It’s week two in the NFL, and that means it’s time to set your fantasy football lineups. If you had any players in the Jets-Patriots game besides the Patriots defense or Julian Edelman, I feel for you (that includes you, Tom Brady).
With that game already in the rear-view mirror, I’m going to give you this week’s top fantasy roster as well as a couple of guys I really like for matchups this week.
Quarterback: Peyton Manning, Broncos (@ NY Giants)
Manning went off for seven touchdowns last week. The only other QBs I’d even consider for the Ultimate Fantasy Team of Week Two spot at this point would be Drew Brees (@TB) or Aaron Rodgers (vs. WSH). I think you’d also have to throw Colin Kaepernick in there after his week one performance, but he’s going up against a much tougher defense in Seattle than he did last week with Green Bay, so he may take a dip numbers wise.
For Manning, I think he and Eli could engage in a shootout for a couple of quarters, but ultimately I think Peyton is going to pull away and finish with around 350 yards or more and four or five touchdowns. That’s just me being overly realistic, I think. Unless the Broncos choose to run it a lot when they get in the red zone, I think Manning is just going to be unstoppable all year. The weapons at his disposal are ridiculous.
Running Back 1: Adrian Peterson, Vikings (@ Bears)
Running Back 2: LeSean McCoy, Eagles (vs. Chargers)
As crazy as it may sound, there may have been some leagues this year–even 12 team leagues–where McCoy and Peterson didn’t go in the first round. That’s just laughable. When the Eagles hired Chip Kelly as head coach, it should have been the greatest indicator that you should have rated McCoy about where he was rated going into last season in terms of fantasy football upside. Against the Chargers, I think McCoy has a huge week.
Adrian Peterson is Adrian Peterson. He is going up against a tough Bears D, but he is the safety outlet for the Vikings’ offense as well as the best playmaker at the RB position in the NFL. That combination makes him the top fantasy RB nearly every single week.
Wide Receiver 1: Demaryius Thomas, Broncos (@ Giants)
Wide Receiver 2: Brandon Marshall, Bears (vs. Vikings)
Demaryius Thomas and Brandon Marshall are my top two WR plays this week. As I said earlier, I think Peyton Manning is in line for a huge game against the Giants’ secondary, and Demaryius Thomas should be a major benefactor there. If you have OpThomas Prime on your fantasy team, he’s an easy play every week the Broncos play. They have a great matchup with the Giants’ secondary.
Speaking of great matchups, take a strong look at Brandon Marshall vs. the Vikings. The Vikes’ defense always seems to play better than advertised, but their cornerbacks are learning on the job. Brandon Marshall is a PPR machine, and Jay Cutler still likes to lock into him. Yes, I’d take his points over Calvin Johnson (vs. Patrick Peterson in ARZ) and A.J. Green (vs. PIT on Monday Night Football) though you really can’t go wrong with any of these players. I think DT and Marshall will have the top points for WRs this week.
Tight End: Vernon Davis, 49ers (vs. Seahawks)
I don’t know that Anquan Boldin will ever eclipse the 200 yard mark again as a pro, but Colin Kaepernick proved in the team’s first game that he likes throwing to Q as well as tight end/wide receiver Vernon Davis. Davis was outstanding week one with six catches for 98 yards and a touchdown, and I think he can come close to those numbers again this week.
It’s tough to tell you I think Davis could be the top TE this week over Jimmy Graham, but you’ve got to go out on a limb somewhere, right? Makes things interesting. Graham has a good matchup against TB, as does Julius Thomas (DEN) vs. NYG.
FLEX Position (RB/WR): A.J. Green, Bengals (vs. Steelers)
A.J. Green is a must-play every single week. He is Andy Dalton’s favorite target and a dynamic playmaker from anywhere on the football field. He should put up great numbers against the Steelers, who are not the defense they used to be.
Kicker: Blair Walsh, Vikings (@ Bears)
I like Blair Walsh a lot this week. The Bears’ defense should bend but not break against the Vikings, and Walsh will be a big benefactor of that….At least that’s what I think. I’d also take Greg Zeurlein or Justin Tucker in this spot. Think about teams whose offense comes up JUST short that much of the time, and you’ve got your kicker for the week.
Defense/Special Teams: Chicago Bears (vs. Vikings)
As you can see, Bears vs. Vikings is a fantasy game of focus this week. The Bears’ D/ST is always solid, and the Vikings turn the ball over…A LOT. The Bears also have the added luxury of Devin Hester returning kicks or punts or whatever the heck they have him doing nowadays. This is an easy #1 for me this week, followed closely by the Denver Broncos, Cincinnati Bengals, and Houston Texans.
Ultimate Fantasy Sleeper for Week Two: Terrelle Pryor, QB, Oakland Raiders
Woah, a Raiders player in a fantasy football article. I must be off the deep end! In all seriousness, if you’re going to play Terrelle Pryor, this may be the week to do it. Or not. Pryor is going up against the Jaguars’ defense, and the Jaguars are horrible, pretty much up and down the roster right now.
Those games can be weird where both teams play down to the level of competition, but it could also work out how we all think and the Raiders could actually clean up in the one game they’ll be favored to win all year.
Take a shot on Pryor unless your #1 QB is just that much better.
Ultimate Fantasy DUD for Week Two: Anquan Boldin, WR, 49ers
I don’t think Boldin is going to be near as good as he was last week, not even close. The 49ers will find ways to incorporate him into the offense, but fantasy owners expecting WR1 points will probably be disappointed. This may be the only time all year you see me include a DUD in my fantasy posts, because they only serve to make me look wrong/stupid. I actually like Anquan Boldin, I just think he’s going to be significantly less effective this week as compared to last.