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.
T.O.'s "big" day: Usually, a three-touchdown performance is nothing to pick apart. Many fantasy leaguers expected a big day from Terrell Owens against the Texans, and got what they wanted. So why complain? Well, there's certainly no reason to be unhappy with three scores, but the quality of the opponent and Owens' other numbers indicate it could be awhile before he delivers such large fantasy totals again. Owens caught five balls for 45 yards, and his 21-yard scoring reception in the third quarter was his longest catch of the day, leaving him with only 24 receiving yards on his four other catches. Owens still is running sloppy routes, isn't getting open deep often enough, and doesn't look fully comfortable in the Dallas passing game. Now is the time to trade Owens to fantasy owners who might think this was his "breakout" game as a Cowboy. Owens still doesn't look like the major playmaker he used to be, and while we can't discredit his three scores, there are apparent signs that he will still struggle against other teams. Unload Owens this week, before the luster of his inflated statistical outing against a bad opponent wears off.
Deion Branch earns his wings: With a long holdout and missed playing time now behind him, Branch has quickly become a top target for his new team. Branch caught six passes for 76 yards and scored twice in Seattle's shootout with the Rams. He also carried the ball one time for an additional 19 yards. Unlike many other players who miss games or preseason time, Branch is showing no signs of being rusty, and has fit in quickly with his new teammates. He has clearly become a favored target for Matt Hasselbeck, as Branch is catching all types of passes to build good fantasy numbers. He makes the shorter grabs and turns them into important gains, and he also gets behind the secondary to give Hasselbeck another downfield target. Branch and Darrell Jackson are quite a pair of starting receivers for Hasselbeck, who threw three TD passes with no interceptions. Both receivers can play well and should not cut into each other's numbers in a major way, as Jackson also caught four passes for 94 yards, and hauled in a 42-yard TD reception. Hasselbeck is looking like a must-start player with a great receiving duo, and Branch makes many key catches and should be a regular scoring option in a very potent passing game. Branch has better receiving talent surrounding him than he did in New England, and he should be a lock in your lineup as a No. 2 fantasy receiver. He could post better numbers on a week-to-week basis in Seattle than he did in New England.