WR Nate Burleson (Detroit)
Percent owned (ESPN): 26.6%
Burleson deserves to be owned in all leagues. He, not Brandon Pettigrew, is Matt Stafford’s #2 target after Megatron. He was in the preseason and he was in the opener. He had 5 catches for 60 yards in the opener and Detroit’s passing offense looks like one of the better ones in the league this year.
RB Cadillac Williams (St. Louis)
Percent owned (ESPN): 6.8%
Steven Jackson will not play against New York this week. Cadillac Williams, who rushed for 91 yards on 19 carries after Jackson went down week 1, figures to be the lead back. He’s especially valuable in PPR leagues because he’s a hell of a pass catcher. He caught 5 passes for 49 yards week 1.
WR Devery Henderson (New Orleans)
Percent owned (ESPN): 6.0%
Marques Colston is out for at least 4 weeks. Henderson, who caught 6 passes for 100 yards and a score in the opener, will step into the starting lineup for him. I don’t know to tell you how explosive New Orleans’ offense is, so this is very good for his fantasy value.
QB Cam Newton (Carolina)
Percent owned (ESPN): 23.7%
Cam Newton threw for 422 yards and 2 scores in the opener. He won’t do that every week and he’ll have his share of inconsistencies as a rookie, but he’s definitely got the upside to be worth a spot on your bench for now.
WR Brandon Gibson (St. Louis)
Percent owned (ESPN): 1.4%
Danny Amendola is out at least and a week and likely longer. Someone has got to catch the passes for Sam Bradford. Brandon Gibson, who led the way with 3 catches for 50 yards against Philly’s tough pass defense, figures to be the guy along with Mike Sims Walker, who was blanketed in the opener by Nnamdi Asomugha.
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (Buffalo)
Percent owned (ESPN): 25.2%
Ryan Fitzpatrick isn’t going to throw for 4 touchdowns every week, but in his first full season as a starter, he looks to have settled into his role and provides for a decent QB2. He’s especially valuable if you have a starting quarterback who had an iffy week 1 performance (Eli Manning).
QB Rex Grossman (Washington)
Percent owned (ESPN): 3.5%
Like Fitzpatrick, Grossman shouldn’t be started yet, but if you have an iffy starting quarterback and are looking for a backup with some upside, I’d go Cam Newton, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Rex Grossman 3rd. Hell, I might pick up one of those 3 if I wasn’t satisfied with my backup situation and just wanted to keep them away from an opponent. The former first round bust has revitalized himself in Mike Shanahan’s offense with 305 yards and 2 touchdowns in the opener.
RB Deji Karim (Jacksonville)
Percent owned (ESPN): 8.5%
With new quarterback Luke McCown, the Jaguars figure to run a lot. This is nothing new for them, but Maurice Jones Drew is on a play count, something he’s not happy about, thanks to his less than 100% injury situation. Karim only had 31 yards in the opener, but it’s the 14 carries I like to see. He’s a nice handcuff for MJD, an injury risk, and a high upside player for your bench for non-MJD owners.
TE Ed Dickson (Baltimore)
Percent owned (ESPN): 1.2%
Ed Dickson looks like Flacco’s favorite of his two tight ends, Dennis Pitta being the other one. Without a ton of talent at wide receiver (two decent veterans and a pair of raw rookies), the Ravens look to feature a lot of two tight end sets, much like New England does with Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. Dickson had 5 catches for 53 yards and a touchdown in the opener.
TE Fred Davis (Washington)
Percent owned (ESPN): 1.3%
Fred Davis caught 5 passes for 103 yards in the opener. The reason he’s so low on this list is because Chris Cooley wasn’t playing at 100% in their first game. The veteran Cooley will be better as the season goes on, but even then, Davis might be Washington’s most talented tight end.
TE Scott Chandler (Buffalo)
Percent owned (ESPN): 0.3%
Scott Chandler had 1 career catch going into this season. He caught 5 passes for 63 yards and 2 touchdowns in the opener. He’s not a particularly talented player, but Ryan Fitzpatrick showed comfortability throwing to him in the preseason and in the opener. The 6-7 263 Chandler is a hell of an end zone target and the Bills lack a true #2 receiving threat after Stevie Johnson.
