Week 2 Start ‘Em/Sit ‘Em: QB/WR

Week 1 is in the books and we’re on to week 2. Last week I touted Andy Dalton (missed it by a week) and Jared Goff (QB15) as start worthy candidates. If you listened, then you sat Eli Manning and Derek Carr who suffered through tough matchups in Week 1. For wide receivers, Mike Williams finished as WR40 but put up an encouraging stat line of 5 catches for 81 yards. Jarvis Landry had a great game against the Steelers finishing as WR22 in PPR leagues. Kelvin Benjamin, Pierre Garcon and Marquise Goodwin all struggled as I said they would. With that said, let’s see what’s in store for Week 2.

Disclaimer: You will never find names like Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham Jr. in this article. If you drafted them then you don’t need to think twice about starting them. The purpose of this article is to uncover weekly gems and strong plays.

Start ‘Em

WAS QB Alex Smith

Smith had a solid performance in Week 1 against the Cardinals but it was mostly the running game carrying Washington. In Week 2, start Smith with confidence knowing he gets a bad Colts defense coming in to FedEx Field. I expect Alex Smith and Chris Thompson to be big factors this weekend and Smith should be a back end QB1 with high QB1 potential.

KC QB Pat Mahomes

How about that for a 2018 debut? Mahomes torched a very good Chargers defense, tossing 4 TDs and no picks to go along with 256 yards through the air. This, in Week 2 mind you, is the biggest game of the Chiefs season. I understand they still have another game against LA. I understand they have to face the Patriots later on down the line. However, the Pittsburgh Steelers have been the Goliath to the Chiefs’ David. Mahomes is the difference for the Chiefs this time around. Can they finally get over the hump that is the Steelers? If not now, then when because the Steelers may never be weaker than they are now. I think the Chiefs young signal caller can take advantage of a bad Steelers secondary that may be missing Joe Haden.

Sit ‘Em

TB QB Ryan Fitzpatrick

I’ve seen Fitz-magic get some love after a brilliant performance in Week 1 against what was supposed to be a good Saints defense. I do not expect a repeat performance this weekend against the defending Super Bowl Champions. The Eagles made an explosive Falcons offense look extremely mediocre in Week 1 and with Foles and the offense struggling, the D knows it’s on them to win the game. I expect Fitz-magic to go back to being Fitz-tragic this Sunday.

DAL QB Dak Prescott

My preseason worries about the Cowboys’ weapons, or lack thereof, came to fruition in Week 1. I truly don’t believe the Cowboys boast a single receiver or tight end that belongs on an NFL depth chart. Talk up rookie Michael Gallup all you want, there’s a reason he fell to the 3rd round. Beasley is a nice player but when he’s your leading receiver that says a lot about your offense. I don’t care how much Dak can do on the ground with his legs, he is not a QB1 this season and the Giants D looks much improved from last season.

Start ‘EM

PHI WR Nelson Agholor

What an odd week for Agholor. If you play in PPR leagues, Agholor had a great week and his 8 receptions for 33 yards were fine by you. If you play in standard leagues, not only do you despise how Agholor played in Week 1 but you need to re-evaluate your fantasy priorities because Standard scoring should die in a hole. I like Agholor this week being the only target in the Eagles passing game other than Zach Ertz worth mentioning. Oh yea, the Bucs just gave up 40 points and will also be down their top 2 corners. Start Agholor.

NYJ WR Quincy Enunwa

Enunwa had a huge game against the hapless Lions in Week 1. His team leading 10 targets came as a surprise to some but to others such as myself, this is what to expect going forward. Robbie Anderson is a wonderful player but is more of a big play threat. Jermaine Kearse returning could hurt a bit but not enough for me to move away from Enunwa. He is the number 1 WR in this offense and I expect him to continue to lead the Jets receiving core week in and week out. Enunwa is a flex play with borderline WR2 upside. Stop sleeping on him and if he’s on waivers somehow, pick him up.

Sit ‘Em

NE WR Chris Hogan

Ladies and gentleman, you’d be wise to heed my advice when it comes to the Patriots. Chris Hogan is way too inconsistent to be considered a WR2 much less a WR1 as some were expecting. He had 1 catch for 11 yards in an easy matchup against the Texans in Week 1. He has 3 more games until Edelman comes back and people realize how idiotic it was to even consider Hogan was the 1 over Edelman. Unfortunately for Hogan, this net game is against a nasty Jags D. Do NOT start him this weekend.

