Fri Sep 13 11:56pm ET
By CHARLIE WIEGERT
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 email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GFFantasySports.
Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard hasn't done much in 2019, with that trend expected to continue in Week 7. The veteran has rushed for just 49 yards off of 23 attempts while racking up a subpar 108 receiving yards on 14 receptions so far this season. Joe Mixon continues to retain a firm grasp as the No. 1 option out of the backfield, so Bernard likely won't produce in all aspects until that changes, even with the team down A.J. Green (ankle) and John Ross (shoulder). For those fantasy managers who have Bernard on their roster for some reason, keep him benched against the Jaguars on Sunday.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Auden Tate will remain as the team's No. 2 option for Sunday's matchup against Jacksonville. With A.J. Green (ankle) still not ready to return, Tate will continue to receive a favorable amount of looks from quarterback Andy Dalton in Week 7. The 22-year-old was targeted 11 times against the Ravens in Week 6, and despite Dalton playing behind a horrendous offensive line, expect Boyd to produce something against a Jaguars Defense that no longer has Jalen Ramsey. The upside is there, especially in deeper formats.
Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert has had a disappointing 2019. With just 15 receptions for 108 yards and a score, many were expecting the veteran to regain some traction this season after injuries plagued the team on the offensive end. However, Eifert remains a bust despite remaining healthy this season after spending a massive amount of time on injured reserve throughout the years. The upside is there against the Jaguars, but fantasy owners shouldn't expect much on Sunday.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd will remain the No. 1 option on Sunday against the Jaguars. With A.J. Green (ankle) still not ready to return, Boyd should continue to get his looks from quarterback Andy Dalton. The 24-year-old has played relatively well, considering that the team has arguably the worst offensive line in football, and without Jalen Ramsey in the mix for Jacksonville after he was traded, the door is open for some solid production from Boyd. The upside is there for those plagued with injuries or looking to get through a bye.
Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon will look to get on track in Week 7 against the Jaguars. The 23-year-old has been a colossal disappointment this season, rushing for only 252 yards on 74 attempts in addition to 97 yards off of 14 catches, with his only touchdown of the season coming through the air during the Week 3 matchup against Buffalo. With a weak offensive line along with limited options on the receiving end, opposing defenses continue to keep Mixon in check. Don't expect anything different on Sunday.
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton will have his hands full against Jacksonville. After throwing for 262 yards and two touchdowns against the Cardinals in Week 5, Dalton took a few steps back against Baltimore by logging a subpar 53.8 completion percentage to go along with an interception. With the Jaguars Defense getting to the quarterback often this season, expect Dalton to feel the pressure on Sunday behind arguably the worst offensive line in the league. Keep the veteran benched on Sunday.
The New York Jets Defense is getting star middle linebacker C.J. Mosley back for a tough Monday night matchup vs the Patriots. Mosley was a monster in the one game he played this season forcing two turnovers and scoring a touchdown in a Week 1 loss to Buffalo. The Jets defense hasn't looked the same without him so adding Mosley to a defense that already has safety Jamal Adams gives the Jets defense sleeper appeal in the second half against a soft schedule. Despite the good news, the Jets defense shouldn't be started this week against Tom Brady and the Patriots offense.
New York Jets wide receiver Demaryius Thomas has a rough matchup Monday against a Patriots Defense that allows the fewest fantasy points against to opposing wide receivers. Thomas got five targets last week, so he's been getting more involved in the offense, but is still not seeing the type of target share to warrant consideration in standard-size fantasy leagues. Thomas got five targets last week but is the clear third option behind Robby Anderson and Jamison Crowder and won't carry much fantasy appeal as long as those other two are healthy.
New York Jets wide receiver Jamison Crowder will face a tough test Monday when the Patriots No. 1 ranked pass defense comes to town. New England allows the fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers and shut down Crowder in Week 3 when they held him to only 25 yards on two catches. Third-string quarterback Luke Falk started that game, so Crowder should have more success with Sam Darnold back under center. In two games with Darnold, Crowder has 20 catches for 197 yards, so he has major fantasy upside moving forward, especially as the Jets' schedule gets softer. In Week 7, however, Crowder is only a borderline WR3 who has more appeal in PPR formats.
