With Week 1 in the books, it now becomes a battle between reality and illusion. Were big games by Cam Newton, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Chad Henne, Kenny Britt and others more of the exception rather than the rule?
How about poor games by Chad Ochocinco, Rashard Mendenhall, Dwayne Bowe, and Vincent Jackson (just to name a few)?
The worst thing you can do is panic, and abandon a top talent because of a bad week or two. It's way too early for that.
This afternoon, I posted on some bargains and busts for this weekend, and earlier in the week I posted on some waiver wire options. Next, let's take a look at some players on the bubble this weekend in Start vs. Sit:
Cam Newton (QB - CAR): It's hard impossible to ignore what Cam Newton did in his NFL debut last Sunday. This weekend, however, he doesn't face the warm and inviting Cardinals defense, but rather the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers. Look for Newton take a page out of the playbook of Sir Isaac Newton (no relation) and learn a little lesson in gravity: He'll return to earth. VERDICT: SIT
Ben Tate (RB - HOU): Arian Foster will likely return to the Texans lineup this weekend, but it may not neccessarily mean the end for Ben Tate. Tate was productive in Houston's Week 1 drubbing of the Colts. He'll likely play a significat role again as the Texans ease Foster back into the lineup. I own Foster and Tate on the same team and I may consider starting Tate over Foster, depending on his health. How's that for a vote of confidence? VERDICT: START
LeGarrette Blount (RB - TB): Blount had a tough time last Sunday against the Lions, but I don't expect that to continue this week. Mike Tolbert had a solid game agaist the Vikings last week, and I think that's what to expect from Blount. I see a bounceback game coming for the young back out of Oregon. VERDICT: START
Pierre Thomas (RB - NO): 1st and goal from the goalline. No time left. Saints going for the win. They hand it off? To Mark Ingram?! That should pretty much tell you all you need to know about Pierre Thomas' future with the Saints. They trust the rookie in big spots. He may have fallen short in Week 1, but Ingram could become their goalline back. That would surely take touchdowns from Thomas. They're also playing the Bears this week, which doesn't bode well for any offense. VERDICT: SIT
Matt Schaub (QB - HOU): He had a solid game in the Texans big win over the Colts and faces a Dolphins team that allowed the 5th most in NFL history in Week 1. There's no reason to expect anything less than an above average week from Schaub. The return of Arian Foster could also help Schaub, as his presence will help to keep the Miami defense honest. VERDICT: START
Robert Meachem (WR - NO): I tend to stay away from Saints receivers, strictly because of Drew Brees' obsession with spreading the ball around. The loss of Marques Colston could open things up for Meachem, who had a good Week 1. While I may have labeled Brees as a FanDuel bust, I don't have the same feelings for Meachem heading into their matchup against the Bears. VERDICT: START
Chad Ochocinco (WR - NE): Tom Brady will get Ochocinco the ball, even if his newest receiver is still in awe of how perfectly their offense runs. I was high on the Pats passing attack heading into last week's game, and rightly so. I just chose to focus on the wrong receiver. This week, look for Ochocinco to have a "Child Please" and perhaps a "Kiss the Baby" as the Pats and Chargers tangle in what's sure to be a high-scoring affair. VERDICT: START
Mike Williams (WR - SEA): Williams and the Seahawks face the Steelers this weekend. That's not a good start. In Pittsburg. Things aren't getting much better. Tavaris Jackson is still his quarterback. Geez! I think you know where I'm going with this one. VERDICT: SIT
Marcedes Lewis (TE - JAC): The loss of David Garrard wasn't a good start. I realize that he faces the Cowboys, who have injury problems in their secondary, but I just can't buy Lewis. If there is another viable option out there, I suggest you act. VERDICT: SIT
Tony Gonzalez (TE - ATL): Tight ends kill the Eagles, especially big ones. If there's a linebacker on Gonzalez, which is almost always the case, you can expect him to exploit the Birds' inexperienced corps. With the pressure they'll likely be getting up front, Matt Ryan could find himself needing a quick dump off. Enter Tony Gonzalez. VERDICT: START
For those of you that missed out on last week's opportunity to beat the expert, there is another chance for you to play, and win cash, this weekend. Sign up for our $150 Weekend Beat-the-Expert, which follows the same format as last week's game. Don't worry though, if you beat me, you get your $5 back. Picks lock at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Matt Mullin is a sports producer at philly.com. You can reach him by e-mail at email@example.com. Follow Matt on Twitter: @matt_mullin