How did Week 1 treat you? Hopefully, you were not playing against Arian Foster, Peyton Manning or Matt Forte. Whether you are 1-0 or 0-1, the season is still young. There will be more superb performances and additional waiver wire grabs. Let’s prepare for Week 2 as we profile a few players that may not be on your radar. Generally, it is recommended to always play your studs, but not everyone has superstars at every position especially in deeper leagues.
Donovan McNabb – Although his new life in the nation’s captial started 1-0, it was far from pretty. With only 15 completions out of 32 attempts for 171 yards and zero touchdowns, McNabb failed to impress his fantasy owners. His situation this season can be compared to being involved in a serious relationship with a woman (or man for our female readers) and believing that you will spend the rest of your life with that person. Suddenly, your partner unexpectedly dumps (or trades) you for someone else whom they barely know, but think they may have a better future with. Obviously, it will take you some time to rebound and get your “game” back. As long as McNabb stays healthy, he will return to form. Not to mention, he struggled and was injured in Week 1 last year against Carolina with only 79 pass yards. Do not panic. McNabb should bounce back against the Houston Texans who were recently torched by Peyton Manning for 433 yards, three touchdowns and a 70 percent completion rate. Although Indianapolis was playing catch up most of the game, they did reveal Houston’s weak secondary. Expect a more “McNabb-like” performance in Week 2 with around 250 passing yards and at least one touchdown.
Jerome Harrison – Were you hoping that Harrison would continue where he left off last season? After a rough preseason of butterfingers and possibly losing the starting job to Montario Hardesty, Harrison fell deep in drafts. During Week 1, Peyton Hillis appeared as yet another obstacle till he dropped the rock. Hillis’ late game fumble should motivate coach Eric Mangini to increase Harrison’s workload. Harrison faces Kansas City this week, which he lit up for 286 yards on the ground last season. Don’t get me wrong, Kansas City’s defense seemed to improve against San Diego’s rush. However, I believe the rain was Kansas City’s 12th man as San Diego fumbled three times and it’s offense appeared uncomfortable. With the ‘Dawg Pound’ cheering and sunny weather at home against the Chiefs this Sunday, I expect Harrison to receive the bulk of carries and hit the 100-yard rushing mark and play a role in the passing game.
Randy Moss – I have always been a supporter of Moss in New England since I drafted him in 2007 and he broke Jerry Rice’s touchdown record. However, I fear that Moss’ stats may take a slight dive this year. In addition, he is unhappy about the lack of attention to his contract and has claimed to feel unappreciated. Many feel that contract negotiations should be private between a player, agent and team, but I have to agree with Moss on this one. His career turned 180 degrees when he arrived in New England as he has averaged 1,255 receiving yards and more than 15 touchdowns over three seasons. Regardless, he will be stalked by Darrelle Revis next game. Not only did Moss average only 29 receiving yards last season against the Jets, but his catches yielded an average of just over six yards per reception. The New York Jets defense did not appear as sharp against Baltimore, but I still expect Revis to limit Moss’s production to around 50 receiving yards. However, never underestimate Moss as one of the best quarterbacks in the league is throwing to him and he has a chip on his shoulder after Revis called him a “slouch.”
Brent Celek – The majority of top tight ends posted solid stats in Week 1 including Antonio Gates, Dallas Clark and Vernon Davis. However, Celek did not record a catch until the fourth quarter and was only targeted four times. With Michael Vick likely starting in Week 2 against a poor Detroit Lions defense, expect Celek to be more of a factor. Vick was solid filling in for Kevin Kolb and completed a very impressive pass in traffic to Jeremy Maclin. However, Vick does not have the arm or accuracy to throw bombs to DeSean Jackson downfield. He will be running, scrambling and throwing short, which should create more opportunity for Celek. With Vick running the offense, do not expect any Philadelphia receiver to “go off,” but anticipate more from Celek in Week 2. In Atlanta, Vick frequently threw to Alge Crumpler, so Celek should be a top target this Sunday. I project 75 yards and a touchdown for Celek this week.
Carolina Defense – You may be scratching your head wondering why I recommend a defense that gave up 31 points last week. Carolina did look weak at times facing Eli Manning’s aerial assault. If you are one who sees the cup half full, then you may also like Carolina in Week 2 against a young, inexperienced Tampa Bay offense. Carolina’s defense was scored upon, but also was very aggressive with three interceptions (two by Charles Godfrey), a forced fumble, a sack and a blocked punt attempt that led to a safety. There are better defensive plays next week, but Carolina may be available on your waiver wire. Top defenses like the New York Jets and New York Giants will be heavily challenged against AFC offensive powerhouses New England and Indianapolis in Week 2, so this may be the week to sit them and find a legitimate substitute like the Carolina Panthers in a home matchup against an impotent Tampa Bay offense.
We are only entering Week 2. Review your matchups and keep your eye on any injured players on your roster. Good luck this week.