Week 1 has come and gone, and it has taken our initial predictions of how players would stack up in fantasy football. The No. 1 running back in football this season may very well be LeSean McCoy, not the player who ran for nearly 2,100 yards last season. Tim Tebow has been resurrected in Oakland and is now going by the name Terrelle Pryor. The No. 1 receiver in New England with Danny Amendola hurting is not any of the much ballyhooed rookies but rather Julian Edelman.
While it’s important not to put too much stock into Week 1 numbers, it’s also important not to dismiss them entirely. A running-back-by-committee situation may very well be brewing in Houston. Anquan Boldin may be a PPR beast all year as the only notable WR in San Francisco. Peyton Manning was the third QB off the board in most fantasy leagues, but he’d be the first one selected in leagues that drafted today — he’s the favorite to lead the league in fantasy points after scoring roughly 43,000 points in Week 1.
Check out the Start/Sit rankings for Week 2 below, and join us for our weekly fantasy football chat Sunday morning starting at about 11 a.m. ET. I also have a few individual players highlighted after the rankings.
Have gameday lineup questions? Join us in the Cafe chat room before kickoff.
Start/Sit Week 2
Start: Tom Brady vs. NYJ. Telling people to start Tom Brady is about as safe a recommendation as one can make. However, some Brady owners are freaking out about the loss of Shane Vereen and likely Danny Amendola in Week 2. Don’t out-think yourself and start a guy like Terrelle Pryor or Sam Bradford over Brady — his value isn’t based around his supporting cast as much as it is his ability to get the most out of the players who surround him. The percentage play is to keep starting Brady if you own him, and if you don’t, send out some trade feelers to see if his owner is panicking.
Sit: Terrelle Pryor vs. JAC. Here’s where I told you to sit Michael Vick a week ago — sorry about that. In my defense, if you had to choose between Vick and the player I recommended as a start, I likely handed you a better option, as Eli Manning wound up scoring the second highest amount of points at the position. This week, I’ll warn you against the viability of Terrelle Pryor as a fantasy starter, which may seem counter-intuitive to what Josh and I discussed on the podcast about Pryor being a great waiver pickup. Pryor faced what looks like is going to be a pretty bad Colts defense in Week 1 and ran roughshod over the team. But his passing numbers weren’t great: 217 yards, one TD, two INTs. Without becoming a better passer, Pryor is going to be a middling option most weeks; even with 112 rushing yards to his credit in Week 1, Pryor finished as the 15th best QB (depending, of course, on league settings). He has great upside if he can figure things out as a passer, but don’t be tempted to use him over quality QB1s before that happens.
Start: Ben Tate vs. TEN. Tate and Arian Foster posted nearly identical rushing totals in Week 1, but Tate was able to rush for 55 yards on just nine carries, while Foster needed 18 carries to tally 57 yards. While Foster got more work in the passing game, the Texans seem to be ready to turn the backfield into more of an even committee. That works out great for the talented Tate, who is on the radar as a RB2 this week.
Sit: Ahmad Bradshaw vs. MIA. When Bradshaw was signed by the Colts, there appeared to be a new feature back in town. However, it was Vick Ballard taking the majority of the work in Week 1, rushing for 63 yards on 13 carries while Bradshaw managed 26 yards on seven carries. With Ballard making strides in his second season, Bradshaw may be relegated to backup status for longer than what was initially anticipated. Even if Bradshaw can take hold of the starter’s job, he can’t be trusted in fantasy leagues, even in a flex slot. (Update: Vick Ballard has been placed on IR after sustaining an injury in practice. I’d still hold off using Bradshaw in fantasy leagues depending on other options, but I’ve moved him into flex territory with Ballard out.)
Start: Marlon Brown vs. CLE. Brown is a player who attracted positive buzz during the preseason, and once Jacoby Jones left Thursday’s game due to injury, Brown backed up the talk, playing every offensive snap after Jones departed and finishing with four catches, 65 yards and a touchdown. Brown is primed to emerge as the team’s No. 2 option behind Torrey Smith, and with the Ravens up against the Browns this week and Joe Haden potentially locking down Smith, the chance is there for Brown to come through with a breakout game. He’s a great flex play this week.
Sit: James Jones vs. WAS. Jones came through with a high-scoring performance in 2012, catching 14 touchdown passes and working his way into the every-week starter mix. However, with so many targets in Green Bay, it was unlikely for Jones to keep up that pace. He doesn’t rack up the yardage totals to make himself a worthy play when he doesn’t reach the end zone, and in Week 1, he didn’t catch either of his two targets. I’d look for higher-volume players moving forward before relying on Jones as a starter.
Start: Greg Olsen at BUF. I completely whiffed on my Week 1 recommendation of Sudfeld, who played just 19 snaps and dealt with an injury late in Week 1’s game at Buffalo. However, I’ll go with another tight end at Buffalo this week in Greg Olsen. While Olsen is likely a TE1 for most teams and will get a start without needing to be recommended, I wanted to point out that I’d likely go with him over Week 1 heroes like Julius Thomas, Brandon Myers and Kellen Winslow. While Thomas in particular is an exciting commodity after a big Week 1, I don’t think he’s quite a start-at-all-costs player, and I’m keeping him on the lower edges of TE1 territory, underneath the proven Olsen.
Sit: Zach Sudfeld vs. NYJ. Fool me once, shame on you … Sudfeld threw up a goose egg in Week 1, receiving just one target that wasn’t caught. The lack of usage, even before his injury forced him out late in the game, makes him a stay away until he can establish himself as a weekly option. If that doesn’t happen by the time Rob Gronkowski returns, Sudfeld will struggle to deliver on his pre-season sleeper status.
R.J. White is the head editor at the Cafe and contributes to CBSSports.com's MLB Rumors blog. He has previously written for FanHouse, Razzball and FanDuel. Catch up with him in the forums under the name daullaz. Follow him on Twitter; don't follow him in real life.
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