James Morris hails from Rio Rancho, NM and has been playing fantasy sports for just over 15 years. Not only does he write the Bengals fantasy section, but he also does the Miami Dolphins fantasy section. Crossing over, Morris writes the fantasy sections for the Minnesota Timberwolves in the NBA. Just send him an email and he will reply back the same day with your answer. Or, find him on Twitter (Fantasyguy23) and get all your NFL news before it hits the national media. *
Week 2 of the NFL season is upon us and the Bengals have a juicy matchup against the Cleveland Brownies! Last week we saw a few stars fizzle out (Wes Welker, Hakeem Nicks, Fred Jackson, etc.) and some players rise to stardom (Alfred Morris, Kevin Ogletree, Michael Bush, etc.). This is where I come in; I help you sort through the pile and pick out what is fact and what is fiction so you can have a place at the fantasy playoff dinner table!
Let's get to some injury news and then head into the Start/Sit section.
John Skelton of the Arizona Cardinals is out, and Kevin Kolb is in. Truth be told, if either one of these guys are starting for your fantasy team, just start counting down time until the NBA season starts.
Fred Jackson is going to miss anywhere from 2-8 weeks, but Jackson says he will be back in four weeks. Either way, I think by the time he gets back C.J. Spiller has a firm grasp on the starting RB job and Jackson splits carries at best. Don't drop him just yet, but don't expect top 10 RB numbers after he returns either.
David Nelson (Buffalo Bills WR) is done for the season, and that means Donald Jones becomes an interesting waiver wire addition for those in PPR leagues. Jones will be more of a WR4/Flex play at best with Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm.
Jonathan Stewart of the Carolina Panthers is slated to play this weekend against the Saints, but will be relegated to a flex play in all formats.
Word out of Indianapolis is that Austin Collie is a go this weekend. I personally have him ranked as a low-end WR3, but I think there is some upside there with Andrew Luck tossing him the pigskin.
Maurice Jones-Drew is a full go this weekend, while Rashad Jennings has been ruled out. Get MJD in your lineup as an RB1.
Jeremy Maclin is dealing with a hip stinger that has his Week 2 status in doubt. He didn't practice Wednesday, but Coach Andy Reid was quick to say he hasn't been ruled out yet. Check back Sunday morning for the final word.
Matthew Stafford – QB, Lions: There is a lot of concern about Stafford after he threw 3 INTs to just one TD in Week 1. And, to make it worse, the Lions face the tough 49ers defense this week. However, I like Stafford as a top 10 QB because despite the rough start last week, he still finished with 355 yards and a TD.
Robert Griffin III – QB, Washington: OK, I will admit that I thought the rookie would struggle out of the gate and because of that I made a mistake sitting him last week. That being said, I put him in the top 10 for QBs this week because he 1) showed amazing skill last week, and 2) plays the Rams and their generous defense this week.
Alfred Morris – RB, Redskins: Morris was someone I told you about in the preseason, but is now available in just 20 percent of NFL.com leagues. Just like I said with RGIII earlier, the Redskins play the Rams, and I have a feeling it is going to be like sharks smelling blood in the water. Morris is a high-end RB2 this week.
Reggie Bush – RB, Dolphins: Bush is a true asset for those in PPR leagues because he will get you 60-plus yards on the ground, plus another 5-6 catches for 40-50 yards. The Dolphins are a young team on offense, and Bush is someone that Ryan Tannehill can lean on and check down to if the WRs aren't open. I like Bush as a low-end RB2/high-end flex play this week and think he could see triple-digit numbers.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis – RB, Bengals: The Law Firm is going to have one of the best matchups he will see all season against the Browns, and I fully expect him to be a top 15 RB by the week's end. The Browns defense is already injury-riddled and BGE should have no problems matching (or bettering) his Week 1 numbers of 91 yards rushing and a TD.
Wes Welker – WR, Patriots: Normally I would never put a WR of Welker's caliber, but when someone is targeted just five times and catches three of them for 14 yards and no scores, fantasy owners get nervous. I truly believe the Patriots will make it a point to throw to Welker early and often to dispel the rumors that the team is moving on from him as their go-to guy. I personally think they are in some ways and would be aware and beware, but I like him a lot this week because of last week.
Austin Collie – WR, Colts: Collie missed last week with concussion concerns, but he is listed as a full go this week against the Vikings. Andrew Luck looks every bit the part of a starting NFL QB, and Collie is going to fill a much needed go-to role with the Colts this season. If he gets one more concussion I think he could retire, but until then play him as a WR3 in all formats.