SEA WR Tyler Lockett

I am likely going to be way off with this one but I have a theory. With Baldwin out, Lockett now assumes the number 1 WR role for Seattle. Say teams start to zero in on shutting down Lockett, then that leaves Brandon Marshall, Will Dissly and Chris Carson/Rashaad Penny for Wilson to work with. I’ll take my chances with letting those guys try and beat you. My thinking is teams will start to crack down on Lockett, leading to some tough games ahead. The Bears allowed Rodgers to walk back into the game last week but that defense looked great. I’m staying away from Lockett this week.

Week 2 RB/TE: Starts and Sits

The logical successor to week 1 is week 2. Here, I will provide a reminder that I will not list your studs in the start or sit categories. You will not find names like Gronkowski, Gurley, Ertz, or David Johnson in this list. They were drafted as studs, act like it!

Week 1 Recap

RB Starts – I went 2 for 4, hitting the mark on Isaiah Crowell and Carlos Hyde, but swinging and missing on Peyton Barber and Duke Johnson.

RB Sits – 2.5 out of 3 – I nailed it with the Colts RBs and Alfred Morris, I deducted a half point for Chris Carson. He didn’t do terribly, but was a low end RB3.

TE Starts – 1 for 2 – Jordan Reed made me look very smart. Picking ASJ….not so much

TE Sits – 1 for 2 – Engram stunk, I was right. Kittle was stellar, I was wrong.

Running Back: Start ‘Em

Chris Thompson – Some members of our Top 2 Staff are going with Adrian Peterson. I can understand why. The Colts are absolutely dismal against the run. I have two reasons why I believe it will be Chris Thompson getting the boost this week:

  • A.P. is O.L.D. He had 26 carries and 2 additional catches for a total of 166 yards. Last season, he could not string together two effective games in a row.
  • This game could settle into a shoot-out, requiring more passing work which is Thompson’s forte.

Alfred Morris – I know, I know. He was absolutely terrible last week. Let’s remember that the 49ers were playing on the road against the tremendous Vikings defense. This week, they’re back at home facing a Lions defense that allowed Isaiah Crowell to run for 10 yards per carry and 160+ yards on the ground to the Jets overall. The Lions will be playing three time zones away in San Francisco, which has historically had some level of negative impact. Alf didn’t see a lot of action last week, so he should be well rested to show that he still has gas in the tank.

Running Back: Sit ‘Em

Derrick Henry – The Titans backfield belongs to Dion Lewis. Derrick Henry is a plodder. Last season he was a plodder who got several long runs in garbage time. That is not points that you can rely on. Throw in the possibility that Blaine Gabbart could be the starting QB and you have a recipe for disaster.

Rex Burkhead – So many reasons: He spent time in the concussion protocol. They’re facing the Jaguars. Sony Michel might play. Belichick is known for his running back shenanigans. I like Burkhead, but I’m not touching him with a 10 foot pole this week.

Tight End: Start ‘Em

Jonnu Smith – Delanie Walker is injured. Jonnu Smith, by default, is THE MAN at the Tight End position in Tennessee. With the issues the Titans are having at the Wide Receiver position, Jonnu Smith might have just become the 3rd option behind Corey Davis and Dion Lewis. He will get targets. As long as he lives up to the hype, he will be a great start in your lineup.

George Kittle – What did we see last week? That the 49ers have plays designed for George Kittle. He wasn’t supposed to do well against a stellar Vikings defense, but he succeeded! This week, they’re back at home against those Lions who appear to be falling apart. All systems are go for George Kittle.

Tight End: Sit ‘Em

Eric Ebron – Washington has a decent defense. On top of that, Jack Doyle received the vast majority of snaps last week (94% of snaps compared to Ebron’s 45%). Ebron could get you that touchdown since Luck throws so often, but with limited opportunities for touches, it’s hard to expect it. Look elsewhere for a Tight End until we figure out how Indy plans to utilize both Doyle and Ebron.

Mike Gesicki – He was only targeted twice. He played in 34% of offensive snaps. It appears that the Dolphins are currently utilizing AJ Derby (74% of snaps) in a blocking role. This one has a good chance for course correction in week 2. But after his utilization in week 1, I’m not interested.

Best of luck to each of you in your week 2 matchups. Unless I’m your opponent. If that’s the case, then I hope the database table which holds your lineup gets erased by accident.

DFS Week 2: DRAFT Targets & Players to Avoid

Last week I helped guide you to a money winning Kamara and Brees stack and helped you avoid the temptation of Davante Adams. I’ll be helping you navigate this user-friendly and competitive way to play DFS every week this season. My advice is based on 6 team standard fast draft formats.

