Hello everyone, and welcome to Week 2 of Start/Bench. I had some questions last week about how I determined the Studs for Week 1 and I want to take a minute to explain. First off, I’d like to say that Darren McFadden has been added to the Studs list. It was an oversight on my part not including him for Week 1 and I’d like to take care of that right off the top for Week 2.
Now, as to how the Studs list was created. I took the those players that were on the Studs list from Week 17 of last year and added a couple of players who I felt were being drafted with the expectations that they would perform as a Stud. I added Peyton Manning and Jay Cutler to the quarterback Studs list, Steven Jackson and DeMarco Murray to the running back’s list, Julio Jones and Dez Bryant to the wide receiver’s list and Fred Davis and Greg Olsen to the tight end’s list. I’m going to leave the Studs lists as they are for Week 2, but if things don’t change for some players in Week 2, changes will be made in Week 3.
Andrew Luck, Indianapolis vs. Minnesota: Although Luck struggled against the Bears in Week 1 throwing three interceptions, he still managed a very respectable 309 yards passing while getting the first passing touchdown of his career. This week, Luck will get to face a Vikings defense that allowed Blaine Gabbert to pass for 260 yards and two touchdowns in Week 1. While the Bears are expecting to make a Super Bowl run in 2012 the Vikings are picking up right where they left off in 2011, as they were the most generous defense versus quarterbacks last season. Expect Luck to have the first big game of his career.
Carson Palmer, Oakland at Miami: With Denarius Moore looking like he’ll be back in the lineup on Sunday, Palmer will have the field-stretcher that he needs to be more aggressive down field. Without Moore in the lineup versus the Chargers in Week 1, Palmer was continually forced to check down as evidenced by the 18 targets to Darren McFadden. The Miami offense should continue to struggle giving the Raiders plenty of opportunity to put points on the board. But again, keep an eye on Moore’s status as that will be the key to Oakland’s success.
Mark Sanchez, New York Jets at Pittsburgh: That was one amazing performance by Sanchez in Week 1 as he threw for 266 yards and three touchdowns versus the Bills. The key thing to remember is that it was against the Bills. Despite a final score of 31-19, the Pittsburgh defense actually played pretty well on the road against the Peyton Manning-led Broncos. Although, Manning threw for 253 yards and two touchdowns, 71 of those yards and one touchdown came on a screen pass to Demaryius Thomas who took it the distance for Manning’s 400th career touchdown pass. As great as Sanchez looked in Week 1, I’m going to need to see him do it again, and maybe even another time after that, before I even consider using him as a starter on my fantasy team.
Sam Bradford, St. Louis vs. Washington: Sure, Drew Brees put up 339 passing yards and three touchdowns against the Redskins in Week 1, but it took him 52 attempts to do it. What’s even worse, is that Brees only connected on 24 of those 52 attempts, and that was at home. So, while I expect the Rams to get down early and have to play catchup, I don’t think Sam Bradford, or the Rams, have enough fire-power to put up respectable garbage-time stats.