Week 2 Recap:
Last week the NFL saw another tight end reach the end zone 3 times, when Antonio Gates SD, TE, thrived against Seattle’s Legion of Boom. The 34 year-old tight end proved that he is still an effective player by overcoming an ankle injury, while securing all 7 of his targets, 3 of which accounted for all of San Diego’s touchdowns. Gates should manage to find the end zone again this week, as he faces a Bills defense that surrendered 2 scores to him in their last meeting. Prediction: 13 pts; 70 yds and 1 TD.
After a week 1 loss to the Seahawks, Aaron Rodgers and company were able to bounce back with a tough-fought win over the New York Jets. Aaron Rodgers GB, QB, found his stride and threw for 346 yds and 3 TDs, most of which were to Jordy Nelson GB, WR, who had 9 receptions for 209 yds and 1 TD. Aaron Rodgers threw Nelson’s way 16 times, which is the most Rodgers has ever targeted a receiver, in his 10 year career.Moving forward, this dynamic duo should prove troublesome for opposing defenses. Green Bay plays the Detroit Lions this week, who have been a thorn in Rodgers’ side, holding him to just 14 fantasy points per game in their last 3 match-ups. Prediction: 18 pts; 240 yds, 2 TDs, and 1 INT. Expect Nelson to be Rodgers main man again in week 3. Prediction: 16 pts; 100 yds and 1 TD.
In an incredible Philadelphia comeback, Darren Sproles PHI, RB, led the way with 152 receiving yds, in addition to 26 rushing yds and 1 TD. Sproles showed how explosive he is by utilizing his arsenal of jukes and cuts on his way to 148 yards after the catch, which was the most by a player since 2011. Sproles should continue to produce well on passing downs, but will provide minimal assistance in the ground game. Resist the urge to put Sproles in as your main RB, however he is not a bad option at flex or RB3. Prediction: 9 pts; 30 rush yds and 60 rec yds.
Jay Cutler CHI, QB, only threw for 176 yds last week, but he made every yard count by throwing for 4 TDs, against a stingy 49ers defense. Cutler now has 6 TDs through 2 games. He will look to add to this number this week against a Jets defense that has allowed the second most fantasy points to QBs thus far. Prediction: 24 pts; 240 yds and 3 TDs.
Stevan Ridley NE, RB, is coming off of an impressive 100-yd performance against a Minnesota defense that held Zac Stacy to just 43 yds the previous week. Ridley now squares up against the Oakland Raiders, a run defense that resembles a sieve, who have allowed a league high 200 rushing yds a game, on 5 yds per carry. Ridley has only played against Oakland once in his career, but in that game he ran for 97 yds and a TD. You have to like his chances for similar success. Prediction: 14 pts; 80 yds and 1 TD.
Mike Wallace MIA, WR, is off to an admirable 2014 campaign by racking up 137 yds and 2 TDs, on 12 receptions. He has faced 2 tough defenses, in division rivals New England and Buffalo. This week he plays a much easier Chiefs defense that has allowed double digit fantasy points to receivers in each of the first 2 weeks. Prediction: 13 pts; 70 yds and 1 TD.
Ben Roethlisberger PIT, QB, only threw for 217 yds with an interception, last week against the Ravens. Big Ben is struggling to begin the season, with only one touchdown and 2 interceptions through the first 2 games. Up this week are the Carolina Panthers who have not allowed an opposing QB to throw multiple TDs, in their last 10 games. Expect the same out of Roethlisberger, minimal TDs and a few INTs. Prediction: 11 pts; 220 yds, 1 TD, and 2 INTs.
Toby Gerhart JAX, RB, has struggled finding even the smallest of holes in Jacksonville, where his offensive line has fallen short. With Jacksonville trailing big last week, Gerhart saw minimum carries. The story will be the same this week against the Colts who have allowed an average of only 40 rushing yds to the Jags, in each of their last 3 meetings. Prediction: 3 pts; 35 yds.
Torrey Smith BAL, WR, has only had 10 balls thrown his way, 4 of which he caught. The Ravens are beginning to center their passing game around Steve Smith and Dennis Pitta, who have seen 43 combined targets. Torrey Smith had 8 fantasy points or less, in 2 games against the Browns last year. Expect Cleveland to keep Smith quiet. Prediction: 4 pts; 40 yds.
Top Players By Position:
Drew Brees, NO- Averaged 28 fantasy pts/gm at home, last year. Prediction: 28 pts; 320 yds and 3 TDs
Andrew Luck, IND- Averaged 270 passing yds/game against Jacksonville, in his career. Not to mention, the Colts outscored the Jags 67-13 last season. Prediction: 25 pts; 270 yds and 3 TDs
Matthew Stafford, DET- Faces the Packers in what looks to be a division shootout. Green Bay allowed the 8th most fantasy points to QBs last year. Prediction: 24 pts; 280 yds, 3 TDs, and 1 INT
LeSean McCoy, PHI- Plays division foe, Washington Redskins, and will look to keep contributing to the Eagles’ high-powered offense, that seems to comeback from any deficit. Prediction: 18 pts; 80 rush yds, 40 rec yds, and 1 TD
DeMarco Murray, DAL- Has rushed the ball at least 20 times in his first 2 games of the season, the Cowboys are now 12-1 when Murray sees this many carries. Prediction: 17 pts; 110 yds and 1 TD
Arian Foster, HOU- Carried the ball an astounding 28 times last week, expect a lot of action for Foster, moving forward. Prediction: 16 pts; 100 yds and 1 TD
Calvin Johnson, DET- I don’t think we will see this guy outside of the top for a long time. Prediction: 16 pts; 100 yds and 1 TD
Brandon Marshall, CHI- Expect him to get back into the end zone, coming off of a 3 TD affair. Prediction: 14 pts; 80 yds and 1 TD
Dez Bryant, DAL- Nearly 50% of Romo’s pass attempts last week, went Bryant’s way. He will keep the role of Romo’s favorite target again this week. Prediction: 13 pts; 70 yds and 1 TD
Out: Adrian Peterson RB, MIN, (non-injury), Josh Gordon WR, CLE, Doug Martin RB, TB, Mark Ingram RB, NO, Ryan Mathews RB, SD, Robert Griffin III QB, WAS, Knowshon Moreno RB, MIA, Roddy White WR, ATL, Ben Tate RB, CLE, Jordan Reed TE, WAS
Questionable: Cordarrelle Patterson WR, MIN, DeSean Jackson WR, WAS, Bernard Pierce RB, BAL, Carson Palmer QB, ARI, Jamaal Charles RB, KC, Brandon Marshall WR, CHI, DeAngelo Williams RB, CAR, Jordan Cameron TE, CLE
Probable: Cecil Shorts III WR, JAX, Reggie Bush RB, DET, Colin Kaepernick QB, SF, Arian Foster RB, HOU, Julian Edelman WR, NE, Alshon Jeffery WR, CHI, Dez Bryant WR, DAL, Rob Gronkowski TE, NE, Marshawn Lynch RB, SEA, Dwayne Bowe WR, KC, AJ Green WR, CIN, Antonio Gates TE, SD, Cam Newton QB, CAR, Andre Johnson WR, HOU
See you next week for another edition of Coach on a Couch
Collegian Sports Reporter Alec Grimes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @GrimesAlec.