WR Roddy White- Atlanta
White is listed as probable with a knee injury. He’ll play. He’s practiced all week.
WR Lee Evans- Baltimore
He was in a walking boot earlier this week, but only for protective reasons. He’s practiced all week.
WR Steve Johnson- Buffalo
He didn’t practice with the team Thursday, only doing drills on the sidelines. However, he’s been dealing with a groin injury for about a month so they were just giving him a rest. He’s probable and will play this week.
WR Roy Williams- Chicago
Williams is officially a game time decision. He sucks. I don’t think I’d play him in any situation even if he did play. He hasn’t been in shape in forever.
WR Miles Austin- Dallas
He’s been limited in practice all week, but he’s listed as probable and is expected to play.
WR Dez Bryant- Dallas
Bryant hasn’t practiced this week at all and he’s listed as questionable. Jerry Jones has said he’ll play, but consider him a game time decision for a game that starts at 4:15. He’s a risk.
WR Brandon Lloyd- Denver
Lloyd wasn’t expected to practice Friday, but he did so there is a chance he plays this Sunday. But he’s listed as questionable for a late start and has a tough matchup with Leon Hall, so I’d lean towards sitting him this week.
RB Knowshon Moreno- Denver
Moreno hasn’t practiced all week. He hasn’t been officially ruled out and he’s listed as questionable, but I doubt he plays. Hopefully you have another option, because he’s not very good anyway.
WR Calvin Johnson- Detroit
Johnson returned to practice Friday and though he’s listed as questionable, he’s expected to play. Check his status Sunday morning, but he should be good to go. He’s also got an early start so worst case, you can sub him out and have your full team of options to go to.
TE Jermichael Finley- Green Bay
Finley was limited all week with an ankle injury, but he’s expected to go this week against Carolina.
RB Arian Foster- Houston
Foster will start this week, but there’s no guarantee that Ben Tate won’t steal a lot of carries. Gary Kubiak is hated by all fantasy football players because of how he handles his running backs. Foster is talented, but he’s a risk this week. Don’t start him unless you’re thin at running back.
TE Marcedes Lewis- Jacksonville
Lewis has been downgraded to doubtful. He won’t play.
RB Daniel Thomas- Miami
Thomas will play this week, but Reggie Bush is still the feature back so he’s not worth a start.
WR Lance Moore- New Orleans
Moore had a limited practice Friday, but remains hopefully he’ll play Sunday. He’s a borderline fantasy start anyway, so it might be best to just sit him this week as he won’t be 100% and could leave the game if he reaggravates his injury, but he does have an early start so there’s that if you absolutely feel you have to start him.
WR Hakeem Nicks- NY Giants
Nicks says he’ll play, but he’s listed as questionable. He doesn’t play until Monday Night, so he’s a huge fantasy risk.
WR Santonio Holmes- NY Jets
Holmes hurt himself in practice this week and his status will be up to Jets’ doctors. He has an early start tomorrow and should definitely be in your lineup if he plays. Jacksonville’s only good cornerback Derek Cox is out this week so they’ll have no one to stop Holmes.
WR Jacoby Ford- Oakland
Ford is out with a hamstring problem against Buffalo.
RB Darren McFadden- Oakland
McFadden has a shoulder problem, but is listed as probable and is expected to play.
WR Michael Crabtree- San Francisco
Miguel Lobsterbush is questionable with a foot problem. He only caught 1 ball last week as the #2 option in a terrible pass offense and that was against Seattle who sucks. He shouldn’t be in your lineup anyway.
WR Sidney Rice- Seattle
Rice is out.
WR Danny Amendola- St. Louis
Amendola is doubtful. He won’t play.
RB Steven Jackson- St. Louis
Though officially listed as questionable, Jackson probably won’t play this week. He hasn’t practiced all week and the general consensus is that he’ll miss this week.
TE Chris Cooley- Washington
He practiced all week and played last week. Though he’s listed as questionable, he’ll play, but he won’t be 100% and it looks like Fred Davis is Rex Grossman’s favorite of his two tight ends.