Week 2 is almost in the books with only a Monday Night Football tilt between the Browns and Jets remaining. A couple of star running backs had scares over the weekend, and few week 1 handcuffs produced. Don’t get caught with your pants down and avoid the risk of a league-mate snagging up a starting backup. Let’s jump right in to this week’s handcuff report.

Snap counts, target share, player news, and other data sourced from www.fantasydata.com

Week 2 Offenders

Darwin Thompson / Darrel Williams

Kansas City Chiefs

Damien Williams left Sundays tilt against Oakland with an apparent right knee injury. Unfortunately, neither LeSean McCoy nor Damien Williams were able to get anything going on the ground against a run defense that might deserve more respect after limiting Denver in week 1 and the Chiefs on Sunday. But the Chiefs didn’t need to rely on the ground game with Patty Mahomes picking up where he left off from is 2018 MVP campaign. If Damien’s injury knocks him out for at least a game, McCoy will assume lead duties after leading this backfield with 45% snap share in week 2. Keep an eye out for the injury/practice report in KC this week, because McCoy suffered a minor ankle injury towards the end of the game. McCoys injury is not considered serious, but pre-season hype guy Darwin Thompson will be a hot add on Waiver Wednesday. Before McCoy was acquired in KC, Darwin Thompson had jumped Carlos Hyde on the depth chart during the preseason and was receiving reps with the ‘ones’. Darrel Williams is a name to add to your watch list if Williams injury is longer than a couple of games and McCoy’s ankle injury is more serious than reported. Kansas City’s next two games are against tough run defenses, vs BAL – @DET. Fade KC’s backfield during this stretch. Meaning if Damien and McCoy injuries are less than 2 weeks then don’t waste a waiver claim if you don’t own either back. Damien and McCoy owners, snag your handcuff now. 

Jaylen Samuels / Benny Snell Jr.

Pittsburgh Steelers

James Conner exited Sundays contest against the Seahawks, and is undergoing further evaluation on his knee. Luckily for fantasy owners he was able to score a ‘tuddy’ before leaving. If Conner’s knee knocks him out a couple of weeks, Jaylen Samuels will be the preferred add in PPR leagues. Last season when Jaylen was called upon, with Conner sidelined (3 games), he posted a healthy 223 yards, 5.3 yards per carry, and averaged 4 receptions per game. Jaylen is fully capable of running behind this offensive line. Benny Snell Jr. would be a speculative add if Conners injury is long term. He took 1 carry on Sunday for 23 yards. Ben Roethlisberger elbow is a serious concern, but Mason Rudolph actually finished the game with a better QBR and passer rating than Big Ben. PIT scored more points in the 2nd half of the game with Rudolph in, than they did with Ben under center. If Rudolph regresses in week 2 and Ben’s injury is long term this whole offense gets a negative bump for fantasy value.

Frank Gore / TJ Yeldon

Buffalo Bills

Age-less wonder, Frank Gore, is the lead back in Buffalo after owning 59.2% of the snaps, to Singletary’s 32.9%. Granted, Singletary is the more dynamic/explosive back, and should be owned as long term end-of-season asset as Buffalo’s rushing schedule lightens and 36-year old Gore wears down. Singletary left Sundays game against the Giants with a hamstring scare. Regardless of Singletary’s availability, Gore should be rostered in 12-team and larger leagues, he tied for 6th most redzone touches in week 2 and found pay-dirt. Head Coach, Sean McDermott, stated in a presser last week that Frank Gore is the starting back. If Singletary’s injury is long term, then T.J. Yeldon is a name to consider in deeper formats and PPR leagues.

Gus Edwards / Justice Hill

Baltimore Ravens

Mark Ingram remains the starting back in Baltimore after receiving 58% of the RB snaps in week 2. Justice Hill and Gus Edwards both received a 20% snap share, with Hill receiving the largest target share  (12.5%). Right now is the window for Ingram owners to secure their insurance policy. Mark Ingram did leave the game, collapsed on the sidelined, and was surrounded by doctors but was able to return to the game. He also popped up on the injury report with a should injury and was limited in practice last week. It is unclear if Sundays exit was just from a hard tackle and lost his wind, but Ingram will turn 30 this season and has a history of missing a couple of games dating back to his time in New Orleans. Playing a full season in 4 out of his 8 years in the Big Easy. Gus Edwards is the handcuff for early down/goal line work, and Justice Hill could turn into a premium handcuff as the season progresses and his passing usage increases. Grab your insurance now before it’s too late. 

