This week's game of the week is shaping up to be the Cowboys vs. the Eagles on Monday. Both NFC East powers won their openers easily and spread the fantasy wealth all over the field. Rookie Felix Jones was quite impressive against Cleveland, rushing for 62 yards and a touchdown on only nine carries as he filled in for a banged-up Marion Barber. Both will be in the lineup this week.
As for Philly, the passing game exploded with Donovan McNabb enjoying the efforts of three 100-yard receivers in a game for the first time in his career (and the first time for the Eagles franchise since 1960). Hank Baskett has become the ultimate deep threat, veteran Greg Lewis looked like the reliable receiver the Eagles had seen brief flashes of for the last six seasons and DeSean Jackson looked like every bit the receiver Andy Reid has been looking for since the departure of Terrell Owens. Get all of them plus any other Cowboys and Eagles you have in your lineup.
As for the rest of the league:
QB Aaron Rodgers, Packers at Detroit: Rodgers gave the Pack the shot in the arm it needed in his starting debut, passing for an efficient 178 yards with a touchdown and no picks against the vaunted Minnesota defense. Now he gets to go up against a Lions team that made Michael Turner look like Barry Sanders and rookie QB Matt Ryan look like a seasoned veteran. Rodgers and his receiving corps, especially Greg Jennings and Donald Driver, will have a big day, as will Ryan Grant, who should be in the lineup despite a sore hamstring that limited him against the Vikes.
QB Eli Manning, Giants at Rams: Although this game has the potential for a letdown by the Giants, who will not have played for 10 days, the Rams are facing the prospect of being scorched for the second week in a row by an NFC East signal-caller. This time it'll be Manning, who ran for the only TD in the Giants opening night win over the Redskins. Nobody in St. Louis' secondary can stay with Plaxico Burress, who should reach the end zone a couple of times at least. Also look for big games from Kevin Boss and Amani Toomer. You might even see the first significant fantasy contribution in Sinorice Moss' career.
QB Jon Kitna, Lions vs. Packers: This one goes under the "They'll be behind, therefore throwing a lot in the second half" heading. Kitna has weapons, and despite the Packers top-notch coverage corners, Green Bay won't be able to contain Calvin Johnson, Roy Williams, Shaun McDonald and Mike Furrey all game. With a running game still trying to discover itself, Kitna could throw upwards of 40 times.
RB Earnest Graham, Buccaneers vs. Falcons: With Jeff Garcia watching from the sidelines Jon Gruden's Bucs will stay on the conservative, grind-it-out side in support of new starter Brian Griese. Enter Graham, who, in two games last season against Atlanta, ran for 181 yards, had 46 yards receiving and two total scores.
RBs Chris Johnson and LenDale White, Titans at Bengals: Lost in a weekend of big performances was the fact that the Ravens, playing without Willis McGahee, were able to gain 229 yards on the ground against the Bengals behind primarily rookie Ray Rice and part-time fullback Le'Ron McClain. That bodes extremely well for a Titans rushing game that features one of the league's best speed/strength duo in Johnson and White.
WR Hines Ward, Steelers at the Browns: The former Super Bowl MVP hasn't been a fantasy stud the last couple of seasons, but after last week's two-TD, 76-yard showing against Houston, and what he'll do this week against the Browns, he'll be among the early-season elite. Ward has reached the end zone in four of his last five games against Cleveland, including both contests last season.
WR Brandon Marshall, Broncos vs. Chargers: Don't forget that Marshall had his league-imposed suspension reduced to one game and he returns this week with a tough assignment against the Chargers secondary, However Marshall and his quarterback, Jay Cutler, are must starts at home against the wounded Chargers, who will be playing without pass-rusher Shawne Merriman. Plus, the emergence of rookie Eddie Royal should open up passing lanes for Marshall, who might also see some single coverage on occasion.
TE John Carlson, Seahawks vs 49ers: Seattle's checklist: Injured starting running back. Check. Top three receivers out. Check. Quarterback banged up after having completed just 41.5 percent of his opening day passes. Check. Since Mike Holmgren is an offensive genius, he'll find a way to move the ball against a defense that won't overwhelm anyone. That way is Carlson, the rookie tight end who had four catches for 52 yards in his first action.
QB Matt Hasselbeck, Seahawks vs. 49ers: As mentioned above, Seattle's offense is among the most banged-up of any team in recent memory this early in the season. Add the injury to guard Rob Sims to the laundry list of reasons to find a quarterback other than Hasselbeck for the long haul.
RB Chris Perry, Bengals vs. Titans: I assure you that Perry will be a good back at some point this season, but for the second week in a row the Bengals face a wall of a rush defense in the Titans, which will limit Perry's effectiveness for the second week in a row.
WR Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs vs. Raiders: Having Damon Huard start over Brodie Croyle would normally be a plus for the Chiefs' best receiver, but Bowe is mentioned here based on the one-on-one battle he'll be in against the underrated DB Nnamdi Asomugha.
TE Owen Daniels, Texans vs. Ravens: Last week against the Bengals the Ravens defense re-established itself as one of the best in the league Safety Ed Reed, the best strong safety at shutting down tight ends in the entire league, is a main reason why. Use an alternative to Daniels this week.