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Monday, September 19, 2016

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 2 WRAPUP

-Cleveland Browns running back Isaiah Crowell had a rare big game Sunday as he rushed for 133 yards and a score on 18 carries.  Always a standard league player only due to lack of receiving skills, Crowell broke an 85-yard TD run and overall was quite strong in the new Cleveland offense with Josh McCown under center.  Still despite the big game, Crowell is only a RB 3 under ideal circumstances.

-New York Giants rookie wideout Sterling Shepard kept pace with the Corey Coleman's and Will Fuller's in Week as he caught 8 balls for 117 yards.  What stands out about Shepard is that he is a tremendous route runner and looks like he is preferred over Victor Cruz in terms of being the number 2 target for QB Eli Manning.  He is now moving into firm WR 3 consideration.

-With Josh Norman handling the other side of the field, Dallas Cowboys top wideout Dez Bryant came out strong and was tremendous throughout with 7 receptions for 102 yards.  Dak Prescott is looking more and more comfortable by the week and this is a good sign for Bryant owners going forward after his Week 1 dud.

-Well DeVante Parker surely made me look foolish for telling you not to start him as he caught 8 balls for 106 yards in the team's loss to the New England Patriots.  This was a garbage-time special all the way as the Dolphins had to throw almost every snap in the second half but Parker made his presence felt.  Like with Sterling Shepard, he is now moving into WR 3 consideration.

-It was an up-and-down game for Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger as he completed 19-of-37 passes for 259 yards with 3 TD's and 2 INT's.  The accuracy was not there and Big Ben was careless with his throws at times but the 3 TD's saved the day.  He remains a top five fantasy QB as long as he is healthy.

-Jarvis Landry was the other Miami wideout beneficiary of the garbage-time special as he caught 10 balls for 137 yards.  We have seen the immense PPR value that Landy has had the last two seasons and he should make another run at 100 catches as top WR 2.

-I said earlier last week that Josh McCown becoming he new QB for the Cleveland Browns would help the team's wideouts as he is a better pure passer then RG3.  We saw this Sunday as he completed 20-of-33 throws for 260 yards with 2 TD and 2 INT.  He hurt his shoulder during the game and gutted it out but X-rays were required.  McCown is a decent enough QB 2 in two passer formats only.

-Ezekiel Elliott began to show what all the first round fanfare was about Sunday as he picked up 83 yards on 21 carries and a touchdown and he added two catches for two more yards.  He did fumble twice though and again the average per carry is lacking.  Alfred Morris scored later on but so far the Cowboys are treating Elliott as a bellcow back.

-Alex Smith was pathetic Sunday coming off the big comeback over the San Diego Chargers in Week 1.  Smith completed only 20-of-37 passes for no scored and lost two fumbles.  It is a reminder that Smith is nothing but waiver fodder in most leagues.

-LeGarrette Blount churned out 123 yards and a score on 29 carries for the New England Patriots to hold off the late-charging Miami Dolphins on Sunday.  While never flashy, Blount's workload keeps him as a solid RB 2 in standard leagues.  In PPR he is a bench bye-week asset only.

-A week after catching 12 passes versus Darrell Revis, Cincinnati Bengals wideout A.J. Green was quieted Sunday as he hauled in only 2 passes for 38 yards.  There was a severe lack of offense in this game on both sides so this is somewhat understandable but it is still tough getting so little from Green in any given week.

-Speaking of underwhelming numbers from a wideout in the Steelers-Bengals game, Antonio Brown grabbed just 4 passes for 39 yards.  That is pretty much a no-show performance from Brown and a tough one to overcome if you are his owner.

-Getting ridiculous already for Cam Newton as he completed 24-of-40 throws for 353 yards and 4 touchdowns Sunday.  He also picked up 37 yards on the ground on 6 carries as the MVP encore is fully underway.  While we never suggest picking a QB in Round 1 in single passer formats, those who nabbed Newton are sitting pretty thus far by his magnificent start.

-It was another workhorse day for Steelers RB DeAngelo Williams as he rushed for 94 yards on 32 carries and caught 4 passes for another 38 yards and a score.  He has performed like a top three back through the first two weeks but the fun will end after Week 3 when Le'Veon Bell returns.  Still if anyone were to drop Williams then, pick him up by all means given the injury history of Bell.

-I said over the summer that Marvin Jones was my top choice to be the breakout wideout of the 2016 fantasy football season and that prediction seems right on track after he caught 8 balls for 118 yards and a score in the Detroit Lions' loss to the Tennessee Titans.  While Golden Tate got picked before Jones in a lot of leagues, I was in this corner the whole way.  Big things on tap.

-It is firmly back to being a WR 1 in all fantasy football leagues for the Carolina Panthers' Kelvin Benjamin as he caught two more touchdowns on Sunday as part of his 7-catch day for 108 yards.  Now all the way back from his ACL injury, Benjamin is a lock for double-digit scores as long as he stays healthy.

-Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer played pitch-and-catch with his receivers on Sunday as he completed 18-of-31 passes for 308 yards and 3 scores.  While Palmer is not the most glitzy QB in fantasy football, his awesome array of weapons make him a weekly challenger for top five numbers from the position.

-It was a PPR special for Bengals RB Gio Bernard as he caught 9 passes for 100 yards in the team's loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.  He rushed for just 17 yards on 5 carries but he has little standard league value anyways.  In PPR Bernard is a borderline RB 2.

-While Will Fuller was impressive for the second week in a row, DeAndre Hopkins showed the kid he is still the number 1 wideout in Houston as he caught 7 passes for 113 yards and a score.  Nothing new to add that wasn't mentioned in Hopkins' big breakout in 2015.  Now that Hopkins has a decent QB in Brock Osweiler throwing to him, he could even better those monster numbers.

-Speaking of Fuller, the rookie continues to dazzle as he caught 4 passes for 104 yards and a score.  That makes it two TDs in two weeks for Fuller who looks capable of making he and Hopkins the best wideout pair in fantasy football this season.

-Mike Wallace already has a bit rapport down with QB Joe Flacco as the speedster caught 4 passes for 41 yards and 2 scores.  While he remains primarily a standard league play due to a lack of high reception totals, Wallace looks like a WR 3 in all formats.

-My old friend QB Matt Ryan looks primed for a big comeback season for the Atlanta Falcons this season as he torched the Oakland Raiders secondary Sunday to the tune of completing 26-of-34 passes for 396 yards with 3 TD and 1 INT.  Ryan was also hot in Week 1 as well and seems ready to put himself back into the top ten of among fantasy football passers after he struggled a bit in 2015.  As someone who has owned Ryan often in the past, I am not surprised by how good he is playing.  He is back to being an every week passer this season.

-The Minnesota Vikings looks like geniuses today for the Sam Bradford trade as the veteran was terrific Sunday night in completing 22-of-31 passes for 286 yards and 2 touchdowns.  Bradford always has had intriguing talent but ongoing injuries have derailed him on a yearly basis.  He is more of a backup but a top one at that in terms of fantasy football.  Also with the Adrian Peterson injury, Bradford is likely going to be asked to throw more.

-Stefon Diggs is becoming the next great PPR receiver as he caught 9 passes for 182 yards and 2 touchdowns Sunday night.  Bradford's arrival has actually unlocked the most potent value in Diggs compared to the noodle-armed Teddy Bridgewater and that actually has him in top WR 2 form going forward. 



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