Football

Starters and benchwarmers | Expect Michael Vick, Ahmad Bradshaw to roll

Wondering whether or not to start Aaron Rodgers and Arian Foster, or bench Shaun Hill and Kenny Britt? The network bozos specialize in that kind of advice. If you’re looking for real help with your starting lineup conundrums, read on.

Here are my picks to roll, and get rolled, in Week 2 of the 2010 season.

Watch ‘em roll

Michael Vick, QB, Eagles at Lions. I have a well-documented history of skepticism about Vick as a fantasy quarterback, but that changed (for now) last Sunday. The former All Pro looked as dynamic as ever – both passing and running – against a salty Packers defense. He’ll have a field day against the Lions, while stirring up the QB controversy in Philly.

Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, Giants at Colts. If Arian Foster’s career day against Indy wasn’t enough, perhaps Bradshaw’s nearly two-to-one workload over Brandon Jacobs in Week 1 will convince you to start him. Bradshaw should improve upon last week’s 93-total-yard, one touchdown outing under the Sunday night lights.

Brandon Jackson, RB, Packers vs. Bills. He may not be the long-term answer to Ryan Grant’s season-ending injury, but Jackson will have a great opportunity to prove his worth against a bad Buffalo run defense. If you managed to grab him off the waiver wire, plug him into your starting lineup and enjoy the results.

Pierre Garcon, WR, Colts vs. Giants. Everybody except Garcon scored last week, but Indy’s No. 2 wideout was targeted 10 times and nearly had a TD of his own. In the primetime matchup of the Brothers Manning, Garcon will get plenty of chances to shine against the Giants’ suspect secondary.

Mike Williams, WR, Buccaneers at Panthers. Josh Freeman’s favorite target lines up against a team that coughed up three TDs to Hakeem Nicks in Week 1. Look for the first 100-yard outing of the rookie’s career, along with his second TD in as many games.

More thumbs up (excluding the no-brainers): QBs Brett Favre, Eli Manning, Donovan McNabb; RBs LeSean McCoy, Knowshon Moreno, Cedric Benson, Jamaal Charles, Ryan Mathews, Darren McFadden; WRs Anquan Boldin, Malcom Floyd, Dez Bryant, Donald Driver, Robert Meachem, Santana Moss.

Roll ‘em back

Carson Palmer, QB, Bengals vs. Ravens. He totaled just 495 yards and two TDs in two games against Baltimore last season. Despite his strong start in New England in Week 1, Palmer is a bad bet against a Ravens defense still fired up over Monday night’s dominating performance.

Jahvid Best, RB, Lions vs. Eagles. Though he salvaged his day with two TD runs, the talented rookie was limited to 1.4 yards per rush against the Bears in Week 1. With little concern over an aerial “attack” piloted by Shaun Hill, Philly will load up to stop the run, leaving Best scant room to roam. Detroit may also be forced to abandon the run early, if they fall behind as expected.

Shonn Greene, RB, Jets at Patriots. The presumed workhorse of New York’s backfield fumbled twice and was benched in the opener, while LaDainian Tomlinson showed the youngster how it’s done. Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer later clarified his position that any player who fumbles will immediately be removed from the game. The Jets can’t afford similar mistakes against their divisional rivals Sunday, so avoid the likelihood of another disappointing stat line from Greene if possible. LT should get the bulk of the workload against the tough Pats defense.

Calvin Johnson, WR, Lions vs. Eagles. Do you sense my pessimism about Detroit? With Hill at the controls, and the ground game struggling, this contest has all the makings of a Motor City blowout. Philly held Aaron Rodgers to 188 passing yards in the opener, and they should have no trouble shutting down Hill and his only legitimate receiver.

Derrick Mason, WR, Ravens at Bengals. The wily veteran was a bit player in the new-look Baltimore passing attack in Week 1, and last season’s results in two games against Cincinnati (3 receptions, 31 yards, 0 TDs, including a goose egg) offer little hope for a rebound this weekend.

More thumbs down: QBs Joe Flacco, Matt Ryan, Jay Cutler, Matt Hasselbeck, Alex Smith, David Garrard; RBs Matt Forte, C.J. Spiller, Tim Hightower, Ronnie Brown, Fred Taylor, Clinton Portis; WRs Bernard Berrian, Chris Chambers, Devin Hester, Braylon Edwards, Nate Washington, Lee Evans, Mike Sims-Walker, Mike Wallace, Mike Williams (SEA).

TAKING A FLIER

Jacoby Jones, WR, Texans at Redskins. Kevin Walter is still Houston’s designated starter opposite Andre Johnson, and he grabbed the sole scoring catch in Week 1; but Jones is the more explosive of the two wideouts. Walter made the most of his only two targets of the game, while Jones had a team-high six targets (including one that slipped through his hands in the end zone). Houston will surely pass more frequently in Washington, giving Jones plenty of opportunities to excel.

DON’T BE THE BONEHEAD WHObenches Randy Moss against Darrelle Revis. Yes, I realize the diva wideout was held under 35 yards on Revis Island in both games last season, but Moss did manage to add a touchdown in their second battle. Like trying to time the stock market, sitting an elite receiver of Moss’ caliber is riskier than starting him.

Ladd Biro is a syndicated fantasy football columnist and host of Sporting News Radio’s weekly Fantasy Files show (Saturdays, 9-10 am ET). Follow his daily fantasy advice at the Fantasy Fools blog (fantasy-fools.blogspot.com) and via Twitter (@ladd_biro).

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