Well, week 1 definitely didn’t work out as I planned. Derrick Henry hates me, San Francisco scored more points on defense than offense, and Sexy Rexy Burkhead dominated New England’s backfield.
Week 1 start or sit wasn’t all bad as John Brown danced into fantasy line ups moving forward, and Miami looked like a Pop Warner team against the Ravens. Better days are ahead and lets start in week 2!
Players who will shine
Chris Thompson ([email protected] 1pm est)
The pass catching specialist will be in the spotlight once again as a result of the injury to Derrius Guice. He showcased his abilities in week 1 while posting 7 receptions for 68 yards against Philadelphia. Although Adrian Peterson will likely handle most of the early down work, Thompson will play most, if not all, passing downs in a game where they could be trailing early. His ability to split out wide and find open spaces will make Chris a favorite of Case Keenum against a dangerous Dallas pass rush in week 2. Take a flier on the former Seminole in week 2.
Prediction: 7 car 31 yards, 7 rec 55 yards 1 td: 12.1 pts
Gio Bernard ([email protected] 1pm est)
Joe Mixon is already banged up and may sit this week meaning its time for Gio “Metro” Bernard to rev up his engine. Gio was the only other RB to have any touches last week and will see an increase in snaps whether Mixon plays or not. Quick passes and draws will be on the menu this week to help combat San Frans young pass rushers with Bernard being the primary target. Gio will be a blast from the past during week 2 against San Francisco.
Prediction: 12 car 55 yards 1 td, 5 rec 42 yards: 18.7 pts
James Washington ([email protected] 1pm est)
Despite playing behind Ryan Switzer in many formations, James Washington was the primary deep target for Big Ben throughout the night but only managed 2 receptions for 51 yards. His primary competition Donte Moncrief struggled mightedly dropping multiple passes in route to 7 receiving yards on 3 catches.
In week 2, Washington and the Steelers face a Seahawks defense that allowed Andy Dalton of all people to throw for over 400 yards with his deep target John Ross blazing past defenders for 158 yards and 2 touchdowns. This matchup is the perfect remedy for Pittsburgh and James in particular to breakout. Big play James will leapfrog veteran Donte Moncrief in short manner with this week being the Opening act.
Prediction: 5 rec 86 yards 1 td: 17.1 pts
Latavius Murray ([email protected] 4:25pm est)
The Adrian Peterson body double was sparingly used in week one against the Houston Texans. He was featured and targeted twice inside the 10 early in the first quarter but game flow limited his field time as the game progressed. The Texans would go on to have multiple long and time-consuming scoring drives, forcing New Orleans to go pass heavy and operate faster than they would like.
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Murray gets to face the Rams this week who operate at a fast pace and allowed the Panthers to average 5.5 yards/att in week 1. Although Alvin Kamara is the alpha dog, Latavius will be an integral part of the game plan against the Rams. Time of possession will be the Saints best friend this Sunday with both Murray and Kamara used to pound the rock.
Prediction: 11 car 60 yards 1 td, 3 rec 20 yards: 15.5 pts
Mecole Hardman ([email protected] 4:05pm est)
Who? Hardman was a sleeper during preseason when there was uncertainty about Tyreek Hill and his availability. Hill is out for the foreseeable future with a clavicle injury meaning its time to reignite Mecole. Oakland will be without a starting corner, and now smashing safety Johnathan Abram for this matchup which is perfect timing for Hardman to show out.
Despite the lack of production in week 1, he was 2nd in snaps for all KC receivers during their demolishing of Jacksonville which is a great sign now minus Tyreek. A banged up and inexperienced Raiders secondary will have Pat Mahomes foaming at the mouth with Harman being on the receiving end of at least one bomb.
Prediction: 6 rec 113 yards 1 td: 20.3 pts
Aaron Jones ([email protected] 1pm est)
We all wanted the Packers to #freeAaronJones, and with the firing of Mike McCarthy thought we would finally see him unleashed. Although he out touched Jamaal Williams 13-5 in week 1, Jones saw only 12 more plays than Williams. Aaron is the more explosive runner having averaged almost 5 and half yards per carry last year and is far superior in the passing game.
Athletic ability and playing time aside, the Minnesota Vikings are traveling to Lambeau this weekend which doesn’t bode well for Mr. Jones. Minnesota limited the Falcons to 73 rushing yards with most of those coming while milking a 28-0 lead late in the contest. Jones is averaging just over 40 yards/game against the Vikings in his career and I expect a similar output this week. Temper expectations as a result of an annoying backfield rotation and dominant Minnesota defense.
Prediction: 12 car 54 yards, 5 rec 23 yards: 10.2 pts
John Ross ([email protected] 1pm est)
Finally! Last week we were treated to the kind of game we thought Ross was capable since the burner entered the NFL. If you watched the game however, you know both of his TDs were because of missed tackles and a safety who obviously has poor depth perception. He undoubtedly has terrifying speed but still has hands of stone as he dropped multiple passes against the Seahawks. Seattle is also beatable in the back-end now minus Earl Thomas and rest of the Legion of Boom.
The 49ers will be a much stingier pass defense to face as they placed top 11 in yards against last year. They showcased an improved pass rush which resulted in 3 ints against Tampa Bay in week 1. The Bengals will have to run a more balanced attack in this one as mentioned earlier in article and Ross just hasn’t been consistent enough to trust.
Prediction: 2 car 13 yards, 6 rec 62 yards: 10.5 pts
T.Y. Hilton ([email protected] 1pm est)
Luck was not on the Colts side last week as NFL vet and future Hall of Famer Adam Vinatieri missed multiple field goals. Indianapolis was unable to recover from the lost points and fell to the Chargers in OT. Hilton was a bright spot for the Colts as he evaded tacklers and found pay dirt twice on the day and finished with 8 receptions for 87 yards and 2 tds. His longest reception however was only 19 yards as Indy pounded the rock and tried to keep their QB upright against a ferocious LA rush.
This week the Colts travel to Tennessee to face a Titans team that eviscerated a Browns offense which was being touted as one of the best leading up to the season. The Titans intercepted Baker Mayfield 3 times while limiting all world receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to 7 catches for 71 yards. Hilton has less talent around him than Odell and plays for a team who will want to establish the run. A slow-paced game and concerted effort by the Titans will limit T.Y.’s involvement and production. Check out of Hilton this week!
Prediction: 5 rec 71 yards: 9.6 pts
Broncos RBs ([email protected] 4:25pm est)
Their offensive line sucks, Joe Flacco is their quarterback, and they face the best run defense in the NFL. Broncos runners are going against a Chicago team that led the NFL last season in yards against while also allowing only 5, yes 5 rushing touchdowns all season! They continued their dominance in week 1, allowing only 47 rush yards with a 2.1 yds/att average to the Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers. The Bears D is going to put up a brick, no, granite wall against any runner the Broncos use. Avoid these guys if you can.
Prediction: No more than 60 combined rushing yards, 20-30 receiving, 0 tds: Max 14 combined pt