Apple's NFL Fantasy Projections: Week 2

Tom Brady lit up the Monday Night Football stage as he racked up a career high 517 passing yards against the Miami Dolphins in Week 1. What will he do in Week 2? (Creative Commons, user Keith Allison).

Coming off an opening week in which offenses across the league erupted for never-before-seen performances, expectations are high and fantasy owners are praying for those numbers to repeat in Week 2.

It all started on Thursday night with a 42-34 shootout in Green Bay between Aaron Rodgers and the defending champion Packers and Drew Brees and the Saints. Rodgers threw for a whopping 312 yards and three touchdowns, only to be outdone by Brees, who put up 419 yards and three touchdowns.

Rookie Cam Newton came out on a mission, throwing for 422 yards in his first career contest with the Carolina Panthers. Although, it came in a 28-21 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, led by former Eagles QB Kevin Kolb who tossed it around for 309 yards himself.

Then there was some guy by the name of Tom Brady who amassed a Monday Night Football record 517 yards and four TDs in a 38-24 beatdown of the Dolphins in Miami. Oh yeah, Chad Henne threw for 416 yards in that game too.

And let's not forget about Washington's own Rex Grossman. Grossman or Beck... Beck or Grossman...? How many times did you hear that in the preseason? Well, the question was answered Sunday afternoon (for now) when Grossman passed for 305 yards in a 28-14 thumping of the Giants.

Can the offensive production from last weekend continue? Here are my fantasy projections for Week 2 in the NFL (all points are based off the standard ESPN scoring format).