Ty Montgomery

New York Jets

Le’Veon Bell dominated snaps in week 1 (100%), but had to receive a MRI on his shoulder last week. Avoiding any serious injury, it’s not a surprise to see Bell banged/bruised up after taking off a whole NFL season in 2018. The MRI news caused a scare across the twitter fantasy world, bringing attention to backup RB TY Montgomery. Yes, if Bell misses time, Ty is the undisputed RB1 in this backfield. BUT with Sam Darnold out at least 3-7 weeks, I’m not interested in owning any piece of this offense until we can see Trevor Siemian prove that he can move the chains. The Jets have a brutal upcoming schedule against tough run defenses, their next 6 opponents: NE, PHI, DAL, NE, JAX. With Bells injury not a concern, don’t waste a waiver claim on a backup RB on a team being led by a backup QB with a horrible schedule. If you’re a Bell owner, you might want to grab Ty for any end of season scares. Darnold is expected to return and the Jets schedule softens up down the back half of the season. 

 

Keeping Detained

Raheem Mostert is a must add in all leagues, for as long as Tevin Coleman is sidelined. Mostert led this backfield in snaps share (47.2%), target share (11.8%), and touches (16). He took a screen pass from Jimmy G for a 39-yard touchdown, and rushed for 83 yards. Both Matt Brieda and Mostert hold RB 2/3 value with RB1 upside in Shanahan’s offense. Both backs finished in the top 10 of RB scoring in week2 (pending MNF). Jeff Wilson Jr. is a deeper league add, he fell in the end zone with 2 touchdowns but was only on the field for only 20% of the offensive snaps.

Malcolm Brown should continue to be rostered as a premium handcuff in most formats. Gurley owners, check your leagues transaction report on Wednesday to see if Brown gets dropped after his disappointing week 2 fantasy output. Brown still received 36% of the snaps, looked impressive on a couple of runs and will continue to be utilized in this backfield. Should Gurley miss anytime, Brown will immediately jump to RB2 value.

Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones remained at an almost 40-60% split again in week 2, and Williams was able to find the end zone on a receiving play. Jones is the clear #1, but Williams usage in this offense warrants roster consideration in PPR formats. Williams remains a low end flex play on a week-to-week basis for as long as Jones is healthy. Williams is a premium handcuff for Jones owners.

If Washington continues to play “catch up,” Chris Thompson is a must own in PPR leagues. Thompson owned Washingtons RB snap share against DAL, with 45.2% to Petersons 29%. Adrian Peterson did find the end zone and should be considered a low end RB2/3 until Guice returns. Peterson is primed for a juicy matchup in week 6 against the tanking Miami Dolphins

With Austin Ekeler dominating snaps and touches in week 2 (73%), Justin Jackson (27%) remains a traditional handcuff and his value is dependent on Ekeler’s weekly availability. Jackson is efficient with his touches, averaging 8.9 yards per carry, but does not touch the ball enough to warrant a spot in a starting fantasy lineup. Keep Jackson on your bench, but once Gordon returns he can be released to waivers. 

Getting Released

Giovani Bernard is a low-end handcuff and can be delegated to waivers until we see his usage increase. After being promised a more involved role in this offense, by the coaching staff over the preseason, Bernard is averaging an un-inspiring 8 touches a game. 6.5 carries per game and 1.5 catches per game. Unless you own Joe Mixon, I rather spend my waiver priority and bench capital elsewhere. The CIN running game is atrocious with poor offensive line play, and the new coaching regime passing the ball more than 40 times in each game. 

 

Leave your questions and comments below, and as always you can tweet me on twitter. 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Kenny J Powers says:
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    Hey Nic, thanks for the help with week 2. Wanna pick your brain for week 3:
    (12 team ppr)
    1. Start Mostert over r.woods or kerryon this week? Or is that getting too cute? Woods has been a bum so far but surely he picks it up.
    2. Do you think mason Rudolph will be ownable or is he a streamer at best? He looked pretty good after Ben went down, so I was considering taking a shot on him this week.
    3. Starting righteous gemstones tomorrow! Stoked.

