Week 2 Rankings

Patrick Daugherty
September 15, 2013
Dose: New-Look Dolphins Win
Jeff Brubach recaps a busy Sunday of fantasy football action in Monday's Daily Dose

Updated 9/15/2013 at 12:00 PM ET. 

There’s no bad performance quite like a Week 1 bad performance. You wait all spring and summer for…that? A Week 1 dud invariably causes more consternation than say, a Week 5 dud, but in the grand scheme of things, there’s no difference between the two. So as you look forward to Week 2, it’s important not to overreact to one bad game. That is not to say some of last week’s flops were not instructive, however.      

There was no shortage of disappointing performances, but Lamar Miller’s 10-carry, three-yard effort against the Browns took the cake. Coming off a preseason where he failed to separate from Fumblin’ Daniel Thomas, Miller needed a big afternoon to assuage fantasy owners’ fears. Instead, he did the opposite. The question is, why? Film review turned up an obvious answer: He never had a chance.

The Dolphins’ run blocking was simply horrid, allowing immediate penetration that swallowed Miller up before he so much as had a chance to look downfield. Miami’s zone blocks were painfully slow to develop, while there was too much pre-snap motion. The Browns diagnosed a first quarter sweep a full 1-2 seconds before the ball was snapped (Miller was taken down for a two-yard loss). Miller broke just one tackle — at most — but it’s hard to shed defenders when you’re being gang tackled, which Miller was on almost every single attempt. Even on Miller’s longest rush — a six-yard scamper in the third quarter — he was nearly torn down at the line of scrimmage by Paul Kruger, who was in the process of easily shedding his block. Thomas fared a bit “better” — he gained 14 yards on eight carries — but only because the Dolphins, a zone-blocking team, appeared to adopt more of a power mentality when he got the rock.

Silver linings? The Dolphins were dealing with one of the better front sevens in the league in the Browns, and face a less-imposing challenge in Week 2 in the Colts. But until — if — they can get quicker off the ball and actually block somebody, Miller could prove a weekly adventure that trends much more in the direction of “unpredictable FLEX play” than the “solid RB2” drafters had in mind in August.  

Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-week $25,000 Fantasy Football league for Week 2. It's $25 to join and first prize is $5,000. Starts Sunday at 1pm ET. Here's the link.

Week 2 Quarterbacks

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Aaron Rodgers vs. WAS -
2 Drew Brees at TB -
3 Peyton Manning at NYG -
4 Colin Kaepernick at SEA -
5 Cam Newton at BUF -
6 Matthew Stafford at ARZ -
7 Matt Ryan vs. STL -
8 Tom Brady vs. NYJ -
9 Robert Griffin III at GB -
10 Michael Vick vs. SD -
11 Tony Romo at KC Probable (ribs)
12 Russell Wilson vs. SF -
13 Andrew Luck vs. MIA -
14 Eli Manning vs. DEN -
15 Joe Flacco vs. CLE -
16 Terrelle Pryor vs. JAC -
17 Ryan Tannehill at IND -
18 Sam Bradford at ATL -
19 Jay Cutler vs. MIN -
20 Carson Palmer vs. DET -
21 Josh Freeman vs. NO -
22 Philip Rivers at PHI -
23 Andy Dalton vs. PIT -
24 Matt Schaub vs. TEN -
25 Ben Roethlisberger at CIN -
26 E.J. Manuel vs. CAR -
27 Alex Smith vs. DAL -
28 Chad Henne at OAK -
29 Brandon Weeden at BAL -
30 Jake Locker at HOU -
31 Christian Ponder at CHI -
32 Geno Smith at NE -

QB Notes: Here’s how ridiculous Colin Kaepernick has gotten. Going back to his 181-yard rushing performance in the Divisional Round of the playoffs — which, ok, entails just total 23 total NFL games, but work with me here — only LeSean McCoy’s 184-yard outburst on Monday Night Football has topped Kaepernick’s demolition of the Packers on the ground last January. So that makes it all the more impressive that during the same timespan, only Peyton and Eli Manning, who threw for 462 and 450 yards last week, respectively, have bettered the 412 yards Kaepernick racked up as a passer on Sunday. You can quibble and say we’re cherry picking numbers and timeframes, but that would be forgetting that Kap’s 181-yard day on the ground was an all-time record for a quarterback. The fact that just three games later he threw for 412 yards on the exact same defense — while only rushing for 22 yards, no less — illustrates what a uniquely great player he’s become. Kaepernick isn’t just an elite dual-threat quarterback. He’s a dual-threat quarterback elite at both rushing and passing. Don’t be surprised if he’s named the league MVP at season’s end.      

