Don’t overreact to Week 1. I’ll repeat that. Don’t overreact to Week 1. It’s only one week in a 13- or 14- week season. Aaron Rodgers doesn’t suck. Jamaal Charles shouldn’t be benched. There will be many better days for Demaryius Thomas. Carson Palmer isn’t going to rush for 30 yards every game. Mark Ingram won’t continue to be the No. 6 running back every week. Steve Smith is still old. (We’ll get back to him later.) It’s a long season. I’ll repeat that. It’s a long season.
Below is a list of guys I’m focused on for one reason or another this week. If you’re curious about guys you don’t see listed here, you can always find me on Twitter (@MrT_BroBible) to ask questions, but remember to mention league specifics like PPR.
Jake Locker (QB – Tennessee): If you’re streaming quarterbacks or own the likes of Philip Rivers or Robert Griffin III, then you should seriously look into Locker this week. Dallas’ defense is clearly hurting as San Francisco displayed in last week’s beatdown. Things could’ve been even worse had the 49ers not taken their foot off the gas. Locker looked very effective in Week 1, hitting open receivers without forcing the issue. He will have what it takes to make it back-to-back successful weeks.
Terrance West (RB – Cleveland): It appears as if Ben Tate is out for 2-4 weeks, so West becomes the first running back that’s a plug-and-play opportunity right off the waiver wire. The Saints got carved up last week by the Falcons’ running backs, to the tune of 181 total yards and two touchdowns. West may give up some carries to Isaiah Crowell on Sunday, but he should still carry at least 75 percent of the load.
Knowshon Moreno (RB – Miami): I, like everyone else, was hoodwinked by all the early training camp talk about Moreno being out of shape and not ready for life in Miami. Lamar Miller seemed to have the edge. Things started to turn towards the end of preseason and last week the tide completely turned. Moreno dominated carries, especially after a Miller fumble, and performed well as the dominant rusher. Buffalo got gashed by Matt Forte last week, so look for Moreno to have continued success.
Justin Hunter (WR – Tennessee): Locker’s going to be throwing a lot on Sunday and guess who led Tennessee in targets last week? It should be no surprise that Tennessee’s “third-receiver” Hunter had more targets (eight) than anyone else given that he’s a former high draft pick and the Titans played a lot of three-receiver sets. It’s time to go big or go home with Hunter this week since Dallas’ defense is incredibly miserable.
Kelvin Benjamin (WR – Carolina): You saw exactly what Benjamin can do against the Buccaneers. He’s clearly the top passing option for Carolina and is capable of making big plays. Carolina’s defense is strong, but the Lions will likely put some points on the board. Carolina will have to answer and Benjamin already knows the question.
Heath Miller (TE – Pittsburgh): The tight end position has an upper tier and everybody else. The everybody else is a pretty deep category, so you’re generally not looking for one this week unless Jordan Cameron doesn’t play or you drafted Travis Kelce without realizing that he isn’t seeing enough snaps yet. Great lower level options this week are sparse, but I’ll throw a bone out there to Miller. Miller’s been solid against the Ravens in the past and should perform better than the 26 yards he gave you last week.
You Know Who You Should Sit?
Robert Griffin III (QB – Washington): As mentioned above, you might want to look for alternatives to RG3 this week. Something is just off with “Bobby Triple Sticks” right now. He was awful in the preseason and looked like a check-down king in the opener. You drafted Griffin for big plays through the air and on the ground. Those don’t seem to be in the picture right now and Jacksonville’s defense is better than you think. Griffin’s not an every-week starter at QB based on his draft position, so look elsewhere.
Zac Stacy (RB – St. Louis): It’s Week 2 and I’m already telling you to bench your second or third round pick. It’s alarming, but facts are facts. Let’s start with the idiocy of a coaching staff that says it’ll favor a “hot hand” approach with two running backs who need volume. Stacy showed what he could do with volume last year, but he’s not getting the chance now. Then take a look at Stacy’s snap count last week, which was two less than his “backup” Benny Cunningham. The argument could be made that the game got out of hand and St. Louis started playing their reserves, but Stacy was alternating snaps before that happened and he wasn’t exactly excelling with what he had.
Justin Forsett (RB – Baltimore): You’re getting excited because you just picked up a running back who grabbed 70 yards and a touchdown after Bernard Pierce was benched last week. Here’s the problem (and realistically there are a few). Forsett’s just not that good and he’s not clearly the No. 1 guy. He’s bounced around the league and doesn’t seem likely to take over things at age 28. He’s also slight of frame for a full workload. Add in that Bernard Pierce is still around and will see some of the ball with Lorenzo Taliaferro sniffing for an opportunity. The situation is a mess and one to avoid on a week where there are plenty of options.
Keenan Allen (WR – San Diego): Rivers stated that the Chargers won’t avoid Richard Sherman’s side of the field. We’ll see what the Chargers do to free up Allen, likely the target of Sherman’s defense, but they showed last week that they have plenty of other options. Allen was slightly disappointing despite getting nine targets last week and the number should go down this week. I like Allen to bounce back, but that’s a week away.
Steve Smith (WR – Baltimore): Normally this list of sits is supposed to be for better players you need to worry about this week, but I’m using this second wide receiver spot as a public service announcement. Steve Smith’s performance last week is a fluke. People saw his name, his stats, and his big catch and get excited. Smith is 35. He’s well past his prime. Joe Flacco won’t throw 62 times a game regularly. Smith only had six catches for 38 yards before the long, somewhat fluky touchdown. Sit him. Don’t get suckered in.
Kyle Rudolph (TE – Minnesota): Rudolph didn’t do much last week and saved his fantasy day with a late touchdown. It was disappointing given Norv Turner’s history with tight ends and things won’t get better this week. Last week the Patriots held Miami’s TEs to 43 yards on 10 targets. With new toys like Cordarelle Patterson to play with, Rudolph is clearly the third or fourth option in the passing game for Minnesota and this week’s matchup makes it worse.