Tue Sep 10 8:17am ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
Dalton looked great in opener
There were a lot of players that produced big things Week 1 that weren’t drafted by many teams. The big thing is to try not to overreact to the first week of the season. You can’t ignore the production of some of these guys but for most, you likely will need to temper your expectations. Many of these players will be inconsistent throughout the season. Don’t get me wrong. Some guys will be good pickups and produce good numbers consistently. But for the most part, many of these players are streaming plays and bench players. Just don’t get too high or low on players after a week of play.
Jacoby Brissett, Colts. Brissett went on the road agains a very good defense and finished 21-of-27 for 190 yards and two touchdowns without an interception. It was a very good showing for Brissett in the first game since Andrew Luck retired. Brissett proved he is worth some spot starts for fantasy teams. He can be a more than capable No. 2 fantasy quarterback.
Andy Dalton, Bengals. Dalton had one of his best games in recent seasons in the opener, throwing for 418 yards and two touchdowns without an interception against a good Seahawks defense on the road. And he did this without his best receiver, A.J. Green, on the field. Dalton really seemed comfortable in the Bengals new offense and looked like a guy that can be a streamer for fantasy teams.
Case Keenum, Redskins. Keenum got the start for the Redskins and looked great, going 30-of-44 for 380 yards and three touchdowns without a turnover. The Redskins aren’t going to be able to run the ball, so don’t be surprised if Keenum gets 40-plus pass attempts often. He is going to have some big games along the way. He struggled last year but don’t forget about his huge season in Minnesota just a few years back.
Ronald Jones, Bucs. Jones emerged as the top back in Week 1, finishing with 13 carries for 75 yards. He was really impressive in the opener, looking much better than any game last season. He could run away with this starter’s job, especially if he keeps playing this week. Jones remains available in 31 percent of leagues.
Justin Jackson, Chargers. Jackson was the backup to Austin Ekeler but got his chances in the offense. He ran six times for 57 yards and caught a pass for four yards, giving him 61 total yards. Jackson is going to get around double-digit touches per week in this offense, giving him some fantasy potential. He is still out there in 27 percent of leagues.
Malcolm Brown, Rams. Brown will be scooped up in a lot of leagues after getting about half the work at running back for Los Angeles. He had 11 carries for 53 yards and two touchdowns. He scored the only two rushing touchdowns of the game for the Rams, making Todd Gurley owners very frustrated. It is looking more and more like Brown will get his playing time in this offense as the top backup for the Rams.
Raheem Mostert, 49ers. Tevin Coleman was injured in the opener for the 49ers and could be out a few weeks, giving Mostert a bigger role in the 49ers offense. He looked pretty good with his expanded chances this past week, rushing nine times for 40 yards. He’ll be worth grabbing if you are looking for some running back depth in the coming weeks. Mostert could be worth a spot play.
Gio Bernard, Bengals. Starter Joe Mixon injured his ankle during the Week 1 game and could miss some time because of this injury. This leaves Bernard the starter for the Bengals. He has obvious potential in this role, starting in an offense that looked very good in Week 1 on the road against a good defense. You have to like the total yardage potential for Bernard in a starting role.
John Ross, Bengals. Ross was a big surprise in the opener, catching seven passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns in 12 targets. He was the top target for the Bengals and finally lived up to his first-round draft status from a few years back. Ross is a speed burner with big-play ability. Maybe a new coaching staff was just the thing to get his career going in the right direction. He is worth a look for fantasy teams, especially with A.J. Green is out of the lineup.
A.J. Brown, Titans. Brown got just four targets in his first NFL game but made several big plays with those targets. He had three receptions for 100 yards, leading the way at receiver for the Titans. And Brown missed most of training camp, so this game is a good indication on how high the Titans are on their rookie receiver. He is going to play big role offensively.
Marquise Brown, Ravens. Brown had a great first NFL game, catching four passes for 147 yards. He displayed his game-changing speed throughout the game. Brown has similar ability to Tyreek Hill, making him an intriguing fantasy player going forward. He is going to have some big games this year. The only concern is the Ravens being a run-first offense. Brown is likely to be hit or miss most week. Brown remains available in 65 percent of leagues.
