It’s over. No, not your season, just Week 1! Please do everyone a favor and try to avoid overreacting to Week 1, but strategically and cautiously assess your roster and potential steps to strengthen your squad. Several stars showed up in top form in Week 1 including Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Julio Jones, DeAndre Hopkins, Keenan Allen, and Carlos Hyde. However, lackluster performances from Peyton Manning, Calvin Johnson, Odell Beckham Jr., and Adrian Peterson irked many unsuspecting owners. If you didn’t end up with the “pick of the litter” on the waiver wire this week, then it’s time to review several names that may be the difference in your Week 2 matchup. Take a dive with me!
Neither age nor injury was an obstacle in Week 1 for Carson Palmer. The veteran signal caller threw for more than 300 yards, three touchdowns, and even ran (or lumbered) for 15 rushing yards. Palmer spread the ball around well and should be a strong start heading into Week 2. The Arizona Cardinals will visit Soldier Field and battle the Chicago Bears in Week 2. When Aaron Rodgers faced Chicago last weekend, he only needed to throw 23 passes for 189 yards to finish with three touchdowns.
Palmer should fare well against Chicago’s secondary and earn an encore performance. Although running back Andre Ellington will likely miss Week 2 due to a PCL injury, both veteran back Chris Johnson and rookie David Johnson will pick up the slack for the ground game. Also, it should be noted that Carson Palmer’s career quarterback rating against the Chicago Bears is 120.3, which is higher than any other opponent. Start him.
Week 2 Projection: 300 passing yards, 2 TD
After Week 1, it became quickly apparent that rookie Tevin Coleman is the No. 1 running back option in Atlanta as he rushed 20 times for 80 yards (4.0 yards per carry) compared to Devonta Freeman’s disappointing 1.8 yards per carry on 10 carries. Coleman was not a factor in the passing game, but should receive the bulk of carries and goal line opportunities in Week 2 against the New York Giants, who allowed 212 total yards to opposing backs in Week 1. Coleman may be a great trade target or even available on the waiver wire in shallow leagues. Consider Coleman a low-end RB2 and solid flex option.
Week 2 Projection: 90 total yards, TD
Kendall Wright has flashed glimpses of stardom in previous seasons, but is poised for a full breakout in 2015. After receiving passes from a variety of quarterbacks, it appears that Marcus Mariota has slammed the door shut on Tennessee’s quarterback job after an epic, record-breaking first career start with 209 passing yards and four touchdowns last weekend. Wright was on the receiving end of this performance and logged 101 receiving yards along with a touchdown. The Tennessee wideout should be in store for a similar performance against the Cleveland Browns in Week 2. Cleveland just allowed 12 catches for 154 yards receiving and two touchdowns to the New York Jets’ wide receiving corps. Wright has low-end WR2 and high-end WR3 appeal as well as being a great flex option especially in points per reception leagues.
Week 2 Projection: 100 receiving yards, TD
Unfortunately, 2015 top draft pick Jameis Winston’s career debut and even first pass attempt cannot be “unremembered.” Regardless, Winston had a solid preseason and still offers high upside. Despite the Tennessee Titans trouncing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 1, tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins had a career game with 110 receiving yards and two scores.
With a likely improvement from Winston in Week 2, Seferian-Jenkins should receive strong consideration in your lineup as Tampa Bay visits New Orleans in Week 2. The New Orleans Saints allowed 86 yards and a touchdown in Week 1 to the opposing tight end. Tampa Bay’s top wideout Mike Evans is likely to return in Week 2, which may cut into Seferian-Jenkins’ targets. Regardless, he should be a strong play this weekend.
Week 2 Projection: 75 receiving yards: 1 TD
Defense/Special Teams Tennessee Titans
Although Marcus Mariota’s first start was amazing, Tennessee’s defense also stepped up to the plate with five sacks and two interceptions, including a “Pick-6” on Jameis Winston’s first pass attempt. Tennessee will visit the Cleveland Browns, who will likely be led by quarterback Johnny Manziel. Manziel suffered three turnovers in Week 1 and will start Week 2 if Josh McCown does not pass concussion protocol. Regardless, Tennessee’s defense is a strong play against either quarterback and is likely on the waiver wire.
Week 2 Projection: 12 points
WEEK 1 RESULTS
Week 1 Projection: 200 passing yards, 15 rushing yards, 2 TD
Week 1 Results: 226 passing yards, 7 rushing yards, fumble lost, TD (OK call)
Week 1 Projection: 100 total yards, TD
Week 1 Results: 76 total yards, TD (good call)
Week 1 Projection: 80 receiving yards, fumble lost, TD
Week 1 Results: 23 receiving yards (bad call)
Week 1 Projection: 50 receiving yards, TD
Week 1 Results: 27 receiving yards (bad call)
D/ST Carolina Panthers
Week 1 Projection: 12 points
Week 1 Results: 21 points (excellent call!)
Best of luck in Week 2!