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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GFFantasySports.
Seattle Seahawks S Lano Hill (elbow) is expected to be sidelined for several weeks due to an elbow injury, according to head coach Pete Carroll. He was ruled out for Week 7's game against the Baltimore Ravens after being unable to practice during the week.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (knee) will miss three-to-five weeks with a dislocated patellar. He'll either return in Week 11 when the Chiefs play the Chargers on Monday night, or in Week 13 against the Raiders following the bye week. Mahomes is the fantasy QB1 when healthy, so fantasy owners have to hold onto him for now. Matt Moore is expected to start in his place, and while the weapons the Chiefs have make Moore slightly interesting, his track record suggests he's no more than a QB2 at best. Maybe Mahomes owners can grab him to help them get through this stretch, but that's only if better options are already owned.
Dallas Cowboys WR Amari Cooper (quadriceps, ankle) is expected to play in Week 7's game against the Philadelphia Eagles, according to a source.
Fantasy Spin: Cooper was listed as questionable on the injury report after participating in just one of the team's three practice sessions during the week on a limited basis. He makes a somewhat risky starting option in fantasy leagues this week because the Cowboys won't play until Sunday evening and it is unknown if he will see a reduced number of offensive snaps.
Dallas Cowboys CB Byron Jones (hamstring) is expected to play in Week 7's game against the Philadelphia Eagles, according to a source. He was listed as questionable on the injury report after participating in just one of the team's three practice sessions during the week on a limited basis.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (ankle) isn't expected to be ready until after the October 29th trade deadline. While there have been rumors that the Bengals could deal Green to a contender, the team has said multiple times that they have no plans to do so. Green could still be a top fantasy receiver when he returns on an offense that's been playing from behind a ton, but the team could also play it safe and limit his snaps in what's clearly a lost ear from the 0-6 Bengals.
Chicago Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky (shoulder) will play in Week 7's game against the New Orleans Saints, according to multiple sources.
Fantasy Spin: Trubisky had been listed as questionable on the injury report despite fully participating in all three of the team's practice sessions during the week. He should only be used in two-quarterback leagues and as a bye week replacement this afternoon because of the difficult matchup versus the New Orleans defense.
Dallas Cowboys WR Randall Cobb (back) is expected to play in Week 7's game against the Philadelphia Eagles, according to a source.
Fantasy Spin: Cobb was listed as questionable on the injury report after participating in just one of the team's three practice sessions during the week on a limited basis. He has posted decent numbers this season and can be viewed as a WR3 or flex option in most fantasy formats.
The Green Bay Packers could have at least one of their injured wide receivers back for Sunday's meeting with the Oakland Raiders. Marquez Valdes-Scantling (ankle/knee) and Geronimo Allison (concussion/chest) will be tested pregame, with the hopes being that at least one can suit up. With Davante Adams (turf toe) out, the Packers need all the help they can get. It'll be tough to trust either guy if they play as they could be limited, but they'd be better fantasy options than the current crop of Packers receivers who've been getting inserted into DFS lineups this week, Allen Lazard and Jake Kumerow.
Green Bay Packers WR Geronimo Allison (concussion, chest) will be a game-time decision for Week 7's contest against the Oakland Raiders.
Fantasy Spin: Allison was upgraded from doubtful to questionable Saturday, Oct. 19, despite not participating in any of the team's three practice sessions during the week and still being under concussion protocol. He should be viewed as a risky WR3 or flex option this afternoon if he is active.
Green Bay Packers WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling (ankle, knee) hopes to be able to play in Week 7's game against the Oakland Raiders despite being listed as questionable on the injury report, according to a source.
Fantasy Spin: Valdes-Scantling did not practice at all during the week and should be viewed as a risky flex option in fantasy leagues based on his health and recent performance, having posted fewer than 50 receiving yards in each of his last three contests.
Jacksonville Jaguars WR Dede Westbrook (shoulder) will participate in pregame workouts prior to Week 7's contest against the Cincinnati Bengals to determine if he will play. However, early indications are that there is optimism about him being active for the game, according to a source.
Fantasy Spin: Westbrook was listed as questionable on the injury report after missing one of the team's three practice sessions during the week and being limited in another. If he is active, he merits consideration as a WR3 or flex option in most fantasy leagues because of the favorable matchup.
Detroit Lions CB Darius Slay (hamstring) is expected to play in Week 7's game against the Minnesota Vikings, according to a source. He was listed as questionable on the injury report after being a limited practice participant throughout the week.
Arizona Cardinals RB David Johnson (ankle) is expected to play in Week 7's game against the New York Giants, according to a source.
Fantasy Spin: Johnson was listed as questionable on the injury report after participating in two of the team's three practice sessions during the week on a limited basis. He should be viewed as a starting option in all fantasy formats.
Arizona Cardinals WR Christian Kirk (ankle) is unlikely to play in Week 7's game against the New York Giants, according to a source.
Fantasy Spin: Kirk was listed as questionable on the injury report after being a limited practice participant throughout the week but it appears as though he needs additional time for rest and recovery. Fantasy owners should have alternative options available since it looks like Kirk will miss his third game in a row.
Miami Dolphins CB Xavien Howard (knee) is expected to play in Week 7's game against the Buffalo Bills, according to a source. He had been listed as questionable on the injury report after being a limited practice participant throughout the week.
Indianapolis Colts DE Justin Houston (calf) is expected to play in Week 7's game against the Houston Texans, according to a source. He had been listed as questionable on the injury report after missing the team's last two practice sessions during the week.
The Dallas Cowboys will have four important pieces of their offense back for Sunday's meeting with the Eagles, with wide receivers Amari Copper (thigh) and Randall Cobb (back) plus tackles Tyron Smith (ankle) and La'el Collins (knee) expected to play. All four players' statuses have been up in the air this week, but if the four of them play, the Cowboys offense sees a huge boost. Cooper will be a solid start, and both quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott will see a boost to their fantasy stock.
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Dede Westbrook (shoulder) will likely play against the Bengals in Week 7, though he'll test the shoulder out in warmups to be safe. The Bengals Defense is an enticing matchup for Westbrook, but he's fallen from his team's top wideout to the number-two guy for quarterback Gardner Minshew, which limits his value. Play him in 12-team PPR leagues, but feel free to avoid him in shallower leagues and in standard scoring.
Chicago Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky will play on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. He had been questionable heading into Week 7 with a shoulder injury. New Orleans allows the 10th-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, so this isn't a bad spot for Trubisky if you're in a pinch at the quarterback position. With Trubisky back, owners who picked up Chase Daniel in two-quarterback leagues can safely drop him.
Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (ankle) is expected to play in Week 7 against the New York Giants. New York has struggled to keep opposing running backs in check, so feel comfortable firing up Johnson in all formats on Sunday, even if we see Chase Edmonds worked into the mix a little more than usual.