Eight Burning Questions for Week Three: David Johnson and More
RotoExperts Special for the Associated Press
Are the Cardinals really as bad as they’ve appeared this season and can you still put David Johnson in my lineup every week?
The Cardinals are 0-2. They’ve scored just six points and given up the sixth -points in football through the first two games of the season. Their passing attack has suffered through QB Sam Bradford’s awful play. He’s averaging just four yards per pass attempt and will soon likely be replaced by rookie Josh Rosen. David Johnson was a Top Three overall pick in Points Per Reception scoring leagues but he’s 27th in PPR scoring. With the Cards playing from behind for virtually the entire season Johnson’s been limited to just 22 rushing attempts, 26th most in the NFL. The Cardinals also haven’t been taking advantage of Johnson’s pass-catching skills. He was targeted just twice last week. Head coach Steve Wilks claims he’ll line up out of the slot on occasion moving forward, which should help Johnson’s fantasy production. Based on your investment in his draft slot, Johnson remains a must-start for now. However, if you try trading him based 2018 production you’ll be dealing him based on extremely low fantasy value. It still wouldn’t hurt to put his name on your league’s trading block. See what type of offers you receive. Your league mates will certainly low ball you, but you never know. Someone might surprise you and offer a trade based on his preseason value.
What’s with all the drama surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers and can you still put Antonio Brown in your starting lineup every week?
The Steelers are winless in 2018 (0-1-1) and there are reports that head coach Mike Tomlin has lost what appears to be an already splintered locker room. The Le’Veon Bell holdout seems to be adding to the friction surrounding the team as at least two offensive linemen have publicly taken the star RB to task. Historically teams with that type of dissension have been known to collapse, and in some cases they’ve banded together and just kept on winning. As for Antonio Brown, his emotions are getting the best of him. He’s posting ill-advised tweets threatening a reporter’s jaw and daring the Steelers to trade him. Despite that, he still leads the team in targets (33) and remains matchup-proof. He’s still susceptible to QB Ben Roethlisberger’s home/road splits, and the Steelers may struggle through a tough upcoming schedule, but you always start Brown.
Should you start Buccaneers QB Ryan Fitzpatrick this week?
Fitzpatrick leads all Fantasy Football QBs in passing yards and all position players in total fantasy points. He faces a Steelers team that is having issues playing on the road, and also gave up six TDs to Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes last week. Fitzpatrick has gotten the most out of his top offensive weapons, including WR DeSean Jackson and TE O.J. Howard. If your primary Fantasy Football QB’s performances have been less than stellar, Fitzpatrick provides you with an opportunity to reap the benefits of one of the hottest performers in fantasy sports.
Should you start Patrick Mahomes every week or try trading him?
Mahomes’ consensus Average Draft Position made him the 16th QB selected overall in preseason drafts. Through two games of the NFL season Mahomes has scored the second-most fantasy points among all position players. If fantasy owners drafted Mahomes late, or picked him up off the waiver wire, they most likely also had a QB on their roster they originally thought would have a better chance of being more productive. If you own Mahomes and a good backup QB in leagues where you’re starting one QB per week, it might make sense to try to trade one of them. Which one? Well, Mahomes’ fantasy value may never be higher than it is at this point of the season. It doesn’t hurt to put some feelers out there.
Which under-the-radar RB has the opportunity for a big week?
Vikings RB Dalvin Cook suffered a hamstring injury that forced him out of this past Sunday’s game. He has been ruled out this week against the Bills, and Latavius Murray could provide RB1 fantasy production. The Bills can’t stop the run and have given up the third-most fantasy points per game to opposing RBs. The Vikings are heavily favored this week and if they take an early big lead they may move away from their passing game as early as the middle of the third quarter. Murray could pile up some significant fantasy points to close out the game.
Which under-the-radar WR has the potential for a big week?
The Giants don’t have a very good pass rush. They’ve played their first two games without their best pass rusher, Olivier Vernon, due to his high ankle sprain. Without any pressure from the Giants defensive line, mobile Texans QB Desaun Watson will have plenty of time to connect with his open receivers; especially Will Fuller. In five career games with Watson under center Fuller has caught eight TDs, and with CB Eli Apple battling a groin injury, Fuller could have a big day.
What impact will new Patriots WR Josh Gordon have on the Patriots offense going forward? Who benefits most from Gordon joining the Patriots?
There’s no denying that when he’s on the field Gordon’s a super-talented WR that opposing defenses need to focus on. We wouldn’t be surprised if he had a modest outing in Week Three, and at the same time it wouldn’t shock us if he had a monster game either. Patriots’ receivers Chris Hogan and Philip Dorsett could benefit just by having Gordon on the field, simply because defenses will have to turn their focus towards him. However, Tom Brady probably gains the most by adding Gordon to the Patriots roster. Look at the receivers he has at his disposal! Gordon, Hogan, Dorsett, TE Rob Gronkowski and after Week Four WR Julian Edelman will be reinstated. In his last three seasons in which he’s played at least 14 games, Edelman’s averaged just over 98 receptions. If you can add Brady via a trade, go for it!
Should I start Eagles QB Carson Wentz this week?
Wentz was having a phenomenal 2018 season before he tore his ACL and LCL in Week 13. His ability to move in the pocket contributed mightily to his 2017 success. Can he be as mobile this week or will it take a game or two for him to get in game shape? We don’t know for sure. In addition, the Eagles receiving corps is hurting. Alshon Jeffery is unlikely to play, and they signed Jordan Matthews as a replacement for Mike Wallace, who was placed on the I.R. That move might do more harm than good since that could force Nelson Agholor to have to play on the outside instead of in the slot, where he enjoyed a lot of success last season. If you’ve been able to make do without Wentz for the first two weeks of the season and have a viable backup, keep Wentz on your bench and watch how things unfold this week.