2014 Fantasy Football: Monday Night Football Preview — Week 2
In the season’s second Monday night contest, Chip Kelly’s up-tempo offense heads to Indianapolis and tries to keep up with budding superstar Andrew Luck. All signs point to this game being a shootout. Two high-powered offenses against two lackluster defenses. Expect and enjoy the fireworks on Monday Night Football!
Philadelphia Eagles: Key Players
QB Nick Foles
Foles picked up Week 1 where he left off last season, throwing for 322 yards and two TDs. He has a handful of new weapons including rookie Jordan Matthews and veteran PPR star Darren Sproles. Expect Foles to have yet another great game against the Colts’ mediocre defense.
Verdict: Start Foles. Everything is set up for him to be a top five fantasy QB on Monday night. It is very unlikely you have a QB on your roster that is a better play than Foles. Put him in your lineup with full confidence.
RB LeSean McCoy
Shady is the best back in fantasy football and maybe the NFL. If you drafted him, you most likely took him first overall or at the very latest top five. He is a star in both PPR and standard formats. He will torch most teams, and the Colts should be no exception. Expect to see him utilized early and often.
Verdict: Start McCoy. You should be starting him every week no matter who he is facing.
RB Darren Sproles
Sproles was given eleven carries and six targets in Week 1. He turned his opportunities into four receptions, 85 yards from scrimmage and a TD. It appears Sproles will have a nice role in Philly and will be a viable flex option moving forward.
Verdict: Start Sproles. He has plenty of PPR value and can safely be plugged into your flex spot, especially in 12 team leagues. Coach Kelly will find ways to get him the ball, even with McCoy leading the backfield.
WR Jeremy Maclin
Maclin once again proved, when he’s healthy, he’s very good. In Week 1, he caught four passes for 97 yards and a TD. He is the clear-cut No. 1 wide out on the Eagles, and as long as he can stay on the field, he should be in your lineup.
Verdict: Start Maclin. He is an elite level talent as long as he can stay on the field. Put him in your lineup for as long as you can. Maclin should continue to thrive in Kelly’s offense.
WR Jordan Matthews
The highly touted rookie got off to a slow start in Week 1, catching only two of his four targets for 37 yards. Nonetheless, he is much more talented than WR2 Riley Cooper and will undoubtedly outperform him this season. Cooper could actually fall behind both Matthews and fellow rookie Josh Huff, who will be inactive for Monday night’s game.
Verdict: Sit Matthews. While he will almost certainly play a major role in the Eagles’ offense, he is not yet ready to be put in your starting lineup. Wait until he proves he can produce before you start him. Stash him on your bench for now.
TE Zach Ertz
Ertz is expected to have a breakout season in his sophomore campaign. The phase out of Brent Celek has apparently begun. He had a nice game Week 1, catching three passes for 77 yards and a TD. He should do most of his damage in the red zone this season.
Verdict: Start Ertz. Although I’m not 100-percent sold on Ertz being a surefire TE1, he has a great matchup this week. He should be started. It’s unlikely you have a better option on your bench.
Indianapolis Colts: Key Players
QB Andrew Luck
It is becoming obvious that Luck is the NFL’s next great QB. With Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Drew Brees all inching closer to the finish line, he’s definitely one of the guys that will help fill that void. He led a furious comeback last week against Manning. Although it fell short in real life, in the fantasy world he totaled 370 yards and two TDs.
Verdict: Start Luck. He will be a top five QB this season or very close to it. He should be started every week.
RB Trent Richardson
T-Rich is awful. He is just a horrible NFL RB. Under no circumstance should he be in your starting lineup or even on your roster for that matter. Even if he does manage a decent game at some point, it will be a complete aberration. If you start him the following week, you will have made a grave mistake.
Verdict: Sit Richardson. Do not start him ever.
RB Ahmad Bradshaw
Bradshaw is the RB to own in Indy. He is the much more talented RB in the Colts’ backfield. Sooner than later, much like Donald Brown last season, Bradshaw will be the undisputed top back. He is more explosive and a more intelligent runner. If he is on your waiver wire, pick him up.
Verdict: Start Bradshaw. It’s a little bit of a gut feeling, but I have a feeling he’s going to have a big game on Monday night. Don’t be afraid to stick him in your flex spot.
WR Reggie Wayne
Wayne had many doubters heading into the season, and who could blame them? He’s a 35-year-old WR (almost 36) coming off a torn ACL, and he’s now surrounded by a lot of other targets. Nonetheless, it appears he is still Luck’s favorite target. He was targeted a team-high 13 times. He caught nine passes for 98 yards. He’s looking like the Colts WR1 once again.
Verdict: Start Wayne. The future Hall of Famer and former Miami Hurricane is worth a start. If he’s going to be targeted like he was in Week 1, it’s going to be tough to sit him.
WR T.Y. Hilton
While Hilton has major upside and big play ability, he is not particularly reliable or efficient. He caught only five of his 11 targets in Week 1 and only tallied 41 yards. While he will have some big games, consistency will likely be an issue this season. He is no longer the Colts’ only option.
Verdict: Sit Hilton. It’s tough to put him in your lineup with so many other targets around him. He needs to separate himself from the pack a bit before you start playing him on a weekly basis.
TE Dwayne Allen
Allen is the more talented of the Colts’ TE duo. Many inexplicably predicted Coby Fleener to be the top TE. Anybody that watched the Colts in 2012 should have known better. As the season goes on, Allen will emerge as a low-end TE1. He is a big reliable target for Luck to throw too and will be utilized in the red zone.
Verdict: Start Allen. He is a good start against the Eagles defense and unless you have a very good TE ahead of him on you roster, feel comfortable putting him in your lineup. If he is on your waiver wire, he shouldn’t be.
Eagles: LeSean McCoy
Colts: Ahmad Bradshaw