By: Ryan Bickerstaff
Welcome to the Weekly Rundown! My plan is to bring you a weekly variety piece to highlight notable fantasy performances from the previous week, exciting upcoming matchups, start/sits, and more. I won’t bore you with a long intro, so let’s just get to it!
The Good (from Week 1)
QB: Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals – Kyler may not have had the top fantasy performance of the week, but his overall performance was the most impressive, in my opinion. The second-year passer went into Santa Clara and knocked off the defending NFC Champions, the 49ers. Now, that’s how you kick off the season. He passed for 230 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 pick, adding 91 rushing yards and another score, totaling 27.3 fantasy points, ranking 5th on the week.
RB: Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders – The second-year runner started the football year off with a bang against Carolina, totaling 139 yards from scrimmage and 3 touchdowns. He had 4 receptions and was the second-most targeted player on the team Sunday. In all, the former first-rounder put up 35.9 PPR fantasy points and, for now, sits atop the list as the #1 running back in fantasy.
WR: Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers – I mentioned on a recent episode of the Ride or Dynasty Podcast that Adams was my #1 receiver this year. That prediction is looking good so far, as Adams hauled in 14 receptions on 17 targets for 156 yards and 2 scores against the Vikings, a total of 41.6 PPR fantasy points. Adams is this year’s Michael Thomas.
TE: Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles – We may be seeing a changing of the guard in Philly. Zach Ertz has been a fixture in the Eagles offense for years now, and while he’s not going away, it may not be crazy to suggest Goedert has become the better tight end of the two. Week 1 overreaction? Perhaps. But for now, Goedert is the #1 tight end in fantasy football after his 24.1 PPR fantasy point day.
The Bad (from Week 1)
QB: Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns – To be honest, I could fill each position group with a Browns player in this section. I won’t do that, but it is worth noting how terrible the Browns looked. Granted, they played a fantastic Ravens team. I get that. But they hardly looked like a pro franchise on Sunday and Baker hardly looked like a pro quarterback. He put up a paltry 10.9 fantasy points in a blowout loss.
RB: Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns – Whether it was dynasty or redraft, Chubb was likely a second-round investment in your leagues. You deserve better than 5.6 PPR points out of your second-round selection. Chubb was out-carried 13-10 by the more versatile Kareem Hunt, and received 5 fewer targets than his counterpart. He also lost a fumble. It looks like it might be a long season for Chubb managers.
WR: Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints – We need to bring back putting missing persons on milk cartons. Thomas, the 2019 Offensive Player of the Year, was invisible in Sunday’s tilt against Tampa Bay as he only put up 3 receptions for 17 yards. A whopping 4.7 PPR points. Out of your first-round draft selection. And now he’s injured. Here’s to a speedy recovery and Thomas getting back to abusing opposing defenses as soon as possible.
TE: Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Reunited with his quarterback, Tom Brady, Gronk, fueled by offseason hype, was a trendy pick by many to have a big 2020 season. While that still may happen, Week 1 will be one to forget, as the future Hall of Famer only caught 2 passes for 11 yards. Or 3.1 PPR points. Still excited?
Nyheim Hines, RB, Indianapolis Colts – Hines finished as a surprise top 5 running back Week 1 in PPR scoring with 27.3 points. While I don’t believe this level of production will persist, Philip Rivers does love targeting his running backs, and Hines is the best receiving back on this team.
Remember. Rivers turned Austin Ekeler, a similar, albeit better player, into a fantasy rockstar in 2019, and a serviceable fantasy back in 2018.
Waivers have already processed so it’s possible Hines is no longer available in your league. If you can still pick him up and have a player you’re willing to part with, do it. If you have him, hold onto him. If Hines can be 75% of Ekeler, you have a potential top 24 back on your hands. His receiving upside alone gives him weekly flex value, even with Jonathan Taylor taking most of the reps.
Starts (for Week 2)
QB: Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers – Big Ben is back and he draws another favorable matchup in Week 2 as the Von Miller-less Broncos, who allowed 19.4 fantasy points to Ryan Tannehill, come to Pittsburgh. Ben shouldn’t have a problem exceeding that at home, and he will finish the week as a top 12 quarterback.
