Here we go! The Packers and Bears got Week 2 off to a very uninspiring start, but nonetheless the schedule carries on. I know everyone has changed their opinions wildly on a bunch of players based on one week of the season, but I hope by now you have learned not to overreact. There are 16 weeks left in this season and there’s a hell of a long way to go. What can you expect in this coming week? Who are the guys that are injured and might not play? You can find that and more below in tonight’s In The Trenches.
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So I guess my whole Forte vs. Bush writing last night just got a lot less relevant. Matt Forte has been diagnosed with a high ankle sprain and is going to miss at least three weeks, but my guess it will be closer to five. This is a huge blow to his fantasy owners. High ankle sprains are terrible injuries and often linger throughout the season because they need a lot of rest to heal and are easy reaggravated. You likely won’t see a healthy Forte again until Thanksgiving. So, those of you who handcuffed him with Michael Bush, or who drafted him to screw the guy who drafted Forte, congratulations. Bush is a great running back who has shown the ability to carry the load before in Oakland and he will do the same for the Bears. His value is definitely now a top ten fantasy runner, and could be more. Play him without hesitation in Week 3.
The New York Jets/Pittsburgh Steelers game certainly has lost a lot of its luster, at least from the defensive perspective, as both sides have significant injuries. Darrelle Revis will miss the game for the Jets with his mild concussion, while Troy Polamalu and James Harrison will not play for Pittsburgh. That hurts fantasy players from the Team Defense perspective, but you also have to think of how it impacts the offenses. Mike Wallace’s value just got a whole hell of a lot higher with Antonio Cromartie on him instead of Revis, and it goes down the line for the Steelers’ receivers. The two Steelers’ injuries help Mark Sanchez try to repeat his awesome opening week performance, as well as Shonn Greene. I still expect them to have a tough time moving the ball and I wonder if the Jets will score more than 17 points. I don’t expect a high flying fantasy game in this one.
Pierre Garcon is going to be a game-time decision Sunday with a foot injury. Garcon was able to practice much more on Friday than he did on Thursday. Garcon was one of the better stories in Week 1 as he exploded for 109 yards on four catches. Folks, let’s be realistic. 88 yards of that came on one catch. Now granted it happened so we can’t take it away from him, but that doesn’t all of a sudden make him an elite receiver. I still don’t think he is any more than a solid WR3, so let’s not get all Garcon-crazy after a good game. He will work out before the game to see if he is able to play.
Michael Vick might be without his top two weapons as both Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson are questionable. They both practiced on their recovery from hip and hamstring injuries respectively, but you probably won’t know until Sunday whether they will play. My guess is that they will both suit up, but neither has proven to be extra tough in their careers. This could potentially prove to be a good week for Jason Avant if you need someone, even though they are playing a really tough Ravens defense.
Kenny Britt will be returning to the Tennessee Titans’ lineup here in Week 2, and I for one am excited about it. However, let’s consider a couple of things. Britt has been injury prone in his career, and he’s playing his first game in nearly a year. I just don’t see the Titans overworking him in this game or him putting up big numbers. I am a big Britt fan, but I am in Week 3 and beyond. Look for a modest 3-5 catches and 50-60 yards for Britt, and if we are all lucky he might get in the endzone against the Chargers.
What can we expect from Robert Griffin III for an encore performance after the way he torched the Saints in Week 1? Griffin faces the St. Louis Rams who actually played a hell of a game against Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions. I also think that both of those things were flukes. I think the Rams suck worse than they showed last week, and I sure as hell don’t think the Redskins are as good as they showed last week. I believe that Griffin will have a fine rookie season, but I’m still not ready to put him in my starting lineup even if I had him. I need more than one huge game to trust him. One more good game though and I’ll jump on the train.
As bad as the Cincinnati Bengals looked on Monday Night against the Ravens, everything comes up looking much better when the Browns are on the schedule. I know that they did a good job against Michael Vick and the Eagles last week, but I see big games out of both A.J. Green and BenJarvis Green-Ellis this week. I expect over 100 yards and a touchdown for both guys and the poor, poor Cleveland Browns to fall to 0-2. Andrew Hawkins is also my darkhorse to have a good Week 2.
Look out Kevin Smith. One week after the San Francisco 49ers pounded the Green Bay Packers running game, Detroit comes to town. Smith looked good in his first week with 62 yards and a touchdown against the Rams, but the road is about to get a hell of a lot tougher. Smith is at absolutely best a flex option this week, and if you have anything near a comparable option, I would even think to put Smith on the bench this week.
What will become of the New Orleans Saints? People seem to be panicking because they lost to the Redskins in the opening week, but they still scored 32 points. However, they still do need to work on having some sort of a running game. It was absolutely a mess last season as only two guys even carried the ball, and neither of them broke 20 yards. They are playing the Panthers’ who allowed a decent game to Doug Martin last week, but I just don’t think the Saints have the personnel to have a successful running attack. At this point I don’t see any way that you can start a Saints running back right now, and that includes Darren Sproles unless you are in a PPR league. I know he had a touchdown in that game, but he didn’t even record a carry. For all of you who love him, I need to touch the ball a hell of a lot more in a game before I get excited about him. Saints’ receivers, yes. Saints’ running backs, no!
Rashard Mendenhall will not play in Week 2 either, but he seems to be getting closer and closer to the field. This is a smart move for the Steelers for two reasons. One, why not wait until their running back is ready to come all of the way back, not to mention that they are facing a physical defense in the Jets. I still have confidence that Mendenhall will be a solid fantasy contributor by the time October rolls around, but for now he still needs to sit your bench. Isaac Redmond and Jonathan Dwyer will continue to split carries for the Steelers, and if I had to choose one or the other I would be starting Jonathan Dwyer.
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