Week 2 Fantasy QB Starts
It's been one week and you can say goodbye to the top QB on the list. Bouncing back from this injury for owners will be impossible at best considering you had to draft him in round 1 to get him. Keeper leagues are even worse because they have to hold onto Tom Brady for next year. Being from Minnesota of course I yearned for a Daunte signing in New England to reunite Moss with Culpepper, even though I've seen how immobile Daunte has become. Clearly not going to happen. But you can pick up Matt Cassel.
From the preseason fantasy QB ranking list you can tell we're high on Tony Romo here over Peyton Manning for the #2 spot. The main worry for Romo is what happened on Sunday; despite a nice game with 320 passing yards, the running game put in the touchdowns on this day against Cleveland. Romo's passing game is in tact and performing efficiently as judged by Romo's 75% completion percentage, but to be fair Cleveland's defense was porous with a non-existent pass rush.
Drew Brees is now up there with Romo, though he should be knocked down a few pegs losing Marques Colston for 4 to 6 weeks. Still, they throw the ball often in New Orleans and Brees connected deep a few times. Brees gets even more action passing considering Reggie Bush is an RB best used in the flat catching passes. He always performs well at home and even against a top defense (Tampa Bay) Brees put up 343 yards, 3 touchdowns and 1 interception.
Peyton Manning should have one of his better games against Minnesota, if his offensive line holds up. Opponents have not been able to run on this crew, but have been able to pass at will despite some talent in the defensive backfield in Antoine Winfield. The lack of pass rush for the Vikings did not go away against Green Bay so it remains to be seen if it can make an impact at home in the loud Metrodome. Still, Manning will be passing a lot in this game and will likely hit the end zone a few times. And despite a tough loss against Chicago, and no practice in the Preseason, Manning completed 30 / 49 passes for 257 yards 1 TD and 0 interceptions but was abandoned by his running game.
Kurt Warner at home against Miami is a matchup we definitely like for him and his receivers of course. Not that Miami is terribly bad because they did shut down the Jets passing attack besides that Jerricho Cotchery long touchdown and a few plays. Warner though is similar to Brees in that he is going to throw often enough to put in a few touchdowns and accumulate near 300 yards. Even though the Jets ran on the Dolphins last week, the Cardinals have been a pass-first offense lately especially for their big plays.
Eli Manning had a tough game against Washington, with 216 yards 0 touchdowns and a pick. However he found Plaxico Burress for 10 passes 100+ yards and if you look at Donovan McNabb's display against St Louis (361 yards 63% 3 TD's 0 INT's) it is clear the Rams have a secondary that can be passed on. One reason I don't trust Eli much in general is because of the Giants love for running the football with their numerous RB's, but the matchup is so that Eli is probably a must start at St Louis.
Speaking of McNabb, he'll have a harder time in Dallas against the Cowboys. They shut down Braylon Edwards (though Edwards did drop some passes) and the Eagles WR's are not much to speak of despite DeSean Jackson's emergence. Plus when healthy, this is Brian Westbrook's team. But few RB's are as involved in the passing game as Westbrook is, so McNabb is still good for a score or two in this one but it won't be anywhere near as pretty as his line against the Rams.
A surprise guy I like this week is Jon Kitna at home against the Packers. Green Bay got away with plenty of holding Monday Night that they may not get away with in Detroit. Not to mention the Lions receivers Calvin Johnson and Roy Williams greatly outclass Sidney Rice and Bernard Berrian of the Vikings. I still think the Packers will get the victory but I think the Lions will be passing throughout. It may be ugly with a few turnovers, but Kitna will get near 300 yards and a few TD's.
What of Matt Cassel, the new New England QB who hasn't started since High School? Hard to say, but what shouldn't be forgotten is the increase in offensive output when Randy Moss came to town (Wes Welker too, but he has the room to thrive because of Moss' coverages). Moss has made Gus Frerotte, Jeff George, and Todd Bouman look like All-Pro's. I can't imagine he is unowned at this point in a league but he must be owned for his potential with those offensive pieces. Obviously he's no Brady and you should probably wait a few starts to see what this guy can do, but at the very least he should be matchup-worthy quality.
Hard to peg the Cleveland / Pittsburgh game. One would think Cleveland would play better, but Pittsburgh tends to bully the Browns and should be able to score at will. Meanwhile, the Steeler defense should put up a solid effort, and even if Derek Anderson gets yards and a score or two, he will likely get banged around for some sacks and turnovers. If Cleveland gets down early to Pittsburgh, this is likely what will happen. Ben Roethlisberger should be able to throw when he wants against Cleveland, and Ben was a fortunate QB last year throwing for as many TD's as he did with a low yardage total. Last week's output was solid but unspectacular; it could be a sign that Ben's numbers are going to go down a bit as Willie Parker gets some more TD's this year, but with a terrible defense such as the Browns playing he is worth a start unless you have an elite option.
Carson Palmer has become a real question mark in an offense that used to be one of the very elite, with a top RB, QB, and two fine WR's (not to mention a worthy third WR). The running game is in flux and Carson Palmer had 94 yards 37.5% 0 TD's 1 INT against the Ravens in the opener. He can't possibly play this bad? The problem is the way will not be any easier this week against a Tennessee defense that slaughtered the Jaguars and certainly rivals that of the Ravens. Expect a similar line to Derek Anderson's in Cleveland, as both will likely be passing from behind and will have yards, maybe a few scores but some picks / fumbles from the constant pressure.
Week 2 QB Rankings
1. Tony Romo vs Phi
2. Peyton Manning at Min
3. Drew Brees at Was
4. Kurt Warner vs. Mia
5. Jon Kitna vs GB
6. Eli Manning at Stl
7. Ben Roethlisberger at Cle
8. Donovan McNabb at Dal
9. Matt Cassel at NYJ
10. Derek Anderson vs. Pit
11. Philip Rivers at Den
12. Carson Palmer vs. Ten
13. Jay Cutler vs. SD
14. Damon Huard vs. Oak
15. Aaron Rodgers at Det
16. Brian Griese vs. Atl
17. Matt Hasselbeck vs. SF
18. Jake Delhomme vs. Chi
19. Tarvaris Jackson vs. Ind
20. Jason Campbell vs. NO