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Ranking Favre, NFC East running backs and more

9/16/2009

Don't start Mark Sanchez over Matt Schaub this week, don't think about trading Steven Jackson for Julius Jones, and most of all, don't panic. I know that's not the advice that many of you want to hear, but that's really the tone of this week, as so many people who lost in Week 1 have designs on turning their roster over. Sure, some of you got walloped in Week 1. One of my teams, a decent one at that, had its score nearly tripled. Now I'm the laughingstock of the league. Of course, some of those same players who laid a collective egg will be just fine in Week 2 and beyond. The point is, when it comes my decision-making at this point for roster moves and the weekly rankings, I can tell you I remain conservative. I'm going to give Matt Forte a few more chances, trust me.

The much-awaited ESPN Fantasy weekly rankings are up for Week 2 and as always I have some thoughts on the trends I saw and took part in.

Do I not love Brett Favre enough?: Look, the matchup couldn't be any better. The Detroit Lions were skewered by Drew Brees for six touchdowns. Oh wait, he just threw another! It was that bad. The Lions couldn't stop the New Orleans Saints. Are the Minnesota Vikings that type of offense? I don't think so. I did rank Favre at No. 11 and thought I might be risking scorn among the group for more in the continuing saga of pro-Favre talk. Imagine my shock when I saw the other three rankers -- Matthew Berry, Christopher Harris and Erik Kuselias, if you forgot -- all gave Favre more love. In our overall projections, Favre was given the most love, enough to be the No. 1 quarterback for the week. I can understand why that would be. Adrian Peterson is our top player for the week. I just don't know if Favre, who ended up our consensus ninth quarterback for the week, will throw enough to get the 200 yards and three touchdowns that are being projected. We all agree he's a good play, and that the risk of turnovers has probably never been lower, but he might not need to throw any more than he did in Week 1 if Peterson and Chester Taylor run wild for 200-plus yards.

NFC East running backs run wild!: In Week 1, we didn't see great numbers from the trinity of running backs in what many believe is the league's toughest division. Marion Barber of the Dallas Cowboys was the division leader with 13 fantasy points, Brian Westbrook took a Donovan McNabb shovel pass for a touchdown to get to his 12 points, while Clinton Portis joined Brandon Jacobs as a nonscorer. I say to buy low on all these guys, especially for this week. I ranked three of these players in my top seven at the position and Barber was at 13. Clearly I trust better things are to come, especially for Westbrook, who might need to carry the Kevin Kolb-led offense against the Saints. No, the likely loss of McNabb this week doesn't scare me off Westbrook. Only injury does, and as of now he's healthy enough.

Who's afraid of the big, bad Panthers?: Speaking of the Eagles' big 38-10 win, I admit I took some moments of pensive thought when deciding how to handle the Carolina Panthers this week. This is a team that might have to go to A.J. Feeley -- the same guy who was unemployed a few days ago -- by halftime this week. Jake Delhomme has thrown nine interceptions in his past two games, including last season's playoffs, and while some haven't been his fault, I can't imagine he's going to get many more chances if this continues. The Panthers didn't move the ball very well against the Philadelphia Eagles. DeAngelo Williams scored a touchdown and had chances for a big game, but didn't look nearly as good as I expected. Jonathan Stewart actually played, and ran well. Steve Smith looked lonely because Delhomme's passes -- and those from Josh McCown and Matt Moore -- kept ending up in Eagles hands or bouncing up there. This week, the Panthers have a short trip to the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, and I think the offense bounces back with good numbers. I wouldn't play Delhomme -- none of us ranked him in the top 25, and I didn't really consider it -- but Williams remained in everyone's top 10, and Smith was the No. 5 wide receiver, and seventh from the group. Things will get finer in Carolina.