Inside the Huddle: Week 2

Week 2 of the NFL season held plenty of drama, didn’t it?  Chris Johnson was the player of the day, going for 284 yards and 3 TD, total.  Frank Gore did his part as well, rushing for over 200 yards.  Matt Forte?  He continues to look like a bust, especially if you passed over Adrian Peterson to select him.  Let’s look at these stories and all the rest from yesterday’s games:

Bengals 31, Packers 24

  • Carson Palmer was not great, but he wasn’t bad either.  He went 15-23 for 185 yards, 3 TD and 2 INT.  It’s a step in the right direction, throwing for a few TD (as opposed to Week 1), but he does have 4 interceptions on the season now.  It isn’t a surprise that he’s struggled, so just sit tight.
  • It was Cedric Benson who helped to lead the way, rushing the ball 29 times for 141 yards.  He’s been great early on this season, rushing for over 200 yards in his first two games.  He’s easily worth using in all formats right now.
  • The Packers only handed the ball off to Ryan Grant 14 times.  While he did get 46 yards and 1 TD, as well as catch 3 passes for 22 yards, he needs to be more productive in the ground game.  Part of that involves getting more carries.
Cardinals 31, Jaguars 17
  • Anquan Boldin (8 receptions for 69 yards) was in the line-up.  Steve Breaston (5 receptions for 83 yards) returned.  Put those two together, along with Larry Fitzgerald (4 receptions for 34 yards and 1 TD), and there is no wonder why Kurt Warner exploded to go 24-26 for 243 yards and 2 TD.  This passing game is going to me electric all season along, but that is not a very bold statement.
  • Tim Hightower once again saw the majority of the carries, rushing the ball 15 times for 72 yards and 1 TD.  Beanie Wells was a factor, rushing the ball 7 times for 44 yards, but that is far from what owners were hoping for.  He should play a major factor before long, so don’t give up on him quite yet.
  • Maurice Jones-Drew rushed for just 66 yards, while adding 4 catches for 17 yards in the passing game.  That is far from first round production.  I know he had a big Week 1, but it’s going to take more games like that to justify his first round status.  Hopefully this is just a one week bust.
Saints 48, Eagles 22
  • Drew Brees is simply amazing, isn’t he?  He went 25-34 with 3 TD (Marques Colston had 8 catches for 98 yards and 2 of the TD) and 1 INT.  That gives him 9 TD already this season, setting an amazing pace.  He’s lived up to the billing as the top QB in the league so far.
  • Mike Bell was strong again, rushing for 86 yards and 1 TD, though his day was cut short with what is so far being billed a sprained MCL.  Hopefully we’ll know more tomorrow, but those who have Pierre Thomas, despite his basically doing nothing in this one, should sit tight for another week.
  • Kevin Kolb played well for the injured Donovan McNabb, going 31-51 for 391 yards, 2 TD and 3 INT.  Obviously, trailing big forced him to throw the ball a lot, which in turn limited Brian Westbrook to just 52 yards on the ground (as well as 14 through the air).  Kolb’s time isn’t going to be long behind center, with McNabb, Michael Vick and Jeff Garcia also on the roster, so don’t get too excited.
Redskins 9, Rams 7
  • Laurent Robinson caught 6 passes for 54 yards and 1 TD.  That’s a great follow-up to his Week 1 performance, where he caught 5 passes for 87 yards.  If he’s still sitting available in your league, I’d snatch him up now.  He appears to be the #1 receiver for a team that is going to be desperately looking for play makers all year long, meaning he could be in store for a major breakout campaign.
  • Santana Moss had just 3 catches for 35 yards.  So much for it being just the Giants defense in Week 1, huh?  It’s still early, so I wouldn’t panic, but there may be cause for concern at this point.  He hopefully can bounce back next week against the Lions.
49ers 23, Seahawks 10
  • Matt Hasselbeck was forced from the game due to bruised ribs and appears unlikely to play next week.  That’s going to hurt the value of the Seahawks receivers heading into next week, since Seneca Wallace will again be at the helm.  No receiver had more than 62 yards (T.J. Housmandzadeh) yesterday, so if you are looking at one of the fringe options, you’d probably be better off looking elsewhere.
