Trashman’s Fantasy Fallout Going into Week 3
Is it just me, or have these prohibitory defensive rules turning the NFL into the Arena Football League? Crazy stats, but it’s good for fantasy. Here’s the fallout going into Week 3….
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Ravens – 23 @ Bengals – 34:
- Alex Collins‘ carries, or lack thereof(9 this week), are a little disconcerting. He made up for it in receiving(3 rec, 55 yards) but he isn’t getting the volume we expect. I think it’s mostly to blame on game flow. The Ravens blew out the Bills, so they didn’t need him, and they got down early to the Bengals, so they were playing catch-up. The moral of the story is Buck Allen is useful in either case. The carries will come for Collins.
- I said it last week, I think in the Garbage Grab, that John Brown needed to be owned. That necessity has only increased, as he’s scored in back to back weeks, and he tied Crabtree for targets(10). As long as he’s healthy he’s got sky-high upside.
- Another one bites the dust. Joe Mixon is out 2 to 4 weeks with a knee injury, leaving Gio Bernard, 4th round rookie Mark Walton and practice squad warrior Tra Carson. The obvious pickup is Bernard, but it might be worth a shot to see what Walton has to offer. He has three down back skills, but he stunk up the combine. Necessity may move him into the spotlight.
- Let’s talk about WR Tyler Boyd for a minute. 6 for 9, 91 yards after a 3 of 5, 26 yard game in week one. The action is increasing, and Dalton looks to him second after only Green. Ross is more talented, but Dalton trusts Boyd, who’s been lost in the hype. He should be owned in PPR formats, especially since he plays the slot and may be used as an extension of the run with Mixon out.
Panthers – 24 @ Falcons – 31:
- WR Jarius Wright(5 rec, 62 yards, 1 TD) is the middle of the field presence that Greg Olsen can’t be right now. He’s worth a look in deeper and PPR leagues.
- Coach Rivera stated he wants to use D.J. Moore, well, more. He only saw 17 snaps in each of his first 2 games, but he had a 51 yard TD in Week 2, displaying too much upside to ignore. My no.1 ranked WR going into the draft, Moore needs to be held wherever you can afford to keep him.
- It’s a bad look on an OC to have to be prodded by your HC to get the most hyped WR in the draft more involved in the offense, but apparently that’s what happened with Steve Sarkisian after Week 1. He got Calvin Ridley more looks, and it paid off(4 rec, 64 yards, 1 TD). He’s in a high-scoring offense, and he’s the 2nd most talented WR on the team. He’s going to be worth owning sooner than later, especially if Freeman continues to have nagging injuries.
- Btw, Ito Smith did a pretty good Freeman impression on Sunday with 46 yards on 9 carries. He’ll continue to hover around 10 touches in Week 3 when the Falcons take on the Saints in what should be a high-scoring game.
Bills – 21 @ Chargers – 31
- I asserted that Austin Ekeler was a standalone value and NOT a handcuff to Melvin Gordon in this preseason’s Handcuff Tool. Not only does Ekeler have standalone value, he may end up becoming the third most important player on the Chargers’ offense after Rivers and Gordon. I know, Keenan Allen is a major cog, but Ekeler will get run in blowouts, where Allen likely won’t. He’s their new Danny Woodhead… but maybe better.
- I love that Mike Williams had a TD on Sunday. I hate that it was 1 of only 2 catches on the day, even with Travis Benjamin sitting. Williams is worth having, but he’s probably going to be heavily TD dependent.
- Zay Jones, my favorite son of the 2017 Senior Bowl, has led the Bills in receiving in both games this season. That’s not exactly saying much, considering how little offense has been generated, but it’s a good sign. Jones is capable of being a transcendent player for the Bills if he can put things together.
- Lesean McCoy suffered broken rib cartilage on Sunday, which totally sounds like broken ribs to me but apparently isn’t. He’ll probably sit out Week 3, but he shouldn’t miss more than that…unless the Bills decide it’s not worth rushing him back in what looks like a lost season, which is a very real possibility. Either way, Chris Ivory needs to be picked up in most leagues, and Marcus Murphy can even be added in deeper formats.
