Start & SitSeptember 14, 2007

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Week 2

By Nick Hopkins

The first week of the season is in the books, leaving many fantasy owners with some burning questions. Will Drew Brees bounce back? Can Randy Moss continue his dominance? How much longer can the Browns avoid playing Brady Quinn? Week 2 should start to give us some answers to these and many other questions. Look over our Start and Sit rankings, and good luck either staying undefeated or avoiding that dreaded 0-2 start!

Our system is based on two separate rankings: Risk and Reward. Each player or defense was given a statistical ranking for each of the two categories.

Risk is determined by anything that could negatively affect the player in question’s performance. This includes such things as matchup, situation, and injuries.

Reward is determined by anything that could positively affect the player in question’s performance. This includes such things as talent, matchup, and situation.

The Ranking for the two categories is as follows:

Risk: Score of 0 being the lowest risk, 10 being the highest risk.
Reward: Score of 0 being lowest reward, 10 being the highest reward.


Peyton Manning – INDat TEN17.81.589.33
Carson Palmer – CINat CLE16.22.428.58
Drew Brees – NOat TB15.33.178.42
Tony Romo – DALat MIA14.43.507.92
Marc Bulger – STLvs SF13.94.088.00
Tom Brady – NEvs SD13.84.087.92
Donovan McNabb – PHIvs WAS13.84.177.92
Ben Roethlisberger – PITvs BUF13.73.927.58
Jay Cutler – DENvs OAK13.34.007.33
Jon Kitna – DETvs MIN13.05.178.17
Brett Favre – GBat NYG12.74.507.17
Matt Hasselbeck – SEAat ARI12.44.506.92
Jake Delhomme – CARvs HOU11.94.506.42
Matt Schaub – HOUat CAR11.85.086.92
Alex Smith – SFat STL11.84.836.58
Philip Rivers – SDat NE11.85.006.75
Matt Leinart – ARIvs SEA11.35.586.92
Tarvaris Jackson – MINat DET10.85.176.00
Vince Young – TENvs IND10.65.926.50
Rex Grossman – CHIvs KC10.56.006.50
David Garrard – JACvs ATL10.35.175.42
JP Losman – BUFat PIT10.16.176.25
Jeff Garcia – TBvs NO10.05.925.92
Trent Green – MIAvs DAL9.75.925.58
Steve McNair – BALvs NYJ8.86.505.33
Jason Campbell – WASat PHI8.86.425.17
Daunte Culpepper – OAKat DEN8.76.755.42
Joey Harrington – ATLat JAC6.77.504.17
Derek Anderson – CLEvs CIN6.57.423.92
Jared Lorenzen – NYGvs GB6.57.834.33
Kellen Clemens – NYJat BAL6.08.084.08
Damon Huard – KCat CHI5.57.923.42

Tony Romo, DAL (14.4 rating): Romo and the rest of the Cowboys’ offense proved last week that the loss of Terry Glenn was not going to hold them back. Romo tossed four touchdowns, hooking up with TO, as well as his tight end Jason Witten, and backup wide receiver Sam Hurd. The Dolphins’ secondary did not look too bad against the Redskins last week, but they did lose starting safety Yeremiah Bell for the season with an achilles injury. Romo is in a rhythm right now and is a must-start this weekend.

Matt Leinart, ARI (11.3 rating): The young Cardinal quarterback has a lot of expectations on his shoulders this season, but his first game was a tough one. Both offenses looked inept in the 49ers 20-17 win over Arizona last Monday night. Leinart was able to connect on a late touchdown pass with Anquan Boldin, but still only managed 102 yards on 14-28 passing. It is probably a good idea to sit him this week if you can, and give Ken Whisenhunt and the Cardinals a chance to work out the kinks in their new offense.

