Fantasy Football Start 'Em/Sit 'Em Week Two

Jon AlbaCorrespondent ISeptember 16, 2009

BALTIMORE - SEPTEMBER 13:  Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens passes against the Kansas City Chiefs at M&T Bank Stadium on September 13, 2009 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Chiefs 38-24. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)

The sports world is in the midst of one of the greatest times of the year: Fantasy Football season. Though I was unable to give you assistance in week one (yes, I’m sorry), I am sure that you fared well considering you guys are all sports geniuses.

Regardless, week one of the season came and went quickly. It was highlighted by a six-touchdown performance and the occasional upset, as well as two Monday night miracles.

Though performances tend to barely scratch the surface during opening weekend, several gridiron stars surprised the world with shattering and breakthrough performances, while others equally shocked the world with their lack of brilliance. Having said that, let us take a look into the week two notable Start ‘Em/Sit ‘Ems for the NFL.



Jay Cutler

Cutler entered last week as one of the most watched quarterback candidates in the league last week. He left as a chump. Jay struggled miserably against a solid Packers defense, throwing 17-for-36 with 277 yards, one touchdown, and four interceptions. Cutler seemed lost in the Bears' offensive scheme, having difficulty establishing who his true targets were.

Week Two—Sit ‘Em

The Bears QB faces arguably the toughest defense in the league in Week Two, that being of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Even without Troy Polamalu, who would have further grieved Cutler, the defensive formation that Mike Tomlin has created will be difficult for any man behind center, especially one coming off four turnovers.


Mark Sanchez

Mark Sanchez came into last Sunday’s game as the number one name in New York. He did not disappoint. Sanchez led the Jets to a 24-7 win against the Houston Texans, a team many expected to be an AFC South contender.

His stats were not unbelievable, going a solid 18-for-31 with 272 passing yards with a touchdown and an interception. Unlike Kellen Clemens in the past, though, Sanchez brought a sense of leadership to the Jets squad, leading to an efficient day in the air and on the ground.

Week Two—Sit ‘Em

Yes, while he was just bolstered in the paragraph above, there was one thing that stood out about Sanchez in his first game and preseason games: the inability to work under pressure. Mark’s one interception came when the pocket collapsed entirely on him, resulting in an overthrown route.

He faces a New England defense this week that even without Richard Seymour can still apply pressure. While it is true they nearly lost to Buffalo on Monday, they also have proven in the past that they can come up in big situations. While it is enticing to start Sanchez this early in the season, it is too much of a risk in his first divisional game.


Joe Flacco

Flacco is coming off a career-high 307 passing yards against the Kansas City Chiefs, a 38-24 win. True, this was the Chiefs, but Flacco was firing on all cylinders. He made strong use of Mark Clayton alongside his three-headed monster of a run game.

Though he did over/underthrow at times, he still used his sophomore leadership to turn what was a relatively close game into a sizable win.

Week Two—Start ‘Em

The Ravens play the San Diego Chargers this week, a team that runs the 3-4. While it is almost certain that his numbers will be not as high due to the solid pass coverage of the Bolts, the team allowed JaMarcus Russell to look like a Pro Bowler. Also, expect more carries from Ray Rice and Willis McGahee, which could impact his stats. In general though, Flacco looks like a solid double-digit pick for Sunday.


Tony Romo

After a very strong three-touchdown performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Romo proved he does not need Jessica Simpson around to succeed. He displayed a variety of targets during the game, effectively escaping the pass-rush of Raheem Morris and effectively leading his team to victory. Tony did tweak his ankle, however, which could prove rather hurtful if he is to become mobile.

Week Two—Start ‘Em

Last week, the Giants defense only allowed a late touchdown and a field goal to the Washington Redskins (the special teams allowed the other). First of all, Jason Campbell is not Tony Romo. Also, the Giants will be without starting cornerback Aaron Ross for the second week in a row and have been beaten up severely over the past month. Romo defeated a similar Giants defense late last season 20-8, throwing no picks.

HOWEVER, if his ankle proves to be a problem over the week, escaping the Giants' blitz will become difficult, so be sure to keep an eye on that.


Running Backs

Michael Turner

Against the defending AFC East champion Miami Dolphins, Turner collected over 20 carries, barely eclipsing 60 yards. He did not find the end zone once and looked as if he was struggling for yardage. In his defense, the Falcons focused largely on the air game and did not set up well for the run.

Week Two—Start ‘Em

Of course he’s a start. He faces a Carolina defense that let Brian Westbrook and Donavan McNabb let loose last week and will likely do the same for him. In Week 12 of last season, Turner scored four touchdowns against the same squad, meaning he should fare just fine this week.


Willie Parker

The former guarantee-producer at halfback is no longer such for the Steelers, having collected one fantasy point in most leagues against the Tennessee Titans. Though they were one of the top defenses, Parker struggled miserably, barely able to find the line of scrimmage on 13 carries.

Week Two—Sit ‘Em

Week Two opponent Chicago was able to hold a great Green Bay offense to 21 points. Though this is three touchdowns, it’s also a lot less than what it could have been. After his massive game last week, Ben Roethlisberger will likely continue to go through the air, leaving the rush attack with little to work with.

Chicago is missing star LB Brian Urlacher, and if Parker is unable to capitalize, we may be seeing the end of what used to be a franchise-caliber player.


Clinton Portis

Portis looked less than impressive in his start against the Giants in Week One, not reaching double digits. He accumulated 62 yards, just three fewer than Michael Turner. However, Jim Zorn appears to have less and less confidence in Jason Campbell every game, leading to what might become more carries for Portis.

