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From The Godfather: Week 2

Fri Sep 13 11:56pm ET
By CHARLIE WIEGERT
Contributing Writer

Well, there weren’t too many surprises the first week. Nor too many injuries! And the Antonio Brown saga continues. If you’re a disgusted Brown owner as I am, no matter how you feel, if he’s playing for the Patriots Sunday, he should be in your lineup. Nothing like a couple touchdowns to help everyone feel better, right?

One of the take-aways from Week 1 was Lamar Jackson’s five passing touchdowns. I think it had more to do with Miami’s pitiful defense and offense. The expectation of continued performances like that should be tempered. But Jackson’s matchup this week against a Cardinals defense (minus Patrick Peterson) makes him a great play again, and a top-five quarterback play. If you have Jackson, continue to ride him.

New England gets the laugher with Miami, which means load up on Patriot players. For some reason, I do not trust Pats Coach Bill Belichick. So trying to figure out his game plan for this game is impossible. Common sense would say load up on the passing game with Tom Brady and Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon, Brown, Phillip Dorsett, etc. But tricky Bill seems to do the opposite of what everyone thinks will happen, so he could employ a major running game plan. And I expect someone we don’t expect to star, like Rex Burkhead to come away with the best fantasy stats from the game. It does seem like a great place to get Antonio Brown some easy targets.

The biggest injury was the other bad boy, Tyreek Hill, who looks to miss six to eight weeks. If Mercole Hardman is available, pick him up as he’ll fill Hill’s shoes. Pat Mahomes should have an easy time with the Raiders banged up defense, and if they try to shut down Sammy Watkins and Travis Kelce, Hardman should have a big day. He’s my sleeper pick to click this week.

Quarterback: Besides Jackson and Mahomes, Josh Allen and Buffalo should have a heyday with the New York Giants secondary that was torched by the Cowboys last week.

And Dak Prescott and the Cowboys should do what Carson Wentz and the Eagles did to the Redskins in Week 1. I look for the Cowboys to feature the passing game again as they ease their star running back, and biggest investment, into full playing time.

Running back: Sony Michel. At least for a half, he should run wild against the Miami defense. This is going to be a common theme for a while, playin the best running back on a team against the leagues worst rushing defense.

Giovani Bernard has a history of putting up good games when Joe Mixon is out. It looks like Mixon will be a no show for Sunday’s game against San Francisco, which puts Bernard in a great spot to put up big numbers.

Devin Singletary was very productive with his limited chances last week. He might not have more carries than Frank Gore, but he’ll do more with what he gets than Gore will against a soft Giants run defense.

Wide receiver: I expect to see Chargers receiver Keenan Allen at the top of the list for receiving yards this week. His matchup against a weak Detroit Lions secondary makes him a favorite this week.

Cowboy receiver Amari Cooper had a good first game, and I expect a bigger game versus the Washington Redskins this week. As mentioned above, Prescott should have a big game and Cooper should be the No. 1 guy he targets.

Back to the Chargers/Lions matchup, I’m expecting a big day from Marvin Jones Jr. The Chargers defense is banged up, and shut down corner Darius Slay will be shadowing Kenny Golladay, leaving Jones free to roam. Matt Stafford will find him early and often.

Tight end: Darren Waller burst on the scene catching seven of eight targets for 70 yards in Week 1, and now faces a Chiefs defense that’s soft on tight ends. I think the game script has the Raiders playing catch up all afternoon, and Derek Carr looking for Waller to keep the chains moving.

Streaming defenses: I could probably say this every week. What defense is going against Miami? This week it’s the New England Patriots. But I see them being a little soft in this one, playing some second team guys in a rout.

The top defense could be Cleveland, trying to show their embarrassing performance against the Titans last week was a fluke. Helping them along the way is a Jets offense missing their starting quarterback, running back Le’Veon Bell having shoulder issues, and wide receiver Robby Anderson having leg problems, so he won’t be a deep threat. With an offensive line that’s still trying to get in a rhythm, it looks like the Cleveland defense should be able to capitalize.

