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Week 2 Game Caps: Eli and the Giants Look to Rebound vs. the Rams

Dalton Del Don

Dalton Del Don

Dalton Del Don writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

Seattle (+14.5) at Pittsburgh, Sunday 1 p.m.

Comments: The Seahawks look like one of the worst teams in the league, and an already struggling offense once again appears to be without its biggest offseason acquisition in Sidney Rice (shoulder) this week. The Steelers allowed a 100-yard rusher for just the second time over the past 51 games last week but don't expect a repeat performance by Marshawn Lynch. Seattle has to travel to the East Coast and play an early game against the defending AFC Champions coming off an embarrassing blowout - fewer scenarios could be more difficult... The Steelers finished with a minus-seven turnover ratio last week - marking just the 15th such instance in NFL history. It's possible the Steelers' aging defense and suspect offensive line leads to an post Super Bowl let-down, but the safer bet is writing off Week 1 and expecting a dominant performance Sunday. This is a mismatch of epic proportions on paper. Take Pittsburgh in your survivor league and don't think twice.

Predictions: Tarvaris Jackson commits multiple turnovers, although he does manage a TD pass to Mike Williams. Marshawn Lynch is bottled up, while Rashard Mendenhall counters with 90 yards from scrimmage and a TD run. Ben Roethlisberger adds 280 passing yards with scoring strikes to Mike Wallace and Hines Ward, as Pittsburgh rights the ship. Steelers 27-13.

Baltimore (-5.5) at Tennessee, Sunday 1 p.m.

Comments: Tennessee lost in Jacksonville last week despite facing a Jaguars team that released its starting quarterback mere days before the opener. Chris Johnson wasn't utilized much at all (nine carries) coming off his holdout, but it's safe to expect that to change Sunday. Matt Hasselbeck doesn't exactly look comfortable in his new offense, but Kenny Britt looks like a true superstar at wide receiver. It's safe to say Britt is easily the best WR Hasselbeck has ever had as a teammate during his NFL career, but the Titans don't have an easy task against a stout Baltimore defense Sunday... It wasn't a surprise that the Ravens beat the Steelers in Week 1, but the 35-7 margin of victory was. Joe Flacco got 7.7 YPA with a 3:0 TD:INT ratio and could soon be considered among the elite at the QB position, which makes Baltimore extremely dangerous combined with that defense and coaching. Ray Rice totaled 149 yards with two touchdowns against the perennial best run defense in football last week, so the sky's the limit when it comes to his fantasy value. He's currently the biggest favorite to finish as the No. 1 fantasy player in 2011.

Predictions: Matt Hasselbeck throws for 200 yards with a touchdown to Jared Cook, while Chris Johnson rebounds with 85 yards from scrimmaged and a TD run. Ray Rice answers with 110 total yards and reaches the end zone, while Joe Flacco adds 240 passing yards and two touchdowns, with Anquan Boldin and Ed Dickson the recipients, as the home team prevails. Ravens 21-17.


Jacksonville (+9.5) at New York Jets, Sunday 1 p.m.

Comments: Jacksonville enters 1-0, but the team still has a shaky secondary (they allowed an NFL-worst 8.3 YPA last season) and QB situation. Luke McCown was fine Week 1 (70.8 completion percentage, 7.3 YPA), but he played mostly with the lead and wasn't exactly overly impressive. He faces an entirely different animal Sunday in New York. Maurice Jones-Drew is on a "pitch count" and was removed on nearly all passing downs in Week 1. He can't be benched in fantasy leagues, but expectations should be held in check... The Jets may have been lucky to win Week 1, but they deserve credit nevertheless. Both Santonio Holmes and Plaxico Burress appear to be fine weekly fantasy options, but Shonn Greene needs to actually show something soon for him not to be a huge bust once again. The disappointing back, who's already 26 years old, needs to be kept in lineups Sunday, but if he doesn't show something in a game in which the Jets are nearly double-digit favorites, which should result in a second half lead and a high volume of carries, then fantasy owners have the right to panic.

Predictions: Luke McCown throws for 180 yards with a touchdown to Mike Thomas, while Maurice Jones-Drew adds 80 yards sans a score. Shonn Greene responds with 90 rushing yards and a touchdown, while Mark Sanchez adds 260 passing yards with scoring strikes to Santonio Holmes and Plaxico Burress, as New York wins it.
Jets 24-13.

