Cullen: Twenty points on NFL's Week 2

Scott Cullen
9/15/2014 2:31:29 PM
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It's time for change in D.C., the Vikings face challenges, a lot of notable injuries to runners and receivers and some big ground games Sunday; all this and more in Scott Cullen's 20 Points on Week Two.

1. Washington QB Robert Griffin III suffered a dislocated ankle that likely will end his season. In comes Kirk Cousins, who was effective (22-for-33, 250 YDS, 2 TD) against Jacksonville and has started four games over the past two seasons with Griffin out. Cousins enters a Washington passing offence in turmoil. WR DeSean Jackson sufferd a shoulder injury against Jacksonville and, with TE Jordan Reed already out, TE Niles Paul (8 REC, 99 YDS, 1 TD, 11 targets) and WR Ryan Grant (5 REC, 57 YDS) were the top Washington receiving targets.

2. With Adrian Peterson removed from lineup consideration, Vikings RB Matt Asiata (84 YDS, 1 TD, 18 touches) had a useful day against the Patriots, but there's a big drop at the position. One which the Vikings aren't too eager to see again, as they plan to have Peterson in the lineup next week. That QB Matt Cassel struggled (19-for-36, 202 YDS, 1 TD, 4 INT) could have influenced the decision.

3. Saints RB Mark Ingram (104 YDS, 1 TD, 14 touches) suffered a hand injury that will cost him about a month; Khiry Robinson, and Pierre Thomas somewhat, should see an uptick in production. Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (57 YDS, 13 touches) left Sunday's win over Seattle with a knee injury, opening the door for Danny Woodhead (60 yards, 12 touches) and especially Donald Brown (31 yards, 10 touches) to get more action in the San Diego backfield. Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles suffered an ankle injury against Denver, giving Knile Davis (105 YDS, 2 TD, 28 touches) the chance for a career day. Dolphins RB Knowshon Moreno suffered a dislocated elbow against Buffalo, leaving Lamar Miller (53 YDS, 13 touches) to be the primary ball carrier for the Dolphins, who have also re-signed Daniel Thomas while Moreno is out for the next 4-8 weeks.

4. Cincinnati ran over Atlanta Sunday, with Bengals RB Gio Bernard (169 YDS, 1 TD, 32 touches) and Jeremy Hill (96 YDS, 1 TD, 17 touches) putting up big numbers. It was all the more important for Cincinnati since Bengals WR A.J. Green left the game early with a toe injury. With Green out, that should mean more looks for Mohamed Sanu (3 REC, 84 YDS, 1 TD) who also threw a 50-yard pass to Brandon Tate against the Falcons.

5. Dallas leaned heavily on their running game at Tennessee, with Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (173 YDS, 1 TD, 30 touches) leading the way. When QB Tony Romo did throw the ball, 14 of his 29 targets were to WR Dez Bryant (10 REC, 103 YDS, 1 TD).

6. There has been lots of talk of the impending demise of Chargers TE Antonio Gates, who showed that he still has it against Seattle (7 REC, 96 YDs, 3 TD). Getting big games from Gates and QB Philip Rivers (28-for-37, 284 YDS, 3 TD; 17 YDS, 11 carries), against Seattle's vaunted defence, was a surprise.

7. With Doug Martin sidelined by a knee injury, Buccaneers RB Bobby Rainey (174 YDS, 25 touches) had a huge game against the Rams. Rainey had a couple of 100-yard rushing games last season too, so he's a pretty nice option as Tampa Bay's number two back.

8. Rams WR Tavon Austin left Sunday's win over Tampa Bay with a knee injury, but WR Brian Quick continued to produce (7 REC, 74 YDS) and fill-in QB Austin Davis (22-for-29, 235 YDS, 0 TD, 0 INT) held his own, though Rams coach Jeff Fisher says that Shaun Hill will still be the starting QB when healthy.

9. Packers WR Jordy Nelson (9 REC, 209 YDS, 1 TD) was targeted 16 times against the New York Jets. It's noteworthy that the wideout getting the second-most targets for the Packers was rookie Davante Adams, who had five catches for 50 yards on seven targets.

