Fantasy Football: Rankings Update 2021 NFL Season Week 2

Mike Williams up? Aaron Rodgers down? Check out the latest article on who could rise or fall after this week's games.
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Having football back is a great feeling. One week down already, and it was a lot of fun to see how the games played out and how the players discussed all offseason looked on the field finally. Headed into week two, these are players to watch who could have their perception in dynasty leagues change. 

Could Rise: Mike Williams, Wide Receiver Los Angeles Chargers

Week one was a nice start to the season for Mike Williams. His involvement in the offense receiving 12 targets was a positive sign for his fantasy value moving forward. Williams has been relevant for fantasy in the past, but overall inconsistency has made him hard to play. If Herbert continues to look his way and the new coaching staff utilizes him in a more predictable manner, William will be a difference-maker in fantasy leagues. Week two has a matchup with the Cowboys that does not have a very good pass rush or pass defense. Their top corner, Trevon Diggs, was great against Mike Evans and will most likely be focusing on Keena Allen in this matchup. There is potential for a big game out of Williams. After two good weeks, more dynasty players should be taking notice.

Could Fall: Ezekiel Elliott, Running Back Dallas Cowboys

The Buccaneers’ defensive line was not an ideal matchup for Elliott, and the offensive coordinator in Dallas said there were 12 rushing plays that Dak checked out of, which explains the lower volume for Elliott in week one. Ultimately Elliott was on the field often and did a good job in blitz pickup for Dak. That does not show up for fantasy, however. The Cowboys get Zack Martin back, and teams will need to focus on stopping CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper on the outside, so this is the change for Elliott to prove he can still produce at a high level for fantasy. Another disappearing act combined with his age and workload to date could leave his dynasty owners panicked.

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Could Rise: Cole Kmet, Tight End Chicago Bears

The most encouraging number to see against the Rams was that Cole Kmet was on the field for 73.91% of offensive snaps versus 20.29% for Jimmy Graham. In his last year at Notre Dame, Kmet proved to be a threat to get in the endzone, and with him being 6’6, he is a prototypical red zone threat to keep an eye on. In 2020 as the season progressed, Kmet saw his snap percentage grow, which shows that week one continues the trend, and Kmet has been established as the top tight end on this team. If the touchdowns start coming, Kmet will see his value rise.

Could Fall: Aaron Rodgers, Quarterback Green Bay Packers

In dynasty leagues, his age alone is enough to scare some dynasty players, but Rodgers is coming off an MVP season, and quarterbacks have shown the ability to stay productive for a longer period in general in the NFL. The game against the Saints was a disaster, now it is only one game, and Rodgers could bounce back this week, and it will be forgotten. The concern comes from the situation between Rodgers and the Packers all off-season. The tension combined with Rodgers not seeming invested in football over the offseason adds to the worry. The Packers play the Lions on Monday night. If Rodgers comes out and looks like the MVP again, all will be well. If he struggles against a Lions team in a rebuild on national television, the reaction and fear will be even stronger.

Could Rise: Joe Mixon, Running Back Cincinnati Bengals

Mixon has been a polarizing player in fantasy football for the last few years. A talented player on a team that did not provide much upside potential on offense created a tough situation. The Bengals’ offense appears to be going the right way so far, and Mixon saw a lot of volume to start the season. There is not much in the form of competition for work in this backfield at the moment, so that volume should continue. Mixon also had four targets out of the backfield. If he continues to be involved in the passing game, it will raise his ceiling for dynasty purposes. 

Could Fall: Mike Gesicki, Tight End Miami Dolphins

Gesicki is an incredible athlete that dynasty players have been waiting for to put it all together on the field for a breakout season, but he might already be what he is going to be. This means he will be a good but not great tight end for fantasy purposes. The Dolphins worked this offseason to improve the weapons at wide receiver, drafting Jaylen Waddle in the first round of the NFL Draft and signing Will Fuller in the offseason. In 2021 and moving forward, Gesicki will likely have fewer targets come his way as a result of it. In week one, he saw only three targets and had zero catches. He will not put up zeroes every week, but the ceiling has been lowered on Gesicki, and his perceived value will ultimately take a hit. 

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