With Week 1 in the books, it’s time to get past your miserable start—or glorious beginning if you will—and start prepping for Week 2.
Who do you start, whom do you sit? How much do you take the matchup into consideration?
Well, here are some viable starts and some recommended sits to sift over in advance of Week 2. Use these suggestions as a good base guide.
Eli Manning: New York Giants
In the third annual “Manning Bowl” this Sunday, little brother Eli will not want to miss his chance to upstage Peyton Manning. In a game that’s destined to be a shootout, Eli will want to prove he can hang with his big brother. Last week, Eli connected with his receiving corps early and often (yeah, granted with a lot of picks) and it led to the Giants having three receivers (Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Rueben Randle) all going over the century mark in receiving yards. While that may be hard to duplicate, remember Joe Flacco did have a decent day (362 passing yards and two touchdowns) against the Broncos last week, and Manning could do even better.
DeAngelo Williams: Carolina Panthers
Williams is not dead yet. With a solid matchup in Buffalo this week, Williams can make for a useful No. 2 running back or flex play. Considering Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley combined to rush for 147 yards on 23 carries, as well as seven receptions for 58 (all by Vereen) yards against the Bills last week, there is decent chance Williams could come close to replicating that sort of success. After all, Williams did rush for 86 yards on just 17 carries against a stout defense in Seattle last week.
Knowshon Moreno: Denver Broncos
Right now the Broncos’ backfield is a mess, but with the way Peyton Manning is passing the ball, the emphasis has been on pass blocking and that is where Moreno shines. He’s also not that bad. Moreno rushed for 28 yards, while also hauling in three catches for 37 yards in his game against the Ravens. Last week, the Giants (Moreno’s Week 2 opponent) allowed DeMarco Murray to rush for 86 yards and also haul in eight catches for an additional 39 receiving yards. In a game that is likely to be a shootout, Moreno should be heavily involved in the game plan.
Marlon Brown: Baltimore Ravens
Brown is a stealth start this week. With Joe Haden likely assigned to Torrey Smith, Brown could make the Browns (Brown’s Week 2 opponent) pay. With Jacoby Jones down, Brown should see an uptick in targets, and considering how the secondary receivers on the Dolphins (Brian Hartline, Brandon Gibson) did against the Browns last week, Brown could do some similar damage.
Mike Williams: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Playing at home and riding a three-game streak of scoring at least one touchdown (and in five out his last six games), Williams could find plenty of room for targets in this matchup. The Saints (the Buccaneers’ Week 2 opponent) are still a work in progress on defense and finished last year ranked second-to-last in pass defense. With the Saints horrible at defending the pass, and with Vincent Jackson getting most of their attention, Williams can do some damage in single coverage.
Brent Celek: Philadelphia Eagles
After scoring in his season debut last week against the Redskins (hauling in two catches for 56 yards and a touchdown), Celek is gaining some traction off the waiver wire. He’ll now face a Chargers squad that has to fly across country for a 1:00 ET start time. Not to mention, the Chargers just allowed the Texans to score three touchdowns from their tight ends (two from Owen Daniels and one from Garret Graham).
Russell Wilson: Seattle Seahawks
While Wilson did have a decent game last week (throwing for 320 yards and a touchdown), that was against the Panthers. Now Wilson is set to face a physical and imposing defense in the 49ers. The 49ers should take away many of Seattle’s passing lanes and harass Wilson all day. If you have another competent quarterback, this may be the ideal week to sit Wilson.
Frank Gore: San Francisco 49ers
While Gore did score against the Packers last week, he did little otherwise (44 rushing yards on 21 carries). The Seahawks held Gore to just 28 yards rushing in their matchup in Seattle last year. Suffice to say, Gore will have trouble moving the chains in this contest.
Lamar Miller: Miami Dolphins
After a brutal effort last week in Cleveland, in which Miller rushed for three yards on 10 carries (Day-ummm!!), Miller will be on short leash this week in Indianapolis. Last week the Colts held Darren McFadden to just 48 yards rushing and with Miller splitting time with Daniel Thomas (especially at the goal line), this might be a good week to sit Miller.
Torrey Smith: Baltimore Ravens
Smith had himself a solid outing in Denver last week (four receptions for 92 yards), but this week he has all the makings of being a bust, as he should be lined up opposite the Browns’ shutdown corner Joe Haden. With the Ravens short on weapons in the passing game (especially after the injury to Jacoby Jones), expect the Browns to concentrate on shutting down Smith.
Golden Tate: Seattle Seahawks
While Tate was a trendy sleeper just prior to the draft, he didn’t do so much in his opener in Carolina, recording four receptions for 51 receiving yards. This week he’ll draw the 49ers’ pyschical corners. That’s not exactly a recipe for success.
Kyle Rudolph: Minnesota Vikings
A matchup with the Bears this week does not bode well for Rudolph’s chances at success. Rudolph put up a stinker (zero receptions!) the last time the Vikings and Bears played last season.