RB: Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts – Just a friendly reminder that Taylor is a must start after the injury to Marlon Mack.
WR: Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons – At risk of stating the obvious, Ridley is a must start this week against the Cowboys in a game that’s sure to be a shootout. He was the #2 receiver in PPR in Week 1, just behind Davante Adams’ 40-point explosion. Ridley will finish as a top 12 receiver this season, if healthy.
TE: TJ Hockenson, Detroit Lions – This play doesn’t come without risk, but with Kenny Golladay nursing an injury, Hockenson will be elevated in the pecking order. He put up a solid 5-56-1 line to open the season and I like his chances to have another nice game this week against Green Bay.
Sits (for Week 2)
QB: Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns – This will be the one and only time I include Mayfield in this segment. I’m not starting him outside of superflex leagues until he returns to his rookie season form. Wow, that’s a sad statement. He might be stuck on the bench forever. Or better yet, the waiver wire.
RB: Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks – Call it a feeling. Carson doesn’t get into the endzone against the Pats this week, and it’s very believable his yardage count will remain roughly the same from last week. That’s 66 yards from scrimmage. I’ll even throw in a few receptions to be nice. That’s still a sub-10 point performance out of a guy you’re starting as an RB2.
WR: Will Fuller V, Houston Texans – Fuller had a nice game against Kansas City in the season opener, but this week he has a date with a very tough Ravens secondary. I’m looking elsewhere if I have other options at receiver.
TE: Chris Herndon, New York Jets – Stating the obvious to put out a PSA. Going up against the 49ers, keep Herndon – and all Jets not named Jamison Crowder – on the bench.
Kyren Williams, RB, Notre Dame – The four-star sophomore from St. Louis, Missouri basically single-handedly beat Duke on Saturday. He made play after play for the Irish, compiling 205 yards from scrimmage and 2 touchdowns. It’s unknown if he’s an NFL-caliber back yet, and he’s not eligible until 2022 anyway, but it will be interesting to see his development throughout the season, especially how he performs against tougher teams like Clemson and North Carolina. This is one player I will definitely be keeping an eye on.
Week 2 Wins/Losses
(Predicted winner highlighted in BOLD.)
Cincinnati Bengals @ Cleveland Browns
San Francisco 49ers @ New York Jets
Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins
Denver Broncos @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Atlanta Falcons @ Dallas Cowboys
New York Giants @ Chicago Bears
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans
Detroit Lions @ Green Bay Packers
Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Los Angeles Rams @ Philadelphia Eagles
Minnesota Vikings @ Indianapolis Colts
Washington Football Team @ Arizona Cardinals
Kansas City Chiefs @ Los Angeles Chargers
Baltimore Ravens @ Houston Texans
New England Patriots @ Seattle Seahawks
New Orleans Saints @ Las Vegas Raiders
Games to Watch
Atlanta Falcons @ Dallas Cowboys – You ready for some (fantasy) football? I know I am. This game is about to be a wild shootout that could very well come down to the final possession of the game. Two of the league’s most lethal passing attacks face off. Matt Ryan versus Dak Prescott. This game also features four first-round picks at wide receiver – Julio Jones, Amari Cooper, Calvin Ridley, CeeDee Lamb – and Michael Gallup. This isn’t even to mention two former top 10 selections at running back – Ezekiel Elliott and Todd Gurley. Both teams feature “meh” defenses. Be sure to start everyone you can in this matchup.
Washington Football Team @ Arizona Cardinals – Coming off big wins against divisional rivals, both these teams look to improve to 2-0. We have the impressive Washington defense versus the potent Arizona offense and the average Washington offense versus the average Arizona defense. I’m particularly interested to see how Arizona’s offensive line holds up against Washington’s defensive line which features five first-round selections. Can this swarming pass rush that sacked Carson Wentz 8 times in Week 1 put a damper on Kyler Murray and the Cardinals passing attack? I can’t wait to find out. In the end, I think Arizona gets the W, but this one may be closer than we think.
Ride or Dynasty