Week 2: Start 'Em
WOW is all I can say. Who is happy football is finally back? What a first week, Tom Brady OUT for the season, Vince Young OUT for a couple of weeks, the Chargers lost on a last second touchdown by Dante Rosario of the Carolina Panthers, the Bears beating the Colts and not to mention all the other injuries. As I am sure many of you are already dealing with injuries and uncertainties, here are some players you might want to start.
Cassel has been a backup for the last 7 years, 4 in college behind Carson Palmer and Matt Leinhart at USC, and then 3 in New England behind Tom Brady; it's very hard to really know what he can or can't do. First things first, he is NOT Tom Brady. With a great offensive line, the best receiver in football and a very solid running game to go along with the best coach in football, Cassel is in a great position to succeed. Next week they play the NY Jets who gave up 251 yards and 2 TD passes to Chad Pennington and the Miami Dolphins, so expect a big week from Matt Cassel as Coach Belichick tries to show everyone that the Patriots will be fine without Tom Brady. Start Cassel this week.
Going into the season Aaron Rogers might have had to deal with more pressure then any other player in the NFL. No one was sure what to really expect from him as he played behind the immortal Brett Favre for the past 3 years. He was taking over a 13-3 team with a great offense, full of weapons. Playing against one of the better defenses in the league he was able to lead the Green Bay to a victory in his first career start, throwing and running for a touchdown. While Rogers may never be Brett Favre, and for fantasy purposes who really cares if he is or isn't, he looks like he can be a solid fantasy producer. Next week he faces the Detroit Lions and should have no problem putting up some big numbers, so give him the same chance that the Packers did and put him in your lineup.
Jones was brought in as a big money free agent but couldn't take strangle hold of the top spot on the depth chart. In week one he was splitting carries with Mo Morris, until Morris went down with an injury that will keep him out for the next few weeks. Jones was able to gain 45 yards on 13 carries to go with 2 catches for another 17 yards, while splitting carries. Not only is Morris out with an injury, but starting WR Nate Burleson went down with a season ending injury leaving the Seahawks with pretty much no one at receiver. Jones should get 20+ carries and faces an easy schedule for the next few weeks as he faces the 49ers and then the Rams. While he was a fantasy bench player before the season started, he is a very good start the next few weeks and if he plays well he might be able to keep Morris on the bench.
Jones' career took a huge nose dive last year and hit rock bottom when he was found with cocaine during the off season. It looked as though he might not even make the team this season after being drafted in the 1st round in 2005. He had a good pre-season and looks like he might finally be ready to showcase his talent. With off season acquisition Jerry Porter dealing with an injury, Jones has been given the chance to show what he can do. In the first week of the season he caught 6 balls for 80 yards, and with Porter still not 100% (and facing the Bills), it is time to start Matt Jones.
Rookie TE John Carlson couldn't have been drafted to a better situation. He is on a team with no real receivers due to the fact that they are all injured or aren't good and the running game is a huge question mark. In his first career game he caught all 4 balls passed to him for 52 yards. With starting WR Nate Burleson out for the season and Maurice Morris gone for a few weeks, Seattle will need help from everyone and Carlson is a great bet to pick up some of the slack. With people always looking for a tight end or a good flex to start, take a chance on Carlson and watch it pay off.