Entering Week 2, we finally have some data on paper. But as I wrote last Sunday, week 1 often gives us quite a few anomalies, so you can't rely on it too much. Still, it's nice to have some real numbers rather than going off of last year and the preseason.
There are a few themes this week. First, play your Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders. The two teams play each other in a game no one wants to watch, but it should give you a good reason to start guys like Maurice Jones-Drew, Darren McFadden and Cecil Shorts with confidence that you may not have in them every week.
Secondly, while I think we were all impressed with the offensive output of the San Diego Chargers against the Houston Texans in Week 1, any Bolts players are a dangerous choice this week, traveling from the West Coast to the East for a 1 p.m. start against Philadelphia. Did you see how sluggish the Seattle Seahawks were against Carolina?
Here are a few start, sit and sleeper suggestions for Week 2.
Start 'em if you got 'em
QB Cam Newton: This should be a no-brainer, but this is here just in case you are hesitant after he struggled in Week 1. The Se ahawks are a lot better than the Bills on defense.
QB Tony Romo: Some might be scared off by bruised ribs, Dez Bryant's injured foot, and playing a KC defense that pitched a shutout last week (the safety shouldn't count against them). But Romo is fine, he barely looked Dez's way on Sunday night and still put up big numbers, and the Chiefs' big day came against Jacksonville for cripe's sake.
RBs Maurice Jones-Drew and Darren McFadden: I mentioned them both in the intro as part of the Jaguars-Raiders tilt, but if you own either, this is the week to play them. Neither defense is very good and both teams will likely lean on their respective running games. Use these two while they are still healthy.
RB Eddie Lacy: Ran hard and overcame a fumble against stout San Francisco defense, he'll have his way with 'Skins, who were torched by Philly's runners.
RB DeAngelo Williams: With no competition for touches and a surprisingly strong effort against Seattle, DeAngelo could play like it's 2009 versus Buffalo.
WR Pierre Garcon: Posted a quiet 7-64-0 line in week 1, should blow up versus Green Bay's sieve-like secondary in Week 2.
WR Mike Wallace: After grumbling about 1 catch for 5 yards in week 1, expect Miami's $60 million man to get a lot more looks versus Indy.
WR Eric Decker: Was the odd-man out on Thursday night, but still got looks. Expect a better game from him against soft Giants secondary.TE Jordan Cameron: He was targeted more than any tight end in the league last week and you saw what Julius Thomas did to the Ravens secondary.
Take a seat, son
QB Philip Rivers: He was impressive in Week 1, but I don't like him traveling West Coast to East Coast for a 1 p.m. game in Philly.
QB Alex Smith: The Cowboys gave up a ton of yardage to Eli Manning, but Smith doesn't have weapons like Nicks and Cruz. Dallas also forced three INTs.
RB David Wilson: Who knows how deep he's in Tom Coughlin's doghouse? Even if he does play, expect running backs to be forgotten in Manning vs. Manning shootout.
RB Fred Jackson: Was surprisingly involved quite a bit coming off the bench. Don't expect CJ Spiller to be as quiet this week.
RB Rashard Mendenhall: After giving up a 73-yard TD to Adrian Peterson on the first carry, the Lions limited him the rest of the game. Mendenhall is no AP.
WR Anquan Boldin: OK, so sitting him probably isn't a great idea, but significantly lower your expectations from his week 1 13-for-203 stat line facing Seattle's Richard Sherman.
WR Marques Colston: Saved his fantasy day last week with a touchdown. This week, he visits Revis Island. This is setting up for a big Brees-to-Graham week.
WR Eddie Royal: Just in case you are distracted by the those two shiny TDs he scored Monday, this is a reminder that Royal isn't worth owning, let alone starting, until he proves he can get it done on a regular basis.
TE Brandon Pettigrew: Don't look at those flashy numbers Jared Cook put up against Arizona and be fooled. If anything, it means more intermediate stuff to Reggie Bush and Joique Bell.
Roll the dice
QB Terrelle Pryor: He put up good numbers and gets the aforementioned Jaguars at home. This is the week to start your Raiders and then sell high. Pryor is a good start in leagues that give 6 points for rushing TDs and only 4 for passing TDs, and is a must-start in two QB leagues.
RB Lamar Miller: He was awful in week 1, but has a much friendlier opponent in Indianapolis this week. He's not a slam dunk, but don't give up on Miller just yet.
WR Marlon Brown: Joe Hayden will lock in on Torrey Smith and Brown will get the start with Jacoby Jones hurt. Flacco's gotta throw the ball to someone.
TE Brent Celek: Doesn't he seem to do this every year? No one drafts him then he turns in a low-end TE1 season. Good match against Bolts.
Philadelphia: I told you it was a theme. If you are streaming defenses this week, I like the Eagles getting a Chargers team traveling West to East on a short week, versus the Raiders against a Jacksonville team going the other direction.