Running BacksOpponentRatingRiskReward
Joseph Addai – INDat TEN16.92.08.9
LaDainian Tomlinson – SDat NE16.82.59.3
Willie Parker – PITvs BUF16.22.58.7
Rudi Johnson – CINat CLE16.02.18.1
Steven Jackson – STLvs SF16.02.88.8
Brian Westbrook – PHIvs WAS15.52.98.4
Frank Gore – SFat STL15.52.98.4
Shaun Alexander – SEAat ARI15.32.98.3
Travis Henry – DENvs OAK15.33.08.3
Adrian Peterson – MINat DET14.93.38.2
Reggie Bush – NOat TB14.13.87.9
Deuce McAllister – NOat TB13.63.87.4
Willis McGahee – BALvs NYJ13.33.97.2
Maurice Jones-Drew – JACvs ATL13.14.17.2
Edgerrin James – ARIvs SEA13.13.86.8
Cedric Benson – CHIvs KC12.84.37.2
Marion Barber – DALat MIA12.74.67.3
Clinton Portis – WASat PHI12.54.87.3
Fred Taylor – JACvs ATL12.34.46.7
Brandon Jackson – GBat NYG12.34.56.8
Ahman Green – HOUat CAR12.14.36.4
Laurence Maroney – NEvs SD11.84.86.6
Julius Jones – DALat MIA11.84.96.7
Marshawn Lynch – BUFat PIT11.65.16.7
Derrick Ward – NYGvs GB11.64.96.5
Larry Johnson – KCat CHI11.65.77.3
DeShaun Foster – CARvs HOU11.54.86.3
LaMont Jordan – OAKat DEN11.55.26.7
Chris Brown – TENvs IND11.44.86.3
Tatum Bell – DETvs MIN11.34.96.2
Ronnie Brown – MIAvs DAL11.35.16.3
Ladell Betts – WASat PHI10.95.16.0
Warrick Dunn – ATLat JAC10.85.15.9
Jamal Lewis – CLEvs CIN10.85.25.9
Thomas Jones – NYJat BAL10.75.36.0
Jerious Norwood – ATLat JAC10.55.35.8
DeAngelo Williams – CARvs HOU10.45.45.8
Cadillac Williams – TBvs NO9.96.05.9
Adrian Peterson – CHIvs KC8.95.94.8
LenDale White – TENvs IND8.85.84.7
Ron Dayne – HOUat CAR7.26.53.7
Jesse Chatman – MIAvs DAL7.26.83.9
Vernand Morency – GBat NYG7.16.73.8
Chris Henry – TENvs IND7.06.63.6
Reuben Droughns – NYGvs GB6.87.13.9
Najeh Davenport – PITvs BUF6.76.63.3
Chester Taylor – MINat DET6.77.44.1
Musa Smith – BALvs NYJ6.46.42.8
Correll Buckhalter – PHIvs WAS6.46.83.2
Sammy Morris – NEvs SD6.36.83.2
Michael Turner – SDat NE6.37.33.6
Maurice Morris – SEAat ARI6.36.83.0
Mike Anderson – BALvs NYJ6.37.03.3
Anthony Thomas – BUFat PIT6.27.33.4
Leon Washington – NYJat BAL5.87.33.2
Kenneth Darby – TBvs NO5.87.53.3
Marcel Shipp – ARIvs SEA5.87.23.0
Selvin Young – DENvs OAK5.67.32.8
Kenton Keith – INDat TEN5.47.32.7
Brian Leonard – STLvs SF5.17.32.4
Greg Jones – JACvs ATL5.07.62.6
Jerome Harrison – CLEvs CIN4.97.52.4
Michael Robinson – SFat STL4.87.72.4
Tony Hunt – PHIvs WAS4.58.02.5
Kevin Faulk – NEvs SD4.18.12.2
Kevin Jones – DETvs MIN2.19.41.5

Adrian Peterson, MIN (14.9 rating): The dynamic rookie removed any doubts of his ability to contribute right away at the NFL level with his performance against the Falcons in Week 1. Peterson ran for over 100 yards, and added an impressive 60 yard reception for a touchdown. Chester Taylor will certainly not be able to keep him off the field now, as he carried only three times before leaving with an injury that has him questionable for Week 2.

Thomas Jones, NYJ (10.7 rating): If you’re Thomas Jones, you cannot be happy that after playing that tough Patriots’ defense in Week 1, you have to travel to Baltimore to play the Ravens the following week. Even Chad Johnson, who does not dish out compliments to opposing defenses lightly, gave praise to the Ravens’ defense after a close win in Cincy on Monday night. OH, and for the record, I considered choosing Larry Johnson here, but I just couldn’t get myself to type it. Proceed with caution with both backs.

