Although last Thursday’s blockbuster division matchup turned out to be more of a yawn-fest as both Green Bay and Chicago offenses delivered rusty, lackluster performances. The rest of week 1 was bursting with action, surprises, upsets, and unfortunately a few injuries.
“I’m sorry Mr. Jackson, you are for real!” to parody the famous Outkast song. The much-hyped Lamar Jackson and Baltimore Ravens’ renovated offense proved critics wrong as they looked unstoppable and decimated the Miami Dolphins in Week 1. In addition to Jackson’s phenomenal 5 touchdown performance, several other players had huge season debuts including first round packs Christian McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley who both lost their respective games, but still impressed in opening week. In limited work, Ezekiel Elliott also assured owners that he is healthy and ready for a bigger workload in Week 2.
Some of the major surprise performances from opening week included two veteran wideouts impressed in Week 1 as DeSean Jackson returned triumphantly to Philadelphia with a 154-yard, two touchdown performance and Sammy Watkins posted a monster 198-yard three touchdown effort! Unfortunately, several players suffered injuries including Derrius Guice, Mike Williams, Nick Foles, Tevin Coleman, Joe Mixon, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Devin Funchess, Patrick Mahomes, and Tyreek Hill. Many of these players will miss time, but fortunately a few should return in Week 2 so monitor accordingly if they are on your roster or for potential workload changes, waiver wire additions, etc. Lastly, you would have needed to live in outer space to avoid the constant stream of news this week regarding Antonio Brown. In short, Brown was scheduled to be suspended from the Oakland Raiders after his misbehavior and even physical threat against Oakland’s GM, then was released and finally signed by the New England Patriots. To begin this week, Brown was charged with rape and sexual assault, which the NFL is investigating so monitor this news closely if he is on your roster.
Now, let’s take a dive into Week 2 and review several players teed up for a strong performance in Week 2!
QB Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
After a rough start to Week 1, Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills rebounded to score 17 unanswered points and knock off the division rival New York Jets. Expect a sharper start to Week 2 as the Buffalo Bills visit the other “New York” football team when they visit the Giants who just allowed 405 passing yards and 4 touchdowns to Dak Prescott. Buffalo’s offense showed chemistry in the 2nd half and should pick up where they left off this weekend.
Week 2 projection: 225 passing yards; 2 TD
RB Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans
Much of 2018, Derrick Henry looked like a potential fantasy bust. However, he ended the year “busting” out! In fact, Henry has averaged 172 total yard and accounted for 9 touchdowns over his last five games! Henry is posting stats better than many first round picks and should continue his momentum when the Tennessee Titans welcome the division rival Indianapolis Colts. Indy just allowed 219 total yards and three touchdowns to the L.A. Chargers’ running backs. During their last tilt in Week 17 last season, Henry totaled 106 yards and should be in line for an encore this Sunday.
Week 2 projection: 100 total yards, 1 TD
WR Sammy Watkins, Kansas City Chiefs
After Patrick Mahomes’ top wideout target Tyreek Hill went down with injury early in Week 1, veteran receiver Sammy Watkins stepped up and became unstoppable. In Week 1, Watkins was a potential WR3 or Flex in deeper leagues, but now is a must-start and considered WR1 especially after an epic performance catching 9 passes for 198 yards and scoring three times! Although Oakland’s secondary was satisfactory during Monday’s victory against Denver, look for Mahomes and Watkins to torch them in Week 2.
Week 2 projection: 100 receiving yards; 1 TD
TE Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens
The Baltimore Ravens’ new offensive strategy let by Lamar Jackson was the talk of the offseason and even exceeded the hype in Week 1! Tight End Mark Andrews was a major weapon for the Ravens’ offensive regimen as he caught all 8 targets for 108 yards including a touchdown. Andrews should be started again in Week 2 when Baltimore welcomes the Arizona Cardinals who just allowed 146 yards and a touchdown to Detroit’s tight ends.
Week 2 projection: 80 receiving yards; 1 TD
D/ST New England Patriots
Patriots’ defense was ranked middle of the road during drafts and heading into Week 1. Were they really good in Week 1 or were the Pittsburgh Steelers really bad? We may not have a clear-cut answer to this question, but we do know that they will visit the Miami Dolphins this weekend who couldn’t appear any more out of sorts! In fact, Miami totaled 200 yards for the entire game. Their running attack was completely squashed to a mere 21 rushing yards! This is a no-brainer start especially if your defense plays against a strong offense.
Week 2 projection: 12 points