Good morning fantasy enthusiasts - it’s time for another edition
of TMB! This week, we explore both the highs and lows that make
fantasy football such an intriguing hobby. We’ll start with
a bounce-back game from Tom Brady…
1. Ten Days to Simmer
Sunday marked ten days since the Chiefs dismantled the Patriots
on the opening night and you had to know Tom
Brady was dying to get back on the field and attack a soft defense.
And attack is exactly what he did. Knowing that no lead was safe
Brees (356 passing yards, 2 TDs in his own right), Brady stormed
out of the gates and ultimately produced 447 yards passing and 3
touchdowns. Even with wide receivers dropping like flies, Brady
still seems to find a way to make things happen in the passing game.
It looks like heíll be leaning heavily on Rob
Gronkowski (see below) and James
White moving forward if this game is any indication. Bradyís
performance was impressive, but it did come against the Saints,
who made Sam
Bradford look like Tom Brady in Week 1. Keep that in mind when
setting expectations in the weeks to come.
Again, A Lot Can Change in Ten DaysÖ(Gronk and Kelce)
So many players put up good numbers in the NE-KC tilt that itís
easy to forget how quiet Rob Gronkowski and Travis
Kelce were. Both were held under 50 yards receiving and neither
found the end zone. In Week 2, neither guy was held under 100 yards,
and both scored touchdowns, signifying that all is back to normal
at the tight end position. With Greg
Olsen out indefinitely with a foot injury and Jordan
Reed struggling to get off the ground, Gronk and Kelce look
like the blue chippers at the position (along with possibly Zach
Ertz and Delanie
Walker). Owners of both might have been wondering why they spent
such a high draft pick on their elite TEs after Week 1. They got
a reminder why this time around.
Black Sunday for Top Running Backs
Without a doubt, the biggest negative coming out of the weekend
was the significant lack of production from some of the projected
top running backs. Ezekiel
Elliott managed just 22 yards from scrimmage vs. Denver. DeMarco
Murray carried the ball only 9 times while Derrick
Henry touched the ball 5 more times and did much more with his
opportunities (92 yards/1 TD). LeSean
McCoy couldnít even muster up 10 yards rushing against Carolinaís
resurgent defense. Ditto for Jordan
Howard, who like Murray, is losing touches fast to a teammate.
Even LeíVeon Bell, who got a full workload on Sunday, still couldnít
find the end zone or net 100 yards on 31 touches.
If you listen real close, you can hear Vince Lombardi somewhere
begging for clarity. Simply put, Elliott and Bell are too talented
not to begin producing at an elite level very soon. Iím a little
more worried about McCoy as heís the only weapon Buffalo has and
teams will game plan to stop him all season long. Iím really worried
about Howard and Murray, though. Weíve seen lots of RBs over the
years excel in Chicago as rookies only to fade as sophomores (Salaam,
Langford, etc.) and Henry looks more than capable of relegating
Murray to a borderline 2/3 back for fantasy purposes. Itís all very
unsettling right now at fantasyís most coveted position.
Seattle used Chris Carson as their featured
RB in Week 2 while Eddie Lacy watched from the sidelines.
4. Has Seattle Found its Man?
Itís hard to say from week to week whatís going on in Pete Carroll
land, but anytime a RB can muster up 94 rushing yards on 20 carries
behind that swiss cheese line, itís worth noting. Thatís what
Carson, did on Sunday as he out-touched Thomas
Rawls 20-5 while Eddie
Lacy was a healthy scratch. Carson doesnít project to do much
in the passing game, and Seattle likes to throw it near the goal
line (see Butler, Malcolm), so expectations for Carson should
remain modest for now. Itís just good to see something develop
finally out of a situation that to date had been confounding at
5 . Mile High Rejuvenation
If I had said prior to the season beginning that Broncos QB Trevor
Siemian would have 6 TD passes after two weeks and another
TD running the ball, would anyone have believed it? What if I
said that C.J.
