Do you want to earn bragging rights among your friends? Do you want to become the top dog of the office? Do you want to feel a sense of self pride and accomplishment? If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then look no further. Here is all you need to know about the world of fantasy football, to play that perfect lineup and destroy your competition.
Last week, a couple of the stars from last year were at it again, by rewarding their fantasy owners with huge numbers.
Calvin Johnson WR, DET, who finished with 7 receptions for 164 yards and 2 touchdowns, proved to be too much for a less than stellar Giants secondary who allowed 346 yards through the air. You can expect Megatron to put up similar numbers this week against the Carolina Panthers, as he will use his size and athleticism to break free from coverage. Prediction: 16 pts; 100 yds and 1 TD.
Marshawn Lynch RB, SEA, also had a monster game in the NFL season opener against the Green Bay Packers, by racking up 110 yards and 2 TDs on 20 carries. Beast Mode will play well again this week against a San Diego Chargers defense that has allowed 12 TDs to opposing running backs in the last 10 games. Expect him to have a lot of carries and punch it into the end zone. Prediction: 15 pts; 90 yds and 1 TD.
Matt Ryan QB, ATL, and Julius Thomas TE, DEN, were also standouts last week, and should continue to play well. However neither one will match last week’s numbers, in large, due to the fact that they both had one of the better games of their career. Matty Ice is facing a Cincinnati defense that allowed the 5th fewest passing yards in the league last year. With that said he should still put up decent numbers. Prediction: 20 pts; 240 yards and 2 TDs. Orange Julius only put up 43 yards, but did have one score, last season when he faced the Chiefs. Expect the Denver offense to throw his way in the red zone. Prediction: 14 pts; 80 yards and 1 TD.
Andy Dalton QB, CIN, threw for 301 yards last week and added a touchdown as well. He faces a Falcons defense that was gashed by Drew Brees for 333 yards. With one of the best receivers in the league, in AJ Green, and a defense susceptible to giving up big plays in the pass game; Dalton should throw for 300 yards again. Prediction: 24 pts; 320 yds and 2 TDs.
Giovani Bernard RB, CIN, was able to total 10 fantasy points last week, despite just 48 yards on the ground. With a Falcons defense that allowed the most fantasy points by running backs in week 1, expect Bernard to have a big game. Prediction: 13 pts; 70 yds and 1 TD.
Victor Cruz WR, NYG, who had only 2 receptions for 24 yards in the week 1 loss to Detroit, doesn’t look any more promising this week. He faces a Cardinals secondary featuring star cover man Patrick Peterson, and Cruz has not scored at home since December of 2012. Prediction: 8 pts; 80 yds.
Zac Stacy RB, STL, only mustered up 43 yards on just 11 carries last week against a much improved Minnesota Vikings defense. With Benny Cunningham experiencing more action at running back and the inability of the Rams to run the ball effectively, expect minimal reward for playing Stacy. Prediction: 5 pts; 55 yds.
Players to Watch:
Tony Romo DAL, QB, who struggled last week, while throwing 3 interceptions against the 49ers, is looking ready for a bounce-back performance. Romo has a 94.2 passer rating in his last 9 games following 3 interception performances. Prediction: 19 pts; 220 yds and 2 TDs.
Dwayne Bowe KC, WR, is coming off of a suspension, and is assigned with the tough task of the Denver defense. Bowe has averaged 6 receptions and 80 yards per game in his last 5 trips to the Mile High City. Prediction: 9 pts; 90 yds.
Top Players by Position:
Peyton Manning, DEN- As a Bronco he is 4-0 against the Chiefs, with 329 yards per game and 11 TDs. Prediction: 28 pts; 330 yds and 3 TDs
Drew Brees, NO- Following the 5 Saints losses last year, Brees threw 18 TDs to only 2 picks. Prediction: 26 pts; 280 yds and 3 TDs
Aaron Rodgers, GB- Rodgers will be facing a less aggressive Jets defense this week, and he is looking to bounce back from last week’s struggle. Prediction: 21 pts; 260 yds and 2 TDs
LeSean McCoy, PHI- After a relatively quiet opening game, Shady will look to make explosive plays in both the run and pass game. Prediction: 16 pts; 100 yds and 1 TD
Marshawn Lynch, SEA- As said before, this guy is a monster. Prediction: 15 pts; 90 yds and 1 TD
Demaryius Thomas, DEN- With Manning at the helm, DT has 431 receiving yards in 4 games against the Chiefs. Prediction: 17 pts; 110 yds and 1 TD
Calvin Johnson, DET- Can anyone stop this guy? Prediction: 16 pts; 100 yds and 1 TD
AJ Green, CIN- If healthy, Green will have no problem burning a Falcons defense that allowed over 300 yards through the air just a week ago. Prediction: 16 pts; 100 yds and 1 TD
Jordan Reed TE, Was, Ben Tate RB, Cle, Maurice Jones-Drew RB, Oak, Cecil Shorts III WR, Jax
Toby Gerhart RB, Jax, AJ Green WR, Cin, Doug Martin RB, TB, Alshon Jeffery WR, Chi, Brandon Marshall WR, Chi, Andre Ellington RB, Ari
Cam Newton QB, Car, Reggie Bush RB, Det, Mike Wallace WR, Mia, Michael Crabtree WR, SF, Arian Foster RB, Hou, Rob Gronkowski TE, NE, Tony Romo QB, Dal, Roddy White WR, Atl, Andre Johnson WR, Hou, Eddie Lacy RB, GB
Check back next week for more insight from the Coach On A Couch!
Collegian Sports Reporter Alec Grimes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @GrimesAlec.