Week 2 of the Page 2 Fantasy Football Challenge is upon us. Each week, a guest picker chooses one QB, WR and RB. The only players off-limits are those selected by the previous week’s guest picker. This week’s guest — Stuart Lieberman, a freelance sportswriter who is back in his native Twin Cities after three years in Germany — will go head-to-head against Star Tribune writer Michael Rand, who is not allowed to pick anyone projected to score in the top 10 at their respective positions by NFL.com:
Stuart Lieberman’s WEEK 2 FANTASY PICKS
QB: Drew Brees, Saints
NFL.com QB projection: No. 3
If rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota threw for four touchdowns against Tampa Bay last weekend, just imagine what a nine-time Pro Bowl passer and Super Bowl champion can do against a meager Bucs defense.
RB: Matt Forte, Bears
NFL.com RB projection: No. 2
The all-purpose running back carried the ball 24 times and was targeted eight times in Week 1. Sounds like a trendy pick. He also sports the same colors as my alma mater, the Fighting Illini.
WR: Antonio Brown, Steelers
NFL.com WR projection: No. 3
Matchup: San Francisco
After a big game against the Patriots, Brown will show Vikings fans the 49ers’ defense isn’t actually that great. Also, I owned a Steelers lunchbox in elementary school, which has to be good luck.
MICHAEL RAND’s WEEK 2 FANTASY PICKS
QB: Sam Bradford, Eagles
NFL.com QB projection: No. 19
A quarterback in a new system playing on a gimpy ankle? Sign me up! OK, but seriously after a rough first half against the Falcons, Bradford looked very sharp in nearly leading a comeback. I think he’ll thrive in a high-scoring division game.
RB: Chris Ivory, Jets
NFL.com RB projection: No. 13
This is the classic anger pick. I had Ivory last week in one of my leagues and didn’t start him. So now I’ll take a chance that he can repeat his two-touchdown performance.
WR: Calvin Johnson, Lions
NFL.com WR projection: No. 18
With apologies to the Vikings and their fans, when you get the rare chance to pick Megatron (who isn’t often outside the top 10 WR projection), you have to do it.
SCOREBOARD WEEK 1 FANTASY RECAP (USING NFL.COM DEFAULT SCORING METHOD)
Winner: David Rosen — Tom Brady (27.6), Jeremy Hill (18.6), Julio Jones (26.1). Total: 72.3.
Loser: Michael Rand — Ben Roethlisberger (18.1), Marshawn Lynch (12.4), Jordan Matthews (10.2). Total: 40.7.
Overall standings: Guest pickers 1-0.