Bye Weeks: N/A
Grab a Helmet
Gore v. DET: For a guy who played quarterback in the
NFL and helped shepherd the position’s best prospect in a generation
at Stanford (Andrew Luck), Jim Harbaugh sure doesn’t care much for
the forward pass. San Francisco threw the fewest of any team last
year save for Denver, who eschewed the pass for more practical than
philosophical reasons (Tim Tebow couldn’t complete any). Harbaugh’s
philosophy is simple and doesn’t appear to have changed in 2012:
win the line of scrimmage and you’ll win more often than not. The
Niners spent most of Week 1 executing that plan to perfection, pulverizing
the Packer defenders to the tune of 186 yards on 32 carries. Gore
accounted for precisely half of those totes, racking up 112 yards
and one score. So long as Brandon Jacobs isn’t around to vulture
touches, Gore should find similar success in Week 2 against the
Frank Gore's value remains high early in
Bush @ GB: Speaking of vultures, allow me to introduce
you to the league’s very best. The former handcuff to Darren McFadden
in Oakland reprises that role in Chicago this year as the primary
poacher to Matt Forte. Bush didn’t disappoint in the opener versus
Indianapolis, rushing for 42 yards and two scores on 12 carries.
That is to say, he didn’t disappoint unless you’re a Matt Forte
owner. This week, Bush draws the aforementioned Green Bay defense
in Thursday night’s rivalry game at Lambeau. Because the Bears are
unlikely to jump out to such a sizeable lead, he’s a stretch to
get 12 more carries. Could he garner 7-10, though, and another scoring
opportunity or two? Sure seems plausible enough. I’ll be rooting
against him, of course (gotta have this one, Pack), but that doesn’t
mean you have to. Give him a look.
Charles @ BUF: There were several reasons to be at least
mildly concerned about Charles heading into drafts this past summer.
Would he be fully recovered from a torn ACL suffered early in 2011?
Would newly acquired Peyton Hillis steal most of the carries and
all of the goal-line work? Would Kansas City be good enough to make
either of the two running backs worth owning? Fantasy GMs seemed
to answer yes, no, and yes, respectively, by selecting Charles in
the second round on average, a full four to five rounds higher than
Hillis. Turns out they were right, at least for one week. The former
Longhorn garnered 16 carries to Hillis’ 7 and outgained his new
teammate 87 yards to 16. Hillis will probably be more of a factor
in closer games but Charles is clearly the more dynamic of the two
and the one worth starting, in my opinion, against the Bills in
upstate New York this weekend.
Grab a Gatorade
Smith @ SF: I recommended a start for Detroit’s current
rock-toter last Sunday and he did not disappoint, tallying 91
total yards and a couple scores on 17 touches versus St. Louis.
He gets one more week as the featured back before Mikel Leshoure
returns to share the load, but I think he’ll be hard-pressed to
match those numbers in the Bay Area against the Niners. San Fran
literally shut down the Pack’s running attack (granted, an easy
thing to do) and forced Aaron Rodgers almost exclusively to the
airwaves in an impressive, wire-to-wire win in Titletown. Though
Smith is probably a more versatile back than Ced Benson and could
be involved in the passing game some, he’s unlikely to crack even
the 50-yard mark on Sunday. Two more scores seems like a pretty
big stretch, as well. Keep him reserved this time.
Turner v. DEN: Chris Johnson is officially on notice
after a putrid 11-carry, four-yard dud to open the 2012 campaign,
but we’ll give him a chance to right the ship before recommending
a sit. He’s still very young/talented, after all, and is still
the centerpiece of his squad’s offense. I can’t afford Turner
the same courtesy, frankly, because…well, he’s neither. Though
Atlanta turned a close game into a blowout in KC, Turner notched
only 11 carries for a pedestrian 32 yards. Moreover, the Falcons
finally followed through on that promise to give “The Burner”
some relief. His backup, Jacquizz Rodgers, tallied nine total
touches, as well. The worst part for Turner’s owners, though?
The Falcons appear committed to a more pass-oriented attack this
season. Finally. That’s great for them (Julio Jones and Roddy
White are the best receiving duo in the business) but bad for
those who drafted Turner as their #1 back this season. His days
of carrying your fantasy squad are all but over.
Williams or Beanie
Wells @ NE: It’s RBBC time in Arizona, and the early
returns on this particular combo weren’t overly impressive. Williams
got the official start and tallied 26 total yards on 11 touches
(eight carries and three receptions). Wells played sidekick and
recorded 14 yards on seven carries (he wasn’t targeted in the
passing game). Neither player scored a touchdown because…surprise!
LaRod Stephens-Howling, the ostensible fifth wheel/third RB, scored
the only rushing touchdown for the Cardinals in the win over Seattle.
Yuck. This situation’s way too messy to interest us moving forward.
That’s especially the case in Week 2 when Arizona faces a New
England squad that completely shut down Chris Johnson last Sunday.