  • Shaun Hill’s place is to simply not lose the football game, which he did well, going 19-26 for 144 yards with 0 TD and 0 INT.  That type of game plan makes him a bad play for fantasy owners, even in 2 QB formats.
  • Frank Gore had a huge day, rushing the ball 16 times for 207 yards and 2 TD.  He added 5 catches for 39 yards, leading the team in both receptions and reception yards as well.  Clearly, he is the man in San Francisco, huh?
Ravens 31, Chargers 26
  • Ray Rice made his impact felt, but more in the passing game then the running game.  He had 8 carries for 36 yards, but led the team with 5 receptions, going for 46 yards.  It was Willis McGahee who had the big game rushing, getting 15 carries for 79 yards and 2 TD.  Clearly, for those in deep leagues, McGahee is going to have value (he had a rushing TD in Week 1 as well).
  • Without LaDanian Tomlinson the Chargers offense had little on the ground, with Darren Sproles leading the way with 26 yards, though a tough Ravens defense certainly played a role in that.  Sproles did make 7 catches for 124 yards and 1 TD, though that didn’t even lead the team in yards.  That honor went to Vincent Jackson, who had 6 catches for 141 yards and 1 TD.
Broncos 27, Browns 6
  • The only positive thing to point to from the Browns offense was Braylon Edwards 6 catches for 92 yards.  That’s it.  Brady Quinn was bad, going 18-31 for 161 yards and 1 INT.  Jamal Lewis did little, rushing for just 38 yards (and adding 8 through the air).  If you are in a 2 QB league and need someone, now may be the perfect time to stash away Derek Anderson.  It appears to be just a matter of time, doesn’t it?
  • Knowshon Moreno got a chance to play a bigger role in the offense, rushing the ball 17 times for 75 yards (while adding 2 catches for 22 yards).  Correll Buckhalter also got his touches, rushing the ball 9 times for 76 yards and 1 TD, but Moreno owners should be happy with his production.
Bills 33, Buccaneers 20
  • Kellen Winslow had another big day, catching 7 passes for 90 yards and 1 TD.  In his first two games with the Bucs, he’s caught 12 passes for 120 yards and 2 TD.  He’s finally that potential that we’ve all heard about and he has the potential to be the best receiving option on this team.  He is proving to be a great late round pick, huh?
  • Fred Jackson is quickly making people forget about Marshawn Lynch, making it interesting on what the Bills are going to do once Lynch is eligible to return.  Jackson rushed for 163 yards, while also catching 6 passes for 25 yards.
  • Terrell Owens didn’t have a huge game, catching 3 passes for 52 yards, but he did manage to get in the end zone.  Still, you have to be thinking that the Bills are going to be trying to find more ways to get him the ball, don’t you?
Bears 17, Steelers 14
  • Matt Forte number 1, huh?  I know he was facing a tough defense, but he rushed for just 29 yards, while adding 33 through the air.  After just 55 yards on the ground in the first game, he’s certainly looking like an early season bust, though there is still time to make up for it.
  • Willie Parker had just 47 yards rushing, after 19 in the first week.  Could Rashard Mendenhall start to get more carries?  It’s worth considering stashing him if you are in need of a back.
  • Jay Cutler went 27-38 for 236 yards and 2 TD.  That’s a great rebound from the first week and is more of what owners were hoping for, especially in two QB leagues.
Jets 16, Patriots 9
  • The New England Patriots threw the ball 47 times, with no running back getting more than 8 carries.  That really isn’t the best strategy, especially with Wes Welker, their possession receiver out of the game.  It showed in the results, with Tom Brady throwing for 216 yards, 0 TD and 1 INT.  I’d expect a little more focus on the running game next week, though this also helps to show just how tough the Jets defense really is.
  • Mark Sanchez went 14-22 for 163 yards and 1 TD.  Those aren’t blow away numbers, but they are solid once again.  He’s likely going to struggle at times (he was less than impressive in the first half, though the Jets didn’t let him throw very often), but he’s proving that he’s a solid play in all two QB formats.
Texans 34, Titans 31
