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NFL Fantasy Week 2: Start ‘em, sit ‘em – quarterbacks

Aaron Rodgers gave his owners a scare Sunday night when he left the game limping before he put up enough NFL Fantasy points. Fortunately, he came back and made up for lost time with three second-half touchdowns and saved their week. His final tally of 24.84 is what we expect from the future Hall of Famer.

What about those quarterbacks who don’t seem as dedicated to delivering us an NFL Fantasy League Championship? It’s like they are not even paying attention to our needs. Sometimes, we still need to start ‘em. Sometimes we need to sit ‘em. Here’s what we’re doing with a few of these questionable quarterbacks in Week 2:

Start this guy: Case Keenum vs. Oakland

Case Keenum threw an uncharacteristic three interceptions last week, including one to Earl Thomas as he was getting off the bus to report to the Seahawks. Without those three picks, Keenum was the QB-5. Instead, he slid to #13, killing my start ‘em recommendation of last week.

Keenum only had seven interceptions all last season in Minnesota. He still has receivers who can go get the ball in Denver. Keenum was as shocked as anyone after the game and promised to take care of the ball better this week.

So, I’m rolling with Keenum again in Week 2. Three touchdowns and 300 yards could happen again with the Raiders visiting the Mile-High City. Three interceptions- not as likely.

Sit this guy: Tyrod Taylor at New Orleans

New Orleans’ defense is supposed to be one of the up-and-coming units in the NFL. NFL Fantasy owners who, as you know, are the smartest people in the world, made the Saints D/ST a top-ten draft choice. Then they let a 70-year-old guy with a Santa Claus beard put 48 points (and 44 NFL Fantasy points) on the board.

Someone has to pay for that and Tyrod Taylor is next to visit. Taylor’s running ability provides him a solid floor. He might be running for his life in New Orleans, but I don’t see enough opportunity for points from the Browns’ passing game. Taylor’s legs could salvage a 15-point NFL Fantasy showing, which will be just outside the top-12 territory.

Start this guy: Jimmy Garoppolo vs. Detroit

Detroit’s defense is not exactly enamored of their Week 1 performance either, when they let a 12-year-old score at will in their own stadium. But Detroit does not have the amount of skill players New Orleans has and they are certainly not on par with the Minnesota Vikings, who frustrated Garoppolo in Week 1.

This comes down to Garoppolo’s will to rebound being stronger than Detroit’s DST. Half his passes might go to Matt Breida and George Kittle, but they will add up to a bunch of NFL Fantasy points for the Niners’ quarterback. The home crowd will be a factor as Jimmy gets back on track in time for a shootout.

Sit this guy: Ryan Fitzpatrick at Philadelphia

New Orleans never saw Ryan Fitzpatrick coming last week. Whether they were looking past the veteran or simply believed reports of New Orleans’ inevitable fast start and the Buccaneers’ predictions of doom is unimportant.

What is important in Week 2 is that the Philadelphia Eagles will not be surprised. Philadelphia’s defense made veteran Matt Ryan look confused and ordinary with comparable weapons.

My wife pointed out to me that if Ryan Fitzpatrick is only half as good in Week 2, he’ll be a top-ten NFL Fantasy QB. I’m saying Philadelphia makes this another ugly game to watch and hands Fitzpatrick an even uglier NFL Fantasy result.

Start this guy: Matthew Stafford at San Francisco

We know Matthew Stafford is a strong guy who bounces back from physical injuries and rarely comes out of a game. This week, we’ll see how well he recovers from an ego-crushing, psychological beating incurred in front of a national television audience.

Odds are in Stafford’s favor. For one thing, the Jets let Stafford know they had his hand signals memorized. New York knew what was coming before the ball was snapped. Despite that, Stafford managed to lead two touchdown drives and was “only” intercepted four times.

Stafford has taken some blows to the head, but we trust he is sensible enough to change his hand signals before the 49ers game. He also faces a lesser defensive backfield. Stafford is normally worth a few less NFL Fantasy points on the road but watch for an ego-rebuilding game in San Francisco.

Sit this guy: Derek Carr at Denver

Derek Carr is probably closer to the passer who competed 20 of 24 first half passes Monday night than the three-interception menace who showed up for the second half. Part of that might have been the unadjusted game plan which the Rams, as well as everyone watching in television land, had long figured out.

Not that avoiding the Rams’ pair of cornerbacks by throwing to your tight end and halfbacks is a bad idea. But what does he do this week against Denver? They are not the Rams, but they are not bad.

Carr gets his wide receivers more involved this week with mixed results. The thin air of Denver won’t help matters as the early season continues to spin out of control for Oakland.

Extra Points: Manning and Bortles

Call me crazy, but I have a good feeling about Eli Manning this week. That’s the same Eli who, even without a tipped pick-6 wouldn’t have made the Week 1 top-20 NFL Fantasy scorer list, despite Odell Beckham. For some reason, I have this thought of multiple touchdowns and 350 yards. I can’t shake it.

On the other hand, I couldn’t help but notice that a Patriots defense being coordinated by the man himself, Bill Belichick, did not come out with their traditional slow start against Houston. It makes me wonder if Blake Bortles is destined for a negative NFL Fantasy score in Week 2.

Full disclosure: Week 1 is hard!

A correct start ‘em choice is a quarterback who finishes as a top-12 NFL Fantasy scorer at his position. I gave you guys the 13th, 14th, and 15th QB (Keenum, Newton, and Goff). If they played the right teams, they still outscored their opponents, but that’s not good enough for NFL fantasy. I did hit the fourth QB start (QB-5 Rodgers vs Khalil Mack.) and three of the four QB sits (Garoppolo, Foles, and Carr). Pat Mahomes’ QB-4 game held me to a .500 week.

But this week will be better! I promise.

Got a question about your NFL Fantasy roster? Put it in the comments below or post it on my Facebook page!