Week 1 Matchup Meter

Week 1 Matchup Meter

By David Ferris
CSNChicago.com Contributor

Following are complete fantasy football rankings based on this week's matchups for all the major positions (QB, RB, WR, TE, K, team defense). They are based on a combined yardagescoring system (4 points for a passing touchdown, 6 points for a rushingreceiving touchdown, one point for every 25 passing yards, one point for every 10 rushingreceiving yards).

Quarterback

1. Aaron Rodgers, GB vs. SF  NOTE: You still start him, no questions asked.
2. Drew Brees, NO vs. WAS            
3. Cam Newton, CAR at TB  NOTE: How many rushing TDs will he keep?
4. Tom Brady, NE at TEN            
5. Matthew Stafford, DET vs. STL            
6. Michael Vick, PHI at CLE            
7. Eli Manning, NYG vs. DAL            
8. Robert Griffin III, WAS at NO  NOTE: Seems ready for immediate splash.             
9. Matt Ryan, ATL at KC  NOTE: It will be more fun in dome.     
10. Jay Cutler, CHI vs. IND            
11. Ben Roethlisberger, PIT at DEN  NOTE: By default, this offense will have to chuck it.
12. Tony Romo, DAL at NYG  NOTE: Major questions about supporting cast.
13. Philip Rivers, SD at OAK            
14. Peyton Manning, DEN vs. PIT  NOTE: Don't expect stardom right away.
15. Josh Freeman, TB vs. CAR            
16. Russell Wilson, SEA at ARI  NOTE: Buzz player from preseason.
17. Matt Schaub, HOU vs. MIA  NOTE: Solid, but never an elite guy.
18. Andrew Luck, IND at CHI  NOTE: Tough opener, but overall we like him.
19. Joe Flacco, BAL vs. CIN            
20. Carson Palmer, OAK vs. SD            
21. Alex Smith, SF at GB            
22. Jake Locker, TEN vs. NE            
23. Christian Ponder, MIN vs. JAX  NOTE: Look for step up in Year 2.
24. John Skelton, ARI vs. SEA  NOTE: He can't be worse than Kolb.
25. Matt Cassel, KC vs. ATL            
26. Andy Dalton, CIN at BAL            
27. Mark Sanchez, NYJ vs. BUF            
28. Ryan Fitzpatrick, BUF at NYJ            
29. Brandon Weeden, CLE vs. PHI            
30. Blaine Gabbert, JAX at MIN            
31. Sam Bradford, STL at DET  NOTE: Good luck against mean-streak unit.     
32. Ryan Tannehill, MIA at HOU            
33. Tim Tebow, NYJ vs. BUF  NOTE: How many snaps? No one knows.

Running Back

1. Arian Foster, HOU vs. MIA            
2. Ray Rice, BAL vs. CIN            
3. LeSean McCoy, PHI at CLE            
4. Darren McFadden, OAK vs. SD  NOTE: When healthy, he's a world-beater.             
5. Matt Forte, CHI vs. IND  NOTE: Even without goal-line work, a very safe player.  
     

