Week 2 Fantasy Prescription Notes: Big Ben Still on Time
All-In on Allen
Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen had a second stellar game in a row, throwing for 417 yards and four TD against the Dolphins. WR Stefon Diggs broke out with eight receptions for 153 yards and a TD torching the Dolphin secondary all game long. But is Josh Allen really that good? He has played two of the weaker teams in the AFC thus far, so it is hard to tell. Next week’s matchup against the Los Angeles Rams and CB Jalen Ramsey will be a good test to see how far Allen has come as a passer.
No Kittle, No Problem
With George Kittle out for Week 2, the San Francisco 49ers started TE Jordan Reed in his place. Hopefully, DFS players started him on DraftKings, and Reed was $2,600 and put up 24 DK points. The 49ers lost QB Jimmy Garoppolo, RB Raheem Mostert, and DE Nick Bosa to injuries in this game, so it will be interesting to see if the team uses two-tight end sets when Kittle returns. Regardless, Reed might be worthy of a pickup in deeper leagues.
The clock has not struck on Big Ben
Perhaps the best mid-round fantasy value at QB this season has been Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger threw for 311 yards against the vaunted Broncos defense and connected with nine different receivers in the process. While most fantasy football managers know how good JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson are, I am not sure that they realize how talented rookie WR Chase Claypool is. If I have either Smith-Schuster or Johnson on my roster, I would for sure want to handcuff them with Claypool, who looks like a future star in the making.
For some reason, Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer refuses to open up the offensive playbook. Last week, Jaguars QB Gardner Minshew II shredded the Colts secondary, yet this week Vikings QB Kirk Cousins only attempted 26 passes. Even worse, the Vikings seem resistant to play rookie WR Justin Jefferson when it is obvious that the team desperately needs more weapons to score. I fully expect that Jefferson will be named the WR2 this week, so if he is available in your league, pick him up on waivers.
Just Play Tannehill
Titans RB Derrick Henry was a very chalky pick on DraftKings this week (rightfully so), considering the Titans played the overmatched Jaguars. However, the Jags did their best to contain Henry holding him to a mere 84 yards on 25 carries. However, it was QB Ryan Tannehill who led the Titans to victory on Sunday. With stud WR1 A.J. Brown out with an injury, Tannehill found TE Jonnu Smith for 2 TDs on his way to a 4 TD passing display. What makes Tannehill’s accomplishment even more impressive is that he did this on only 18 completions.
The Not-Mighty Quinn
I am not sure how Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank doesn’t fire head coach Dan Quinn this week. The Falcons were leading 29-10 at halftime and proceeded to let up 30 second-half points. Even worse was that the Falcons completely misplayed an onside kick allowing the Cowboys to recover to win the game. None of this should overshadow how well Cowboys QB Dak Prescott played in the comeback. Prescott threw for 450 yards and ran for three TDs, making him the play of the week in all DraftKings lineups.
Los Angeles Rams TE Tyler Higbee had a whopping 28.4 DK points this week, catching five passes and three TDs. QB Jared Goff went 20/27 for 267 yards and threw for 3 TDs. However, if fantasy football managers played RB Malcolm Brown, they were severely disappointed. Let me explain why this was not a surprise: In Week 1, the Rams played the Cowboys who were without two run-stuffing linebackers. The Rams had 40 rushing attempts and won the game. In Week 2, the Eagles have one of the tougher run defenses in the league, and only RB Darrell Henderson broke off a big gainer. Matchups dictate who to play in fantasy football, and this game proves it.
Saquon Injured Yet Again
I could not be more upset for Giants RB Saquon Barkley now that he is injured and out for the season with torn ACL. He is an outstanding player and, more importantly, a great person from a terrific family. It pains me to see this happen to someone who works so hard to perfect his craft. Now the Giants (and fantasy football managers) must figure out how to salvage their season. The first thought might be to pick up RB Wayne Gallman. That makes a lot of sense, but is he good enough to merit spending 75% of your FAAB? I will discuss this at length in my waiver wire article on Tuesday.
Me & Mr. Jones
I want to thank Packers RB Aaron Jones for contributing to the Roto Children College Fund this weekend. Jones was outstanding against the Lions, rushing for 168 yards and 2 TDs and catching for another 68 yards and a TD. Disappointing, though, was WR Davante Adams, who not only had 6.6 DK points this week but injured his hamstring in the process. The Packers offense works best when Adams is on the field, and hopefully, he can play in Week 3.
Why do you need to listen to the SI Fantasy Football Podcast? Because had you listened, you would have heard me "book" a touchdown for RB Leonard Fournette against the Panthers. I wish I could have told you that he would run for two as that would have been truly Visionary! As happy as I was to see Fournette play so well, I did see two things that concerned me greatly in the Tampa Bay/Carolina game. First, Tom Brady has lost his arm strength. He severely under-threw that flea-flicker pass, which should have been an easy TD. Second, Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey suffered an ankle injury when he scored his second TD, and I hope that he can return to health quickly.
Operation Desert Storm
Cardinals QB Kyler Murray showcased his talent both running and throwing the football against Washington on Sunday. Murray had 286 yards passing with a TD and ran for 86 yards and two rushing TDs. This was what fantasy football managers expected to see when Murray was drafted. Now, in his second year in the Air Raid offense, Murray looks comfortable and does a much better job getting all his receivers involved. The Cardinals defense looks improved too, registering four sacks. If the Cardinals continue playing like this, there is a real chance that they will be fighting for a playoff berth.
If you played Lamar Jackson and had a Ravens stack on DraftKings this week, you are probably disappointed that you did not become my rich friend. Jackson only attempted 24 passes for 204 yards as the Ravens controlled the clock and ran the ball. They ran the ball 37 times for a whopping 230 yards. Four players, including Jackson, ran for 48 yards or more. If the Ravens continue to run the football this effectively, Jackson becomes even more dangerous when he does pass.
In one of the most shocking things I have ever seen, Los Angeles Chargers QB Tyrod Taylor injured his chest in pregame warmups and was benched in favor of rookie QB Justin Herbert. Anyone who had Taylor in their DraftKings lineups saw their money go down the drain faster than Liquid Plumber. To his credit, Herbert played exceptionally well in his first start, throwing for 311 yards and running for a TD. He has a strong arm and, with a little seasoning, should be able to make all the throws necessary to be a top player in the league. The Chargers dominated the game for over three quarters, but LB Kenneth Murray dropped a potential game-winning interception, which opened the door for the Chiefs to tie the game and win in overtime. Leading the Chiefs in rushing was QB Patrick Mahomes, who could end up running for about 500 yards this season if he adds this to his arsenal.
Let Russ Cook
In what was one of the best Sunday Night Football games in recent memory, the Seahawks and Patriots played a high-scoring affair that saw Russell Wilson throw five TD passes to five different players. Wilson is so efficient that even though he only threw the ball 28 times, he still passed for 288 yards. WR DK Metcalf looks like he has taken his game to another level and joins Falcons WR Calvin Ridley as two young players ready to ascend to stardom. QB Cam Newton had another terrific game for the Patriots and showed that he is back in full force as he threw for 397 yards. In the past two weeks, Seattle has let up a ton of passing yards to Atlanta and New England. This might be an Achilles' heel, and something fantasy football managers need to watch closely. Seattle faces Dallas in Week 3, which could be another huge game for Dak Prescott.
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