Oakland at Buffalo (Sunday early) – Oakland looks like a band of walking wounded after just Week 1, but as long as Darren McFadden is able to play, they’ll emerge victorious in a nail-biter. At least the Bills will always have Kansas City . . . Oakland 24, Buffalo 21.
- Start: RB Darren McFadden (Probable-shoulder), WR Denarius Moore, DEF, K Sebastian Janikowski
- Neutral: QB Jason Campbell (Probable-foot)
- Sit: RB Michael Bush, WRs Jacoby Ford (Out-hamstring), Louis Murphy (Out-groin), & Darius Heyward-Bey (Questionable-knee), TE Kevin Boss (Questionable-knee)
- Start: RB Fred Jackson, WR Steve Johnson (Probable-groin)
- Neutral: QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, RB C.J. Spiller, TE Scott Chandler, DEF, K Rian Lindell
- Sit: WRs David Nelson, Roscoe Parrish, Brad Smith, & Donald Jones
Green Bay at Carolina – Cam Newton’s 400-yard debut was the talk of the fantasy football world this week. As impressive as his debut was, don’t expect anything close to a repeat this week, as Green Bay’s defense is much better than Arizona’s. Then again, Green Bay figures to score early and often against Carolina’s defense, so chances are good Newton will have to play from behind again. Green Bay 34, Carolina 21.
- Green Bay
- Start: QB Aaron Rodgers, WRs Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, & Donald Driver; TE Jermichael Finley (Probable-ankle), DEF, K Mason Crosby
- Neutral: RBs James Starks & Ryan Grant
- Sit: WRs James Jones & Randall Cobb
- Start: WR Steve Smith, TE Greg Olsen
- Neutral: QB Cam Newton, WRs Brandon LaFell & Legedu Naanee, K Olindo Mare
- Sit: RBs DeAngelo Williams & Jonathan Stewart, TE Jeremy Shockey, DEF
Kansas City at Detroit – No, Kansas City isn’t as bad as they looked last week in their “preseason” loss to the Bills. Expect that game to serve as a wake-up call to a team that made the playoffs last season and added weapons on offense. The Lions were impressive in their opening-game win in Tampa, and as long as Calvin Johnson’s ankle holds up, they should eke out the victory here. Detroit 28, Kansas City 27.
- Kansas City
- Start: RB Jamaal Charles, WR Dwayne Bowe, K Ryan Succop
- Neutral: QB Matt Cassel, WR Steve Breaston
- Sit: RBs Thomas Jones & Dexter McCluster, WR Jonathan Baldwin (Out-thumb), TE Leonard Pope, DEF
- Start: QB Matthew Stafford, RB Jahvid Best, WR Calvin Johnson (Questionable-ankle), TE Brandon Pettigrew, K Jason Hanson
- Neutral: WR Nate Burleson, DEF
- Sit: RBs Jerome Harrison & Maurice Morris
Cleveland at Indianapolis – No Peyton Manning? No problem, at least not this week. Kerry Collins will have another week of practice under his belt to get his timing down with his receivers, and Cleveland’s offense is nowhere near as potent as Houston’s, even if they do have a running back named Peyton and a quarterback named Colt. Indianapolis 27, Cleveland 21.
- Start: RB Peyton Hillis, WRs Mohamed Massaquoi (Probable-hamstring) Brian Robiskie, & Greg Little
- Neutral: QB Colt McCoy, RB Mario Hardesty, TEs Ben Watson & Evan Moore, DEF, K Phil Dawson
- Sit: WR Josh Cribbs
- Start: WRs Reggie Wayne, Austin Collie, & Pierre Garcon; TE Dallas Clark, DEF, K Adam Vinatieri
- Neutral: QB Kerry Collins, RBs Joseph Addai & Delone Carter
- Sit: RB Donald Brown, TE Jacob Tamme
Tampa Bay at Minnesota – Both teams had disappointing showings in their openers last week. If you started either Bucs’ running back LeGarrette Blount or Vikes’ quarterback Donovan McNabb last week, chances are your fantasy team also had a disappointing showing last week. McNabb will rebound today; Blount won’t. Oh, and Minnesota has some guy named Adrian Peterson at running back too - I hear he’s pretty good. Minnesota 27, Tampa Bay 24.
- Tampa Bay
- Start: WR Michael Williams, TE Kellen Winslow
- Neutral: QB Josh Freeman, RB Earnest Graham, WR Arrelious Benn, DEF, K Connor Barth
- Sit: RB LeGarrette Blount, WR Dezmon Briscoe
- Start: RB Adrian Peterson, WR Percy Harvin
- Neutral: QB Donovan McNabb, TE Visanthe Shiancoe
- Sit: RB Toby Gerhart, WRs Michael Jenkins (Probable-groin), Bernard Berrian & Greg Camarillo, TE Kyle Rudolph
Chicago at New Orleans - The Bears looked like world-beaters last week against the Falcons, but the Saints’ offense presents a much bigger challenge, at least at this point in the season. It’s always a mystery as to which Saints’ receiver will receive the most targets in any given week, but it’s almost a given that Drew Brees will have a big game no matter who the opponent is. New Orleans 34, Chicago 24.
