Michael Vick, Eagles
Two games into the season, we can safely conclude that Vick has an opportunity to put together a career year in 2013. Provided he can stay healthy of course. With the Eagles taking their foot off the gas in Week 1, Vick amassed 29.6 fantasy points, and in Week 2 he put up 37.7 on 428 passing yards and a pair of touchdowns, as well as his second rushing touchdown of the season.
Philip Rivers, Chargers
Rivers is protecting the football (one interception and no lost fumbles through two games) and elevating the play of his receivers, something that was missing from his game over the past couple of years. With seven touchdown passes and 614 passing yards in two games, Rivers has emerged as a low-end starter after two weeks. The schedule isn’t horrible, so this could be a situation where you can move your starter for help elsewhere and roll with Rivers.
Sam Bradford, Rams
This isn’t the St. Louis offense of yesteryear, dominated by Steven Jackson. The Rams are chucking it because of a subpar rushing attack, with Bradford second in the league in pass attempts. He has throw for 299 and 352 yards and multiple touchdowns (three and two, respectively) in each game. And the young weapons he has on offense will only get better as the season progresses.
Tom Brady, Patriots
I coach 8-year rep hockey, so I am well aware that what you start the season with isn’t what you finish it with. Unfortunately for Brady owners, they are going to have to endure more games like this week’s effort against the Jets, in which Brady completed 19 of 39 passes for 185 yards and one touchdown, before the light at the end of the tunnel gets brighter. Simply put, this is the worst collection of receivers that he has ever had to work with.
Josh Freeman, Buccaneers
Two games into his free-agent year, it appears that Freeman is destined to make this a “break it” year rather than a “make it” one. He was abysmal this week against the Saints, going 9 of 22 for 125 yards and a touchdown with one interception. He wasn’t much better in Week 1, and control freak head coach Greg Schiano isn’t going to waste much more time before he inserts rookie third-round pick Mike Glennon into the lineup.
Robert Griffin III, Redskins
Ugh. It was another ugly performance for RGIII this week, although he still managed to pad his fantasy stats with 320 passing yards and three touchdown passes. At 0-2 and with the season on the line, there is a small chance that head coach Mike Shanahan will put him on a short leash if the turnovers keeping coming (three interceptions so far in 2013). The truth of the matter is that RGIII hasn’t produced other than in garbage time.
James Starks, Packers
Starks came off the bench this week to become the first Packers player in 44 games to top 100-yards rushing. With Eddie Lacy out with a concussion, Starks had the finest game of his four-year career with 132 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries, while chipping in four receptions for 36 yards. He entered training camp fifth on the depth chart but pushed aside Alex Green (released) to keep his job. With rookie fourth-round pick Jonathan Franklin struggling, DuJuan Harris out for the year, and Lacy questionable for next week, Starks now sits atop the depth chart for a Packers offense that is humming. It’s worth mentioning that reports out of Green Bay in the preseason noted that Starks was having the best training camp of his career and that he looked like a different player.
Knowshon Moreno, Broncos
At this point, you can feel comfortable inserting Moreno into the starting lineup. He has outshined his two younger backups with 172 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 28 touches. There is simply no reason why the Broncos would give rookie second-round pick Montee Ball more touches in Week 3.
Fred Jackson, Bills
With FJax getting 33 touches over the first two weeks of the season, it looks like the plan to give C.J. Spiller the rock until he pukes isn’t going to be put in place. Jackson hasn’t even done a lot to warrant the work, averaging 3.9 yards per carry and 8.0 yards per reception, but his 11.1 PPG average looks pretty solid.
Joique Bell, Lions
Reggie Bush is having an MRI on his knee and Bell has made the most of his opportunities thus far in 2013, with 164 total yards and a pair of touchdowns on 24 touches.
Brandon Jacobs, Giants
Although he is destined for the bench when Andre Brown returns, Jacobs could prove useful for a few weeks. He had seven rushes this week, many of them as a short-yardage runner, scoring once. He even had a pass thrown his way, although the Giants presumably had the wrong personnel in the game on that play.
