USA TODAY US Edition
Flacco should soar against Browns
Ravens QB among Week 2’s sleepers
Week 1 is in the books, and fantasy owners who lost their openers might be starting to panic. These nuggets should help get you back on the winning track.
RB Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys: Elliott’s NFL debut was a dud, but going up against a poor Washington Redskins run defense should help the rookie bounce back. The Cowboys’ ground game averaged more than 6 yards per carry the last time these teams met. QB Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers: You could give Rivers five high school receivers and he’d still carve up the Jacksonville Jaguars defense. In five career starts against the Jags, he has thrown for 15 touchdowns and completed 71.2% of his passes while averaging more than
300 yards per game. RB David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers surrendered a couple of big passing plays to running backs last weekend. Arizona will attack that weakness with Johnson, one of the best receiving backs in the league. WR DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans: Hopkins, who typically lines up on the left side of the field, will avoid cornerback Marcus Peters for the most part. The Kansas City Chiefs are thin at corner behind Peters, so Hopkins should have a field day.
RB Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers: The Carolina Panthers run defense was gashed by the Denver Broncos two- back formations. That will not be an issue against Chip Kelly’s one-back offense. Expect the Panthers to load the box and dare QB Blaine Gabbert to beat them. WR Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers: It might take a few weeks before Nelson gets back to threatening defenses downfield, the way he consistently did before his ACL tear. Don’t be sur--
prised if we’re all asking, “What’s up with the Packers offense?” after facing a tough Minnesota Vikings defense. WR Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars: The Chargers like to have shutdown corner Jason Verrett shadow the opposing team’s No. 1 receiver. Robinson is capable of winning jump balls when covered tightly, but will Blake Bortles supply him with
targets with Verrett blanketing him all game? WR Mohamed Sanu, Atlanta Falcons: Sanu’s Week 1 production was a little misleading. He got a big chunk of yardage on a well-designed play that caused a coverage bust. Most of his receptions came on quick screens that the Bucs weren’t prepared to stop. Now that it’s on film, defenses should be better prepared.
QB Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens: The Cleveland Browns defense will make every quarterback look elite this season. If the Ravens can keep Flacco clean — it gave up four sacks vs. the Buffalo Bills — he’ll have a monster day. WR Sterling Shepard, New York Giants: Eli Manning threw six TD passes the last time he faced the New Orleans Saints secondary. This could be Shepard’s breakout game. WR Tajae Sharpe, Tennessee Titans: Sharpe was targeted 11 times in Week 1 and produced a respectable 76 yards on seven catches. The Detroit Lions secondary looked awfully vulnerable Sunday in Indianapolis. TE Clive Walford, Oakland Raiders: Speaking of vulnerable, the Falcons linebackers were terrible in coverage in their opener. The Raiders will attack the second level of Atlanta’s defense, which means a lot of passes to tight ends.