Fantasy focus: Who starts and who sits?

September, 13, 2012
9/13/12
3:10
PM ET
Here are some AFC East players fantasy owners should start and sit in Week 2:

Start

1. Patriots QB Tom Brady

Thoughts: Don’t be fooled by last week’s dominant performance on the ground. The Patriots will put up big numbers through the air this year. Brady is undefeated in 10 home openers and draws an easy opponent in the Arizona Cardinals. It’s the perfect recipe for Brady to have his first big fantasy performance of the season. If you have Brady on your fantasy team, this may be the last time to play him for a couple of weeks. The Patriots travel to Baltimore in a tough, Week 3 matchup. So play Brady now and get the points. Then, play your backup quarterback the following week.

2. Bills RB C.J. Spiller

Thoughts: Spiller erased any doubt that he can be a starting running back when he took over for the injured Fred Jackson last season. That’s why there should be no concerns about fantasy owners playing Spiller now under the same scenario. Spiller is leading the NFL in rushing with 169 yards and a touchdown against a tough New York Jets defense. Spiller should have another good outing against the Kansas City Chiefs,

3. Patriots defense

Thoughts: As strange as it feels to write this, I think New England’s defense is a good fantasy play this week. This group, led by rookie first-round picks Chandler Jones and Dont'a Hightower, looked much improved in Week 1. The matchup against Arizona quarterback Kevin Kolb (or John Skelton if healthy) plays right into New England’s hands. I expect to see the Patriots force some turnovers and sacks against the Cardinals. I don’t know if New England’s defense can be good for 16 games, but it will be good for the first two weeks.

Sit

1. Jets RB Shonn Greene: The Pittsburgh Steelers’ defense, which was No. 1 last year, didn’t play well last week against the Denver Broncos. Expect Pittsburgh’s defense to play very angry and motivated Sunday against the Jets. Greene rushed for 94 yards against Buffalo, but I think those numbers drop in Week 2. Jets backup quarterback Tim Tebow and the Wildcat also will take away some of Greene’s carries.

2. Jets QB Mark Sanchez: Sanchez put on one of the best performances of his career in Week 1, throwing for 266 yards and three touchdowns. That may convince some owners to jump on the Sanchez bandwagon while he’s hot. But Sunday’s matchup against the Steelers is not a good one. Pittsburgh will do a much better job pressuring Sanchez, which the Bills couldn’t do.

3. Patriots WR Wes Welker: You never know what exactly is in the mind of coach Bill Belichick. But the facts are Welker had just three catches for 14 yards last week and played in just 64 percent of the snaps. New England rotated Welker with backup Julian Edelman and played some three-tight end sets. If fantasy owners have other good options at receiver, I would sit Welker for now until we’re sure what’s going on. It may be another couple of weeks before we know what Welker’s role is this year.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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