Terry McLaurin, Redskins. McLaurin is another rookie that enjoyed a great first game. He caught five passes for 125 yards and a touchdown on seven targets. The Redskins don't have a clear No. 1 receiver, so don’t discount McLaurin to take that role for the team. And Washington is going to be a team that throws the ball often, having little success running the ball. McLaurin is definitely worth a look for fantasy teams needing receiver help.
Danny Amendola, Lions. Amendola was heavily targeted in Week 1 for the Lions, catching seven passes for 104 yards and a touchdown on 13 targets. He did a great job out of the slot and Matthew Stafford looked his way often. He has a chance to rack up some catches in this offense. Don’t overvalue him because his track record doesn’t suggest this game will be the norm, but he can still help fantasy teams because of his reception potential in this offense.
John Brown, Bills. Brown was the top option in the Bills passing game Week 1 and should continue to lead the way in targets going forward. He had seven receptions for 123 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets. He has a real chance to have his best season to date, making him a player that can help fantasy teams as a streaming play. Brown is available in 28 percent of leagues.
D.J. Chark, Jaguars. Word out of Jaguars camp was Chark was turning heads and making plays. Well, that carried over to the regular season. He had four receptions for 146 yards and a touchdown. He displayed his big-play ability and looked like a different player from his rookie year. He is another receiver that likely will be erratic but has some weekly potential in the right matchup.
T.J. Hockenson, Lions. The rookie made his presence felt in Week 1, catching six passes for 131 yards and a touchdown on nine targets. Hockenson had a great debut and showed why the team took him in the first round of the draft this year. He can be a low-end No. 1 fantasy tight end and is still available in 26 percent of leagues. This might be the last week you can get him in your league.
Vernon Davis, Redskins. The oft-injured Jordan Reed was out again, making Davis the starter for the Redskins. Davis looked good in that role, catching four passes for 59 yards and a touchdown on seven targets. Davis has fantasy value as long as he is starting in this pass-first offense.
Mark Andrews, Ravens. There was a lot of hype surrounding Andrews this offseason and he lived up to that hype in Week 1, catching eight passes for 108 yards and a touchdown. The Ravens did rotate tight ends, which is a concern for Andrews, but he can make the most of his chances as evident in this game. Andrews remains available in 22 percent of leagues.
Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at email@example.com. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.
Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said that he wants to keep running back Aaron Jones fresh throughout the season and wants to "even up" touches between Jones and Jamaal Williams. LaFleur thinks the balance will change week to week. It's something to keep an eye on, but it shouldn't deter you from starting Jones this week at home against the Broncos, where he'll be a low-end RB1/high-end RB2. Jones had a career-high 23 carries for 116 yards and a touchdown in Week 2, while Williams ran the ball nine times. Jones had six targets in the passing game (four catches) while Williams had four (three catches). Williams is a necessary handcuff for Jones owners.
Kansas City Chiefs running back Damien Williams (knee) won't practice on Wednesday, while the plan is for running back LeSean McCoy (ankle) to get in some limited work. Both running backs should be considered questionable to play in Week 3 against the Ravens right now. If one or both sit out this Sunday, rookie Darwin Thompson and Darrel Williams would be thrust into larger roles. As of now, both Williams and McCoy should be seen as risky RB3/flex plays in KC's home opener.
Kansas City Chiefs left tackle Eric Fisher (abdomen) will undergo core muscle surgery and will not play in Week 3 against the Ravens. Cam Erving will start in Fisher's place on Sunday. It's a notable downgrade against a good defense in Baltimore, but quarterback Patrick Mahomes remains an elite QB1 for fantasy owners. It remains to be seen how long Fisher will be out, but he should be expected to miss multiple weeks at the very least.
The Philadelphia Eagles Defense is not a particularly exciting option in a Week 3 matchup against the Detroit Lions. The Eagles defense came into the season with a lot of hype but have been mostly disappointing through the first two weeks. With two of the Eagles' top offensive playmakers likely to miss the game, the defense may end up tasked with a bit more work than usual. They're likely to end up as a middling option, so they're certainly not a unit to avoid, but they aren't one to get excited about this week either.