Tom Brady at No. 8. Looks scary, doesn’t it? I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel some hesitation at ranking Tom Terrific so low, but the fact is, on paper that might be generous. Missing Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez and Wes Welker, Brady didn’t get into a rhythm in Sunday’s win over the Bills until he started zeroing in on Shane Vereen and Danny Amendola. So naturally, both are going to miss this evening’s grudge match with the Jets. Brady did his best to form a rapport with rookie Kenbrell Thompkins Sunday, but Thompkins rewarded him by corralling just 4-of-14 targets, and failing to make plays on a number of catchable passes. Perhaps it was the undrafted free agent’s nerves at work, but it’s hard to see things getting any better with shutdown corner Antonio Cromartie likely to follow him all over the field in Foxboro. That leaves Julian Edelman as the one player Brady can truly trust against Gang Green. Who knows, maybe Brady will find him for 15 catches, 225 yards, another two touchdowns and all the fantasy glory his owners could ever desire. But more than likely, Brady’s supporting cast is going to necessitate he do something he’s scarcely done since Randy Moss and Josh McDaniels came to town: Win more as a game manager than gunslinger. Brady is a player you never bench, but this week, you better temper your expectations.

Although Robert Griffin III came on in the second half of Monday night’s loss, he did little to suggest he’s all the way back from his January knee injury. Griffin’s accuracy was scattershot, partly because he was hesitant to step into passes, instead throwing off his back foot. A whopping 259 of his 329 yards came after the Eagles went up 33-7 early in the third quarter. He was tentative as a runner. The good news is, Griffin still appeared further along than he has any right to be just eight months after reconstructive surgery, but he simply needs more time to round back into top form. For now he’s more of a low-end QB1 than the elite one he was last season. … In many ways, it’s surprising Michael Vick ended up with “only” 203 yards passing and 54 yards rushing in Monday night’s win. It’s less surprising, however, when you realize Vick attempted just five passes after the break. Apparently even Chip Kelly believes in milking the clock. Vick took a ton of hits against the Redskins, but he’ll be an every-week QB1 until he gets injured.

No one had a more absurd game plan than the Colts in Week 1, not even Cleveland. Yes, it’s true that Bruce Arians got a little too pass happy at times last season. Sometimes a lot too pass happy. But to have Andrew Luck attempt just 23 passes, only 16 of which came before the fourth quarter? To have Luck dropping back fewer times than Terrelle Pryor? Against a team starting Mike Jenkins and Tracy Porter at cornerback? Pure madness. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be more balanced. There is something wrong with doing it at the expense of by far your best player. Luck is a borderline QB1 until OC Pep Hamilton proves he’s learned his lesson. … Speaking of Pryor, can you say “deluxe Tim Tebow”? That’s what he looked like on Sunday, a bigger, faster, more accurate version of America’s golden boy. Like Tebow, Pryor is going to make mind-numbing mistakes, but also like Tebow, he’s going to be far more useful for fantasy purposes than “real-life” ones. He’s worth a bench spot in standard leagues, and is a legit streaming option in two-QB formats.

Sam Bradford looked much like the improved quarterback he was down the stretch last season, throwing for 299 yards and two touchdowns against the Cardinals. With week-to-week consistency remaining one of his last major issues, Bradford could make a big statement against a Falcons team that might be missing CB Asante Samuel (thigh). … Josh Freeman looks more like a bottom-five quarterback every week, but the matchup is right in the Saints. … Ben Roethlisberger may not stay down around No. 25 for long, but he needs to show something after last week’s completely horrendous performance. It won’t be easy against the Bengals’ elite defense. The ranking says much more about Big Ben’s supporting cast than his own play.     

