Around the NFL week 2— 32 seconds for all 32 teams in fantasy football
Gauging the numbers behind the numbers that predict future fantasy success — is it time to sell high or buy low?
You were here last week. You know how this works. We’ve now played 12.5% of the NFL season and it’s time to improve your fantasy team.
One of the biggest mistakes owners make is waiting too long to make a move, selling a guy a week too late, or missing the window to buy someone they like. This is a game — if you can’t take a risk here, what are you doing?
So who to buy and who to sell? Let’s take a look.
NY Jets 37, Buffalo 31
It was a big fantasy night for the Jets with Forte, Marshall, and Decker all lighting it up. Matt Forte had another monster game with 3 TDs and 100 yards, though only 3 passing targets was a surprise. Honestly right now he looks like the same old first round top-5 RB as always. Don’t go crazy but smoke ’em if ya got ’em. Both Decker and Marshall had 8+ targets and over 100 yards and look as good as advertised.
Considering the Bills scored 31, they were disappointing fantasy-wise. It’s encouraging that LeSean McCoy has done very little in two games and still had a usable double digit game each time. He’s fine. Sammy Watkins is not. He’s clearly playing hurt and though the ten days off should help, sell if you can find a taker.
Pittsburgh 24, Cincinnati 16
Antonio Brown disappointed but he’s still as good a fantasy asset as there is. If you can even sort of buy low, you always have to try. I’m seeing some people benching Big Ben in a tough matchup here. Big Ben is your every week starter while healthy. He’s been racking up TDs for a few years now. Even with 2 picks and a low completion % in a tough matchup, he was a top starter. DeAngelo Williams was awesome but you already know that. The real story here is how valuable LeVeon Bell is going to be in a week. It’s possible the Steelers might have the two most valuable assets in fantasy football. That should tell you just how hard you should try to trade for Bell this week.
Like Antonio Brown, AJ Green disappointed after a big week one. Both had plenty of targets. It’s fine, this happens with receivers — this will be the worst game all season for both. As for the Bengals RB roulette game, it’s not as hard as you think. Cincinnati’s RBs are predictable. Is the defense stout against the run? Then it’s a Gio game. Bernard had 9/100/1 in the air with 11 targets and was on the field a ton, while Hill was totally useless. Pittsburgh plays Denver next — bench Hill and play Bernard.
Tennessee 16, Detroit 15
Not much to see here in fantasy, but don’t sleep on DeMarco Murray. He’s seeing a ton of looks in the passing game on Mariota dump-offs and looks like a possible RB1 — though Derrick Henry did have 10 touches so have some caution. Murray feels like a guy you play while he’s valuable instead of selling high. Tajae Sharpe was quiet with 4/33, which is going to happen sometimes as a Titans receiver. He’s a spot start, though he and Mariota could be options next week against Oakland if you need them.
Told you last week to go get Marvin Jones and he was awesome this week with 8/118 on 11 targets. He is getting the Calvin Johnson treatment in Detroit and seems like the clear guy there, not Golden Tate. Jones is a solid WR2. Theo Riddick might be a RB1 if Abdullah misses time, especially in PPR. Both have been producing well while splitting time. Try to keep Abdullah around if you can as he’s been good, but he was good early last season too before injuries nagged him all season long so this stinks.
Baltimore 25, Cleveland 20
This is another pretty pitiful fantasy game unless you lucked into Mike Wallace. Wallace did have 2 TDs but did it on 4 catches and 6 targets. Looks like fools gold to me. Sell for a real WR or spot start him as your WR3. Forsett and West are still splitting touches, and Kenneth Dixon should be back soon enough. Don’t plan on any for now. It’s nice to see Dennis Pitta have a big game. He’s a possible TE plug and play while healthy.
For whatever reason, it’s clear Isaiah Crowell is the lead back, and you were rewarded for stupidly starting him with a lucky 85-yard TD Sunday. Outside of that, Crowell was inefficient with 48 yards on 17 carries and just 1 target, but Duke Johnson isn’t getting on the field much so Crowell is going to get chances for now. Meh. Barnidge disappointed and now McCown is hurt, so the value may not be there. Corey Coleman caught some deep balls but feels very hit or miss for now. He’s a speculative waiver stash.
Dallas 27, Washington 23
Still like what we’re seeing from Ezekiel Elliott who got another 21 carries for solid yardage and a TD, plus Morris vultured a late TD. Zeke still looks like a top 5 RB so go get him if a league mate is getting impatient on the big game. That was the instruction on Dez Bryant last week too, and he came through with 100 yards and 12 targets this week. Dak Prescott has been pretty good — just not in fantasy. Dallas is moving the ball a lot, and efficiently. If they figure out the red zone thing soon, these guys all get their top value real fast.