Have a great Week 2!

Charlie Wiegert was the sixth person to be inducted in the Fantasy Sports Hall Of Fame in 2001. He is a founder of CDM Fantasy Sports and Fantasy Sports Trade Association. He has been playing and winning fantasy baseball leagues since 1984. If you have any questions for Charlie, email them to cwiegert@cdmsports.com. Follow him on Twitter @GFFantasySports.

Player Notes
DeVante Parker Oct 14 12:50pm ET

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Devante Parker made the last of his three receptions count on Sunday, with an 11-yard touchdown catch with just six seconds remaining in Miami's 17-16 loss to the Washington Redskins. Parker has now caught a touchdown in his last two games but was only targeted a total of eight times in those two, after averaging just under seven targets in his previous three. The speedy receiver only received four targets on Sunday, putting him behind five other players, all of whom received at least six looks. Getting less and less attention in an offense that's going nowhere fast, there are few reasons to take a flyer on Parker with Miami facing Buffalo's top-ranked pass defense in Week 7.

From RotoBaller

Cooper Kupp Oct 14 12:20pm ET

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp was held to four catches for 17 yards in the Week 6 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. The Rams were stymied on offense collectively and only threw for 78 yards. It ends Kupp's string of four consecutive 100-yard games. He should be poised to thrive next week as the Atlanta Falcons have been the worst against the position the last three weeks. They've allowed opposing receivers to score eight touchdowns during the stretch. Kupp will be a low-end WR1 in the matchup.

From RotoBaller

Aaron Donald Oct 14 12:20pm ET

Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald had a season-high seven tackles (four solo) and two sacks against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 6. Donald has struggled to make an impact for much of the season as he had just one sack entering the game. He'll have a tough matchup next week against the Atlanta Falcons. They've allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to defensive linemen over the last three weeks. He'll be a low-end defensive lineman to start in individual defensive player formats.

From RotoBaller

Marquise Goodwin Oct 14 12:10pm ET

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Marquise Goodwin had just two catches for 15 yards in Week 6 against the Los Angeles Rams. With the Niners using their wideouts as interchangeable pieces, Goodwin and the rest of the receiving corps continue to have very low floors. With second-year wideout climbing the depth chart in snaps and targets, Goodwin is becoming a more tertiary weapon for the run-heavy Niners. Hell be just a bye week WR5 filler in Week 7 against the Washington Redskins.

From RotoBaller

Demetrius Harris Oct 14 12:10pm ET

Cleveland Browns tight end Demetrius Harris was not targeted in a 32-28 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in Week 6. The big tight end did contribute by catching a two-point conversion in the fourth quarter. Harris has been up-and-down since David Njoku broke his wrist in Week 2 but he has been outproduced over the past three weeks by fellow tight end Ricky Seals-Jones, who has two touchdowns over that span. Harris simply isn't a big enough part of the Cleveland passing attack to trust in fantasy for now. He will take on the New England Patriots in Week 8 after his bye this weekend.

From RotoBaller

Robert Woods Oct 14 12:10pm ET

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Robert Woods didn't catch any of his four looks in the loss to the 49ers but managed to make some noise by running in a touchdown midway through the first quarter. With Cooper Kupp's efficient play this season, Woods continues to perform efficiently on an inconsistent basis. He should still remain a starter in deeper formats, with his stock rising for the Week 7 showdown against the struggling Falcons.

From RotoBaller

Dontrell Hilliard Oct 14 12:10pm ET

Cleveland Browns running back Dontrell Hilliard had an up-and-down game in a 32-28 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in Week 6. Hilliard got his team off to a fast start with a 74-yard kickoff return on the opening kick and went on to catch two passes for 17 yards. He did, however, allow a ball to go off his hands and into the hands of a Seattle defender for an interception on what ended up being the final drive of the game for his offense. Hilliard has 31 rushing yards, two touchdowns, and five receptions in five games this season. He is a low-end dynasty stash who will lose his role when Kareem Hunt is reinstated from his suspension in Week 10.

