Evan Silva

Matchups

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Week 2 Game Matchups

Friday, September 18, 2009




Cincinnati @ Green Bay

Aaron Rodgers didn't meet Week 1 expectations due to Chicago's relentless pressure. Bears LE Adewale Ogunleye owned RT Allen Barbre, sacking Rodgers twice. Chicago doled out four total Rodgers takedowns and ten QB hits. The athletic yet undersized Barbre (6'4/305) gets a more favorable matchup this week against Bengals LE Robert Geathers, who is faster than O-Gun but not nearly as powerful and plays with an iffy motor. Geathers was stoned by Broncos RT Ryan Harris last week, registering just three assists. A-Rod will benefit...Cincinnati's defense has improved, but Green Bay presents a mismatch. The Bengals are awfully thin at corner with David Jones (foot) still out. The Packers would be smart to spread the field with their four starting-caliber wideouts and expose this weakness. That could also mean more lanes for Ryan Grant.

This is not a good matchup for Carson Palmer, but Palmer owners need not worry after his weak on-paper (no TD, two picks) Week 1 effort. Palmer consistently moved the offense and exhibited superb arm strength. The fantasy stats will catch up...Green Bay got excellent push up front last Sunday night and bottled up Matt Forte for 55 yards on 25 carries. Expect a similar line from Cedric Benson, who won't be helped by the return of Packers first-round pick B.J. Raji (ankle)...Chad Ochocinco is an every-week starter again. He'll square off with both Al Harris and Charles Woodson at times Sunday, but mostly the 34-year-old Harris, who lines up on Ocho's side in base formations...Don't expect a repeat of slot receiver Andre Caldwell's 6-for-54 Week 1. The Bengals want to get Chris Henry more involved after he saw just 18 snaps in the opener.

St. Louis @ Washington

John Carlson lived behind the Rams' defense in Week 1 as SS James Butler and FS O.J. Atogwe consistently bit on play-action fakes. Washington uses a ton of play action, and Chris Cooley is next to benefit. He'll mostly face Butler, who the Giants let go due to coverage woes...Clinton Portis' Week 1 line (16-62) wasn't impressive, but the overworked two-down back showed he has life in his legs with a 33-yard burst on his opening carry. He was never going to fare well against the Giants, but the Adam Carriker-less Rams won't win the trench war. Sell high after Portis' big game...Antwaan Randle El's move to slot receiver may add a few years onto his career. St. Louis is weak at slot corner. The Skins shouldn't have to pass 30 times to beat the Rams, but Randle El remains a fine PPR dice roll...Expect Santana Moss to have the biggest game by a Redskins wideout as he sees RCB Jonathan Wade in primary coverage. Wade can run with Moss, but struggles with technique and was victimized for most of Nate Burleson's 7-74-1 line last week.

The Skins' run defense will improve once Albert Haynesworth gets in shape, but he isn't yet. Giants backs generated 134 yards against Washington in Week 1. Steven Jackson, who will surely be more involved in the passing game after coordinator Pat Shurmur flipped on last week's tape, needs to stay in lineups...After catching five balls for 87 yards against Seattle, Laurent Robinson can stay hot against Skins RCB DeAngelo Hall. Donnie Avery will likely be covered by underrated LCB Carlos Rogers for the majority of Sunday...Still, all St. Louis receivers' ceilings are limited by Marc Bulger. Bulger remains afraid of the pass rush and is no longer an accurate passer.

Carolina @ Atlanta

The Panthers' run defense is as bad as we thought it was. They gave up 119 Week 1 yards on 23 touches to an Eagles backfield consisting of a 30-year-old coming off dual leg surgeries and a second-round rookie. Michael Turner will get on track after averaging just three yards a carry in the opener. He averaged 4.2 yards a crack in his two Panther games last year, and that's when Carolina still had NT Maake Kemoeatu. Turner also scored four TDs in their last meeting...Expect a run-heavy game plan from the Falcons after they threw 36 times last week. Roddy White is obviously an every-week play, but TE Tony Gonzalez is unlikely to repeat his big Week 1. He'll be on the line blocking more...Matt Ryan is close to an every-week fantasy starter, but consider a QB with more upside if you can. The Panthers' strength is their pass defense. They held DeSean Jackson to two catches for nine yards in Week 1, and Kevin Curtis to 21 yards on two grabs.

