And we’re back! It’s the Trashman here to usher you into Week 2 of the 2021 NFL season! Keep in mind I’m only going to touch on the items that warrant some kind of action moving forward, so don’t expect me to reiterate the fact that Christian McCaffrey feasted, etc. Here’s the fallout going into Week 2…
Cowboys – 29 @ Buccaneers – 31
- WR Michael Gallup is out 3-5 weeks with a calf strain, so WR Cedric Wilson is a necessary add in 12 teamers. He and Gallup had 10 targets between the two of them in WK 1.
- TE Dalton Schultz had more targets(6), catches(6) and yards(45) than Blake Jarwin in WK 1. He also outsnapped Jarwin 57- 48. Jarwin is working his way back from an ACL injury, so usage may change, but Schultz looks like the more FFL relevant of the two going into WK 2.
- RB Ronald Jones got sent to the doghouse after an inexcusable fumble on Thursday night, to be supplanted by RB Leonard Fournette. Fournette is the TB back to start this week, especially after Gio Bernard only got 3 targets and no carries against DAL, despite all the offseason talk that he would be a favorite target of QB Tom Brady. Tom has too many top-tier targets to focus on Gio much right now.
- It should almost go without saying that TE Rob Gronkowski should be rostered in every format this week. His connection with Brady is as strong as ever(8 rec, 90 yards, 2 TD), and at 83% ownership there’s a slim but real chance he’s available in your league.
Seahawks – 28 @ Colts – 16
- TE Will Dissly split time with and actually had more targets(3) than TE Gerald Everett(2), but Everett got the designed touches, including a 9-yard TD. An offseason favorite of QB Russell Wilson and OC Shane Waldron, Everett makes for the better streaming option going into WK 2.
- RB Rashad Penny injured his calf in the 2nd quarter, making RB DeeJay Dallas the next option in the SEA backfield. No word yet on how long Penny will be out, but his lengthy injury history doesn’t bode well for his fantasy chances moving forward.
- RB Nyheim Hines just got paid like a feature back – almost, and his usage on Sunday reflected that. He led the team in targets(8) and handled 15 of Indy’s 38 backfield touches. He’s still available in almost 30% of leagues, so go get him.
- WRs Michael Pittman and Parris Campbell were the sexier picks to lead the Colts WR corps going into WK 1, but it was old faithful Zach Pascal who led them in targets(5), yards(45) and TDs(2) against SEA. The Colts shift focus on their WRs whenever Ty Hilton isn’t around, so WK 2 could look entirely different, but Pascal needs to be owned in more than the 1% of leagues he’s taken in currently.
Vikings – 24 @ Bengals – 27
- QB Kirk Cousins usually starts out slowly, he actually did the first half of this game, but falling behind and overtime forced him to pick up the pace. The Vikings face the Cardinals this week, so it should be another uptempo operation ahead. He’s worth the start.
- With TE Irv Smith out for the year, slot WR KJ Osborn(9 tgt, 7 rec, 76 yards), not TE Tyler Conklin, became the next pass-catcher in line after WRs Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson for MIN. It’s early, but Osborn is well worth a waiver add if his future usage is going to be anything like it was in WK 1.
- Rookie WR Ja’Marr Chase(7 tgt, 5 rec, 105 yards, 1 TD) led the Bengals in receiving on Sunday, after being plagued by drops in the preseason. It’s what you do in games that counts, and Chase looks like a primetime player. Tyler Boyd was the odd man out in the WR corps, but it was a run-heavy game for CIN. Boyd does look more like a flex than a third WR option right now.
Cardinals – 38 @ Titans – 13
- RB James Conner out-carried RB Chase Edmonds 16 – 12, with Edmonds edging Conner in snap count and YPC. It’s Edmonds’ owners’ worst fear come true, that it would be a true timeshare in ARZ, but Edmonds will stay active enough in the passing game to maintain his value. Conner is a strong flex option.
- WR Christian Kirk scored twice on 5 targets against TENN, as QB Kyler Murray and company came out gangbusters in their opening. That kind of scoring to target ratio seems untenable for Kirk, but it’s a good start and he needs to be owned in more than 13% of leagues.
- WRs Rondale Moore and AJ Green had 5 and 6 targets respectively, with Moore out-producing Green 68 to 25 yards. Green looks done and Moore is just getting started. Adjust your waiver priority accordingly.
- The Titans look lost without former OC Arthur Smith and will probably be playing from behind often, if WK 1 is any indication. That means that WR Chester Rogers, who actually caught more passes(4) and had more yards(62) than WR Julio Jones on the day, is worth adding in deep leagues going into WK 2. For what it’s worth, Jones didn’t look any worse for the wear and will have better days.