Vikings – 29 @ Packers – 29
- It’s black Monday for kickers as 5th round rookie(the Vikings actually moved up to get him) Dan Carlson was nixed for veteran ace Dan Bailey, after Carlson missed an easy FG(his third miss on the day) that would have given the Vikings an overtime win over the Packers. The Cowboys shouldn’t have let Bailey go, and the Vikings get one of the best kickers in recent history to add to their dynamic offense.
- Dalvin Cook suffered a hammy injury in overtime but said afterward that he was just having cramps. Adding Latavius Murray before Week 3 isn’t a terrible idea, just in case.
- The Vikings added veteran speedster Aldrick Robinson on Monday in a move that may send Laquan Treadwell to his rightful place on the bench. Yeah, I know he scored on Sunday, but he’d been underwhelming otherwise, and the Vikings would be virtually unstoppable through the air if they had a play-breaking slot-receiver to add to the mix… and now they do. Robinson is a sneaky speculative add in deeper formats.
- Aaron Rodgers escaped from a dicey matchup with Minny no worse for the wear, and is good to go for Week 3, when he’ll have his best matchup yet against the Redskins, which actually isn’t that great but better then having to face the Bears and Vikings.
- I hope you picked up Geronimo Allison(11 rec, 133 yards, 1 TD over 2 weeks) based on my Week 1 Garbage Grab rec, because he’s going to be a regular contributor in fantasy, as long as Aaron Rodgers is on the field. Make sure he’s owned in your league.
Colts – 21 @ Redskins – 9
- Marlon Mack and Jordan Wilkins each had 10 carries in this one, bringing the nightmare of a timeshare on a middling offense to life. Oh, and don’t forget Nyheim Hines who saw a handful of touches. Wait, did I forget to tell you Robert Turbin will return in Week 5 to steal goal line touches? This is a game of musical chairs of Belichickian proportions.
- The Redskins are fully committed to ditching AP(11 car, 20 yards, 3 rec, 30 yards) for Chris Thompson(13 rec, 92 yards) in hurry-up mode. They face the Packers in Week 3, and project to be playing from behind most of the day, so don’t be surprised if AP’s output is less than spectacular in that one too.
- Jamison Crowder has not failed to disappoint many an owner thus far in the season(5 rec, 40 yards). Yards are going to hard to come by in an Alex Smith led offense, in which the QB tends to have tunnel vision. Smith loves Jordan Reed and Chris Thompson. Everyone else is going to be up and down on a weekly basis.
Texans – 17 @ Titans – 20
- Deshaun Watson was able to salvage his day(310 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT), but he was under duress all day behind an O-line that just can’t protect him. I’m tempering my expectations for Waton this season from great to good.
- It was nice to see Will Fuller in full effect though( 8 rec, 113 yards, 1 TD). He doesn’t seem to have any lingering issues with the hammy. His return sends Ellington back to earth. Expect rookie Keke Coutee to overtake him in due time.
- When your team’s biggest passing play is from your long-snapper to a DB, you know your offense is in trouble. The Titans got the win, but Blaine Gabbert barely passed the century mark(117 yards) in an expectedly lackluster effort. Mariota still can’t make all the throws he needs to make, so assume Gabbert will accrue negative yardage against the Jaguars this week.
- Unsurprisingly, both Dion Lewis(15) and Derrick Henry(15) received double digit touches in Week 2. Neither was very effective against the Texans, but this indicates they’ll both get considerable run against the Jags, Whether that will amount to anything is a different story. Don’t bother playing a Titans pass-catcher this week.
- Delanie Walker replacement TE Jonnu Smith saw nary a target in Week 2 with Gabbert under center. Perhaps he’ll get more looks when Mariota is back, but you can’t risk him at all currently.
Eagles – 21 @ Buccanneers – 27
- Corey Clement(11 tou, 85 yards, 1 TD) made a ripple on Sunday, as Darren Sproles was sidelined with a hamstring injury. If Sproles can’t go this week, Clement makes for an excellent flex play against the Colts.
- If you weren’t watching the game, Ajayi’s stats(8 tou, 27 yards, 1TD) look very unappealing, minus the TD. He injured his back a couple plays into the first half and sat until the 2nd half, so his numbers suffered accordingly. I did say last week that he’ll be alarmingly TD dependent though, with Philly rotating 3 backs on the regular, so don’t be surprised if he has more days like this.