San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said that the team planned to use running back Jeffery Wilson in the red zone in Week 2. "I wouldn't say he's our designated red-zone back, but that was how we planned going into the game... We tried to do that when we got down there," Shanahan said. Of San Francisco's six rushing attempts inside the red zone in Week 2, Wilson had five of them and scored twice. All three of Wilson, Matt Breida and Raheem Mostert had double-digit carries, but the team was also up big on Cincinnati for most of the game. It looks like the Niners will employ this three-man committee with Tevin Coleman out, making it difficult to trust any one player in fantasy. Wilson will be a touchdown-dependent RB3/flex against the Steelers.
Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz is set for what could potentially be an enormous Week 3 performance. Ertz saw 16 targets from quarterback Carson Wentz in Week 2 and could be in line for a similar number or perhaps even more against Detroit in Week 3. With top receiving options DeSean Jackson (groin) and Alshon Jeffery (calf) trending toward sitting out on Sunday, Ertz will be the clear top target in the passing game. He's a threat to score every week, and is almost always a top-three tight end option. This week, he has the highest floor of any tight end and one of the highest ceilings.
Philadelphia Eagles kicker Jake Elliott is looking like a strong option in a Week 3 matchup against the Detroit Lions. Elliott is always a solid and consistent option, but with the Eagles expected to be missing two of their top playmakers on Sunday, Elliott may see a few more field goal attempts as the passing game stalls out. He's a top-eight kicking option nearly every week, but looking like a top-five option in Week 3.
New York Giants wide receiver Cody Latimer (concussion) is not practicing on Wednesday. Latimer suffered a concussion in Week 2 and is looking very questionable to play in Week 3 against the Buccaneers. With Sterling Shepard also still in the concussion protocol, rookie quarterback Daniel Jones might be looking at a receiving corps of Bennie Fowler, Russell Shepard and T.J. Jones in his NFL debut this Sunday. Unless Sterling Shepard plays this weekend, expect the Giants to hand the ball off frequently to running back Saquon Barkley. Latimer wouldn't be a recommended play, even in deeper leagues, if he gets cleared.
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Nelson Agholor will likely be thrust into an every-down role in Week 3. With top wide receivers DeSean Jackson (groin) and Alshon Jeffery (calf) unlikely to suit up, Agholor will be wide receiver atop the depth chart. He spent the second half in Week 2 in the role, and despite some decent stats (107 yards and a touchdown), he also showed why he's so far behind Jackson and Jeffery when everyone is healthy. Agholor made some totally inexcusable drops when wide open in the second half. Still, he'll likely be peppered with targets from Carson Wentz and even if he drops half of them, he could still end up with seven or eight catches. Agholor is a solid WR3 option with touchdown upside this week.
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Mack Hollins will likely see an increased offensive role in a Week 3 contest against the Detroit Lions. With top wide receivers Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson both expected to miss at least one game, Hollins will be needed on offense. He's been mostly working on special teams, but he saw plenty of work on offense in the second half last week after Jeffery and Jackson were forced to leave the game. Hollins has flashed his talent in small bursts before, but it will be his first chance to show it throughout a whole game. He has some upside in a strong Eagles offense, but can't be trusted as more than a WR4/5 in most formats.
New York Jets head coach Adam Gase said that wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (hamstring) will not practice on Wednesday. Thomas had just one catch in his debut with the team on Monday night before suffering an injury. He doesn't have a good chance to play in Week 3 against the Patriots, especially since DT hasn't even had a single practice yet with his new team. He's currently off the fantasy radar. Josh Bellamy and Braxton Berrios will fight for the No. 3 duties behind Robby Anderson and Jamison Crowder if Thomas misses this weekend.
