It’s that time of year again. Fantasy football is back! Here’s some advice to help you to victory in week two.
Start These Players!
Eli Manning (vs. New Orleans):
Manning played a solid game in Dallas on Sunday and will look to exploit another bad defense in week 2. Although Manning’s performance in week 1 may have seemed pedestrian, but it’s reasonable to believe that the Giants offense will continually improve. Keep in mind, Manning is still building chemistry with rookie WR Sterling Shepard and the returning WR Victor Cruz. The bottom line is that New Orleans played the league’s worst defense against quarterbacks last season, and Manning and friends should be in line to have a big day.
Melvin Gordon (vs. Jacksonville):
After failing to score a touchdown throughout his entire rookie year, Gordon scored two in Kansas City in the season opener. Mike McCoy seems to be putting more trust in Gordon this season. San Diego will probably lean on Gordon a little more from here on out after Keenan Allen went down for the year with an ACL injury last week. Gordon should get a decent workload on Sunday against a bad Jacksonville defense.
Jordan Matthews (vs. Chicago)
Matthews finished with seven receptions on 14 targets for 114 yards and a touchdown on Sunday. New head coach Doug Pederson seems to be keen on getting Matthews the ball as much as possible. Matthews’ matchup really can’t get much better this week, as he plays a Chicago pass defense that was abused by Texans rookie Will Fuller in week one. Matthews should be started in all leagues.
Waiver Wire Targets
Spencer Ware, Kansas City Chiefs
This should go without saying. Ware dominated on Sunday, leading Kansas City to a 21-point comeback against San Diego. Ware ran 11 times for 70 yards. He also proved those who doubted his pass-catching abilities wrong, catching eight passes for 129 yards and a score. Ware is proving his value in the Kansas City offense and should retain a significant role as long as he continues to impress. The Andy Reid offense has traditionally leaned on its runningbacks so I would expect Ware’s production to continue. If Ware can maintain his current momentum, I would be confident that he continues to receive a heavy workload, even once Jamaal Charles returns.
Travis Benjamin, San Diego Chargers
This has less to do with Benjamin’s own performance and more to do with Keenan Allen tearing his ACL in the second quarter on Sunday. But Philip Rivers has to throw to someone, and in week two Travis Benjamin will take on the role of WR1 in San Diego. Benjamin played well in Cleveland last season, recording nearly 1,000 yards and five touchdowns. His production can only improve if he is catching passes from Philip Rivers, one of the NFL’s premier passers.
Give Him a Chance
Steve Smith, Baltimore Ravens
Steve Smith is 37 and coming off an Achilles injury. It is reasonable that most fantasy football players would be hesitant to give him a roster spot. But adding Smith to your roster now, before his regular market is restored, could pay major dividends this year.
Many are concerned about Smith’s age, but this shouldn’t be much of a reason for concern, as Smith put up some of his biggest career games at age 36 last season. High motor players like Smith can perform at a high level throughout their career, despite their aging.
Many seem to believe that Smith, even if healthy, will be taking on a secondary role in the Baltimore offense this season. That is just plain wrong. In week one, Smith only caught five passes for 19 yards, but he received a team-high nine targets. This is a very encouraging number for, as it seems to suggest that the Ravens will once again return to using Smith as their primary receiver. Also note that Kamar Aiken was targeted just three times last week. I honestly never understood the hype surrounding Aiken.
Smith can still play at a high level and will be back on top of the Ravens’ depth chart this season. If Smith is available in your league, he should be added immediately. If he is owned, his trade value is currently as low as it is going to be for the rest of the season. Find a way to get Steve Smith on your team before he starts putting up big numbers.