New Orleans @ Tampa Bay
New Orleans LB Scott Fujita is one of the most under rated fantasy LB’s in the NFL. He isn’t flashy, but by games end, he fills up the box score. If CB Jason David continues to get beat the way Peyton Manning and Co. were able to expose him, he could be a very productive fantasy CB. But don’t jump the gun on David, Manning practiced against him every day last year in Indianapolis, so he knew his weaknesses.
Buc’s LB Barrett Rudd silenced those calling for recently signed Jeremiah Trotter to start at MLB. Rudd was a stud this past Sunday, with 10 solo tackles, 3 assists and a forced fumble that he recovered. DB Jermaine Phillips was also impressive with 8 solo tackles and a sack. But the guy to watch out for with Tampa Bay is rookie CB Tanard Jackson. He is just raw enough to be picked on, and good enough to make the tackle afterwards.
Atlanta @ Jacksonville
Atlanta DE’s were dismal a week ago. But that should not give you reason to sit them this week. Both Jammal Anderson and John Abraham are strong plays this week. It may be time to cut bait with LB Demorrio Williams, as he is losing playing time to the more athletic rookie, Stephen Nicholas. Williams was productive in terms of fantasy stats in 2005, but a liability to his team.
Mike Peterson looked as good as ever, and should be a solid fantasy LB every week. The rookie FS Reggie Nelson was very productive in his first start, but typically the FS isn’t productive in the Jags defensive scheme, so hold off on overpaying for him. DT Marcus Stroud had a huge game, but should be sold off now, before week 2, and he loses his high value right now.
Cincinnati @ Cleveland
Bengal’s LB Landon Johnson will continue to be over looked by many, but is extremely productive and undervalued. S Madieu Williams and S Dexter Jackson both look to be more involved in stopping the run, than in years past. But considering this opponent, Id be weary of starting anyone unless I had too. Cleveland isn’t likely to be able to sustain any drives long enough for any defensive player to be very productive.
Many expected much more out of LB Andra Davis last week, playing the rushing attack of the Steelers. Don’t give up on Davis, even after an average week 1. DE Orpheus Roye had a strong performance with 6 solo tackles. A player to keep an eye on is 2nd year LB D’Qwell Jackson. He outplayed fellow LB Andra Davis week 1, and could do it more often in the upcoming weeks.
Indianapolis @ Tennessee
The Colts D was the surprise of week 1. They completely shut down the high powered Saints offese. CB Marlin Jackson was a stud in this game with 8 solo tackles and 4 assists. He is a solid option this week at the DB position. DE Robert Mathis continues to perform, while fellow DE Dwight Freeney gets the pub, and the double teams. Expect the LB’s to be more involved this week, with Vince Young and the Titans rushing game already hitting its stride.
If there are any owners panicking over Keith Bulluck’s weak performance in week 1, this is the time to acquire him. Every year someone gives up on a stud too soon, and it usually costs them dearly in the long run. CB Nick Harper is very aggressive in run support, and could be in for a break out season, if he can stay healthy. Expect more from Kyle Vanden Bosch, than a goose egg this week. He may not get a sack vs. Manning and Co., but he should be active against the run.
Houston @ Carolina
DeMeco Ryans has picked right up where he left off a year ago. The talented 2nd yr LB is a must start every week, and should be one of the top 2 or 3 LB’s in week 2. DE Mario Williams is finally showing the promise the Texans hoped when they picked him #1 a year ago. Finally, CB Jamar Fletcher is a sleeper candidate that deserves your attention in the next few weeks.
Panthers safety Chris Harris, who took over for recently retired Mike Minter is already making a name for himself in the Carolina defensive backfield. Harris is definitely worth adding to your roster if available in deep leagues. LB Dan Morgan escaped week 1, concussion free, so if he has another nice game, it may be time to sell him while his value is at its peak. It’s not a matter of if Morgan will get hurt again, but instead when.
