Houston 30, Washington 27 (OT)The NFL can play out the rest of the 2010 schedule if it so chooses, but we've already found the Fantasy Event of the Year in the form of the sixth game in NFL history to boast multiple 400-yard passers. On one side, Matt Schaub (497 passing yards, 3 TDs) missed the hallowed 500-yard mark by one completion, but led Houston to perhaps its greatest comeback victory in franchise history. On the other sideline, Donovan McNabb passed for 426 yards and one touchdown, while making short-term stars of a relatively anonymous corps of receivers. For those who regret benching McNabb in Week 2 -- and I'm certainly guilty of that -- feel free to throw D-Mac back into the starting mix for Week 3. The recent concerns about his battered ankle and lack of timing with the 'Skins pass-catchers seem comically far-fetched at this point.
McNabb's favorite target, Santana Moss (10 catches, 89 yards), finally proved his fantasy worth in games that didn't involve the Cowboys or any other NFC East foe, but it came at the expense of fellow teammate Devin Thomas (zero catches), whose strong preseason has officially been erased from our memory banks. Thomas may look like a potential fantasy dynamo when coming off the team bus, and running the route tree in warmups, but he's no match for Moss and Joey Galloway (3 catches, 88 yards) on the field right now, which might be the most damning statement you'll read in today's Revelations. Thomas is also no match for Andre Johnson (12 catches, 158 yards, 1 TD), Kevin Walter (11 catches, 144 yards, 1 TD) and Jacoby Jones (6 catches, 53 yards, 1 TD) -- but you probably knew that already. Duh!
Clinton Portis (zero catches) certainly didn't boost Washington's passing attack, but he was unstoppable near the goal line, collecting two touchdowns and earning more fantasy points than Texans RB Arian Foster (138 total yards). From a red-zone standpoint alone, Portis is a must-consideration at the flex spot in 12-team leagues.
Philadelphia 35, Detroit 32This really isn't the proper forum to stand on a soapbox and demand that Michael Vick become the Eagles' starting QB, supplanting the still-woozy Kevin Kolb. After all, it's readily apparent that either Vick (321 total yards, 2 TDs), Kolb or even third-stringer Mike Kafka could hang 30-plus points on the Lions -- especially with LeSean McCoy (128 total yards, 3 TDs) running at full capacity. In Philly's last three games against Detroit, it has scored 35, 56 and 30 points without much resistance, and with Andy Reid and O-coordinator Marty Mornhinweg serving as the Eagles' only constants in the trilogy of blowouts, dating back to 2004. But then again, maybe Philly has an edge with Vick getting full-time reps at quarterback. He's smart enough to employ DeSean Jackson (4 catches, 135 yards, 1 TD) as the team's go-to receiver, and fast enough to avoid direct maulings from the likes of Ndamukong Suh (6 tackles). If only Jake Delhommewas that lucky.
The Lions' fantasy day can be encapsulated in two words: Jahvid Best. The rookie rusher collected a mind-boggling 232 total yards and three touchdowns against the Eagles, singlehandedly padding QB Shaun Hill's stat line of 335 yards passing and two TDs. Best also brought credibility to the Detroit running game, garnering 78 yards and two touchdowns -- his third and fourth rushing TDs of the young season. Of course, with Best making the instant leap to fantasy stardom, it's fair to wonder if his mere presence will create better opportunities for Calvin Johnson (4 catches, 50 yards, 1 TD) and the other Lions wideouts. Remember how some thought Bryant Johnson and Nate Burleson would take the pressure off Calvin and the constant double- and triple-teams by opposing defenses? Well, it's now up to Best and tight end Brandon Pettigrew (7 catches, 108 yards) to prevent Calvin from going stir-crazy in the Detroit huddles.
N.Y. Jets 28, New England 14Mark Sanchez (220 yards, 3 TDs) and Dustin Keller (7 catches, 115 yards, 1 TD) warrant plenty of praise for their Week 2 production in this column, but please don't mistake these pats-on-the-back as starting endorsements for Week 3. Until proven otherwise (read: back-to-back outings of consistent greatness), Sanchez, Keller (and Braylon Edwards) should remain glued to your fantasy bench. The same cannot be said about LaDainian Tomlinson, whose 102 total yards, super-quick feet and current status with one of the NFL's most successful rushing clubs make him an excellent starting option next week against Miami. Of course, what's good for LT is also detrimental to Shonn Greene's fantasy prospects. But hey, at least you didn't invest a Round 1 pick on a rusher based solely off two NFL playoff games from last year. Or did you?
