Tom Lorenzo, Senior Editor RotoExperts.com
If you didn’t know any better, you’d probably think that Cam Newton is the best quarterback in the NFL. Fortunately, you do know better. Newton, who threw for 422 yards and two touchdowns, adding one rushing TD in the opener, is the most overrated player in Fantasy Football right now. Let’s break it down, shall we?
First of all, it’s worth noting that the Arizona Cardinals defense is underwhelming. They have two young, inexperienced cornerbacks starting in their secondary and a linebacking corps whose best days are behind them.
Second, the Panthers, at their core, are built around the run game. It’s hard to imagine that Newton will throw the ball close to 40 times again this week, especially against the Packers.
You can make the case that with the Panthers likely to play from behind they’ll have no choice but to pass the ball. Fair enough. So now you’re stuck with a quarterback who’s going to throw three to four interceptions instead. Enjoy the negative three points per interception!
There’s no way I start Cam Newton this week, unless maybe if I’m in a 12-team, Panthers-only league! Really, Newton is in a class of his own when it comes to overrated plays in Week 2. But he’s definitely not the only overrated play this week.
So, with that, here are the 10 Most Overrated Players in Fantasy Football for Week 2.
Matt Ryan vs. Philadelphia
Sure, Matt Ryan threw for 300 yards last week against the Bears, but he still failed to find the end zone. You can blame it on the matchup, which I’ll buy into, but I can turn around and make the case that his opponent this week, the Eagles, possess an even greater threat to Ryan and the Falcons’ passing game. If you have an option of equal value with a better matchup (Josh Freeman, Joe Flacco, Ben Roethlisberger, etc.) I’d opt out of Ryan for this week.
Mark Sanchez vs. Jacksonville
I can tell you this much; there’s no way Sanchez is throwing the ball 44 times two weeks in a row. Heck, I might even say his ceiling is 26-28 pass attempts. That’s not to say he can’t turn 26 pass attempts into some fantasy value, but he’s not going to be the 330-yard, 2-touchdown QB we saw from last week. Look for the Jets to establish the run this week, meaning a step back for Sanchez.
Cedric Benson @ Denver
It’s still hard to believe that Benson went for 121 rushing yards last week. I hope you Benson owners enjoyed the performance, because there’s no way he tops the 100-yard mark against the Broncos. Sure the Broncos are soft against the run, but when you have such a mess of an offense, as the Bengals do, you can expect Denver to load up the box and key in on Benson. It should be a tough week for him.
Reggie Bush vs. Houston
I’m still not sold on Bush being a lead running back, and unless you’re in a PPR league, Bush actually has no place starting in standard 2-RB leagues. Bush carried the ball 11 times against the Patriots and tallied just 38 yards. That’s terrible! Where he got his points was in catching the ball out of the backfield. So, there’s value in PPR leagues for sure, but it’s definitely worth noting that the Houston matchup isn’t the cakewalk it was last season. In non-PPR leagues, I can’t see starting Bush against the Texans.
James Starks @ Carolina
Starks certainly looked like the best running back in Green Bay last Thursday, but the Packers braintrust does not seem fully convinced he deserves to see the bulk of the carries. Sure, he did the most with his 12 attempts against the Saints, but it’s worth noting that he only had three more carries than Ryan Grant. It’s not as if Starks has this job locked down. It’s just too much of a timeshare, and once Aaron Rodgers tosses four touchdowns in the first half we might see Green Bay take a step back and slow the offense down a little. We might need to break out the “mercy rule” for this one.
Cadillac Williams @ Giants
Williams is the waiver wire flavor of the week, with Steven Jackson seeming like he won’t play on Monday night against the Giants. Williams will get 20-plus touches against the depleted Giants defense, but he is far from guaranteed to turn those touches into Fantasy value. The real concern on the defensive side of the ball for the Giants is in their secondary, and less so up front. Williams, at best, is a “flex” play in 12-team leagues. He’s not valuable enough, though, to be an RB2. His best days, or shall I say day, is behind him.
Dwayne Bowe @ Detroit
Bowe is getting far too much fantasy love for my taste, and it’s not just because he completely disappeared against the Bills. How’s this for a stat: Bowe has scored just one touchdown in his last six regular season games. In that span he has just 15 catches. Based on those numbers, it’s hard to even justify him as a third wide receiver!
Percy Harvin vs. Tampa Bay
This isn’t necessarily a slight on Harvin, but I can’t trust Donovan McNabb and the Minnesota Vikings passing game, especially after their 39-yard performance against the Chargers. For the unlucky few who started him, Harvin was targeted five times last week, catching two balls for a whopping seven yards! That’s the guy you want as your WR2? I know that Tampa Bay is an easier matchup, but since we offer up mulligans to offensive players, let’s also offer one up to Aqib Talib, who was burned by Calvin Johnson in Week 1, but now has a chance for redemption against Harvin.
Reggie Wayne vs. Cleveland
This is a tough one, because I can’t really advocate sitting Wayne. I will, however, say that he’s going to be a bit over-valued against the Browns. Some skeptics were quieted last week when Wayne caught seven passes for 106 yards and a touchdown with Kerry Collins under center, but this week he’ll draw a tough matchup against Joe Haden at the corner. Also, I fully expect the Colts to run the ball more against a Browns defense that is deficient against the ground game. You probably shouldn’t sit Wayne, but you need to temper your expectations in Week 2.
Buffalo Bills Defense vs. Oakland
A lot of people are riding high on the Bills based on their blowout win over the Chiefs in Week 1. Unfortunately, it’s not time to anoint the Bills as the hot new defense in town. They’re certainly improved, but this is the same team who was 32nd overall last season in rush defense. Now they have to find a way to stop Darren McFadden, who is looking like a Top 5 running back early on. Good luck with that. Yes, they’re improved, but it’s not time to buy into the Bills defense.
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