Week 2 is upon us. The hardest part about assessing week 2 is to not have knee jerk reactions to week 1’s results. Just because a player had a good or bad game that does not mean we have a trend. We need to look closely as to why they either excelled or flopped. If receptions were low, how were the targets? Did an RB ran for over 100 yards but needed 30 carries to do it? Did your stud back lose TD’s to a vulture? The bottom line here is be careful before you react to week 1 performances. That said, we have some great scoring matchups this week. The Falcons travel to Oakland in what should be a high-scoring affair, as well as the Saints heading north to face the Giants, I think we all remember what happened last year when these two played in New Orleans. We also have some teams to flat out avoid, I am looking at you Rams. Hopefully, you have more starts than sits on your team and you will be blessed with more soul crushing victories than heartbreaking defeats this week.
I just want to remind everyone that I do not put studs on the start list. The only time you will see a stud is if they made the sit list.
NoHalftime START of the Week:
QB Blake Bortles (JAC)
Let this sink in for a second. 34-for-48 for 363 yards, two touchdowns, and one rushing touchdown. Do you know who’s slash line this is? It was Mr. Consertive Alex Smith against the Charges. Well, this week Bortles has his turn with the Chargers. I think we can all agree that between 2014 and 2015 Bortles took a huge step forward as an NFL QB. Last week Bortles went up against a very good Packers team and held is own in a game decided by only four points. I have heard a lot of people say they are expecting a regression from Bortles and I am not sure why. The Jaguars have a very good offense with some great talent on it. If Alex Smith can have his way with the Chargers I can see Bortles going 24-for-40 for 295 yards and three touchdowns this weekend, and if the Chargers can put up some points those numbers could go up even more.
NoHalftime SIT of the Week:
RB Adrian Peterson (MIN)
In a 121 career game, Peterson has averaged 4.9 yards per carry and 97 yards a game. Last week he rushed for 31 yards on 19 carries for an average of 1.6 per carry. It was only the fifth time in AP’s career that he averaged less than 2 yards a carry in a game. I am starting to worry this is a sign of things to come for him this season. I think the Vikings know that AP’s days are numbered and that is why they went so hard after a QB after Teddy Bridgewater got hurt. Of course, without Teddy, I think teams will be keying in on AP and forcing the Vikings to put the ball in the air. That is not good news for AP owners. I don’t think we are going to 1.6 yards per carry from AP all year, but this week we could. He is going up against the Packers, who just last week were blowing up running plays on a regular basis in Jacksonville. They were constantly getting to T.J. Yeldon as soon he was getting the ball, and I imagine the will bring a lot of the same stuff to Minnesota this week. I can see 20 carries for 50 yards with no touchdowns for him this week. I am avoiding AP completely this week if I can.
START Matt Ryan (ATL)
I am a huge Ryan fan and have been his entire pro career. Unfortunately, I do not think this year will be his year. So I bet you are wondering why he is on the start list this week. Ryan’s first three games this year might be his best three, and here in week 2 he gets to go up against the Oakland Raiders, who just gave up a ton of yards through the air to the Saints. Ryan had a very good first game going 27-for-39 for 334 yards and two TD’s with zero interceptions. He could very easily duplicate those numbers this week in Oakland. If you have Ryan play him this week and next and reap the benefits, then do your best to trade him while he is hot. I can see him going 25-for-35 for 300 plus yards and at least two TD’s.
SIT Case Keenum (LA)
I almost feel like I am cheating with this one. I will be honest I stopped watching this one a half time it was so bad. I am beyond amazed that Keenum finished that game and I am even more amazed that he was named week 2 starter. If you are in two-QBo QB league and you have the unfortunate luck of having to start Keenum, I would seriously consider starting no one. He could easily give you negative points this week. Your only hope would be a quick screen to Gurley or Austin and they break it for a long TD. I don’t even want to venture a quess to his numbers, just don’t start him, which I hope you already knew that.