- Start: QB Jay Cutler, RB Matt Forte, WR Johnny Knox
- Neutral: WRs Devin Hester & Earl Bennett, K Robbie Gould
- Sit: RB Marion Barber (Doubtful-calf), WR Roy Johnson (Questionable-groin), DEF
- New Orleans
- Start: QB Drew Brees, WRs Robert Meachem & Devery Henderson, TE Jimmy Graham, K John Kasay
- Neutral: RBs Mark Ingram & Pierre Thomas, DEF
- Sit: RB Darren Sproles, WR Lance Moore (Questionable-groin)
Jacksonville at New York Jets – Jacksonville, which already faced an uphill battle against the Jets’ defense will most likely be without tight end Marcedes Lewis and wide receiver Jason Hill. Don’t get too excited by Mark Sanchez’ yardage total last week; the Jets are unlikely to be playing from behind this week, and several of their receivers are already dinged up (are knee injuries contagious?) so they’re more likely to rely on their running game. New York 27, Jacksonville 17.
- Start: RB Maurice Jones-Drew
- Neutral: RB Deji Karim, TE Zach Miller, DEF
- Sit: QB Luke McCown, WRs Mike Thomas & Jason Hill (Doubtful-hip), TE Marcedes Lewis (Doubtful-calf), K Josh Scobee
- New York
- Start: RB Shonn Greene, WR Santonio Holmes (Questionable-knee), TE Dustin Keller, DEF, K Nick Folk
- Neutral: QB Mark Sanchez, RB LaDainian Tomlinson, WRs Derrick Mason (Probable-knee) & Plaxico Burress (Probable-ankle)
- Sit: N/A
Seattle at Pittsburgh – Of all this weekend’s games, this one has the greatest potential to be a blowout. Yes, Pittsburgh was embarrassed by their arch-rivals last weekend, but don’t count on that happening again this week, especially since the Seahawks will once again be without wide receiver Sidney Rice. Pittsburgh 31, Seattle 10.
- Start: TE Zach Miller
- Neutral: N/A
- Sit: QB Tarvaris Jackson, RB Marshawn Lynch, WRs Sidney Rice (Out-shoulder), Mike Williams, & Ben Obomanu; DEF, K Steven Hauschka
- Start: QB Ben Roethlisberger, RB Rashard Mendenhall, WRs Mike Wallace & Hines Ward, TE Heath Miller, DEF, K Shaun Suisham
- Neutral: WRs Antoine Brown & Emmanuel Sanders
- Sit: WR Jerricho Cotchery (Out-hamstring)
Baltimore at Tennessee – Okay, I lied - this game also has great blowout potential. Hard to see Titans’ running back Chris Johnson doing much against the Ravens’ defense unless he suddenly becomes an intregal part of their passing game. By the end of the game Titans’ quarterback Matt Hasselbeck will wish he were back with the Seahawks, at least in the weeks that they aren’t playing Pittsburgh. Baltimore 31, Tennessee 14.
- Start: QB Joe Flacco, RB Ray Rice, WR Anquan Boldin, TE Ed Dickson, DEF, K Billy Cundiff
- Neutral: RB Ricky Williams, WR Lee Evans (Probable-ankle)
- Sit: TE Dennis Pitta
- Start: N/A
- Neutral: WRs Kenny Britt & Nate Washington
- Sit: QB Matt Hasselbeck, RBs Chris Johnson & Javon Ringer (Probable-back), TE Javon Cook, DEF, K Rob Bironas
Arizona at Washington – Even though he was overshadowed last week by Cam Newton, Cardinals’ quarterback Kevin Kolb showed why so many people are tabbing him as a breakout fantasy star this season. On the other hand most people will look at Redskins’ quarterback Rex Grossman’s showing against the Giants last week as a fluke, and they’re probably right. Arizona 28, Washington 20.
- Start: QB Kevin Kolb, RB Beanie Wells, WR Larry Fitzgerald, TE Todd Heap
- Neutral: WRs Andre Roberts & Early Doucet, DEF, K Jay Feely
- Sit: RB LaRod Stephen-Howling (Questionable-hand)
- Start: RB Tim Hightower, WR Santana Moss, TE Fred Davis, K Graham Gano
- Neutral: QB Rex Grossman, WRs Jabar Gaffney & Anthony Armstrong, TE Chris Cooley (Questionable-knee), DEF
- Sit: RBs Roy Helu & Ryan Torain
Dallas at San Francisco (Sunday late) – Dallas will avoid a fourth-quarter collapse this week, and just as importantly, they’ll avoid kicking the ball to 49ers’ return man par excellence Ted Ginn Jr. Dallas 30, San Francisco 21.