If you’re not familiar with DRAFT I highly encourage you to jump into your App store or Google Play store and download the most user-friendly and fun DFS app out there. My takes are a combination of stats, match-up analysis, and what I’ve seen drafting this week: to draft with me next week add me MattHicks15.

Quarterback

Favorite Play: Phillip Rivers (LAC) vs BUF

Rivers is coming off a big Week 1 performance, where he threw for 424 yards and 3 touchdowns. In Week 2 he faces off against a Buffalo defense that allowed 236 yards and 3 touchdowns to Joe Flacco, a quarterback that is largely an after thought in the minds of any rational fantasy football player. Rivers, however, is projected so low by DRAFT that he doesn’t appear in the top 8 quarterbacks that would appear on the draft screen; meaning you’ll likely be able to wait until round 5 to take a quarterback that very well could finish as the QB1 this week.

High Upside: Andrew Luck (IND) vs WAS

Luck threw the ball 53 times in Week 1, the most of any quarterback. He completed 39 of those attempts for 319 yards and 2 touchdowns. That was against a tough Bengals defense, now Luck gets a slightly easier match-up against Washington. The game-script should force Luck to throw the ball close to, if not more than he did in Week 1-making him a high upside play that can also be taken in the 5th round.

Do Not DRAFT: Aaron Rodgers (GB) vs MIN

Don’t get caught on Rodgers’ big name this week. There’s 14 other weeks I’ll advocate for starting Rodgers, but I cannot see him paying off for you against Minnesota. The Vikings allowed the least fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks last season and made Garoppolo look dismal in Week 1; holding him to 15-33, 261-yard, 1 TD and 3 INT stat line. Add in the unknown status on Rodgers’ knee, and you have a recipe for disaster. It may sound off but avoid Aaron Rogers this week.

Running Back

Favorite Play: Melvin Gordon (LAC) vs BUF

Spoiler alert: Rivers to Gordon is my favorite stack of the week. Gordon proved to be a dangerous dual-threat in Week 1, rushing for 64 yards on 15 carries and catching 9 of his 13 targets for 102 yards. This allowed Gordon to finish as RB3 overall, without scoring a touchdown. Last week, Buffalo allowed 3 rushing touchdowns-if Gordon gets 2 of those he’s nearly a lock to finish as the RB1 this week. It will be tough to turn down Kamara, but Gordon has a much better match-up.

Upside Target: Christian McCaffery (CAR) vs ATL

McCaffery is getting little hype following his quiet, but efficient performance in Week 1. McCaffery ran for 50 yards on just 10 carries and caught 6 of his 9 targets for 45 yards. That was in a game where Carolina struggled to keep their offense on the field. Now, the Panthers square off against a depleted Atlanta Falcons defense that will be missing Deon Jones, Keanu Neal, and possibly Isiah Oliver. I’ve been taking McCaffery consistently in the 4th round, making him a steal.

Do Not DRAFT: David Johnson (ARI) vs LAR

It will be hard to pass on this dynamic dual threat, but his match-up is too tough to justify spending a first round pick on. The Rams allowed just 84 yards on 19 combined carries from 3 Oakland running backs last week. Johnson saw just 9 carries in week 1, with Chase Edmonds getting 4 carries himself, and averaging 6 yards per carry with them. There will be plenty of weeks when you can draft Johnson and feel great about it, Week 2 is not one of those weeks.

Wide Receiver/Tight End

Favorite Play: Julio Jones (ATL) vs CAR

Jones saw 19 targets for Matt Ryan in Week 1, the most targets of any wideout. Jones pulled in 10 receptions (3rd highest amongst WRs) and 169 receiving yards (2nd highest amongst WRs). Jones saw 44% of Ryan’s targets, leaving him with a ton of upside in what I expect to be a shootout game. In 2017, Carolina allowed the 5th most points to opposing fantasy wide receivers. These factors make Jones a ridiculous value in the 2nd round-where I’ve picked him up multiple times.

Upside Target: Jarvis Landry (CLE) vs NO

Landry saw 15 of Tyrod Taylor’s 35 targets (33%) in Week 1. Landry caught 7 of Taylor’s 15 completions (46%). In Week 1, the Saints allowed 417 passing yards and 4 passing touchdowns to one of the least respected quarterbacks and receiving corps. in the NFL. Despite all of this, Landry is buried in DRAFT’s projections, making him an after thought for most players. I’m passing on guys like A.J. Green (below), Hilton, and Diggs to scroll down and grab the consistency and upside associated with Landry.

