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2009 Start/Bench List Week 2

For those of you owners who do not own Adrian Peterson and you’re starting to worry about your running back situation, fear not. This week, normalcy returns as the Stud RBs live up to expectations and calm the anxiety of fantasy owners everywhere. Attention Michael Turner, Maurice Jones-Drew and Chris Johnson … your reservation at the top of the stats leaders for RBs is ready. Please proceed to the front of the line. Thank you.

When using this list, try and remember a couple basic rules:

1) Studs – Always play your studs. Each position will include a list of players that are considered studs and should not be benched. If you have the luxury of needing to decide between studs, check out the matchups or feel free to let the shark tank assist you in your decisions.

2) Depth – Every fantasy team is different and some have more depth than others. Only follow the recommended moves if your team depth allows you to make such a move.



Drew Brees,

New Orleans at


Tony Romo,

Dallas vs. N.Y. Giants

Tom Brady, New England at N.Y. Jets

Peyton Manning,

Indianapolis at


Aaron Rodgers,

Green Bay vs.


Philip Rivers,

San Diego vs.



Joe Flacco,

Baltimore at

San Diego: Ladies and Gentleman, the new and improved Flacco! His numbers, 26-of-43 for 307 yards and three TDs last week, was quite a beginning to the season for Flacco. The Chargers allowed the second-most passing yards in the NFL last season and even JaMarcus Russell threw for 208 yards against them last week. Look for Flacco’s 2009 magical season to continue this week with a big game against

San Diego.

Matt Schaub, Houston at

Tennessee: I’m attributing Schaub’s poor performance in Week 1 more to the Jets defense than the inability of Schaub to execute the offensive gameplan. The Titans had trouble stopping the Steelers passing attack in Week 1 and Andre Johnson is ready to make up for a lackluster start of the season. Schaub rebounds from a poor Week 1 with solid numbers in



Eli Manning, N.Y. Giants at

Dallas: In two games against the Cowboys last season, Manning averaged only 169 yards passing and he threw three TDs and three INTs …

 not exactly the type of numbers you want from your starting QB. While Manning had success against the Redskins last week, look for

New York to run the ball much more frequently against

Dallas which will limit Manning’s chances in the passing game.

Matt Hasselbeck, Seattle at

San Francisco: I know, I know, you’re a Hasselbeck owner and you had him on your bench last week and missed out on his 279 yards passing and three TDs, and you’re chomping at the bit to get him into your starting lineup this week. Not so fast. The 49ers are no joke. Last week’s win over the NFC champion Cardinals tells you that Mike Singletary is turning things around and it’s happening quickly. Hasselbeck will struggle this week so don’t look for lightning to strike two weeks in a row for the Seattle QB.

Running Backs


Adrian Peterson, Minnesota at Detroit

Frank Gore, San Francisco vs. Seattle

DeAngelo Williams, Carolina at Atlanta

Brian Westbrook, Philadelphia vs. New Orleans

Marion Barber, Dallas vs. N.Y. Giants

Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville vs. Arizona

Matt Forte, Chicago vs. Pittsburgh

Steve Slaton, Houston at Tennessee

Chris Johnson, Tennessee vs. Houston

Steven Jackson, St. Louis at Washington

Michael Turner, Atlanta vs. Carolina


Darren McFadden, Oakland vs. Kansas City: I liked what I saw from McFadden on Monday night against the Chargers. He showed bursts of speed that separated him from the pack on more than one occasion. Those bursts of speed will translate into big numbers against a Chiefs run defense that allowed the third-most rushing yards in 2008 and allowed 198 yards rushing last week to the Ravens.

Fred Jackson,

Buffalo vs.



Jackson got the attention of the Patriots real quick on Monday night as they struggled containing the talented back in the passing game. Look for

Jackson‘s success to continue on the ground as well as in the air this week against


Bay, who allowed the Cowboys to run for 118 yards last week and had minimal success in stopping the pass.

Knowshon Moreno,

Denver vs.

Cleveland: Starting Moreno in Week 2 is a risky play, I’ll admit it. However, the Browns’ inability to stop the run didn’t just happen last week against Adrian Peterson and the Vikings. The Browns struggled in 2008 in defending the run, averaging 151.9 rushing yards allowed per game.

Moreno and Correll Buckhalter may split time, but I’m expecting Buckhalter to take over in third-down situations while

Moreno gets a shot at finding the holes on first and second down this week and making the most of his opportunity.


Kevin Smith,

Detroit vs.

Minnesota: Smith’s struggles in Week 1 (rushing for only 20 yards on 15 carries) will be a common theme for the Lions offense this season until Matthew Stafford starts proving to defenses that he can beat them. With Smith facing the Vikings run defense, who allowed the fewest rushing yards in 2008, look for another poor performance from the Detroit RB.

