- Green highllight indicates plus matchup (top eight)
- Red highlight indicates negative matchup (bottom eight)
Giants at Football Team
- (Katz) Line: WAS -3.5 Total: 41.0
Game Thoughts: A new season starts and immediately more
evidence piles up that Daniel Jones will not be the Giants starting
quarterback in 2022. Jones did throw for 267 yards and a touchdown,
but a large chunk of that was in garbage time. Jones once again
lost a fumble and showed very little pocket awareness.
Despite being out-targeted by both Sterling Shepard and Darius
Slayton, Kenny Golladay looked healthy and had a couple nice contested
catches. Better days are ahead for him. As for Shepard, he’s
just disrespected every season. He is always a high-floor/low-ceiling
WR3. His 7-113-1 line might end up being the best he has all season,
but Shepard deserves to be on fantasy rosters and is a viable
starter that won’t kill you.
Evan Engram will miss another week making Kyle Rudolph the clear
primary tight end, playing 77% of the snaps. He has no fantasy
The Football Team held the Chargers to 20 points last week, but
allowed Justin Herbert to throw for 337 yards. They still have
a formidable pass rush and the Giants do not have anywhere near
the caliber of offensive line as the Chargers have. It’s
going to be a rough day at the office for Jones on a short week.
WAS FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.24
WAS FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.20
WAS FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.4
WAS FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.17
Running Game Thoughts: The good news: Saquon Barkley looked healthy.
Not quite 100%, but healthy and he came out of last week’s
game unscathed. The bad news: the Giants offense is going to once
again be a problem for him. I don’t know how you can trust
Barkley this week. He played 48% of the snaps last week to Devontae
Booker’s 39% and had 10 carries plus five targets. Unfortunately,
he turned it into just 27 total yards of offense. It’s difficult
to imagine him suddenly turning things around against Washington.
I also worry that given his recent return from a serious knee
injury and the Giants immediately playing on a short week, Joe
Judge may take it extra easy on Barkley, give him 10 days to recover,
and then fully unleash him in Week 3.
Game Thoughts: It was a brutal game for Washington as
Ryan Fitzpatrick is lost for at least half the season due to a
hip injury. Taylor Heinicke takes over and we remember him for
almost beating Tom Brady in the first round of the playoffs last
season. Heinicke is competent and isn’t too much of a downgrade
for the team’s passing game.
The bigger issue is that despite the Giants being an overall
bad team, they have a fantastic secondary. James Bradberry erased
Courtland Sutton last week. I will not advise you to sit Terry
McLaurin, but I am definitely concerned after he managed just
4-62 on four targets last week. Scary Terry will get going this
season, but it may have to wait another week.
Opposite McLaurin was rookie Dyami Brown, who caught just one
pass for -2 yards. The silver lining is he’s the clear WR2,
playing 93% of the snaps. If you can hang onto him for another
week, it might be worth it to see if his targeting increases.
Logan Thomas was targeted just three times last week, but he caught
all of them for 30 yards and a touchdown. The Giants had a tough
time dealing with Noah Fant last week as the Broncos elected to
utilize the middle of the field with the Giants cornerbacks locking
down the outsides. It could be a good Thursday night for Thomas.
NYG FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.18
NYG FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.15
NYG FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.19
NYG FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.5
Running Game Thoughts: Antonio Gibson is going
to be a stud and he is a true workhorse. Gibson played 65% of
the snaps last week, carried the ball 20 times for 90 yards, and
saw five targets. J.D. McKissic had one carry for eight yards
and didn’t catch a pass. McKissic is still the third down
back, but this is very clearly Gibson’s backfield.
The Giants contained Javonte Williams last week, but they succumbed
to the repeated pressure placed upon their front seven when Melvin
Gordon was able to rip off a late 70-yard touchdown run. The Giants
are by no means a favorable matchup, but Gibson’s volume
is strong and he’s an every week RB1.
Broncos @ Jaguars
- (Swanson) Line: DEN -6.0 Total: 45.0
Game Thoughts: Teddy Bridgewater’s first game as
the starting QB for the Broncos was exactly the type of performance
head coach Vic Fangio wanted. Teddy completed 77% of his passes,
threw a pair of touchdowns, and made a few plays with his legs.
But the number Fangio likes the most from Bridgewater was the
fact that he did not turn the ball over.
From a fantasy perspective, Teddy is not someone who should be
thought of as a top-12 option based on the fact that he is not
going to throw for a ton of yards, and the Broncos defense will
likely keep the offense out of lopsided game scripts. However,
he is good enough to make the skill portion players viable in
all formats, and the passing attack will keep defenses honest
against the run.
Unfortunately for Bridgewater and fantasy managers, he will not
have his best skill position player for this game and for many
to come after Jerry Jeudy suffered a high ankle sprain Week 1
and was placed on IR.
The absence of Jeudy makes Tim Patrick and KJ Hamler both viable
options in this game against a Jags defense that was absolutely
torched by Tyrod Taylor and the Texans last week. The Texans combined
for 200 yards and a score against the Jags, with Brandin Cooks
posting 132 yards on five receptions.
Look for the Broncos to try a few deep passes against the Jags
secondary, especially with Hamler testing the safeties out of
the slot. Hopefully, the speedy second-year WR won’t drop
an easy TD pass this week as he did against the Giants.
Starting corner Tre Herndon missed last week against the Texans
with a knee injury. He is questionable again this week and may
miss the game.
JAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.12
JAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.3
JAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.17
JAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.20
Running Game Thoughts: Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams combined
for 146 rushing yards and a score on 25 carries against a fairly
stout Giants front seven. The carries were split fairly evenly,
with Javonte getting 14 and Melvin posting 11, but Williams managed
a pedestrian 45 yards on a 2.3 per carry average, while Gordon
busted a long TD run and 101 yards.
For those managers expecting a Williams breakout right out of
the gates, game one proved to be a disappointment. Gordon started,
and Gordon looked like the better back, while Williams looked
like an indecisive rookie. That all can change later in the season,
but as of now, it looks like Gordon is the better value in drafts.
From a matchup standpoint, you could not ask for a better opponent
than Jacksonville. The Jags gave up three touchdowns and 144 total
yards to the trio of running backs in Houston, including former
Bronco Phillip Lindsay.
Unlike the Giants, who have a talented defensive front, only
the Falcons and Texans were ranked below the Jags entering the
season according to PFF.com's defensive line rankings.
Another positive for the Broncos running game is the likelihood
of a positive running game script created by the Denver defense.
We anticipate Trevor Lawrence will find it difficult to throw
against the Bronco secondary, and Von Miller and Bradley Chubb
(assuming he is back) will wreak havoc on the Jacksonville offensive
Game Thoughts: At first glance, you might think that
Trevor Lawrence played well in his first NFL start. Hie scored
more fantasy points than Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, Justin Herbert,
and Ryan Tannehill.
His 332 passing yards were the 8th most on the week, and he tied
for fifth on the day with three passing touchdowns. However, a
closer look revealed a rookie who made questionable throws and
was constantly under pressure, with the majority of his stats
coming in garbage time. The context of his opponent should also
be alarming, as he struggled against arguably the worst defense
in the league.
Lawrence faces a much more challenging opponent this week in
a Broncos defense that held Daniel Jones and the Giants to just
13 points last week. Jones managed to complete just 59% of his
passband struggled under the pressure of the Broncos pass rush.
Fantasy managers should only consider starting Lawrence in the
deepest of two QB leagues. His skill position players in the passing
game do have more value, including D.J. Chark, who led all Jags
with 12 targets. Sure, he only caught three of them, but he did
have a nice game with 86 cards and a score. Marvin Jones and Laviska
Shenault each had nine targets as well, with Jones catching a
late garbage TD in the closing seconds.
Cornerback Ronald Darby suffered a hamstring injury against the
Giants and was placed on IR. His absence in the lineup will mean
more snaps for rookie Patrick Surtain alongside Bryce Callahan
and Kyle Fuller. Surtain played in just 16 defensive snaps last
week and will be tested outside by Jones and Chark.
DEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.13
DEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.31
DEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.9
DEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.30
Running Game Thoughts: There was no better story in fantasy football
last season than the emergence of undrafted rooking James Robinson,
who took the starting job once the team released Leonard Fournette.
Robinson was a revelation, leading his team in rushing yards and
finishing as an RB1 in all formats.
Then came Urban Meyer, and Robinson’s value appears to
have been cut in half, as the Jags used a 60/40 split with veteran
Carlos Hyde. The two combined for a disappointing 69 rush yards
on just 14 carries in what turned out to be a surprisingly odd
negative game script.
On a positive note, Robinson did Garner six of the team’s
eight targets to RBs. On the negative side, he managed just three
catches for 29 yards.
Considering that the Broncos are a far superior run defense to
the Texans and just limited Saquon Barkley to less than three
yards per carry, it is hard to get excited about Robinson or Hyde
Bills at Dolphins
- (Katz) Line: BUF -3.5 Total: 48.0
Game Thoughts: It was a lackluster start to the season
for Josh Allen. He attempted 51 passes last week, yet mustered
up just 270 yards and one touchdown. Fantasy managers shouldn’t
fret as the Dolphins just let Mac Jones throw for 268 yards against
them. In his career against the Dolphins, Allen averages 258.7
passing yards and just under three passing touchdowns per game.
This is a prime bounce back spot.
That’s also good news for Stefon Diggs. A 9-69 performance
is fine, but not good enough for a borderline first round fantasy
pick. What fantasy managers should focus on is not the fantasy
point total, but the target count: 14. Diggs will be just fine.
