The Good, Bad, and Ugly from a Week Two with few silver linings

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Alex Kurpeski 

Week Two of the NFL season has concluded and in the wake of its destruction we are left to pick up the pieces of our now fragmented fantasy teams. Whether it was due to injury, poor performance, or simply excellent defensive preparation, we saw numerous stars fall flat this week. While there are certainly some good things that we can take away from this week’s slate, there was a lot of bad and ugly to touch on.

The Good 

Lamar Jackson is certified fantasy gold and so are his friends

The record setting rushing season that we expected to see from Lamar Jackson is once again a possibility, as we saw the former Heisman winner torch the Cardinals defense to the tune of 120 yards on the ground. Jackson fed his dynamic TE/WR duo of Mark Andrews and Marquise Brown, with a combined 198 receiving yards and 16 catches between them. If you haven’t already, make the move for one of these three players, as the upside of this offense is among the highest in the league.

Zach Ertz may very well have another monster season on the way

While it came at the expense of injuries to Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, and Dallas Goedert, the path to 100 receptions has opened wide for the Eagles star tight end. If any of the three are forced to miss significant time, Ertz should see an even higher target percentage than he has through the first two weeks of the season. With 13 receptions through two games, Ertz is on pace for 104 catches already, so with injuries to the team’s top two receivers as well as another tight end that has been getting looks from Carson Wentz, Ertz can only stand to benefit from a fantasy perspective.

Young receivers build on strong week one performances

Sep 8, 2019; Seattle, WA, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver John Ross (11) catches a touchdown pass during the first half against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

You wouldn’t be crazy if you thought John Ross, Terry McLaurin, and Marquise Brown’s explosive week one performances were mere flashes in the pan. However, week two has proved that these players are much more than “week one players”. While I wouldn’t anoint any of them as a WR1 just yet, the path to fantasy stardom is clearer than ever for these young speedsters. 

The Chiefs will be alright without Tyreek

Aug 10, 2019; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman (17) and wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) and wide receiver Demarcus Robinson (11) dance during warmups before the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Mahomes had 300 passing yards and 4 tds at the half this week while throwing primarily to rookie Mecole Hardman and special teamer DeMarcus Robinson. Maybe it’s time to start whoever the Chiefs are starting at receiver regardless of whether you know who they are or not. 

The Patriots have a real chance at 16-0

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) gestures before an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) ORG XMIT: OTK

The defense has yet to give up a touchdown and the offense has looked unreasonably dominant. This section has nothing to do with fantasy, this team is just really f*cking good.

Waiver Wire Warriors of the Week

  1. WR John Ross, Cincinnati Bengals 
  2. WR Terry Mclaurin, Washington 
  3. WR D.K Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks
  4. RB Jeff Wilson, San Francisco 49ers 
  5. QB Teddy Bridgewater, New Orleans Saints 
  6. QB Mason Rudolph, Pittsburgh Steelers 
  7. TE Will Dissly, Seattle Seahawks 
  8. WR Mecole Hardman, Kansas City Chiefs 
  9. WR DeMarcus Robinson, Kansas City Chiefs 
  10. WR D.J Chark, Jacksonville Jaguars 

The Bad

Chargers once again derailed by injury 

The Chargers must be legitimately cursed, with another promising campaign slowly crumbling due to a rash of injuries. With Hunter Henry out and Mike Williams limited, the Bolts fell to the lowly Detroit Lions in an ugly game that really should have been in the bag from the start for LA. While we saw solid fantasy performances out of Austin Ekeler and Keenan Allen, this week could be a bad omen for the rest of the season. 

No room to run in week two

Week two was not kind to stud running backs, as we saw perpetual top-5 finishers at the position (Alvin Kamara, Christian McCaffrey, David Johnson) check in with single digit scoring games. We can write this one off as a bizarro world week where the most exciting players were simply unable to overcome stifling run defenses. 

Cam Newton continues to struggle

Watching Cam Newton play this season has been a sight for sore eyes. He seems incapable of throwing the ball beyond the first down market, and has also seemingly retired from his scrambling. At this point I have no confidence starting Newton in any fantasy format besides as a desperation play in SuperFlex formats. 

Broncos might be worse than advertised

DENVER, CO – AUGUST 19: Joe Flacco (5) of the Denver Broncos looks to the sidelines against the San Francisco 49ers during the first quarter on Monday, August 19, 2019. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post)

Maybe it’s a Vic Fangio thing. Maybe it’s a Joe Flacco thing. But the Broncos offense is second only to the Dolphins in terms of fantasy irrelevance and until some things change they should be avoided for fantasy purposes.

The Ugly

Brees and Big Ben bite the dust

With Ben Roethlisberger out for the year and Drew Brees out until midseason, both the Saints and Steelers offense take big hits from a fantasy perspective. We saw on Sunday that without Brees, both Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara are no longer slam dunk top-5 plays at their respective positions. Likewise, for the Steelers, Big Ben’s absence will almost surely diminish JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Conner’s upsides in most formats. 

Buccaneers running back situation gets murkier

It was supposed to be Ronald Jones’s week. The breakout game was on the horizon. And then Peyton Barber got 20(+) carries and Jones has less than 10 rushing yards on 4 carries. Never trust a Tampa Bay running back kids, they’ll just break your heart.

Texans offensive line issues persist

This Laremy Tunsil experiment might be a disaster for the Texans, as their offensive line is just as bad as it was before they traded two first round picks to Miami for Tunsil and Kenny Stills. Hopefully, Deshaun Watson is able to survive this season behind yet another incapable offensive line.

Kirk Cousins is an 84 million dollar mistake

I was a Kirk Cousins stan for the longest time, but now I must admit that I was wrong. Cousins has been really bad so far this season and things don’t seem to be getting better. The Cousins experiment was a bust, and it must be ended this offseason.

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