Anderson (154 totals yards, 2 TDs on Sunday) was going to
be a top-five RB? Well, all of that is either true or appears
to be imminent as Mike McCoy has brought his magic to the Mile
High city and the offense is thriving. Given how good Denverís
defense is, expect the Broncos to continue to have lots of red-zone
opportunities with WRs Demaryius
Thomas and Emmanuel
Sanders netting good first-half point totals while C.J. Anderson
wears teams down after halftime. As for Siemian, I donít think
heís fantasy starter material just yet, but the situation bears
watching. Itís an amazing transformation for an offense that was
downright stagnant at times last season as they attempted move
forward without Peyton Manning.
6. But, this Guy is Fantasy Starter
Iím talking about Carson
Wentz of the Eagles after another 300+ yard passing performance.
The Eagles didnít even attempt to run the ball against the Chiefs
on Sunday outside of 10 carries for Darren
Sproles, opting instead to throw 46 passes. Seven of those
were complete to Alshon
Jeffery whose chemistry with Wentz is growing quickly. Another
five were to Zach Ertz, who is looking like a top-5 tight end
going forward after being the most productive fantasy TE in the
business for the latter half of 2016. If you drafted Wentz as
your backup, it might be time to see what you can get for your
intended starter at the position, and begin rolling the dice with
him instead. The team is clearly lacking any sort of RB prowess
Blount looking like a poor fit in the offense. Itís going
to be throw, throw, and throw some more in Philly this year and
Wentz, Jeffery and Ertz are going to make some fantasy owners
very happy as a result.
7. Promising Signs in Los Angeles
The last thing in the world that I want to do is give Todd
Gurley owners false hope after all of last seasonís disappointment.
Can I at least say, though, that Sundayís effort vs. Washington
was encouraging? Gurley will get all the goal line carries for
the Rams no matter what - this we already knew. But, 136 yards
from scrimmage and a receiving TD to boot was more than any Gurley
owner probably expected coming out of Week 1. With this offense
now finding ways to move the ball outside of just slamming Gurley
into the line and hoping for the best, Gurleyís career appears
to be once again headed in the right direction. If you stuck with
him in a keeper/dynasty league, I salute you.
8. PPR Gold Mines
Anybody notice that the two WRs with the most receptions on Sunday
came from the same NFL game? The Dophins and Chargers produced
a close game with a photo finish, but also gave us Jarvis
Landry (13 receptions) and Keenan
Allen (9 receptions). Landry and Allen has always been target
monsters when healthy and Jay
Cutler clearly thought Landry was his best short-range option
this weekend. Philip
Rivers has long felt that way about Allen who is on pace for
110+ catches after two weeks. Consider both PPR must-starts every
week no matter who else resides on your roster. On a side note,
the only other player to have 9 or more receptions on Sunday was
none other than Jason
Witten, TE for the Cowboys. With Dez
Bryant getting near constant double teams, Witten is settling
into a resurgent role as Dak
Prescottís most trusted target. Until that changes, he better
be in all PPR lineups every week.
9. Michael and the Jets
With apologies to Benny and Elton John, this title is a tip of
the cap to Michael
Crabtree, who found the end zone no less than three times
on Sunday vs. the hapless Jets defense. Congrats to Crabtree,
thus, and here are some additional observationsÖItís going to
be hard to know from week to week which Oakland WR will break
out. Crabtree looks like the more consistent of the two, but Amari
Cooper is prone to the bigger yardage games. Both should always
be in lineups, though, given the prowess of the offense as a whole.
As for the Jets, they appear to be a juicy matchup week in and
week out. They let LeSean McCoy run wild in Week 1, let Crabtree
do his thing in Week Two, and made Jalen
Richard look like a viable fantasy option after he tore off
109 yards and a TD on just 8 touches. Next up for the Jets: Miami.
Ajayi owners rejoice.
10. Will He or Won't He?
Finally, Monday night was the culmination of a confusing week
Beckham Jr. owners. For those that had to plug him into their
lineups by noon on Sunday, there was relief when it was announced
he would indeed play. Then, there was likely frustration with
what actually took place on the field. Beckham accounted for only
36 receiving yards on 4 catches and was taken out of the game
on red zone opportunities. It's impossible to know how much his
health affected his snap count, but add Beckham to the growing
list of first-round fantasy picks who have flopped the first two
weeks. This already feels like a strange year, which means a return
to normalcy is just around the cornerÖ I hope.
That's a wrap for this week's Buzz. Who knows what next week will
bring- whatever it is, we'll be right here detailing it for you.