6. Chris Johnson, TEN vs. NE            
7. Steven Jackson, STL at DET            
8. Doug Martin, TB vs. CAR            
9. Jamaal Charles, KC vs. ATL            
10. Ronnie Brown, SD at OAK            
11. DeMarco Murray, DAL at NYG  NOTE: Will he thrive with goal-line work?     
12. Fred Jackson, BUF at NYJ  NOTE: Snappy camp builds trust.             
13. Toby Gerhart, MIN vs. JAX  NOTE: Quietly averaged 4.9 a pop last year.
14. DeAngelo Williams, CAR at TB            
15. Kevin Smith, DET vs. STL            
16. Ahmad Bradshaw, NYG vs. DAL  NOTE: Sooner or later, Wilson probably takes over.             
17. Darren Sproles, NO vs. WAS            
18. Reggie Bush, MIA at HOU            
19. Frank Gore, SF at GB            
20. Michael Turner, ATL at KC            
21. Donald Brown, IND at CHI            
22. Robert Turbin, SEA at ARI  NOTE: Significant upside if he's needed.     
23. Marshawn Lynch, SEA at ARI  NOTE: Back spasms, may not go.             
24. Rashad Jennings, JAX at MIN            
25. Willis McGahee, DEN vs. PIT            
26. Stevan Ridley, NE at TEN  NOTE: Looks like a featured back, but hard to tell this this team.
27. Shonn Greene, NYJ vs. BUF  NOTE: Solid floor, but no real upside.
28. Trent Richardson, CLE vs. PHI            
29. Cedric Benson, GB vs. SF            
30. Peyton Hillis, KC vs. ATL  NOTE: Thrived with this OC in Cleveland.             
31. Michael Bush, CHI vs. IND            
32. David Wilson, NYG vs. DAL  NOTE: Eventually, he's a star.             
33. Maurice Jones-Drew, JAX at MIN  NOTE: Give him a get-back week.             
34. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, CIN at BAL            
35. Adrian Peterson, MIN vs. JAX            
36. Ben Tate, HOU vs. MIA            
37. Isaac Redman, PIT at DEN            
38. Beanie Wells, ARI vs. SEA  NOTE: Works behind terrible offensive line, and Williams pushing too.
39. Mark Ingram, NO vs. WAS            
40. C.J. Spiller, BUF at NYJ            
41. Pierre Thomas, NO vs. WAS            
42. Ryan Williams, ARI vs. SEA            
43. Evan Royster, WAS at NO
44. Jonathan Dwyer, PIT at DEN            
45. Alfred Morris, WAS at NO  NOTE: Nice camp, but you know Shanahan.         
46. Keiland Williams, DET vs. STL            
47. Jonathan Stewart, CAR at TB            
48. Roy Helu, WAS at NO            
49. Jacquizz Rodgers, ATL at KC            
50. Montario Hardesty, CLE vs. PHI            
51. Kendall Hunter, SF at GB            
52. Felix Jones, DAL at NYG            
53. Isaiah Pead, STL at DET  NOTE: One of the more overrated backups.
54. Brandon Jackson, CLE vs. PHI            
55. Mike Tolbert, CAR at TB            
56. Vick Ballard, IND at CHI            
57. Bilal Powell, NYJ vs. BUF            
58. Bernard Scott, CIN at BAL            
59. LeGarrette Blount, TB vs. CAR            
60. Bernard Pierce, BAL vs. CIN            

Wide Receiver

1. Calvin Johnson, DET vs. STL            
2. Larry Fitzgerald, ARI vs. SEA            
3. Julio Jones, ATL at KC  NOTE: Okay, we're buying in, too.     
4. Andre Johnson, HOU vs. MIA            
5. A.J. Green, CIN at BAL            
6. Percy Harvin, MIN vs. JAX            
7. Victor Cruz, NYG vs. DAL            
8. Roddy White, ATL at KC            
9. Brandon Marshall, CHI vs. IND  NOTE: Yardage star but TDs often disappoint.         
10. Jordy Nelson, GB vs. SF            
11. Steve Smith, CAR at TB            
12. Hakeem Nicks, NYG vs. DAL            
13. Antonio Brown, PIT at DEN  NOTE: Look for 7-9 spikes this year.         
14. Torrey Smith, BAL vs. CIN            
15. Wes Welker, NE at TEN            
16. Marques Colston, NO vs. WAS            
17. Dez Bryant, DAL at NYG  NOTE: Hard to trust the Dallas wideouts.         
18. Greg Jennings, GB vs. SF            
19. Dwayne Bowe, KC vs. ATL            
20. Jeremy Maclin, PHI at CLE            
21. Eric Decker, DEN vs. PIT  NOTE: Look for him to be Manning's main man.     
22. Mike Wallace, PIT at DEN  NOTE: Still can run by people fairly easily.             
23. Vincent Jackson, TB vs. CAR            
24. Miles Austin, DAL at NYG            
25. Brandon Lloyd, NE at TEN            
26. Pierre Garcon, WAS at NO            
27. Reggie Wayne, IND at CHI            
28. Demaryius Thomas, DEN vs. PIT  NOTE: Raw route runner, might need development time.         
29. DeSean Jackson, PHI at CLE            
30. Malcom Floyd, SD at OAK            
31. Nate Washington, TEN vs. NE            
32. Michael Crabtree, SF at GB            
33. Justin Blackmon, JAX at MIN  NOTE: Looks ready to produce right away.
34. Robert Meachem, SD at OAK            
35. Steve Johnson, BUF at NYJ            
36. Santonio Holmes, NYJ vs. BUF            
37. Greg Little, CLE vs. PHI            
38. Darrius Heyward-Bey, OAK vs. SD            
39. Anquan Boldin, BAL vs. CIN            
40. Sidney Rice, SEA at ARI  NOTE: A stud when he's healthy.
41. Titus Young, DET vs. STL  NOTE: All the signs of a breakout pick.
42. Lance Moore, NO vs. WAS            
43. Kendall Wright, TEN vs. NE            
44. Mike Williams, TB vs. CAR            
45. Brandon LaFell, CAR at TB            
46. Davone Bess, MIA at HOU            
47. Denarius Moore, OAK vs. SD  NOTE: Injury-prone camp, find someone else.
48. Austin Collie, IND at CHI            
49. Danny Amendola, STL at DET            
50. Andre Roberts, ARI vs. SEA            
51. Steve Breaston, KC vs. ATL            
52. Rod Streater, OAK vs. SD  NOTE: Nifty camp, could be sneaky PPR play.
53. Devery Henderson, NO vs. WAS            
54. Randy Moss, SF at GB  NOTE: Don't see much left in camp.
55. Laurent Robinson, JAX at MIN            
56. Steve Smith, STL at DET            
57. Stephen Hill, NYJ vs. BUF  NOTE: Size and speed combo, decent camp.
58. Santana Moss, WAS at NO            
59. Alshon Jeffery, CHI vs. IND            
60. Early Doucet, ARI vs. SEA            
61. James Jones, GB vs. SF  NOTE: Ordinary talent but he'll catch a few TDs anyway.
62. Doug Baldwin, SEA at ARI            
63. Josh Gordon, CLE vs. PHI            
64. Mario Manningham, SF at GB            
65. David Nelson, BUF at NYJ            