Kyle Rudolph – TE, Vikings: Rudolph is another one of my preseason sleeper picks that panned out nicely in Week 1 after he hauled in five passes for 67 yards. The Vikings WR corps is horrible outside of Percy Harvin and Rudolph is currently their No. 2 option. I like him as a low-end TE1, and he is available in 87.6 percent of NFL.com leagues. That is pathetic when you consider that Brent Celek is owned in 38.8 percent of leagues and Dustin Keller is owned in a whopping 75.0 percent of leagues, neither of which I would own over Rudolph.
Cincinnati Bengals Defense: The Bengals are owned in just 18.5 percent of NFL.com leagues, and they play the atrocious Cleveland Browns offense this week. I currently have the Bengals ranked in my top 3-5 defenses for Week 2, and the only reason they aren't No. 1 is because of Trent Richardson. I would play them over top defenses like the 49ers and Eagles without hesitation.
Michael Vick – QB, Eagles: Vick looked as rusty as any QB in the league last week while playing one of the worst teams in the NFL (Cleveland Browns). This week he faces one of the league's top defenses in the Ravens and I want no part of his fantasy-killing production until he proves he has done a fantasy restoration. If I sound mad it is because I am; he was anything but Vic-torious for my fantasy teams last week!
Ben Roethlisberger – QB, Steelers: Big Ben managed to throw for 245 yards and 2 TDs against the Broncos on Sunday Night Football. But, this week he faces a Jets defense that forced Ryan Fitzpatrick into possibly the worst performance of the season so far (195 passing yards, 3 TDs and 3 INTs). As much as I like Jonathan Dwyer, he doesn't scare defenses like Rashard Mendenhall does, so the Jets are sure to play more against the pass and let their D-line and LBs focus on stopping the run.
Kevin Smith – RB, Lions: The Lions are a pass-heavy team, and Smith is good in the passing game. But, the Lions have problems running the ball no matter who is in the backfield, and the 49ers have a monstrous D-line and LB corps.
Peyton Hillis – RB, Chiefs: Hillis is still owned in 89.9 percent of NFL.com leagues, despite gaining just 16 yards on 7 carries in Week 1. The reality is that Hillis isn't as powerful or agile as he was in Cleveland, and he isn't going to get anything more than is blocked for him. I personally cut ties with him in favor of Alfred Morris and/or Jonathan Dwyer.
Kevin Ogletree – WR, Cowboys: Ogletree was a hot waiver wire addition after his Week 1 performance. The man went from being owned in 2.8 percent of NFL.com leagues to 69.5 percent of leagues in just one week (66.7 percent change), and it was all due to his 8 catches for 114 yards and 2 TDs. Understand that Ogletree caught lightning in a bottle, and that was not indicative of what we can expect going forward. For the Cowboys to get Dez Bryant, Miles Austin and Jason Witten their targets/touches, and keep Ogletree worth playing (even as a WR3) each week, Tony Romo would have to put up the best season on record in the NFL … and then some! People are putting too much value on him and I would see if I could sell high on him while the getting is good.
Santonio Holmes and Stephen Hill – WRs, Jets: Simply put, Mark Sanchez's best game of the season may have already happened in Week 1. I don't see him doing better than the 266 yards, and 3 TDs he threw for last week against the Bills defense, not to mention that he now faces an extremely tough Pittsburgh Steelers defense that is sure to rattle his cage. After this week I bet the Tebow talk reaches a roar in New York, and that is going to make for a rollercoaster ride if you own the Jets WRs going forward.
Jason Witten – TE, Cowboys: Witten has not missed a game in the last eight years, and he made it back from a lacerated spleen to play last week. However, he labored to just 2 catches for 10 yards. I don't see it getting a whole lot better this week as the Cowboys face the tough Seahawks defense. Todd Heap managed just 3 catches for 32 yards last week against the Seahawks, and I could see similar numbers for Witten this week.
Denver Broncos Defense: The Broncos defense was another one of my sleeper picks in the preseason, but I want no part of them this week as they go up against a dangerous Falcons passing attack. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones are going to be in beast mode this season, and the running game can still get close to the 100-yard mark most weeks. While I do believe the Broncos defense is worth owning, I would bench them in favor of the Bengals or even the Redskins defense (owned in just 7.5 percent of NFL.com leagues) this week.
Q: I cannot afford to keep both Laurent Robinson and Justin Blackmon. I want to pick up Kevin Ogletree or another quality WR this week. Should I drop Laurent or Justin?
--David Coleman of Cincinnati, OH
A: My man, the Dating Doctor. WHO DEY!
If you have both and want to cut one, I'd let Laurent Robinson go and hold onto Blackmon. I do think Blaine Gabbert is going to take a step forward in his second NFL season, but the offense is still sure to be up and down.
Stephen Hill is going to be a solid WR this season, but he is going to be up and down just like Blackmon because of his QB problems. Kevin Ogletree is going to have some WR value, but not the same value as what he had in Week 1. If I did pick him up, I'd use him as a quick flip for an underperforming WR like Kenny Britt or Malcom Floyd.