Wide ReceiversOpponentRatingRiskReward
Chad Johnson – CINat CLE17.61.79.3
Reggie Wayne – INDat TEN17.51.79.2
Marvin Harrison – INDat TEN17.31.89.1
Steve Smith – CARvs HOU17.12.19.2
Terrell Owens – DALat MIA16.22.58.7
Torry Holt – STLvs SF16.22.58.7
Randy Moss – NEvs SD15.43.48.8
TJ Houshmandzadeh – CINat CLE15.32.98.3
Roy Williams – DETvs MIN15.32.88.2
Larry Fitzgerald – ARIvs SEA15.02.97.9
Anquan Boldin – ARIvs SEA14.92.97.8
Andre Johnson – HOUat CAR14.83.17.8
Javon Walker – DENvs OAK14.83.38.0
Marques Colston – NOat TB14.43.57.9
Donald Driver – GBat NYG14.33.88.1
Hines Ward – PITvs BUF13.93.27.1
Plaxico Burress – NYGvs GB13.74.17.8
Lee Evans – BUFat PIT13.43.87.3
Santonio Holmes – PITvs BUF13.14.07.1
Chris Chambers – MIAvs DAL12.83.96.7
Calvin Johnson – DETvs MIN12.54.46.9
Darrell Jackson – SFat STL12.44.46.8
Bernard Berrian – CHIvs KC12.34.56.8
Santana Moss – WASat PHI12.14.66.7
Joey Galloway – TBvs NO12.04.66.6
Isaac Bruce – STLvs SF11.94.36.3
Devery Henderson – NOat TB11.94.76.6
Ronald Curry – OAKat DEN11.84.86.6
Reggie Brown – PHIvs WAS11.84.96.8
Antwaan Randle El – WASat PHI11.64.86.4
Laveranues Coles – NYJat BAL11.44.96.3
Deion Branch – SEAat ARI11.35.26.4
Kevin Curtis – PHIvs WAS10.94.85.8
Vincent Jackson – SDat NE10.94.85.8
Derrick Mason – BALvs NYJ10.95.16.0
Muhsin Muhammad – CHIvs KC10.85.15.8
Patrick Crayton – DALat MIA10.75.36.0
Donte Stallworth – NEvs SD10.65.46.0
Braylon Edwards – CLEvs CIN10.55.76.2
Amani Toomer – NYGvs GB10.45.45.8
Drew Carter – CARvs HOU10.35.55.8
Mike Furrey – DETvs MIN10.25.25.3
Brandon Marshall – DENvs OAK10.25.45.6
Wes Welker – NEvs SD10.25.75.8
Mark Clayton – BALvs NYJ10.15.75.8
Greg Jennings – GBat NYG9.96.16.0
Troy Williamson – MINat DET9.85.85.6
Arnaz Battle – SFat STL9.75.65.3
Marty Booker – MIAvs DAL9.65.24.8
Demetrius Williams – BALvs NYJ9.45.85.3
Jerry Porter – OAKat DEN9.35.64.9
James Jones – GBat NYG9.16.05.1
Jerricho Cotchery – NYJat BAL9.16.05.1
Brandon Stokely – DENvs OAK9.05.84.8
Roscoe Parrish – BUFat PIT8.96.15.0
Joe Horn – ATLat JAC8.95.94.8
Drew Bennett – STLvs SF8.85.84.6
Bobby Wade – MINat DET8.86.04.8
Brandon Lloyd – WASat PHI8.76.14.8
Tab Perry – CINat CLE8.55.84.3
Nate Burleson – SEAat ARI8.56.04.5
Reggie Williams – JACvs ATL8.56.24.7
Matt Jones – JACvs ATL8.56.34.8
Brandon Jones – TENvs IND8.46.75.1
Michael Clayton – TBvs NO8.36.34.6
Bryant Johnson – ARIvs SEA8.36.14.3
Shaun McDonald – DETvs MIN8.36.54.8
Anthony Gonzalez – INDat TEN8.26.04.2
Kevin Walter – HOUat CAR8.26.54.7
DJ Hackett – SEAat ARI8.06.84.8
Nate Washington – PITvs BUF7.96.24.1
Bobby Engram – SEAat ARI7.86.44.2
Joe Jurevicius – CLEvs CIN7.86.74.4
Craig Davis – SDat NE7.76.54.2
Michael Jenkins – ATLat JAC7.36.74.0
Cedrick Wilson – PITvs BUF7.26.63.8
Sidney Rice – MINat DET7.16.73.8
Eric Moulds – TENvs IND7.06.93.9
Sammie Parker – KCat CHI6.86.83.7
Ernest Wilford – JACvs ATL6.86.93.8
Rashied Davis – CHIvs KC6.86.73.4
Roddy White – ATLat JAC6.76.73.3
Steve Smith – NYGvs GB6.47.33.8
Derek Hagan – MIAvs DAL6.36.83.1
Maurice Stovall – TBvs NO6.37.23.5
Dwayne Jarrett – CARvs HOU6.37.33.6
Dwayne Bowe – KCat CHI6.07.33.3
Robert Meachum – NOat TB5.87.53.3
Terrance Copper – NOat TB5.87.63.3
Sam Aiken – BUFat PIT4.97.72.6

TJ Houshmandzadeh, CIN (15.3 rating): Cleveland allowed four receiving touchdowns to the Steelers last week, so it would not surprise me at all to see TJ pull down at least one against them this week. Houshyomomma recorded nine catches and a touchdown last week against a much stingier Ravens defense. Make sure he is in your lineup this week.

