The season is finally underway and the guys here at Playbook could not have been more excited to have a full week’s worth of tape to break down. Since the season is still early, we still encourage everyone to play the guys you drafted early, they went that high for a reason! This week we decided to let everyone know which players we feel will bounce back from a disappointing week, and which players’ production will come back down to earth. Good luck!
• Bounce Back: Jamaal Charles: Buffalo’s DEs have struggled to set the edge on lateral runs thus far. With The Bills being much stouter on the interior DL, expect Charles to break some big runs off-tackle.
• Bounce Back: Dwayne Bowe: Bowe should be able to make enough plays down the field against a secondary that allowed easy throws in zone coverage and struggled to knock down passes thrown down the field.
• Back to Earth: Browns D/ST: This unit leads a lot of fantasy leagues in points scored, but could struggle this week without some key players in their secondary.
• Bounce Back: A.J. Green: With Joe Haden suspended, Green is simply too talented and too involved within this offense to not put up strong numbers.
• Bounce Back: Percy Harvin: Adrian Peterson’s health means more defenders will be in the box to slow down the rushing attack. This will allow Harvin to have more space to work vertically and in the middle of the field behind the linebacker level.
• Bounce Back: Andrew Luck: The Bears DL really made it hard on Luck to generate any sort of comfort within the pocket. With Freeney possibly out or banged up, Luck could be an intriguing starter for some owners.
• Bounce Back: Maurice Jones-Drew: MJD looked strong enough last week, in modified action, that we think he should be fine to start. The Jags need to give him the ball often to control the game from the start.
• Bounce Back: Justin Blackmon: Going up against a primarily man coverage team, we think Blackmon’s physical attributes will stand out and make him an intriguing sleeper this week.
• Bounce Back: Reggie Bush: The Raiders LBs are extremely aggressive which will disrupt the Dolphins running game at times, but will also open up huge cut-back lanes for Bush. We think this game will be close enough to allow Bush to receive carries for four quarters.
• Back to Earth: Darren McFadden: McFadden did most of his damage through the air last week against a Chargers Defense that played primarily Cover 3 and left the flats wide open. The Dolphins LBs are very active in coverage and should be able to slow McFadden in the pass game.
• Bounce Back: Wes Welker: Welker has simply too much of a rapport with Tom Brady to be virtually shut out two consecutive weeks. Brandon Lloyd’s emergence on the outside should also open up more space for Wes.
• Bounce Back: Larry Fitzgerald: We anticipate that the Cardinals will need to throw the ball often in this game which, by default, means Fitzgerald is going to see a lot of targets his way.
• Back to Earth: Mark Sanchez: The Steelers blitz scheme should cause some uncertainty for Sanchez and his pre-snap reads. Unlike last week, he won’t be able to make as many pre-determined throws before the snap.
• Back to Earth: Shonn Greene: Greene’s totals were very deceiving, generating the majority of his carries late in the game when the Jets were up big. This game will be much more competitive which should make Greene’s numbers diminish.
• Bounce Back: Antonio Gates: The Chargers offense looked slightly out of rhythm all game last week. Rivers missed some throws to Gates that we feel he will connect on this week. He will get his share of opportunities.
• Bounce Back: Chris Johnson: We still haven’t seen enough aggressiveness from Johnson in the running game, but we like his chances as a pass catcher this week. If the Chargers continue to play Cover 3, Johnson will have space to roam in the flat area.
• Bounce Back: DeAngelo Williams: New Orleans struggled to stop the lateral runs of Washington last week. The Panthers got away from the run game last week and their offense lost its rhythm. We expect them to recommit themselves to the ground attack.
• Bounce Back: Cam Newton: The Saints are going to blitz and play man, but that should mean there will be holes for Cam to attack. The running game should reduce the pressure from Cam, but will also provide him with easier throws throughout the game.
• Bounce Back: Victor Cruz: We are confident that Cruz will bounce back and impact the game. Tampa varies their coverages but plays more zone than man to man. With their heavy blitzing shown in Week 1, Cruz should have catches through adjusted routes. The Giants’ passing scheme through option routes should benefit him as well, as this concept allows Cruz to find open space based on the defenders leverage.
• Bounce Back: Giants D/ST: The Giants went up against a QB last week that caused them problems because of his ability to extend plays within the pocket. Expect the pass rush to cause a lot of problems for Josh Freeman this week.
• Back to Earth: Dennis Pitta: Pitta was one of the biggest beneficiaries from a new and improved Ravens offense. However, the presence of Ed Dickson and Anquan Boldin in the middle of the field is going to steal some targets this week.
• Back to Earth: Michael Vick: Vick clearly looked uncomfortable reading the Browns coverage schemes last week. He was indecisive and late in his decision making and we think that will continue this week against a stout and enigmatic Ravens defense.
• Back to Earth: DeMarco Murray: While Murray’s involvement within the Cowboys offense makes him virtually impossible to completely eliminate, we think that the Seahawks have the DL to slow him down. The sheer size and strength of the Seahawks DL is going to make it difficult for Murray to run downhill.
• Back to Earth: Kevin Ogletree: Ogletree has been the biggest pick up of the week, yet one week does not make him a starter in our eyes. We think that Cowboys trio of pass catchers; Austin, Bryant and Witten, will play a bigger role this week.
• Bounce Back: Fred Davis: The Rams Tampa 2 Coverage failed to slow down Brandon Pettigrew last week. Their LBs gain so much depth in the drops that we feel Davis will have a lot of space to maneuver underneath.
• Bounce Back: Redskins D/ST: The Rams OL continued to struggle in protecting Bradford against the Lions last week. The Redskins possess a similar edge pass rush that is going to really disrupt the Rams offense and should generate multiple sacks.
• Back to Earth: Kevin Smith: The 49ers run defense is simply too stout for Smith to be relied upon to produce starter-worthy numbers. Smith’s pass catching ability will also be eliminated by a 49ers defense that is as good as any, at eliminating yards after the catch.
• Bounce Back: Titus Young: With the 49ers back 7 putting so much attention on Calvin Johnson and Brandon Pettigrew, Young should have space to maneuver in the intermediate pass game. Stafford is going to throw the ball and we think that by default a lot of those targets could go towards Young.
• Back to Earth: Matt Ryan: Ryan and the Falcons offense were so explosive last week that we cannot completely dismiss them, but the Broncos Defense has impressed us a great deal on film. Their pass rush can come from all levels of the defense, which should hinder the Falcons’ longer developing downfield passes
• Bounce Back: Roddy White: White does his best work in the intermediate passing game and we feel that Matt Ryan will be unable to hold onto the ball for as long as he did last week. That pressure, combined with the attention Julio Jones should receive from the Broncos Safeties, will help White get back on track. White will have plenty of man to man opportunities to capitalize on.