From RotoBaller

Brandin Cooks Oct 14 12:00pm ET

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Brandin Cooks didn't get anything going in the loss to the 49ers on Sunday, finishing with three catches for only 18 yards. To Cooks' credit, the entire team fell victim to the smothering 49ers Defense, and while it was good to see him back in the lineup after suffering a concussion in Week 5, it was a disappointing performance, to say the least. The veteran will look to get back on track against the struggling Falcons in Week 7.

From RotoBaller

Deebo Samuel Oct 14 12:00pm ET

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (quad) suffered a quad injury late in the Week 6 game against the Los Angeles Rams. Samuel had just three grabs on five targets for 18 yards prior to exiting. The rookie played in 60 percent of snaps on Sunday, which has been his normal range, so the severity of the ailment is unknown. With wideout Dante Pettis starting to dominate snap share and the Niners leaning heavily on their running game, Samuel is fading as a fantasy factor. Hell be a bye week WR5 filler in Week 7 against the Washington Redskins.

From RotoBaller

Kenyan Drake Oct 14 11:40am ET

Coming off a bye week, Miami Dolphins running back Kenyan Drake seemed finally set up for success in Week 6, with the Dolphins facing a Washington Redskins Defense that was allowing over 400 yards of offense per game. However, Drake only set his owners up for another dud, rushing 10 times for forty yards in a 17-16 Miami loss, and failing once again to score for the first time in 2019. He was slightly more valuable in PPR leagues - catching six balls for 30 yards - but was also out-gained by backup Mark Walton totaling 75 yards on 11 touches. Drake may have been drafted as an RB3, but he isn't giving his owners any reason to start him going forward, particularly facing a tough Buffalo defense in Week 7, and seemingly in a partial timeshare with Walton.

From RotoBaller

Jared Goff Oct 14 11:40am ET

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff played miserably in the loss to the 49ers, finishing with just 78 yards on 13-for-24 passing, and while he didn't throw an interception in this one, he did fumble twice on the day. The 24-year-old had a day to forget for sure, and though Goff has an abundance of weapons on the offensive side of the ball, he continues to struggle. The good news for Goff, however, is that he has a chance to turn things around in Week 7 against the struggling Falcons. Goff should continue to be started in deeper formats, especially if Todd Gurley (thigh) is back in the lineup.

From RotoBaller

Chris Boswell Oct 14 11:20am ET

Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Chris Boswell made his only field goal attempt and all three extra points in Sunday's 24-17 win over the Chargers. Boswell hasn't missed a kick in 23 attempts this season, which makes him an extremely reliable fantasy option. However, on bye in Week 7, Boswell can be dropped this week. You can pick him back, up as a streamer, for a Week 8 contest with the Miami Dolphins, where he should have plenty of opportunities to continue his solid start.

From RotoBaller

Cameron Brate Oct 14 11:20am ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate scored his second touchdown of the year during a division battle against the Panthers Defense overseas in London, England. Jameis Winston did spread the ball around a bit more during this contest but still looked for Mike Evans or Chris Godwin on nearly every drop back. Brate caught two of his four targets for 47 yards, and Winston's only touchdown pass of the day. This is encouraging, but he is still a touchdown-dependent player on a talent-heavy team. The Bucs are on a bye Week 7 and will return Week 8 to face the Titans Defense in Tennessee. Brate is a TE2 for that matchup and can be used in an emergency.

From RotoBaller

O.J. Howard Oct 14 11:20am ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end O.J. Howard finally made an exciting play during the Bucs Week 6 loss to the Carolina Panthers. Since the start of the season, Howard has been relegated to nothing more than a blocking tight end. However, during a 30-yard reception and near touchdown against the Panthers Defense, you can still recognize the immense talent he possesses. Howard finished the day with two receptions for 35 yards. He is unfortunately still an afterthought in this offense, which makes him a TE2 with upside when the Bucs face the Tennessee Titans in Week 8, after their bye.

