Has anyone else been up since Thursday night? This football stuff is a hell of a drug. My hundredth sleepless hour was marked by a somber event on Monday morning when we conducted a Viking funeral on a nearby pond for my Kerryon Johnson Fathead. The Jonathan Taylor Fathead was disturbingly excited to launch the flaming arrow into Kerryon’s boat. When the police showed up to our fiery procession, I explained what was going on and they laughed at me for drafting Kerryon Johnson, again.
Monday night couldn’t come soon enough.
Unfortunately the Steelers/Giants game had me wishing I was back at Kerryon’s Viking funeral for most of the first half. The big story from that first game was Benny Snell who easily looked like the best running back in the Steelers backfield, rumbling for 113 yards on 19 carries. With James Conner appearing slow and also “being evaluated” for a mystery injury, Snell jumps to priority numero uno on my waiver claims list this week ahead of Nyheim Hines and Joshua Kelley; the Steelers’ second year man has legit RB1 upside. Here’s what I said about Snell when I ranked him #59 in my top 60 running back rankings, “It’s a crowded young backfield behind James Conner, but Uncle Benny is my favorite Steelers RB target this year. He looked great in his rookie season before getting banged up. Conner’s now been injured each of the last two seasons. Two plus two equals Benny. Someone please check my math there . . .” The interns did check my math and I guess it checks out. So open up your pocket books and Snell the coffee. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday for fantasy football:
James Conner – 6 carries for 9 yards, 2 catches for 8 yards. Here’s what I said about Conner when I ranked him #21 behind guys like Jonathan Taylor and David Johnson in my top 40 running back rankings, “I don’t question Conner’s talent, but the durability has to make you wonder at this point. He’s missed 9 games over the past two seasons with ankle, shoulder and quad injuries. Plus the Steelers have a slew of other young competition waiting in the wings; I especially like what I saw from Benny Snell last year, but the possibility of Jaylen Samuels and newbie Anthony McFarland Jr. stealing carries shouldn’t be overlooked either.” Annnnnd he’s hurt. Sounds like it was his ankle. I’d be concerned that once Conner’s healthy he never gets the lead job back.
Jaylen Samuels – 1 carry for 2 yards, 1 catch for 1 yard. Samuels could end up filling in on passing downs if Conner misses time, but the two total touches in this contest is less inspiring than the pep talk I gave our team of Razzball writers prior to week one.
Ben Roethlisberger – 21/32 for 229 yards and 3 touchdowns. Fugly first half had me ready to write him off, but he battled thru the rust to post some decent numbers. I still wouldn’t trust him as my QB1, nor around tipsy college girls.
Juju Smith-Schuster – 6 catches for 69 yards—nice—and 2 touchdowns. I have to admit I was a bit of a JuJu hater this spring, but Ben clearly likes to look his way in the redzone. I’m betting against WR1 numbers this year and I can quit anytime I want!
Diontae Johnson – 6 catches for 57 yards. Had a team high 10 targets but also had a couple bad drops early plus a muffed punt that cost them 3 points in the first quarter. Roethlisberger wasn’t phased by the errors, he kept going back to the well like it was full of non-consenting women.
James Washington – 2 catches for 34 yards and 1 touchdown. Washingbeard only saw 3 targets in this one. Seems like he’s already the Steelers #4 WR behind hyped up rookie Chase Claypool (2 catches for 39 yards).
Eric Ebron – 1 catch for 18 yards. Really glad I didn’t let Ebron co-manage my fantasy team when he offered:
i play fantasy and I promise u i’m taking myself before 85% of this list ? maybe 95%. https://t.co/OWfTgGH19e
Daniel Jones – 26/41 for 279 yards, 4 carries for 22 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Danny was throwing half dollars once he got rolling on a couple drives. That’s assuming throwing half dollars is better than throw dimes which might not be true. Coin confusion aside, Jones looked pretty good against one of the top defenses in the league and could end up posting QB1 numbers this year.
Saquon Barkley – 15 carries for 6 yards, 6 catches for 60 yards. At the half Saquon was on a full season pace for -96 rushing yards. Now he’s on pace for 86, much better. He’s the top buy-low candidate this week if your dumb friend doesn’t realize how good the Steelers’ run defense is.
