Welcome inside the Fantasy Sports Locker Room, a Week 2 review of all the action in the NFL. We’re going to give a rundown of all the action in this weekend’s games and break them down into actionable nuggets for you. Of note: you won’t see a great deal of ‘this guy played more than that guy’ stuff here, as we’ll break all of that information down in our Touches and Targets segment on Wednesday.
The biggest take away for me this week concerns the Philadelphia offense for the second week running. Against the Chargers the offense was impressive yet again, with Michael Vick passing for 428 yards and the team adding 89 on the ground.
DeSean Jackson continues to look like a massive threat for the Eagles, but what is amazing is that he left a number of yards on the field this week. At times, it seems that he lacks sufficient awareness to truly be a big game threat. Jackson had all kinds of room to get both feet down on an early second quarter pass along the sidelines and didn’t even try, seemingly unaware of where he was on the field. His line finished quite nicely, Jackson finished with 193 yards and a score. But for a few overthrows from Vick and a few of his own miscues it could have been an all-time game.
LeSean McCoy paid dividends for his owners again, with 167 yards on just 16 touches.
In short, the big three are going to get you plenty of points in Philly this year and you’ll likely find some valuable bye week fill ins on the roster as well. The biggest takeaway though is that the defense is awful. Philadelphia will be putting a lot on the shoulders of Vick, McCoy and Jackson this season as it doesn’t look like their defense will be putting any opponents away. All of that means – as it did this week – Vick is going to have to put the ball in the air late in games adding to his fantasy value and that of the players around him.
The defense will leave Eagles fans anxious all season, but from a fake-fan’s perspective, it couldn’t be a better set up for the players on the other side of the ball.
- There have been a number of impressive performances from Tight Ends early this season – and we expected as much, it’s a deep position – but Martellus Bennett‘s two TD effort was impressive.
- Three catches and a score on Miami’s first drive ought to have been enough to shut Mike Wallace up. He finished with 11 passes thrown his direction and showed that he can be a factor when a part of the gameplan.
- Steven Jackson’s first quarter touchdown on a wheel route was nice to see after stumping significantly for him in the preseason. This game showed us that he is playing in a significantly higher yield offense… however, Jackson exited early with a thigh bruise. He wasn’t a huge help to his owners this week, but provided it isn’t a serious injury he’ll have plenty of further chances to score.
- We now have confirmation… The Chargers will look to Eddie Royal around the endzone. He’s got to be rostered. He was covered in our Week 1 look at players available on waivers, and you’ll be getting a reminder on Tuesday morning.
- James Jones’ monster day was a big boost for his owners, but the unpredictability of that offense – he received just two targets last week – makes it somewhat challenging to know which weeks to start him and which to leave him on the bench. Moving forward you’re going to have to start all your Packers receivers. After those two targets in Week 1, Jones finished Week 2 with 12 – catching 11 balls for 178 yards – while Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson each found the endzone. Nelson scored twice on just four targets.
- Cam Newton got no help from his offensive line, taking six sacks and being pressured on nearly every drop back. Of interest, Carolina’s best drive of the day came late in the second half as they did well on a two minute drill to close the 1st half, quick strike, ball out quickly, TD. Perhaps that is something that the Panthers will carry forward into Week 3.
- Christian Ponder‘s touchdown to Kyle Rudolph saved the latter’s fantasy day, and Greg Jennings delivered a surprisingly decent statline but Ponder is bad. It’s tough to watch, and, I’m happy to have no investment in that offense in any of my leagues.
- C.J. Spiller saved his day with a late 46 yard rush. Otherwise, it was a relatively quiet game for the Bills RB. While Fred Jackson got his share of the work (and scored the rushing TD), it should be noted that Spiller’s day would have been much nicer were it not for a long rush negated by a hold.
- “Explain to me how that game is 6-0 and Ray Rice just had his 6th carry” I said aloud with 11 minutes remaining in the 3rd quarter. His use, particularly with Joe Flacco‘s struggles, was surprising. In the second half things changed, and it led to greater production from the Baltimore offense. Rice strained a hip flexor and left the game but Bernard Pierce carried the ball effectively and scored a touchdown for Baltimore. Outside of Bryce Brown he is the premiere RB handcuff. Pierce put forth a great fight to score his TD this afternoon. If Rice misses any time, or if the team aims to limit his workload to help avoid further injury, he becomes a very viable Flex/RB2 play.
- More Eagles: LeSean McCoy’s block on Michael Vick’s 4th quarter TD run may have been the play of the day. He looked to be the receiver at the outset, but, Vick took the ball to the outside and McCoy peeled back to lay a perfect block on a Chargers’ backer. While he didn’t score a TD himself this week, McCoy posted 167 total yards, despite a more reasonable workload.
- Darren McFadden becomes real interesting with Terrelle Pryor manning the QB position… DMC saw a number of nice holes, perhaps in part due to the running threat posed by the QB. While it was a good day for McFadden, it’s concerning that Denarius Moore didn’t have a reception on just two targets.
- I spent a lot of time talking about how anyone invested in the Jags had to pray for Chad Henne to get involved… after watching a handful of snaps on Sunday, I guess its safe to say that it doesn’t matter. Still, Cecil Shorts owners will be pleased with his 14 targets – double anyone else on the team.
- DeAndre Hopkins too over the game for the Texans after Andre Johnson left the game. With a performance like his second half he should have earned the trust of Matt Schaub and see heavy targets moving forward.
- Reggie Bush was missed in the second half. Detroit scored just seven points and went three and outs three times (adding a two play drive that ended in a fumble) as the game was on the line. The entire offense functions better with him involved. Detroit had just 90 yards of total offense in the 2nd half without him. If he misses Week 3, you’ll want to downgrade Matthew Stafford slightly.
- David Wilson didn’t struggle with fumbles today… just with production. Part of the challenge may come from his new focus on being high and tight with the ball. He was hugging the ball tight to his chest at the expense of his ability to cut. Wilson is still the most talented Giants back but Brandon Jacobs, who played more snaps than I expected this week, is worth a look in deeper leagues.
- We’re not looking at real life measures here, so the score shouldn’t matter, but it is worth noting that Sam Bradford has thrown for 651 yards and 5 scores through 2 weeks. He and Tavon Austin found their stride in the second half today. The rookie was targeted a team high 12 times and scored 2 touchdowns.
- A week after everyone wrote him off Eric Decker led the Broncos in receiving. It’s a fluid receiving corps there, with Decker leading in targets while Welker had a quiet day despite finding the endzone again.
- Robert Griffin III has five TD passes this year. All of them coming in the second half of blowouts and four in the 4th quarter when the game was already well in hand.
- James Starks filled in admirably for Eddie Lacy, and while Lacy may be cleared from his concussion for Week 3, Starks is worth a look all the same.
- Jordan Cameron was the lone bright spot, again for the Browns with 95 yards on 5 catches. Josh Gordon comes back next week and that may actually help Cameron, as Gordon’s deep speed demands attention on the outside from opposing defenses.
- Marlon Brown delivered on his hype, with a touchdown and 46 yards receiving. Baltimore’s offense, though, is not looking like something that you want to be heavily invested in from week to week.
- 612 yards and seven touchdowns. I’ve been bashing Philip Rivers all offseason, but, you can’t argue with the results. The new system seemed tailored to his style of play to begin with and so far it is proving to be a better fit from a fantasy perspective.
- After all the talk of LeSean McCoy’s 32 touches last week Matt Forte made good on all 11 of his targets this week and finished with 30 for 161 total yards. Behind Cutler’s 290 yard three score game the Bears gave us a viable fantasy starter at each position.