The Bills WR2 is undoubtedly Emmanuel Sanders. Even at 34 years
old, Sanders can still play. He saw eight targets last week and
should’ve scored a long touchdown, but Allen overthrew him
despite several yards of separation.
Cole Beasley remains the primary slot receiver and saw 13 targets
last week. Beasley is a floor play and will rarely fail you, but
you are not getting spike weeks from him.
Gabriel Davis is a fantasy pundit favorite and the touchdown
he caught last week is only going to add fuel to that fire. Do
not start Davis. He’s the WR4 and just saw five targets
last week. In fact, he doesn’t even belong on fantasy rosters
in standard sized leagues.
Dawson Knox caught all four of his targets for 41 yards last
week. Tight end is a disaster beyond the top few guys but if you
need someone to get you 5-7 points, Knox is your guy.
MIA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.27
MIA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.11
MIA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.26
MIA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.11
Running Game Thoughts: What running game? The Bills don’t
run the ball. Last week, Allen threw the ball 51 times and scrambled
nine times. Devin Singletary and Matt Breida combined for just
15 carries. The more relevant number is five, which is the amount
of targets Singletary saw. Singletary is unlikely to score much
and is not a splash play guy, but with Zack Moss rightfully deactivated
for being awful at football, Singletary is a lock for 12-15 opportunities
a game. That keeps him in weekly RB3 territory. The Dolphins allowed
125 rushing yards to the Patriots last week. Singletary is probably
going to settle in the 8-12 fantasy point range unless he scores
a touchdown. Breida is just a backup.
Game Thoughts: It was a win for the Dolphins, but an
uneventful season debut for Tua Tagovailoa. He attempted just
27 passes, which is the type of offense the Dolphins want to run.
The Bills may have lost to the Steelers last week, but Ben Roethlisberger
threw for just 188 yards. This is not a good matchup for Tua.
The biggest positive from last week has to be Jaylen Waddle.
The rookie caught four of six targets for 61 yards and a touchdown.
Most excitingly, he was actually used down the field. It remains
to be seen how targets will be divided up with Will Fuller returning
from the final game of his PED suspension this week. My guess
is Waddle and Fuller are the top two targets with DeVante Parker
third. Parker had a respectable 4-81 line last week, but he will
likely be the least reliable of the three. Tua cannot support
three fantasy viable pass catchers.
The good news for the wide receivers is they are the only pass
catchers that matter. Hopefully, Mike Gesicki truthers are finally
over it as he was a t-shirt and shorts superstar. The man is incredibly
athletic, but he just isn’t a good football player and is
being phased out of the offense. He played just 39% of the snaps
last week, well behind Durham Smythe. Gesicki can be dropped in
Editor's Note: Will
Fuller has been declared Out due to a personal matter.
BUF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.29
BUF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.32
BUF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.18
BUF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.23
Running Game Thoughts: It appears concerns about a timeshare
in this backfield were warranted. In 2020, Myles Gaskin played
at least 61% of the snaps in every game he was active. Last week,
that number was 54%. Malcolm Brown was at 30% and Salvon Ahmed
20%. Gaskin is the clear lead runner, but he will not be the volume
hog he was last season.
The Bills completely shut down Najee Harris last week, holding
the entire Steelers offense to just 75 yards rushing. The Dolphins
will certainly try and get things going on the ground, but I’m
not optimistic. Gaskin feels very much like a low RB2/Flex play
with a very low weekly floor.
Game Thoughts: Expectations for the Texans were incredibly
low entering this season, but for at least one week they exceeded
them. Tyrod Taylor threw for 291 yards and a pair of touchdowns,
and he also added 40 yards on the ground. DeShaun Who? Amirite!?
The journeyman’s outburst was the most yards he’s
passed for in a single game since Dec. 24, 2016, when Barack Obama
was still President. That’s a long-winded way of saying
not to expect that level of production to continue -- unless the
NFL elects to have Houston play Jacksonville each week to spare
fans of the other 30 teams.
Taylor does have at least one legitimate NFL receiver to throw
to in the person of Brandin Cooks, who turned his five receptions
into 132 yards. Cooks has topped 1,000 yards in five of his last
six seasons while playing for four different clubs, so he’s
proven he knows how to get his. After that it’s pretty dicey
with retreads like Danny Amendola (5-34-1) and Chris Conley (2-27-0).
Unless someone emerges from the quagmire Cooks is the only one
to own. He can be played as a weak WR2 or strong WR3 this week.
Cleveland allowed 337 yards and three touchdowns through the
air last Sunday in a hard-fought loss to the Chiefs. That’s
to be expected when facing the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Travis
Kelce and Tyreek Hill, who posted an 11-197-1 line. Look for a
more conservative approach from Houston in this one and keep Taylor
CLE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.2
CLE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.28
CLE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.12
CLE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.2
Running Game Thoughts: Tell the truth, did you even know that
Mark Ingram was on the Texans before he carried the ball 26 times
against Jacksonville? The veteran turned those carries into just
85 yards, a paltry 3.3 yards per carry, but did score once. Fellow
“Ghosts of Fantasy Past” members Phillip Lindsay (8-25-1)
and David Johnson (3-10-0) both scored as well with Johnson’s
coming on a reception. Cleveland owns a stout run defense, and
they showed that once again in Week 1 when they allowed 3.2 yards
per carry against KC. Ingram could fill a flex spot. Ignore the
Game Thoughts: It was another interesting day of statistical
football from Baker Mayfield last Sunday as he threw for 321 yards,
ninth-most in the NFL, but was one of just four QBs not to have
a touchdown pass. He also undid a lot of good work with a terrible
interception that effectively ended the game. No wonder security
still doesn’t recognize him (“Sorry Parker, just doing
my job.”). A year ago, he went 12-for-20 for 132 yards and
no TDs against the Texans.
Mayfield spread the wealth versus KC with forgotten man David
Njoku leading the way with 76 yards on three grabs -- it’s
not time to consider adding Njoku, but you can put his name on
the watch list. Jarvis Landry (5-71-0) paced the team in receptions
and is likely to do so once again with Odell Beckham Jr. (knee)
already ruled out as he works his way back from last year’s
knee injury. Austin Hooper (3-27-0) has never recaptured the form
he showed in Atlanta, but he can be carried on your reserve roster.
Houston’s defense is populated by wayward veterans, and
the secondary is no different with a pair of former Browns (Terrance
Mitchell and Eric Murray) at safety. The Texans picked off Trevor
Lawrence three times in his NFL debut before ultimately giving
up 332 yards and three TDs as a result of extended garbage time.
None of that should worry the more experienced Mayfield, but a
ground-heavy attack is still likely. Landry is playable as a WR3
with Mayfield no better than a QB2.
HOU FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.10
HOU FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.22
HOU FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.7
HOU FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.7
Running Game Thoughts: The combination of Nick Chubb (15-83-2)
and Kareem Hunt (6-33-1) remains the strength of Cleveland’s
offense with the former serving as the early-down bruiser and
the latter as more of a change-of-pace back. Last season against
Houston both players topped 100 yards on the ground with Chubb
scoring that game’s lone touchdown. Don’t read anything
into the Texans holding Jacksonville to 76 yards rushing as the
Jags all but abandoned the run after digging an early hole. Get
Chubb and Hunt in your lineup.
Bengals @ Bears
- (Green) Line: CHI -2.5 Total: 45.0
Game Thoughts: By completing 20 of 27 passes for 261
yards and 2 scores, Joe Burrow laid a lot of fears to rest about
his return from a torn ACL. He did take quite a few shots as Minnesota
sacked him five times, and he only ran once, but elusiveness and
willingness to take off should return as he rounds into form.
With three talented wideouts at his disposal and a decent matchup
on tap, Burrow could fill a low-end QB1 role this Sunday.
While the biggest questions surrounding Cincinnati’s offense
were about Burrow, there were definite concerns about Ja’Marr
Chase (5-101-1) after an offseason filled with dropped balls.
He hauled in five of his seven targets, though, and that included
a 50-yard touchdown. Tee Higgins (4-58-1) also found paydirt on
a short ball and was the team’s second-most targeted receiver.
Veteran Tyler Boys (3-32-0) was the odd man out, at least for
one week. His four targets were tied for third, and he finished
behind C.J. Uzomah in yards.
Despite a reputation as a strong defense, the Bears often looked
lost in their Week 1 setback against the Rams with Matthew Stafford
connecting on a couple of deep balls that featured poor coverage
from Chicago’s secondary. By the end, the Bears had given
up 312 yards and three touchdowns to Stafford while applying minimal
pressure. That’s good news for Cincinnati’s receivers
with Higgins checking in as a WR2 and Chase as a borderline WR2/WR3.
Boyd can be played as a flex or left inactive.
CHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.11
CHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.23
CHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.5
CHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.16
Running Game Thoughts: Another player returning from a season-ending
injury last weekend was Joe Mixon, who carried the ball 29 times
for 127 yards and a score. It was a far cry from 2020 when Mixon
was stuck in neutral throughout September, managing 164 rushing
yards combined for the month. Chicago was solid against the run,
allowing 70 yards on 16 carries to Darrell Henderson in the loss.
If the Bengals can maintain their offensive balance Mixon should
offer RB2 value.
Game Thoughts: Suffice to say that nothing the Bears
passing game put on film Sunday night will quiet the drumbeat
from fans wanting Andy Dalton to be replaced with Justin Fields.