Arizona (+3.5) at Washington, Sunday 1 p.m.

Comments: Arizona won Week 1, but it took an 89-yard punt return for a touchdown while at home as big favorites for it to happen. In fact, their secondary allowed the best performance by an opposing QB making his debut in the history of the NFL. In fairness, Kevin Kolb made a nice first start for the Cardinals as well, so the team's biggest weakness last season has clearly gotten an upgrade. Expect far more production from Larry Fitzgerald moving forward, and only another injury will prevent Beanie Wells from finishing as a top-15 fantasy RB... Washington still looks like the worst team in a loaded NFC East division, but that doesn't mean they aren't good. The defense might be better than anticipated, and Rex Grossman continues to put up numbers when given the opportunity under Mike Shanahan. Tim Hightower may be horrible on a per play basis, but if his usage continues, he's going to be plenty valuable in fantasy leagues. Grossman is a legitimate top-12 fantasy QB in Week 2.

Predictions: Kevin Kolb throws for 240 yards with a touchdown to Larry Fitzgerald, while Beanie Wells adds 80 total yards and a TD run. Tim Hightower counters with a similar line, while Rex Grossman throws for 280 yards and two touchdowns, with Santana Moss and Fred Davis the recipients, as Washington improves to 2-0. Redskins 24-20.

Oakland (+3.5) at Buffalo, Sunday 1 p.m.

Comments: Oakland played an ugly game Monday night that featured 25 penalties, six fumbles and an NFL-record tying 63-yard field goal. They also dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides, and it's become clear Darren McFadden has gone from bust to one of the five best running backs in football in the span of 13 months. The Raiders look underrated right now, but they are a West Coast team having to play an early game Sunday while also traveling during a short week... The Bills not only knocked out some survivor picks last week, but they did so by beating a Kansas City team that won the AFC West with a traditionally strong home-field advantage 41-7. Ryan Fitzpatrick has now thrown 18 touchdowns over his past seven road games. Stevie Johnson is questionable with a groin injury, but if healthy, he looks primed to build upon his breakout season last year likely to dominate targets in Buffalo.

Predictions: Jason Campbell throws for 210 yards with a TD to Darren McFadden, while the latter also adds 100 total yards. Michael Bush also adds a goal-line TD run, while Fred Jackson counters with 80 yards and a touchdown. Ryan Fitzpatrick adds 225 yards with a touchdown to Stevie Johnson, as the home team pulls off the victory. Bills 23-20.

Tampa Bay (+3) at Minnesota, Sunday 1 p.m.

Comments: Most expected Detroit to improve and Tampa Bay to regress coming off a "lucky" season, so the narrative fit perfectly during the Lions' 27-20 win in Week 1. While Detroit may take the leap this season, one game doesn't make the Bucs a doormat, and it's safe to expect them to play better Sunday, although the environment will be more difficult. LeGarrette Blount owners will have the right to panic if he puts up another dud Sunday... Donovan McNabb got 2.6 YPA in Week 1. He showed some renewed athleticism as a runner and faced a seemingly strong San Diego defense on the road, but that's pathetic regardless of excuses. He may very well be done. Fantasy owners of Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin sure hope McNabb improves as he gets more comfortable in a new offense, but with a declining offensive line, there's reason for pessimism.

Predictions: Josh Freeman throws for 210 yards with a touchdown to Mike Williams, while LeGarrette Blount rebounds with 70 rushing yards and hits pay dirt. Adrian Peterson answers with 110 total yards and a TD of his own, while Donovan McNabb throws for 200 yards with touchdown tosses to Percy Harvin and Visanthe Shiancoe, as Minnesota wins it. Vikings 21-17.

Chicago (+7) at New Orleans, Sunday 1 p.m.

