It's two weeks into the NFL season, and fantasy football players are already in mid-season form.
Fantasy players are already losing faith in some of the guys they drafted and are jumping on the chance to add free agents to replace their players. Several injuries also shook up the fantasy landscape on Sunday, and several fantasy owners will look to find a running back this week.
Green Bay running back James Starks is sure to fly off the waiver-wire board within the first couple of moves in every league this week. When rookie running back Eddie Lacy went down with a concussion on Sunday, it allowed Starks to get his first action of the 2013 season. The always streaky Starks posted a monster day with 132 yards rushing, as well as four catches for another 36 yards. Though Starks may look like the best option at running back this week, I recommend tempering excitement on Starks as he faces a tough Cincinnati Bengals run defense this weekend. Most of Starks' production came after the Packers were already routing the Washington Redskins on Sunday, and Starks may not see another big game if Lacy comes back healthy in Week 4. Plus, the Packers rarely feature the running back, which is why Starks became the first Green Bay rusher to go over 100 yards in 44 games.
It's doubtful Atlanta Falcons running back Steven Jackson will play the next two to four weeks as he nurses a thigh injury. That adds value to Jacquizz Rodgers, though he will be hard to find on a waiver-wire in most 12-team leagues. Third-string running back Jason Snelling is worth considering as a temporary solution for Jackson owners, though he holds minimal value in most leagues. However, Snelling showed what he can do if given a chance to tough the ball as he went for 60 yards and a touchdown on Sunday. Snelling will likely get the calls in goal-line situations until Jackson returns, so consider giving him a play.
Baltimore running back Ray Rice is day-to-day with a hip injury of his own. Though it is not believed to be serious, Rice will likely be questionable leading up to Sunday's game at Houston. His backup, Bernard Pierce, may be worth starting on Sunday if Rice is ruled out, but the Ravens face one of the league's best run defenses in Houston this weekend.
Because running back depth was already weak heading into the NFL season, making a trade may be the best way to pick up a running back. There are plenty of wide receivers who can put up numbers that warrant starting in fantasy leagues. Don't get attached to your No. 2 receiver if you need to make a trade to improve the running back position.
One of the wide receivers who deserves to start is San Diego's Eddie Royal. Royal backed up a solid Week 1 in which he had two touchdowns on three catches with an unbelievable Sunday at Philadelphia in Week 2, where he caught seven passes for 90 yards and three more touchdowns. Though it is unlikely Royal can continue to produce five touchdowns every two weeks, it is clear that Philip Rivers has found a comfort level with Royal, especially since the majority of San Diego's receivers are either currently injured or are very injury prone.
Royal will be another one of the top waiver-wire claims this week, and he is worth starting at least as a flex option this week when the Chargers take on the Tennessee Titans.
Speaking of Rivers, the Chargers quarterback has put up outstanding fantasy numbers through two games this season. Rivers was largely overlooked in drafts as running quarterbacks leaped ahead oh him on draft boards, but Rivers has thrown seven touchdown passes this season and thrown for over 600 yards in two games. Add that to just one interception on a phenomenal defensive play by the Houston Texans' Brian Cushing, and Rivers has been superb. Rivers is owned in a little more than 30 percent of leagues but ranks as the No. 4 fantasy quarterback through two weeks. If Rivers is on your waiver-wire, pick him up. He is even worth starting in most leagues, especially while names such as Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, Cam Newton and Tony Romo all rank in the bottom third of fantasy quarterbacks so far this year.
In the tight end department, consider giving Miami's Charles Clay a look in deeper leagues. Clay has gone for over 10 points in consecutive weeks in point-per-reception formats, and last week Clay had a rushing touchdown to go with 109 receiving yards on five catches. He has registered five catches in each of the first two weeks so far this year.
Last week was a bit scary in survivor pools. Hopefully, you ignored my advice on picking the Philadelphia Eagles to beat the Chargers and went with the Patriots against the Jets. This week's survivor pool pick is a no-brainer as the Seattle Seahawks host the hapless Jacksonville Jaguars. Seattle should be the pick in 100 percent of survivor pools this week.
That is all for this week. As always, feel free to send any lineup questions to my email or Twitter.John Livingston cover sports for The Daily Times and is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; 505-564-4648. Follow him on Twitter @jlivi2.