It’s time for the weekly Studs and Duds article for week 2. But first, a quick recap of last week:
All and all I guess it was ok. Gates and Sanders each had pretty good games. In PPR I’d be happy with starting them this week over similarly ranked players. Kelce and Green on the other hand just didn’t get enough playing time to make a difference. Andy Reid called an odd game all in all and will probably try to work Kelce in as the year goes on.
For the most part I whiffed elsewhere and I’m man enough to say I got it wrong last week. I was right to like Benjamin this year but was wrong about Derek Anderson. He got him the ball just fine. Also maybe Bill Lazor knows how to use Mike Wallce pretty well. It helps when Revis Island doesn’t shadow you and you get 11 targets. He also wasn’t very efficient. Luckily for his owners, Jennings overall crappy day was redeemed by a late touchdown. On to week 2!
Kendall Wright/Justin Hunter vs Cowboys
The Cowboys looked to be in shambles week 1. They were down 21-3 after 1 quarter of play while giving up big play after big play. The defense isn’t very good and I don’t think that was a surprise to anyone. Going into week 2 they take on Tennessee.
Coach Whiz might have his magic back as they easily handled the Chiefs last week. Locker looked in control, completing 22 of 33 passes for 266 yards and 2 TDs. His receivers played to their strengths…Kendall Wright underneath and Justin Hunter over the top. It could be a perfect storm against the struggling Cowboys. I would feel confident starting Wright this week in PPR and if you like high-risk high reward players, Justin Hunter is your guy.
Michael Floyd vs Giants
Another team who struggled last week was the Giants. Not only did Eli look like the Freshman QB going up against Varsity, their secondary gave up huge plays downfield to Calvin Johnson. Granted Calvin Johnson is the best receiver in football but on each of his two long TDs he was wide open. I mean – the G-Men secondary was so bad they were running into each other.
Floyd had an impressive week 1 and, much like last year, was able to work well down the field for a 63-yard play. Floyd has been playing as the team’s number receiver and should get the bulk of looks even after Fitz Sr’s comments. Look for Floyd to have another big week and start him with ease.
Terrance West vs Saints
Ben Tate went down last week with a knee injury and Terrance West came in and ran for 100 yards on 16 carries. His touchdown opportunities were poached by impressive runs from Isaiah Crowell but West is still the back to own right now. With Tate out for 2-4 weeks, West will be the lead back. West has been on our radar for some time and will get a chance to showcase his talent very early into the season.
The matchup is against the Saints. Last week the Saints gave up 123 rushing yards to a mish mash of backs and a poor O-Line (as well as 448 passing yards). The box will most likely be stacked but the Cleveland running game looked good in week 1. Based on simply volume alone I like West as a RB2/Flex type back for this week. Let’s all hope he can get in the endzone this time.
Steve Smith Sr. vs Steelers
Look I don’t think Steve Smith is very good anymore. You can say I’m wrong all you want. You can look at his box score last week and say, “but he caught 7 balls for 118 yards and TD!” I still won’t believe it. He also had 15 targets in a game that Flacco threw the ball 62 times. And his night would have been pretty bad if it wasn’t for his one big play of an 80-yard TD. That is unlikely to happen again any time soon.
I thought Torrey Smith was undervalued in the offseason and I still do. I’m not the only one that thinks so either. Flacco thinks Torrey Smith will catch 100 balls this year. Even if he falls a little short of that, he is the guy to own in Baltimore…Not Steve Smith Sr.
Justin Forsett vs Steelers
Justin Forsett took over for the benched/injured/fumbled Bernard Pierce. He looked pretty good doing it too, rushing for 70 yards and a TD on 11 carries. I talked about Forsett in my weekly waiver wire article so I won’t go into too much detail. I skeptical to think a 29-year-old journeyman scat back is the answer. It may be Lorenzo Talieferro, hell it may still even be Bernard Pierce but I would imagine it isn’t Forsett. I would have a hard time starting Forsett this week simply because I do not know the situation in Baltimore yet. Even if I’m wrong and Forsett ends up being the guy – Harbaugh insists Peirce will still be involved in the offense. The situation is too volatile to trust any of these backs right now. I would still stash Forsett though on the off chance he sticks as the lead back.
Reggie Bush vs Panthers
I hope you didn’t spend a high draft pick on Reggie Bush this year. I probably wasn’t the only one telling you to draft Joique Bell but week 1 is looking like a bad sign for Bush. Bell out carried Bush 15 to 9 and was a lot more effective on those carries as well, totaling 51 yards and a TD to Bush’s 9 yards. Bush did get more work as a receiver, which was to be expected, but what made him so good last year was his ability to both catch and run out of the backfield.
It was just week 1 and these things are correctable over time but this may not be the week things get fixed. Bush and the Lions take on the Panthers and their stingy defense in week 2. I’ll admit the Tampa O-Line is awful but even still, Caroline held the Tampa backs to just 21 yards on 13 carries. Bush should have some decent weeks this year but week 2 probably won’t be one of them.