Start ‘Em & Sit ‘Em: Week 2

Every week, I highlight a few players to start and a few players to sit at each position. I’m a firm believer in starting your studs, so I won’t tell you about how Drew Brees or LaDainian Tomlinson has a tough matchup – just go ahead and start them. I’ll focus on the borderline guys – players you’ll only start under the right circumstances. It’s important to note that depending on your roster and situation, you may not be able to follow these recommendations. For example, if I suggest you bench a solid starter like Ben Roethlisberger, only do so if you have a clearly better option on your bench.


QB: Eli Manning (@ STL) has an excellent matchup with a Rams defense that allowed Donovan McNabb to throw for 361 yards and three TD last week. Also, Manning played better away from home last year, so the table is set for a very nice day…Phillip Rivers (@ DEN) has an interesting matchup against the Broncos, who looked great last week, but struggled against the pass last season. Rivers had a nice game in Week 1 against the Panthers, and he’ll probably have to throw the ball a lot to keep up with a dynamic Denver offense…Kurt Warner (vs. MIA) has a great matchup against a historically bad Dolphin defense that allowed 194 passing yards and two TD to Brett Favre and the Jets last week. Warner should be in for a nice day…Aaron Rodgers (@ DET) looked great on Monday night and faces a suspect Lions defense…For the desperate, Kerry Collins (@ CIN) has a great matchup with a Bengals secondary that has struggled to stop the pass over the last several years…For the super-desperate Joe Flacco (@ HOU) has a nice matchup as well.

RB: If Willis McGahee is out, Ray Rice (@ HOU) has a good matchup with a Texans defense that allowed a ton of yards to Willie Parker last week. If McGahee plays, we’re probably looking a split, which will hurt the value of both players…If Ryan Grant (@ DET) ends up playing, make sure he’s in your lineup (unless you have a far better option). The Lions gave up 220 rushing yards to Michael Turner and the Packers should find success in the ground game as well…Brandon Jacobs (@ STL) should find lots of running room against a bad Rams defense…Frank Gore (@ SEA), Willie Parker (@ CLE) and Marshawn Lynch (@ JAX) should have nice games as well.

WR: Jerricho Cotchery and Laveranues Coles (vs. NE) are good starts against a Pats defense that is struggling at CB…Santonio Holmes and Hines Ward (@ CLE) should be in your lineup since they face the Browns, who have been bad against he pass for the last few seasons…Make room in your lineup for Joey Galloway (vs. ATL) who has a good matchup with a suspect Falcons pass defense…Santana Moss (vs. NO) has a nice matchup with a Saints defense that gave up some points to a conservative Bucs offense last week.


QB: David Garrard (vs. BUF) struggled last week and a hot Bills defense (that shut down Matt Hasselbeck and the Seattle offense) is coming to town…In the same game, Trent Edwards (@ JAX) doesn’t have a good matchup against a solid Jacskonville defense…Baltimore did a great job shutting down the Bengals’ high-octane passing game, and that doesn’t bode well for Matt Schaub (vs. BAL) and the rest of the Texans. I’d bench Schaub only if I had a solid option to go with.

RB: Jamal Lewis (vs. PIT) may find the running room is tough to find when he faces a good Steelers defense. He’s startable, but I’m not optimistic about his chances…Steve Slaton (vs. BAL) looks like he will get the start, but he faces a very tough Ravens defense. Bench him unless you are desperate…Neither DeAngelo Williams nor Jonathan Stewart are particularly good starts against a Chicago defense that is normally very stout against he run.

WR: Lee Evans (@ JAX) is startable, but I’m not optimistic about his chances against a good Jacksonville defense stinging from a loss against the Titans last week…Bernard Berrian and Sydney Rice (vs. IND) should probably be benched against a feisty Colts team that lost in Week 1. Adrian Peterson figures to have the most success against Indy.


Looking for a good defense to plug into your lineup this week? Welcome to the world of Defensive Team By Waiver Wire (DTBWW). Here are my picks for this week. (All teams are available in at least 40% of ESPN fantasy leagues.)

ARI (vs. MIA), KC (vs. OAK), HOU (vs. BAL) and OAK (@ KC)

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