Week Two—Start ‘Em

Clinton and the Redskins face the St. Louis Rams this week in what should be an automatic win. The defense made Julius Jones look like Adrian Peterson, and with Portis possessing a lot more talent, he should have a similar outing. Definitely a start for Week Two.


Ray Rice

Ray-Ray entered the season opener knowing he would be the starting back with a few carries being spread to Willis McGahee and Le'Ron McClain. He was right but made the best of the opportunity. The former Scarlet Knights superstar racked up his second career game reaching the century mark but did not find the end zone. He did crack double-digit fantasy points, however.

Week Two—Start ‘Em

Rice may not be the best option at running back for fantasy purposes, but he’s a valuable one and definitely should be used in the flex option. As mentioned earlier, the San Diego defense folded to the Raiders for the most part, and if Michael Bush could put up solid numbers, so can Ray. Don’t expect more than a touchdown, but 100 yards is definitely not out of the question.


Wide Receivers

Anquan Boldin

Reaching only one fantasy point in most leagues, Boldin was a large disappointment for most who placed trust in him. People tend to forget that despite his playmaking abilities, he is still the No. 2 guy. He is nursing a sore hamstring but has an enticing matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Week Two—Sit ‘Em

After this week, Boldin will be an automatic to play. However, he is a wideout, and when at that position, you sort of tend to rely on your legs to make you, well, run. An injured hamstring is very difficult to play with, so give him just a bit more time to adjust. If you are low on depth, however, you may want to give him a shot, just because of his opponent.


Andre Johnson

Andre was almost invisible in his season opener against a good Jets defense, not even surpassing 40 yards receiving. Matt Schaub looked awful taking the snaps in his second year in Houston, getting pressured from all ends. The Texans face a similar defense in the Titans this week, who accumulated some substantial sacks against the Steelers.

Week Two—Start ‘Em

Why start him considering everything said above? Simple: Kevin Walter. The Texans' No. 2 man will make his return this week and has proven to be Johnson’s lifesaver. He will take away ultimate coverage on Johnson, allowing him to acquire more yardage and receptions. Though he may only get a touchdown, it is still a large improvement over last week.


Terrell Owens

While it is true that Owens only notched two catches in the Monday night slugfest against the Patriots, these two receptions were essential ones. He proved that even without “His Quarterback,” he could still run great routes over the middle, making Trent Edwards look brilliant. The Bills offense looks a lot more confident this week, even with the loss, and faces Tampa Bay.

Week Two—Start ‘Em

Definitely. This same Tampa defense allowed Tony Romo to go crazy on them, and it can be assumed that Edwards has the opportunity to do the same. Even without a great line, Edwards should have enough time to deliver the ball over the middle to none other but T.O. Double-digits is absolutely possible for Owens.


Braylon Edwards

The Browns face a Broncos defense who held Cincy to just seven points, which did not even come until the final minutes of the fourth quarter. Though this should not be expected of them on a weekly basis, Brian Dawkins looked stellar in his Denver debut at safety. He would likely be dealing with Edwards often during this game. Braylon served no use for Brady Quinn last week, grabbing just one fantasy point.

Week Two—Sit ‘Em

In all honesty, I have joined the group of people who have lost hope in Edwards. He simply drops too many passes and runs lazy routes. Maybe it’s because Cleveland is on a train to nowhere, or maybe he just forgot how to play. Do not expect more than five or six points from him this week.


Tight Ends

Dustin Keller

Dustin looked great in Mark Sanchez’s debut, accumulating almost 100 yards receiving on just four receptions. He can open up routes quickly and is a great blocker for guys like Thomas Jones and Leon Washington.

Week Two—Start ‘Em

As Sanchez gets more adjusted to the pocket, he will begin to realize how essential Keller will become. He will find him in the corner of the end zone multiple times this year, and Week Two may be one of those times. Great option for this matchup, even against a divisional opponent.


Bo Scaife

The Titans tight end got off to an excellent start against the Steelers, notching four receptions right off the bat. His route running was exceptional, and he appeared on his way for a sure double-digit game. However, he quickly injured his leg, which rendered him useless for the rest of the game.

Week Two—Sit ‘Em

The chances being taken with a guy who needs to block for a stellar running back like Chris Johnson with a bad knee are too harmful. Give him a rest this week and perhaps see what he has in store for Week Three.


Other Notables


Byron Leftwich—Start ‘Em

Brett Favre—Start ‘Em

Matt Schaub—Sit ‘Em

Matthew Stafford—Sit ‘Em

Shaun Hill—Start ‘Em



Steven Jackson—Start ‘Em

Fred Jackson—Start ‘Em

Brandon Jacobs—Start ‘Em

Pierre Thomas—Sit ‘Em

Jamal Lewis—Start ‘Em

Knowshon Moreno—Sit ‘Em

Steve Slaton—Sit ‘Em



Bernard Berrian—Start ‘Em

Vincent Jackson—Start ‘Em

Antonio Bryant—Sit ‘Em

Derrick Mason—Start ‘Em

Justin Gage—Start ‘Em

Hines Ward—Sit ‘Em



Anthony Fasano—Sit ‘Em

Kellen Winslow Jr.—Sit ‘Em

Jason Witten—Start ‘Em

Kevin Boss—Start ‘Em



Patriots—Sit ‘Em

Jets–Sit ‘Em

Vikings—Start ‘Em

Packers—Start ‘Em



Rian Lindell—Start ‘Em

Nick Folk—Start ‘Em

Josh Scobee—Start ‘Em

Josh Brown—Sit ‘Em


Surprise Picks

Cadillac Williams

Derrick Ward

Mike Bell


Well, that does it for this week’s Start ‘Em/Sit ‘Em. Good luck in week two!


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