It’s anyone’s guess when that will happen, though
the combination of factors is likely to involve further development
from Fields and/or losses mounting for the club. We’re not
there, yet, and Dalton will start again in Week 2. He was in pure
game manager mode against the Rams with his 27 completions covering
just 206 yards with a long of 19. Cincy’s defense isn’t
nearly as formidable so they might open things up a bit, though
that’s not enough to consider Dalton for your lineup.
Nobody could accuse the Red Rifle of not spreading the ball around.
Five players caught between four and six passes, each of them
finishing between 25 and 45 yards. That ought to tell you that
nobody involved in Chicago’s passing game contributed much
to fantasy owners. Allen Robinson (6-35-0) led the way with 11
targets and is clearly the best/only playable receiver right now.
Considering his track record, he should remain active as a WR2.
Beyond that the two names to know are Cole Kmet (5-42-0) and Darnell
Mooney (5-26-0), though both are currently no more than roster
With Cincinnati nursing a lead and doing a surprisingly effective
job against the run, the Vikings took to the air to catch up last
week. When the final whistle blew Kirk Cousins had passed for
351 yards and 2 TDs on a whopping 49 attempts. That suggests that
the Bengals secondary is vulnerable, though whether the Bears
possess the talent to take exploit it is unclear.
CIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.14
CIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.7
CIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.3
CIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.21
Running Game Thoughts: Easily the most impressive player on offense
for Chicago in the Week 1 loss was David Montgomery, who carried
the ball 16 times for 108 yards (6.8 YPC) and a touchdown. He
was also responsible for the Bears’ only play of more than
20 yards. We’ll see if there’s an uptick in Montgomery’s
usage, especially after Damien Williams turned his 10 combined
touches into a modest 40 yards. As noted earlier, the Bengals
did a great job against Dalvin Cook, holding him to 61 yards on
20 carries and forcing a fumble. Despite that, Montgomery joins
Robinson as Chicago’s only playable options. He’s
a solid RB2.
49ers at Eagles
- (Katz) Line: SF -3.5 Total: 49.5
Game Thoughts: Jimmy Garoppolo was extremely efficient
last week, throwing for 314 yards despite attempting just 25 passes.
He will never be a fantasy option due to the 49ers’ desire
to run the ball as much as possible. His WR1, however, most certainly
Deebo Samuel exploded for 189 yards and a touchdown on nine receptions.
With Brandon Aiyuk playing just 47% of the snaps, there’s
no debate over who the top dog is here. I’m not buying this
Aiyuk (hamstring) injury story. If he was hurt, he would’ve
barely played. 47% of the snaps is not barely playing. Samuel
is a must start until further notice.
George Kittle is incredible at football. I still believe he is
the best all-around tight end in the NFL. Unfortunately, that’s
not a good thing for fantasy football. Kittle was never even remotely
on the level of Travis Kelce or Darren Waller; he just blocks
too much and is in a low volume passing attack. Hopefully, a road
game against a sneaky good offense will lead to more than just
five targets, but I’m not optimistic. Kittle remains better
than the rest of the tight ends, but he’s closer to the
“pack” than he is to the two alphas.
One final note on Trey Lance. He is seeing snaps and has a role
in this offense. But as long as the 49ers keep winning, Garoppolo
is not getting benched. Lance is going to be tough to keep on
benches as there is no QB swap in sight.
PHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.32
PHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.21
PHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.31
PHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.13
Running Game Thoughts: The 49ers spent a third round pick on
Trey Sermon. So naturally after Raheem Mostert was lost due to
a knee injury, it was sixth round pick Elijah Mitchell who took
over because Sermon was inactive. Mitchell was the single hottest
waiver wire add this week, and rightfully so. However, proceed
with caution as we’ve seen this story before. Kyle Shanahan
made Jeff Wilson into an RB1. Mitchell is going to start this
week, but with Mostert out, Sermon will almost certainly be active.
If he’s active, it means he’s getting carries. If
he’s getting carries, he can pop.
The Eagles shut down Mike Davis last week, holding him to just
49 yards on 15 carries, but the 49ers are an elite rushing offense.
If you were able to grab Mitchell, he’s worth starting.
Just know that it could very easily be Sermon next week.
Game Thoughts: I was told Jalen Hurts couldn’t
complete passes. He could’ve fooled me last week. Hurts
completed 77% of his throws as the Eagles put it all on Hurts
with the third highest neutral game script pass rate in Week 1.
Hurts threw for 264 yards and three touchdowns while adding 62
yards on the ground. He’s an every week high floor/high
ceiling QB1. The 49ers allowing Jared Goff to throw for 338 yards
does not inspire confidence in their ability to stop Hurts.
Rookie wide receiver DeVonta Smith instantly showed why he’s
the team’s WR1. He led the team in targets (8), receptions
(6), and yards (71). He scored, too. He sure looks like an every
week WR3 at worst.
At WR2 was Jalen Reagor. He caught all six of his targets for
49 yards and a touchdown. I’m not sure what to make of this
just yet, but he’s certainly a hold on benches.
Dallas Goedert played 73% of the snaps and was clearly ahead
of Zach Ertz. Goedert will be inconsistent, but he’s the
clear TE1 here. The 49ers just surrendered 97 yards to T.J. Hockenson.
I like Goedert this week.
SF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.8
SF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.1
SF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.25
SF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.4
Running Game Thoughts: Miles Sanders is someone I had no interest
in this season. After one week, that’s looking like a bad
call. Sanders only played 66% of the snaps last week, but that’s
a bit misleading as he was benched for most of the fourth quarter
in favor of giving Kenny Gainwell some burn in a blowout. Sanders
is the clear primary back and looking like a massive value this
season. In closer games, as this one should be, Sanders is easily
looking at 20+ touches. He’s a must start against a defense
that was just shredded by Jamaal Williams and D’Andre Swift.
Gainwell is worth putting on benches as he’s the clear
RB2, playing ahead of Boston Scott. However, he has no standalone
value with Sanders healthy.
Saints @ Panthers
- (Swanson) Line: NO -3.5 Total: 45.5
Game Thoughts: Jameis Winston and the New Orleans Saints
embarrassed Aaron Rodgers and the Packers with a 38-3 win in which
Winston threw five touchdown passes and completed 70% of his passes.
The game plan by head coach Sean Payton was brilliant. Play great
defense, impose their will with the running game, and limit the
passing attempts by Winston to high percentage passes to help
the much-maligned quarterback succeed.
Look for a similar game plan this week against a young Panthers
secondary that held the Jets to just 14 points last week. When
your strength is your offensive line and running game, it makes
sense not to force plays in the passing game, especially if you
have a QB who threw 30 interceptions in his last full season as
The Marquez Callaway love that swept through the fantasy community
crashed and burned last week, with Callaway garnering just two
targets on his one for 14-yard performance. In all, the Saints
threw the ball just five times to wide receivers in this game.
Callaway will have some big plays, and long touchdown passes,
but he is a risky start based on the volume we saw last week.
Juwan Johnson and Adam Troutman combine for six catches for 39
yards and two touchdowns against the Jets. Troutman was the target
leader with six, but Johnson caught both touchdowns and looks
to be a solid red-zone threat for Winston. The lack of volume
makes Johnson a TD or bust candidate, and this screams of chasing
touchdowns. But if he scores again this week, you have to start
buying into him and plug him into your lineup going forward.
Starting Safety Juston Burris is questionable for the game with
a neck injury but did log a full practice on Wednesday. The biggest
injury concern for the Saints offense is starting center Erik
McCoy, who missed practice with a calf injury. His status for
the game is up in the air.
CAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.23
CAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.30
CAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.15
CAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.19
Running Game Thoughts: Alvin Kamara has just three games of 20
or more carries daring back to 2018. One of those games came last
week against the Jets, in which he logged 83 yards on 20 carries.
Not a great day for him, but he did make up for it with a touchdown
It clearly looks like Sean Payton is planning on leaning on the
run game even more now that Drew Brees retired and Jameis Winston
is under center.
Tony Jones performed well in his role as the new Latavius Murray,
with 50 yards on 11 carries. Look for Jones to get between 10
and 15 touches again this week against a Panthers defense that
did a solid job limiting the ground game of the Jets in Week 1.
Ty Johnson, Tevin Coleman, and Michael Carter managed a paltry
45 yards on 17 carries and did not reach the end zone.
An injury to keep an eye on that could limit the overall effectiveness
of the ground game is a calf injury to starting center Erik McCoy.
If McCoy is out, look for Cesar Ruiz to move to center and Calving
Throckmorton to move to right guard.
Regardless of who is snapping the ball, you are starting Kamara
with confidence. He logged nearly 170 total yards against the
Panthers last season in Week 7 and is a must-start in all formats.
Jones does have flex consideration in deeper leagues.
Game Thoughts: It wasn’t exactly a revenge game,
but Sam Darnold and the Panthers did take care of business and
beat the Jets to start the season 1-0. Darnold finished the week
as the No.15 QB, with 279 passing yards, a passing touchdown,
and a rushing score. Not great, but he did score more points than
Lamar Jackson, Ryan Tannehill, Justin Herbert, and reigning MVP
We all knew that someone in the Panthers passing offense would
lose volume with the return of Christian McCaffrey. Based on what
we saw in Week 1, it looks like Robby Anderson is the one with
the red alert warning signs going off. Anderson saw just three
targets but salvaged his day with a 57-yard touchdown reception.
The game script in this game could force Darnold to throw the
ball more than he did in week one, which could result in more
targets for Anderson.
Injuries to the Saints defense should also lend itself to a more
conducive passing attack for the Panthers, as starting CB Marshon
Lattimore is out with a hand injury, and two reserve defensive
backs for the Saints are injured. Stud pass rusher Marcus Davenport
is also likely out with a shoulder injury, which should lead to
more time in the pocket for Darnold.