Comments: The Bears looked dominant in Week 1, beating a favored Falcons team 30-12. The team's offensive line and wide receiver corps remain shaky, but the defense is legit, and Jay Cutler could continue to improve now in year two under OC Mike Martz. Cutler is likely to face a bunch of blitzes Sunday, so how the line reacts will be key. Roy Williams is questionable with a groin injury, and no Chicago WR can be trusted in fantasy leagues... New Orleans lost to the defending Super Bowl champs last Thursday, giving them a few extra days to prepare for their home opener. Drew Brees was fantastic in Week 1 (8.6 YPA) but faces a Chicago secondary that allowed just 6.6 YPA with a 14:21 TD:INT ratio last season. Lance Moore is questionable with a groin injury, and his availability will impact Robert Meachem and Devery Henderson's fantasy value. New Orleans' backfield continues to be a timeshare, but they should enjoy more success than last week, although their struggles in short-yardage situations remain persistent.

Predictions: Jay Cutler throws for 230 yards with a touchdown to Johnny Knox, while Matt Forte adds 80 yards from scrimmage and hits pay dirt. The Saints' RBBC produces 110 total yards and a TD run by Mark Ingram, while Drew Brees adds 250 passing yards with scoring strikes to Jimmy Graham and Darren Sproles, as the home team comes out on top. Saints 24-20.

Green Bay (-10.5) at Carolina, Sunday 1 p.m.

Comments: Carolina lost Week 1, but the team's passing attack showed immediate improvement with rookie Cam Newton under center. In fact, he set an NFL record for a QB making his debut while throwing for 422 yards, making Steve Smith fantasy relevant again in the process. Newton faces a much more difficult test Sunday, going from facing a poor Arizona secondary to a Green Bay one that allowed an NFL-low 67.2 QB rating last year. The Panthers will try to run the ball, hoping to keep the high-powered Packers offense off the field, but neither DeAngelo Williams nor Jonathan Stewart are very good starts in fantasy leagues... Green Bay won the Super Bowl last season, and the offense looked even better than last year's version in a Week 1 victory over the Saints, and the team enters as heavy favorites on the road as a result. Aaron Rodgers is a threat to win MVP, and if Week 1 was any indication, James Starks will overtake Ryan Grant in the backfield soon. Starks is a sneaky start this week playing on a team that should be nursing a lead over the second half.

Predictions: Cam Newton throws for 180 yards and runs in a touchdown, while Carolina's backfield committee produces 90 total yards and a TD run by Jonathan Stewart. James Starks counters with 70 yards and a TD run himself, while Aaron Rodgers adds 275 passing yards with scoring strikes to Jermichael Finley and Jordy Nelson, as Green Bay wins it. Packers 27-17.

Cleveland (-1.5) at Indianapolis, Sunday 1 p.m.

Comments: Cleveland lost at home as touchdown favorites to the Bengals last week, eliminating plenty of people in survivor pools as a result. Despite that, they are favorites Week 2 while playing in Indy, a prospect that seemed highly unlikely as recent as a month ago, but the absence of Peyton Manning has proven to have a dramatic effect. Cleveland rotates snaps among its wide receivers, and it's safe to expect a heavy dose of Peyton Hillis on Sunday... The Colts' season got off to a disastrous start last week, as they were down 34-0 at halftime. Austin Collie's fantasy value appears crushed with Kerry Collins at QB, and Dallas Clark loses plenty of value as well. Collins should improve moving forward, but this team is in a lot of trouble this season. Still, expect a much better performance during their home opener.

Predictions: Colt McCoy throws for 210 yards with a TD to Evan Moore, while Peyton Hillis totals 110 yards with a touchdown run. Joseph Addai and Delone Carter combine for 90 yards, with the latter scoring from the goal line. Kerry Collins adds 230 passing yards with a TD toss to Reggie Wayne, as Indy gets into the win column. Colts 20-17.

Kansas City (+9) at Detroit, Sunday 1 p.m.

Comments: The Chiefs got destroyed as touchdown favorites at home against the Bills in Week 1 and have now been outscored 102-24 over their past three games. Matt Cassel, who got 3.3 YPA last week, has really missed the departed Charlie Weis at offensive coordinator. Dwayne Bowe remains the most hit-or-miss WR in fantasy football, and Todd Haley remains one of the worst coaches in the league as well. Jamaal Charles could break a long run on turf, and he theoretically should be more involved Sunday, but Detroit's defensive front looks strong... The Lions are nearly double-digit favorites against a team that hosted a playoff game last season, a scenario that hasn't occurred in a decade. Matthew Stafford looks poised for a monstrous year if he can stay healthy, and the same can be said about Calvin Johnson. Back home and on turf, Jahvid Best could have a big game Sunday, especially if last week's usage was an indication of how much Detroit will lean on him this season.