49ers – 41 @ Lions – 33
- I love hating on QB Jimmy Garoppolo as much as the next guy, but I have to give him props for his 17/314/1 effort against the Lions. QB Trey Lance was potent but didn’t see much action and the 49ers won convincingly, so Jimmy G is safe for now. They’ll have a tougher opponent in PHI this week though, and it’s hard to trust Garoppolo in fantasy with only 25 attempts in WK 1. Still, there are worse streaming options.
- Rookie RB Eli Mitchell seemed like an afterthought going into the season with hot prospect Trey Sermon getting all the hype, but with Raheem Mostert going down with a knee injury and Sermon being a healthy inactive, it was the Mitchell show all day(19 car, 104 yards, 1 TD). With Mostert out for at least 8 weeks, Mitchell should be added in every format, and JaMycal Hasty can be added in deeper formats.
- WR Brandon Aiyuk was nowhere to be seen on Sunday, getting nary a target in a routing of the Lions. Kyle Shanahan has been more impressed by Trent Sherfield going into the season and it showed. WR Deebo Samuel and TE George Kittle handled the majority of the passing-game, but Sherfield, who scored Sunday, deserves a look in deeper formats. Aiyuk is a headache but still a hold for the price most have paid for him.
- Most of Jared Goff‘s yardage(338 yards, 3 TD) came in garbage time, but it looks like the Lions will be playing catchup often this season, so Goff offers streaming value going forward.
- Jamaal Williams(17 tou, 110 AP yards) out-gained D’Andre Swift on the ground and had as many catches(8). It looks like he could offer just as much, if not more, value as Swift this season. He’s still available in 25% of leagues, and he gets his former GB team in a revenge narrative this week.
- Quintez Cephus led the Lions WRs in targets(7), and WR Khalif Raymond led them in yards(50), but TE TJ Hockenson is the only non-RB pass-catcher worth starting right now for the Lions.
Jets – 14 @ Panthers – 19
- I guess you could say Tevin Coleman led the Jets backfield on Sunday, though 24 yards isn’t much of an output. He did get 9 touches to 5 for both Ty Johnson and Michael Carter though, so I suppose that’s something. I’m staying away from the Jets’ RBBC this week against the Pats.
- Both Keelan Cole and Jamison Crowder were out WK 1, so Corey Davis and Braxton Berrios led the Jets in targets(7 a piece). Davis looks like the no.1 regardless, but Berrios’ production can’t be trusted until we see what he does when Cole and Crowder are back in the fold. Rookie Elijah Moore looked dynamic but had a couple of bad drops – he’s a hold. TEs Ryan Griffin(6) and Tyler Kroft(5) had more targets than Moore.
- Rookie WR Terrace Marshall Jr.ended up 3rd in targets(6) behind RB Christian McCaffrey(9) and WR DJ Moore(8) on the day for a 3 rec, 26 yard day. Only owned in 20% of leagues, Marshall’s target share is promising and he has the length to be a red-zone threat as well.
Jaguars – 21 @ Texans – 37
- Rookie QB Trevor Lawrence‘s debut was mixed as he had 3 INTs to go with his 3 TDs and 300+ yards. The 50 pass attempts he took on the day were promising though, if they’re an indication of the action he’s going to get on a weekly basis.
- RB Carlos Hyde only played 34% of the Jags’ offensive snaps, but he out-touched James Robinson 11 – 8 . The Jags didn’t get much going on the ground, as they trailed early against HOU, but it seems like HC Urban Meyer is not keen on James Robinson being his “lead” back. It should be noted that the majority of Hyde’s action came in garbage time though.
- TE James O’Shaughnessy had 8 targets on the day, ending up with 6 rec, 48 yards. Anything close to double-digit targets for a TE warrants streaming consideration, so James is firmly on the radar.
- Deshaun who? Just kidding, but QB Tyrod Taylor did his best impression of Watson on Sunday, throwing for 291 yards, 2 TDs and rushing for 40 yards against a middling Jags offense. He’ll have a tougher matchup against CLE this week, but Taylor often plays mistake free football and could develop into a consistent streaming option if he keeps this up.
- Mark Ingram clearly ran as the Texans’ lead back on Sunday, out-touching Phillip Lindsay and David Johnson 26 – 8 – 3, though each back scored. He’s the HOU RB to own right now, though his 3.3 YPC is concerning for his long-term outlook.