Donte Stallworth, NE (10.6 rating): With one catch last week, Stallworth was the Patriots’ distant third receiver in terms of targets, behind Randy Moss (nine catches) and Wes Welker (six catches). I would not expect too much from him next week against a better defense in San Diego. Not to mention, the Patriots won’t have video of the defense’s signals this week. (I kid…. sort of…).

Tight EndsOpponentRatingRiskReward
Antonio Gates – SDat NE16.82.49.3
Jason Witten – DALat MIA15.03.08.0
Todd Heap – BALvs NYJ14.72.97.6
Jeremy Shockey – NYGvs GB14.73.27.8
Kellen Winslow – CLEvs CIN14.23.77.8
Vernon Davis – SFat STL13.44.07.4
Tony Gonzalez – KCat CHI13.33.97.3
Dallas Clark – INDat TEN13.33.36.6
Heath Miller – PITvs BUF13.33.87.1
Chris Cooley – WASat PHI13.23.87.0
Ben Watson – NEvs SD12.93.96.8
Eric Johnson – NOat TB12.84.16.8
Alge Crumpler – ATLat JAC11.94.76.6
LJ Smith – PHIvs WAS11.64.96.5
Owen Daniels – HOUat CAR11.04.65.6
Randy McMichael – STLvs SF10.84.85.6
Desmond Clark – CHIvs KC10.55.35.8
Bo Scaife – TENvs IND10.15.05.1
Visanthe Shiancoe – MINat DET9.25.85.0
Daniel Graham – DENvs OAK8.85.64.3
Zach Miller – OAKat DEN8.66.04.6
Tony Scheffler – DENvs OAK8.55.84.3
Ben Troupe – TENvs IND8.45.53.9
Marcedes Lewis – JACvs ATL8.35.94.2
David Martin – MIAvs DAL8.36.04.3
Marcus Pollard – SEAat ARI8.36.34.5
Chris Baker – NYJat BAL7.96.03.9
Bubba Franks – GBat NYG7.66.33.8
Reggie Kelly – CINat CLE7.66.23.8
George Wrighster – JACvs ATL7.36.33.6
Dan Campbell – DETvs MIN7.36.53.8
Ben Utecht – INDat TEN7.36.23.5
Leonard Pope – ARIvs SEA7.26.73.8
Alex Smith – TBvs NO7.06.33.3
Jeff King – CARvs HOU6.76.83.4
David Lee – GBat NYG6.56.93.4
Robert Royal – BUFat PIT6.36.93.3
Kyle Brady – NEvs SD6.16.93.0
Jeb Putzier – HOUat CAR6.06.52.5
Anthony Becht – TBvs NO6.06.82.8
Matt Schobel – PHIvs WAS5.86.92.8
Itula Mili – SEAat ARI5.87.33.1
Mike Sellers – WASat PHI4.67.82.3

Tony Gonzalez, KC (13.3 rating): OK, so maybe Gonzalez isn’t the strongest start against the Bears, but I do expect him to have a solid game. A struggling quarterback will look often to his tight end, but in the Chief’s case, Gonzalez is also one of their only reliable receivers. The Chiefs are also likely to be behind in this game, leading to more opportunities for Kansas City to try to move the ball through the air. In any case, if you have Tony Gonzalez on your team, you probably don’t have any better options anyway.

Randy McMichael, STL (10.8 rating): McMichael was a hard guy to project this offseason, as he moved to a new team with many other offensive options. Randy had two catches for 24 yards in his first game. Not too bad, but it certainly does not make him a must-start either. He would not be in my top 12 starters this week, as the Rams’ offense looked a little slow to start last week, while the 49ers defense more than held their own against Arizona.