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Week 2 Running Backs

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Adrian Peterson at CHI -
2 Doug Martin vs. NO -
3 LeSean McCoy vs. SD -
4 Jamaal Charles vs. DAL Probable (quadriceps)
5 Arian Foster vs. TEN Probable (-)
6 C.J. Spiller vs. CAR -
7 Ray Rice vs. CLE -
8 Matt Forte vs. MIN -
9 Trent Richardson at BAL -
10 Reggie Bush at ARZ Probable (thumb)
11 Alfred Morris at GB -
12 DeMarco Murray at KC -
13 Marshawn Lynch vs. SF -
14 Steven Jackson vs. STL -
15 Stevan Ridley vs. NYJ -
16 Eddie Lacy vs. WAS -
17 Chris Johnson at HOU -
18 Frank Gore at SEA -
19 Darren Sproles at TB -
20 Maurice Jones-Drew at OAK -
21 Darren McFadden vs. JAC -
22 David Wilson vs. DEN -
23 Ryan Mathews at PHI -
24 Lamar Miller at IND -
25 DeAngelo Williams at BUF -
26 Daryl Richardson at ATL Probable (foot)
27 Ahmad Bradshaw vs. MIA -
28 Knowshon Moreno at NYG -
29 Joique Bell at ARZ -
30 Chris Ivory at NE -
31 Rashard Mendenhall vs. DET Probable (hamstring)
32 Giovani Bernard vs. PIT -
33 Ben Tate vs. TEN Probable (-)
34 Bilal Powell at NE -
35 BenJarvus Green-Ellis vs. PIT -
36 Isaac Redman at CIN -
37 Bernard Pierce vs. CLE -
38 Fred Jackson vs. CAR -
39 Pierre Thomas at TB -
40 Mark Ingram at TB -
41 Montee Ball at NYG -
42 Bryce Brown vs. SD -
43 Danny Woodhead at PHI -
44 Daniel Thomas at IND -
45 Mike Tolbert at BUF -
46 Donald Brown vs. MIA -
47 Da'Rel Scott vs. DEN Probable (knee)
48 LeGarrette Blount vs. NYJ -
49 Jonathan Dwyer at CIN -
50 Roy Helu at GB -
51 Isaiah Pead at ATL -
52 Robert Turbin vs. SF -
53 Kendall Hunter at SEA -
54 Leon Washington vs. NYJ -
55 Michael Bush vs. MIN -
56 Ronnie Hillman at NYG -
57 Jackie Battle at HOU -
58 Jacquizz Rodgers vs. STL -
59 Alfonso Smith vs. DET -
60 Justin Forsett at OAK -
61 Knile Davis vs. DAL -
62 Lance Dunbar at KC Probable (foot)
63 Brandon Jacobs vs. DEN -

RB Notes: Doug Martin should easily bounce back from his rough opener against a run defense that allowed seven yards per carry to Steven Jackson in Week 1, and an NFL-worst 147.6 yards per game last season. … LeSean McCoy rushed for 184 yards and averaged 5.9 yards per carry against a run defense that was no pushover last season. Just like he did in 2011, McCoy stirred (faint) echoes of Barry Sanders with his jump cuts and suddenness. A real threat to lead the league in carries, Shady is looking like a top-three weekly option.  

Arian Foster is a tough nut to crack after managing just 90 yards on 24 touches in his Monday debut, and getting soundly outplayed by Ben Tate. He left yards on the field against the Chargers, and committed two brutal third-down drops. For now, we’ll chalk it up to rust after he missed nearly the entire offseason and summer with calf and back ailments. Although coach Gary Kubiak said afterward he wished he had given Tate more than 11 touches — and reiterated it on Thursday — we still expect a similar workload delineation against a Titans run defense that’s not nearly as talented as the inept Steelers made it look. Foster has built up more than one week’s worth of benefit of the doubt in Houston. All bets could be off, however, if Tate runs circles around his more accomplished backfield mate for the second week in a row.   

C.J. Spiller and Ray Rice are both coming off bad weeks into tough matchups. It’s a bigger concern for Spiller, who will be running into an imposing Panthers front seven that limited Marshawn Lynch to just 43 yards on 17 carries in Week 1. His slow start could last one more week before he gets the Jets in Week 3. Even though the Browns eliminated Lamar Miller, Rice should bounce back versus a team he’s averaged 92.2 yards per game and 4.8 yards per carry against across 10 career meetings. With the game certain to be far closer than Baltimore’s opening week embarrassment in Denver, Rice is also a guarantee to easily outpace the 12 totes he received against the Broncos.

