Week 2 fantasy football flex play
With Week 1 behind us, there is plenty of information to consider when making the tough choices on that last starter or two. Does one defense already have injury issues that could plague it versus a particular position, like we saw with the Giants and Chiefs struggling mightily to slow the pass with their top corners out?
The theme of this week is to follow the offense. Shootouts provide ample opportunity for those fringe starters to post big games, and the classic Packers-Bears rivalry on Thursday night has the makings of just that with two powerful offenses squaring off. So take your chances with the offensive juggernauts, pounce on a gimpy defense like a lion targeting the weakest link of the herd and don't be afraid to take a risk - it's still just Week 2 after all.
1. Randall Cobb vs. Chicago - Greg Jennings is doubtful for Thursday's matchup with the Bears after suffering a groin injury late in Sunday's game. He didn't practice this week and is a game-time decision, so it's likely he doesn't play. If that's the case, Cobb, who caught all nine of his targets against San Francisco, becomes a must-start. He's so dynamic with the ball in his hands that even if Jennings suits up he could post big numbers for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense. In PPR formats and leagues that reward for return yards he won't be considered a flex start for long.
2. Jonathan Dwyer vs. New York Jets - The Jets let C.J. Spiller shred them for almost 170 yards on the ground. Although this happened largely while the Jets were in prevent to protect a big lead, it's not like they are going to stack the box against another reserve rusher and let Big Ben beat them with his speedy receivers. Dwyer was head-and-shoulders better than Isaac Redman (4.8 YPC to Redman's 2.1) versus Denver as he showcased nice burst, great physicality and a relentlessness that did not escape Mike Tomlin, who already declared that Dwyer will see an "increased opportunity."
3. Peyton Hillis at Buffalo - Don't be fooled by the lackluster performance versus Atlanta. Hillis is a big part of the Kansas City offense and gameplan. Against a physical front four in Buffalo the Chiefs need his battering-ram presence to soften the defense for Jamaal Charles. And when they get in close, he should have a chance to prove he's one of the league's best goal-line backs.
4. Cedric Benson vs. Chicago - The Packers need to create a ground game to force opposing defenses to respect the threat of a run and at least occasionally commit another player to the box. Benson will provide that. Last week was not evidence of this, but hey, no one runs on the Niners. Expect a much more energized and active Benson to get those tough yards for Mike McCarthy this week and stick it to the first pro team to give up on him. Don't discount the chip that will be on Benson's burly shoulders, and definitely don't disregard the holes that Rodgers' dangerous arm will open.
5. Michael Bush at Green Bay - Matt Forte's career ineptitude near the goal line has already been Bush's gain to the tune of two vultured scores last week. The huge upgrades Chicago made offensively combined with the yardage-sieve that is the Packers' defense should lead to more opportunities for Bush on Thursday night. Oh, and it doesn't hurt that Green Bay allowed a whopping 186 yards rushing last week at a very generous 5.8 per try.
6. Alshon Jeffery at Green Bay - The Packers did a better job putting pressure on the quarterback last week, sacking Alex Smith four times. While that could throw off Jay Cutler's rhythm and timing a bit this week, the Packers remain weak in coverage and could struggle to contain this 6-foot-3 rookie with stickum hands. With Green Bay doubling Brandon Marshall consistently, look for Jeffery to create headaches over the middle and burn the spotty back-end coverage.
7. Mike Williams vs. New York Giants - The Giants may return some talent to their secondary if Prince Amukamara (ankle) and/or Michael Coe (hamstring) can play this weekend. The latter missed Monday's practice while the former was limited. If they are both a no-go or limited in the game, Williams could exploit inexperienced and overmatched corners Justin Tryon and Jayron Hosley the way Kevin Ogletree and Miles Austin burned them in the season's kickoff game.
WEEK 2 FLEX PLAY RANKINGS
*Check injury status
1. *Arian Foster HOU at Jac - (Knee) Ran well despite the practice injury scare.
2. LeSean McCoy PHI vs. Bal
3. Ray Rice BAL at Phi
4. Julio Jones ATL vs. Den
5. Calvin Johnson DET at SF
6. Jimmy Graham NO at Car
7. Rob Gronkowski NE vs. Ari
8. Darren McFadden OAK at Mia - Targeted a whopping 18 times, caught 13 passes Monday night.
9. *Adrian Peterson MIN at Ind - OK, maybe Peterson really is a super-healer, after all. Coach Leslie Frazier said that he'd try to limit Peterson to 20-25 carries this week.
10. Matt Forte CHI at GB
11. Andre Johnson HOU at Jac
12. Percy Harvin MIN at Ind - Also had five carries in addition to his heavy usage in the passing game.
13. Victor Cruz NYG vs. TB
14. Brandon Marshall CHI at GB
15. Steve Smith CAR vs. NO
16. Aaron Hernandez NE vs. Ari
17. Jamaal Charles KC at Buf
18. Doug Martin TB at NYG
19. *C.J. Spiller BUF vs. KC - Big jump in value with Fred Jackson out, two huge plays against the Jets in Week 1.
20. Stevan Ridley NE vs. Ari - Huge Week 1 game against the Titans. Didn't hurt that Vereen was out.
21. Larry Fitzgerald ARZ at NE
22. A.J. Green CIN vs. Cle - The Browns will be without Joe Haden this week.
23. Jordy Nelson GB vs. Chi - Seven targets in Week 1; could be more active this week if Jennings is limited by his groin injury.
