Last night’s game was one of the most depressing first half performances I’ve seen in quite some time. Tyrod Taylor looked exactly like the Tyrod who lost to Saints and Jags last season while he was manning the helm in Buffalo. We were all witnesses to Baker Mayfield and his greatness and why he was QB1 for me going into the draft (all the Baker haters can take a seat on the bench at this point). Looking forward, this week presents us with the biggest point spread in the NFL so far this season (Minnesota is laying 16.5 hosting my lowly Bills this week) and I cannot be more excited to watch another blowout with quality garbage-time Bills scoring. Here are some of the games with interesting fantasy tidbits.
“How the hell is this game important Reid? It’s going to be a slaughter”
Well, sure. But fantasy football doesn’t discriminate scoring and points based on when they are accumulated during the course of a game. Let’s start with what you should be looking for out of Minnesota. It is looking like Dalvin Cook will out for this game as he’s still battling a hamstring injury that has held him out of practice these past two weeks. I absolutely love Latavious Murray this week as the Bills have really struggled to cover the RB’s out of the backfield, and Murray should still see some targets out of the backfield. I think you’re starting all of your Vikings this week as the Bills only have one cornerback healthy and good enough to cover a receiver. This is also an absolutely prime spot to start the Vikings D/ST.
Josh Allen looked great in shorts before the game last week and is surely to look spectacular in those same shorts this week in pregame, but I’m not banking on him getting too much going until the second half when this game is already out of reach. LeSean McCoy has bad rib cartilage where he said “it’s not the hits that cause the pain, it’s the running.” So I’m not a doctor, but that doesn’t sound like an encouraging thing to have going up against the Vikings defensive front seven. A sneaky play for those of you in need of RB’s would be Marcus Murphy. Murphy is absolutely the #2 RB on this Bills team and will catch way more passes than Chris Ivory. I’m still staying away from the WR’s on Buffalo, but if you’re determined to live life on the edge and start one, I think it has to be Zay Jones, only because Kelvin Benjamin is so slow that the Minnesota CB’s will absolutely be able to stick to him like glue.
So this game has a lot going on that needs to be looked at. Starting with the Colts, new HC Frank Reich has brought over a bunch of concepts from the Eagles offense last year and applied them to Andrew Luck and this offense that really utilizes the TE position to create mismatches. Speaking of those TE’s, it’s looking like Jack Doyle won’t be able to play this week, making Eric Ebron (I can’t believe I’m going to say this in 2018) a must-start in all formats. While T.Y. Hilton missed the first two days of practice this week, he should be good to go this week and should be started in all formats. There will likely be no Marlon Mack this week as he’s still battling a foot injury. I’m starting Luck this week as this game is either ending in a shootout, or Luck can pile up garbage-time points for you. Look for a lot of quick passes to help mitigate the strong Eagles DL.
For the Eagles, the big news is that Carson Wentz is back and will get the start. I’m starting him in this game, but don’t get your expectations up just yet. As far as receiving threats, the only real receiving threats the Eagles have right now are Nelson Agholor and Zach Ertz. Combined, those two have more than 60% of all targets so far this season. I think both are strong plays this week as I have Ertz has TE1 this week. Looking at the RB position, Jay Ajayi is unlikely to play this week as he is still battling injury. This makes all of you who found a way to get Corey Clement on your rosters eager to get him into the lineup. I would be eager too as I think Clement gets a lot of work both running and in the passing game.
Starting with the Bay Area team, Jimmy Garoppolo looks much better (damn he’s good-looking) in the shorter passing game that Kyle Shanahan has concocted for a team with OL issues and a shallow pool of weapons on offense. RB Matt Breida is leading the NFL in rushing, just as literally nobody predicted. This feels like an decent start for Breida not because of his rushing but rather he’s a much better receiving RB than Alfred Morris. I expect this to be a game where SF has to throw a lot because there is no stopping the Chiefs offense. Last week was tough for those of us on the George Kittle train, but I’m not hopping off just yet. I have zero faith in the Chiefs defense to stop anything regarding a TE, so hopefully Jimmy GQ (also being referred to as Jimmy FG) finds him for more than just a measly 4 targets in this one. I’m still hopefully that Dante Pettis gets more looks this week, and think it will happen based on the projected game script (KC goes up by a lot and SF has to chuck the ball all over the place and abandon the run).
START. ALL. CHIEFS. THIS. WEEK. Seems pretty straightforward on this one. I’m starting all of my Chiefs in this one as I think they continue to utilize Pat Mahomes in an air raid this week. You’re obviously starting the following: Mahomes, Kareem Hunt, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce. I think you can also start Sammy Watkins if you are desperate for the flex spot this week. Watkins saw 7 targets last week and caught 6 of those for 100 yards. He also added 31 yards on a rush which is always nice to see with someone of Sammy’s speed. This is also the KC home opener, so I expect Andy Reid to deliver his Christmas presents to the fans early with Mahomes airing the ball out on a lot of deep passes (Richard Sherman isn’t quite as fast as he used to be) for Hill and Watkins to gobble up.
For Cincy, I’m looking at right that one guy we all know and telling him right now, “No. It is not the Thomas Rawls game.” Seriously, do not pick up Rawls unless something drastic happens to Giovanni Bernard this week. With Joe Mixon out for 2-5 weeks, expect a lot of short screens to Bernard. I actually think having Mixon out will increase the value and production of Andy Dalton as well as AJ Green, who has better better statistical splits on the road than at home during his career. I would also like to note that Tyler Eifert showed a significant increase in targets in his Week 2 performance coming from his Week 1 performance.
Carolina is a little bit more interesting in this matchup since the Bengals have given up the 4th most receiving yards and 6th most receptions in the NFL to opposing RB’s. The Panthers targeted Christian McCaffrey 15! times last week and he had 13 receptions for over 100 yards. With the Greg Olsen injury, Devin Funchess becomes an insta-WR2 this week for fantasy owners as his targets went up quite a bit from Week 1. Also important to note the words of Riverboat Ron stating that they would like to get D.J. Moore more touches. I think for those of you swimming in the DFS world, he’s not a bad play this week for a sleeper.
For the Saints, I think the guys you can reliably start are rather locked in stone here. Drew Brees has potential to light up this Falcons secondary and it will mostly all be through Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara. Those of you in PPR leagues who drafted either of these fantasy studs must be loving life right now. Especially Kamara this week considering what McCaffrey did to the Falcons LB group last week, look for Kamara to push 10 receptions this week. Thomas is also sporting the highest target share of any player in the league through two weeks, so don’t think he won’t get his share either. Outside of the big three, you can *maybe* take a shot on Ted Ginn Jr as he has 13 targets through two weeks and is pacing 6.5 targets this week. With his big-play potential, it might be worth a shot if he breaks one deep.
For the Falcons, Matt Ryan came back from the hell of Week 1 to put up more expected fantasy numbers (Was QB5 last week in most formats). As for who else on this offense you want, I’m predicting that Julio Jones will score 2! touchdowns this game (He has none so far despite having 28 targets). It is important to note that the next highest total for targets on the Falcons has 9, so this is very clearly a Julio-heavy passing attack that shouldn’t change this week despite Marcus Lattimore covering him. With Devonta Freeman still out, I’m expecting Tevin Coleman and Ito Smith to split the workload similarly to how it was divided up last week (roughly 2-1 in favor of Coleman). You’re only going to want to start Coleman, but if he suffers an injury, you can safely snag Smith off the waiver wire and get that claim in quickly.
That’s it for this week. Don’t hesitate to post in the comments section below with any questions or roster decisions you have for this week. And good luck everyone!