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Start/Bench - Week 2

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Welcome to Week 2 of 'Start/Bench!' With an official week of NFL action in the books, there is solid game footage and information to be gleaned. No longer is it necessary to set lineups purely off of preseason performance or last year’s numbers.

Staying true to form, Week 1 was full of surprises and disappointments alike for fantasy owners, as the roller coaster has begun its wild ride.

If your team was on the wrong side of the scoreboard, do not fret as patience is the key and water finds its level. Under-performing studs will hit their stride and surprise one-week fantasy wonders will no doubt return to earth ( Kevin Ogletree and Ramses Barden circa 2012).

One last note I wanted to get across is that the “STUDS” will remain the same through the first three weeks of the season barring an injury, suspension, etc. After three weeks I feel there will be enough 2013 information to begin to move players onto and off of the list according to how they are performing this season.

QUARTERBACKS

STUDS

Drew Brees
Aaron Rodgers
Peyton Manning
Tom Brady
Cam Newton
Matt Ryan
Robert Griffin III
Colin Kaepernick
Andrew Luck
Matthew Stafford
Russell Wilson
Tony Romo

START

Terrelle Pryor , OAKLAND vs. Jacksonville: Well, well, well. What we have here is a very nice fantasy quarterback that can amass points with his legs (Pryor finished with 112 yards rushing) as well as his arm. Pryor is Tim Tebow circa 2011 with a kicker. He can actually pass the ball with a modicum of accuracy. In leading the Oakland Raiders to a near upset of the Indianapolis Colts in Week 1, Pryor finished with 217 passing yards and a touchdown. He did toss a pair of interceptions but seemed to have some nice chemistry with wide receivers Rod Streater and Denarius Moore. Toss in the ability that Pryor has to amass yards with designed runs or scrambling and you have a Week 2 starter against an awful Jacksonville defense.

Jay Cutler , CHICAGO vs. Minnesota: Cutler completed 63.6 percent of his passes in Week 1 against the Cincinnati Bengals, finishing with a modest 242 yards and two touchdowns. More importantly, Cutler was not sacked at all in Week 1. He and Brandon Marshall continue to have great chemistry and big-bodied Martellus Bennett and Alshon Jeffery are potent red zone options. Matthew Stafford victimized the Minneosta Vikings for 357 passing yards in Week 1 and Cutler should easily post similar numbers.

Carson Palmer , ARIZONA vs. Detroit: In his regular season debut as the new signal caller for the Arizona Cardinals, Palmer posted 327 yards passing and a pair of touchdowns. Showing that Momma Palmer didn’t raise any fools, both of his touchdown passes were to wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. Week 2 will see the Lions come to town, and Fitzgerald is in for another big day. If the Christian Ponder -to-Jerome Simpson  tandem can rack up seven receptions and 140 yards, what do we think the Palmer-to-Fitzgerald combo will hang on Detroit? Look for at least 300 yards passing and three touchdowns passes from Palmer this week.

BENCH

Ben Roethlisberger , PITTSBURGH at Cincinnati: Ugh. That is the only word I can think of to describe what is going on with the Pittsburgh offense. Starting center Maurkice Pouncey is out for the season with a knee injury and there is no rushing attack to speak of. Tennessee sacked Roethlisberger five times last week and he can expect to see a heavy dose of Geno Atkins , Carlos Dunlap and Michael Johnson this week as an angry Bengals defense welcomes him to Cincinnati. With no time to set up and throw, combined with limited options to throw the ball to, it is going to be a long day for Roethlisberger.

Geno Smith , NEW YORK JETS at New England: Kudos to Smith for leading the Jets to an unexpected victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week while compiling 256 yards passing and another 47 on the ground. This week against the Patriots will not produce a repeat performance. The Jets are not exactly ripe with receiving options, and wide receiver Jeremy Kerley is likely to miss the game with a concussion. Rookie E.J. Manuel had a productive day against the Patriots last week but he had the threat of a running game with C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson for New England to worry about. Smith has… Kellen Winslow Jr., and that won’t be enough by a long shot.



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