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Kirk Cousins looked pretty bad for Washington… but was fine as a fantasy QB. He threw another 46 passes and with volume and yardage like that, he’ll continue to be at least a usable starter. Matt Jones saw a little more usage this week but still only 13 carries and 1 target. He’s not really losing looks — the Skins just aren’t running much. He’s could be a buy low or stash if this offense evens out. Washington has a bunch of WRs but DeSean, Doctson, Garcon, and Crowder cannibalize each others’ value. And Jordan Reed is the main target anyway. He’s the only auto-start here.
NY Giants 16, New Orleans 13
Well that wasn’t exactly 52–49 like last year. This game disappointed a lot of fantasy owners, especially those looking for a big Eli Manning game. He was really good, just couldn’t get into the end zone. Shepherd had a big game and looks like a guy that will get a lot of catches out of the slot, enough to be an every week starter. OBJ has been the WR3 both weeks for the Giants in scoring but he’s still getting WR1 looks and doing just fine. Buy if you can get him. Cruz looks flexable if needed and continues to get some RZ looks. This is a passing offense. Jennings and Vereen were a pretty even split and neither looks particularly valuable.
The Saints were even more disappointing, and it’s time to start getting worried about Mark Ingram. His 4 receptions saved a bit of value, but 9 carries just isn’t enough for your 2nd round pick. This was more of a normal Brandin Cooks game with 7/68, lots of short targets and receptions. And Fleener only caught 2 of his 8 targets. This is below what you’ll get from most Saints weeks, but you’re not getting last week either — this is closer.
Carolina 46, San Francisco 27
Cam Newton is a stud. I doubted him preseason but he’s clearly the best fantasy QB to own and it’s not close right now. Kelvin Benjamin looks like a stud too and might even be a WR1, just an unstoppable red zone force. And Greg Olsen is putting up huge TE numbers. Carolina should step back production a bit this week with Minnesota, but they get ATL TB NO after that before the bye week. Might be a great chance in a week to go after Cam or Olsen from an owner feeling his weakness at RB or WR since they used an early pick elsewhere. I’m not sure any Panther RB will be particularly great while Stewart is out. Fozzy Whitaker, Mike Tolbert, and Cameron Artis-Payne may all split value, with Cam stealing the TDs. And I wouldn’t be afraid to drop Jonathan Stewart if you’re desperate for a spot or in a shallow league.
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San Francisco disappointed, or maybe just came back to earth a bit after the big MNF week 1. Carlos Hyde had only 14 carries to 9 for Draughn but that’s because the 49ers were getting murdered and Draughn is the passing back. Use Hyde confidently as the workhorse, and buy low if you can. Sell on Vance McDonald; that’s not going to last.
New England 31, Miami 24
It’s interesting how different it feels in New England vs Cleveland with the top two QBs out, but even the Patriots will feel the pain a little bit with Jacoby Brissett starting. Expect a simplified run-first attack with Belichick waiting for Osweiler to screw up. That means more of a blocking game from Martellus Bennett, so be cautious there, but it should mean plenty of dump-offs for guys like Julian Edelman. It also means another start for LeGarrette Blount. He’s not being used in the passing game at all, but with 29/123/1 on the ground, it doesn’t matter. He’s a very usable RB2 in the right weeks — the ones where New England has the lead and is salting away the victory. James White has disappointed and isn’t being used much. You can cut him as needed, and cut Garoppolo too if you have him for some reason.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but Arian Foster is hurt. Bummer. Now it’s a waiting game, and I’m not sure any RB looks super usable in the interim. Foster missed most of the game but Ajayi had just 5 carries and 4 targets so he’s the one to own, and it’s Cleveland this week so I guess if you’re desperate… maybe. I like Kenyan Drake better long term if Foster can’t play much this season. Miami became a passing team down 21–0 early, and that meant a million targets for both Jarvis Landry and Devante Parker. Go get Parker. He was good last year after coming back, and he might be on waivers in your league after not playing week one. He’s the sort of guy that could explode.
Houston 19, Kansas City 12
Lamar Miller and DeAndre Hopkins are still producing even in low scoring games for Houston. They look worth the investment and seem like slight buy lows if available. Will Fuller was over 100 yards again and is clearly worth a roster spot now. He looks like the beneficiary of Osweiler’s big arm, but we’ll see if he keeps getting enough looks to keep value.