24. Hakeem Nicks NYG vs. TB
25. Dez Bryant DAL at Sea
26. Marques Colston NO at Car
27. DeMarco Murray DAL at Sea
28. *Marshawn Lynch SEA vs. Dal - (Back) Pretty much had a full workload despite the ominous practice notes.
29. Ahmad Bradshaw NYG vs. TB
30. *Maurice Jones-Drew JAC vs. Hou - Picked up a pretty full workload after Jennings' knee injury in Week 1.
31. Frank Gore SF vs. Det - Looked really good against the Packers.
32. Steven Jackson STL vs. Was
33. *Jeremy Maclin PHI vs. Bal - Dealing with a hip flexor.
34. Reggie Wayne IND vs. Min
35. Steve Johnson BUF vs. KC
36. Demaryius Thomas DEN at Atl
37. *Wes Welker NE vs. Ari - Just three catches, and on the field just 43 of the 67 Pats' offensive plays.
38. Malcom Floyd SD vs. Ten
39. *Pierre Garcon WAS at StL - Huge first quarter, but then left with a foot injury. Expects to play in Week 2.
40. Vernon Davis SF vs. Det
41. *Antonio Gates SD vs. Ten - Briefly sidelined with a rib injury in the second quarter Monday night.
42. Darren Sproles NO at Car - Didn't get a carry, and the team only had 10 carries overall.
43. Chris Johnson TEN at SD - Miserable day against the Pats. Perhaps the only real bust from Week 1 when you consider the acquisition cost (though DeAngelo Williams certainly counts among those that got started because of the circumstances.).
44. Reggie Bush MIA vs. Oak
45. Kevin Smith DET at SF - Bad matchup this week.
46. Donald Brown IND vs. Min
47. *Greg Jennings GB vs. Chi - Injured his groin in Sunday's loss, didn't practice Tuesday, though his rehab supposedly is going well.
48. Antonio Brown PIT vs. NYJ - Will he draw Revis (that is, if Revis can play)?
49. Torrey Smith BAL at Phi
50. Roddy White ATL vs. Den
51. Brandon Lloyd NE vs. Ari
52. BenJarvus Green-Ellis CIN vs. Cle - Was the workhorse back in Week 1 with Bernard Scott and the lone bright spot in the loss.
53. *Alfred Morris WAS at StL - Morris had 28 carries to just two apiece for Royster and Helu.
54. Michael Turner ATL vs. Den
55. Trent Richardson CLE at Cin
56. Eric Decker DEN at Atl
57. Miles Austin DAL at Sea
58. *Nate Washington TEN at SD - Injury suffered in Week 1 is just a leg bruise.
59. Vincent Jackson TB at NYG
60. Lance Moore NO at Car
61. Brandon Pettigrew DET at SF
62. Fred Davis WAS at StL
63. Owen Daniels HOU at Jac - Benefited from the absence of Dreesen.
64. *Jonathan Dwyer PIT vs. NYJ - Dwyer was the Steelers' best back Sunday night. Will they use him more in Week 2?
65. Mike Wallace PIT vs. NYJ
66. Michael Crabtree SF vs. Det
67. Dwayne Bowe KC at Buf
68. DeSean Jackson PHI vs. Bal
69. Sidney Rice SEA vs. Dal
70. Santonio Holmes NYJ at Pit
71. *Randall Cobb GB vs. Chi - Used in the backfield in addition to getting targeted nine times.
72. Shonn Greene NYJ at Pit
73. Willis McGahee DEN at Atl - Lost a fumble in an otherwise decent game Sunday night.
74. Cedric Benson GB vs. Chi
75. Danny Amendola STL vs. Was
76. DeAngelo Williams CAR vs. NO - The lesson imparted by the Panthers with Williams is that if at first you don't succeed, shut it down and never try again.
77. Ben Tate HOU at Jac
78. *Ryan Williams ARZ at NE - Miserable day for both Williams and Wells.
79. Peyton Hillis KC at Buf
80. Brent Celek PHI vs. Bal
81. Jared Cook TEN at SD
82. Tony Gonzalez ATL vs. Den
83. Jermichael Finley GB vs. Chi - Seven catches and a touchdown, but also a really bad drop.
84. Jermaine Gresham CIN vs. Cle - Just three catches Monday night, but targeted eight times.
85. Kyle Rudolph MIN at Ind - Five catches on seven targets.
86. Coby Fleener IND vs. Min - Very active in the passing game in Week 1.
87. Greg Little CLE at Cin
88. Anquan Boldin BAL at Phi
89. Laurent Robinson JAC vs. Hou - Had nine targets in Week 1.
90. Stephen Hill NYJ at Pit - Huge breakout game in his debut.
91. Darrius Heyward-Bey OAK at Mia
92. Braylon Edwards SEA vs. Dal - The good news: targeted nine times in Week 1. The bad news: another bad drop at the end of the game that would have given the Seahawks a go-ahead touchdown.
93. Brian Hartline MIA vs. Oak
94. Brandon LaFell CAR vs. NO
95. Mike Williams TB at NYG - Targeted just three times, but caught a touchdown.
96. *Beanie Wells ARZ at NE - (Hamstring) Split carries with Williams; neither did anything of note, albeit against a tough run defense.
97. *Isaac Redman PIT vs. NYJ - Dwyer was the better back; Redman went just 11-for-21 with two short receptions.
98. Kendall Hunter SF vs. Det - The clear No. 2 behind Gore; nearly vultured a touchdown away from Gore.
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