    • The Harrow says:
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      rudolph was a decently gradded out rookie, 6th QB last year behind darnold, rosen, mayfield, l-jax, j.allen. i’d expect more from him than bridgewater (only since we’ve seen bridgewater not be good since he had one of the most disgusting knee injuries ever seen that the player came back from at all)

      • The Harrow says:
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        mostert over those is pretty cute this quick, unless breida is out.

        • Kenny J Powers says:
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          Thanks Harrow. Think I’ll run Rudolph out there this week and see what happens. As for Mostert, I think you’re probably right. I can’t see all three backs being usable every week so feels like a crapshoot for now.

          • The Harrow says:
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            he’s def worth owning and starting in deeper leagues though already.

            • Nic Romero

              Nic Romero says:
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              yea, Mostert is worth a flex start in some leagues. as i mentioned in my longer comment/response. its not likely mostert had the same production this week, he scored 10 fantasy points on 1 play. Im leaning towards Woods and banking on this week being his bounce back. had a 15-20 yard TD pass called back last week.

          • Nic Romero

            Nic Romero says:
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            really depends on who you currently have as QB and who else is out there. a lot of viable streaming options in most 12 team season long leagues unless you have league-mates that hord QBs. Teddy has a great matchup this week against Seattles horrid secondary. for this week, i would almost stream teddy over rudolph but that would be for this week. Jameis is less than 50% owned and is going up against the NYG this week. i like him, Josh Allen less than 40% owned and is going up against the CIN horrid defense. would even consider Jimmy G against PIT over Rudolph to be honest. a lot of options out there. Rudolph would be a bench stash for me if you have the bench size to allow it

      • Nic Romero

        Nic Romero says:
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        agree, i do like him over bridgewater. Teddy will be more dink and dunk in this offense. Rudolph comes from OKSTATE where they air-raid/spread offense. he’s use to gunslinging it.

    • Nic Romero

      Nic Romero says:
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      1. thats a good one. Woods has been a bum so far, but is due some positive regression in this offense. did you see he had a 15-20 yard TD pass called back on sunday against the Saints? we have both Mostert and Kerryon projected within .5 point of each other this week in both full point and .5 point ppr. Philadelphia has the better run defense, over PIT so if its between those two i guess you lean Mostert. we have Woods outscoring both Mostert/Johnson by about 4 ppr fantasy points. we are projection Woods with 14.52 ppr points. the snaps are there for Woods and he is 2nd on the team in target share. Woods will bounce back, its just figuring out when this will be and are you willing to risk him being on your bench for when he does bounce back. so i guess its between Mostert and Woods. i have woods in a couple of league, having to make similar decisions. Breida is still the “starting” back in this offense and a big chunk of Mosterts production this weekend was the 40 yard TD pass, worth ~10 points. the decision you have to make is whats more likely, Mostert scoring a 40-yd td again or Woods having a bounce back game.

      2. in 2-qb superflex leagues, he is worth an add. depends on who your starting QB is and who else is available on waivers. not enough out there on Rudolph yet for me to be comfortable relying on him in a 1 qb league. maybe worth a bench stash but im not the biggest proponent of rostering 2-quarterbacks in a 1 QB league if your bench is 7 spots or smaller. you’re call. we have rudolph as QB29 this week. thinking streamer at best if we see something after this week.

      3. tell me what you think of gemstones. pretty damn funny.

      • Kenny J Powers says:
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        Appreciate your thoughts. I’m inclined to agree on waiting out woods for now. As for Rudolph, I’m not sure why he’s got me intrigued. Maybe it’s the James Washington connection and as you mentioned, the success with the air raid. This is a 1-qb league which I only ever roster one qb in as well, but waivers are thin because most of the other guys are holding 2. Scam Newton is the best available on paper, but I don’t trust him at all. Looks broken, plus I’m assuming there will be a sizable faab bid on him tomorrow. Winston and Allen are owned, so my other options are holding dalton or guys like Stafford, jimmy g or gambling on Rudolph or Danny dimes or I guess noodle arm teddy. I’ll probably just let waivers clear and decide from there. Can’t see spending any faab on that crew. Thanks man

        • Nic Romero

          Nic Romero says:
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          i think you have the right mindset. thanks

  2. Super Terrific Carpal Tunnel Virusy Box vs Mail Robot (who wins?) says:
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    super flex league, i have wentz/mariota/trubisky, drop mariota for either of rudolpho or bridgewater? gotta think trubisky after last year isn’t this bad, but we’ve seen mariota be this bad before, and his coaches going back years are just stupid.

