Weather can be forecasted with relatively high accuracy. After the opening week of the NFL season, I believe we can all agree that football cannot. Week 1 could not have landed farther from the predictions of most analysts. Unless you drafted Antonio Brown, LeSean McCoy or Jordy Nelson in the first round, your top draft pick likely performed well under expectations (Le’Veon Bell, Julio Jones, A.J. Green), got hurt (David Johnson), or did not play (Mike Evans and Odell Beckham Jr). Blake Bortles, Alex Smith, Jared Goff, DeShone Kizer, Mike Glennon, and Trevor Siemian outperformed Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, Eli Manning, Kirk Cousins, and Andy Dalton. In fact, teams would have been scored more leaving their quarterback slot vacant versus starting Andy Dalton who threw four picks and lost a fumble. Your top three tight ends were Austin Hooper, Jason Witten, and Jesse James. Enough said.
Despite the spontaneity and unpredictability of Week 1, “The Dive” predictions were nearly spot-on except for running back. Let’s take a dive into Week 2 to see which players and defense can be counted on.
Sam Bradford, QB, Minnesota Vikings
Sure, Sam Bradford has toyed with our emotions by offering us glimmers of greatness, but then lacked consistency or became injured in previous seasons. It would be foolish to call him a QB1 simply because of his outstanding Week 1 performance against a weak New Orleans’ defense, but keep him on your radar. Bradford was solid last year for the Minnesota Vikings despite being acquired by the team after Teddy Bridgewater’s knee injury and withstood the loss of offensive coordinator mid-season. Minnesota’s offense on the ground and air was running on all cylinders this past Monday. Although Bradford’s matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers is less favorable, the Steelers’ defense did show vulnerability even from the Cleveland Browns’ lackluster offense. If you own Andrew Luck or your quarterback has a difficult matchup in Week 2, consider Bradford if he’s your backup or sitting on the waiver wire.
Week 2 Projection: 275 passing yards; 2 TD
Ty Montgomery, RB, Green Bay Packers
Some analysts chose Green Bay Packers’ running back Ty Montgomery as a major sleeper for 2017, but many others believed his 2016 success was more of a fluke with too small of a sample size and will ultimately become a top fantasy bust. Many argued that the running back never carried a full workload with double digit carries in only one regular season game last season. Others mention that the former wide receiver turned running back was not built to serve as the team’s primary back. After a full workload in Week 1, he was able to handle 19 carries against the Seattle Seahawks and scored a touchdown, although he averaged only 2.8 yards per carry. Look for Montgomery to find more running room in Week 2 against the Atlanta Falcons who just allowed over 9 yards per carry and 2 touchdowns to Chicago Bears’ running backs. Don’t hesitate to start Montgomery in Week 2!
Week 2 projection: 80 total yards; 1 TD
Chris Hogan, WR, New England Patriots
It’s only Week 2 and the New Orleans Saints’ secondary has already given up 278 yards and two scores to opposing wide receivers. Week 2 will not be any easier as Tom Brady and the New England Patriots visit the “Big Easy” with major chips on their shoulders. With Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman, and Malcolm Mitchell out, expect a much larger role from Chris Hogan. Although Hogan only caught one pass in Week 1, he was targeted fives times and also had three carries. With an attractive matchup against the Saints this weekend, start Hogan as a WR3 or Flex with high upside.
Week 2 projection: 75 total yards; 1 TD
Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams
Have you ever heard of the Los Angeles’ Rams’ third round draft pick Cooper Kupp? You likely had not until a solid breakthrough performance in Week 1 with four receptions on six targets for 76 receiving yards and a touchdown. Whether Jared Goff simply improved in the first week of his sophomore season or his body is being possessed by Kurt Warner, the Rams’ offense looked stellar in their obliteration of the Indianapolis Colts. Kupp may reach into WR2 status with another strong performance.
Week 2 projection: 50 receiving yards; 1 TD
D/ST Cincinnati Bengals
The first week of the season couldn’t have been more ugly for the Cincinnati Bengals. For a team primed to make that next step this season, they tumbled backwards instead. The Baltimore Ravens’ defense manhandled Cincinnati’s offense, which put even more pressure on the Bengals’ defensive unit. Look for Cincinnati to rebound when they welcome the Houston Texans this Thursday on a short week. Houston’s offense was completely ineffective against the Jacksonville Jaguars, and will be dominated again in Week 2.
Week 2 projection: 11 points
Week 1 Results
Sure hope you read my article. Except for AP, nailed Week 1!
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 1 Projection: 250 passing yards; 2 TDs
Week 1 Results: 263 passing yards; 2 TDs 1 INT (Good Call)
Adrian Peterson, RB, New Orleans Saints
Week 1 Projection: 80 total yards; 1 TD
Week 1 Results: 18 total yards (bad call)
Pierre Garcon, WR, San Francisco 49ers
Week 1 Projection: 75 receiving yards; 1 TD
Week 1 Results: 81 total yards (good call)
Jason Witten, TE, Dallas Cowboys
Week 1 Projection: 50 receiving yards; 1 TD
Week 1 Results: 59 receiving yards; 1 TD (good call)
D/ST Los Angeles Rams
Week 1 Projection: 11 points
Week 1 Results: 28 points (AWESOME call)
Good luck in Week 2!