It’s been a crazy first two weekends with injuries significantly
changing the fantasy landscape. The running back position has
been particularly hard hit, but quarterbacks and wideouts haven’t
escaped the wrath. Just figuring out who will be on the field
is getting harder and harder.
“Better a cruel truth than a comfortable delusion.”
(Edward Abbey, A Voice Crying in the Wilderness)
1) The Oakland Raiders defense is
on its way to historic highs.
True. The Raiders are on pace to give up 8,280 yards having yielded
1,035 yards through the first two games, including 808 yards via
the pass. Mental errors and physical errors, Oakland has mastered
the art of giving up yards and points. They made Matt
Ryan look like an All-Pro after doing the same for Drew
Brees in Week 1 (OK, Brees was a first-team All-Pro once but
that was in 2006). Marcus
Mariota, rookie Tajae
Sharpe and Delanie
Walker should produce big numbers this Sunday and has anybody
noticed that DeMarco
Murray has been very active in the passing game with 14 targets
and 12 receptions for 91 yards and two scores? Stack them all!
2) Patriots wideout Julian Edelman
is a must start in Week 3?
It’s a trick question. Edelman has caught seven balls in each
of the first two games, though he’s yet to reach the end zone.
Still, his value in Week 3 could come in the form of passing yards.
Garoppolo almost assuredly sidelined and Tom
Brady still suspended, Edelman, who played quarterback at
Kent State, will likely be the Patriots backup at quarterback
behind rookie Jacoby
Brissett. Ian Rapoport is even hearing rumors of a package
of plays with Edelman’s name on it. Passing yards in addition
to his receiving work could mean a huge payday.
3) The Pittsburgh Steelers will likely
be sitting the NFL’s leading rusher in Week 4.
It’s true. DeAngelo
Williams is the league’s leading rusher (237 yards through
two games) and leading fantasy running back (48.3 points), but
Bell returns from suspension next weekend. In 2015 after Williams
rushed for 204 yards and three scores in the first two games of
the season, Bell returned to out-touch Williams 55-3 over the
next two games. Enjoy D-Will for one last game before he reverts
to “handcuff” status.
4) Pass-catching is a young man’s
Mostly true. Through two weeks, the average age of the top-10
fantasy receivers is 25.4 years old and that includes 33-year-old
Fitzgerald and 30-year-old Mike
Wallace. The other eight top-10 fantasy receivers have a total
combined 23 years of experience or an average of 3.5 years. The
top-three fantasy wideouts are all in their second year of action
Snead, and Stefon
5) Through two games Cam Newton has
more rushing yards than Mark Ingram, Jeremy Langford, Doug Martin,
Adrian Peterson and Jeremy Hill.
True. Gotta love dual-threat quarterbacks. In his first five seasons
Newton has averaged 641 rushing yards and 8.6 touchdowns or 115.7
points per year from his feet. That’s more than Ingram or Langford
average in both categories.
Remember when head coach Ron Rivera stated
he'd like to limit the snaps for WR Kevlin Benjamin?
“One lie has the power to tarnish a thousand truths.” (Al David)
1) The Philadelphia Eagles defense is the second-best defense in
the NFL averaging 12.0 ppg and behind only the Seahawks (9.5 ppg).
Your high school team might be ranked No. 2 if they got to play
against the 2016 Cleveland Browns and Chicago Bears in their first
two games. RGIII was rusty and Jay Cutler was … well, he was
typical Jay Cutler – a turnover machine. The Eagles secondary,
despite being better than last season, is suspect and that’s
not a good thing when facing Week 3 opponents Ben Roethlisberger
and Antonio Brown.
2) Acknowledged dissention in the Washington
locker room could lead to a change at quarterback.
Not going to happen when the other option is mediocre journeyman
Colt McCoy. It’s true that Cousins has thrown some really
ugly passes and missed wide open receivers, but they aren’t
going to win more games with McCoy under center. The team will hope
Cousins reverts to his 2015 playing level. In the meantime, with
a mediocre running game, and their best talent in the receiving
corps, the Redskins will continue to throw the ball 40 times a game
and that’s good news for fantasy owners. Cousins is averaging
346.5 ypg this season despite his slow start.
3) Something still must be wrong with
the Green Bay offense if Aaron Rodgers is averaging just 206 passing
False. He dealt with 110-degree heat in Jacksonville then took on
an excellent Minnesota defense in their home opener and debut of
Sam Bradford and the U.S. Bank Stadium. Rodgers should break out
of his slump against Detroit this weekend, a team he’s dominated
over his career going 11-3 with 26 touchdown passes against six
4) Anyone who says they had more than
four of the current top-10 tight ends in their preseason top-10
5) Back on Tuesday, Sept. 6, Panthers
coach Ron Rivera said “(Kelvin) Benjamin's injury and the development
of other players in the passing game are contributing factors to
reducing his playing time.”
Rivera then went on to say he’d “like all of his receivers
to play between 25-35 snaps.” Liar, liar pants on fire. Benjamin
participated in 52 snaps in both Week 1 and Week 2 for a total of
104-of-156 snaps (66.7%) and he’s the No. 1 fantasy wideout
through two games (37.9 points).
Steve Schwarz served as the fantasy sports editor of The Sports Network and is the 2014 FSWA Football Writer of the Year.