START Ezekiel Elliott (DAL)
Elliott had an underwhelming opening day, but I still believe that he is in for a big year still. Fortunately for him, he gets the Redskins this week, the same Redskins that gave up some a heaping of yards to DeAngelo Williams on Monday night. This is a great week for Zeke to bust through and get his first 100 yard game of his career. If he gets another 20 plus touches this week I could see him easily going over 120 yards and finding the endzone at least one time this week. Sprinkle in a few receptions for decent yardage and we just might have the number one RB for week two.
SIT Todd Gurley (LA)
Studs are studs not because they put up big numbers against weak team, but rather because no matter who they play they put up points. Normally you would never hear me recommend bench a stud, but Gurley is in such a bad situation this week. Not only is he playing with one of the worst QB’s in recent history, they are playing division rival Seattle. If he does not find the end zone this week he could actually end up going down in points. 20 carried for 42 yards could easily be his day this week and that is just too low for me to say never bench a stud.
START Jarvis Landry (MIA)
Last week Landry found himself on my sit list and probably the only thing that saved him last week was if you started him in PPR you got seven receptions. Out side of those receptions, he did very little. This week he has a much better matchup in New England. Landry is clearly Ryan Tannehill‘s number one guy. Even against a tough Seahawk matchup, the Dolphins did what they could to get Landry the ball and he was targeted 10 times. I suspect this week the targets will up in double digits again, but this week he will find more room to make things happen. I see nine receptions for 110 yards and a TD for him this weekend. Don’t worry about last week and start him with confidence this week.
SIT John Brown (ARI)
I do not think Brown is in football shape right now. He missed most of the preseason with a concussion and as a result, I just don’t think he is all there yet. Remember last year when Michael Floyd missed most of the preseason and it took him a few games to get back on track, well I see the same thing with Brown this year. Until Brown gets on the field for more plays I think his potential will be limited. Brown still has the ability to take a pass to the house, so there is still some high reward value here, but the floor is pretty low for now. I see two or three reception for 25 yards this week.
START Dwayne Allen (Team)
The Colts should return to 2014 form this season. That year Allen played in 12 games and hauled in eight touchdowns. That year he shared TE duties with Coby Fleener who also caught eight touchdowns. Well now in 2016 Fleener is gone and the majority of TE snaps will belong to Allen. I know many people are talking about Jack Doyle, but let’s be honest here, he is not a threat to cut into Allen’s potential for this season. Allen might not be a target monster, but he usually gets the most of his use. Last week he saw six targets and turned that into four receptions for 53 yards and one TD. He was also on the receiving end of a two-point conversion. He is clearly a red zone threat in a high powered offense. Start him with confidence. I think he is in store for another four reception day, but for less yards, maybe around 35, but I think he finds the end zone again this week as well.
SIT Antonio Gates (SD)
My biggest concern with Gates this year is that he is going to be very touchdown dependent. We all know Gates is long in the tooth, and most of us know he really wants that touchdown record for tight ends, and Philip Rivers promised to help him get there. The Chargers have more balance this year than they have had in a while, and Rivers has more options in the passing game than he usually has. Even with the loss of Keenan Allen. With all of the weapons at Rivers disposal, he does not have to lean on Gates to help move the ball up and down the field. Resulting in fewer receptions and yards than normal for Gates. Which means, games he does not get a TD his value could drastically drop. Because of that, I am looking else where until he proves he has enough in the tank to contribute when the ball is between the 20’s. Four receptions for 30 yards might be all we can expect from Gates on a regular basis.
START Seattle Seahawks
More than once I have mentioned how bad the Rams are this year. So um yeah, start the Seahawks this week. The happiest guy in L.A. right now is Sean Mannion because Keenum is either going to get booed out of the stadium or carried out by the medical staff, and either way Mannion won’t have to come in be associated to the mess we call the Rams right now. Seattle might get five-plus sacks, two or three turnovers, and if you get punt return yards you can expect some points from there too.
- New York Jets
- Baltimore Ravens
SIT New Orleans Saints vs New York Giants
Remember last year 52 – 49 shoot out in New Orleans? The Giants D saved themselves last year by getting a touchdown, and if getting a touchdown is your only way to avoid scoring a negative number, you are better off just starting anyone else. I don’t suspect a high scoring game like last year, but both teams in the 30’s is very reasonable to expect in this one.
- Atlanta Falcons
- Oakland Raiders