History (and SportsCenter) will be kind to Randy Moss, aka The Slouch, for his out-of-this-world TD catch against Jets CB Darrelle Revis. But fantasy owners have the right to expect more than two catches and 38 yards from a healthy and highly motivated Moss. The same big-game expectations should be proferred for Wes Welker (6 catches, 38 yards, 1 TD), as well. Simply put, two sub-40-yard games aren't going to cut it come mid-December. As for rookie tight end Aaron Hernandez (6 catches, 101 yards), he might've done enough to earn the distinction of "Most Coveted Free Agent Not Named Jason Snelling" on Wednesday's waiver wire.
Miami 14, Minnesota 10 The Dolphins may be 2-0 in real-world circles, but their collective value in fantasyland is no greater than the winless Bills. And with a Week 3 home date with the Jets already on the brain, it's easy to wonder if touting Brandon Marshall (4 catches, 71 yards) and Ronnie Brown (83 total yards) as must-starts seems a tad foolish. Bottom line: Miami looks nothing like the club that scored 30-plus points in four straight games last year, and Chad Henne (114 passing yards, 1 TD) does not resemble the quarterback who attempted 46 or more passes three times in 2009. But the Dolphins have yet to play one down on their half-grass, half-dirt surface at Joe Robbie Sta, er, Starter Stad, er, Dolphins Stadi, er, Sun Life Stadium.
The Vikings' fantasy prospects are easier to define: RB Adrian Peterson (186 total yards, 1 TD) is a realistic threat for 2,000 total yards, TE Visanthe Shiancoe (6 catches, 86 yards) is greatly benefiting from Sidney Rice's absence, Percy Harvin (5 catches, 32 yards) must be counting down the seconds until Sir Sidney's return (maybe Week 7/8) and QB Brett Favre (225 passing yards, zero TDs, 3 INTs) might have lost the directions to the secret Fountain of Youth -- not unlike how Gargamel could never find his way back to the Smurf village. Speaking of which, wasn't it smurfy for Bernard Berrian (2 catches, 24 yards) to double his receptions output from Week 1? At this pace, he should be a lock for 16 catches ... come Week 16.
Chicago 27, Dallas 20 It's never fun to get booted from a survivor/suicide pool in Week 2, but if you're going to crash-and-burn in September, might as well do it with Jay Cutler (277 yards passing, 3 TDs) and Tony Romo (374 yards passing, 1 TD) flinging the ball at will, right? On the 25th anniversary of Chicago's infamous 44-0 rout of Dallas -- one of many landmark wins from the Bears' lone championship season of that era -- Miles Austin pulled down a ho-hum 10 catches for 142 yards and Cutler and Romo connected with 15 different receivers. Is it me or does Austin roll for double-digit catches and/or triple-digits yardage every time Dallas plays a 1 p.m. home game? That might take a while to quantify, just like the Cowboys doctors might require more time to evaulate Jason Witten's possible concussion. But even if Witten should miss next week's Texas-sized shootout with Houston, the Cowboys are still covered at tight end with Martellus Bennett (7 catches, 45 yards). The Bears have a similar grudge match on the docket for Week 3 (2-0 Green Bay). When calculating Chicago's odds of staying undefeated and seizing first place in the NFC North, RB Matt Forte (66 yards, 1 TD) must touch the ball more than 15 times. There's really no way around it.
Atlanta 41, Arizona 7 If you currently own Jason Snelling in deeper fantasy leagues, it is your American duty to lob an email, IM, text message or phone call to Michael Turner owners this week, with the clear intent of fleecing them in a blockbuster trade, securing the Turner-Snelling handcuff. Otherwise, what's the point of playing fantasy football? Yes, you can hold onto Snelling and hope that he'll replicate his Week 2 output (186 total yards, 3 TDs) in games where Turner (9 carries, 75 yards) goes down with a mild groin injury, or you could relish the opportunity to dramatically bolster your roster without surrendering one key starter. And when I say "fleece" Owner B, I'm talking about getting a minimum of two established fantasy contributors (if not stars) for the right to possess Turner insurance. Talk about a gift from the fantasy gods!