- Start: QB Tony Romo, RB Felix Jones, WR Miles Austin (Probable-knee), TE Jason Witten
- Neutral: DEF, K Dan Bailey
- Sit: RBs Tashard Choice & DeMarco Murray, WR Dez Bryant (Questionable-thigh)
- Start: QB Tony Romo, RB Felix Jones, WR Miles Austin (Probable-knee), TE Jason Witten
- San Francisco
- Start: RB Frank Gore, WR Braylon Edwards, TE Vernon Davis
- Neutral: QB Alex Smith, WR Josh Morgan, K David Akers
- Sit: RBs Kendall Hunter & Anthony Dixon, WRs Michael Crabtree (Questionable-foot) & Ted Ginn, DEF
Cincinnati at Denver – The Denver faithful may be clamoring for Tim Tebow already, but Kyle Orton will rebound this week and lead his team to victory. Cincinnati surprised Cleveland last week, but Bengal quarterback Anthony Dalton may not be at full strength for this contest. Denver 27, Cincinnati 24.
- Start: RB Cedric Benson, WRs A.J. Green & Jerome Simpson; TE Jermaine Gresham
- Neutral: QB Andy Dalton (Probable-wrist), WR Jordan Shipley, DEF, K Mike Nugent
- Sit: RB Bernard Scott
- Start: QB Kyle Orton, WRs Eric Decker & Eddie Royal, TE Daniel Fells, K Matt Prater
- Neutral: RBs Knowshon Moreno (Questionable-hamstring) & Willis McGahee, WR Brandon Lloyd (Questionable-groin), DEF
- Sit: WR Demaryius Thomas (Out-finger)
Houston at Miami – Both teams put up a ton of offense last week, and both will do the same today. The jury is still out on the revamped Texans’ defense, but I’ll go with Dolphins’ quarterback Chad Henne to have another big game and lead his team to victory. Miami 31, Houston 28.
- Start: QB Matt Schaub, RB Ben Tate (Probable-quad), WRs Andre Johnson & Jacoby Jones, TE Owen Daniel, K Neil Rackers
- Neutral: N/A
- Sit: RBs Arian Foster (Questionable-quad) & Derrick Ward (Out-shoulder), WR Kevin Walter (Questionable-shoulder), DEF
- Start: QB Chad Henne, RB Reggie Bush, WR Brandon Marshall, TE Anthony Fasano, K Dan Carpenter
- Neutral: RB Daniel Thomas (Probable-hamstring), WRs Davone Bess & Brian Hartline
- Sit: DEF
San Diego at New England – Even by Tom Brady’s standards his performance last Monday night against the Dolphins was remarkable. It will be fun to watch this shootout between two of the AFC’s top offenses, and there are a number of good fantasy choices for this week on both offenses (hint: neither defense is a good play this week). New England 35, San Diego 31.
- San Diego
- Start: QB Philip Rivers, WRs Vincent Jackson & Malcom Floyd, TE Antonio Gates, K Nick Novak
- Neutral: RBs Ryan Mathews & Mike Tolbert
- Sit: DEF
- New England
- Start: QB Tom Brady, RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis, WRs Wes Welker & Deion Branch, TE Rob Gronkowski, K Stephen Gostkowski
- Neutral: RB Danny Woodhead, WR Chad Ochocinco, TE Aaron Hernandez
- Sit: WR Julian Edelman, DEF
Philadelphia at Atlanta (Sunday night) – By now you may have heard that the Eagles’ quarterback used to play in Atlanta before he got in some legal trouble there. Perhaps you’ve even heard that he’s had a bit of success with his new club after addressing his legal issues. That small subplot aside, Atlanta’s blitzing defense will be the difference in this game, make the prodigal son’s homecoming an unhappy one. Atlanta 30, Philadelphia 27.
- Start: QB Michael Vick, RB LeSean McCoy, WRs DeSean Jackson & Jeremy Maclin, K Alex Henery
- Neutral: WR Jason Avant, TE Brent Celek
- Sit: RB Ronnie Brown, WR Steve Smith (Probable-knee), DEF
- Start: QB Matt Ryan, RB Michael Turner, WRs Roddy White (Probable-knee) & Julio Jones, TE Tony Gonzalez, K Matt Bryant
- Neutral: DEF
- Sit: RBs Jason Snelling & Jacquizz Rodgers, WR Harry Douglas (Probable-concussion)
St. Louis at New York Giants (Monday night) – The Giants, realizing how depleted their secondary is, will blitz Rams’ quarterback Sam Bradford and his injured thumb relentlessly. Without Steven Jackson at full strength the Rams won’t have enough of a running game to keep the Giants’ defense honest, and the Giants will rely on their ground game to gain the victory. New York 27, St. Louis 24.
- St. Louis
- Start: WRs Brandon Gibson & Mike Sims-Walker
- Neutral: QB Sam Bradford (Probable-finger), RB Cadillac Williams, TE Lance Kendricks, DEF, K Josh Brown
- Sit: RB Steven Jackson (Questionable-quad), WRs Danny Amendola (Doubtful-elbow) & Danario Alexander
- New York
- Start: QB Eli Manning, RB Ahmad Bradshaw, WRs Hakeem Nicks (Qustionable-knee) & Mario Manningham, K Lawrence Tynes
- Neutral: RB Brandon Jacobs, WR Domenick Hixon, DEF
- Sit: TE Jake Ballard
Good luck this weekend!
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