Week 2: Start 'Em
We've all waited months for the start of the NFL season, and week 1 has now come and gone and it feels like no time has passed; like we're right into the middle of fantasy season. Already after week 1, teams are dealing with injuries to key starters like Ryan Grant, Kevin Kolb and Matthew Stafford that will not only effect each of these players but the players they play with (like the Philadelphia Eagles and Detroit Lions' wide receivers). It's still only week 2, so I would advise everyone to start the players they drafted as starters (not like I did in week 1, sitting my #3 pick and losing because of this. Lesson learned, don't over coach), but if you have an injury or are weak at a position and need someone to start for this week, take a look at the guys below and give one of them a chance.
It's looking more and more like Michael Vick will be getting the start this week as Kevin Kolb takes the week off to rest after suffering a concussion in week 1. Vick looked very good in his first real action at QB since the 2006 season. While he couldn't complete the comeback, he was able to make a game of it with his passing and running, passing for 175 yards and 1 TD and rushing for 103 yards. This week Vick faces the Lions and should be able to put up similar numbers to the old Vick. Look for 200+ yards and 1 TD with another 50 yards rushing. If you are weak at QB (or had Kolb or Stafford and need someone to start), Vick is worth a look this week with this juicy match up.
All through training camp Coach Mike McCarthy has been raving about the improvements made by Brandon Jackson, and that if Jackson became the Packers' every down back he would not be worried at all. Well, with Ryan Grant out with an injury we will finally get to see if McCarthy was right. In replacing Ryan Grant last week, Jackson rushed for 63 yards and caught 2 passes for 12 yards. Jackson has a great match up vs. the Buffalo Bills this week and with no other running backs on the roster to steal time, he should be in line for a heavy dose of touches (and should have no problem gaining close to 100 yards and most likely scoring a touchdown, making him a great start this week).
If you're looking for a good flex start in PPR leagues, look at Danny Amendola of the Rams. When you think Danny Amendola, think of a poor man's Wes Welker. Amendola will never be mistaken for a big play WR, but he has great hands and runs great routes (and should be good for about 5 catches a week). In week 1 he caught 6 passes for 67 yards, while being targeted 9 times. His week might have been bigger had he not missed some time during the game to tend to a minor injury. After week 1 it looks like Mark Clayton is Bradford's #1 target, meaning when they face the Raiders this week he will be covered by Nnamdi Asomugha, leaving many opportunities for Amendola.
With Vincent Jackson holding out, most people assumed that either Antonio Gates or Malcom Floyd would step in and take his spot as Philip Rivers' big play receiver. Well, in week 1 the big play man for the Chargers was Legedu Naanee, who was targeted 8 times (2nd most on the team) catching 5 of them for 110 yards and 1 touchdown (albeit on blown coverage). It seems that all three of those receivers will get plenty of targets each week, however it would seem that defenses will focus more of their attention on Gates and Floyd, leaving Naanee to be the big play receiver. If you're hurting and need a starting flex, look no more. Give Naanee a chance and he won't disappoint.
While I have been talking about Mike Thomas for a while, I never expected him to be the most targeted receiver in Jacksonville. In week 1 Thomas was targeted 7 times while supposed #1 receiver Mike Sims-Walker was only targeted twice. Thomas ended up catching 6 passes for 89 yards. One week doesn't change the fact that Sims-Walker is still the #1 option for the Jags, but it also doesn't change the fact that Sims-Walker will be covered by the oppositions best cover man, leaving Thomas more chances to get open and make plays. If you have a need for a starting WR or flex, give Thomas a look (especially in PPR leagues) and he might surprise you.