Jeremy Maclin had an awesome 16 targets, though it was disappointing to get only 6 catches on a rough Alex Smith day. He looks like a WR2 in PPR leagues with that sort of volume. This feels like a good time to take a shot at Jamaal Charles. Neither Ware nor West is doing anything super special, and both are getting plenty of targets, so the usual role is there of Charles gets healthy. I’d still sell Ware high if you can get something good that will last.
Los Angeles 9, Seattle 3
There’s not much to say about a 9–3 game. Russell Wilson had an ugly game; feel free to play another QB until he’s healthier if you have a good option. Rawls was terrible and is now hurt — another opportunity for Christine Michael this week home against SF. Seattle’s WRs didn’t do much either, and that’s going to happen when the Seahawks fall into their old ways. The Rams aren’t good enough to get their own paragraph. Todd Gurley is officially a worry. 19 carries for 51 yards is pretty meh no matter who you’re playing, and just 1 target isn’t helping. You can’t sell at this point, so play through.
Arizona 40, Tampa Bay 7
Looks like Arizona has picked back up where it left off last season, on fire but spreading the wealth. Don’t forget they moved the ball most of the game against NE too. That makes almost any Cardinal if you need them. David Johnson had 143 yards on 15 touches, nearly a first down a touch. He did lose 6 red zone touches to Chris Johnson, so that’s frustrating but also shows how good he could be if his role grows even larger. I’m not sure I’d trade him DJ for anyone in fantasy.
I’m not sure what we were all doing with the Cardinals WRs. Duh, gee, I dunno which one might be good, could it be the one that was on fire all last season, has 100 career TDs, and was a top ten WR already? Larry Fitzgerald had another good week with 6/81/1 and is an every week start and WR1 for you. Still, I would trade him if you could get someone like Amari Cooper or another clear WR1 that will probably be more consistent over the long haul. Go get Michael Floyd if you can. He had a nothing game but saw 6 targets, half in the red zone, and he still looks like a guy you should start most weeks at WR3 and one that could explode. John Brown should be on your bench for now. He’s not seeing enough routes or targets and the concussion must still be bothering him. Try not to cut him if you can. Don’t forget, Jaron Brown caught a long 51-yard TD. Most weeks that goes to Floyd or John Brown and you’re feeling pretty good. These guys still have value.
I warned you last week about Jameis Winston and boy did it hit hard, with a late TD saving a tiny shred of value on a brutal 5-turnover day. He should be more of a moderate play against the Rams this week, but you’re going to have to wait out a rough early schedule. Mike Evans is locked in as a WR1 with a huge 17 target number, and the TD saved him this week. Go get Charles Sims as a high waiver target if he’s not already rostered. He’s at least a RB2 with Martin out especially in PPR.
San Diego 38, Jacksonville 14
I don’t have a clue what’s happening in San Diego either but they’re now down their two best playmakers on offense with Allen and Woodhead out for the season. It just feels like this is all going to come crashing down soon. Sell on Rivers if you can get anything valuable; he wasn’t your starter anyway. The one guy that should maintain value by default is Melvin Gordon. He had 100 yards and another TD and it’s clearly not 2015 anymore with 3 passing targets and 8 red zone runs for Gordon too. He may be a top 10 RB by default, but I would trade him for a RB I felt better about if someone made me a big offer. Travis Benjamin had a big game after I recommended him last week and with Woodhead out, he could continue to see a lot of short routes. In PPR and kick return leagues, he’s especially usable.
I was worried about the Jaguars this season, and so far they’ve disappointed. That unfortunately includes one guy I love, TJ Yeldon. He had a huge opportunity to run with the job these two weeks and did very little, though he didn’t get much opportunity week 2 with the Jags down early and throwing all game. Hang onto Yeldon and hope he keeps seeing 10 targets a week at least. Blake Bortles is weirdly matchup proof, the king of the garbage time. He threw 50 times and ended up with a solid fantasy game in a blowout. It’s a bit of a worry that only 10% of those went to Allen Robinson, still a borderline WR1 but starting to be a worry. Still both he and Hurns may be buy lows; I don’t love either, but the value can really only increase from here.
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Look at the upcoming Jags schedule — BAL IND CHI OAK TEN. Oh my, that is a lot of tasty matchups. The Jags aren’t good but they weren’t last year either and they still had some fantasy studs. Hang in there, the value is coming and soon. Stop reading and go trade for a Jaguar.