- Well, it happened again. Ryan Fitzpatrick(he’s earned the right to stop being called “Fitzpeepee”, for now at least) went nuts against the Eagles( 402 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT), who stymied Matt Ryan in Week 1. Afterwards at the press conference, he came out looking like Conrad McGeiger – Conner McGregor’s 4th cousin, removed. This is all going to his head, and I fully expect his peepee arm to fall off any day now. This has gone so far as to put question into Jameis Winston‘s prospective return to starting QB. I can’t endorse any of this on principle, but I can’t dispute that Tampa pass-catchers are paying everyone out.
- DeSean Jackson proved that his Week 2 monster was no fluke either, as he racked up 129 yards and a TD on 4 catches. He’s a WR2 with WR1 upside, which is just my way of saying he’s basically a WR1. He just needs the volume to keep up with the yardage.
- Peyton Barber only managed 22 yards on 16 carries, which is a 1.7 YPC average. That’s not going to continue to fly. The Bucs seem to hate Ronald Jones, but has to be better than this.
- TE Cameron Brate was held catchless for the 2nd straight week with Fitz under center. You can drop him for as long as Winston isn’t around.
Chiefs – 42 @ Steelers – 37
- We thought Deshaun Watson was something else, and now Patrick Mahomes comes along and starts shattering records held for half a century like it’s no big deal. With 10 TDs over Weeks 1 and 2, he now holds the record for most TDs over the first 2 games in a season. And he got everyone involved, throwing TDs to 5 different players. The running suffered for it, but you can’t complain about numbers like this(326 yards, 6 TDs).
- Sammy Watkins finally got involved(6 rec, 100 yards). He’ll be up and down, but with the potential to go huge every week in this offense, he needs to be flexed.
- James Conner fell back to earth on Sunday(65 yards, 1 TD), but what can you expect when you have to keep up with the Chiefs? He’ll be an RB1 in Week 3.
- TE Jesse James had the game of his career(5 rec, 138 yards, 1 TD), even with Vance McDonald back in the mix. The Chiefs were too busy trying to contain JuJu, Antonio, Washington and Conner. It’s unlikely we’ll see a repeat performance, but James is firmly on the streaming radar.
Browns – 18 @ Saints – 21
- Josh Who? Just kidding, he’s the GOAT, but Antonio Callaway(3 rec, 88 yards, 1 TD) made the Browns forget the Black Anaconda wasn’t there on Sunday, as Taylor connected with him on one of the prettiest basket catches(47 yards) in recent memory. Rashard Higgins out-targeted him 7 to 4, but he doesn’t have this kid’s upside. Callaway needs to be owned in all but the shallowest formats.
- Duke Johnson Jr. has fallen off a cliff, and I don’t know when or if he’ll make it back up. Taylor just doesn’t look at him. I thought the loss of Gordon might open a few targets up for him, but that’s just not the case. See what you can get for him in the trade market.
- Don’t cut Njoku(4 rec, 20 yards) yet. He tied for the team lead with 7 targets on Sunday.
- RB Mike Gillislee had 8 carries to Kamara’s 13 in Week 2. Didn’t do much with them, but they were there. It’s possible he gets similar action in Week 3 as the Saints face an Atlanta defense that you don’t want to throw at on the outside. Kamara will feast. Gillislee is a DFS longshot.
Detroit – 27 @ 49ers 30
- Matt Stafford made an about face(347 yards, 3 TDs) after tanking against the Jets in week 1. It’s good to know it wasn’t going to be a trend. He should have more days like this Sunday than that, thanks to 3 stellar receiving options – 4 if you count Garbage Grabber Riddick who had a great PPR day(8 rec, 47 yards).
- Kerryon Johnson and LeGarrette Blount split carries evenly, 8 and 8, in what amounted to a 3-way timeshare with Riddick. Johnson is the most versatile of the bunch and can do what each of those other can do in one back, but the Lions are not going to give him the keys anytime soon.