Tight End

1. Jimmy Graham, NO vs. WAS            
2. Rob Gronkowski, NE at TEN            
3. Antonio Gates, SD at OAK  NOTE: Big camp, but can feet hold up?
4. Vernon Davis, SF at GB  NOTE: Finally has offense down, look for big year.
5. Aaron Hernandez, NE at TEN            
6. Fred Davis, WAS at NO            
7. Jermichael Finley, GB vs. SF            
8. Brandon Pettigrew, DET vs. STL            
9. Tony Gonzalez, ATL at KC  NOTE: May we all age so gracefully.         
10. Jared Cook, TEN vs. NE            
11. Kyle Rudolph, MIN vs. JAX  NOTE: Growing up nicely, with Ponder.
12. Jermaine Gresham, CIN at BAL            
13. Greg Olsen, CAR at TB            
14. Dustin Keller, NYJ vs. BUF            
15. Brent Celek, PHI at CLE            
16. Owen Daniels, HOU vs. MIA            
17. Jacob Tamme, DEN vs. PIT  NOTE: Might not be on the field in goal-line packages.
18. Coby Fleener, IND at CHI            
19. Jason Witten, DAL at NYG            
20. Heath Miller, PIT at DEN            
21. Marcedes Lewis, JAX at MIN            
22. Lance Kendricks, STL at DET            
23. Dallas Clark, TB vs. CAR            
24. Scott Chandler, BUF at NYJ            
25. Martellus Bennett, NYG vs. DAL            
26. Kellen Davis, CHI vs. IND  NOTE: Cutler likes to throw inside the numbers; sleeper potential here.
27. Ed Dickson, BAL vs. CIN            
28. Dwayne Allen, IND at CHI            
29. Tony Moeaki, KC vs. ATL            
30. Anthony Fasano, MIA at HOU            
31. Ben Watson, CLE vs. PHI            
32. Zach Miller, SEA at ARI            
33. Tony Scheffler, DET vs. STL            

