Its Tuesday afternoon, reporting in the aftermath of a wicked (and often unexpected) week one of NFL football. In this segment, we'll take a look at some players that make a good case to come up big in week two. Sometimes you just have to roll the dice on starting players, but it isn't always a dice roll if you know who you can rely on. Fantasy Football 401k here to give you an outlook on this weeks "Good Investments":
Donovan McNabb QB (WAS): Offensive woes continue for the Redskins even with McNabb at the helm...but it isn't a trend that McNabb owners should expect on a regular basis. TE Chris Cooley and WR Santana Moss will provide McNabb with ample opportunity to turn his first season in a Redskins uniform into a successful one. While Donovan didn't look particularly impressive against a tough Dallas secondary, he also didn't look bad. Zero turnovers and 161 yards in the air is more than enough to account for a decent night. This week, Washington will meet a Houston secondary that was TORCHED in last week's game against the Colts for over 400 yards in the air. If the Redskins want to get it done, they will do it in the air...and Donovan McNabb is the guy to do it.
Steve Smith WR (CAR): Let's face facts here: The Panther's quarterback situation isn't exactly a thriller in most fantasy formats. On one side, you have a guy who took over for Jake Delhomme last season and brought Carolina to an even 8-8 record but was held in check by a tough Giants defense (Matt Moore). On the other side, you have an unproven rookie who will still have to wait for his opportunity to take the helm from Moore (Jimmy Clausen). No matter who it is, Steve Smith is still a guy that WILL produce simply because he is such a dynamic player. He is the one and only option at WR in Carolina, so adjust your strategy on deploying Brandon LaFell accordingly. Regardless, he will be seeing an old (and not so good looking) Tampa Bay secondary that underperformed against a BAD Cleveland passing attack. He is a good bet to have a big week.
Anquan Boldin (BAL): Any questions on what role he'd play this coming season were thrown out the window when he took the trip to "Revis Island" and came back with 7 receptions for 110 yards. A key component to a much improved Ravens passing game, Boldin will be the subject of numerous games of 100+ yards. This week, he is up against a Bengals secondary that was, for lack of a better word, awful against the Patriots passing attack. Both the Ravens and the Patriots have a similar approach to the passing game, and I feel Boldin is a good pick for a big day.
Jeremy Maclin WR (PHI): A project in the process of becoming much larger, Maclin plays second fiddle to a guy very well known around the league: Desean "Action" Jackson. He quietly produced a touchdown in last week's game against the Packers, the product of a well-thrown ball by Michael Vick. With Kolb's status unknown, Maclin's chemistry with Vick could build up through week 2 against a Lion's secondary that yielded 362 yards in the air (to nobody's surprise). Expect more of the same as the Eagles look to improve on the passing game with or without Kolb at QB.
Rashard Mendenhall RB (PIT): It isn't much of a surprise that Pittsburgh's passing attack isn't what it would be had Ben Roethlisberger been playing instead of Dennis Dixon. The Steelers will need to return to roots in order to become a functional offense and it begins with an expanded workload for Mr. Mendenhall. Last week, the Titans surrendered 135 yards on the ground to a Raiders run game that is less than spectacular, leading me to believe that the Steelers may have more success on the ground than anything. When all else fails...run the ball.
Ahmad Bradshaw RB (NYG): His role in the Giants' offense has become very clear when he received the majority of carries against Carolina last week. His speed can have defenders chasing the dust that was kicked up at the line of scrimmage. The Colts were absolutely horrendous on the ground, giving up an unacceptable 257 yards on the ground to Arian Foster of the Texans. The Giants are looking early in the season to establish a good run game and they won't be able to do that without a prime performance from Bradshaw. It isn't likely he will eclipse the performance from Foster of last week, but boy could he come close to it.
Zach Miller TE (OAK): While the Oakland offense isn't exactly filled with gems, Miller is a player worth noting. It appears that new acquisition Jason Campbell is likely to be "playing it safe" and looking for targets shallow instead of deep for progress. This situation bodes very well for Zach Miller, who could very well be the teams best receiver even at the TE position. Miller gets a soft Rams defense that gave up 266 yards in the air to the Cardinals. Zach Miller is a great start in most fantasy leagues.
New England DEF: This defensive unit has the pleasure of facing a Jets' offense that was absolutely abysmal in their opening day game against the Ravens. The Patriots have shown they still has gas in the tank, forcing two turnovers and holding the Bengals rushing attack to 87 yards. They won't be seeing an offense like the Bengals have in the Jets, so I'm very confident that Mark Sanchez and the Jets will fall right into the hands of the New England Patriots' defense.
That concludes this week's segment of "Good Investments". Look for next week's blog on quality starts, and best of luck to you this week in Fantasy Football. Fantasy Football 401k is out!