Adam Vinatieri – INDat TEN15.92.38.2
Jeff Wilkins – STLvs SF14.82.87.6
Jason Elam – DENvs OAK14.73.07.7
Neil Rackers – ARIvs SEA14.23.37.5
Robbie Gould – CHIvs KC13.93.57.4
Olindo Mare – NOat TB13.83.57.3
Nate Kaeding – SDat NE13.83.67.4
Jason Hanson – DETvs MIN13.73.67.3
Matt Stover – BALvs NYJ13.63.57.1
Shayne Graham – CINat CLE13.44.37.7
Josh Brown – SEAat ARI13.33.76.9
David Akers – PHIvs WAS12.93.86.8
Jeff Reed – PITvs BUF12.64.06.6
Joe Nedney – SFat STL12.64.06.6
Stephen Gostkowski – NEvs SD12.64.36.8
Ryan Longwell – MINat DET12.44.36.7
Mason Crosby – GBat NYG12.34.77.0
John Kasay – CARvs HOU11.94.36.3
Nick Folk – DALat MIA11.24.85.9
Jay Feely – MIAvs DAL11.14.85.8
Kris Brown – HOUat CAR10.55.25.7
Rian Lindell – BUFat PIT9.95.15.0
Sebastian Janikowski – OAKat DEN9.95.65.5
Shaun Suisham – WASat PHI9.75.34.9
Lawrence Tynes – NYGvs GB9.75.65.3
Matt Bryant – TBvs NO9.55.34.8
Mike Nugent – NYJat BAL9.35.85.1
Rob Bironas – TENvs IND9.35.85.1
Phil Dawson – CLEvs CIN8.75.64.3
Matt Prater – ATLat JAC8.66.14.7
Dave Rayner – KCat CHI8.16.44.5
Josh Scobee – JACvs ATL6.77.23.8

Jason Hanson, DET (13.7 rating): Hanson remains one of the most underrated kickers in the NFL. He knocked through three field goals last week against the Raiders, as the Lions offense put up 36 points. The Vikings defense looked great last week, so I would not expect the Lions to score that many points this week, but it could also mean some touchdown opportunities will be converted into field goals for Hanson.

Rian Lindell, BUF(9.9 rating): Pittsburgh only allowed 7 points last week, while the Bills only put up 14 themselves (with no help from a missed field goal by Lindell). There will probably be a few better options on your waiver wire if you need a kicker.

Team DefenseOpponentRatingRiskReward
Chicagovs KC17.21.99.1
Baltimorevs NYJ17.02.09.0
Cincinnatiat CLE16.22.38.4
Pittsburghvs BUF14.92.87.8
Denvervs OAK14.13.17.2
Jacksonvillevs ATL13.93.47.3
Green Bayat NYG13.63.47.0
Indianapolisat TEN13.23.86.9
Dallasat MIA12.74.37.0
Minnesotaat DET12.44.36.8
Carolinavs HOU12.34.16.4
Philadelphiavs WAS12.04.16.1
San Diegoat NE11.85.06.8
New Orleansat TB11.34.55.8
New Englandvs SD10.95.05.9
Seattleat ARI10.84.85.6
St. Louisvs SF10.84.95.8
San Franciscoat STL10.75.35.9
Houstonat CAR10.55.05.5
Detroitvs MIN10.35.15.3
Arizonavs SEA10.25.25.3
Oaklandat DEN9.95.15.0
New York Jetsat BAL9.85.25.0
Miamivs DAL9.75.95.6
Washingtonat PHI9.55.75.2
New York Giantsvs GB9.35.85.0
Atlantaat JAC8.46.34.8
Kansas Cityat CHI8.16.44.5
Buffaloat PIT7.36.74.0
Tampa Bayvs NO6.86.63.4
Clevelandvs CIN5.37.83.1
Tennesseevs IND5.07.82.8

Green Bay (13.6 rating): The Giants are already missing their starting runningback Brandon Jacobs, and it seems likely that quarterback Eli Manning will be out this week as well. At the very least, Manning will still be bothered by that right shoulder injury he suffered against Dallas. The Packers’ defense is much better than most people give them credit for. They held the Eagles to only 13 points last week. Playmakers like Cullen Jenkins, Aaron Kampman, AJ Hawk, Charles Woodson, and Al Harris will cause the Giants all kinds of trouble if they are forced to start Jared Lorenzen at quarterback.

Arizona (10.2 rating): The Cardinals’ defense showed some promise in their nationally televised game on Monday night, so it might be tempting to pick them up if you need help at defense. I don’t think they are the best play against Seattle this weekend though. The Seahawks didn’t light up the scoreboard against Tampa last week, but both Hasselbeck (17-24, 222 yards) and Shaun Alexander (27 carries, 105 yards) had effective games as Seattle wore down the Buccaneers. Arizona is a defense to watch this year, but not to start just yet.

Special thanks to SwiperNoSwiping, madaslives911, bobbing_headz, treat24, Dan Lambskin, Leber, joelamosobadiah, dream_017, knapplc, PMoneyTKE, MoDee, and Whodey#9 for their rankings and involvement with this week's article. For more insights and additional fine-tuning, visit our Who to Start/Bench forum section or listen to The Coach's Voice on Fantasy Cafe Radio.
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