- Scott Engel, ESPN Fantasy Games
Here's a quick-hitting recap of key performances and news from the second week of the NFL season, complete with in-depth fantasy analysis.
Reality for Rex Grossman owners: The bottom line for Rex Grossman and the Bears is that they are now 3-0, and the quarterback threw a key touchdown pass right after the two-minute warning to win the game. But for fantasy owners, there should now be a clear difference between what Grossman can do for the Bears, and what he can do for fantasy teams. A healthy Grossman can certainly lead the Bears to many wins, but he is not going to post great numbers too often. Even coming off his four-TD performance in the second game, it's clear Grossman is no fantasy superstar. He's a good reserve who is worth starting when the matchup is right. In the first two games, Grossman faced defenses which have been very vulnerable in the secondary so far this season, and Chicago's first two opponents clearly did not game plan with Grossman as a major threat in mind. The Vikings came out much more wary of Grossman Sunday, and pressured him often. Grossman threw a pair of interceptions and also made other some questionable throws at times that could have been picked off. Based on one game last week, Grossman was indeed not the next coming of Brett Favre as advertised by some Bears backers. But for fantasy purposes, he isn't terrible, either, and keep him on your roster as a top backup for a better, more established fantasy starter.
Steve Smith returns: If you didn't start Steve Smith this week because you were still worried about his hamstring, don't beat yourself up over it. Just be glad Smith played much better than expected, and now you can be confident starting him going forward, instead of worrying about his status as you may have done for the past three weeks. Smith made an instant impact in his return to Carolina's lineup, catching seven balls for 112 yards when it was thought he might not even play, and if he did, there were major concerns that his effectiveness and production would be limited. But Smith showed that taking off the first two weeks and getting more rest was a great idea for him, even though it may have hurt some fantasy teams in the process. It might be hard to trade Smith right now, because some other fantasy owners will still worry about the recurrence of his hamstring problems. You likely won't be able to sell high on him and might not get proper value in return. So be happy he played well this week, and look forward to using him more for fine production in the near future. If Smith explodes next week against New Orleans, he'll have two fine performances to show, and you'll have the luxury of dealing him away if his health still concerns you, or keeping him for more excellent totals. But you can worry about that next week. Smile and get ready to plug him in for your fourth fantasy game.
Scott Engel discusses notes from Sunday's games.