Fantasy Football Realities and Illusions, Week Two
After a wild Week Two, it can be hard to tell what to believe and what to forget as a random happenstance, especially when it might have been the difference between victory and defeat for your Fantasy team. That’s what I’m here to help you do; parse through Sunday’s happenings and point you towards what to believe, and what not to.
It’ll Be Always Sony in New England
In his first regular season game, Patriots first round pick Sony Michel didn’t do much to impress, rushing 10 times for 34 yards, and adding a reception for seven yards. However, he out-carried both Rex Burkhead and James White, and with the Patriots investing a top pick in him, expect him to have a long leash in terms of touches going forward. The production should come as he gets more used to the NFL.
Sure, the Cowboys beat the Giants on Sunday night. But Dallas is not an offense-first team, and it looks like rookie-year Dak Prescott was an aberration. Ezekiel Elliott will probably continue to do good things—though he’s going to face a lot of defenders in the box—but the hopes of a receiver distinguishing himself are fading fast.
The Darnold-Enunwa Connection
I mentioned it in my Flexpert column last week: Sam Darnold clearly loves Quincy Enunwa. Sorry, Robby Anderson owners. While he didn’t replicate the almost 50 percent of targets he saw in Week One, he still led the Jets in targets with 11, and also led the team in receptions (seven) and yards (92). He’s quickly becoming the Jets receiver to own.
McCoy Might Just Quit Too
Things are not going well in Buffalo, and LeSean McCoy might have felt a little jealous of Vontae Davis after the latter quit and retired at halftime this week. On the wrong side of a worse-than-the-score loss to the Chargers, McCoy had just nine carries for 39 yards, bringing his season totals to 16 carries for 61 yards. With Josh Allen’s inaccurate cannon of an arm not scaring anyone but the Bills’ front office, expect more disappointing weeks for McCoy, who also suffered a hip injury on Sunday.
Six touchdowns! Six! Those of you that trusted Patrick Mahomes to be your quarterback off of really nothing have been rewarded with 10 total touchdowns in just two games. The Chiefs’ offense looks incredible and their defense looks like hot garbage, so Mahomes should be able to keep slinging it. Obviously don’t expect six touchdowns every week, but treat him like a reliable QB1 for sure.
After he saw just two targets in Week One without recording a catch, Calvin Ridley was much more involved for the Falcons this week. He saw five targets, recording four catches for 64 yards and a touchdown. His five targets tied him with Austin Hooper for second-most behind Julio Jones, and you can expect him to see a similar target share going forward.
All Day Golladay
It’s only Week Two, but it looks like it’s already time for the Lions to give up on having a substantive rushing attack again. But this time, it might be because they now have three receivers to keep defenses at bay, with the emergence of Kenny Golladay. After a seven-catch, 114-yard game in Week One, Golladay put up 6/89 and a touchdown this week on nine targets. He tied with Marvin Jones Jr. for second-most targets. Don’t expect Matthew Stafford to stop slinging the ball any time soon; the Lions’ defense is also atrocious. Oh, and the rushing game also still is too.
“Yer not a wizard, FitzMagic”
Repeat after me: “I will not be a FitzMagic victim.” I understand; Ryan Fitzpatrick had another big day, throwing for 402 yards, four touchdowns and one interception against a legit Eagles defense. However, subtract two 75-yard touchdowns from DeSean Jackson and O.J. Howard, who did most of the work themselves after the catch, and you’re down to 250 yards. FitzMagic will have one of his FitzTragic games where he’s all the bad parts of Brett Favre and none of the good very soon. Ryan Fitzpatrick is not becoming an elite quarterback at 35.
Dion Didn’t Do It
But don’t expect him to not do it again. In a game more akin to a Thursday Night Football matchup, Dion Lewis struggled to get anything going in the Titans’ sloppy 20-17 win over the Texans. He was out-touched by Derrick Henry 18-15, thanks in part to recording just one catch for one yard on one target. At the very least, he won’t be that uninvolved in the passing game going forward, but he could also eat into Henry’s carries (he had only 56 yards on 18 carries with a long of nine yards).
He’ll have these big games every once in a while, but don’t go placing your Fantasy week in Bortles’ hands. The Patriots’ secondary is a mess, as evidenced by the fact that Bortles picked on corner Eric Rowe all day and there was nothing New England seemed to be able to do about it. Even Keelan Cole should be taken with a grain of salt, as he was the one Rowe was matched up against most often.
Do You Want to Figure Out the Saints-Browns Game?
I’m willing to say that every Browns game is going to be an absurd anomaly this season. I really don’t think there was much reality in their latest loss. Even Michael Thomas “only” managed 89 yards despite 12 receptions, and Drew Brees had fewer passing yards than Tyrod Taylor. If there’s one thing to believe, it’s that the Browns’ defense is solid, having held two high-octane offenses to just 21 points in back-to-back weeks.
The Fog of the San Fran Rushing Duo
I mentioned last week that the 49ers duo of Alfred Morris and Matt Breida is going to be nothing more than an unproductive headache for Fantasy owners. Don’t overrate Matt Breida after he had 138 yards on 11 carries, including a 66-yard touchdown. For one, this is the same defense that got picked apart by Sam Darnold. Second, he only out-touched Morris by one. I’d monitor the situation, but it’s still too soon to go all-in on Breida running the show.
Royce Doesn’t Roll
While it was an inauspicious Week Two for the rookie, Royce Freeman is not going to be immediately relegated to second-tier duty behind fellow rookie Phillip Lindsay, no matter how far apart their performances were. With quarterback Case Keenum possibly turning back into a pumpkin, the Broncos will have to lean a little more on their ground game, and Freeman still stands to be a big part of that, his 28 yards on eight carries be damned.
Be Patient With David Johnson
While David Johnson’s 2017 injury wasn’t to his legs, it takes time to acclimate back into playing NFL games regardless. Add in the fact that the Cardinals are all out of sorts and you get “Don’t Panic Just Yet” soup. Signs are pointing to Josh Rosen getting a chance sooner or later, so hopefully the Cardinals can stop being blown out and run the ball a little more. Maybe they’ll even score multiple times in Week Three.