Regarding the Cardinals, the fantasy optimist would characterize Tim Hightower's 124-yard, 1-TD outing as yet another reason to believe in his standard-scoring/PPR viability, especially with a club that has publicly committed to running the football. The fantasy pessimist, however, would point to Beanie Wells' imminent return to the backfield and overall crumminess of Derek Anderson (161 yards, zero TDs, 2 INTs), Max Hall or whoever's playing quarterback as tangible reasons to "sell high" on any Arizona playmaker not named "Fitzgerald." Hmmm, on second thought, maybe Larry Fitzgerald (7 catches, 83 yards) should be dangled to the fantasy masses, as well. Not even Fitzy might survive the Cardinals' possible implosion.
Green Bay 34, Buffalo 7Believe it or not, there's a downside to scoring 34 points, collecting 346 total yards and winning by 27. Just ask Greg Jennings (3 catches, 36 yards), the only Packers star to not get his fair share of fantasy juice from Green Bay's highly predictable thumping of Buffalo. For everyone else, Sunday's walk in the park merely reaffirmed the greatness of Aaron Rodgers (275 total yards, 3 combined TDs) and TE Jermichael Finley (4 catches, 103 yards) and justified the roster-worthiness of wideouts Donald Driver (4 catches, 38 yards, 1 TD), James Jones (3 catches, 32 yards, 1 TD) and RB Brandon Jackson (39 total yards, 1 TD), who will undoubtedly garner more than 12 touches against the Bears in Week 3.
I could address the Bills' sad-sack effort in numerous ways -- like how RB Marshawn Lynch (17 carries, 64 yards) may have failed his extended audition as future trade bait or how Steve Johnson (3 catches, 31 yards) may be the NFL's worst No. 2 receiver (and yet the best wideout in Buffalo), or how QB Trent Edwards (102 yards passing) clearly does not grasp the concept of garbage-time fantasy fun during blowouts. But I'm going to focus on rookie C.J. Spiller's four touches against the Packers. You wouldn't know it from Sunday's game, but last April, the Bills actually sprinted to the podium to hand in their "C.J. Spiller, RB Clemson" card in Round 1 of the NFL draft -- as if telling the football-mad universe they were thrilled to land a playmaker of Spiller's caliber, as if they were determined to maximize Spiller's talents every Sunday, as if they geninuely believed Spiller would bring immediate cachet to the club's CFL-esque roster. Instead, I'm left to wonder if head coach Chan Gailey and GM Buddy Nix actually tracked Spiller's progress during the preseason -- 157 total yards and three scores from only 29 touches -- and if fantasy owners should abandon any flex-starter plans involving Spiller for the foreseeable future.
Oakland 16, St. Louis 14If you're looking for reasons why no one in Los Angeles is clamoring for an NFL team, look no further than the clash involving the Rams and Raiders -- both former residents of the City of Angels. Yes, Darren McFadden (153 total yards) and Steven Jackson (125 yards) demonstrated their worth as must-starts among running backs, and yes, Rams WR Mark Clayton (2 catches, 24 yards, 2 TDs) is fast becoming the fantasy steal of the year; but realistically speaking, no other playmaker should have cracked any Week 2 starting lineups in 10- or 12-team leagues. With Sam Bradford (167 yards, 2 TDs), Jason Campbell (87 yards passing), Danny Amendola (6 catches, 39 yards) and Louis Murphy (6 catches, 91 yards, 1 TD), we're talking about a group of random guys who'll rise up and play well for maybe 3-4 weeks this season, justifying their rightful spots on fantasy benches. As for Darrius Heyward-Bey (6 catches, 80 yards) and his fantasy prospects, it'd be smart to ignore his stellar outing and focus on trading for a buy-low prospect -- like Kansas City's Dwayne Bowe.
Kansas City 16, Cleveland 14 In last Wednesday's Clicks, I didn't knock Matt Cassel for his Week 1 mediocrity -- given the heavy rains that accompanied Chiefs-Chargers. But there are no free passes for Cassel's middling production from Week 2 (176 passing yards, 2 INTs), other than saying the Kansas City coaches obviously value winning over fantasy success (cue sitcom-audience laugh track). After all, why litter the Cleveland skies with passes to Tony Moeaki (5 catches, 58 yards), Dwayne Bowe (4 catches, 45 yards) and Chris Chambers (3 catches, 33 yards) when you can simply feed the rock to Thomas Jones (88 total yards) and Jamaal Charles (76 total yards), and then rely on the Chiefs' playmaking defenders to clinch the victory. Speaking of Jones, fantasy owners shouldn't jump to conclusions over his 22 carries from Sunday. As the season progresses, Charles will emerge as the club's purest fantasy force (fingers crossed).
