Fantasy Final: Week Two

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The following is an article written by Real Football Services. They are a frequent contributor on newyorkjets.com.

Who's Hot
Quarterback
Carson Palmer, Cincinnati Bengals:  The Bengals are taking it slow with Palmer, and last week, with their ability to run at will against the Chiefs, Palmer took a back seat.  That won't be the case this week against a Cleveland secondary that doesn't have anyone who can run with WR's Chad Johnson, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, and Chris Henry.  Look for Palmer to test the Browns secondary early with deep balls to Johnson.  Whether they hook up or not, the coverage will have to back off to honor Johnson's speed and Palmer's strong arm, leaving more room for shorter high percentage passes to Housh (if healthy) and Henry.

Running Back
Ronnie Brown, Miami Dolphins:  Brown struggled in Week One against one of the better run defenses in the league, but look for Miami to make a more concerted effort to run the ball against the Bills who basically paved a road for the Patriots rushing attack in their opener.  The Dolphins will run off tackle at the Buffalo pass rushing DE's, and look for traps and draw plays that will expose the Bills aggressive up the field pressure.  The Bills have athletic LB's who can run, but expect the Fins to run out of 2-TE sets, getting an extra blocker out on the OLB to seal off the corner for Brown.  He will also be used as a receiver out of the backfield, and if Week One is any indication, he will see the ball in the red zone.  He's a sure fantasy starter this week.

Wide Receiver
Laveranues Coles, WR, New York Jets:  Coles averaged almost 20 yards per catch in week one and has the size and strength to beat the press coverage of NE CB's Asante Samuel and Ellis Hobbs.  Samuel in particular is an aggressive corner who will bite on head and shoulder fakes, so look for Coles to break off his routes in the early going to get Samuel to close on the ball, then use double moves to get behind the coverage.  Once free, he can play off the safety for long gains.  He is a solid receiver choice this week.

Donald Driver, Green Bay Packers: Driver's Week 1 numbers weren't a surprise to us.  He is still Favre's go to guy.  This week, look for more of the same as Driver will have an advantage over the New Orleans corners.  Neither Fred Thomas or Mike McKenzie are particularly good in press coverage, meaning Driver will get a quick free release and have opportunities to work in space.  With the Pack's signing of Koren Robinson, it would be a mistake for the Saints to roll coverage to Driver's side, meaning he could see some single coverage and will be good for 6-7 catches and 100 yards receiving, and he will also have a size advantage over the CB's in the red zone.

Tight End
Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City Chiefs:  Gonzalez owners could be the ones who benefit the most from QB Trent Green's injury.  The Broncos will bracket him with a safety to keep him from getting deep on the seam, but they will let Green's backup Damon Huard hit him with the short stuff all day, much the way the Bengals did last week, and swarm to the ball after the catch to make sure they get the big fella on the ground.  Those little short passes have a way of adding up to fantasy points though as we saw last week when Gonzo piled up 81 yards on 10 catches.

Defense
Steelers (vs. Jacksonville):  Fred Taylor had a nice day against Dallas in Week One, and we can't say we expected that, but Taylor should have made a call to fellow Sunshine Stater Ronnie Brown to see what the Steelers are all about, as if he didn't know.  Jacksonville will run out of spread formations with multiple receivers, hoping to put the Steelers in their nickel package, but the Steel Curtain's improved secondary isn't concerned with the Jags WR corps.  Look for the athletic LB's to help in short coverage, and for the CB's to man up on the perimeter.  Pressure will be the key to stopping the run and forcing bad passes that will turn into big plays.  Once the run is shut down, Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau will have a full assortment of stunts, blitzes and disguised coverages to confuse Byron Leftwich and force him into quick decisions and bad throws that the DB's can turn around for big plays.

Who's Not
Quarterback
Jon Kitna, Detroit Lions:  We sense some coaching conflict in Detroit.  OC Mike Martz wants to open it up, while HC Rod Marinelli wants ball control.  Martz also chose Kitna over Josh McCown despite some feeling in the Lions organization that McCown was the better option.  The Ford Field faithful didn't like it either as Kitna heard the boos early in the opener.  Against an outstanding Bears front seven, Kitna's prospects don't get much better this week.  He'll feel a lot of pressure from an outstanding pass rush, and a bad throw can easily turn into six for the Bears with their playmaking corners jumping the receiver's routes.  Our guess is that the McCown era in Detroit isn't far off.

Running Back
Larry Johnson, Kansas City Chiefs:  Johnson will be carrying a big load this week.  The Chiefs will make no secret of their plans to attack the middle of the Broncos defense with Johnson running behind their tough interior linemen.  The D-line can be moved, but Johnson will face 8-9 men in the box for most of the day and will struggle to put together his usual fantasy numbers.

Wide Receiver
Muhsin Muhammad, Chicago Bears:  Muhammad may have a QB to get him the ball, but until Bernard Berrian or Mark Bradley do enough to draw some attention from the safeties, Muhammad will continue to see bracket coverage.  This week he gets Dre Bly who doesn't have Muhammad's size, but he is a shut down corner who has the quickness and agility to stay in Muhammad's hip pocket on the underneath routes, and the speed to run down the sideline with him as well.

Tight End
Alge Crumpler, Atlanta Falcons:  Most TE's would begin to salivate at the site of a Cover Two scheme where they could split the safeties and make plays running the seam.  But Crumpler has averaged just over three catches a game against the Bucs and has just two TD in his last four games.  Tampa will align a LB, probably Ryan Nece, over him at the LOS and make it as difficult as possible for him to get off the line.  The SS will line up a little closer to the ball, cheating up for the time when Crumpler comes up field with the ball.  This kind of bracket coverage has kept Crumpler under wraps.  He's still a red zone threat and a fantasy starter as a result, but don't expect gaudy numbers.

Defense
Buffalo Bills (vs. Miami):   The Bills will rush four with up the field pressure and alternatively drop and rush their LB's in an effort to confuse Culpepper.  The Bills have one of the top group of defensive backs in the league, and if they can force Culpepper into quick decisions and bad passes, that could lead to big plays.  But they must prove they can stop the run first, something that still remains to be seen.

Sleeper of the Week
*Koren Robinson, WR, Green Bay Packers: *Robinson signed with the Pack early this week, and while everyone else will tell you that he won't be a factor, remember who told you that he will have an immediate impact…WE DID!  He was drafted out of NC State by current Packers GM and former Seattle guru Ted Thompson, who knows everything there is to know about this kid.  He is a big, physical freak of nature who just hasn't gotten it all straight up in the attic yet.  He's a Pro Bowl returner and provides Favre with another big target; one that can get downfield.  And he's fast, certainly fast enough to run from the cops!  Play him this week and watch your fellow fantasy owners do the slow burn.

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