Player Points Opponent
1. Aaron Rodgers (GB)- The defending Super Bowl champion is arguably the best QB in the NFL right now, and he has a favorable matchup going against the Panthers. Look for big numbers as usal. 28 Panthers
2. Michael Vick (Phi)- He put up big numbers last week against the Rams, but looked shaky at times. Look for him to get back on track against a Falcons team that looked awful over the weekend. 26 Falcons
3. Tom Brady (NE)- Don't expect 517 yards every weekend, but there is no question this guy is one of the best QBs of all time. The way he spreads the ball and dominates the game, he is always a reliable option. 25 Chargers
4. Matthew Stafford (Det)- This guy is good, and the Lions offense is for real in 2011, led by Stafford and Calvin Johnson. Stafford threw for 305 yards and three TDs over the weekend, and now he gets to feast on a Chiefs team that forgot to show up in Week 1. 25 Chiefs
5. Drew Brees (NO)- The Saints may have marched home losers Thursday night, but Brees threw for 419 yards and three TDs, and he is surrounded by talented recievers. Look for his success to continue all season. 22 Bears
6. Matt Schaub (Hou)- He only threw for 220 yards and one TD in Week 1, but look for him to put up big numbers against a Dolphins D that just gave up 517 yards to Tom Brady Monday night. 21 Dolphins
7. Phillip Rivers (SD)- Normally a top-5 option, he is bumped down due ot his matchup against the Patriots. Yet, there is hope for Rivers considering the Pats D gave up over 400 yards to Chad Henne in Week 1. 21 Patriots
8. Joe Flacco (Bal)- All Flacco needs to do is give the ball to Ray Rice. But when he decides to throw it he shouldn't have much trouble against the Titans, a team that just lost to a Jaguars team that dropped their starting QB days before the contest. 18 Titans
9. Josh Freeman (TB)- He didn't do anything overwhelming in Week 1, but he has the pleasure of facing a weak Vikings D that gave up 335 passing yards in Week 1. 18 Vikings
10. Cam Newton (Car)- Wow. Not often does a rookie QB crack the top-10 in Week 2 of the NFL, but Newton looked like a seasoned vetaran in Week 1, amassing 422 yards. It will be interesting to see what he does against the Super Bowl champs. 17 Packers
Sleeper: Rex Grossman (Was)- Can the hometown hero reach the 300-yard mark again against the Cardinals at FedEx Field? 17 Cardinals
Running Backs
Player Points Opponent
1. Darren McFadden (Oak)- This guy is the real deal. Run DMC rushed for 150 yards on 22 carries in Week 1, and don't expect him to slow down, especially with Jason Campbell as his QB. 24 Bills
2. Adrian Peterson (Min)- AP didn't find the end zone in Week 1, but he had a solid game. Donovan McNabb only threw for 39 yards in Week 1, so the Vikings will have to ride their star RB. 22 Bucs
3. Ray Rice (Bal)- Little Ray Rice rolled all over the Steelers defense, accumulating 26 fantasy points against a team known for its D. Now he gets to face a Titans team not known for anything. 22 Titans
4. LeSean McCoy (Phi)- With all of the options the Eagles have on offense, McCoy may not get as many touches as he deserves. But when he gets the ball, he knows how to find the holes, as he put up 25 fantasy points in Week 1. 21 Falcons
5. Cedric Benson (Cin)- The Bengals have few options on the offensive side of the ball, meaning Benson will get the ball early and often. He had 25 touches last week and ran for 121 yards. Expect the same agaisnt a weak Broncos team. 20 Broncos
6. Michael Turner (Atl)- He reached the 100-yard mark in Week 1 on just 10 carries. Unfortunately for Turner, he is in a pass-first offense, but he will perform when called upon. 18 Eagles
7. Matt Forte (Chi)- Jay Cutler has few offensive options, and Forte is his go-to-man both on the ground and through the air. Forte put up 21 fantasy points in Week 1. 18 Saints
8. Frank Gore (SF)- He is the workhorse of the 49ers offense. He gets 20+ carries in just about every game, including 22 in Week 1. He is always reliable. 17 Cowboys
9. Maurice Jones-Drew (Jac)- Normally a top-5 option, MJD is going against a tough Jets D. He deserves to be in your lineup, but this may not be one of his better weeks. 17 Jets
10. Chris Johnson (Ten)- He had a very underwhelming Week 1, but he is still one of the top RBs in the league, so look for him to get back on track. Although, it is never easy to get on track against the Ravens. 16 Ravens
Sleeper: Mike Tolbert (SD)- He is a TD machine. And it seems like he is going to get as many carries as Ryan Matthews, and all of the carries in the red zone. 15 Patriots
Wide Recievers
Player Team Opponent
1. Calvin Johnson (Det)- Megatron is Matthew Stafford's main target and is a rising star in the NFL. Based on how bad the Chiefs looked last week against the Bills, look for Johnson to have a field day. 26 Chiefs
2. Greg Jennings (GB)- Jennings in Mr. Reliable and Aaron Rodgers' favorite target on a team that loves to throw the ball down the field and accumulate points in a hurry. The Panthers better be ready. 24 Panthers
3. Andre Johnson (Hou)- He is probably the best wide reciever in the NFL, and yet he gets little publicity. If he is on your roster, consider yourself lucky, especially against a secondary that just gave up 517 pass yards in Week 1. 24 Dolphins
4. DeSean Jackson (Phi)- Jackson is a boom or bust type of player, capable of monster games. Last week he had a monster game, and depending on whether the Eagles are ready to use Jeremy Maclin more in Week 2, Jackson may go off again. 20 Falcons
5. Reggie Wayne (Ind)- Even without Peyton Manning under center, he had a very solid Week 1 and remains the Colts' top option. The Browns shouldn't be able to slow him down. 18 Browns
6. Roddy White (Atl)- The Falcons may have drafted Julio Jones, but Roddy is still their man. He is one of the top-5 WRs in the NFL and should always be in your lineup. 18 Eagles
7. Brandon Marshall (Mia)- He caught seven passes in Week 1, and was targeted throughout the game and every time the Dolphins reached the red zone. They want to give him the ball, so you want to have him in your lineup. 16 Texans
8. Larry Fitzgerald (Ari)- He had a relatively quiet Week 1, but this is still Larry Fitzgerald, one of the most talented men in the NFL. The Redskins defense was ready to play against the G-Men, but stopping Fitzy is always a challenge. 16 Redskins
9. Wes Welker (NE)- Welker, along with Tom Brady, exploded on Monday night, racking up 160 recieving yards and two TDs, including a 99.5-yard reception. He may not do that again, but he is still Brady's favorite target. 15 Chargers
10. Steve Smith (Car)- After a couple down years, it appears the Steve Smith of old has returned, under the guidance of rookie Cam Newton. Smith had 178 yards and two TDs in Week 1, so be sure to insert him into your lineup. 15 Packers
Sleeper: Plaxico Burress (NYJ)- He is back and ready to play. His success from the preseason carried over to Week 1 and the Jets are looking to give him the ball. 14 Jaguars
Tight Ends
Player Points Opponent
1. Vernon Davis (SF)- He had a quiet Week 1, but he is essentially their entire passing attack. If he doesn't get the ball, nobody will. 13 Cowboys
2. Antonio Gates (SD)- Like Davis, Gates is the top-option in the Chargers' passing game. Unlike Davis, Gates has Phillip Rivers passing the ball. 12 Patriots
3. Jason Witten (Dal)- Witten exploded for 110 recieving yards in Week 1, and it is clear Tony Romo will rely on him to make big plays for the Cowboy's offense. 11 49ers
4. Jermichael Finley (GB)- He was quiet in Week 1, but Aaron Rodgers likes to spread the ball around, and the Panthers don't have an answer for him. 11 Panthers
5. Aaron Hernandez (NE)- He benefitted from Tom Brady's record-breaking performance by amassing 103 yards and a TD on Monday night. That is not likely to happen again, but he is a solid play. 10 Chargers
6. Jimmy Graham (NO)- Graham caught a TD pass in Week 1, and may be used more this week with Marques Colston sidlined with an injury. Lance Moore is also listed as questionable. 10 Bears
7. Brandon Pettigrew (Det)- He is Matthew Stafford's main target after Calvin Johnson, and he is bound to get a few touches every game. It all comes down to whether he finds the end zone. 9 Chiefs
8. Dallas Clark (Ind)- Life without Peyton Manning is tough in Indy, but Clark is still one of the best TEs in the NFL and deserves to be in your lineup. 9 Browns
9. Kellen Winslow (TB)- He had six catches in Week 1, and is a trustworthy target for Josh Freeman. Once again, it comes down to whether he finds the end zone. 8 Vikings
10. Owen Daniels (Hou)- He had just one catch in the Texans' first game, but he has been an important part of their offense in the past. Plus Kevin Walter is hurt, which can only help his chances. 8 Dolphins
Sleeper: Fred Davis (Was)- The Redskins use two tight ends, but Davis went over 100 yards recieving in Week 1 and is a legitimate option at TE. 8 Cardinals


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