Kicker
           
1. Jason Hanson, DET vs. STL  NOTE: Indoors in a likely blowout.
2. Garrett Hartley, NO vs. WAS            
3. Robbie Gould, CHI vs. IND            
4. Stephen Gostkowski, NE at TEN            
5. Shayne Graham, HOU vs. MIA  NOTE: Perfect setup for a kicker.
6. Mason Crosby, GB vs. SF            
7. Lawrence Tynes, NYG vs. DAL            
8. Justin Tucker, BAL vs. CIN  NOTE: Pushed Cundiff out of town.
9. Sebastian Janikowski, OAK vs. SD            
10. Alex Henery, PHI at CLE            
11. David Akers, SF at GB            
12. Nate Kaeding, SD at OAK            
13. Justin Medlock, CAR at TB            
14. Matt Prater, DEN vs. PIT  NOTE: Long leg, thin air, nice seasonal play.
15. Matt Bryant, ATL at KC  NOTE: Come back to him in the dome.
16. Shaun Suisham, PIT at DEN            
16. Steve Hauschka, SEA at ARI            
18. Connor Barth, TB vs. CAR            
19. Nick Folk, NYJ vs. BUF            
20. Ryan Succop, KC vs. ATL            
21. Rob Bironas, TEN vs. NE            
22. Rian Lindell, BUF at NYJ            
23. Dan Bailey, DAL at NYG  NOTE: Hard to trust this offense right now.
24. Billy Cundiff, WAS at NO            
25. Jay Feely, ARI vs. SEA            
26. Blair Walsh, MIN vs. JAX            
27. Phil Dawson, CLE vs. PHI            
28. Adam Vinatieri, IND at CHI            
29. Josh Scobee, JAX at MIN            
30. Mike Nugent, CIN at BAL            
31. Greg Zuerlein, STL at DET  NOTE: Distance monster, but will Rams support him?           
32. Dan Carpenter, MIA at HOU             
                    
Defense

1. Detroit vs. St. Louis  NOTE: Pick on Bradford until proven otherwise.        
2. Houston vs. Miami       
3. Chicago vs. Indianapolis       
4. Seattle at Arizona  NOTE: Nasty unit, but more so in Seattle.        
5. Philadelphia at Cleveland       
6. Minnesota vs. Jacksonville  NOTE: Strong pass rush, dome advantage, inexperienced Gabbert.        
7. New York Giants vs. Dallas       
8. New York Jets vs. Buffalo       
9. Green Bay vs. San Francisco       
10. Atlanta at Kansas City       
11. San Francisco at Green Bay  NOTE: Elite defense but have to downgrade here.
12. Denver vs. Pittsburgh       
13. Buffalo at New York Jets       
14. New England at Tennessee  NOTE: Like Belichick against a young QB.        
15. San Diego at Oakland       
16. Carolina at Tampa Bay       
17. Pittsburgh at Denver       
18. Baltimore vs. Cincinnati       
19. Cincinnati at Baltimore       
20. New Orleans vs. Washington       
21. Oakland vs. San Diego       
22. Dallas at New York Giants  NOTE: Pass rush can cause havoc, but like NYG here.
23. Arizona vs. Seattle       
24. Jacksonville at Minnesota       
25. Cleveland vs. Philadelphia  NOTE: This unit is much better than many realize; possible sleeper later.
26. Tampa Bay vs. Carolina       
26. Kansas City vs. Atlanta       
28. St. Louis at Detroit       
29. Indianapolis at Chicago       
30. Tennessee vs. New England       
31. Miami at Houston       
32. Washington at New Orleans

Michigan dominates on both sides of the ball in runaway win over Penn State

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Michigan dominates on both sides of the ball in runaway win over Penn State

Wisconsin might have scored Saturday's most impressive win, but Michigan made a statement of its own, setting up another colossal conference clash next weekend in Ann Arbor.

The Wolverines welcomed in the Penn State Nittany Lions on Saturday, albeit rudely, dominating on both sides of the ball in a blowout 49-10 win.

This one was over from the very start, Michigan clamping down on defense and putting on an offensive clinic with short fields.

Wilton Speight led touchdown drives on each of the Wolverines' first three offensive possessions, the first set up thanks to an eye-popping Jabrill Peppers punt return. Khalid Hill finished that one off with a short touchdown run, and after the Lions turned it over on downs, De'Veon Smith punched it in for a score. Speight made it 3-for-3 with a touchdown toss to Devin Asiasi for a seemingly insurmountable 21-0 lead in the second quarter.

Michigan kept their early punt-less streak intact by turning it over on downs on its next offensive possession but followed that up with a touchdown on the next, Karan Higdon rushing in for the score to make it 28-0 before halftime.