Darius Slayton – 6 catches for 102 yards and 2 touchdowns. Slayton picked up right where he left off in his rookie season when he caught 8 touchdowns. He clearly has a strong connection with Jones, but remember Golden Tate (hamstring) wasn’t available in this one—not sure if that matters, leaning towards no. Nothing really matters now that Fathead Kerryon is no longer with us.
Sterling Shepard – 6 catches for 47 yards. I expect Shepard’s flock suffers more than Slayton’s once Tate returns.
Evan Engram – 2 catches for 9 yards. Not the breakout we were promised. But again, this was a tough match up so give him a bit of rope to hang your fantasy team.
Ryan Tannehill – 29/43 for 249 yards, 3 carries for 14 yards and 2 passing touchdowns. Not much to see with either quarterback in the late game as Drew Lock went 22/33 for 216 yards and 1 touchdown. The Monday night games successfully brought me down from my 110 hour football high, I’m crashing quick here!
Derrick Henry – 31 carries for 116 yards, 3 catches for 15 yards. 31 carries is a lot, in case you were curious. He’s on pace for 496 carries this year to go with his nearly 400 from last year including playoffs. There’s a chance Henry wears down with this crazy usage, but while healthy this almost feels like his fantasy floor.
A.J. Brown – 5 catches for 39 yards. It’s a disappointing opener for Brown, but the Denver secondary is tough. Poke your paw thru the buy-low window if your league is into those week 1 over reactions.
Corey Davis – 7 catches for 101 yards. Here’s what I said about Davis when I ranked him as my #54 WR in my top 60 wide receiver rankings, ” It was still only three years ago that Corey Davis was taken with the number five overall pick of the NFL Draft. Now he finally seems to have a legitimate offense surrounding him with studly A.J. Brown lining up across the way and Tannehill looking very good last year. Davis is practically free, being drafted after pick 200.” Thru one game I’m looking pretty smart on this call. I know, I’m just as surprised as you are. Davis looks like he might be a WR3 movng forward, ready to fall for it again?
Jonnu Smith – 4 catches for 36 yards and 1 touchdown. My co-host (B_Don) on the Razzball Fantasy Football Podcast gave me hell last week for ranking Jonnu #13 in my top 20 tight end rankings. I think B_Don doesn’t realize how low the bar is for a guy to finish as TE13.
Phillip Lindsay – 7 carries for 24 yards, 1 catch for 11 yards. Out carried Gordon 7 to 6 in the first half but never returned after halftime due to a foot injury. This backfield had full out timeshare written all over it from the start. Remember when timeshares used to be cool before they all shifted to the sleazy car salesman business model? No, I don’t want your rip off financing! But yeah, Lindsay, stay tuned for more news on his foot injury.
Melvin Gordon – 15 carries for 78 yards, 3 catches for 8 yards and 1 fumble lost. Didn’t do much in the first half, but finally got into a rhythm in the 4th quarter with Lindsay out of the picture. This might be a great sell high window for Gordon if one of your buffoon buddies thinks he’s suddenly an RB1 again. Of course, if the Lindsay injury’s serious then Gordon probably is an RB1, so keep refreshing Twitter like a lunatic until you get an update. Royce Freeman (1 carry for 0 yards, 1 catch for 12 yards) is suddenly on the radar again if there’s an extended absence of Lindsay.
Courtland Sutton – Did not play (shoulder). Needed to complete 10 jumping jacks to be cleared to play. Only was able to manage 7 jumping jacks and 3 burpees.
Jerry Jeudy – 4 catches for 56 yards. Nice debut for the rookie phenom as he led the team with 8 targets. Sutton’s return should only help free Jeudy up. Hopefully he can get a couple more of those jumping jacks in before next week’s game.
Noah Fant – 5 catches for 81 yards and 1 touchdown. Don’t you want a Fant(a)?
Stephen Gostkowski – 0/3 on FG attempts plus a missed extra point, then he comes in and makes the game winner to totally redeem himself like Harry from Dumb and Dumber.