Friday - Feb 22, 2019

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Observation Deck – Week 2

Don’t overreact. Most of the country will do it, for better or for worse. This is especially important when breaking down the numbers after one week of action; because that is all we have to work with – one measly week of football action. You will stare at these results and weigh them more heavily than everything you previously took into consideration going into the season. It’s a dangerous game to play, avoid doing that for the sake of going insane and for the sake of your fantasy football team.

What should you react to?

1) Andre Johnson couldn’t separate. There was a reason Luck targerted T.Y. Hilton constantly in the first half before he went out with a knee bruise. Johnson couldn’t beat the man coverage the Bills threw at the Colts high-powered offense. If you have the athletes and players to do it, bringing pressure and playing man to man coverage is the most effective way to disrupt the timing of the Colts’ high-powered offense. Donte Moncrief will step in for Hilton in the short-term, but don’t be surprised if he continues to be on par with Johnson as far as targets go even when Hilton returns from injury.

2) Peyton Manning is adjusting to a new offense. Truly, his fastball didn’t look all that bad and neither did his deep throws. He was simply off by inches on a couple a deep shots down the field; had he hit on those, I doubt many would be worried about him as they seem to be right now. The Ravens front seven dominated the Broncos offensive line, now that, might be a little cause for concern. The Broncos offense will continue to struggle Thursday Night as the Chiefs will come out with the win to take the divisional lead.

3) Surprising Week One performances by Quarterbacks: Alex Smith, Marcus Mariota and Tyrod Taylor. A tale of three different QBs here, with only one holding intrigue as a possible waiver wire pickup. Mariota looked comfortable in the Titans offense Sunday but he truly wasn’t asked to do a whole lot. He showed good accuracy and was his efficient self but while the stats were spectacular, he is not fantasy reliable, yet. Tyrod Taylor was extremely impressive, as was the entire Bills team; and that’s the catch – the defense is so stout this team is predicated on running the football. Taylor is a solid backup but not starter material in the fantasy world. Alex Smith on the other hand, intrigues me because Andy Reid’s offense has always been and always will be a pass-first attack. In a game they controlled throughout, Reid was still aggressive getting the ball in his playmaker’s hands. Jamaal Charles had 8 targets to go along with Maclin’s 9, add in a few Alex Smith rushes (only 15 yards on 9 carries this week) and you very well may be looking at a back-end QB1 (top 11-14 QB) when it’s all said and done.

4) Danny Woodhead is an every week starter in all formats with a FLEX position available.

RB_Danny_Woodhead_SDC_1
Chargers RB Danny Woodhead.

How many RBs out there are getting you 16 quality touches that stay in the game and are trusted in the red zone? Not a whole lot. Melvin Gordon looked excellent but his role is very defined, as is Woodhead’s. Don’t expect much change at all from his 2013 and 2015 week one role.

5) Aaron Rodgers trusts James Jones. Jones was cut by the Giants a short time ago, and now he steps right back into his role on the Packers and scores twice, while dropping a third touchdown. Back shoulder fades are a staple of the Green Bay arsenal and the one guy on the roster who has the best rapport when it comes to that throw and catch is James Jones. Am I saying break the bank for Jones? Not at all, but I do believe Rodgers continued use of him near the goal line was not a fluke.

6) Percy Harvin fits well in Buffalo. Likely undrafted in your league, Harvin has always been an explosive talent. Finding a way to get the ball in his hands is the most difficult aspect of involving him consistently into an offensive game plan. Short crossing routes, quick screens, reverses and the occasional straight fade/go route is the solution if you want to unleash the weapon that is Harvin. The Bills did just that, while also not getting one football to Sammy Watkins. A fairly telling statistic and a sign of things to come if Harvin can stay on the football field for the long haul.

7) Justin Forsett is the lead back in a committee. Yes, the Ravens are a mauling run-first football team lacking weapons on the outside, but still Forsett isn’t suddenly going to see a huge uptick in carries from a year ago. Forsett received 14 carries and rookie backup Buck Allen received 9. Both found little running room and averaged less than 3.5 yards per carry, but that doesn’t concern me as much since the Broncos boast a top-5 run defense. It’s hard to be upset about 18 total touches from Forsett, but if you drafted him in Round 2 in August with the idea he would become the bellcow, you very well may be disappointed. Forsett only had five games of 15-or-more carries in 2014 and Sunday’s game was confirmation of this trend continuing.

That’s all for this week folks, thanks for reading and check me out on Twitter @JohnnyLFootball . Feel free to ask any lineup or trade questions you may have this season. You can also listen to me on the Tune-In Radio App Friday’s at 8:45am ET/ 7:45am central on The Ticket Sports Radio carried on 93.5 FM Panama City, 100.3 FM Destin-FWB & 97.1 FM Pensacola.

About John Lanfranca