Do Not Draft: Mike Evans (TB) vs PHI

I know this is tempting: we finally saw flashes of the 2016 Mike Evans that we desperately missed last season. In Week 1, Evans caught all 7 of his targets for 147 Yards and 1 touchdown. Evans, however, faces off against a staunch Eagles defense in Week 2; a tougher match-up that also may lack DeSean Jackson-who is instrumental in helping take secondary pressure off Evans. Evans should contribute this week but not to the point where he’s a good play in DRAFT.

Week 2 Devy Review

Some exciting running back performances stood out this week starting with Benny Snell who, despite not finding the endzone, toted the ball 27 times against a ranked Florida team for 175 yards. That is a good day in my book and a good look for Snell who is proving he can handle the workload in a grind it out type of game. As the season rolls on, keep looking for Snell to handle significant workload. If he can maintain this level of efficiency, he has a little room to rise fantasy wise.

Scottie Phillips had a big time Week 1 scoring twice and followed that up this week with another two touchdown game.  He also broke 100 yards for the second week in a row. It may have been against a lower level opponent in Southern Illinois, but I am excited to see what Phillips can do for the rest of the year. He transferred from JuCo coming into this season.  More solid production that continues to look good on film, plus a solid combine could get him to the league in this weak running back class.

Bryce Love had a bounce back week after that abysmal week 1 showing.  He ran for 136 and a score against USC. There wasn’t any reason to worry about Love for a poor showing and this is proof that he is going to be just fine going forward. While I am not huge on Love due to size and workload concerns, he has the talent to contribute at the NFL level. He will make on to a team and he will be worth drafting in dynasty when rookie draft season rolls around.

Johnathan Taylor had a big boy week that makes these other guys look sad.  33 carries for 253 yards and 3 touchdowns against New Mexico was the performance of the week stat wise. The competition was not great, but the production is undeniable. Taylor is a stud who doesn’t have to do much outside of stay healthy to be a top 5 rookie pick in 2020. Behind this Wisconsin offensive line, he will be in the conversation for the Heisman trophy, not only this year, but likely next year as well.

Wide receiver play was not lacking either as Tee Higgins helped his team stave of the upset hungry Aggies with 3 receptions for 123 yards and a touchdown. He showed off his downfield prowess averaging 41 yards a catch on the day. He brings an extra dynamic to this Clemson offense. He is going to bring the Clemson wide receiver line back to prominence after Deon Cain slipped down draftboards last year. Higgins is looking like every bit of a top 3 receiver in the 2020 class.

We won’t have to wait until 2020 to see Bryan Edwards in an NFL uniform and thank goodness for that. Edwards is a guy who is getting a lot of hype lately surrounding his sky-high potential. Well last week against Georgia, he proved he has more than the potential to be great with 7 receptions for 111 yards and two touchdowns against one of the nations top defenses.  His team got stomped 41 to 17 but Edwards shone brightly. This game will be enough for him to move up slightly in my rankings. More production at this level will force me to continue that rise.

We will wrap this up with Kyler Murray, who you might know as the successor to one Baker Mayfield. Murray looks like a stud already and put up over 300 yards to go with 3 touchdowns and that was just through the air. He added 69 (nice) yards on the ground and two more touchdowns. He looks like Heisman candidate as well and the only problem that can be seen is that he wants to play baseball. Murray is a phenomenal two sport athlete and the general feeling seems to be that he will take a crack at baseball prior to declaring for the NFL draft. I will be rooting for his success either way, but I would love to see him play quarterback at the NFL level.

QB Streaming Options for Week 2

Last Week’s Results: My main streaming recommendation last week of Tyrod Taylor finished as the 9th QB on the week with 25.58 fantasy points and outscored some names that would have cost much more in drafts. The way Taylor did it was not pretty, but his rushing provided enough value to offset the low yardage and completion percentage.

This helps show that even in week 1 with no teams on bye it is not difficult to find a QB you can win with on waivers. Over the course of the season I will continue to track my main streaming option’s performance including their finish and average fantasy points. This will prove that there is no need to spend an early draft pick on QB in most fantasy leagues, you can work your wait to QB1 production and build a great roster by waiting.

Now it is time to look at the week 2 match ups and see what streaming options are available in at least 50% of Yahoo leagues.

Main Streaming Option: Case Keenum

Week 1 on his new team had some mixed results; he threw over 300 yards and for 3 TDs, but also had 3 interceptions. He showed a strong connection with both Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas, especially Sanders. Denver has the weapons and Keenum is good enough to utilize the talent around him. This is not just based on one game; he did it last season in Minnesota as well. This week Denver takes on the Raiders at home. This is coming off the Raiders being unable to stop the Rams on Monday night in week 1. Goff put up solid numbers and probably would have done more if the game had stayed close. This will be another week where the Raiders and their fans will be disappointed they traded away their best defensive player before the season.