- WR Danny Amendola and TE Pharaoh Brown both garnered 5 targets behind Brandin Cooks, who did most of the damage for the Texans through the air. Amendola scored and Brown posted 67 yards, putting them both on the WW radar going into WK 2.
Eagles – 32 @ Falcons – 6
- RB Kenneth Gainwell has apparently usurped Boston Scott as the no.2 RB in Philly behind RB Miles Sanders with his 11 tou, 43 yard, 1 TD day against ATL – Scott didn’t touch the ball.
- WR Jalen Reagor finished 2nd in targets(6) and yards(49) behind WR DeVonta Smith for PHI on Sunday, including a scoring play. If he can make a FFL dent against SF this week, he needs to be on most rosters.
- TE Zach Ertz had a ho-hum day(2 rec, 34 yards), but he was on the field 61% of snaps. He’s a hold.
- The Falcons o-line is in shambles, leaving QB Matt Ryan defenseless against the Eagles on Sunday. Only WR Calvin Ridley and TE Kyle Pitts can be started for ATL this week against TB.
Chargers – 20 @ Washington – 16
- Rookie RB Larry Rountree was the direct backup to RB Austin Ekeler, with 8 tou, 27 yards on the day. He’s playing ahead of Justin Jackson, and he should be added in most formats.
- WR Jalen Guyton( 5 tgt, 3 rec, 49 yards) is establishing himself as the no.3 WR in LA over rookie WR Josh Palmer. Any starter in QB Justin Herbert‘s offense is worth rostering.
- TE Jared Cook produces everywhere he goes, and LA is no exception(8 tgt, 5 rec, 56 yards). He’s a solid streaming option regardless of the matchup in this offense.
- QB Ryan Fitzpatrick is on IR with a hip injury, making Taylor Heinicke the starter for WAS for at least 3 games. I’m avoiding all WAS pass-catchers not named Terry McLaurin, and maybe TE Logan Thomas, until we see that Heinicke can deliver the ball consistently.
Steelers – 23 @ Bills – 16
- All Steelers WRs should improve their output this week against LV, but it looks like TEs Eric Ebron and Pat Freiermuth are going to cancel eachother out for fantasy after their lackluster, 1 rec each day against the Bills. There are plenty of TE options right now, so don’t fret.
- Surprisingly, RB Zack Moss was a healthy scratch on Sunday, with Matt Breida gaining 4 yards on 4 carries running behind Devin Singletary. Singletary did fumble twice though, so perhaps Moss will make an appearance this week. Moss is still a hold in what seems like an underwhelming BUF backfield right now.
- WRs Cole Beasley and Emmanuel Sanders had 13 and 8 targets on Sunday. It’s a good idea to own both in FFL, as they’re both going to be integral parts of the Bills’ passing attack on a weekly basis. There are more exciting players to add this week, including fellow Bill Gabriel Davis, but few players will offer the high PPR floor that these two will from week to week.
Browns – 29 @ Chiefs – 33
- Rookie WR Anthony Scwartz matched WR Jarvis Landry and TE David Njoku for the team lead in targets(5) on his way to a 3 rec, 69 yard day. He’s worth a flex as long as WR Odell Beckham is sidelined.
- TE David Njoku led the team in yards(76), but it’s unclear if his usage in WK 1 was predicated on ODB missing the game or if he was always going to be a major player for the Browns. He’s worth a speculative add as we go into WK 2.
- WR Mecole Hardman‘s lack of usage(3 tgt, 3 rec, 19 yards) in a game where the Chiefs were playing catch up the entire time is discouraging. You can’t drop him, but I’m not starting him against the Ravens this week.
Dolphins – 17 @ Patriots – 16
- WR DeVante Parker has been seemingly forgotten about in fantasy, as he’s only owned in 39% of leagues right now. That should change this week, after his 7 tgt, 4 rec, 81 yard game against NE on Sunday. He needs to be owned in most formats, as we wait and see what kind of target share he commands when WR Will Fuller returns to action this week.
- WR Jaylen Waddle also impressed in his NFL debut, notching 61 yards and a TD. Only owned in 66% of leagues, he is a solid addition in all formats, even with Fuller returning.
- RB Malcolm Brown had 5 carries to Myles Gaskin‘s 9 and had 16 snaps to Gaskin’s 29. Even so, he didn’t do much with his carries(16 yards) and didn’t put much pressure on Gaskin’s role as lead RB in Miami.
- TE Mike Gesicki only had 2 targets on the day and didn’t post a catch. He actually played 17 fewer snaps than TE Durham Smythe too. This doesn’t bode well for Gesicki’s fantasy outlook, as TE Adam Shaheen didn’t even play on Sunday. He’s worth holding to see if this was just an anomaly, but Gesicki can’t be started against the Bills this week.