Rookie Terrace Marshall Jr. had a nice start to his career with
three catches for 26 yards on six targets. Not exactly a monster
fantasy performance, but he did lead the team with two red zone
targets and could continue to do so in this game.
Christian McCaffrey logged nine targets in his return to action,
catching all of them for a week-best 89 receiving yards.
NO FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.31
NO FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.29
NO FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.28
NO FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.24
Running Game Thoughts: McCaffrey jumped right back into the mix
as the RB1 in half-point and full point PPR formats, with 23.2
points despite not reaching the end zone. By comparison, Nick
Chubb scored two touchdowns and combined for 101 yards against
the Chiefs, but still scored fewer points than CMC.
The Saints boast one of the best run defenses in the league and
did an excellent job shutting down Aaron Jones last week. Despite
this fact, you are starting CMC with confidence based on his success
against them in the past (150 total yards and two scores Week
12 in 2019) and the fact that the Saints are dealing with multiple
injuries on the defensive side of the ball.
Marshon Lattimore and Marcus Davenport, two of their best defenders,
are likely out, starting will linebacker Kwon Alexander is likely
out, and reserve defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon may miss the game
Rams @ Colts
- (Swanson) Line: LAR -3.5 Total: 48.0
Game Thoughts: The Matthew Stafford era of Rams football
started off with a bang, with the former Lion posting an impressive
312/3 line at home against the Bears en route to offensive player
of the week honors.
The Stafford/McVay fit seemed like a no-brainer, and it quickly
proved to be true in game one and should continue this week against
a Colts team that struggled against Russell Wilson and the Seahawks
Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf combined for 160 yards and three
scores last week vs. a Colts secondary that appeared slow and
out of place at times. Although PFF.com ranked the secondary unit
13th entering the season, they did not play like the 13th-best
secondary last Sunday.
Cooper Kupp led all Rams wide receivers in targets with 10, converting
those targets into 7/108/1 against the Bears. Robert Woods saw
just three targets but did salvage his week with a late touchdown.
Both players are solid plays this week and should be considered
reliable No.2 WR options.
We all hoped that Tyler Higbee would step up in targets, with
Gerald Everett moving on to the Seahawks in the offseason. Higbee
did have five catches for 68 yards on six targets last week, and
he appears to be locked in as a top-12 TE this season.
Indy gave up 5/57/1 to the Seahawk tight ends. I would not be
surprised to see a similar stat line for Higbee this week, especially
with stud linebacker Darius Leonard dealing with an ankle injury.
Other injuries to consider in this matchup on the defensive side
of the ball are starting cornerback Xavier Rhodes is missed practice
on Thursday with a calf injury, and starting safety Khari Willis
is missed practice yesterday due to an illness.
It is never a good thing to have three starting defenders out
of practice on Thursday before a game against a potent pass offense
like the Rams.
IND FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.9
IND FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.18
IND FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.10
IND FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.10
Running Game Thoughts: If last week’s
game against the Bears is any indication of how coach McVay wants
to use his runnings backs, Darrell Henderson is the lead back
and is approaching workhorse status.
Henderson saw a 94% snap count compared to just 6% for Sony Michel
while posting a solid 16/70/1 line against a strong Bears front
Last season, the Colts gave up the 11th-fewest points to opposing
running backs and did not give up a 100-yard game to a running
back not named Derrick Henry. However, with injuries to Darrius
Leonard and Khari Willis and the fact that Chris Carson posted
over 100 total yards last week, this is not the worst matchup
Game Thoughts: Carson Wentz’s first game with his
new team was not quite as impressive as Matthew Stafford’s,
but from a real-life football perspective, Wentz did a serviceable
job. He completed 25 of 38 passes for 251 yards and a pair of
touchdowns to Zach Pascal.
Wentz did not push the ball downfield much (6.6 yards per attempt),
and he was sacked three times in what turned out to be a subpar
performance by what is widely considered one of the better offensive
lines in the league.
Short passing games and poor pass blocking is a terrible recipe
against a Rams defense that can get a ton of pressure on the QB
and with cornerbacks who dare you to throw deep. If the Colts
offensive line does not do a better job protecting Wentz, this
could be an ugly game for the Indy pass offense.
Starting offensive linemen Quenton Nelson and Eric Fisher are
both listed on the Colts injury report for Thursday. Nelson was
a DNP with back and foot issues, while Fisher was limited with
The tight end duo of Jack Doyle and Mo Alie-Cox were non-factors
last week against the Seahawks with three combined catches for
21 yards. With the likelihood of Wentz being under constant pressure
in this game, it would make sense for those two players to be
utilized more, especially with Jalen Ramsey shutting down one
side of the field for the Rams.
LAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.26
LAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.13
LAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.27
LAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.18
Running Game Thoughts: One game is not a large
enough sample size to get a clear picture of how players will
be used throughout the season. However, fantasy managers of Jonathan
Taylor and Nyheim Hines have to be excited with the number of
passes each player received in the passing game.
There was some concern that with Philip Rivers retiring, the
number of pass attempts to running backs would go down. Based
on what we saw against Seattle, both players will be active in
the passing game, which should continue this week against the
Jonathan Taylor was the number one back on first and second down,
but the 55% to 45% split with Hines is a bit concerning, especially
the nine carries for Hines.
David Montgomery proved last week that you could run on the Rams,
especially if the offensive line does a good job of using Aaron
Donald’s first step against him and utilizing quick runs
to his side.
On the injury front, the Rams starting nose tackle Sebastian
Joseph-Day was a limited participant on Thursday with a knee injury
and is questionable for the game. We think he is going to play,
but he could be limited, which could help the efficiency of the
Colts run game.
Game Thoughts: Not since early in the 2018 season had
Derek Carr thrown for more than 400 yards in a game. That’s
exactly what happened Monday night, though, when he torched the
Ravens for 435 yards and two TDs in an overtime win. While the
400-yard threshold was unusual, his performance was the continuation
of a trend that began last December as Carr has now passed for
300-plus yards in five of his last six games -- and the only time
he didn’t came when he suffered a groin injury and departed
after attempting just five passes.
Despite a lot of investment in the receiving corps, the passing
game still revolves around TE Darren Waller. He was targeted an
NFL-high 19 times on MNF, hauling in 10 for 105 yards and a touchdown.
During the six-game period mentioned above, Waller has seen double-digit
targets five times and totaled 53 receptions, 764 yards and five
TDs. He’s 1a/1b with Travis Kelce at this point. Beyond
Waller it’s still unknowns. Hunter Renfrow (6-70-0) is emerging
as a solid slot receiver, and second-year pros Henry Ruggs (2-46-0)
and Bryan Edwards (4-81-0) remain works in progress.
Tasked with going into Buffalo to slow one of the NFL’s
top offenses, the Steelers came up big last Sunday. They bled
some yardage but harassed Josh Allen (three sacks, two fumbles)
and made the Bills settle for field goals. Pittsburgh now hosts
Las Vegas on a short week with the Raiders coming off an emotionally
draining win. Expect some major statistical regression this Sunday,
leaving Carr with QB2 appeal and keeping everyone not named Waller
on your bench.
PIT FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.21
PIT FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.27
PIT FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.8
PIT FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.22
Running Game Thoughts: Outside of a 31-yard scamper by Marcus
Mariota the Raiders managed just 51 yards on 20 rushing attempts.
Josh Jacobs battled through turf toe to lead the way with 10 carries,
34 yards and two touchdowns. Offseason addition Kenyan Drake was
stymied as a runner (6-11-0) but chipped in with 59 yards on five
receptions. Pittsburgh is always a tough nut to crack when it
comes to run defense, making Jacobs a shaky choice as your No.
2 back. Drake could serve as a flex.
Game Thoughts: Coming off a year in which Ben Roethlisberger
averaged over 42 attempts per game (including playoffs) it was
obvious the team wanted to get back to some semblance of offensive
diversity. To that end they added a running back, a tight end
and two offensive linemen in the first four rounds of the draft.
Last Sunday, the Steelers threw 32 times compared to 18 runs (not
counting kneel downs) in a game that was driven by defense. It’s
too soon to make sweeping judgments about Pittsburgh’s offense
for 2021, but we’ll pencil Big Ben in as a midrange QB2
With the Steelers only passing for 188 yards, the receiving trio
of Diontae Johnson (5-36-1), Chase Claypool (3-45-0) and Juju
Smith-Schuster (4-52-0) all had quiet days. Or did they? Looking
back to last year’s pass-happy offense, only Johnson was
more than 20 yards off his per-game average whereas Smith-Schuster
was dead on. All three are talented players with weekly upside,
but none of them are matchup-proof locks. For now it feels like
Johnson is the safest play with Claypool the most volatile.
Las Vegas allowed 235 yards passing on Monday, but that should
be taken with a grain of salt as Baltimore has long been a run-first
team. Looking at last year, the Raiders gave up 263.3 yards per
game through the air, which ranked 26th in the league. Their lack
of pass rush has been an issue for a while, though they did get
to Lamar Jackson on three occasions. All three Steelers wideouts
should be in the WR3 range.
LV FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.15
LV FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.6
LV FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.20
LV FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.28
Running Game Thoughts: With 45 yards on 16 carries (2.8 YPC),
Najee Harris didn’t immediately announce his inclusion among
Jerome Bettis, Le’Veon Bell and other greats of Pittsburgh’s
storied past. It’s early, though, and the Raiders offer
a more encouraging matchup than Buffalo did as Vegas was 24th
in run defense last year and allowed 189 yards on the ground in
Week 1. Deploy Harris as your No. 2 running back.