Atlanta 35, Oakland 28
Matt Ryan has been a stud fantasy QB early on but against two terrible Ds. Enjoy one more game against the Saints this week, then sell for anything you can get — CAR DEN SEA are up next. It’s time to go trade for Tevin Coleman if you can. He saw almost identical time and touches to Devonta this week and he’s more explosive. It feels like he’s one big game away from turning his into a 65–35 thing in his favor.
Speaking of RBBC… Oakland! What a mess. It’s working out for the Raiders but not for you. Latavius Murray had 100 yards and a TD but got only 6 of the 23 RB carries. Sell sell sell!! Sell while you can. Amari Cooper looked good again; imagine how good he’ll be if Oakland ever finds out they can throw to him in the red zone too.
Denver 34, Indianapolis 20
CJ Anderson was a bit disappointing after a monster first week and a great matchup, but he still had a TD and almost 100 yards. He looks like the 1st round pick you drafted a year ago and swore off this season (grumble grumble). Be careful though. Denver looks intent on using rookie Devontae Booker too, and he looked good on 10 touches of his own. CJA might be a slight sell sigh if someone wants to godfather you. Demaryius Thomas played through the pain and had a nice game. Emmanuel Sanders saw 8 targets again but did very little with it. This is a running team now.
I’m officially worried about Indianapolis, who has been terrible for 3 of 4 halves. After a monster week 1, Andrew Luck had just one TD and under 200 yards on barely 50% completions. He’s got no protection and no run game and the Colts are already 2 games back on the Texans; feeling some deja vu here. Both Indy and Denver threw to 10 different targets in this game, which hurt the value of all the receivers. Moncrief got hurt and, even if he does play, he’s not an every week start until we see more. TY Hilton could be a good WR2 buy with 11 targets and the main mouth here. Neither Colts TE will be consistent; it’s TD or bust with both.
Minnesota 17, Green Bay 14
Well holy cow, Stefon Diggs. That’s a monster 9/182/2 game on 11 targets and the guy is looking a little bit like Marvin Harrison out there with great tight routes and nifty YAC before sliding down after a nice gain. I didn’t expect much of him but he could be a WR2 or at least an every week start. We’ll see what happens on Adrian Peterson. A torn meniscus would end the season for many players. Weirdly, the Minnesota offense may be better suited to Jerick McKinnon’s game, so there’s some value there — but only if AP is out awhile and if the Vikings stop wasting carries on Matt Asiata. I don’t think there’s as much value here on waivers as you might think. If you’re an AP owner, there’s no real point selling, so just cross your fingers and wait.
Speaking of crossing your fingers, you may be doing that with your Packers at this point, especially when you see what Rivers did to a Jags defense that Rodgers struggled against last week. He was under 6 YPA for the second straight week and had 3 fumbles and a pick. He’s clearly not on the same page as his receivers yet — but remember, this is normal for Green Bay. They tend to take awhile to round into shape. They get a bye already in a week so that should help. That gives you two weeks to go get Jordy Nelson if you can. He’s healthy and getting a ton of looks, and that makes him as valuable as almost any WR in this offense.
I didn’t like Randall Cobb this year and don’t see anything to change my mind. He’s a short route runner that doesn’t get enough receptions to be worth much. He’s not even a sure start for me. I still don’t want Eddie Lacy either. He had just 12 touches to 8 for Starks and he’s not being used in the passing game. Eddie Lacy is Jeremy Hill or LeGarrette Blount, except he doesn’t even get surefire goalline work or blowout carries with the way the Packers play. Lacy sucks.
Philadelphia 29, Chicago 14
So it’s a little too early to tell after dominating two more FCS-level teams, but my boy Carson Wentz might be pretty good. Stay away in fantasy, obviously. Jordan Matthews continues to look like a great value. He had 6/71 on 9 targets and dropped a 40-yard TD. That could help keep him off radars a bit for now and he looks a strong WR2 if you can go get him. He’s the clear go-to guy here. Ryan Mathews scored another couple TDs but had just 9 carries, somehow less than Sproles. Sproles is much better in the passing game and a better blocker, so that could keep him on the field more with Wentz growing. Sell Mathews but buy Matthews.
The Bears are awful. How many times does Jay Cutler have to leave the game with a fake injury before we all finally quit on him? Drop him in fantasy, and bench Kevin White, or drop if you need a roster spot. Alshon Jeffery is still a start but looks more WR2 than WR1, and you know that injury is looming. Between that and Cutler’s inconsistency, I’d rather have another comparable WR. Jeremy Langford had another terrible game with 2.5 YPC. He got a TD and saved his RB ranking for another week so you can try to trade him. Jordan Howard nearly equaled Langford’s production on just 5 touches. This won’t take long.
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