- Matt Breida had to do it to ’em on Sunday, putting up 159 yards(138 on the ground) and a TD in an effort to show that he’s not just a pass-catching back. Alfred Morris is averaging only 3.31 YPC(8.4 for Breida), and seems to be losing the backfield battle in San Fran.
- O.K., I whiffed on this one. I thought Dante Pettis was certain to get major action based on Marquise Goodwin‘s absence(I wasn’t the only one), but he only saw 2 targets( 1 catch) on the day for 35 yards. I want to say he’ll bounce back against K.C. next week, but you can’t risk it.
Cardinals – 0 @ Rams – 34
- Based on the box score you might have thought the Cards started a toaster oven under center against the Rams, But even Blaine Gabbert went over 100 yards on Sunday, so that can’t be true. Sam Bradford had 90 yards on the day and is basically (not)playing himself out of the NFL. They have to make the move to Rosen, yesterday.
- To add insult WITH injury, Larry Fitzgerald injured his hammy on Sunday and is questionable going into Week 3. He’s the kind of guy who would put it all out there to be in the game next week, but the Cardinals shouldn’t be pressed to make him return. If Bradford is the starter, I’m not playing him anyway.
- I’m not even bullish on David Johnson for Week 3, as the Cards go up against the Khalil Mack led Bears. It’s a sad state of affairs.
- The Rams are putting up enough offense to comfortably start Cooks, Kupp, and Woods on a weekly basis. Just set it and forget it.
Patriots – 20 @ Jaguars – 31
- Sony Michel, James White and Rex Burkhead all played on Sunday, pretty much canceling each other out, on the ground at least(67 yards altogether). This may have in large part been dictated by the Jags’ stifling defense, and Rex Burkhead may have been nagged by his recent injuries or he’s a victim of game-flow, but it looks like the kind of timeshare we’ve seen from Belichick in years past. Michel did run well, and he’s the guy I’m most excited about in standard formats, but White looks like the back that may not be game-flow specific.
- Josh Gordon might be the Pats new Randy Moss. They signed him this afternoon, and it could be a match made in heaven. Chris Hogan looks like the biggest loser in this one, as Gordon will surely siphon red-zone targets. Phillip Dorsett might be able to get something in trade if he does anything noticeable this week, but his time is running short with Julian Edelman‘s return growing nearer.
- The Jags found success through the air on Sunday and T.J. Yeldon suffered for it. He only out-touched Corey Grant 12 to 10 for 59 yards on the day. If Fournette sits in Week 3 against the Titans, Yeldon is a flex at best, but then so is Grant.
- You can take a shot at pretty much any Jags receiver in Week 3. Both Miami and Houston have found success through the air against the Titans this season, and the Jags should be no different, especially if Fournette sits.
Raiders – 19 @ Broncos – 20
- What a difference a week makes. A week after Amari Cooper had 1 catch for 9 yards, he put up a 10 for 116 monster on Sunday. Guess Carr took Gruden calling him chicken to heart. The question is which is the real Cooper? You have to start him against the Dolphins this week in hopes this wasn’t a fluke.
- Jordy Nelson needs to be benched until we figure if he stinks or if Carr is scared of throwing to him too.
- Martavis Bryant IS facing a year-long suspension, but he’s being allowed to play while it’s being appealed. The Raiders offense isn’t dynamic enough for me to bother with him.
- Phillip Lindsay is the truth. He almost doubled Royce Freeman‘s touches on Sunday(15 to 8), and the only thing keeping him from being an RB1 are goal line carries, which Freeman is going to have to live and die by until further evidence is shown. Booker can be dropped in all formats.
Giants 13 @ Cowboys – 20
- Sterling Shepard is the odd man out as just the 5th option for Eli Manning after 2 games. He’s only an asset in PPR leagues right now.
- The Cowboys re-signed Brice Butler yesterday, in an effort to not have journeyman Deonte Thompson be their best receiving option. They didn’t use him well the first time around, what makes you think much will change? He’s a speculative add and nothing further at this point. This passing game can’t be trusted.
- Tavon Austin had a decent game (2 rec, 79 yards, 1 TD), but you can’t trust him to do it every week. He’s worth the occasional tourney play in DFS, but he needs to string together a few good games before he warrants fantasy consideration.