Jim Bratton, Caleb Lucketic //Contributing Writers
With week 1 in the books, and with injuries racking up around the league, fantasy owners everywhere are looking for the best possible lineup combinations to give them the edge on the fantasy gridiron. Here are a few suggestions of who you should start and sit in your leagues this week.
QB: Carson Palmer – Arizona Cardinals
Carson Palmer completed 19 of his 32 passes for 307 yards and three touchdowns against the New Orleans Saints in a 31-19 victory. Palmer was injured early in the 2014 season after starting off as a top fantasy quarterback, and he looks to have found his 2014 form. Palmer has 14 touchdowns in his previous seven games dating back to last season. Palmer is a must start in Week 2, whether it’s in daily fantasy or your season long fantasy team because they take on a struggling Bears defense.
RB: Ameer Abdullah – Detroit Lions
Although Joique Bell is the Lions’ starting running back, Ameer Abdullah will still see plenty of action. Last week against the Chargers, Abdullah finished with 50 yards rushing, 44 yards receiving and a touchdown en route to 15 fantasy points. I expect that Abdullah’s production will continue this week against the young defense of the Minnesota Vikings.
WR: Keenan Allen – San Diego Chargers
Phillip Rivers threw the ball 42 times on Sunday against the Detroit Lions, and he targeted Keenan Allen 17 times. Allen caught 15 of those balls for 166 yards, but he wasn’t able to find the end zone. Allen is going to be a reception monster this season as Rivers’ favorite target. Allen was a PPR machine on Sunday, and he is a must start against Cincinnati.
TE: Travis Kelce – Kansas City Chiefs
The tight end position is one of the most frustrating positions in fantasy football because it is a boom or bust position, unless you have Rob Gronkowski. Travis Kelce looks to be a must start every week after he exploded on Sunday for six receptions for 106 yards and two touchdowns. Kelce was only targeted six times on Sunday, while Jeremy Maclin led the team with nine targets, but he is the most reliable target Smith possesses. The Chiefs are taking on the Denver Broncos on Thursday night, and Kelce is going to see increased targets from Alex Smith, which makes him a must start in all leagues.
D/ST: Carolina Panthers
The Carolina Panthers held the Jacksonville Jaguars to nine points on Sunday. The Panthers forced three turnovers, one of which was an interception returned for a touchdown, and they were able to sack Blake Bortles five times. The Panthers are going up against the Houston Texans, who are in the midst of quarterback controversy. They pulled Brian Hoyer in fourth quarter because he was making poor decisions leading to turnovers, so Ryan Mallett looks to get the start on Sunday. The Panthers should be able to feast on the young quarterback’s first start of 2015.
QB: Cam Newton – Carolina Panthers
The Carolina Panthers suffered a massive loss to their team when Kelvin Benjamin went down in Training Camp with a torn ACL. His injury left Cam Newton without a clear number one target. Benjamin’s absence showed in Newton’s first game, as he completed 18 of his 31 passes for 158 yards and a touchdown. I would stay away from Newton for a few weeks until he proves that he has chemistry his receivers.
RB: Frank Gore – Indianapolis Colts
Frank Gore ran the ball eight times on Sunday in Buffalo for 31 yards. Gore averaged a minuscule 3.9 yards per carry against the Bills without finding the end zone. Gore was brought in to be a big, bruising back for the Colts to have the majority of the touches. Gore’s offensive line wasn’t able to create holes for him to slip through for big gains, and they will struggle again against an improved Jets defensive front seven. Gore is a must sit for Week.
RB: Alfred Morris -Washington Redskins
Although he managed to put up 12 fantasy points last week against the Dolphins, I recommend sitting Redskins’ Morris this week against the Rams. The Rams front seven is stacked, and Morris could see seven or eight men in the box on every down. With the front seven of the Rams going up against the Redskins’ shaky offensive line, I’d sit Morris if better options are available.
WR: James Jones – Green Bay Packers
James Jones resigned with the Packers a few days before the season began; so most people didn’t put much fantasy stock into Jones. Jones ended up catching four balls for 51 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday, which has led to an insane increase in ownership in most fantasy leagues. I would not jump on the Jones bandwagon because he only was targeted four times, two of which ended up being inside the 10-yard line. I would sit Jones this week against Seattle.
TE: Zach Ertz – Philadelphia Eagles
The Philadelphia Eagles lost a close contest in Atlanta 26-24, in which the offense struggled to get going in the first half. Sam Bradford looked incredibly awkward in the pocket and couldn’t seem to make up his mind on who to throw to. He targeted Zach Ertz eight times, but Ertz only caught the ball three times for 46 yards. I would stay away from Ertz because the Eagles have too many options for Ertz to get a consistent amount of targets.
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