San Francisco @ St Louis
Week 1 was a very productive week for rookie and 1st time starters on defense. Patrick Willis is no exception, and he looks scary good right now. Willis stands out the way Shawne Merriman did 2 seasons ago, with his reckless and relentless style of play. DB Michael Lewis was very disappointing in week 1, but could see a nice rebound vs. the Rams rushing attack.
The Rams had strong performances through out their defense, as Carolina ran the ball down their throat all afternoon. Those thinking of benching LB Will Witherspoon because of his 6 tackle performance, 4th highest from a Panther defense, a week ago, reconsider immediately. There is a reason you took Witherspoon as one of your top 2 LB’s. Start him this week vs. San Francisco.
Buffalo @ Pittsburgh
The Bills as a whole on defense were a bend but not break unit in week 1. 470 yard of offense is huge, but the Bronco’s only managed 15 pts, the last 3 as the clock expired. Buffalo rookie LB Paul Posluszny was spectacular in his NFL debut. As was the backup DB Jim Leonhard, filling in for injured Ko Simpson. But lets not carried away with this performance from the young DB. This is the perfect time to sell him while some consider him hot.
Pittsburgh LB James Harrison was dominant in a limited number of snaps vs. the Browns last week. He should be considered a solid addition to deeper teams. CB Ike Taylor is another Steeler who had a strong performance week 1. Against Buffalo, expect more of the same from Taylor, as they will be forced to pass to stay competitive.
Green Bay @ NY Giants
The Packers stole one from the Eagles a week ago, and the injury to Eli couldn’t have come at a better time for the Packer quest to go 2-0. Nick Barnett showed signs of 2004, with a huge performance vs. Philly, and S Atari Bigby played very well in his first NFL start. Bigby is a nice waiver wire addition that could pay off immediately. Expect the Green Bay pass rush to be extremely productive against the Giants and their backup QB.
The Giant lost DE Osi Umenyoria in the first quarter of last week’s game, and he could be gone a while. DE Justin Tuck is likely to step into his starting spot, but LB Mathias Kiwanuka could also be moved back to DE, and LB Gerris Wilkerson would start at outside linebacker in that scenario. DE Michael Strahan was solid after his long holdout, and should be a must start this week vs. Green Bay.
Seattle @ Arizona
The Seattle defense is loaded with IDP playmakers, starting with MLB Lofa Tatupu and OLB Julian Peterson. DE Patrick Kerney is everything the Seahawks had hoped in week 1. Expect big things from all the usual suspects on the Seattle defense, and add one more name to the list this week, DE Darryl Tapp.
Arizona was very impressive a week ago on defense, especially LB Karlos Dansby (11 total tackles), and DB Adrian Wilson (10 total tackles). But outside of these 2 players, this team had very few solid scoring players for fantasy owners, and that could continue again this week vs. Seattle. LB Gerald Hayes seemed a step behind Dansby, to just about every running play.
Dallas @ Miami
Dallas will be playing again without CB Terrance Newman and LB Greg Ellis in week 2. Roy Williams is already more productive in his role in this defense than a year ago. Demarcus Ware was a no factor in week 1, but vs. Trent Green, expect better production this week. Keep and eye on rookie DE Anthony Spencer as a deep sleeper.
Miami LB Zach Thomas is as good as it gets at the LB position. When you think IDP LB of the last 5 years, his name should be at the top of that list. Obviously he is a must start every week, as is DE Jason Taylor. But the one to keep an eye on in future weeks is DE Matt Roth. Roth had 5 solo tackles a week ago, and has a motor to accumulate up to 10 sacks this season.
Minnesota @ Detroit
The Minnesota defense was scary good in week 1. LB Chad Greenway was a beast in his first NFL game, with 10 total tackles. But LB EJ Henderson over shadowed that strong performance with 7 solo tackles and 2 sacks. Expect more of the same this week, as Detroit will have a hard time running on the Vikes front 7, so Kitna will be forced to throw it early and often, which opens up sack opportunities.
