Wondering whether or not to start Peyton Manning and Anquan Boldin, or to bench Jake Locker and Cordarrelle Patterson? The network bozos specialize in that kind of advice. If you’re looking for help with your real starting lineup conundrums, read on.
Here are my picks to roll, and get rolled, in Week 2 of the 2013 season.
Watch ‘em roll
Carson Palmer, QB, Cardinals vs. Lions. He’s far removed from his days as an elite passer, but Palmer still has enough to get the job done on occasion. He had a solid debut with his new trio of receivers, and he’ll give the visiting Lions a much tougher test than Christian Ponder did in the opener. Palmer doesn’t have much choice, since his team can’t run the ball.
DeAngelo Williams, RB, Panthers at Bills. First, a confession: I’m always wrong when I predict good things for Williams. But against my better judgment, I’m going to rush up again to kick that football Lucy’s holding. Here’s why: Cam Newton is off to another slow start; Jonathan Stewart is out; New England shredded Buffalo on the ground in Week 1; and Williams is coming off a solid 100-total-yard outing against the tough Seattle defense. Yeah, I’ll probably whiff again.
Eddie Lacy, RB, Packers vs. Redskins. I had my doubts about Lacy heading into the season, mostly because Green Bay is so quick to abandon the run. But the rookie looked good against the 49ers’ stout run defenders, and now he’s facing a much easier test. The Packers may have found their workhorse in Lacy. He’ll certainly have a chance to soar this weekend.
Eric Decker, WR, Broncos at Giants. It’s no surprise that Decker was overshadowed by his counterparts in the opener, but he didn’t help himself by dropping two perfect passes, including one in the end zone. I still prefer Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker, but I wouldn’t bench Decker against the sorry Giants secondary based on one stinker.
Rod Streater, WR, Raiders vs. Jaguars. Terrelle Pryor put on a surprisingly effective performance in his first NFL start, albeit mostly with his legs. But when he passed, he looked most often to Streater. Given the pathetic nature of this week’s opponents, who are traveling cross-country no less, Streater has an opportunity to excel.
More thumbs up (excluding the no-brainers): QBs Robert Griffin III, Mike Vick, Eli Manning, Matt Stafford; RBs Darren McFadden, Steven Jackson, Reggie Bush; WRs Jordy Nelson, Mike Williams, Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson, Stevie Johnson, Reggie Wayne, Hakeem Nicks.
Roll ‘em back
Andy Dalton, QB, Bengals vs. Steelers. In four career starts against his division rivals, Dalton has amassed just 688 passing yards (172 average per game), 4 TDs and 5 interceptions. As poorly as Pittsburgh played in the opener, they still clamped down on the Titans’ passing game. Start A.J. Green, of course; but leave his QB on your bench.
Lamar Miller, RB, Dolphins at Colts. I’ll keep saying it until it’s no longer true: Miller’s next good fantasy performance will be his first. After a terrible starting debut against the Browns in which he split time with Daniel Thomas (who also poached the short TD plunge), Miller simply can’t be trusted until he gives us a reason to believe otherwise.
David Wilson, RB, Giants vs. Broncos. His coach gave him the dreaded vote of confidence, but also brought Brandon Jacobs out of hibernation. Given the likelihood that Eli Manning will be airing it out often in an attempt to keep pace with his brother, and the fact that Denver did a good job keeping Ray Rice in check last week, Wilson’s prospects for redemption Sunday are bleak.
Roddy White, WR, Falcons vs. Rams. You hate to sit someone with White’s elite talent, even when he’s playing at less than 100 percent. But when a receiver admits that it could be “a few more weeks before I can go out there and be myself,” and he only draws two targets from his quarterback in Week 1, it’s time to look elsewhere. Fantasy football is no place for decoys.
Cecil Shorts, WR, Jaguars at Raiders. Oakland hounded Andrew Luck relentlessly in Week 1 and only surrendered 147 net passing yards (albeit with two TDs). Meanwhile, Shorts led his team in receiving with 40 yards. Start him again if you enjoyed that stat line.
More thumbs down: QBs Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers, Sam Bradford; RBs Rashard Mendenhall, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Ben Tate, Vick Ballard, Ahmad Bradshaw, Ryan Mathews, Mark Ingram, all Denver and Pittsburgh RBs; WRs Chris Givens, T.Y. Hilton, Kenny Britt, Greg Jennings, Jerome Simpson, Brandon LaFell.
TAKING A FLIER
Harry Douglas, WR, Falcons vs. Rams. Douglas is one of those guys you keep expecting will produce, but he rarely does. He led his team in receiving (with 93 yards) in the opener, and he’ll have a chance to do it again with White limited by a high ankle sprain. If you’re desperate, he offers plenty of upside against a subpar secondary.
DON’T BE THE BONEHEAD WHO…thinks Philip Rivers is a viable fantasy option again based on his 4-TD performance in Week 1. Remember that he amassed just 195 passing yards, was intercepted, completed just 48 percent of his passes and lost in humiliating fashion. You’ll regret it if you bank on him on the road in Philly.