Why the Browns limited Trent Richardson to just 13 carries in Week 1 — four of which came on Cleveland’s opening drive, where T-Rich cut and read like a five-year vet, gaining 26 yards — we may never know, but we can only assume coach Rob Chudzinski and OC Norval Turner won’t make the same mistake again. Turner vowed as much on Thursday. Unless T-Rich picked up an unknown injury that limited his workload and ineffectiveness, he’s a veritable guarantee to surpass 20 carries in a game that should serve as a corrective to last week’s embarrassing game plan. … Stevan Ridley was in real danger of an extended stay in coach Bill Belichick’s doghouse and limited action against the Jets before Shane Vereen (wrist surgery) went down. Now, he’ll likely be the centerpiece of the offense with Tom Brady painfully short on weapons. The threat of another fumble — and benching — makes him more of a middle-of-the-road RB2 play than high-end one, but LeGarrette Blount and Brandon Bolden (knee) are not threats to his backfield supremacy.

The Redskins’ run defense isn’t as bad as LeSean McCoy made it look the other night, but it’s also half as imposing as San Francisco’s. Making his home debut, expect Eddie Lacy to tack about 1.5-2.0 yards onto his Week 1 2.9 YPC. … Darren Sproles caught six passes for 88 yards in Sunday’s win over the Falcons. That’s going to be a common occurrence, as usual, this season. … Maybe Chad Henne will bring out the RB1 that some still believe is inside Maurice Jones-Drew. My advice? Believe it when you see it. … We talked about David Wilson’s predicament earlier in the week, but the short of it? The Giants still need him. Tom Coughlin has admitted as much. This is not a player who has run out of chances, and though he may find himself in “only” the 15-20 touch range this week, Wilson still controls his own destiny. We’ll be entering a brave new world if Wilson fumbles again, but for now he’s still an RB2/FLEX that isn’t seriously threatened by the presence of mediocre backup Da’Rel Scott, or used up veteran Brandon Jacobs.

Monitor Daryl Richardson’s health, even though we know he’s going to play. Fresh off his one-game suspension, backup Isaiah Pead could be in for 6-8 touches this weekend. … Coming off a strong outing against a stout run defense, DeAngelo Williams is an intriguing FLEX play against the Bills’ swinging gate run D. … Knowshon Moreno will likely lead the Broncos in touches for the second consecutive week, but it’s a situation to avoid if at all possible. … Avoid the Chris Ivory/Bilal Powell road show. … Joique Bell has serious upside, but it’s still far too early to consider him an every-week starter. He’ll need a Reggie Bush injury to come into consistent fantasy value. … There’s not a more appealing handcuff in fantasy football than Ben Tate, but despite his impressive Week 1 performance, there’s still no real reason to believe he’ll be anything other than a dice-roll FLEX option. … The nine carries Bryce Brown received in Week 1 should be close to his weekly floor.    