Penn State punted five times in the first half, turning it over on downs on another drive for an 0-for-6 mark over the first 30 minutes as the Michigan defense dominated. The Lions finally got on the board with a third-quarter field goal and added a touchdown in the fourth to send their point total into double digits. But the Wolverines added another three touchdowns of their own in the second half, Chris Evans rushing in for a score, Higdon getting his second touchdown scamper of the day, the second from 40 yards out, and Ty Isaac getting the final points of the game.

The Michigan defense had a monster day, holding Penn State to just 191 total yards, including only 70 on the ground and 2.5 yards per carry, and came away with a pair of takeaways.

Meanwhile, the Wolverines racked up 515 yards of offense, including 326 yards rushing. Five different players scored a rushing touchdown, with Higdon scoring two. Smith finished with 107 yards rushing, Higdon had 81 yards and Isaac had 74. Speight had a fine day, too, completing 21 of his 33 passing attempts for 189 yards and a touchdown.

The win sent Michigan to 4-0 on the season, and the Wolverines have that huge matchup with the Badgers next weekend.

Penn State, meanwhile, fell to 2-2 with the defeat and faces Minnesota next weekend.

Notre Dame melts down in embarrassing loss to Duke

Notre Dame melts down in embarrassing loss to Duke

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — This one wasn’t all on the much-maligned Irish defense. It took a total team effort for Notre Dame to fall to 1-3 with an embarrassing loss at Notre Dame Stadium to Duke. 

Three offensive turnovers, a special teams touchdown and more shaky defense sunk Notre Dame in a 38-35 loss to the Blue Devils, which entered Saturday 1-2 with that only win coming over an FCS opponent. 

Duke came to South Bend having scored a combined 27 points against its two FBS opponents this year — Wake Forest and Northwestern, both losses — but eclipsed that mark in the first half. 

After Notre Dame jumped out to a 14-0 lead — seemingly taking to heart coach Brian Kelly’s push to take a better sense of urgency into gameday — Duke’s Shaun Wilson returned a kick 96 yards for a touchdown. On the Blue Devils’ next possession, Cole Luke missed a tackle, Nick Coleman blew a coverage and running back Jela Duncan dashed 18 yards for a game-tying score. 

Things got sloppy after Duke tied it, with Justin Yoon missing a 42-yard field goal and the Blue Devils getting stuffed on a fourth-and-one at the Irish 25. But later in the second quarter, Kizer strangely fumbled while turning around after receiving the snap, giving Duke the ball on the Irish 25. 

Notre Dame’s sudden-change defense, as it did after a turnover against Michigan State, quickly allowed a score when Jones found Quay Chambers for an easy 25-yard touchdown after Chambers beat Drue Tranquill in coverage. 

Dexter Williams tied things up later in the second quarter with an impressive 13-yard touchdown run, but Jones led another stress-free scoring drive near the end of the half. That one ended when Jones hit receiver Anthony Nash for a wide open 32-yard touchdown as Notre Dame’s secondary blew the coverage. 

After Nyles Morgan notched Notre Dame’s first sack of the season — the Irish were the last team at the FBS level to record a sack — Notre Dame drove 83 yards on six plays, with Josh Adams polishing that drive off with a nine-yard score to tie things at 28. 

Freshman cornerback Donte Vaughn came up with a huge play on Duke’s ensuring drive, picking off a pass in single coverage in the end zone to give the ball back to the Irish.

Notre Dame got another fourth-and-one stop at its own 19-yard line early in the fourth quarter and turned that into a go-ahead touchdown when Kizer found Equanimeous St. Brown for a 12-yard score. 

But Notre Dame’s defense — which hadn’t allowed a point in the second half — quickly gave up the advantage. Jones found Nash down the sideline, and freshman Devin Studstill whiffed on a tackle to allow Nash to waltz in for a 64-yard game-tying score. That play erased whatever defensive goodwill Brian VanGorder’s group had built up in the second half. 

The Irish offense, though, failed to come through. Williams was stuffed for a minus-three yard run and Kizer lost seven yards on a sack before throwing an arm-punt picked off at the Irish 45-yard line. 

Duke quickly drove to the Irish six-yard line, though Jones was stopped just shy of the goal line on third down. AJ Reed hit his first field goal of the season, a 19-yarder, that wound up being the game-winner. 

Kizer and Notre Dame had one last shot to tie it up or take the lead, but Kizer’s fourth-and-three pass near midfield fell incomplete.