Gregg Rosenthal

Goal Line Stand

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Week 2 Rankings Update

Friday, September 18, 2009

Nothing stays the same in fantasy football; players are either getting better or they are getting worse.

Matt Ryan and the Atlanta passing game is getting better, especially for fantasy purposes.

Ryan threw 36 passes against the Dolphins, six more than he did in any victory last year. (Ryan averaged 23 passes in victories in 2009.) The Falcons aggressively passed throughout the opener despite being in total control of the game throughout the second half. The running game was clearly not working, so offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey let Ryan go to work.

This wasn't Ryan's best game either. His accuracy was off at times, especially deep to Roddy White. But Atlanta's flexible offensive approach allowed him to put up 229 yards and two scores on a mediocre afternoon.

This is the next step for outstanding, every-week fantasy starters: They put up numbers even during blah games. This would not have happened last year.

The shift away from Michael Turner to Matt Ryan was one of the seeds planted in Week One that we'll watch grow for the rest of the season. Owners shouldn't over react to the opener, but they also shouldn't ignore it. Some other big picture takeaways from games I watched in Week one:

1. Either Denver and Cincy's defense are both a lot better than expected (and they did play hard), or the Bengals/Broncos offense has some growing to do. Denver's pass attack especially looked in the embryonic stages under Josh McDaniels, which could slow things down for Brandon Marshall and Eddie Royal for a while. The Bengals moved the ball fairly well, but just came up short on big downs. The Ocho Cinco revival looks for real.

2. Tampa's offense could be a lot friskier than people think. They moved the ball largely at will against Dallas, keyed by a very strong offensive line performance. (Although they just lost center Jeff Faine for 4-6 weeks.) Byron Leftwich will have to throw plenty to keep up with Tampa's poor defense, and both Cadillac Williams and Derrick Ward ran well.

3. Indianapolis' offensive line needs to play a lot better or both Joseph Addai and Donald Brown will disappoint.

Editor's Note: The response to the season premier of Fantasy Fix Live was mind-altering. In a good way. We know it's tough to get through on the phones, so send us your questions via webcam and be part of the show.

Week 2 Quarterbacks

RankPlayer NameOpponentNotes
1Drew Breesat PHI -
2Tom Bradyat NYJ Probable(shoulder)
3Aaron Rodgersvs. CIN -
4Tony Romovs. NYG Probable(ankle)
5Peyton Manningat MIA -
6Matt Ryanvs. CAR -
7Kurt Warnerat JAC -
8Ben Roethlisbergerat CHI -
9Matt Hasselbeckat SF -
10Matt Schaubat TEN -
11Philip Riversvs. BAL -
12Jay Cutlervs. PIT -
13Carson Palmerat GB -
14Joe Flaccoat SD -
15Trent Edwardsvs. TB -
16Eli Manningat DAL -
17Byron Leftwichat BUF -
18Jason Campbellvs. STL -
19Brett Favreat DET -
20David Garrardvs. ARZ -
21Matt Casselvs. OAK Game-time decision (knee)
22Kyle Ortonvs. CLE Probable(finger)
23Shaun Hillvs. SEA -
24Kerry Collinsvs. HOU -
25Chad Penningtonvs. IND -
26Brady Quinnat DEN -
27Kevin Kolbvs. NO -
28JaMarcus Russellat KC -
29Mark Sanchezvs. NE -
30Jake Delhommeat ATL -
31Marc Bulgerat WAS -
32Matthew Staffordvs. MIN -
33Pat Whitevs. IND -

QB Notes: Life without Terrell Owens started smoothly for Tony Romo, to no surprise. The amazing thing about his 327, 13 YPA opener is how many throws Romo missed. The Cowboys are going to see more eight-man fronts than ever before because they are using the run to set up the pass. Defenses will have a hard time matching up; on Roy Williams' 66-yard touchdown, for instance, Williams was lined up in the slot with Jason Witten and Martellus Bennett as the wide receivers. The Dallas line gets a stern test this week against the Giants, but Romo is an every-week must start until proven otherwise.

Tom Brady's performance was uneven against Buffalo and he seemed to feeling the pass rush around him. But the Patriots also moved the ball throughout and owners have to love seeing 53 pass attempts. New England's offensive line, which looked shaky, faces a tougher test this week. … Peyton Manning has his work cut out for him this year with no Anthony Gonzalez (for a while), and a running game that isn't scaring defenses. I wrote this on Twitter already, but it's worth repeating for those who have smartly stayed free of Twitter's grasp: Jacksonville used seven defensive backs at times against the Colts. Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie will have to grow up fast for Manning to put up top-five numbers.

Kurt Warner looked terrible in the opener, but he still put up decent stats. Jacksonville's secondary is very thin. … Matt Schaub and Jay Cutler both may get knocked around this week, but there are big plays to be had against the Tennessee and Pittsburgh secondaries. … Tampa's safety play – Sabby Piscatelli and Jermaine Phillips – was terrible against Dallas. That makes Trent Edwards a sneaky option this week if you need help. Joe Flacco is another fine backup pick if you don't like your starter's matchup.

Byron Leftwich is not a bad pickup you need help at quarterback. He received outstanding protection against Dallas and defenses will load up to stop the Bucs running. Leftwich was somewhat erratic and struggled with touch passes, but he also made some gorgeous throws and the Bucs did not struggle to move the ball. The Tampa receiver group is lame, but they could be passing a lot because their defense is poor. … David Garrard's wide receiver group and lack of protection is going to make life difficult on him.

Note: For of every player ranked here, not to mention Top-200 rankings, Evan Silva's running back report, and a million other goodies, check out Rotoworld's Season Pass.

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Gregg Rosenthal has directed Rotoworld's football content since 2003. He co-hosts the NBC Fantasy Fix and covers the NFL for and Catch him on Twitter.
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