It’s early, but the theme to the start of the 2017 season has to be the amount of disappointing performances from early fantasy picks. Let’s take a look at which ones are worth truly being concerned over and those who aren’t while also recapping the rest of the action in Week 2.
Vikings vs. Steelers: Le’Veon Bell went either No. 1 or No. 2 in nearly every draft and quickly became the most desirable fantasy commodity when David Johnson went down in Week 1. But after two games, Bell has totaled just 138 yards (getting a paltry 3.2 YPC) and has yet to find the end zone. Still, there’s no reason for any concern, as it makes sense he’s off to a slow start after holding out for much of the summer. After seeing just 10 carries in Week 1, Bell was given 31 touches Sunday. The matchups will get easier, and while durability remains a worry with Bell, he’d still be worth taking No. 1 in drafts held today…Fantasy owners of Stefon Diggs, Kyle Rudolph and Adam Thielen have to hope Sam Bradford returns soon. That felt weird writing.
Bears vs. Buccaneers: Even in standard formats, I might prefer Tarik Cohen over (a banged up) Jordan Howard moving forward. In PPR it’s a no brainer. Among a handful of early fantasy picks not living up to their ADP, Howard is the one I’d be most concerned about…Mike Evans looked unvcoverable and would’ve had a monster game if not for the Bucs nursing a big second half lead.
Bills vs. Panthers: Cam Newton continued to miss easy throws, but he’ll be better. See if you can buy low on Kelvin Benjamin…LeSean McCoy was completely bottled up on the ground, but he led the Bills with seven targets, faced a Carolina defense playing extremely well (they’ve allowed six points over the first two games of the season), and he looked plenty good Week 1. The biggest worry about McCoy is durability, not production when on the field.
Titans vs. Jaguars: Demarco Murray was dealing with a tight hamstring, but even if he recovers quickly, Derrick Henry has looked too good for this not to become a committee moving forward. Henry gashed a Jacksonville defense playing at home that allowed just 2.9 yards per play in Week 1. Murray’s value has definitely taken a major hit…Marqise Lee saw 12 targets and should be plenty valuable with Allen Robinson out for the year. But Allen Hurns is likely the preferred red-zone option.
Patriots vs. Saints: Tom Brady put up nearly 450 passing yards and three scores in a monstrous performance that included the Patriots barely trying to score after halftime…This was a great play by Rob Gronkowski, and hopefully he didn’t injure himself too badly…Adrian Peterson can’t even be used as a flex in the deepest of leagues…I’d be targeting Brandin Cooks as a possible buy-low candidate right now.
Cardinals vs. Colts: It looks like a full-blown RBBC in Arizona with David Johnson sidelined, which is especially troubling for fantasy owners with Carson Palmer looking so shaky as well…J.J. Nelson will remain a sneaky play any time John Brown is out…Larry Fitzgerald looks every bit his age, and his owners should be panicking…The Colts are underdogs at home against the Browns in Week 3.
Eagles vs. Chiefs: Freed from Josh Norman’s shadow coverage, Alshon Jeffery saw 13 targets and looked good. He’ll put up big numbers until the next injury…Travis Kelce is determined to score more touchdowns this season…Zach Ertz was the other tight end in this game making sick plays…Kareem Hunt continues to impress, totaling 109 yards with two scores on just 13 touches. He’d easily be a top-three overall pick if a draft were held today.
Browns vs. Ravens: Kevin Hogan actually got 10.7 YPA, but Corey Coleman’s day couldn’t have gone much worse, as he secured just one of seven targets for nine yards and suffered a broken hand. Rashard Higgins suddenly becomes interesting in deeper formats and a cheap DFS option…Javorius Allen is clearly the back to own in Baltimore…What a great catch by Duke Johnson.
Jets vs. Raiders: Derek Carr had three touchdowns with zero interceptions and zero sacks, while the Raiders also had three different players rush for a score. I look seriously wrong about them regressing this year so far…Jermaine Kearse was traded to one of the worst offenses in football just before the season started, yet his fantasy value has never been higher.
Dolphins vs. Chargers: I had a seven-team moneyline parlay, and the first six had hit, so all I needed was Younghoe Koo to make a game-ending 44-yard field goal to cash it. You know the rest…Jarvis Landry hauled in 13-of-15 targets, but that was good for just 78 yards (5.2 YPT)…Jay Ajayi is going to dominate as long as his knees hold up…Here’s Antonio Gates breaking the record for TD catches by a tight end.
49ers vs. Seahawks: I underrated just how much Seattle’s poor offensive line would hurt this offense, as they’ve scored just one touchdown this season, although at least Chris Carson has emerged as the team’s clear lead back…Brian Hoyer got 3.7 YPA while Carlos Hyde got 8.3 YPC…Jimmy Graham’s longest catch of the season has gone for six yards.
Cowboys vs. Broncos: Trying to become the first running back ever to rush for 80 yards or more in 16 straight games, Ezekiel Elliott was held to eight yards on nine carries…Denver’s defense also held Dak Prescott to just 4.8 YPA, and he was picked off twice in a game for only the second time in his career…Trevor Siemian looks like one of the most improved players in the league, and C.J. Anderson will be an easy top-10 fantasy RB as long as he’s healthy.
Washington vs. Rams: Todd Gurley impressed, and his uptick in usage as a receiver is huge news for his value moving forward…What an extremely disappointing start to Terrelle Pryor’s new tenure in Washington…This Chris Thompson TD run was nice.
Packers vs. Falcons: A big halftime lead followed by a defensive score early in the third quarter prevented the Falcons from putting up even bigger stats, but it’s good to know this unit will be just fine without Kyle Shanahan. That’s the best backfield combo in the NFL…Tough loss for Jordy Nelson owners, and the whole Packers offense sputtered when the wideout exited early (and later Randall Cobb). Davante Adams could soon be looking at a whole bunch of targets.