Jordan Todman, Jaguars
After a first-half ankle injury, Maurice Jones-Drew never returned. Rather than turn to Justin Forsett or Denard Robinson, the Jaguars inserted Todman, who carried five times. For seven yards. No, not pretty, but worth noting that he—not Forsett, as most expected—is MJD’s handcuff.
Arian Foster, Texans
I’m not pulling the plug yet because I think better days are ahead, but Arian is averaging 3.7 yards per carry against a pair of run defenses that aren’t exactly considered upper-tier.
Trent Richardson, Browns & DeMarco Murray, Cowboys
These guys aren’t chopped liver but the offensive lines they run behind sure are. Richardson is averaging 3.4 yards a pop while Murray is at 3.5. Let’s call these buy-low situations.
Mark Ingram, Saints
Stick a fork in this dude. He’s done. Unless the Saints offensive line becomes dominant, Ingram will never be a consistent fantasy producer. There is too much competition for touches in the Saints backfield and he just doesn’t deserve to get enough of them to make him fantasy relevant. This guy needs volume touches to put up decent numbers.
DeAndre Hopkins, Texans
With Andre Johnson out with a concussion, Hopkins hauled in the winning touchdown in the Texans overtime win over the Titans, finishing the day with seven receptions for 117 yards and the score. He was also instrumental on the Texans’ game-tying scoring drive in the fourth quarter with three receptions for 64 yards. It looks like Hopkins will get his in the Texans offense, but he will get even more if AJ is out for any length of time.
Eddie Royal, Chargers
Sometimes tone is important. You’re not here with me and these words are being typed, so let me spell it out for you: This is lukewarm endorsement. Sure, Royal has five touchdowns in two games and the Chargers passing offense looks surprisingly potent. But it won’t be a surprise if Royal doesn’t find the end zone over the rest of the season, since his five scores match his touchdowns production over the past four seasons combined.
Steve Johnson, Bills
Just in case anybody was doubting his fantasy relevance with rookie EJ Manuel at quarterback, Johnson has touchdowns in each of his first two games and topped 100 receiving yards this week.
Lance Moore, Saints
With four targets in each of his first two games (three receptions for 38 yards), Moore is starting to look like an afterthought in the Saints offense.
Vincent Brown, Chargers
Brown is averaging a respectable 5.0 PPG but that is padded by his Week 1 touchdown. With just six receptions on 11 targets for 39 yards, he has had a rather underwhelming start to a season in which he was considered a breakout candidate by many (not here, BTW—ahem).
Kenny Britt, Titans
After a one-reception, 15-yard performance in Week 1 in which he had only two targets, Britt was more involved in the Titans’ Week 2 matchup against the Texans. Unfortunately, he caught just four of his nine targets for 28 yards before getting benched.
Martellus Bennett, Bears
Bennett put together a career year last season in his first year with the Giants, despite playing through an early-season knee injury, and it looks like he will have another career year with another new team in 2013. Two games into his Bears career, Bennett is clearly a key cog in Chicago’s passing attack, with ten receptions for 125 yards and three touchdowns. He appears headed for mid-tier TE1 status.
Fred Davis, Redskins
Two games into the year, Davis has been targeted just six times compared to nine for rookie third-round pick Jordan Reed. While Reed has shown little playmaking ability, averaging 7.0 yards per reception, it appears there is a changing of the guard occurring at the tight end position in Washington.
Brandon Pettigrew, Lions
After a two-reception, six-yard performance in Week 1, Pettigrew was marginally better this week against the Cardinals, catching three of his six targets for 32 yards. After watching Rams tight end Jared Cook scorch the Cardinals safeties in Week 1, Pettigrew owners were hoping for more. Unfortunately, with the addition of Reggie Bush, his role in the Lions offense appears to have been marginalized.