Sunday, February 25, 2024

Fantasy gurus say Owens, Moulds in for a good week

Sure, there were disappointments.

Top-flight running backs Marshall Faulk of the Rams, LaDainian Tomlinson of the Chargers and Corey Dillon of the Bengals ran like mere impostors of their typical selves, combining for 96 yards on the ground and no touchdowns.

And there were sweet surprises.

Rookie Cardinals receiver Anquan Boldin reset the record books for a debut receiver, with 10 catches for 217 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Lions quarterback Joey Harrington looked like a seasoned veteran, tossing a league-leading four touchdowns.

After a bizarre Week One, in which some of the biggest fantasy names disappeared and no-names became household names, Week Two should serve to separate the real players from the fakes.

Stevie E. says lace 'em up

Rebounding from an embarrassing loss against the Texans in the opener, look for the Dolphins to bounce back on Sunday when they face the offensively impaired Jets. The motivation should pay dividends for owners of running back Ricky Williams - the top selection in many fantasy drafts.

A week after the Colts' offensive arsenal of quarterback Peyton Manning, running back Edgerrin James and receiver Marvin Harrison were limited to nine points against the Browns, expect that threesome to be inspired in Week Two when they host the Titans.

On Monday night, expect Cowboys receiver Joey Galloway to show that his seven-catch, 139-yard and one touchdown performance wasn't a fluke. After consecutive disappointing seasons, the veteran looks comfortable and ready for a big season.

Styf says sit 'em

Be wary of the ups and downs of an NFL season, because last week's stars often turn into this week's bum.

Regardless, starting either New England Patriots running back, because both Antowain Smith and Kevin Faulk are sharing time, is a bad idea. Neither will put up very big numbers against a tough Eagles defense.

If at all possible, don't play Carolina running back Stephen Davis. He's always been inconsistent, and playing against Tampa Bay shouldn't help him.

Avoid starting Jacksonville quarterback Mark Brunell. Yes, he had a great first week, throwing for two touchdowns and 272 yards, but he will be facing newcomer Lawyer Milloy and a Buffalo defense that believes it has something to prove.

Styf says sign 'em

This one should be a no-brainer for Michigan sports fans. Pick up Boldin. Admittedly, he won't be playing against a porous defense like the Lions every week, but his line of 217 yards and two touchdowns is a premonition that he will be Jeff Blake's main option this season, replacing the departed David Boston.

The second pickup is Rams quarterback Marc Bulger. With Kurt Warner out with a concussion, Bulger will step in as the starter in the Rams' high-powered offense at home against San Francisco on Sunday.

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If he's not already taken, make sure you pick up Green Bay Packers receiver Javon Walker. Their top receiver to start the season, Donald Driver, will likely be out. Plus, they're facing the Lions at home. So look for big things from Walker this week.

Don't pick up San Diego tight end Josh Norman, thinking you've found a diamond in the rough. He was just a quick fix while starter Stephen Alexander was out.

Stevie E. scouts former Spartans

MSU's awesome foursome of receivers - Plaxico Burress (Steelers), Derrick Mason (Titans) Charles Rogers (Lions) and Muhsin Muhammad (Panthers) shined in Week One, combining for 21 catches, 266 yards and four touchdowns.

Second-year running back T.J. Duckett (Falcons) ran for just 21 yards. Do like the Falcons this week and keep Duckett on your bench in Week Two.

Burress, coming off a 116-yard, touchdown-less performance, showed in Week One that he is still quarterback Tommy Maddox's favorite target. Look for Burress to add a touchdown or two against the Chiefs.

Look for Muhammad to prosper as his relationship with new starting quarterback Jake Delhomme grows.

The reliable Mason is a must-start in most fantasy leagues.


State News fantasy football experts offer their top players for Week Two:

Steve Eder Jon Styf
QB Peyton Manning Rich Gannon
RB Ricky Williams Shaun Alexander
WR Eric Moulds Terrell Owens
TE Jeremy Shockey Bubba Franks
DEF Dolphins Raiders
MSU Plaxico Burress Derrick Mason


Steve Eder can be reached at ederstev@msu.edu. Jon Styf can be reached at styfjona@msu.edu.

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