Many owners are asking themselves, is LB Paris Lenon fools gold, or is he legit in the middle of the Lions D. Its hard to overlook 9 solo tackles and 2 assists, and he seems to be a strong start this week against the Vikings rushing attack. But I would be cautious about giving up the farm to acquire him just yet. DE Dwayne White is another that had a monster first game, that is in line for a huge drop off from that production, this week.
NY Jets @ Baltimore
Jets DE Kenyon Coleman is the ultimate fools gold for week 2. Those spending huge amounts to acquire him, should reconsider. LB Jonathon Vilma still is not the player he was in 2005, and may never be again for fantasy owners in this defensive scheme. DB Eric Coleman should be big in this weeks match up against the Ravens.
Ray Lewis was injured a week ago, but is said to be day to day. His status for next Sunday is unknown at the moment, so keep an eye on this situation, or if you have quality depth, just avoid this situation completely. LB Bart Scott has the most to gain, if Lewis is out, but was a non factor last week vs the Bengals. DE Suggs and LB Johnson could be solid options as well, against an inexperienced QB on the road.
Oakland @ Denver
Kirk Morrison is an obvious start this week, but lets look a little deeper at the Raiders defense. S Michael Huff is coming into his own, but at the expense of S Stuart Schweigert.. LB Thomas Howard is a strong play this week vs. the Bronco’s. Expect more than 6 tackles this week, and for him to challenge Morrison’s production.
DJ Williams’s 7 solo tackles, 2 assists, and a sack, was a very productive start for the Bronco’s new middle linebacker. Another strong performance was recorded by LB Nate Webster, but beware, he is fools gold. Rarely do SLB score well consistently from week to week, and Webster is no different. Someone to start keeping an eye on is DE Elvis Dumervil.
Kansas City @ Chicago
The Chiefs offensive woes are an added bonus for those owning chiefs IDP players. LB’s Napoleon Harris, Derrick Johnson, and DE Tamba Hali were all productive a week ago, and all should be again this week. But players to keep an eye on are S Benard Pollard and Jarrad Page. Both of these guys could be very productive DB’s by midseason.
Bears S Mike Brown was lost for the year, again. Which opens up the door for SAdam Archuleta and S Daniel Manning to pick up the slack. Manning is available in most redraft leagues and could be a solid option in future weeks. Though this week, the only production from this defense should come from the pass rush and the two stud LB’s Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher.
San Diego @ New England
Charges LB Stephen Cooper may be the most coveted LB in San Diego. And he did not disappoint last week. If somehow he is available in your league, act fast. As usual, LB Shawne Merriman is a hit or miss player. When he is on, there are few better, as he can rack up sacks in a hurry, but when he is off, he is not startable, and this could be one more of those ugly weeks.
New England S Eugene Wilson is a smart buy right now. His production should stay high the next few weeks, with S Rodney Harrison sitting due to suspension. DE Jarvis Green is also getting a lot of love after his 2 sack performance, and many see this is the year he busts out like DE Ty Warren did a year ago.
Washington @ Philadelphia
HC Joe Gibbs said in a news conference the 2 players who spent the most time in the film room this off season were QB Jason Campbell and LB Rocky McIntosh. Looks like that has started to pay off for McIntosh already. The WLB had a huge game, and is flying all over the field making plays. McIntosh is the real deal, get him if you can. As always London Fletcher is a must, start, but so is the Washington secondary in this match up with Philadelphia.
The Eagles MLB Omar Gaither was a huge disappointment for owners in week 1, but this is the time to buy him at his lowest value. Mike Patterson on the other hand put up 7 tackles, 2 assists, and a sack. So this is the time to sell him to the highest bidder. Those owners worried about DE Trent Cole’s playing time, need not to worry any longer. He was fresh in the 4th quarter, and very productive. Expect more of the same vs. the Eagles this week.