Regarding the Browns, what can I say about Jerome Harrison? With games against Tampa Bay and Kansas City to open the season, Harrison (68 total yards) flubbed a golden opportunity to become the NFL's leading rusher out of the gate. And now, Week 11 (against Jacksonville) stands as his next viable chance to break the century mark in rushing. But at least Harrison is still roster-worthy -- which isn't necessarily the case for Seneca Wallace (229 passing yards, 1 TD) or WR Josh Cribbs (3 catches, 74 yards, 1 TD), assuming your league doesn't award points for kick-return yardage.
San Diego 38, Jacksonville 13If only the NFL could realign the Chargers and Jaguars into the same division, then maybe Philip Rivers would get regular mention with the Mount Rushmore of fantasy QBs -- Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Tom Brady. But since Florida and California aren't adjoining states, Rivers owners will just have to savor his amazing line from Sunday: 334 yards passing and three touchdowns, with only seven incompletions. Fantasy owners should also cherish the work of Rivers' supporting cast, starting with TE Antonio Gates (5 catches, 57 yards, 2 TDs) and RB Darren Sproles (100 total yards) ... and ending with RB Mike Tolbert (95 total yards, 2 TDs) and Malcom Floyd (3 catches, 95 yards, 1 TD). Tolbert's rise to fantasy glory was aided by the loss of Ryan Mathews to an ankle injury; and Floyd's case, curiously, was more about outplaying Legedu Naanee (1 catch, 14 yards) and helping San Diego fans momentarily forget about the looming trade deadline for WR holdout Vincent Jackson. As for the Jaguars, there's really nothing to glean from this debacle: Mike Sims-Walker (10 catches, 105 yards, 1 TD) remains a classic up-down perfomer, backup RB Rashad Jennings (88 total yards) makes for a great fantasy handcuff to Maurice Jones-Drew (38 total yards) and QB David Garrard (173 yards passing, 1 TD, 4 INTs) was probably overdue for a lemon on the road. Sad but true.
Indianapolis 38, N.Y. Giants 14At the risk of sounding flippant here, NBC really needs to stop hyping Colts home games as some national spectacle that cannot be missed. Unless the Patriots are involved, Indy usually turns every Lucas Oil Stadium clash into a search for the remote by the fourth quarter. Sunday night's Manning Bowl II was no different. When Peyton Manning wasn't disarming the Giants for 255 yards and three touchdowns, Joseph Addai (113 total yards) and Donald Brown (88 total yards, 1 TD) were darting through sizable rushing holes, courtesy of the offensive line. And if that wasn't enough for fantasygoers and lovers of All Things Manning, Reggie Wayne (7 catches, 96 yards), Dallas Clark (5 catches, 83 yards) and Austin Collie (4 catches, 25 yards) all capped the night with one receiving touchdown. In fact, Pierre Garcon (1 catch, 11 yards) was the only big-time playmaker to struggle against New York; but don't cry for him, for Garcon's primed for a bounceback outing against Denver next week.
The Giants actually fared well, numbers-wise, in a game they were never close to winning. Ahmad Bradshaw posted a respectable 89 yards on the ground, WR Mario Manningham looked great in catching four balls for 75 yards and one TD and Hakeem Nicks added to his NFL-best total of four receiving touchdowns -- despite registering only two receptions all night. Just so we're clear here, fantasy owners should not expect 0.66 TDs for every 1 Nicks catch from this point forward.
Denver 31, Seattle 14Speaking of expectations, Broncos fans and fantasy owners shouldn't peg WR Demaryius Thomas for eight catches, 97 yards and one touchdown every week (we're talking about a rookie who essentially missed all of training camp). But they should pencil RB Knowshon Moreno (118 total yards, 1 TD) in for one highlight-reel play every Sunday, with beefy fantasy numbers to match. Thanks to certifiable studs like Moreno and QB Kyle Orton (307 yards passing, 2 TDs), I kinda expect Denver to go 7-1 in home games this season. Conversely, it wouldn't be a shock to see Seattle go 1-7 on the road. This is what happens when you can't take the Qwest Field crowd with you for roadies. Suddenly, Matt Hasselbeck (254 total yards, 2 TDs, 3 INTs) and WR Mike Williams (1 catch, 7 yards) appear to be even more ordinary than usual.