Tim Hightower,

Arizona at

Jacksonville: Hightower proved his worth last week catching 12 passes for 121 yards. With Beanie Wells still in the mix, Hightower won’t have many games like he did last week until he takes claim of the starting job. Keep your eye on Hightower as he could be an effective option in 2-3 weeks, but for now he’s just another RBBC who is enticing owners to take the bait.

Julius Jones, Seattle at

San Francisco: Jones ended whatever doubt there was about the RB position in

Seattle with his 117-yard performance against the Rams in Week 1. What Jones will find out this week is that the Rams defense is creampuff soft and he won’t have as easy of a time running the ball in

San Francisco. Jones could be a steal for some owners this season who drafted him late, just not this week.

Wide Receivers


Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis at Miami

Randy Moss, New England at N.Y. Jets

Greg Jennings, Green Bay vs. Cincinnati

Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona at Jacksonville

Marques Colston, New Orleans at Philadelphia

Calvin Johnson, Detroit vs. Minnesota

Roddy White, Atlanta vs. Carolina

Andre Johnson, Houston at Tennessee


Mark Clayton, Baltimore at San Diego: Clayton was in Joe Flacco‘s sights most of last week which explains the five catches for 77 yards and a TD. Look for more of the same this week as the Chargers will struggle in stopping the Ravens passing attack, and Clayton will post another solid performance for the new offensive juggernaut in


Devery Henderson,

New Orleans at

Philadelphia: Lance Moore may make a brief appearance from time to time, but

Henderson is the clear No. 2 WR in

New Orleans and should join Larry Fitzgerald/Anquan Boldin and Randy Moss/Wes Welker as teammates who are starting across fantasy nation.

Roy Williams, Dallas vs. N.Y. Giants: Williams’ owners were stoked watching his 66-yard TD on Sunday as the Cowboys didn’t miss Terrell Owens even a little bit. Look for Williams to continue to thrive as the top dog in

Dallas against the Giants, who will have a tough time stopping the Cowboys offense this week.

Percy Harvin,

Minnesota at

Detroit: Look for Harvin to exceed his stats from his first NFL game last week as the Vikings will open up the passing attack as Brett Favre gains confidence in the offense. Harvin won’t be a regular in your starting lineup on a weekly basis, but give him a close look this week. He could be the difference maker you need.


Jerricho Cotchery,

N.Y. Jets vs.

New England: Cotchery had a solid performance in Week 1, catching six passes for 90 yards in a very successful debut by Mark Sanchez. However, the Patriots defense will pose more problems for Sanchez, and the Jets will rely more heavily on the running attack to keep Tom Brady and the

New England offense off the field and control the clock. That being said, Cotchery won’t see enough action on Sunday to warrant a start.

Laveranues Coles,

Cincinnati at

Green Bay: Coles had more drops than catches last week, which is never a start you want out of your WR. Coles will struggle again this week to find his way in Lambeau against a

Green Bay pass defense that is better than the final stats from last week showed.

Santana Moss,

Washington vs.

St. Louis: Two catches for six yards last week? Yeah, I’ll pass.

Devin Hester, Chicago vs.

Pittsburgh: Hester made a great catch in last week’s game against the Packers, but he won’t be a consistent producer in your fantasy lineup. The Steelers will defend Hester and Jay Cutler well this week limiting Hester’s chances of scoring to special teams.

Tight Ends


Chris Cooley, Washington vs. St. Louis

Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta vs. Carolina

Antonio Gates, San Diego vs. Baltimore

Jason Witten, Dallas vs. N.Y. Giants

Dallas Clark, Indianapolis at Miami


Ben Watson, New England at N.Y. Jets: Watson will be the beneficiary of Tom Brady taking what the defense will give him, which was the middle of the field and a wide open Watson. The Jets defense played a great first game against the Texans, but

New York will need to concede something in the

New England passing game, and my bet is the TE position will be available once again for Brady to work his magic.

Todd Heap, Baltimore at

San Diego: Heap caught five passes for 74 yards last week and a TD against the Chiefs and should perform well again this week as Joe Flacco continues his successful passing ways with enough to go around.


Robert Royal, Cleveland at

Denver: Don’t expect Royal to be the Browns’ leading receiver this week after a solid game in Week 1 against the Vikings. Look for Royal’s stats to return to earth this week as the Broncos wreak havoc on Brady Quinn and the Browns passing attack.

Greg Olsen, Chicago vs.

Pittsburgh: From the Studs list to the bench in one week. It’s clear that Jay Cutler is still working out the kinks in the

Chicago offense based on last week’s performance. Even without Troy Polamalu, the Steelers defense is formidable and will contain the Bears passing attack, including Olsen this week.

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