Atlanta picked up new LCB Brian Williams after final cuts and changed its safety lineup late in the preseason, but it's still unclear if the secondary woes are solved. Week 1 vs. Chad Pennington wasn't a good litmus test. Jake Delhomme probably isn't either, but at least we'll know more after Sunday...In any event, Steve Smith is a top-ten receiver option. He owns Falcons RCB Chris Houston, going for an amazing 264 yards and a touchdown on 14 catches against Houston last year...Muhsin Muhammad, 36, looks slower than ever and is barely roster-able in fantasy leagues, especially with Delhomme struggling. He has no upside...Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams will likely see a similar carry split to last week's. Williams had 14 carries to Stewart's 11. Stewart is getting Wednesday practices off, but his health is not a concern at this time.

4:05PM ET Games

Tampa Bay @ Buffalo

As expected, safety play is a major concern for Tampa Bay. SS Sabby Piscitelli was the victim on Patrick Crayton's 80-yard Week 1 touchdown, and the Bucs too often let short pass plays go for huge gains against Dallas. Even if Trent Edwards stays unaggressive, that's good news for Bills wideouts. Lee Evans and Terrell Owens have the speed to capitalize and should be in fantasy lineups despite slow games on Monday night...Fred Jackson may be the smoothest receiving back in the league. He is also adept at falling forward to pick up extra yards after contact and can make a man miss if needed. The Bucs' run defense remains a work in progress behind new starting LE Jimmy Wilkerson and DT Ryan Sims. Jackson is a rock-solid RB2 play and will be hard for Buffalo to pull off the field when Marshawn Lynch returns from three-game suspension.

With tackle-first, cover-later strong safety Bryan Scott in the lineup, the Bills' Cover 2 defense is weak down the middle. Pats TE Ben Watson exploited that in Week 1, hauling in six balls for 77 yards and two scores. Kellen Winslow has better hands than Watson and plays faster. He'll be a handful for Buffalo...Antonio Bryant's potential absence due to ongoing knee woes will get Michael Clayton more targets, but Clayton still isn't a great bet for high yardage totals. He's no threat after the catch and the Bills' corners all tackle well. Clayton will likely face RCB Leodis McKelvin in primary coverage Sunday. It's not a matchup we love, assuming McKelvin's game-blowing Week 1 kickoff fumble hasn't gotten to his head...The Bucs are now using Earnest Graham to lead block while Carnell Williams and Derrick Ward rotate in the backfield. Cadillac and Ward are both worth consideration as FLEX plays against a Bills defense that won't have Paul Posluszny (arm) and is starting 2008 undrafted free agent Marcus Buggs at middle linebacker.

Seattle @ San Francisco

The Seahawks put up a bunch of fantasy points in Week 1 against the Rams. We'll see if they're for real against a Niners defense that shut down Arizona's vertical passing game last Sunday and was solid against the run. Don't bet on it...T.J. Houshmandzadeh is likely to be held in check for another week by 49ers LCB Nate Clements, who is a better version of Week 1 cover man Ronald Bartell. Housh just can't create anything for himself...As promised by Jim Mora, Julius Jones was used as a feature back vs. St. Louis. Edgerrin James entered in garbage time and looked slow, managing just 30 yards on 11 carries. It appears San Francisco will be tough to run on all year, but Jones is bordering on strong RB2 status. He's even playing on third downs...John Carlson is an excellent player, but he's going to be blocking way more against Mike Singletary's suddenly pressure-filled defense. Don't expect him (or Nate Burleson) to go off like they did in Week 1.

The offense is bound to regress, but this is a very good Seattle front seven, even without WLB LeRoy Hill (torn groin). The line is big and athletic, and LBs Aaron Curry and Lofa Tatupu won't let much get into the second level. Thankfully for Frank Gore owners, his workload will be heavy. Rookie Glen Coffee played just three snaps in Week 1, losing three yards on his lone carry. Gore is a 25-30 touch threat every game...San Francisco is running a decidedly smash-mouth offense under new boss Jimmy Raye; long gone are Mike Martz's four- and five-wide looks. It's a two-receiver system with a lead blocker and frequent two-tight end sets. That means Vernon Davis and Josh Morgan are true every-down players. Morgan started slowly (3-38) against Arizona, but he's worth a long look as a WR3 this week. The Niners' split end will square off against declining RCB Ken Lucas, who was victimized for a healthy chunk of Rams split end Laurent Robinson's 87 Week 1 yards.


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Evan Silva is a senior football editor for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Evan Silva



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