Week 2 Wide Receivers 

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Calvin Johnson at ARZ -
2 A.J. Green vs. PIT -
3 Brandon Marshall vs. MIN -
4 Demaryius Thomas at NYG -
5 Dez Bryant at KC Probable (foot)
6 Vincent Jackson vs. NO -
7 Jordy Nelson vs. WAS -
8 Victor Cruz vs. DEN -
9 Julio Jones vs. STL -
10 Andre Johnson vs. TEN -
11 Randall Cobb vs. WAS -
12 Pierre Garcon at GB -
13 Reggie Wayne vs. MIA -
14 Larry Fitzgerald vs. DET Questionable (hamstring)
15 Wes Welker at NYG Probable (ankle)
16 Hakeem Nicks vs. DEN -
17 Antonio Brown at CIN -
18 Steve Smith at BUF -
19 Dwayne Bowe vs. DAL -
20 Marques Colston at TB Probable (-)
21 DeSean Jackson vs. SD -
22 Anquan Boldin at SEA -
23 Torrey Smith vs. CLE -
24 Eric Decker at NYG Probable (shoulder)
25 Mike Williams vs. NO -
26 Julian Edelman vs. NYJ -
27 Miles Austin at KC -
28 Cecil Shorts at OAK Probable (groin)
29 James Jones vs. WAS -
30 Mike Wallace at IND -
31 Stevie Johnson vs. CAR -
32 Lance Moore at TB -
33 Chris Givens at ATL -
34 T.Y. Hilton vs. MIA -
35 Roddy White vs. STL -
36 Brian Hartline at IND -
37 Andre Roberts vs. DET Probable (quadriceps)
38 Michael Floyd vs. DET -
39 Emmanuel Sanders at CIN -
40 Greg Jennings at CHI -
41 Golden Tate vs. SF -
42 Alshon Jeffery vs. MIN -
43 Rueben Randle vs. DEN -
44 Malcom Floyd at PHI -
45 Kenbrell Thompkins vs. NYJ -
46 Vincent Brown at PHI -
47 Greg Little at BAL -
48 Kenny Britt at HOU -
49 Tavon Austin at ATL -
50 Sidney Rice vs. SF Probable (knee)
51 Rod Streater vs. JAC -
52 Nate Burleson at ARZ -
53 Denarius Moore vs. JAC -
54 DeAndre Hopkins vs. TEN -
55 Santonio Holmes at NE -
56 Stephen Hill at NE -
57 Marlon Brown vs. CLE -
58 Nate Washington at HOU -
59 Brandon LaFell at BUF -
60 Brandon Gibson at IND -
61 Davone Bess at BAL Probable (-)
62 Leonard Hankerson at GB -
63 Jerricho Cotchery at CIN -
64 Josh Morgan at GB -
65 Robert Woods vs. CAR -
66 Darrius Heyward-Bey vs. MIA -
67 Donnie Avery vs. DAL -
68 Doug Baldwin vs. SF -
69 Kyle Williams at SEA -
70 Dexter McCluster vs. DAL -

WR Notes: Stranger things have happened than Danny Amendola (groin) playing through a doubtful tag — seeing as he did so last season with the Rams — but it’s not going to happen. Amendola is absent from this week’s ranks, and should be considered highly questionable for Week 3. … Roddy White (ankle) is going to be active against the Rams, but has already all but admitted he’ll be limited to decoy duties for the second consecutive week. White's upside is such that he can't fall any farther down the rankings, but don't have any illusions: He’s an extremely high-risk WR2/3. If you have a plug-and-play backup, say Julian Edelman, benching White is unlikely to come back to haunt you. … What if I told you Brandon Marshall drew at least 10 targets for the 13th time in 17 games as a Bear last weekend? It would be the most boring “30 For 30” in history. Marshall is who we thought he was. … Larry Legend lives. Larry Fitzgerald’s eight catches and 14 targets were both one off his 2012 highs, while his two scores are already halfway to his 2012 total. Still every bit the physical specimen he was during the Kurt Warner years, Fitz is going to make like Reggie Wayne and be the man under the man Bruce Arians.

Save for last year’s finger issue, Dez Bryant (foot) has never been terribly effective playing through injury, but his full participation in Wednesday’s practice was an excellent sign. Even if he’s downgraded to “limited” on Thursday, it will just be a means of managing his reps. He’ll be ready to roll against the Chiefs. … The Saints’ defensive coordinator is different, but the personnel is largely the same. That means Vincent Jackson should at least approach the 6.5/149/0.5 he averaged against New Orleans in 2012. … Doing work after the catch and toe-tapping up the sideline, Jordy Nelson looked every bit his 2011 self on Sunday, and his 2011-self was the No. 2 receiver in all of fantasy. He’s an every-week WR1. … Even with promising rookie DeAndre Hopkins snagging five passes for 66 yards Monday, Andre Johnson’s 16 targets were still second amongst all receivers in Week 1. Instead of a precursor to a breakdown, Johnson’s injury-ruined 2011 is looking more like an anomaly.

At least for one week, Hakeem Nicks looked ready to put his injury-marred 2012 behind him, gaining separation and doing work after the catch. His 57-yard catch in the first quarter — his first of the season — was longer than any he had in 2012. … Few players had more concerning Week 1s than Dwayne Bowe, who drew just six targets, zero of which came in the first 27 minutes of the game. Alex Smith’s average depth of target, 4.9 yards, was last amongst all quarterbacks in Week 1. The duo’s “connection” might be best summed up in this image from Ryan Forbes. … Anquan Boldin led all receivers in catches, yards and targets. So why is he only No. 22? Because we’re still talking about a player who averaged 61.2 yards per game in 60 contests between 2009-12. It’s quite possible he’s hit on a dream scenario, but 60 minutes of football simply isn’t enough to elevate him to every-week WR2 status.

