It's time for us to dispense our particularly sage brand of fantasy football wisdom again this week, this time with due consideration to the Bengals offense and defense. As you might guess, it's a totally different ballgame.
The Bengals offer up a potentially dominant front seven and underrated secondary, paired with a lesser offense than what the Saints could muster up last weekend. With that in mind, we have your recommended sits and starts for the game ahead,
QB Matt Ryan: I doubt he'll put up 448 yards again against a tough Bengals defense, but Ryan's got a ton of weapons at his disposal, the line is light years ahead of last year's Five Horsemen of the Suckapolyse and he showed improved ability to roll out of the pocket to escape pressure and make plays. He should have a fine fantasy day and is a recommended play going forward unless we say otherwise.
RB Jacquizz Rodgers: Against the Bengals, who have the ability to be a borderline elite run defense, the guy you want isn't Steven Jackson. It's not Antone Smith, who may be worth a flex spot, but only if you're comfortable with banking on one big play. And it's not Devonta Freeman until the coaching staff starts showing they're prepared to give him more touches.
Nope, the guy to play as a flex this week may just be Rodgers, who put up 34 yards and a touchdown last week. The Falcons aren't shy about giving him some runs and he's usually a useful option in the passing game, so that may be one of the lower totals he posts this year. If you have superior options, by all means, but Rodgers isn't a bad fit in a pinch.
Fair warning: This four-headed RB situation has all the makings of a quagmire. Don't hold me responsible if Rodgers isn't the hot hand this week.
WR Julio Jones: The Bengals will look to bottle up Jones, but you're only going to be able to do so to a certain extent. I'd be surprised if Jones didn't roll up 80-plus yards and wind up in the end zone Sunday, so start him as a WR1 with confidence.
WR Roddy White: White may draw Leon Hall, which is a tough matchup, but he'll show up. Look for 60-plus yards and a possible touchdown.
TE Levine Toilolo: A pure flex play or second tight end, but I wouldn't bet against him finding five targets, one or more in the end zone. As long as he's scoring, he's worth a few points.
RB Steven Jackson: A big, bruising back who works best between the tackles at this stage of his career versus a strong interior defensive line and one of the better middle linebackers in football. No thank you.
WRs Harry Douglas & Devin Hester: Both should be useful in real life for a passing attack that will need to spread the ball around, but they're not facing the Saints cornerbacks this week and neither one is particularly likely to score. Hester seems unlikely to repeat his Week 1 line, in particular.
Falcons Defense: The Bengals offense is a step down from the Saints', but there's little question the defense is going to be a problem area all year long, and the Bengals have the running backs and receiving options to put up a quality fantasy day against Atlanta. Don't do this.
Share fantasy advice with your fellow Falcoholics, if you would.
Editor's Note: SB Nation's partner FanDuel is hosting a $250,000 Fantasy Football Contest for Week 2's NFL games. It's only $10 to join and first place wins $25,000. Starts Sunday, September 7th at 1pm ET. Here's the link.