    • Nic Romero

      Nic Romero says:
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      man thats a good one. idk Mariota had a decent week 1, where as Trubisky has had two horrible weeks in a row and didn’t look good at all on Sunday when Derek Carr was able to have a decent game against CHI on MNF. Is it just a case of Vic Fangio just knowing Nagys offense and Trubiskys weaknesses. i mean maybe i lean rudolph is you’re really chomping to make a move here. rudolph has slightly more upside since Ben is out for the season and Teddy is a spot start until Brees is back. PIT literally doesn’t have any other QB on the roster and NO has Tasum Hill, if Teddy struggles we could possibly see him get a start but i do think its Tedddy team unless he fails miserably. Teddy has taken a team to the playoffs and is capable of running the dink/dunk. i would look at all of the upcoming matchups for trubisky/rudolph/bridgewater and see if that helps your decision.

      good luck and thanks for the comment.

      • Nic Romero

        Nic Romero says:
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        if its a 1qb league, i wouldn’t waste any bench spots on any of those QBs to be honest. Wentz is going to be your starter every week anyways. unless you have a monster bench size

        • Super Terrific Carpal Tunnel Virusy Box vs Mail Robot (who wins?) says:
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          it’s a super flex, so 2 QB start. only the worst teams don’t start 2 QB almost exclusively this is true. unless they have either VERY good RB/WR/TE’s (we have 2 regular flexes too) or VERY bad 2nd and more QB’s

          QB (1): wentz/trubisky/mariota
          RB (2) AAron, mack, lindsay, burkhead, ballage, ogun (attempting to drop ogun for d.robinson from FAAB today, even though that leaves me with a good deal more WR’s than RB’s, but the RB’s in FA are really bad, i had dropped armstead for burkhead last week)
          WR (3): adams, dede, fuller, a.wilson (this guy should if healthy get the targets, going back to last year he was awesome, this year he got thrown at 4/5 of the throws when healthy), p.williams (this guy gets better valued if/when a.wilson it out), c.davis
          TE (1) kelce, hockenson (didn’t even plan to go backup TE here at all, then hock was in the 3rd or 2nd to last round still around)
          2 regular flexes
          1 super flex

          • Nic Romero

            Nic Romero says:
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            i think you’re starting trubisky and mariota in a super flex over rudolph and bridgewater until we see something. but if you’re really wanting to get one of the young bucks, im going Rudolph first, then Bridgewater.

  3. James Bolger says:
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    Would you consider Latavius Murray as a handcuff to Kamara? And what’s the outlook for Murray given the injury to Brees?

    • Nic Romero

      Nic Romero says:
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      Yes, Murray is the handcuff to Kamara. yes, slight downgrade to offense with Brees out obviously, but at the same time with Brees out..look for the Saints to lean on the run game more to help out Teddy. just depends if Teddy can earn the respect of the defenses and avoid stacked fronts. we’ll have to see how this weekend goes against a sub-par secondary. the saints have the weapons on the outside, just need to see if Teddy can consistency get it to them.

  4. Nick says:
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    Hey bud – I was sent this trade offer in my 12-team standard; My AB for his Damien Williams & Duke Johnson.

    Full transparency, I’m a Jet fan & despise the Pats (& now AB)

    The other team also has Ekler & Zeke…would you try to get Ekeler instead of D Will & Duke?

    • Nic Romero

      Nic Romero says:
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      i would not do that trade. AB for Zeke would be the only one im interested in. AB was a 2nd round pick. i love AB in NE, you have to put the fandom aside when it comes to fantasy football. if you want to win, making decisions based of fandom is not the best strategy. maybe Austin Ekeler if you’re really desperate for a Rb and you have WR depth. But based off the information provided, no.

      • Nick says:
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        Thanks bud, I agree, my opponent did draft D Williams in round 2 but that was his mistake…

        I have Kamara, D Montgomery, Sanders & L Murray at RB while Thielan, Godwin, AB, Fuller, McLaurin, D Samuel & Scantling at WR…so I’d say I have more WR depth but not worth sacrificing AB unless I get more value like a Zeke…i think my main concern is it AB does go down on these charges or if NFL steps in, then AB is useless….

        • Nic Romero

          Nic Romero says:
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          understood, seems like AB will be allowed to play since no criminal charges have been filed. im not 100% in the details on his situation but ill be riding him in fantasy unless something new develops but i think we are safe for now.

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