Predictions: Matt Cassel throws for 200 yards with a touchdown to Dwayne Bowe, while Jamaal Charles totals 125 yards and scores. Jahvid Best responds with 110 yards and gets into the end zone, while Matthew Stafford throws for 280 yards and two touchdowns, with Calvin Johnson and Nate Burleson the recipients, as Detroit begins the year with back-to-back victories. Lions 27-20.

Dallas (-3) at San Francisco, Sunday 4:05 p.m.

Comments: Thanks to two Ted Ginn kick returns for touchdowns in less than one minute, the 49ers beat the Seahawks last week despite struggling mightily in the red zone. In fact, David Akers finished with four field goals - none longer than 31 yards. New coach Jim Harbaugh is going to run a highly conservative offense, trying to hide Alex Smith in the process. Frank Gore remains the workhorse, while Michael Crabtree's foot remains a long-term concern... Dallas somehow squandered a 14-point fourth quarter lead to lose to the Jets in New York last week, as the team continues to find ways to drop games they should win. Felix Jones will be treated as a true feature back for the first time in his career this season, but the 49ers' run defense is stout. Tony Romo, who just got 9.5 YPA against a strong Jets' secondary, should have a nice game Sunday, although he may be without Dez Bryant (thigh).

Predictions: Alex Smith throws for 200 yards with a touchdown to Braylon Edwards, while Frank Gore totals 90 yards but doesn't score. Felix Jones answers with 75 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown, while Tony Romo adds 275 passing yards and scoring strikes to Miles Austin and Jason Witten, as the road team prevails. Cowboys 24-16.

Cincinnati (+3.5) at Denver, Sunday 4:15 p.m.

Comments: Cincinnati pulled off an upset in Cleveland last week, as the defense looks like an underrated unit. Andy Dalton, who missed the second half of last week's game with a wrist injury, looks on track to start Sunday. A.J. Green's first catch of his career went for a 41-yard touchdown, but it appears the production will be spread throughout the Bengals' WR group, although Jermaine Gresham looks much more explosive during his sophomore campaign... Denver is coming off a rough loss and has a short week after losing to Oakland on Monday night. The team is also devastated by injuries, as Brandon Lloyd (groin), Knowshon Moreno (hamstring), Champ Bailey (hamstring) and Elvis Dumervil (shoulder) are all questionable to play. Lloyd returned to practice Friday and is the best bet of the group to play Sunday. Fans called for a QB change last week, but Kyle Orton deserves better. In a game between two similarly skilled teams, home field is the difference.

Predictions: Andy Dalton throws for 175 yards with a touchdown to Jermaine Gresham, while Cedric Benson gets 70 rushing yards and a TD run. Willis McGahee gets the majority of touches in Denver's backfield, resulting in 90 total yards and a touchdown. Kyle Orton adds 240 passing yards with a TD toss to Eric Decker, Denver gets into the win column. Broncos 23-17.

Houston (-3) at Miami, Sunday 4:15 p.m.

Comments: Houston won in impressive fashion in Week 1, as the team entered halftime up 34-0 against the Colts. Matt Schaub committed more turnovers (two) than touchdowns (one) in the process, but he completed 70.8 percent of his passes and got 9.2 YPA while taking just one sack, so he played fine. He gets a Miami secondary Sunday that was absolutely shredded by Tom Brady last week. With Kevin Walter questionable with a shoulder injury, Jacoby Jones suddenly is on the fantasy radar. Arian Foster (hamstring) returned to practice this week and looks good to go Sunday, barring a setback... The Dolphins may have lost Week 1, but the play of Chad Henne was highly encouraging, and it's entirely possible he's ready to make the leap this season. Brandon Marshall is finally over his hip injury and looks primed for a huge PPR year, as is Reggie Bush if he can somehow stay healthy while getting around 20 touches per week. Houston is the clear favorite to win the AFC South this season, and it's possible they finally join the ranks among the elite this year, but that's the assumption here with this line.

