Derek Dimino, Contributing Writer
|– Matthew Stafford – For the first time since he was drafted by the Lions, he will have to rely on targets not named Calvin Johnson. Although Johnson was a nightmare for defenses, it left Stafford and the Lions with a very predictable game plan. Finally, in the new receiver-by-committee passing attack the Lions have formed, they were able to pass for 340 yards while maintaining an impressive 79% completion percentage. This offense will carve up the Tennessee defense in week 2.
|– Tyrod Taylor – Though Taylor doesn’t throw a lot of incompletions, nor does he turn the ball over excessively, the lack of passing or running production in the Bills offense is astounding. Much like last year, the Bills are sticking to 20 or less passes a game, which took much of last season to turn into efficient passing production. Though he is far from a fantasy dud, I don’t see Taylor and the Bills hitting their stride in the passing game against the Jets, even with a dwindling Darrelle Revis.
|– Jonathan Stewart – Stewart looked like a wrecking ball against the Broncos, rushing 15 times for 64 yards. Though Carolina did not win, mainly due to poor time management in the second half, Stewart strung together a pretty nice stat line with much room for improvement. Much like Forte, Jonathan Stewart will put up start-worthy numbers regardless of his end zone presence, though touchdowns will come.
|– T.J. Yeldon – Yeldon got the start for the Jaguars in week 1, though it was much anticipated that he would split reps with former Jet Chris Ivory. The reason for the lone-start was because Chris Ivory was admitted to the hospital before the week 1 game. Even with Yeldon getting a bulk of the load, he still only managed 39 yards on 21 carries. Yeldon’s fantasy value is completely depending on Chris Ivory’s health for week 2.
|– Mohamed Sanu – The Atlanta Falcons are home to one of the best receivers in the game, Julio Jones. Between his size and his intangibles, Julio is more than a handful to secondary’s across the league. While defenses are scrambling to make sure Julio is being sufficiently covered, Mohamed Sanu will be there to take advantage of whichever mismatch the defense gives him. In week 1, Sanu pulled in 5 of 8 targets for 80 yards and a touchdown. As long as Sanu’s post-game limp was just a minor problem, we can expect a repeat of his stat line against Oakland in week 2.
|– Travis Benjamin – With the Chargers undergoing a season ending injury with Keenan Allen, Benjamin will move up to the team’s WR1 in their daunting pass heavy scheme. Though this may increase Benjamin’s targets, he will also draw more of the top cornerbacks coverage. Though Rivers will most likely keep his high-level pass production, I would look elsewhere on the Chargers for points.
|– Jason Witten –The veteran TE was obviously a safety blanket for Dallas’ rookie QB, Dak Prescott, hauling in 9 of 14 targets for 66 yards and a touchdown. While his yardage isn’t anything to write home about, as long as Prescott is under center, look for Witten to receive a lot of targets, especially when Dez Bryant is being heavily covered down field.
|– Gary Barnidge –Prior to last year, his receiving yard high for a season was only 242 yards (1043 yards in 2015). With a jaw dropping 63% of his career yards coming off the 2015 season, as well as 75% of his career touchdowns (9 TD’s in 2015), it is more than justified to think that his week 1 performance, catching none of his two targets, will likely be the result on a weekly basis.
|– Minnesota – This week the Minnesota Viking Defense was electric. Scoring more points than their offense, it was truly an eye opening performance. The Vikings forced three Titan turnovers (1 interception, 2 forced fumbles), two of which were brought back for touchdowns. In week 2 they face the Green Bay Packers in an effort to really prove they can go up against some of the leagues best offenses.
|– Tennessee – Coming off a relatively quiet defensive performance against a quarterback who is an AARP member, I doubt the Titans will be able to keep Stafford and his wide receiver by committee from carving them up both in the air and on the ground. The Lions run game, headed by Ameer Abdullah, average 5.6 yards per carry, while their passing offense was almost flawless, only missing on 8 of 39 passing attempts for 340 yards and 3 touchdowns.