Patriots at Jets
- (Katz) Line: NE -6.0 Total: 43.0
Game Thoughts: Mac Jones had a solid, yet unspectacular
NFL debut. He completed 29-of-39 passes for 281 yards and a touchdown.
It’s actually a very similar line to what the Jets allowed
Sam Darnold to do against them last week (24/35, 279-1).
The Patriots want to play a slow-paced, ball control style of
offense, but Jones attempting 39 passes last week is encouraging.
Jakobi Meyers saw nine targets, while Nelson Agholor saw seven
targets. Both are startable in fantasy lineups, but neither is
a preferred option.
The Patriots ran a ton of two tight end sets as both Jonnu Smith
and Hunter Henry played over 70% of the snaps. They each caught
all of their targets (five for Smith, three for Henry) and Smith
handled a carry, but neither appears to be clearly superior to
the other. Both are viable fantasy options due to the lack of
depth at the tight end position, but neither is going to be a
weekly reliable option.
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.17
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.8
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.22
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.26
Running Game Thoughts: Make no mistake about it – Damien
Harris is the lead back in New England. Although he fumbled last
week, so did Rhamondre Stevenson. Bill Belichick cannot use that
as a reason to bench Harris, and I don’t think he will.
Harris carried the ball 23 times for 100 yards and Stevenson saw
just two carries. This is Harris’ backfield.
It’s impossible to glean anything from how Christian McCaffrey
fared against the Jets last week because, well, he’s Christian
McCaffrey. The best we can do is assess usage and performance
on the Patriots, both of which support Harris as a viable RB2.
It’s also worth nothing he saw three targets, which nearly
half of his entire 2020 total.
James White looks like he’s back to doing James White things.
He was targeted seven times, catching six for 49 yards. White
is the better comparison to McCaffrey due to each being heavily
used in the passing game. If the Patriots scheme passes to White
similar to how the Panthers did McCaffrey, White could have another
useful PPR day.
Game Thoughts: It’s difficult to evaluate Zach
Wilson’s debut. He completed just 54% of his passes, but
had two nice touchdown passes to Corey Davis. He also had a dreadful
interception. And all of this must be analyzed under the context
of a quarterback that was pressured on 46.5% of his drop backs.
Losing Mechi Becton for 4-6 weeks is not going to help his cause.
Davis tied with Braxton Berrios for the team lead with seven
targets, but Davis was the one who found the end zone twice. He’s
the clear WR1 on this team and is probably a must start, but this
is a difficult matchup against either J.C. Jackson or Jalen Mills.
With that being said, DeVante Parker and Jaylen Waddle were able
to find room against the Patriots last week and it’s tough
to fade Davis coming off such a strong Week 1.
Beyond Davis, the receiver that played the most snaps was rookie
Elijah Moore. However, he caught just one of four targets for
-3 yards. Add in the fact that both Jamison Crowder and Keelan
Cole are expected to return this week and Moore is well off the
redraft radar for now. I would expect Crowder to take over Berrios’
role from last week, which makes him an interesting name in deeper
NE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.25
NE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.17
NE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.29
NE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.31
Running Game Thoughts: The Jets’ three-man backfield is
every bit the nightmare fantasy managers expected it to be. Ty
Johnson led the team with 54% of the snaps, followed by “starter”
Tevin Coleman (26%) and Michael Carter (25%). Coleman will continue
to start because he’s the veteran, but it’s nothing
more than a formality. Given that Johnson was the guy out there
on passing downs, he’s the most valuable of the three, but
this is going to a very fluid situation week-to-week.
The Patriots allowed Myles Gaskin to average 5.44 ypc last week.
One week is obviously far from a reliable sample size, but the
Patriots may not have the strongest of run defenses. Nevertheless,
the uncertainty and unreliability of usage in the Jets’
backfield makes it a complete stay away for fantasy purposes.
Vikings at Cardinals
- (Caron) Line: ARI -3.5 Total: 50.5
Game Thoughts: A 49-attempt Week 1 game from Kirk Cousins
against the Bengals gave us a pretty good glimpse into what the
Vikings have planned at least early in the 2021 season. The Minnesota
QB threw for 351 yards and a pair of touchdowns - both to wide
receiver Adam Thielen. Thielen also led the team in targets (10),
receptions (nine) and yards (92) on the day, giving him one of
the best fantasy performances of his career. Of course, second-year
receiver Justin Jefferson was also heavily utilized with his nine
targets, but he was only able to catch five of them for 71 yards.
Both Thielen and Jefferson are must-starts this week as the Vikings
head to Arizona, as they’re likely to lead the team again
in targets in a game that could be a shootout. The Cardinals did
a great job of containing the Titans top duo of A.J. Brown and
Julio Jones in Week 1, holding them to just six combined catches,
but much of that seemed to be due to the fact that the team could
not protect quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
The player who really jumped onto the fantasy radar for the Vikings
in Week 1 was another second-year wide receiver, K.J. Osborn,
who finished the day tied with Jefferson for second-most on the
team with nine targets. He was able to convert seven of those
for 76 yards, and perhaps most importantly was on the field for
nearly 81 percent of all the Vikings’ offensive snaps. His
emergence and success on the field should lead to more opportunities
and while he’s not a player that fantasy owners should be
inserting in their lineups quite yet, he’s definitely someone
to keep an eye on and even add in deeper formats.
The Vikings tight end situation became clear in Week 1 after Irv
Smith’s injury caused the Vikings to acquire Chris Herndon
from the Jets. It was Tyler Conklin, however, who dominated the
snaps, playing on 71.1 percent of snaps to Herndon’s 14.5
percent. Certainly it doesn’t help Herndon’s case
for playing time that he’s such a fresh addition to the
roster and likely isn’t completely familiar with the playbook,
but the discrepancy should make fantasy owners at least a bit
more confident in starting Conklin in Week 2, if you’re
in deep formats. He should, however, be a bench TE in most fantasy
leagues until we see something more from him.
ARI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.20
ARI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.19
ARI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.23
ARI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.29
Running Game Thoughts: Early-first round fantasy pick Dalvin Cook
didn’t deliver a touchdown in Week 1, but he ended up being
one of the few backs taken in the first round of most fantasy
drafts who actually delivered in Week 1. The Vikings running back
carried the ball 20 times for 61 yards, but more importantly for
PPR formats is the fact that he was targeted seven times in the
passing game, which he converted for an additional 43 yards on
six catches. Meanwhile, backups Alexander Mattison and Ameer Abdullah
combined for just two carries and three targets against the Bengals,
further signifying that the Vikings fully intend to use Cook as
one of the few nearly-every-down backs in the NFL.
This week Cook faces a Cardinals defense that is fresh off of
holding Derrick Henry to just 58 rushing yards on 17 carries.
The bruising back did, however, appear to be a bit more active
in the passing game than he normally is, which could be a good
sign for Cook owners who are hoping for another high target day.
Don’t expect Cousins to throw the ball nearly 50 times again,
but this could be another heavy passing game for the Vikings offense
which, in the end, is an okay thing for Cook who, as we’ve
seen, is one of the better bell cow backs in the league when it
comes to making plays as a receiver. Cook remains an obvious RB1
in all formats.
Game Thoughts: Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray broke
out in 2020 and his red hot sophomore season seems to be bleeding
into his third professional season after he torched the Titans
in Week 1. The former No. 1 overall NFL Draft pick lit up the
fantasy scoreboard with a 289-yard, four touchdown passing day
while adding 20 yards and an additional touchdown as a runner.
He did throw an interception, but fantasy owners were more than
happy to concede that in order to have the huge day from their
Murray now faces a Vikings defense that allowed Joe Burrow to
complete nearly 75 percent of his passes against them in Week
1, including touchdowns to both of their top wide receivers: Ja’Marr
Chase and Tee Higgins. While Burrow took five sacks on the day,
Murray’s incredible ability to avoid pressure and extend
plays makes him not only a beast for fantasy but also a nightmare
for NFL defenses who are trying to contain him. Look for Murray
to have another nice day in this one and he should be a locked-in
QB1 in what could be a big game of offensive firepower.
If Murray is going to have another big day, look for more of the
same from top wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins who was the recipient
of two of Murray’s Week 1 touchdown passes and is also coming
off of a monster 2020. Hopkins’ eight targets led all Cardinals
receivers in Week 1 and he remains a stud option, even if he finds
himself locked up outside against Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson.
Peterson got absolutely humiliated by Ja’Marr Chase in Week
1 and Hopkins is a substantially more polished route runner than
In addition to Hopkins, two other Cardinals receivers emerged
in Week 1. Veteran Christian Kirk caught the other two touchdown
passes from Kyler Murray, bringing his total to five catches on
the day, which was good enough for second-most behind Hopkins.
We’ve seen explosive games like this from Kirk in the past,
only to be completely burned by him the very next week, so don’t
go out and start him with confidence in this game, but do pay
close attention to his usage here in Week 2. Additionally, rookie
Rondale Moore immediately made his presence known as he caught
four passes for 68 yards on five targets against Tennessee. Moore
was a second-round pick by the Cardinals who has been making some
big plays throughout camp, so it’s no surprise that he was
a focal point of the offense in Week 1. Look for him to become
even more involved as the season goes on, but he and Kirk are
both still in the “wait and see” bucket for now.
