard efforts through their, the second most ever in Week 1 (there were 14 in 2011).
A WEEKLY FANTASY BATTLE
I’m going to describe to you a way you can play fantasy football – against me. Thanks to Fanduel.com you will be able to take me on each week in fantasy football in a salary cap game. Chose your team and take me down. Simple as that. Should be a lot of fun and you can also win cash along the way, so why wouldn’t you be interested? Here’s the link to play: Take On The Oracle In Fantasy Football.
WEEK 2 MATCHUPS
It’s Dwayne Allen and not Colby Fleener that you want to be starting right now as a tight end from the Colts. Allen scored in Week 1 and the last time he faced the Dolphins he hauled in six passes.
Miles Austin caught 10 balls for 72 yards in Week 1. The only time in his career that he’s faced the Chiefs he annihilated them in a way that would make even Anquan Boldin jealous as he caught 10 passes for 250 yards and two scores. Crazy right?
Doug Baldwin has four touchdowns in four games against the Niners in his career which makes him an intriguing play this week after he caught seven balls for 91 yards in Week 1 against the Panthers.
Vick Ballard drew more snaps than we expected in Week 1 as Ahmad Bradshaw slowly works his way into the Colts offense. Ballard, who drew praise from the coaching staff for his blocking, ran for 60 yards and had 38 yards receiving in his last game versus the Dolphins.
It’s a shocker I know, but Drew Brees lights up the Buccaneers. In his last three trips on the field against them he’s thrown for 942 yards and 10 scores. The last two times he’s gone for 300 and four.
Antonio Brown is the #1 option in the Steelers passing game. The club faces the Bengals this week and Brown has ripped them for 12 receptions, 193 yards an a score in the last two matchups.
Tom Brady is 17-4 against the Jets in his career. In those 21 games he’s thrown for 5,126 yards and 31 scores.
No one talked much about Brent Celek this offseason but he had a solid Week 1 effort (two catches, 56 yards and a touchdown). With Jeremy Maclin out of the mix, someone has to catch the pigskin. The last time Celek faced the Chargers he found his way into the end zone, and two of the last four times he’s faced an AFC opponent he’s gone off for at least 150 yards.
Andy Dalton is pretty boring but in his last four home games he’s tossed nine scores versus one interception. He faces the Steelers in Cincinnati this week.
Larry Fitzgerald scored twice in Week 1 to give him a score in his last three September games. He also has scored three times in his last three games versus the Lions.
Matt Forte has average 125.3 yards from scrimmage the last three times he’s played a divisional game. This week the Bears face the Vikings. Last season Michael Bush also had success against the Vikes with two rushing scores when the matchup took place in Chicago.
Arian Foster has scored four times on the ground in his past three outings against the Titans. He also had 119 receiving yards against the Titans back in October of 2011, the best mark of his career. Running mate Ben Tate, who looked better than Foster in Week 1, has destroyed the Titans as well averaging 5.9 yards a carry against them (39 attempts).
A sneaky play this week might be Josh Freeman. He’s on no one’s radar but the last time he faced the Saints all he did was throw for a career best 420 yards with three scores. There should be plenty of points in that game.
Giants wideouts should have success this week. Not only did Victor Cruz score three times in Week 1, he has scored eight times in his past seven home games. The last two games that Hakeem Nicks has played at home all he has done is go for 15 receptions, 313 yards and a score. Good luck stopping that duo Broncos.
Frank Gore vs. the Seahawks seems to be a rough matchup. It is, but Gore has the two best rushing games in 49ers history against the Seahawks which has to be at least a bit intriguing, doesn’t it? It was a lifetime ago, but back in 2006 he ran for 212 yards and in 2009 he ran for 207.
No one likes him but he’s always a flex option. Since the 2010 season BenJarvus Green-Ellis has scored 31 rushing touchdowns, the fourth best mark in football.
The last time A.J. Green faced the Steelers he caught 10 balls for 116 yards. He was even better than that in Week 1 versus the Bears (9-162-2).