New York Jets Le'Veon Bell will face a tough matchup Monday night when the Patriots elite defense heads to MetLife Stadium. New England allows the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs so it's a tough matchup for Bell, but he should put up RB2 numbers based on volume. Bell has played 92.2 percent of the team's offensive snaps so far and has the second-most targets on the team. Bell should see his usual 20-25 touches and fantasy owners should start him with confidence he can put up a decent day even if he doesn't score a touchdown.
Free-agent RB Samaje Perine (Bengals) passed through waivers and was re-signed by the Cincinnati Bengals and assigned to their practice squad Friday, Oct. 18.
New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson will look to change his fortunes against the Patriots in a tough matchup Monday. In seven career games against New England, Anderson hasn't scored a touchdown and his 39.5 percent catch rate is by far his lowest mark against any team he's faced more than once. This season, the Patriots are as daunting a matchup as there is in the NFL allowing the fewest fantasy points against to wide receivers. There is always the chance Anderson grabs a long touchdown, like the 92-yard score he had last week, so he has some appeal as a flex in deeper leagues. However, where possible, owners should look to steer clear of Anderson in this matchup.
Washington Redskins WR Wendell Smallwood has the ability to handle RB Chris Thompson's (toe) duties on passing downs against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 7, according to offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell.
Fantasy Spin: With Thompson sidelined, Smallwood could be headed for the handful of catches and 50-plus total yards typically reserved for Thompson, but he's still just a DFS lottery ticket for fantasy purposes.
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold will face a tough challenge Monday night against the Patriots, the team that has given up the fewest fantasy points this season to opposing quarterbacks. Darnold, who missed three games with mono, had a strong showing in his return to the field Sunday when he put up 338 yards and two touchdowns. Fantasy owners shouldn't expect that type of performance Monday against arguably the best defense in the NFL, especially with two starters on the offensive line unlikely to play. Darnold is best left on the bench this week, however, the Jets schedule gets very soft after the game vs New England so Darnold is a good bench stash for those matchups.
New Orleans Saints RB Dwayne Washington will be 'invited into the offensive mix' against the Chicago Bears in Week 7 with RB Alvin Kamara (ankle) ruled out, according to Larry Holder of The Athletic.
Fantasy Spin: While Washington will likely see some touches, Latavius Murray is the back to target if you are looking for a replacement for Kamara. However, a matchup with a tough Chicago defense limits Murray to flex consideration.
Oakland Raiders WR Trevor Davis is expected to see an expanded role in the passing attack against the Green Bay Packers in Week 7 because of the injury to WR Tyrell Williams (foot), according to Matt Kawahara of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Fantasy Spin: Davis caught four passes for 42 yards against Chicago in Week 5 in his second game with Oakland after being acquired from Green Bay. He could be worth a flier in DFS contests when faces off against his former team.
Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jakeem Grant (hamstring) and cornerback Xavien Howard (knee) were limited in practice this week and are questionable for Week 7 against the Bills. Even if Grant plays this weekend, he's nowhere close to being fantasy relevant behind Devante Parker, Preston Williams and Albert Wilson on the depth chart. Grant has only nine catches (19 targets) for 52 scoreless yards in four games this year. Howard is the team's best cornerback, but the Dolphins Defense/special teams is also well off the fantasy radar. If Howard sits, it'll be good news for Bills wideout John Brown.
Jacksonville Jaguars rookie tight end Josh Oliver (hamstring) practiced in full the last two days and isn't on the Week 7 injury report against the Bengals. Oliver has yet to play in his rookie season, but this weekend would be good timing for him to make his debut with Geoff Swaim out and James O'Shaughnessy on Injured Reserve. There's no guarantee that Oliver is heavily involved in the offense in his first game, but he's one to watch for those that are desperate at the position.
Jacksonville Jaguars QB Nick Foles (collarbone) is expected to return to practice next week. He is currently on the Reserve/Injured list.
Fantasy Spin: Foles probably is a few weeks away from returning to the lineup, so Gardner Minshew will continue to be the starting quarterback for now. Minshew should have a favorable matchup this week and can be a low-end No. 1 quarterback in deeper leagues.