A couple of players who we don’t really need to worry about
are veteran wide receiver A.J. Green who caught just two of the
six passes that came his way for 25 yards on Sunday, and really
any of the tight ends in this Arizona offense. Green didn’t
look particularly impressive in his Arizona debut and he’ll
likely be losing snaps to Kirk and Moore as the season goes on,
especially if those players continue to outplay him on the field.
The tight end position has long been a non-factor in Arizona and
that doesn’t appear to be changing here in 2021.
MIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.22
MIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.9
MIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.13
MIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.25
Running Game Thoughts: The Cardinals running back situation is
one that had a lot of fantasy owners scratching their heads this
offseason and unfortunately it didn’t get significantly
clearer in Week 1. One thing that we did see is that the players
were on the field for the roles that most of them expected to
be, with Edmonds being the primary pass catching back (four catched,
43 yards) while Conner failed to see a single target against the
It was a bit of a weird game script for the Cardinals as they
were far ahead on the scoreboard for much of the afternoon and
that might have played a fairly substantial role in the carry
distribution that is undoubtedly causing some Edmonds owners to
be concerned as we head into Week 2. Conner actually out-carried
Edmonds (16 to 12) but perhaps most importantly, it was Conner
who was on the field, getting carries multiple times when the
Cardinals were near the end zone. Of those two data points, the
carries near the goal line appear to be more problematic for Edmonds’
upside here in 2021.
With that said, Edmonds’ usage in the passing game has to
be convincing for those who were worried about him heading into
the season. His four targets in a game where the Cardinals were
up by multiple scores for most of the afternoon is a sign that
this is probably closer to his floor in the passing game and probably
not his ceiling. The Cardinals won’t be up double-digit
points every week, so Edmonds should see more usage, particularly
in the passing game, and potentially even more carries.
Conner owners should obviously be excited to see their back touch
the ball 16 times in his debut, but the game script is something
that the Cardinals aren’t likely to see all that often.
They could, however, choose to use Conner as a grinder at the
end of games and that could be enough to make him fantasy relevant
even in PPR formats. He’s a player who fantasy owners should
probably not be starting, however, until we get a better idea
of what his usage is in a more neutral game script.
Game Thoughts: To say that Matt Ryan’s first game
under new head coach Arthur Smith was a disaster would be an understatement.
Only Andy Dalton scored fewer fantasy points on the week (minimum
ten pass attempts), and Justin Fields scored more points in relief
Ryan completed just 60% of his passes for 164 yards and zero
touchdowns in a penalty-filled game in which the Falcons could
not run the ball.
Now Ryan has to deal with a Bucs front seven that ranks among
the league-best at stopping the run and forcing pressure. If Ryan
thought last week was tough, the Bucs are going to show him a
new level of misery. Hopefully, Ryan is able to survive the game
and not leave on a cart.
The only two players worthy of a start in this game are Calvin
Ridley because of his volume and excellent route running and Kyle
Pitts because of his red zone threat ability. Ridley had mixed
success against Tampa Bay last year, with one monster game of
10 catches for 163 yards and a score, followed by a less than
stellar 8/52/0 in week 17.
Pitts managed just four catches for 31 yards last week against
the Eagles at home. He is going to find it difficult to get open
against arguably the best linebacking corps in the league. Despite
this, you likely took Pitts high in your draft, and you likely
don’t have any other option. Just pray for a garbage touchdown.
That is the end of the list for Falcons to play in this game.
It is going to be ugly quick, and Atlanta will be chasing points
from the first quarter on.
On the injury front, starting safety Jordan Whitehead missed
practice with a hamstring and is questionable for the game.
TB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.5
TB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.26
TB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.1
TB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.12
Running Game Thoughts: The Falcons used a two-headed back approach
against the Eagles, with Mike Davis leading the way along with
converted WR Cordarrelle Patterson. Davis rushed the ball 15 times
for 49 yards and added three catches for 23 yards. Patterson rushed
seven times for 54 yards and led the NFL in week one with runs
over 10+ yards.
Neither player is a great option against a defense that just
shut down Ezekiel Elliott and the Cowboys. The Bucs finished as
the top run defense last season and started this year off where
they left off in their championship year.
If you have another option, it is advisable to bench Davis, and
Patterson is more of a flex play at best until we see multiple
games of him getting volume.
Game Thoughts: Tom Brady is an ageless wonder with an
embarrassment of riches. You can make a logical argument that
no quarterback in the history of the NFL has been blessed with
a better collection of three WRs and a TE than Brady has in Tampa
Bay. Not to mention he has one of the best offensive lines and
a defense that limits the run game and overall effectiveness of
the opponents' offense.
Whether or not you think he is the GOAT, you cannot argue against
the weapons he possesses and his ability to score fantasy points.
Start all your Bucs in this game and just hope that the Falcons
can do enough that Bruce Arians does not pull Brady at halftime.
Of the three wide receivers last week, Mike Evans was the odd
man out and earned praise from Brady for his unselfishness. That
comment from Brady is all you need to know that he is going to
make a point to target Evans in what will likely be a bounce-back
Look for at least eight targets for Evans and his first touchdown
of the season. Both Godwin and Brown are also must starts, along
ATL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.6
ATL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.12
ATL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.16
ATL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.8
Running back Giovani Bernard is listed along with Brown on the
injury report with ankle and knee injuries, but both are expected
From a matchup perspective, the Falcons are far more stout against
the run than the pass, and we fully expect Brady to exploit his
Running Game Thoughts: It didn’t take Ronald Jones much
time to get back in Bruce Arians’ doghouse with a fumble
on Thursday Night Football. Jones was MIA the rest of the game
and could be seen shaking his head on the sideline.
Arians came out and said Jones is ready to roll and will start
on Sunday. Can we take Arians at his word and throw Jones in our
lineups? That is a risky choice based on Arians’ history
of making false claims to the media, and Leonard Fournette looked
to be the better back against the Cowboys.
If given a choice, we would recommend waiting a week before putting
Jones in your lineup, but it may be tough considering the matchup.
Atlanta is better against the run than the pass, but they are
still a below-average run defense, and jones posted 78/1 against
them at home last season.
Fournette is also in consideration as a flex. Although he saw
just nine carries against the Cowboys, he was the better of the
two early-down backs in the passing game.
Cowboys at Chargers
- (Caron) Line: LAC -3.5 Total: 55.0
Game Thoughts: The 2021 NFL season got off to a hot start
on Thursday Night when the Cowboys nearly upset the defending
Super Bowl champion Buccaneers in Tampa, largely due to a huge
performance from quarterback Dak Prescott. Prescott threw the
ball a whopping 58 times for 403 yards, three touchdowns and just
a single interception. He tossed a pair of touchdowns to Amari
Cooper and another touchdown to CeeDee Lamb, both of whom exceeded
100 receiving yards. They were also by far the target leaders
on the team with Cooper’s 16 narrowly edging out Lamb’s
15. That kind of usage should give fantasy owners of these Cowboys
receivers plenty of confidence as they head into what could be
a shootout against the Chargers.
It’s worth noting that the Cowboys’ Week 1 passing
output is not necessarily sustainable, but don’t be too
quick to write it off as we’ve actually seen this trend
over the past two seasons. Prescott missed most of the 2020 season,
but he did start four full games. In those four contests, plus
Thursday night’s game against the Bucs, Prescott is now
averaging an absurd 51.8 pass attempts per game over his past
five. That type of pass volume makes it almost impossible for
him and these Cowboys receivers to not return plenty of fantasy
value, even in difficult matchups.
With Michael Gallup now headed to the IR, the receiver who’s
likely to see the biggest step up in usage is Cedrick Wilson.
Wilson actually played 41 percent of the Cowboys’ snaps
on Thursday night and should be a waiver wire add in deeper leagues,
as well as someone to keep an eye on even in normal leagues. Wilson
actually turned in a 107-yard, two touchdown performance in one
of the games Prescott started in 2020, so it’s not completely
out of the realm of possibility that he emerges as a potential
fantasy option this season. He is, however, someone who needs
to stay on your bench for now until we see him put it together
again in an actual game.
Tight ends Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz were also an interesting
story from Week 1, as the snap share and target share didn’t
exactly follow what fantasy football ADPs would have indicated
that they should. Schultz out-snapped Jarwin and saw six targets
to Jarwin’s four. Of course, this was Jarwin’s first
game back after a season-ending injury in 2020, but it’s
worth noting that Schultz looked substantially better on the field
and was more efficient, catching all six of his targets for 45
yards. This situation is probably similar to what we saw from
the Rams in recent years and even teams like the Browns this season
where they have multiple pass catching tight ends who cannibalize
one another’s opportunities, thus resulting in neither player
being reliable for fantasy output. Pay attention to the usage
this week and obviously prioritize the other tight end should
one of them go down with an injury, but neither of these Cowboys
tight ends offer a ton here in Week 2.
One other thing to keep in mind in this game is that the Cowboys
will be without right tackle La’el Collins who will miss
the next five games after violating the NFL’s substance
abuse policy. This is a big blow for the Cowboys who have struggled
in the past when their tackles have been out. On a positive note,
they should be getting All Pro right guard Zack Martin back, who
spent Week 1 on the COVID-19 list. Martin appears to be ready
to go and will be a big boost to the Cowboys offensive line when
the need it most.
LAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.30
LAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.25
LAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.32
LAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.14
Running Game Thoughts: Week 1 was a nightmare-like scenario for
fantasy owners of Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. Elliott’s
11 carries for 33 yards were a humiliating stat line for the former
All Pro back, and he didn’t add much in the passing game
either as he checked in with just two catches for six yards. On
a positive note, Zack Martin’s return should be a huge boost
for the Cowboys running game in general as Martin is one of the
league’s premier road graders. La’el Collins being
out won’t be helpful, but this should still be a better
run blocking offensive line than it was in Week 1.
