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2011 Gridiron Challenge: Week 2 matchups

The first week of the 2011 NFC West Gridiron Challenge has passed and my team sits in 711th place, only 617 spots below my wife's team, which is about right.

2011 NFC West Gridiron Challenge: Week 1

Thank you, Dan Graziano of the NFC East blog, for lagging 957th out of the 1,255 teams entered as of Thursday night.

And congrats to chennibus for demonstrating the wisdom, foresight and flat-out blind luck required to set the pace with 164 points.

The rest of us are always one week away from catching up given that rules allow for signing any available players in any week, provided you haven't mismanaged the salary cap too badly.

My thoughts on three NFC West-related notes from Tom Carpenter's Gridiron Challenge fantasy column on ESPN.com:

  • Carpenter expects the Pittsburgh Steelers' Rashard Mendenhall to break out against a Seattle Seahawks team he calls hapless. Say what you want about Seattle's overall prospects, but run defense is looking like a strength for the Seahawks. There are plenty of superior fantasy options among running backs in Week 2.

  • Even though the San Francisco 49ers' defense scored 23 fantasy points in the opener, Carpenter advises spending Gridiron Challenge resources elsewhere in Week 2. He thinks Dallas will fare better against the 49ers than Seattle fared. Carpenter advises picking up the Steelers' defense, which became more affordable after a rough Week 1. I had the Steelers' defense for Week 1 and suffered for the choice. Seattle's young offensive line doesn't match up well with the Steelers' veteran defense, though, so I'm sticking with Pittsburgh.

  • Sam Bradford's price dropped $400,000 on the Gridiron Challenge market. Carpenter thinks the St. Louis Rams' quarterback will have a hard time justifying anyone's investment in Week 2, even at a discount. I agree to the extent that many other quarterbacks are likely to be more productive. However, the Rams aren't the only injury-depleted team playing Monday night. The Giants' defense also has issues. The Rams cannot help but execute better after a sloppy opener.

Good luck with your team this week.