T.Y. Hilton was everyone’s hot play last week. He failed miserably to live up to expectations as the Colts continue to limit his snap count (he caught two balls for 20 yards). Given that the club seems enamored with DHB it’s hard to trust Hilton at the moment though he did go for six receptions, 102 yards and a TD the only time he’s previously faced the Dolphins.
Vincent Jackson has 17 catches for 357 yards and two scores in his last three games against the Saints. Running mate Mike Williams has caught at least four passes in the six games he’s played against the Saints.
Did you know that Andre Johnson has the highest yards per game receiving mark in NFL history for a player who has appeared in 100 games? The mark is 82 yards per contest.
The last time that Chris Johnson faced the Texans he ran for 141 yards and in his career he averages 89.3 yards per contest in the matchup.
Brian Hartline blew up in Week 1 with nine receptions, 114 yards and a score. The last time he faced the Colts he went for eight and 107.
Marshawn Lynch has a tough matchup with the stout Niners’ defense but it doesn’t seem to bother him much. The last three times against the Niners he’s run for 100 yards, and in his last 13 games played at home he’s run for 12 scores while averaging 111 yards per game on the ground.
Eli Manning has thrown for 12 scores in his last three home games. He takes on his brother Peyton in New York this week. Those 12 scores for Eli make Peyton’s nine in four games against the Giants look relatively tame.
Brandon Marshall destroys most defenses and the Vikings are no exception to that rule. Marshall has at least 10 grabs in three of his four games against the Vikes and in the four contests he’s gone off for 36 receptions, 437 yards and two scores.
LeSean McCoy ran for 184 yards an a touchdown in the Eagles wide open offense in Week 1. He plays the Chargers at home this week. I mention that because McCoy has scored 17 times in his last 16 home games (13 running, four receiving).
Darren McFadden has scored three times while averaging 145 yards from scrimmage in three games against the Jaguars.
Alfred Morris has run for 789 yards and nine scores since Week 12 of last season. He’s also run for at least 75 yards in 15 of his 18 career games (including the playoffs). Seems doubtful that he will face plant against the Packers.
Let me count the ways Packers’ receivers… James Jones has scored five times in his last six home games. Jordy Nelson has 14 touchdown receptions in his last 13 home games. Randall Cobb has at least 100 yards or a receiving touchdown in 10 of his last 12 games overall. Good luck stopping that Redskins. Not surprisingly Aaron Rodgers has killed it at home with 54 touchdown passes an a mere 12 interceptions in his last 20 home games.
The Browns defense is improved but can they stop Ray Rice? The star from the Ravens has averaged 92.2 rushing yards in 10 career matchups.
Shot in the dark play? How about Sidney Rice who has scored four times in his last six home games. The Seahawks face the Niners this week.
Stevan Ridley will almost have to be the big time ball carrier for the Patriots this week despite his fumble issues. Ridley ran for 97 yards an a touchdown the last time he faced the Jets.
Saints runners are certainly worth a look against the Buccaneers. Pierre Thomas has scored three times in the last five meetings. Darren Sproles has 3-straight games with a receiving score against the Bucs. Mark Ingram ran for 90 yards an a score the last time he faced the Bucs.
Matt Schaub owners in two team leagues can feel pretty good about him this week. He’s thrown for 17 scores and just one INT in his last eight starts against the Titans.
Torrey Smith went for six grabs and 97 yards with a score in his last home game against the Browns.
DeAngelo Williams ran for 89 yards and caught passes for 50 yards the last time he faced the Bills. He also scored in that contest.
Ray Flowers can be heard daily on Sirius/XM Radio on The Fantasy Drive on Sirius 210 and XM 87, Monday through Thursday at 7 PM EDT & Friday’s at 9 PM EDT. For more of Ray’s analysis you can check out BaseballGuys.com or the BaseballGuys’ Twitter account where he tirelessly answer everyone’s questions.