Alternate 1: Mitchell Trubisky

At the start of the Sunday night game against the Packers the Bears’ offense looked really good. As the game went a long the offense stalled, especially in the second half. They showed enough that proves there is something there. The weapons are there for the Bears, there are multiple options for Trubisky to get the ball to. This week he is going against Seattle, who no longer has the same defense they have been known for over the last few years. Trubisky also has the ability to run and add some points on the ground. Outside of a great match up adding value as a runner is the biggest factor I like in a streaming QB option. Trubisky has both this week and as long as the new coaching staff in Chicago figures out how to utilize all of their weapons Trubisky will have a strong week.

Alternate 2: Eli Manning

Eli is a guy that it never feels good to play in fantasy; he has the potential to blow up in any game. However he has a lot of talented players around him and he has shown the ability to come up big in the past. The Dallas defense actually could be pretty good this year, but if the offense does not improve Eli will have a lot of opportunities. Having Odell Beckham on the outside will be a much bigger challenge for the Dallas secondary than anyone on the Panthers and they will need to prove they can limit a player of his caliber before anyone can say they are for real. Barkley provides a weapon out of the backfield that is way more dangerous than anything Eli has worked with in recent years; he can take a short pass and turn it into a big play at any time. Eli is not someone I am looking to play with a full slate of games, but if you are in a deeper league or you need to keep an eye on the injury situations for guys like Mariota or Rodgers he could be a guy you turn to this week.

Those are some QBs widely available that I like this week. If you do not like your match up or you are waiting for Wentz to get cleared check the wire and see if they are available in your league. As the season plays out I will keep finding the options to help teams that need a QB each week, once the bye weeks arrive finding these guys will be even more important.

Week 2 Redraft Risers and Fallers QB/RB

The drafts were well over. Our lineups were set. Our job was done and it was finally time for the players we selected to suit up and get us a win! Yes the first full fantasy Sunday of 2018 is in the books. Never too early for a stock check. Let’s see which QBs and RBs are rising and falling? 

3 on the Rise: Lots to Love in Washington

Heading upward look to none other than the entire Washington backfield. Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson combined for 161 yards on 31 rushing attempts. Peterson had a long catch and run towards the end of the game and Thompson caught a pass for a TD earlier in the game. Also of note is that Thompson lined up as a receiver 7 times. If we learned anything from his time in Kansas City it’s when Alex Smith likes you then you are getting the ball. 

Speaking of Smith he began 2018 the same way he did in 2017. A top 10 performance after being drafted well outside the top 12. Smith completed 21 of 30 passes for 255 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday’s 24-6 road win over the Cardinals. Not exactly top tier numbers but numbers you can probably expect to see week in and week out this season.

(I’d like to give a quick endorsement to Austin Ekeler. He was much involved in the Chargers offense and not just a handcuff for Melvin Gordon)

 3 Falling Fast

We also had a few week one duds. Now you might have said why are we putting so much faith in week one results? The reason is, we actually learned more this weekend than we did in the last four months of research before we drafted. Our reeducation started last Thursday night in  Philadelphia and culminated Monday in Detroit.

Jay Ajayi

Jay Ajayi had his name in the coaches mouth all last week. “Ajayi is our guy” said Coach Peterson and he will be a full go on Thursday night. I’m here to tell you not to let those two touchdowns fool you because the guy wasn’t even on the field for 40% of the snaps. Ajayi was out snapped by Darren Sproles. So that was just one more lie in a summer full of them by the Philadelphia coaching staff. It seems Doug Peterson is doing what he’s always done. RB by commitee and the guy you drafted to be your RB 2 is now a question mark each week. 

Matt Ryan

In the same game we saw what might’ve been the worst performance from Matt Ryan since he was a rookie. I had high hopes as Ryan Seems to wait until year to assist him to get his game going. Well this is year two in Sarkissians system and he looks worse than last year. If you started Ryan this week then you have Julio Jones to thank for every point he got you. Ryan not only looked flustered in the pocket but was off base and then he throws that he is usually spot on with. 

Matthew Stafford

Even worse than Ryan‘s performance on Thursday was Matt Stafford on Monday night. . By halftime, Stafford and the Lions were trailing, and in the third quarter, they completely melted. Stafford completed 27 of 46 passes for 286 yards, a touchdown and four interceptions in Monday night’s 48-17 loss to the Jets. All this against a team the Lions were expected to handle. 

All 3 are questionable moving forward this year and sell candidates.