Many fantasy football players are still puzzling over why their running backs didn't do much running on opening day.
Only five went for 100 yards, and you could argue that three shouldn't count because they were against the Lions, Chiefs and Rams. You could even make the case that Adrian Peterson's day shouldn't count because he's not limited by normal human abilities. Peterson, Thomas Jones and Julius Jones were the only backs to hit the sacred fantasy double of 100 yards and a score.
Of course, the dreaded backfield committee is to blame. Looking around the league, only about a dozen teams have a true featured back. Subtract the backs featured by teams that have trouble running and you're down to eight or so go-to guys.
There is hope, though, for these heavily populated backfields. Remember, they're so crowded partly because running backs get hurt or get benched. Late last year, guys like Sammy Morris, DeShaun Wynn and Maurice Morris were turning in 100-yard games. So be patient and hang on to your Tashard Choice-types, and don't be shy about chasing Mike Bell, Correll Buckhalter and Willis McGahee as free agency begins.
As you calculate the odds of both Jones brothers both going over 100 again this week, here are some players to start and some to avoid in Week 2:
TAKE A SHOT:
_Minnesota's Brett Favre probably won't have to pass against the Lions, but he just may try out some fun new tricks against the team that just gave up six TDs. While throwing's no longer his main job, he has three scores in each of his last two trips to Detroit.
_The stars of Sunday night's game will be the punters and the low-hanging scoreboard in the Cowboys' swanky new stadium, but Eli Manning could go off against a defense that looked shaky in Week 1. He had a three-TD game against Dallas last year and a four-score game against them the year before.
_The Ravens' recent discovery of the forward pass makes Joe Flacco a viable start at San Diego. If JaMarcus Russell can end up on highlights against the Chargers, surely Flacco can.
_It seems crazy to start Jets rookie Mark Sanchez against the Patriots, but he was impressive in Week 1 and New England's defense looked off-balance against a Buffalo team that was without its best player, was auditioning linemen and just fired the offensive coordinator.
BACK AWAY SLOWLY AND NOBODY GETS HURT:
Please, in the name of Brady Quinn's ball-gripping ability, don't start these guys:
_Bench Jay Cutler against the Steelers _ that is, if he doesn't demand to be traded before Sunday because the Bears had the nerve to allow him to throw four interceptions.
_It's admittedly a major Week 1 kneejerk, but if you have a decent backup sit Kurt Warner at Jacksonville now that he's sort of resembling the guy who once lost a job to Marc Bulger. Warner has a history of Eastern time zone terribleness.
_This is your big chance to be smarter then the Panthers, so don't even consider playing turnover magnet Jake Delhomme now matter how desperate your situation. Don't overthink it and figure he's in for a bounce-back game.
ALL DAY LONG:
_Houston's Steve Slaton was held to 1.9 yards per carry in the opener and faces a Titans defense that doesn't allow anyone to run, but Slaton had two of his five 100-yard games against Tennessee last year.
_In other disappointing Steve news, there's roughly 0 percent chance Steven Jackson and the Rams offense will do anything in Washington. Still, you just have to keep your now questionable first-round pick in the lineup until he gets hurt.
_Given the choice between letting Warner hit Larry Fitgerald deep or throw a dozen dumpoffs to Tim Hightower, defenses will take the latter every time. Expect another full day of 4-yard receptions.
_Who needs Marshawn Lynch when you have the great Fred Jackson? OK, so that's from the skewed perspective of a guy who actually started Jackson last week, but Jackson is worth riding for another couple weeks until Lynch returns from suspension.
_LaDainian Tomlinson's campaign to prove he can produce at 30 is off to a rocky start, with 55 yards, a sprained ankle and an injured offensive line. It gets worse this week when the Ravens' impenetrable defense comes to town.
_The Steelers really want to run a lot with Willie Parker, but maybe they just can't. Perhaps if Ben Roethlisberger pump-fakes a couple times before handing off Parker can produce more than 19 yards.
_Running all over the Rams is good practice, but it would be good to see Seattle's Julius Jones run on anybody else before starting him.
THROW HIM THE DARN BALL:
_Delhomme and whoever comes in after he gets benched will surely at least try to find a way to get the ball to Steve Smith. It seems too early to send Smith to the bench.
_In other surly, quarterbackless receiver news, it seems a good time to unveil Denver's Brandon Marshall. The Browns appear to be not so good, and he now actually has some practice time under his belt.
_Chad Ochocinco should get open against a Packers defense that gave up a lot of yards when it wasn't picking off Cutler. Unfortunately, that means we'll be subjected to more reports detailing how he likes to tweet about himself.
_Donald Driver was the target of several deep passes at Lambeau Field, and now faces a Cincy defense that allows offenses to accidentally score on deep passes.
SHOW HIM THE DARN BENCH:
_You never bench Fitzgerald, but that's apparently not the case with Anquan Boldin. He played with a hamstring injury last week but was a major non-factor, so keep him on the bench until you're absolutely certain he's OK.
_Tennessee showed promise at receiver with Justin Gage and Kenny Britt, but the Titans should get back to the business of handing off against Houston.
_It's not too early to get rid of Donnie Avery and all other Rams except for Steven Jackson.
FREE AGENT SHOPPING LIST: RB Carnell Williams (97 yards, TD), RB Willis McGahee (75 total yards, 2 TDs), RB Mike Bell (143 yards), WR Patrick Crayton (135 yards, TD), WR Nate Burleson (74 yards, TD), WR Justin Gage (78 yards, TD), WR Kenny Britt (85 yards).
WHAT DO I KNOW?
Big Hits: I expected good things from Matt Hasselbeck (3 TDs), Tony Romo (3 TDs), Cedric Benson (108 total yards, TD) and Tim Hightower (121 yards receiving). I saw bad things coming for Matt Schaub (0 TDs, INT), Brandon Marshall (27 yards) and Terrell Owens (46 yards).
Big Misses: I forecast good things for Carson Palmer (0 TDs, 2 INTs) and Anquan Boldin (19 yards). I expected no passing from Joe Flacco (307 yards, 3 TDs) and no running from Julius Jones (117 yards, TD) or Carnell Williams (97 yards, TD). I advised starting the only Saint who didn't score (Lance Moore) and benching one of many Cowboys who did (Roy Williams).