With Elliott having performed so poorly, it’s easy to assume
that this must have meant that Tony Pollard played a relatively
big role in the Cowboys’ Week 1 offense. That wasn’t
the case, though, as Pollard was on the field for less than 25
percent of the Cowboys’ offensive snaps, compared to Elliott
being out there for an impressive 84.3% of snaps. With the Week
1 game being a shootout, this should be one of the few good signs
for Elliott owners as we come out of what was obviously a disappointing
fantasy week for him.
Elliott and Pollard will now face a Chargers defense that struggled
a bit to contain second-year back Antonio Gibson. Gibson ran the
ball 20 times for 90 yards while adding an additional 18 yards
on three catches, and that was in a game where Washington struggled
to move the ball as a whole. With the Cowboys’ passing game
clicking as much as it has been, there should be plenty of opportunities
for the Dallas running backs to make plays as runners, pass catchers,
and hopefully as goal line backs.
This is still the Ezekiel Elliott backfield for now, so keep Pollard
on your bench, but it does feel a bit scary ranking Elliott as
a low-end RB1 for fantasy in this contest. We’ll trust that
Week 1 was a fluke for now, but if it happens again then it could
be time to hit the panic button on this former superstar running
Game Thoughts: It wasn’t the 58-attempt game that
Dak Prescott got in Week 1, but second-year quarterback Justin
Herbert was absolutely the leader of the Chargers offense as the
team defeated Washington in Week 1. Herbert threw the ball 47
times for 337 yards and a touchdown. He also threw one interception,
but he certainly funneled plenty of targets to his top few pass
Keenan Allen was the target leader against Washington, catching
nine of the 13 passes that came his way for 100 yards. We’ve
come to expect this kind of stat line for Allen who is just a
consistent PPR machine with a low touchdown upside. Meanwhile,
it was Mike Williams who surprised many when he got 12 targets,
eight of which he caught for 82 yards and a touchdown. Only once
in his first four years in the league has Williams seen more targets
than he did this past week against Washington. In fact, Williams
had only ever even seen double-digit targets in three games prior
to this. If he’s even seeing six or seven targets per game,
Williams could immediately become a weekly fantasy must-start.
We’ve seen him rip off a double-digit touchdown season on
just 66 total targets back in 2018, so he could certainly produce
some big spike weeks if Herbert makes getting the ball to him
a priority. The Cowboys couldn’t stop anything the Buccaneers
threw at them in the passing game in Week 1, so Allen has to be
one of the safest options on the board and Williams has some interesting
upside as a WR3/Flex.
The only other Chargers receiver who we should be looking at for
fantasy purposes at the moment is tight end Jared Cook. Cook was
making his Chargers debut in Week 1 and he was targeted eight
times - third most on the team - converting five of those passes
for 56 yards. While those aren’t huge numbers, Cook has
an excellent matchup here in Week 2 against a Cowboys defense
that got absolutely rocked by Rob Gronkowski in Week 1. Gronk
was targeted eight times, caught all eight of them, and delivered
90 yards with two touchdowns. Cook should be owned and started
in practically every league this week.
To make matters even better for the Chargers passing game, the
Cowboys announced earlier this week that their top pass rusher,
DeMarcus Lawrence, broke his foot and will be out for the next
six to eight weeks. The Cowboys were already depleted in the pass
rush department and this will only make things worse for them.
Start Herbert with confidence in what could be the highest-scoring
game of the week.
DAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.3
DAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.24
DAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.6
DAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.1
Running Game Thoughts: A hamstring injury had Austin Ekeler’s
Week 1 in jeopardy early in the week, but the running back was
on the field for the game, albeit likely not at full capacity.
He saw the field for just 58 percent of the Chargers’ offensive
snaps, whereas backups Larry Rountree and Justin Jackson combined
for a near 41 percent snap share.
Perhaps it was his hamstring injury that hampered his usage in
the passing game, but one of the most surprising stats in all
of Week 1 for fantasy was that Ekeler didn’t see a single
target. He missed much of the 2020 season, but Ekeler was actually
the league leader among running backs in targets per game this
past season. We’ll have to see how things play out here
in Week 2, but there is some concern for fantasy right now that
new Chargers offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi might just be
less likely to draw up plays for Ekeler in the passing game. Even
still, a slight downtick in targets could still mean that Ekeler
is one of the league’s better pass catching backs, so don’t
give up yet.
Even without his usage in the passing game, however, Ekeler delivered
a decent fantasy day by rushing 15 times for 57 yards and a touchdown
against a very good Washington defense in Week 1. He’ll
face a substantially less-talented unit here in Week 2 and could
very well have a huge performance in this one if he’s feeling
The Cowboys conceded just 46 rushing yards to the lowly Buccaneers
running back duo of Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones, but Fournette
was targeted seven times in the passing game. That doesn’t
happen in a Tom Brady offense unless they feel like they have
some sort of schematic advantage. Look for the Chargers to utilize
Ekeler a good bit in the passing game in this one, while still
relying on him to be their lead runner.
Titans at Seahawks
- (Caron) Line: SEA -6.5 Total: 54.0
Game Thoughts: Week 1 had to be a wakeup call for the
Titans, who were perceived by many to be one of the league’s
better offenses. With Derrick Henry struggling to get things going
on the ground, the team had to rely heavily on their passing game
against the Cardinals and needless to say, things did not go well.
Tannehill was under pressure all day from the Cardinals front
seven, including taking six sacks. Pass rusher Chandler Jones
turned in what will likely be the biggest single-game sack total
of the 2020 NFL season as he brought Tannehill down a ridiculous
five times. This constant pressure caused obvious timing problems
with his receivers and Tannehill was only able to complete 21
of 35 passes for 212 yards and a single touchdown. He also threw
an interception. Thankfully for those who started Tannehill, the
QB did get into the end zone as a runner so his fantasy day was
saved, but it was not a very inspiring performance overall.
Wide receiver A.J. Brown led the team with eight targets, catching
four of them for 49 yards while also scoring the team’s
only receiving touchdown of the day. The eight targets should
allow us to remain confident in starting Brown, especially against
a Seattle secondary that does not have much in the way of stud
players at cornerback.
The real concern, however, was that Julio Jones, who was making
his Titans debut, caught just three of the six passes that came
his way for 29 yards. Certainly Jones will have better days, but
this low volume output is something that fantasy owners need to
pay attention to. We’ll hope that the Titans make some serious
adjustments, particularly in pass protection and are able to give
Tannehill some more time to throw the ball.
Other pass catching weapons of note for the Titans are wide receiver
Chester Rogers who actually matched Jones’ target total
of six in Week 1, but he had a slightly more successful day, catching
four of those passes for 62 yards; and tight end Anthony Firkser
who was held to just three catches for 19 yards. Both of these
players are ones to keep an eye on, but neither player is useful
for fantasy purposes at the moment.
SEA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.19
SEA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.5
SEA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.21
SEA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.27
Running Game Thoughts: The concern for Derrick Henry has long
been that if his team falls behind on the scoreboard then he becomes
a very low upside option as he simply is not utilized much in
the passing game. That game script happened in Week 1 as the Cardinals
went up 17-0 early in the second quarter and were ahead 24-6 heading
into the half.
The Titans stubbornly decided to continue to pound Henry much
more than most rational coaching staffs would, but his 17 carries
for 58 yards should instill at least some confidence in fantasy
owners that this is about as bad as things could be for him. Henry
did actually get a bit involved in the passing game, as well,
as he was targeted four times, catching three of those for 19
yards. To put that into perspective, Henry was targeted four times
or more just twice in the entire 2020 season and just once in
his previous four full seasons before that. Henry is probably
never going to become a particularly useful player in the passing
game, but it’s good to see him at least stay on the field
even in what was a significantly negative game script. Henry played
62.5 percent of the snaps to backup Jeremy McNichols’ 35.9
percent of snaps. That number would almost certainly have been
even higher if the Titans were at least within striking distance
at any point during the fourth quarter.
We shouldn’t completely discount what happened in Week 1,
but Henry’s usage in the offense is undeniable at this point
and he’s still a safe option even in PPR formats. If it
was Henry who got the ball instead of Tannehill running the ball
in from the one yard line then most fantasy owners probably wouldn’t
be at all concerned about what happened against Arizona.
If the Titans can at least keep the score close against the Seahawks
then there’s really no reason to believe that Henry won’t
have a nice fantasy day here in Week 2.
Game Thoughts: A low volume pass attempt day from Russell
Wilson is nothing new, and what’s also not new is his ability
to get the absolute most out of those pass attempts. Wilson is
already one of the NFL’s all-time leaders in touchdown percentage
per pass attempt, but he improved on those numbers by throwing
four touchdown passes on just 23 attempts against the Colts.
Wide receiver Tyler Lockett was Wilson’s best target as
he caught four of the five passes that came his way for 100 yards
and a pair of touchdowns. Meanwhile, DK Metcalf also caught four
of five targets for 60 yards and a touchdown of his own. The only
other relevant pass catcher was tight end Gerald Everett, who
was making his regular season debut for the Seahawks and hauled
in a pair of passes for 20 yards and the remaining Wilson touchdown.
We know that the Seahawks passing game funnels targets to these
top two receivers and that’s extremely helpful for fantasy
because even when there’s a low volume day overall, it’s
easy to project that Metcalf and Lockett will see around 40 to
50 percent of whatever passes do get thrown. Of course, on high
volume days, that can sometimes lead to some huge spike weeks
for them as those five to seven targets start to look more like
eight to ten targets.