- Damien Harris may have lost the starting job in NE when he lost the ball on what could have been a game winning drive if Rhamondre Stevenson didn’t lose a fumble as well, so don’t be surprised if JJ Taylor, who didn’t even play on Sunday, gets to play this week – Bill Belichick is infamous for benching RBs who fumble. Taylor is worth a speculative add if your bench is deep. He looked awesome in the preseason.
- WRs Jakobi Meyers and Nelson Agholor were serviceable as the 1 and 2 WRs for NE on Sunday. 7 players had at least 3 targets for NE though, so it will be difficult to determine usability going forward. Both Meyers and Agholor are decent flex options going into WK 2 though, as they had 9 and 7 targets each. TEs Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry split snaps equally, with Smith outperforming Henry, but both TEs out-produced 3rd WR Kendrick Bourne.
Packers – 3 @ Saints – 38
- I can’t advise any real actionable items regarding the Packers after a blowout in which numerous backup players saw action. I would continue to start RB Aaron Jones, WR Davante Adams and TE Robert Tonyan this week against a recently gashed Detroit defense.
- QB Jameis Winston only threw for 148 yards, but the dominant Saints defense gave him great field position and he capitalized on it for 5 TDs. He’s showing accuracy that we only saw glimpses of in TB. He needs to be started moving forward until he proves otherwise.
- RB Tony Jones saw 11 carries for 50 yards in the Latavius Murray role for the Saints, but 9 of them came after the starters were benched. Even so, he needs to be owned in deeper formats, as his role will likely expand.
- TE Adam Trautman was the only Saint to see more than 3 targets on the day(6), for a 30% target share. Almost half of Winston’s targets went to TEs, Trautman and Juwan Johnson – who also qualifies as a WR on many platforms, so both make for decent pickups this week.
- It was an awkward game script for the Saints in a game where they always had great field position and were playing with a lead, so they didn’t have to go to their WRs often. WR Marquez Callaway(1 rec, 14 yards) should be held onto where you can afford to do it. WR Deonte Harris‘ made his day on a long TD pass, so you can look at him in deep leagues, but I’m not convinced he maintains relevancy yet.
Broncos – 21 @ Giants – 13
- Rookie RB Javante Williams barely out-touched Melvin Gordon 15 – 14, but Gordon out-gained him 118 yards to 41 yards, scoring in the process. 70 of those yards came on a late run though, so Williams should maintain his 1B role. Both are startable against Jacksonville this week.
- Jerry Jeudy led the Broncos in receiving until he went down with a high ankle sprain late in the game. It looks like Jeudy will miss at least several weeks, so WR KJ Hamler and WR Tim Patrick will see more action in his stead. I actually prefer Patrick over Hamler in waivers this week. It should go without saying that WR Courtland Sutton and TE Noah Fant get a boost as well.
- WR Sterling Shepard(9 tgt, 7 rec, 113 yards, 1 TD) led the Giants in receiving on Sunday, ahead of Kenny Golladay(4 rec, 64 yards), Darius Slayton(3 rec, 65 yards) and rookie WR Kadarius Toney who only lost yardage( 2 rec, -2 yards). Only 39% owned, Shepard will be a high-priority add this week.
Bears – 14 @ Rams – 34
- The movement to get rookie QB Justin Fields on the field will only grow after the 0 TD, 1 INT game from QB Andy Dalton on Sunday night. Even against the Bengals this week, Dalton can’t be trusted.
- RB Damien Williams put up 40 yards on 10 touches on Sunday, 4 of them catches. As long as RB Tarik Cohen remains on the PUP list, Williams will retain PPR relevance.
- WR Darnell Mooney is the no.2 in CHI according to his targets(7) – Only WR Alllen Robinson had more. He only put up 26 yards, but the looks indicate that he’ll be of value. TE Cole Kmet also had 7 looks for a 5 rec, 42 yard night. Jimmy Graham‘s presence, especially in the end-zone limits Kmet’s appeal, but he’s on the TE streaming radar.
- RB Sony Michel only ran the ball once for 2 yards Sunday night, but he’s still learning the playbook. Gladly take him off the hands of any worrisome owner going into this week. He’ll see the field soon enough.
- WR Van Jefferson(3 tgt, 2 rec, 80 yards, 1 TD) played 20 more snaps than WR DeSean Jackson on Sunday night, indicating that he’s the no.3 right now. He’ll be up and down, but in a Sean McVay offense with Matt Stafford at QB, he’s going to have fantasy relevant weekends. He should be added in deeper formats.