Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis
The Indianapolis Colts get their home opener this week against the Minnesota Vikings. Blaine Gabbert’s impressive performance in an overtime loss didn’t help the reputation they’ve earned as being soft on covering the opposition. The Vikings have been building the offensive side of the ball in order to protect their franchise QB and picked Matt Kalil when CB Morris Claiborne was certainly the best defender available in a needy secondary. Kinda hard to believe I’m saying this about any 2nd-game rookie, but Luck should outshine counterpart RG3 in week 2.
Cam Newton, QB, Carolina
Assuming whatever illness a couple of the Panthers’ linemen have come down with stays contained, look for Newton to bounce back in his own home opener against a defense that was perforated by a similar style of QB last week when RG3 looked like a veteran against them. The Panthers will try to be more balanced in their approach this week but should allow Cam to be more efficient and explosive. I think the loser of this game still scores 28 points. If you’re tempted to sit him for whatever reason, he should bounce back fantasy-wise for sure this week.
A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati
As if you needed a reason to start him, Browns’ CB Joe Haden is not playing. While I wouldn’t even mention the thought of sitting Green, in some smaller leagues it’s all about the matchups and Cleveland held Philadelphia with their explosive weapons on offense to only 17 points and had picks all over the place. So, some may project a bit onto this game, but it’s also the Bengals’ home opener. Green should have over 100 yds and a TD at minimum.
Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay
Martin has really burst onto the scene in a hurry with an improved Buccaneers team. The Giants were in the bottom five in most categories against the run last year and Greg Schiano is no idiot. I’ll be surprised if Martin isn’t the highest-scoring non-QB fantasy player in the entire game. He’ll get his 25 carries again but will break the 100 yard mark rushing this week. Toss in 30-40 yards receiving and his value is as high as ever – even in PPR leagues now.
Shonn Greene, RB, New York Jets
This one’s a strange one, I know. On the road, and Pittsburgh just doesn’t lose home openers. However, S Troy Polamalu is out and his absence really makes Dick LeBeau’s defense mortal. They’re going to have to respect Stephen Hill’s speed and size after his showing last week. OLB James Harrison is out as well. Injuries have already caused problems on both sides of the ball for the Steelers this year.
For whatever reason I also have a weird feeling TE Heath Miller will score on a very short TD pass.