Fantasy Football: Keep, Trade, Drop Week 2 2021 NFL Season

Looking at the start of the 2021 NFL season, What players should you look at moving and who you should look at keeping.
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Week 2 was one of those weeks that many of us would want to forget from a fantasy perspective. Low scoring games in the early window led to low scoring fantasy games and disappointing output from key players. Injuries to some significant players in our lineups went down like Jarvis Landry, Darrell Henderson, and Laviska Shenault, which will undoubtedly lead to multi-week absences.

At the same time, navigating the Week 2 build-up and letdown of players is sometimes more difficult than Week 1. Twitter proceeds to abandon all caution with rookie Elijah Mitchell as he was traded for and added to rosters more than any other player and then proceeded to get hurt. Everyone bought into the Saints following their route of the Packers in Week 1 leading, but a massive crash back to earth limited star running back Alvin Kamara to 30 total yards of offense.

Entering Week 3, everyone will start to mellow out, and rational thinking takes back over. Offenses get more established in their game plans. True running back by committees or dominant workhorses are established. Defenses have shown their true colors, and you will know which matchups to expose and get closer to your optimal lineup and start maximizing your points every week. However, some players are still going to trick you into thinking the wrong way, which is what today is about. Who is showing what they are and who is tricking you into thinking they are someone different?

TRADE: Henry Ruggs, WR, Las Vegas Raiders

Henry Ruggs has hit the value that you need to be able to sell him in fantasy football.

Henry Ruggs has hit the value that you need to be able to sell him in fantasy football.

Henry Ruggs is an excellent example of a deceptive stat line. Five catches for 113 yards a touchdown looks fantastic on paper. Taking a glance at the scoring play, it was a 61-yard touchdown on a blown coverage by the Steelers' defense. Having an entire fantasy finish based solely on long touchdown passes will not lead to long-term success for your fantasy team. It is, however, a helpful way to boost the value of a player on the trade market. Yesterday, Ruggs had a career-high in targets, a career-high in catches, and his third career touchdown. Take a deeper look at his line, and he played only 67% of the offensive snaps, which is the sixth-lowest of his career. Josh Jacobs, the Raiders leading rusher, also did not play yesterday, making the offense more one-dimensional than it has been since Ruggs joined the Raiders last season. Use the appearance of his breakout stat line to boost his trade value and get the most value in return that you can now; that way, you avoid the letdown when he goes multiple weeks without another long touchdown.

DROP: Eric Ebron, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers

Eric Ebron has become droppable in fantasy football leagues.

Eric Ebron has become droppable in fantasy football leagues.

To say Eric Ebron’s time in the NFL has been rocky might be understating it. He was drafted 10th overall by the Lions as “an offensive weapon” and had a lot of hype to live up to and never really did. It led to an ugly departure and a battle on Twitter between him and the Lions fanbase that still has legs to this day. A breakout year in 2018 with the Indianapolis Colts when he scored 13 touchdowns led to a buildup of him finally reaching his potential. Then a fall from grace in 2019 with less than 400 yards receiving, only three touchdowns, and ending the season on injured reserve led to his departure. Signed by the Steelers in 2020, he had 56 catches and five touchdowns, leading to him being a viable streaming option when you needed a bye week fill-in. However, with the addition of rookie Pat Freiermuth in the draft, his targets fell entirely off through the first two weeks and only had one catch. With only one ball to go around and three strong wide receivers, a rookie running back, and a tight end that can catch passes, his targets and time on the field will become smaller and smaller. Ebron’s stat line is not deceptive thus far and is painting the picture perfectly. He should be dropped so you can focus on finding a more serviceable option as a streaming tight end if you need it.

KEEP: Brandon Aiyuk, WR, San Francisco 49ers

Brandon Aiyuk still has a chance at making an impact for your fantasy football team.

Brandon Aiyuk still has a chance at making an impact for your fantasy football team.

The 49ers have been a fantasy nightmare throughout last season, and so far, to start this season just based on their injury issues. Last year, it was tough to count on anyone being solid enough to start in your lineup except for Brandon Aiyuk. However, he is seemingly nowhere to be found this year, with only one catch through the first two weeks. Head coach Kyle Shanahan has said that with Aiyuk tweaking his hamstring in the preseason and Trent Sherfield playing at a high level, they feel comfortable easing Aiyuk back into the offense. We saw him on the field more in Week 2, with his snap percentage increasing from 47% to 54%. Being patient will be the key with Aiyuk, and you need to convince yourself that it is ok. Aiyuk is immensely talented and can break games wide open with his speed and catching ability. He had double-digit targets in four games last year, with one in which he had 16. It is clear that he is in the plans for the offense in the future and will be worked in when he is ready. Brandon Aiyuk, like Henry Ruggs, has a deceiving statline. Follow the way he was previously used in the offense and follow what Kyle Shanahan has been saying and be patient if you roster him or use him as a potential buy-low candidate in a trade. His time will come, and you will be rewarded.

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