Philadelphia Eagles rookie wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside is suddenly looking at a starting role in Week 3. A preseason hero, Arcega-Whiteside was far behind on the wide receiver depth chart until both Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson got hurt in Week 2. Both were forced to leave the game and Arcega-Whiteside was on the field for almost every offensive snap in the second half. He still only ended up with one catch for four yards, but now with a week of practice under his belt, he should be ready for his expanded role. With only drop-machine Nelson Agholor and special teamer Mack Hollins left in the wide receiver hierarchy, Arcega-Whiteside could be a significant threat in the passing game this week. He's a very risky start, but has some legitimate WR2/3 upside if things go well. At the very least, he should be rostered in most formats by now.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans has been very quiet the first two games of the season. In two starts, he's caught only six passes for 89 yards. This is a bit of an anomaly compared to his first five seasons, including last year's first two games, where he compiled 17 receptions for 230 yards. His slow start is not all on him, though. Jameis Winston has struggled and he had a difficult matchup against Carolina Panthers defensive back James Bradberry in his last game and was also battling illness before his first. This all points to a much more positive outing Sunday in Tampa against the struggling New York Giants, who have been gashed every which way so far and should give Evans a serious bounce-back opportunity. He's a locked-in WR1 again regardless of his last two outings. Wipe your memory of the past two weeks and start him with confidence in all formats.
Miami Dolphins wide receiver Albert Wilson (calf) remains out of practice on Wednesday. Wilson aggravated his calf injury in the season opener and sat out of the Week 2 blowout to the Patriots. He's not off on the right foot for Week 3 against the Cowboys. Wilson had some sleeper appeal in PPR leagues coming into the season, but his injury and a putrid Dolphins offense has made him unattractive in most leagues. Even if Wilson returns to the lineup this Sunday, he shouldn't be a starting consideration in most leagues.
Cleveland Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens said that he'd love to give running back Nick Chubb more touches, which would include using him more on third downs in passing situations. Through two games, the second-year back has 35 rushing attempts and has caught seven of his eight targets in the passing game. It's pretty good volume already, but if he gets even more it'll just make him an even stronger RB1 for fantasy owners. Chubb and the Browns face the Rams in Week 3 on Sunday night, where he'll be a strong RB1 yet again.
Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott said that rookie running back Devin Singletary (hamstring) will not practice on Wednesday. Singletary's injury isn't believed to be serious, but his status for Week 3 against the Bengals is in question. If you own Singletary or are hurting at running back, you need to pick Frank Gore up off the waiver wire if he's available. The veteran hasn't looked that great so far in two games, but he'd be the lead back for Buffalo if Singletary was inactive and would have RB3/flex appeal. T.J. Yeldon would also see his role increase as the backup to Gore.
Philadelphia Eagles running back Darren Sproles is not a recommended fantasy option in any format in Week 3. After a somewhat surprisingly productive Week 1, Sproles took an expected step back in Week 2 and recorded just two catches for five yards. He did not record a single carry in Week 2. Sproles is a punt returner and a very occasional pass catcher out of the backfield. He may have some decent fantasy weeks here or there when he happens to find the end zone, but he'll be way too unpredictable to ever be a smart fantasy starter.
Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott said that tight end Tyler Kroft (foot) will practice in full for the first time on Wednesday since breaking his foot in May. Kroft hasn't played yet in 2019, but it looks like he'll make his season debut in Week 3 against his former team in the Bengals. Until we see what kind of role Kroft will have in this offense, it's best to leave him out of starting lineups in fantasy. Rookies Dawson Knox and Tommy Sweeney will take a back seat if Kroft returns.
Philadelphia Eagles running back Corey Clement is not a fantasy option in any format for Week 3. Clement has settled into a special teams role and has seen almost no offensive snaps so far this season. An injury to another running back could potentially thrust Clement into a more significant offensive role, but for now he's almost exclusively a special teams player and one that does not need to be rostered in most formats.
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Rashard Higgins (knee) returned to limited practice on Wednesday. Higgins' knee injury prevented him from playing in his team's Week 2 win over the New York Jets. The receiver's ability to return on Wednesday, even on a limited basis, bodes well for his availability for Cleveland's Week 3 showdown against the Los Angeles Rams. Look for Higgins to slot back into his role as the team's No. 3 wide receiver.