10. Texans RB Arian Foster (150 YDS, 30 touches) made the game easy for Houston at Oakland. The Texans ran the ball 46 times, throwing it only 19 times, in an easy win over the Raiders.

11. Browns RB Terrence West (90 YDS, 1 TD, 21 touches) had a productive game against the Saints, the second straight solid game to start his career. He's the first rookie runner to have at least 90 yards from scrimmage in his team's first two games since 2008, when Chris Johnson and Matt Forte did it. (By the way, note that Johnson, now with the Jets, had 21 yards on 13 touches against the Packers.)

12. Some usage concerns: Lions RB Joique Bell (97 YDS, 16 touches) had more touches than Reggie Bush (32 YDS, 8 touches) at Carolina, though Bush is dealing with a knee injury. As long as Bell is productive, it's easy to see Bush losing touches. Also, Saints WR Marques Colston was not targeted once against Cleveland, ending a streak of 86 straight games with a reception.

13. They didn't do much for three quarters, but Bears QB Jay Cutler (23-for-34, 176 YDS, 4 TD) and WR Brandon Marshall (5 REC, 48 YDS, 3 TD) engineered a big comeback, against a good team on the road, with Sunday night's win at San Francisco. Marshall's explosion was particularly crushing for fantasy owners that might have, considering the late start, decided to sit him when he barely practiced all week.

14. Ravens RB Bernard Pierce (103 YDS, 23 touches) emerged as the primary option in Baltimore's backfield in Week Two, ahead of Justin Forsett (72 YDS, 12 touches) against Pittsburgh Thursday. Both have value, but it's looking like a time share.

15. Patriots RB Stevan Ridley (101 YDS, 1 TD, 25 carries) and WR Julian Edelman (90 YDS, 1 TD, 7 touches) were New England's offensive leaders at Minnesota. Ridley had one 100-yard rushing game last season, but he's battling with Shane Vereen (40 YDS, seven touches) for playing time, so any optimism has to be cautious.

16. Giants TE Larry Donnell (7 REC, 81 YDS) had another productive game for the Giants, giving him 12 catches for 137 yards (on 17 targets) through the first two weeks. Last season, Donnell finished with three catches for 31 yards (all in Week Two vs. Denver), so he is becoming a viable contributor, albeit as part of a struggling Giants offence.

17. Cardinals QB Carson Palmer was a surprise scratch, with a shoulder injury, so Drew Stanton (14-for-29, 167 YDS) steered the Cardinals' offence against the Giants.

18. Bills RB C.J. Spiller (78 YDS, 13 touches, 102-YD kick return TD) and Bills rookie WR Sammy Watkins (8 REC, 117 YDS, 1 TD) had big days in Buffalo's surprisingly easy win over Miami.

19. Jets WR Eric Decker (5 REC, 74 YDS, 1 TD) suffered a hamstring injury against Green Bay. Jeremy Kerley (3 REC, 22 YDS, 8 targets) was the only other Jets player to be targeted more than three times by QB Geno Smith.

20. Browns ILB Karlos Dansby (12 tackles, 1 sack), Cardinals DE Calais Campbell (10 tackles, 1 sack), Falcons ILB Paul Worrilow (14 tackles), Dolphins OLB Jelani Jenkins (14 tackles), Jaguars FS Josh Evans (14 tackles), Buccaneers FS Dashon Goldson (11 tackles, 1 FR), Titans SS Bernard Pollard (11 tackles, 1 sack), Bills OLB Preston Brown (13 tackles), Cowboys ILB Rolando McClain (7 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT), OLB Dont'a Hightower (8 tackles, 2 sacks), Cardinals ILB Larry Foote (8 tackles, 1 INT), Panthers DE Mario Addison (3 tackles, 2.5 sacks), Bengals SS George Iloka (1 tackle, 2 INT).

Scott Cullen can be reached at and followed on Twitter at For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook.

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