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Fantasy: Matchups to avoid or exploit in Week 2

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Justin Boone, TSN.ca
9/14/2012 11:55:42 AM
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As you prepare to set your lineup each week, TSN.ca's NFL Editor Justin Boone breaks down some of the less obvious matchups you should capitalize on and those you should steer clear of for the weekend games.

For specific lineup decisions, consult the Weekly Fantasy Player Rankings.

QUARTERBACKS

Exploit

Andrew Luck (vs. Vikings) - The number one overall pick in April's draft was overshadowed by fellow rookie Robert Griffin III in Week 1, but still managed to throw for over 300 yards and a touchdown against the Bears. Luck will make his home debut this Sunday and will have an easier time moving the ball versus the Vikings.

Philip Rivers (vs. Titans) - The Raiders' backup long snapper handed San Diego a win on Monday night allowed Rivers to rest his arm as the Chargers came away with a win. Rivers completed 72.7 percent of his passes in the game and now goes up against a Titans' secondary that put up little fight against the Patriots.

Avoid

Matt Schaub (at Jaguars) - The Texans' quarterback picked on the Dolphins to the tune of 266 yards and a score. The Texans may be the defending AFC West champions, but the Jaguars always play them tough. Due to injury, Schaub only faced Jacksonville once last season, and had 225 yards in the contest, which is exactly the type of production owners should expect Sunday.

Michael Vick (vs. Ravens) - Coming off a four-interception game against the Browns, Vick will play a much more challenging defence led by Ray Lewis. Vick posted over 300 passing yards in Week , but he did so on 57 attempts and completed just over 50 percent of them. Vick may be without WR Jeremy Maclin (hip pointer), which would be a significant blow to the offence.

RUNNING BACKS

Exploit

Alfred Morris (at Rams) - After rumbling for 96 yards on 28 touches and two touchdowns against the Saints, the 5'10, 218-pound rusher has established himself as the lead back on early downs in Washington. With Robert Griffin III powering the offence, Morris should have an opportunity to earn extra carries playing with a lead in St. Louis.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis (vs. Browns) - The Law Firm earned his stripes in the Bengals loss to the Ravens. Green-Ellis rushed for 91 yards and a touchdown, while continung his streak of having never fumbled in the NFL. This week, the Bengals will rely on him even more as they look to control the game against the Browns. 

Avoid

Kevin Smith at 49ers - In Week 1, Smith had 62 yards on the ground with a touchdown, while adding four catches for 29 yards including the game winning score in the fourth quarter. Last week's hero will have a much different result when he comes up against the league's best run defence in San Francisco.

Steven Jackson vs. Redskins - It's hard to imagine benching Jackson, but that's exactly what you should do this week assuming you have another option to turn to. The Rams improvements won't be enough to stop the Robert Griffin III hype train as it rolls into and over St. Louis. With the Rams trailing, Jackson won't get enough carries to warrant a fantasy start.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Exploit

Percy Harvin at Colts - Harvin had a solid all around effort against Jacksonville tallying 104 yards on 11 touches (six catches, five rushes). With all the hype surrounding Randall Cobb, Harvin is the player owners are hoping Cobb develops into, a threat to score whenever he has the ball in his hands. Now, Harvin gets to feast on a second-rate Colts' defence in Week 2.

Steve Johnson vs. Chiefs - The Bills' top target talked a lot of trash before the season opener, suggesting he had Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis' number. The boxscore (four catches, 55 yards and a touchdown) looks like Johnson did alright in the matchup, but all his production came after Revis left the game with an injury. The good news is that Revis doesn't play for the Chiefs and Johnson will be able to post big numbers against a defence that was victimized by the Falcons last week.

Avoid

Mike Wallace (vs. Jets) - After his training camp holdout, Steelers weren't sure what to expect from Wallace in Week 1. While he didn't blow the doors off, his stat line was saved by a touchdown. Wallace will be a reliable fantasy contributor in 2012, but not this week against a Jets' defence that played very well in Week 1. Wallace will be held in check on the outside, even with Darrelle Revis sitting out.

Sidney Rice (vs. Cowboys) - If he was in your starting lineup last week, you were likely pleased with Rice's numbers, which included a touchdown. The brittle Rice has been held out of practice this week with a knee injury, but even if he takes the field Sunday he shouldn't suit up for your fantasy squad. The Cowboys' secondary looked vastly improved in the opener thanks to the additions of Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne.

TIGHT ENDS

Exploit

Jacob Tamme (vs. Broncos) - Any worries that Joel Dreessen would steal targets from Tamme were put to bed in Week 1. Tamme caught all five of his targets and found the end zone as Manning breathed new life into the Broncos' passing game. Tamme is going to be a sure bet to work underneath routes and that will be evident on Monday night against the Falcons.

Coby Fleener (vs. Vikings) -  Fleener made the most of his 10 targets, catching six of them for 82 yards against the Bears Cover-2 defence. If Austin Collie remains out with a concussion, Fleener will continue to thrive as a safety valve for his former college teammate Andrew Luck.

Avoid

Brent Celek (vs. Ravens) - When you're searching for a TE2 with TE1 upside, Celek has been a strong candidate for the last couple seasons. Celek helped the offence by catching four passes for 65 yards against the Browns a week ago. However, things won't be so easy against the Ravens who have the ability to take tight ends out of the game.

Dennis Pitta (at Eagles) - Stay away from tight ends in Philadelphia is the lesson here. Pitta started the season in imprresive fashion with catches for 73 yards and a touchdown, but it's important to remember that Ed Dickson is still in Baltimore as well. Last season, Pitta and Dickson took turns being the lead tight end for the Ravens and it will be equally tough to predict their output on a weekly basis this year. 

Andrew Luck (Photo: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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