Second Thoughts

It's still early, but two games can go a long way toward separating the stars from the stiffs
September 21, 2008

Isn't it amazing that you know so much more now than when you drafted your team? These players have already shown themselves to be more—or less—than previously thought.

JULIUS JONES
Seahawks, RB

With starter Maurice Morris out with a sprained knee, Jones (above, left) ran for 127 yards against the 49ers, the most by a Seattle back since Shaun Alexander in 2006. Jones should continue to pile up yards next Sunday against the Rams, who have given up 79 points in two games, and he could even hold on to the starting job when Morris returns in a few weeks.

ANTHONY GONZALEZ
Colts, WR

He was Peyton Manning's favorite target in the Colts' comeback win in Minnesota, putting up career highs of nine catches and 137 yards. Gonzalez has three 100-yard performances in his first 15 games as a pro—a feat achieved by neither Marvin Harrison nor Reggie Wayne.

AARON RODGERS
Packers, QB

So far, so great: In two starts he has thrown for a total of 506 yards and four TDs against the Vikings and the Lions. Expect more good numbers in what should be a shootout against the Cowboys on Sunday night. Chances are, Rodgers is your backup; if you're secure with your starter, there will be no better time to trade him than after next week—before his schedule gets bumpier and it gets cold in Green Bay.

JAY CUTLER
Broncos, QB

Ascending into the ranks of elite fantasy quarterbacks, he followed his 300-yard, two-touchdown opening-week effort in Oakland with 350 yards and four TDs against the Chargers. You most likely drafted the third-year passer with thoughts of platooning him, but he has grown into an every-week starter.

CARSON PALMER
Bengals, QB

He ranked among the top five in passing yards and TDs over the previous two seasons, but you wouldn't know that from the first two weeks of 2008. Granted, he was facing 30-mph gusts on Sunday against Tennessee, but Palmer (near left) has thrown for 300 yards just once in his last eight games. Bench him this week against the Giants.

JUSTIN FARGAS
Raiders, RB

He suffered a groin injury in the second quarter against Kansas City, but just as discouraging for Fargas owners is what happened after he went out: Rookie Darren McFadden took possession of the Oakland offense, running for 164 yards and a touchdown. Even when Fargas returns, he should be nothing more than a fantasy (and NFL) reserve going forward.

DEVIN HESTER
Bears, WR-KR

In two weeks as a starting wideout Hester has two catches for 13 yards; in the third quarter on Sunday against Carolina, he was carted off the field with a rib injury. Unless you're in the rare league that gives you credit for Hester's return yards, drop him.

PLAY FANTASY FOOTBALL ON FACEBOOK Go to SI.com/fantasy2008.

PHOTOOTTO GREULE JR./GETTY IMAGES (JONES) PHOTOTHOMAS E. WITTE (PALMER)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)