Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) -
It was "survival of the fittest" out there in Week 2. Watching so many valuable fantasy athletes fall to injury made owners happy just to get through the weekend without their guys heading to the MRI clinic.
The news came early and often as guys like Jamaal Charles, Robert Griffin III, DeSean Jackson, Knowshon Moreno, Eric Decker and A.J. Green were felled by injury.
Add to the already lengthy list of injures from Week 1 and fantasy owners are beginning to realize the value of a strong bench.
Still, a few guys thrived in the mayhem and one of them ended up earning the TSN Fantasy Player of the Week Award.
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay - The Packers were floundering, down 12 to the Jets late in the second quarter when Rodgers led them on a 97-yard scoring drive. That drive seemed to get the entire Green Bay passing game going and in the third quarter Rodgers & Co. were unstoppable, scoring touchdowns on two of three possessions. He finished with 346 passing yards and three touchdowns worth 29 fantasy points to lead the position.
Philip Rivers, San Diego - Give Rivers credit, he didn't show any fear about throwing against the defending Super Bowl champions and their much-heralded defense. The Chargers quarterback was mistake-free in throwing for 284 yards and three scores in a 30-21 upset victory and earned a surprising 24 points for the fantasy owners brave enough to start him.
Darren Sproles, Philadelphia - Fantasy owners were questioning how Chip Kelly would work Sproles alongside All-Pro running back LeSean McCoy. Well, we've seen the game plan twice and Sproles has put up fantasy-worthy numbers both times. Monday night he was untouchable with a pinball machine-like 19-yard touchdown run, a 57-yard pass reception and a 51-yard catch. His final totals were 26 yards rushing and 152 yards receiving worth a position-high 30 fantasy points.
DeMarco Murray, Dallas - When your running game is working you stick with it and the Cowboys did just that, riding Murray's 29-carry, 167-yard, one-score day to a 26-10 win over Tennessee. He earned 24 fantasy points in the effort. Our only concern was in giving the injury-prone back 30 touches we could see its effect down the road, but on Sunday fantasy owners enjoyed the ride.
Jordy Nelson, Green Bay - On his 80-yard touchdown catch and run, Nelson spun Jets cornerback Dee Milliner around like a top. He didn't stop there as he posted a career-best 209 receiving yards to go along with the one touchdown worth almost 34 fantasy points.
Brandon Marshall, Chicago - Most didn't even think Marshall would be active for Sunday night's game due to a hamstring injury. He started slowly because he couldn't run past defenders like he usually does. Instead he adapted his game to what he could do - use his big body, jumping ability and great hands. It worked as he hauled in three touchdowns passes to lead his Bears to a comeback victory on the road against a tough 49ers team. His 25 fantasy points likely helped fantasy owners to a win as well.
Jimmy Graham, New Orleans - He's simply the best tight end in the league and he showed it in Week 2. Graham was Drew Brees' No. 1 target, hauling in 10 of 13 passes for 118 yards and two scores. Just another day's work for the fantasy superstar, and while it wasn't enough to lead his Saints to victory, it probably was a big boost to fantasy owners after a mediocre season opener.
Delanie Walker, Tennessee - The Dallas defense can't stop opposing tight ends and the Titans took advantage of the situation with Walker. He caught 10 balls for 142 yards and a score worth 31 fantasy points. In Week 1, Vernon Davis also toasted the Cowboys defense. For this reason, in Week 3 you should consider the Rams' Jared Cook.
Antonio Gates, San Diego - Rumors of Gates' "fantasy death" have been greatly exaggerated. Gates abused the Seahawks secondary for seven receptions, 96 yards and three scores, earning him 30 fantasy points. Young Ladarius Green will just have to wait his turn.
Dan Bailey, Dallas - Bailey was a busy guy Sunday, going 4-for-4 on field goal attempts, including a 51-yarder, to lead the position with 19 fantasy points.
New England Patriots - The Patriots defense dominated the day and the position in Week 2, earning 28 fantasy points. They scored in almost every way, blocking a punt for a touchdown, picking off Matt Cassel four times and sacking him six times.
And the winner of the TSN NFL Fantasy Player of the Week for Week 2 is ... Green Bay wideout Jordy Nelson. With the Packers facing a possible playoff- eliminating 0-2 record after losing opening day and down 21-3 to the Jets, Nelson helped lead them back from the brink with a personal-high 209 yards receiving, including 143 yards and a score, after halftime.