Fantasy NFL

2012 Fantasy Football Week 2 Analysis: Jonathan Dwyer and Cincinnati Bengals Defense

Maybe your starter is banged up.  Maybe they have a bad matchup.  Whatever the case, you’re looking for a quick Fix, and we’ve got you covered.  Every week, we’ll scan the matchups and provide you with two or three favorable options that are available in the majority of Fantasy Leagues.  This week’s Free Agent Fix:

Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

There’s no denying the Steelers had trouble with the ground game in their loss to Denver.  The one bright spot was an eye-opening performance from third-year RB Jonathan Dwyer, who gained 43 yards on 9 carries and absolutely bulldozed some Bronco defenders in the process.  Just like in the preseason, Dwyer outplayed starter Isaac Redman (11 carries, 20 yards), and should start seeing more carries because of it.  

We see Dwyer as the RB to own in Pittsburgh for the foreseeable future.  The coaches have grown very fond of his hard-nosed running style, and he could even remain in the driver’s seat when Rashard Mendenhall returns from injury.  Yet somehow, as of Wednesday, Dwyer was still available in 73% of Yahoo leagues.  On Sunday, he’ll face a Jets run defense that was gashed for 169 yards and a score by C.J. Spiller in Week One.  We like the matchup.

Cincinnati Bengals Defense

On Tuesday, we heard a conversation on sports talk radio in which a caller declared Sunday’s effort by Browns’ rookie QB Brandon Weeden, “the worst performance by a starting quarterback in the history of the league.”  While we’d have to do some research before making such a bold statement, Weeden’s numbers were absurdly bad (12-35, 118 yards, 0 TD, 4 INT).  The running game was nearly as ineffective for Cleveland, as rookie RB Trent Richardson led the way with 39 yards on 19 carries.  These outmanned, inexperienced Browns will travel to Cincinnati this weekend to play a Bengals team that got carved up by the Ravens on Monday night.

And we think that’s a good thing.

Cincinnati is not nearly as bad on defense as Baltimore made them look.  The Bengals were 5th in the NFL in sacks last year, and ranked in the top third of the league in points and yardage allowed.  We think they’ll be an ornery bunch come Sunday, and a visit from the Browns with Weeden under center will be just what the doctor ordered.  The Bengals D/ST is owned in just 32% of Yahoo leagues, and makes for a great last-minute audible if the defense you drafted has a bad matchup this week.

Written by Aaron Schuldiner exclusively for TheFantasyFix.com. For more great fantasy analysis, follow Aaron on Twitter @SheaLivesOn.

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