FanNation weekly fantasy football: Best players to pick in Week 2
How are your fantasy football teams looking after Week 1? Whether they got off to a strong start or not, there is a chance to start from scratch in SI's weekly FanNation fantasy game.
A whole bunch of you accepted my head-to-head challenge last week. A whole bunch of you also took me down -- in hindsight, banking on Tony Romo to go off was a poor decision. That's all in the past, however, and I feel more confident about my Week 2 squad.
Think you can hand me another loss? Missed out on the action the first time? Here's the link to the Week 2 FanNation contest, which is free to enter (though there are cash games, if you prefer to up the ante).
Here are the players I'm starting this Sunday and Monday:
Already this season it has become rather obvious that for the Colts to win games, Luck is going to have to be outstanding. Even though he lost (and fired two interceptions) at Denver in Week 1, Luck churned out a bunch of fantasy points with 370 yards passing, two touchdowns and a rushing touchdown. He's now topped 200 yards through the air in 12 of his last 14 games with five scores on the ground since the start of last season.
Monday, the 0-1 Colts draw the high-powered Eagles in Indianapolis. The Colts' defense found its footing in the second half vs. Peyton Manning but that remains an undermanned unit. Philadelphia will push the tempo (hence Foles' inclusion as another quarterback under consideration), meaning plenty of chances to counter for Luck.
Manning's a usually safe bet. The depleted Chiefs' defense allowed 266 yards and two touchdowns to Jake Locker last week; Manning threw for 726 yards and six touchdowns combined during two wins over Kansas City last year. Kaepernick has a favorable matchup, too, in a Sunday nighter vs. Chicago's in-flux defense. The Bears showed again in Week 1 that they have issues against the run, so Kaepernick should add some rushing yards off the read-option to another decent game through the air.
Twenty touches (14 rushes, six receptions) for Bernard last week, which produced 110 yards. He could surpass that total in Week 2 thanks to an Atlanta defense that is far weaker than what Bernard saw in Baltimore. New Cincinnati offensive coordinator Hue Jackson moved Bernard around to maximize him usage last Sunday, pulling him out of the backfield for several routes. Jackson should continue to feed the ball to his No. 1 back.
Peterson was quiet by his standards in a blowout win at St. Louis -- he finished with 93 total yards and no scores. But this week, in the Vikings' first regular-season game on the University of Minnesota's campus, he draws a Patriots' team that surrendered 191 yards on the ground to Miami last week ... and looked mediocre in doing so. Peterson's NFC North counterpart, Forte, will try to pick up where DeMarco Murray left off against San Francisco last week in a 118-yard, one-touchdown effort.
Johnson's the wild card. He opened his Jets career with 91 total yards and a receiving touchdown in Week 1 and now draws a Green Bay defense that is susceptible to the misdirection and read-option looks New York will present.
Wide receiver/tight end
Dee Milliner coming off an injury? Darrin Walls? No matter which Jet draws the responsibility of covering Nelson, Aaron Rodgers' favorite receiver should surpass his 83-yard total from last week. He's also a decent bet to find the end zone after Seattle shut Nelson out in an easy win.
Choosing Garcon -- or any Washington player -- is a leap of faith on behalf of Jay Gruden's offense. It was extremely sluggish last week, thanks in no small part to Robert Griffin III's conservative game. The Redskins do draw a Jacksonville secondary that left many a Philadelphia receiver open in the second half, though. Garcon also still caught 10 passes in Week 1, so he plays right into the per-catch bonus granted here.
Harvin clearly is a critical component in Seattle's gameplan, as evidenced by the 11 touches he saw against Green Bay. There will be ample opportunities again vs. San Diego. Meanwhile, Ertz draws an Indianapolis defense that has had all sorts of problems covering tight ends. His projected-point total of eight makes Ertz a prime candidate to outperform his price tag.