Tampa Bay 20, Carolina 7Here's what I don't understand about the Panthers: If Jonathan Stewart is healthy enough to gallop for 19 yards on one play against the Bucs, how was he not healthy enough to warrant more than eight carries in the same game? And with Stewart (43 rushing yards) and DeAngelo Williams (74 total yards) in the lineup, how does Mike Goodson -- who's not a classic short-yardage back -- possibly see five carries? We're only two games into the season, and yet Carolina has already gotten away from its core structure of dominating the clock with Williams/Stewart, and, when all else fails, throwing to Steve Smith (3 catches, 66 yards, 1 TD). The fact that I'm even mentioning the (yawn) battle between QBs Matt Moore (125 passing yards, 1 TD) and rookie Jimmy Clausen (59 passing yards) underscores just how unappealing the Panthers have become in fantasyland.
On the other hand, you could certainly do worse than employing the Bucs' Big Four of QB Josh Freeman (225 total yards, 2 TDs), RB Cadillac Williams (59 total yards), TE Kellen Winslow (4 catches, 83 yards) and WR Mike Williams (2 catches, 54 yards, 1 TD). The shocking 2-0 start aside, Tampa Bay is still a reasonable bet for four-to-six blowout games this year (mostly losses), and that scenario usually leads to garbage-time fun. Regarding Williams, he debunked the myth that rookie wideouts don't perform well in road games, although we're still not prepared to start him in 12-team leagues for Week 3 (vs. Pittsburgh). That should be a true test of Williams' capabilities.
Cincinnati 15, Baltimore 10Here are a few things we've already learned about the Bengals after only two games: 1) Carson Palmer (167 passing yards) is not your friend in fantasyland. 2) Cedric Benson (78 yards) is still the club's best -- and dare we say, only -- option in the red zone. 3) Jordan Shipley (5 catches, 42 yards) will have at least two double-digit-reception games this year. 4) Terrell Owens (3 catches, 57 yards) isn't even the best 36-year-old receiver in the NFL (Derrick Mason) and 5) Chad Ochocinco (4 catches, 44 yards) gets a free pass in this space, based on his superb Week 1 and rock-steady method acting on The League's hilarious, highly quotable season premiere last Thursday (more on that in a minute).
Regarding the Ravens, forget about the wretchedness of Joe Flacco's 154 passing yards/four INTs, Anquan Boldin's five catches for 35 yards or even T.J. Houshmandzadeh's double-bagel of zero catches/zero receptions. With his 117 total yards, RB Ray Rice has motivated yours truly to make a very bold claim for Week 3: Against Cleveland, I guarantee Rice will produce at least 170 total yards and two touchdowns or I'll personally ban myself from writing Week 4's Revelations on Oct. 3.
Pittsburgh 19, Tennessee 11Geez, the more I delve into today's Revelations, the more I'm floored by the substandard offensive performances from winning teams. Seriously, how does Pittsburgh score 19 points without the benefit of an offensive touchdown? How does Heath Miller share club honors for receptions -- despite totaling just three yards? And how does a QB tag team of Charlie Batch/Dennis Dixon win any NFL road game ... and I'm not even talking about their 43 net passing yards? You know, on Sunday afternoon, I launched a mini-tirade at DirectTV, via Twitter, for having streaming problems with the Sunday Ticket online package (the wife had control of the household's lone TV); but I would never have complained if Titans-Steelers was the only viewing option.
Sure, Chris Johnson's streak of consecutive games with 100 yards rushing had to end sometime, we just didn't think it'd come at home on a brilliant weather day in September in a game where QBs Vince Young (66 yards passing, 2 INTs) and Kerry Collins (149 yards passing, 1 TD) were powerless against Pittsburgh's superb pass defense. But that's exactly how things played out for The League's No. 1 draft pick and likely co-host of Ruxin and Co.'s 2011 draft party. Of course, if Taco ends up winning the Shi-Dre Trophy, that party will likely take place at an abandoned video store in Chicago instead of poolside in Vegas.
Jay Clemons can be found on Twitter, day and night, accessing your fantasy questions and comments. You can read his award-winning Revelations every Sunday/Monday during the NFL season.