Predictions: Matt Schaub throws for 275 yards with a touchdown to Andre Johnson, while Arian Foster totals 100 yards with a TD run during his return. Reggie Bush counters with 75 yards from scrimmage and a score, while Chad Henne adds 250 passing yards with TD strikes to Brandon Marshall and Brian Hartline, as Miami pulls off the upset. Dolphins 24-23.

San Diego (+7) at New England, Sunday 4:15 p.m.

Comments: The Chargers allowed an opening kickoff returned for a touchdown, losing Nate Kaeding (knee) for the season in the process, so it looks like the team's problems on special teams haven't gone away. The loss of DE Luis Castillo (leg) hurts, but San Diego's defense looks strong, although they'll certainly get a serious test in New England on Sunday. Ryan Mathews is clearly more explosive, but Mike Tolbert is the weekly favorite for touchdowns and catches. Expect Philip Rivers to get Vincent Jackson more involved in Week 2... Coming off an impressive performance on Monday night, Vegas clearly considers the Patriots one of the very best teams in football pitting them as touchdown favorites over a strong Chargers squad. Tom Brady threw for 517 yards last week in one of the most impressive displays at QB you'll ever see, while Wes Welker revealed renewed explosion on a 99-yard TD catch. Chad Ochocinco can't be used in fantasy leagues at the moment, but both New England tight ends are borderline top-five options.

Predictions: Philip Rivers throws for 250 yards with touchdown tosses to Vincent Jackson and Antonio Gates, while Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert combine for 100 yards and a TD run by the latter. BenJarvus Green-Ellis gets a goal-line touchdown, but it's Danny Woodhead who racks up 70 total yards. Tom Brady adds 275 passing yards with scoring strikes to Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, as New England wins it. Patriots 27-24.

Philadelphia (-2) at Atlanta, Sunday 8:20 p.m.

Comments: The Eagles looked dominant in a 31-13 win in St. Louis in Week 1, but they get a tougher test in Atlanta in primetime Sunday night. It should be an emotional scene with Michael Vick returning to his old stomping grounds, and his speed will get highlighted on turf. Expect Jeremy Maclin to be more involved in the offense, while LeSean McCoy is a top-five weekly option in fantasy leagues... After an ugly loss in Chicago last week, the Falcons have now been outscored 78-33 over their last two games. With two upcoming road games, Sunday night's game is of the utmost importance. Matt Ryan typically plays far better at home, but he'll be tested against a strong Philadelphia secondary. Michael Turner should get far more carries than last week, as Atlanta will want to keep Philadelphia's explosive offense on the sidelines. In one of the best matchups of the week, home field is the difference.

Predictions: Michael Vick throws for 225 yards with a TD toss to DeSean Jackson, while LeSean McCoy totals 100 yards and hits pay dirt. Michael Turner responds with a similar line, while Matt Ryan throws for 240 passing yards with scoring strikes to Roddy White and Julio Jones, as the home team prevails. Falcons 24-23.

St. Louis (+6) at New York Giants, Monday 8:30 p.m.

Comments: The Rams not only lost by 18 points in Week 1, but the team saw its QB1, RB1, WR1, DT and both cornerbacks leave due to injuries. Sam Bradford (finger) looks likely to play, but Steven Jackson (thigh) is highly questionable. Expect a full workload for Carnell Williams as a result, making him a viable flex option in fantasy leagues. Mike Sims-Walker could become fantasy relevant with Danny Amendola (elbow) out, but it's best to take a wait-and-see approach with the Rams' wide receivers... The Giants enter 0-1 and have to face their former defensive coordinator Monday night. While the Rams are banged up, so is New York, although the team hopes to get Justin Tuck (neck) back. Jason Pierre-Paul looks like a beast, although Hakeem Nicks (knee) is a question mark. Fantasy owners who can wait until kickoff, stashing Domenik Hixon would be the safest way to go. Eli Manning has been shaky since the preseason, so expect New York to go run heavy, with both Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs playing big roles Monday night.

Predictions: Sam Bradford throws for 200 yards with a touchdown to Mike Sims-Walker, while Carnell Williams gets 75 total yards and a TD run. Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs total 140 yards and each score a touchdown, while Eli Manning adds 250 passing yards with a scoring strike to Mario Manningham, as New York rebounds with a victory. Giants 24-17.