We could see that here in Week 2, as long as the Titans offense
can protect Ryan Tannehill and allow him to get things going on
the other side of the field. If that happens, look for Wilson
to pass the ball quite a bit more in this one than he had to in
Seattle’s Week 1 double-digit win over Indianapolis.
TEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.1
TEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.16
TEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.2
TEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.32
Running Game Thoughts: Seattle was ahead by multiple scores for
the entire second half of their Week 1 game against Indianapolis
and that led to the team milking quite a bit of clock. 16 carries
for Chris Carson isn’t too bad, but we’ve seen higher
volume days from him in the past. Still, this looks like it will
be around his floor again this season, as he completely dominated
the running back opportunities. No other Seattle back saw the
field for more than seven snaps in the game.
Carson now faces a Tennessee defense in Week 2 that gave up a
total of 116 rushing yards and 43 receiving yards to the Cardinals’
running back duo of Chase Edmonds and James Conner. If Seattle
gets out to another lead, they’ll likely again lean heavily
on Carson who remains a reliable option as a runner and has even
begun being a bit more useful in the passing game. He’s
still unlikely to catch more than a few passes per game, but he’s
not a complete detriment in that area like he was early in his
It’s tough to rank Carson as an RB1 unless he just has an
absolute monster matchup, but he’s one of the best RB2 plays
on the board even in PPR formats. Trust him to deliver double-digit
fantasy points with relative ease in this one, with the potential
of a 20-point day if he’s able to get into the end zone.
Game Thoughts: It took a little while for the Chiefs
to get rolling in Week 1, but once they did the Browns had no
answers. Patrick Mahomes finished with 337 yards and three touchdowns
passing and added a rushing score as well. It’s what we’ve
come to expect from Mahomes and, if history is any indication,
we’ll get more of it Sunday night. Over his last three meetings
with Baltimore, Mahomes has passed for 1,136 yards with 10 total
TDs (nine passing, one rushing) and just one interception. He’s
an elite QB1 for their fourth matchup in as many years.
While the peripheral names may change, the Chiefs passing attack
continues to revolve around the duo of Tyreek Hill (11-197-1)
and Travis Kelce (6-76-2). They caught 17 of Mahomes’ 27
completed passes, accounted for 273 of the 337 yards and were
on the receiving end of all three scores. Mecole Hardman (3-19-0)
tends to get the attention as a possible next man up, but there’s
been little evidence to support that. Likewise, Byron Pringle
(1-6-0) and Demarcus Robinson (1-9-0) were invisible stepping
into the void created by Sammy Watkins’ departure. It’s
still Hill, Kelce and not much else.
Monday night was not kind to the Ravens, and that included a
rough performance from the secondary as Baltimore allowed 435
yards to Derek Carr with some terrible deep coverage. That’s
going to be a problem Sunday. While KC’s trio of studs are
all must-starts, Hardman totaled 178 yards and two TDs in his
two previous games against the Ravens. That could be of interest
for anyone in a desperate spot.
BAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.4
BAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.4
BAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.14
BAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.3
Running Game Thoughts: For as good as KC’s offense is,
the running game continues to scuffle with Clyde Edwards-Helaire
in the top spot. The second-year pro ran for 43 yards, marking
the sixth time in his last eight regular-season games that he
has failed to reach the 50-yard mark. The Ravens handled Oakland’s
rushing efforts (21 carries, 82 yards) but did cede a pair of
scores to Josh Jacobs. With CEH chipping in as a receiver he could
generate low-end RB2 appeal.
Game Thoughts: There’s always a lot on Lamar Jackson’s
shoulders when it comes to Baltimore’s offensive success.
With the team rolling out a skeleton crew at running back, though,
his individual brilliance is more necessary than ever. So while
he was by no means bad in Week 1, passing for 235 yards and running
for 86 more, he had a pair of key fumbles that helped the Raiders
prevail. His attempts to turn the page on that uneven showing
won’t be easy, either, as the Chiefs have had his number.
In three starts against KC, all losses, Jackson has accounted
for just four total TDs.
Although the number and severity of injuries pale in comparison
to what happened to the RBs, Baltimore’s receiving corps
is also shorthanded, playing without Miles Boykin and first-round
pick Rashod Bateman. Former Chief Sammy Watkins (4-96-0) led the
way Monday night along with Marquise Brown (6-69-1). Both could
carry flex or even WR3 potential some weeks but given Jackson’s
history versus the Chiefs they’d make shaky options. Mark
Andrews (3-20-0) had a quiet opener and has struggled alongside
Jackson versus KC but is still playable as a top-10 fantasy tight
A year ago, the Chiefs held Baltimore to 97 yards passing. Over
the last three years, Jackson has averaged 170 yards against Kansas
City through the air. It’s not a very encouraging trend
for their Sunday night showdown. Despite that, Jackson is the
type of player you simply can’t bench. Keep him active as
KC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.28
KC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.2
KC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.24
KC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.9
Running Game Thoughts: Baltimore’s injury woes in the backfield
have been well documented and viewed through that lens they did
a respectable job Monday night. Ty’Son Williams (9-65-1)
brought a big-play element and veteran Latavius Murray (10-28-1)
did the grunt work. KC had their issues with a potent Cleveland
backfield, and though the Ravens lack that kind of raw talent,
Jackson’s presence elevates the running game. As such, Williams
could be used as a No. 3 back with Murray as a possible flex.
Also of note, Devonta Freeman was elevated from the practice squad.
Game Thoughts: Jared Goff’s debut was an eventful
one, though not nearly as productive as his final numbers suggest.
Yes, Goff passed for 338 yards, 3 TDs and 1 INT against the 49ers;
however, 246 yards and two touchdowns came after the Lions trailed
by 28 points. While there’s credit due for continuing to
fight, it’s debatable how much stock we should put into
Detroit’s late push when San Francisco had clearly taken
their foot off the gas. Unless you’re feeling highly optimistic,
Goff should stay benched.
With 338 yards of passing to go around you’d think at least
one receiver had a big day, but you’d be wrong. Kalif Raymond
(3-50-0) led the wideouts as most of Goff’s damage came
from the running backs and TE T.J. Hockenson (8-97-1), who deserves
a little extra credit for scoring the only touchdown before the
game got out of hand. Hockenson is the top fantasy option associated
with the passing attack and is a weekly TE1. Among Detroit’s
wideouts, Quintez Cephus (3-12-1) led the way in targets (six)
and scored. He might be a watch-list candidate.
You could search far and wide and not find a more bizarre defensive
stat line than what Green Bay did in Week 1. Only two teams allowed
fewer yards (151) and just one gave up fewer completions (15),
but their five passing TDs allowed were the most in the NFL and
they were one of just two teams not to record a sack. Expect a
considerably more aggressive approach from the Packers on Monday
GB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.7
GB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.14
GB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.30
GB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.6
Running Game Thoughts: As runners, the tandem of D’Andre
Swift (11-39-0) and Jamaal Williams (9-54-1) didn’t have
huge games, but both players contributed heavily to the passing
game. All told, Swift posted 104 total yards and a TD while Williams
added 110 total yards and a score. The Packers got worn down by
New Orleans’ running game in Week 1, allowing 171 yards
on a reasonable 4.4 yards per carry. Pencil Swift into your lineup
as an RB2 with Williams as a flex with upside in his return to
Game Thoughts: Odious. Inexplicable. Abhorrent. Those
are just some of the words that spring to mind based on Green
Bay’s Week 1 loss to the Saints. The team looked utterly
unprepared to play a professional football game, and the reigning
MVP was no exception. Aaron Rodgers hit on just 15 of 28 passes
for 133 yards; he threw a killer INT inside the 10-yard line when
it was 17-3 and followed with another pick shortly thereafter
that effectively ended the game. He’s still Aaron F’N
Rodgers, though, and he posted six TDs against the Lions last
year. Keep him in your starting lineup.
It seems almost comical to think the acquisition of Randall Cobb
(1-32-0) was critical to No. 12’s return after an offseason
of discontent as he was completely ignored. Of course, nobody
did much. Even All-Pro Davante Adams (5-56-0) was quiet. The thing
to keep in mind here is that the Packers had a similarly bad game
in Tampa Bay last year and then never scored fewer than 22 points
the rest of the season. This is a team loaded with talent that
has been prone to some terrible isolated performances under Matt
LaFleur. Don’t overthink it.
Detroit allowed Jimmy Garoppolo to throw for 314 yards on just
17 completions; that’s an incredible 18.5 yards per completion.
As if that’s not bad enough, the Lions also lost Jeff Okudah
(Achilles), the third overall pick in 2020, for the year to a
torn Achilles. All the potential is here for a rebound performance.
Obviously Adams remains a WR1, and Robert Tonyan can fill a TE1
slot, but you might even consider rolling the dice on a tertiary
target like Marquez Valdes-Scantling if you feel like living dangerously.
DET FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.16
DET FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.10
DET FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.11
DET FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.15
Running Game Thoughts: Aaron Jones (5-9-0) got only a handful
of touches in the opener and did little with them, finishing with
a combined 22 yards. A.J. Dillon (4-19-0) was a little better
but likewise got precious few opportunities. Look for the Packers
to rediscover their running game this Monday against Detroit,
which gave up 131 yards on 28 carries to San Francisco. Jones
tallied 236 yards and three TDs the last time the Lions came to
town so be sure to keep him in your lineup as an RB1.