  • Matt Schaub to Andre Johnson.  Is there a better combination in the league?  Schaub went 25-39 for 357 yards and 4 TD.  Johnson caught 10 passes for 149 yards and 2 TD.  They are just awesome.
  • Despite being in a loss, Chris Johnson had the biggest fantasy day of any player this week.  He rushed for 197 yards and 2 TD, as well as adding 9 catches for 87 yards and 1 TD.  That is just unbelievable production, isn’t it?  When you are breaking touchdowns from all distances, I guess you just don’t have to worry about LenDale White vulturing away your TDs, huh?  It’s going to happen at times, but Johnson clearly is among the top backs in the game.
Raiders 13, Chiefs 10
  • The Raiders may have won, but there was no one that looked very good offensively.  JaMarcus Russell went 7-24 for 109 yards.  Darren McFadden rushed for 35 yards and 1 TD (adding 20 yards through the air).  No receiver had more than 2 catches or 26 yards.  Clearly, at this point, McFadden is the only one worth considering.
  • Matt Cassel made his Chiefs debut, going 24-39 with 241 yards, 1 TD and 2 INT.  It’s going to take him a little time to settle in, so give him a chance.  I’d expect Cassel to Bowe (5 catches, 56 yards, 1 TD), will become a common trend quickly.
  • Larry Johnson rushed for 78 yards, while catching 3 passes for 41 yards.  He didn’t find the end zone, but it certainly is promising, isn’t it?  I said it early on, but he’s a player I certainly would want to own.
Vikings 27, Lions 13
  • It is becoming apparent that Brett Favre is in Minnesota to manage the game, not throw the ball around the field.  He went 23-27 for 155 yards and 2 TD, solid numbers but not awe inspiring.  That’s what happens when you have Adrian Peterson (92 yards, 1 TD) in the backfield.  Favre is going to be usable in two QB formats, but that’s about it at this point.
  • Matt Stafford went 18-30 for 152 yards, 1 TD and 2 INT.  He clearly is not in the same type of position as Mark Sanchez, who has a great defense behind him and just has to manage the game.  Stafford was able to get fellow rookie Brandon Pettigrew (4 catches for 40 yards) into the game, as well as get Calvin Johnson (5 catches, 51 yards and 1 TD) into the end zone.  Still, the Lions are a big-time work in progress and Stafford hasn’t done enough to prove usable in any format.
Falcons 28, Panthers 20
  • It is like night and day looking at the production of Jake Delhomme, isn’t it?  After being pitiful in Week 1, he came out and went 25-41 for 308 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT.  That should certainly quiet down some of the concerns, huh?  I wouldn’t trust him in any format, but those in 2 QB leagues can keep him stashed on the bench in case he’s needed.
  • Tony Gonzalez has gotten his Falcons career off to a great start, huh?  He caught 7 passes for 71 yards and 1 TD, after catching 5 passes for 73 yards and 1 TD in the first week of the season.  For those who questioned if he was still the best tight end in the league, this serves as proof enough, at least for now.  He’s not showing signs of slowing down one bit.
Giants 33, Cowboys 31
  • The Giants weren’t supposed to have receivers having big games, right?  Well, Dominick Hixon went down early and that allowed both Steve Smith & Mario Manningham to have career days.  Eli Manning (25-38, 330 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT) found both targets 10 times, Manningham for 150 yards and 1 TD and Smith for 134 yards and 1 TD.  Smith is probably already owned in most deeper formats, since he was the most consistent receiver for the team, but this could be Manningham’s coming out party.
  • For as good as Tony Romo was in Week 1, he was that bad this week.  He went 13-29 for 127 yards, 1 TD and 3 INT.  Is Romo really that bad or is the Giants defense that good?  I do not think Romo is this bad and I would look for a huge comeback next week.

What do you think was the biggest story coming out of yesterday’s games?  Who was the brightest star?  Who was the biggest disappointment?

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Inside the Huddle: Colts vs. Dolphins
Inside the Huddle: A Fantasy Look at Week 1s Games

One comment

  1. fiji.siv says:

    Love this series!

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