From RotoBaller

Chris Godwin Oct 14 11:20am ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin continues to dominate the NFL. Jameis Winston force-fed Mike Evans all day with 17 total targets during the Week 6 London game against the Panthers Defense; however, Godwin was the more efficient receiver, finishing with 10 receptions on 12 targets for 151 yards. He did not catch a touchdown for the first time in three games, but it has been a career year so far for Godwin, nonetheless. Week 7, the Bucs are on a bye, but Godwin will be a low-end WR1 when he returns to face the Titans Defense in Week 8.

From RotoBaller

Diontae Johnson Oct 14 11:10am ET

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson hauled in both of his targets for just 14 yards in Sunday's 24-17 win over the Chargers. The rookie had 14 receptions over his previous three contests, but this one was definitely disappointing. However, it's important to note that quarterback Devlin Hodges heavily favored check-downs to James Conner in his first career start. As the Steelers go on bye in Week 7, it will be important to pay attention to who is starting at quarterback for the team's Week 8 game against the Miami Dolphins.

From RotoBaller

Mike Evans Oct 14 11:10am ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans was a target-hog versus the Panthers Defense, receiving a total of 17 looks from Jameis Winston. He did drop a ton of catchable balls but still ended with nine receptions for 96 yards. After his three-target, zero-catch performance last week, this was an over-correction on the Bucs part to get Evans more involved. The Bucs essentially have two No. 1 wide receivers, with Evans and Chris Godwin, who both can take over a game at any time. The Bucs don't play again until Week 8 after their bye against the Titans Defense.

From RotoBaller

Vance McDonald Oct 14 11:10am ET

Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Vance McDonald caught his sole target for just five yards in Sunday's 24-17 win over the Chargers. McDonald and the rest of the Steelers' pass-catchers got phased out of the offense, thanks to a 21-0 lead before halftime. This was one of the 29-year-old's worst games since the Steelers traded for him in 2017. It's important to note that Nick Vannett logged 37 snaps to McDonald's 39 in the contest, so the team clearly will look to utilize two-TE sets. Pittsburgh is on bye in Week 7 before welcoming the Dolphins in Week 8, however, McDonald is nearing drop status, unless he sees an uptick in usage once Mason Rudolph (concussion) returns.

From RotoBaller

Pittsburgh Steelers Oct 14 11:10am ET

The Pittsburgh Steelers Defense held the LA Chargers to just 17 points, while also scoring a touchdown on a fumble, and intercepting two passes in their 24-17 win on Sunday. Rookie Devin Bush was a man on a mission in Week 6, returning a recovered fumble for the team's first score before intercepting a Philip Rivers pass on the very next drive. After trailing 24-0, the Chargers were able to make it closer by scoring two touchdowns in fourth-quarter garbage time. Its worth noting that Stephon Tuitt (pectoral) left in the first quarter and did not return. With a bye in week 7, this surging defense should be considered the top streaming defense in Week 8 when they welcome the Miami Dolphins for Monday Night Football.

From RotoBaller

James Conner Oct 14 11:00am ET

Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner took 16 carries for 41 yards and a score, while also catching seven passes for 78 yards and another score in Sunday's 24-17 win over the LA Chargers. The third-year back was the offensive MVP in Week 6, but was again dependent on scoring touchdowns. It's also important to note that Benny Snell Jr. rushed for 75 yards on 17 carries. It's possible that was all up to game script, but to see the rookie outperform Conner on the ground might make you raise your eyebrow. The Steelers are on bye in Week 7, before hosting the Dolphins for Monday Night Football in Week 8, where Conner can be viewed as a low-end RB1 in what should be a positive game script.

From RotoBaller