Eric Decker’s abysmal Week 1 — two catches, a dropped touchdown, another drop, an offensive pass interference penalty and fumble out of bounds — isn’t the concern. Everyone has a bad game every now and then. It’s the presence of the league’s preeminent YAC warrior, Demaryius Thomas, and the most wide open receiver in football, Wes Welker, ahead of him that merits worry. Throw in the emergence of Julius Thomas, and there simply aren’t 85 balls to be caught for the walk-year wideout. The 6-foot-3 Decker should still get plenty of attention in the red zone, but he’s going to be a boom-or-bust WR3 who probably busts more than he booms. … One of the most intriguing players of Week 2, Julian Edelman is going to soak up targets Thursday evening. He’s a high-end WR2 for PPR purposes, and someone you should be looking for ways to start in standard leagues. … It was just one week, but Miles Austin looked every bit the rejuvenated player he was in the preseason. With Dez Bryant likely to be bracketed early and often, Austin will have some serious WR3 mojo provided his hamstrings cooperate.

Cecil Shorts had five six-catch performances last season. Four of them came with Chad Henne taking the majority of Jacksonville’s quarterback snaps. The reality is, Shorts has produced with both Henne and Blaine Gabbert under center, and if Henne was really that much of an upgrade, he’d be starting somewhere else. But anyone who watched Sunday’s game knows Henne is Shorts’ best hope, and the main reason he should be in for a solid WR3 performance against a Raiders secondary starting retreads Tracy Porter and Mike Jenkins. … James Jones and Mike Wallace: Probably going to combine for more than one catch this week. … The “first thing” the Colts coaches talked about after Sunday’s win was getting T.Y. Hilton more involved in the offense. He still has WR3 appeal. … Andre Roberts was all over the field against the Rams, getting open underneath at will. He has some serious PPR upside. … Rueben Randle is going to be inconsistent playing behind stars Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks, but Sunday’s 5/101 night is why he needs to be 100 percent owned.

Week 2 Tight Ends 

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Jimmy Graham at TB -
2 Jason Witten at KC -
3 Vernon Davis at SEA -
4 Tony Gonzalez vs. STL -
5 Jared Cook at ATL -
6 Greg Olsen at BUF -
7 Jordan Cameron at BAL -
8 Julius Thomas at NYG -
9 Jermichael Finley vs. WAS Probable (toe)
10 Martellus Bennett vs. MIN -
11 Antonio Gates at PHI -
12 Owen Daniels vs. TEN Probable (back)
13 Brandon Myers vs. DEN -
14 Kyle Rudolph at CHI -
15 Coby Fleener vs. MIA -
16 Fred Davis at GB -
17 Brent Celek vs. SD -
18 Kellen Winslow at NE -
19 Jermaine Gresham vs. PIT -
20 Dallas Clark vs. CLE -
21 Zach Miller vs. SF -
22 Brandon Pettigrew at ARZ -
23 Tyler Eifert vs. PIT -
24 Dwayne Allen vs. MIA Doubtful (hip)
25 Scott Chandler vs. CAR -
26 Anthony Fasano vs. DAL -
27 Charles Clay at IND -
28 Delanie Walker at HOU -
29 Allen Reisner at OAK -
30 Zach Ertz vs. SD -
31 Michael Hoomanawanui vs. NYJ -
32 Luke Stocker vs. NO -
33 Ed Dickson vs. CLE -
34 Joseph Fauria at ARZ -
35 David Paulson at CIN -
36 Vance McDonald at SEA -

TE Notes: Jared Cook moved like a receiver as he torched the Cardinals for 7/141/2, and displayed a Terrell Owens-like catch radius. It wouldn’t be shocking if last week goes down as his best statistical game of the season, but he proved what everybody besides the Titans already knew: He’s a TE1. … Jordan Cameron’s nine catches against the Dolphins put him within 17 of doubling his previous career total before the month is through.

Julius Thomas will be in the same crowded boat as Eric Decker going forward, but someone he’s got in his corner? Peyton Manning. "He’s an athlete, he’s a big guy that can really run and he really is taking advantage of the time with the starters and has made the most of it," Manning said after Thomas’ 5/110/2 outburst last Thursday. "I think he’ll play a big role for our team this year." Every-week TE1 status could end up a stretch for a player competing with Decker, Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker for balls, but Thomas’ talent is real. He’ll need to remain 100 percent owned even if he has a down Week 2.

