Week 2 Fantasy Tips from the Playbook War Room, Part 1

Fantasy Tips, Playbook, Playbook War Room

Week 1 is in the books and what an exciting one it was.  Many thought the shortened off-season would favor defenses, but the exact opposite happened.  Offenses exploded last week: a total of 14 quarterbacks threw for 300+ yards. That’s an astonishing number in any week, but especially the first week of a season.  Consider: only 3 quarterbacks threw for 300+ in Week 1 of last year.

Using the All-22 Film, the NFL Playbook Team has now examined all of last week’s game tapes to bring you our analysis of Week 2’s matchups.

Here’s Part 1 of that breakdown . . .

Ryan Fitzpatrick (AP)


  • The Bills D shut down Jamaal Charles and the KC rushing attack last week. They were able to control the line of scrimmage against a fairly weak KC O-Line. Darren McFadden is a little banged up this week and should not see as much against Buffalo as he did against the Broncos.
  • The Raiders D-Line looked dominant at times in Denver. With a still questionable Buffalo O-Line, expect Ryan Fitzpatrick to be under a little more pressure this week and struggle to get the ball out as cleanly as he did last week.
  • Look for Fred Jackson to be used more out of the backfield this week with pressure coming up the middle from the Raiders DLine.  Fitzpatrick is going to need a safety valve this game.


  • Peyton Hillis should run the ball much better against a smaller DLine that struggled to tackle and stop the run last week against Houston.
  • Kerry Collins is going up against a Browns D that doesn’t generate much pressure. The Browns DLine has a good size, but not speed, which should allow Kerry to get more comfortable in the pocket.
  • Joe Haden played great last weekend against the Bengals, recording 4 pass breakups. While Reggie Wayne is far superior to any Bengals WR, Wayne could be slowed down slightly if Haden matches up with him for the entire game.

Luke McCown (AP)


  • Josh McCown and Mike Thomas had a lot of success last week in the short and intermediate passing game. Mike Thomas will be lost on Revis Island or make a number of shorter catches underneath due to pressure on McCown.
  • The NYJ Defensive Line did a great job of occupying Dallas’ OLine to allow Bart Scott and David Harris space to roam. If they can do the same against the Jaguars rushing attack, expect MJD to be bottled up.
  • The Jets OLine played poorly in Week 1, completely hindering the Jets ability to run the ball. It won’t surprise us if Shonn Greene’s numbers are disappointing week this week.


  • Avoid all Seahawk position players. They are going up against a Steelers D that was embarrassed last week; expect Pittsburgh to come out with a vengeance.  This defense still showed frequent flashes of its true identity.
  • Ben Roethlisberger showed last week that he plays his best when he has a running game. It is unlikely that Pittsburgh goes down early again, so expect them to get back to old school Steeler football and control the game by running the ball.
  • The Seahawks do not possess nearly the same pass rush as Baltimore. Without an uncomfortable amount of pressure every snap, Big Ben will be able to get outside the pocket, improvise, and utilize the speed he has on the outside to generate big plays down the field.


Chris Johnson (AP)

  • Chris Johnson and the Titans OL struggled against Jacksonville to generate yards in the trenches. CJ was able to gain some extra yards on the ground simply because of poor Jaguar DLine tackling. Expect Johnson to be slowed once again against a Baltimore front that was extremely physical against the Steelers.
  • TE Ed Dickson will continue to get more looks in the passing game. With Lee Evans banged up, Dickson will be targeted to stretch the field up the middle and should get a few passes his way down the field.
  • Tennessee got torched by Maurice Jones Drew for well over 100 yards last week. The Ravens have upgraded their OLine with the addition of Bryant McKinnie at LT, which allowed Michael Oher to move back to RT. These moves have increased the Ravens physicality as a whole, which will open a lot of running lanes for Ray Rice.


  • Oakland was able to physically dominate Denver at the line of scrimmage. Both Oakland and Cincinnati do not possess strong passing attacks, but that did not seem to matter last week in the Denver v. Oakland game. The success against the Denver Defense should carry over to Cedric Benson and the Cincinnati Offense.
  • TE Daniel Fells could see more looks this week. If Brandon Lloyd and Knowshon Moreno are unable to play, the Denver Offense becomes far less threatening. If they choose to rely on a ball control offense, Fells should get a good amount of balls thrown his way.

Chad Henne (AP)


  • Miami does not want to get into another shootout with a prolific offense after last week’s loss to the Patriots. The Dolphins gritty OLine should be able to open up a few holes against a lighter Houston DLine. If Daniel Thomas is back, expect even more success from the Dolphins rushing attack.
  • Matt Schaub and the Houston Wide Receivers should tear apart the Dolphins passing defense.  New England put up 500 yards, while Miami only generated two QB hurries and one sack, in 49 attempts.
  • If the Dolphins can protect Chad Henne, Brandon Marshall should be able to exploit the zone defense of the Texans. Reggie Wayne was able to find holes last week and Marshall should be able to do the same.


  • San Diego’s big wide Receivers should match-up well against a smaller New England secondary. Brandon Marshall, a bigger bodied receiver, was able to record over 140 yards receiving last week.
  • New England used two TE sets on 80% of their 49 pass plays in Week 1. Both players are mismatches in man to man coverage and they make it difficult to stay true to zone coverage.
  • Reggie Bush had a lot of success catching passes out of the backfield last week.  San Diego’s Mike Tolbert caught two TDs and Ryan Matthews tallied 73 yards through the air.  Expect both of them to have success running the ball, but also catch a handful of passes.

Check back tomorrow for Part 2 of our Week 2 Breakdown and Fantasy Tips

Send your questions and comments to the Playbook War Room Team at playbook@nfl.com and on Twitter @NFLN_Playbook.

For more All-22 analysis watch NFL Playbook: Thursdays & Fridays at 8pm ET only on NFL Network.

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