Monitor Jermichael Finley’s (toe) health. He’s a candidate for a big weekend drop in the rankings. … Kellen Winslow’s seven-catch, 79-yard performance against the Bucs had “fluke” written all over it, but going up against a Patriots defense that does not defense tight ends well (just ask Rumford Johnny), there are worse TE2 plays. … Scott Chandler, bless his heart, tries hard, but there’s not a less athletic skill player in the entire NFL. It’s a problem if he’s on your team. … Zach Sudfeld’s NFL debut was a dud whose only lasting effect was a hamstring injury. The TE1 dream is already over.

The preseason worry was that Jermaine Gresham and Tyler Eifert would cancel each other out. So what did they do Sunday? Cancel each other out. Eifert has more upside, but Gresham remains the better weekly bet for catches. … Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler were two of the worst players we saw on tape last season, and Sunday was perhaps an indication the Lions saw the same thing. The duo combined for only two catches and five targets, while undrafted rookie Joseph Fauria caught three passes for 27 yards and a touchdown. Cash in on Pettigrew’s name recognition in a trade while you still can.

Week 2 Kickers 

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Matt Bryant vs. STL -
2 Blair Walsh at CHI -
3 Stephen Gostkowski vs. NYJ -
4 Matt Prater at NYG -
5 Justin Tucker vs. CLE -
6 Sebastian Janikowski vs. JAC Probable (calf)
7 David Akers at ARZ -
8 Josh Brown vs. DEN -
9 Randy Bullock vs. TEN -
10 Greg Zuerlein at ATL -
11 Dan Bailey at KC -
12 Adam Vinatieri vs. MIA -
13 Garrett Hartley at TB -
14 Phil Dawson at SEA -
15 Rian Lindell vs. NO -
16 Josh Scobee at OAK -
17 Steven Hauschka vs. SF -
18 Ryan Succop vs. DAL -
19 Caleb Sturgis at IND -
20 Mason Crosby vs. WAS -
21 Nick Novak at PHI -
22 Jay Feely vs. DET -
23 Robbie Gould vs. MIN -
24 Alex Henery vs. SD -
25 Rob Bironas at HOU -
26 Mike Nugent vs. PIT -
27 Nick Folk at NE -
28 Graham Gano at BUF -
29 Dan Carpenter vs. CAR -
30 Shayne Graham at CIN -
31 Billy Cundiff at BAL -
32 John Potter at GB -

Week 2 Defense/Special Teams 

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Patriots Def/Spec Team vs. NYJ -
2 Bears Def/Spec Team vs. MIN -
3 Bengals Def/Spec Team vs. PIT -
4 Texans Def/Spec Team vs. TEN -
5 Seahawks Def/Spec Team vs. SF -
6 Fortyniners Def/Spec Team at SEA -
7 Panthers Def/Spec Team at BUF -
8 Broncos Def/Spec Team at NYG -
9 Ravens Def/Spec Team vs. CLE -
10 Raiders Def/Spec Team vs. JAC -
11 Dolphins Def/Spec Team at IND -
12 Cardinals Def/Spec Team vs. DET -
13 Browns Def/Spec Team at BAL -
14 Cowboys Def/Spec Team at KC -
15 Falcons Def/Spec Team vs. STL -
16 Eagles Def/Spec Team vs. SD -
17 Chargers Def/Spec Team at PHI -
18 Rams Def/Spec Team at ATL -
19 Steelers Def/Spec Team at CIN -
20 Lions Def/Spec Team at ARZ -
21 Vikings Def/Spec Team at CHI -
22 Colts Def/Spec Team vs. MIA -
23 Packers Def/Spec Team vs. WAS -
24 Saints Def/Spec Team at TB -
25 Chiefs Def/Spec Team vs. DAL -
26 Giants Def/Spec Team vs. DEN -
27 Buccaneers Def/Spec Team vs. NO -
28 Redskins Def/Spec Team at GB -
29 Titans Def/Spec Team at HOU -
30 Bills Def/Spec Team vs. CAR -
31 Jets Def/Spec Team at NE -
32 Jaguars Def/Spec Team at OAK -