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RED LIGHT/GREEN LIGHT: Week 2

New England Patriots at New Orleans Saints

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2017 Fantasy Points Allowed
Position Patriots Saints
Quarterback 1st 3rd
Running Back 1st 9th
Wide Receiver 4th 2nd
Tight End 4th 9th
Defense/Special Teams 20th 23rd
Vegas Line: Patriots -7
Vegas Over/Under:
56.5
For anyone who didn’t watch the Saints play on Monday night, their defense did not look to be one bit improved from last year. With 10 whole days to stew over their beat-down at the hands of the Chiefs, look for Tom Brady, Brandin Cooks (#RevengeGame), and Rob Gronkowski to come out firing and take care of business in a game that features the highest over/under of all Week 2 contests. On the flip side, Drew Brees has a great matchup against a Patriots defense that looked wildly out of sync in Week 1, giving up 368 passing yards to Alex Smith, of all people.
I really want to give Mike Gillislee and James White the green light this week considering the matchup, but there’s just no telling what bag of tricks Bill Belichick has up his sleeve for the New England backfield. Mark Ingram had a lackluster rushing performance last week (6-17-0), but appears to be the Saints’ preferred receiving back, particularly when they are in hurry-up mode. If he plays, Danny Amendola (concussion) appears to have inherited the Julian Edelman role as Tom Brady‘s safety valve. Coby Fleener is worth a look if you’re streaming tight ends, as he seems to be the main beneficiary of Willie Snead‘s suspension. Chris Hogan was a disappointment in Week 1, catching just one pass for eight yards, but this should be a week where all the NE receivers make a dent in the box score.
Rex Burkead and Dion Lewis don’t appear to be mainstays in the offense at this time. That said, it would not be shocking to see one of both of them go off this week. Michael Thomas gets another tough draw, as New England historically sells out to take away whomever they deem to be the oppositions’ best player. Last week it was Travis Kelce, this week it’s Thomas. Adrian Peterson appears to be a poor fit for the Saints’ offense, playing just 9 offensive snaps in Week 1. This contest appears to be another one where the Saints are playing catch-up, with Peterson most likely spending most of it on the sidelines giving Sean Payton the stink-eye.

Philadelphia Eagles at Kansas City Chiefs

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2017 Fantasy Points Allowed
Position Eagles Chiefs
Quarterback 20th 22nd
Running Back 17th 2nd
Wide Receiver 20th 11th
Tight End 20th 21st
Defense/Special Teams 8th 28th
Vegas Line: Chiefs -6
Vegas Over/Under:
 47.5
Kareem Hunt is a green light until further notice, regardless of the matchup, after he went nuclear last week against the once-vaunted New England defense. Andy Reid always knows how to get the best out of his RBs, and Spencer Ware‘s 1,368 total yards from 2016 looks like Hunt’s basement. Look for Travis Kelce to be unleashed after being held in check Week 1. The absence of CB Ronald Darby (ankle) opens the door for another big day for Tyreek Hill against a weakened Eagles secondary Likewise, Eric Berry‘s season ending injury becomes a boon for Zach Ertz‘ prospects of a big game.
Alshon Jeffery gets another tough draw against CB Marcus Peters, granted Peters tends to just stick to one side of the field ala Richard Sherman. I like Nelson Agholor as a sleeper, after Danny Amendola went 7-100-0 against the Chiefs in Week 1. I’m very curious to see if this new and improved Alex Smith can keep up his gun-slinging mentality two weeks in a row against an Eagles’ secondary that was just okay against the Redskins. Carson Wentz will find the going a bit tougher in Arrowhead Stadium against DE Justin Houston and company, but I like Wentz to maximize his cache of offensive weapons well enough to be a streaming option.
The Chiefs poor ranking against enemy running backs is bolstered by a trio of 1-yard goal-line plunges by Mike Gillislee, as they allowed a mediocre 3.5 YPC to Patriots’ rushers. LeGarrette Blount did score a touchdown himself last week, but I have doubts about his usage in what should be a more closely contested game. Darren Sproles might be useful as a desperation dart-throw in PPR leagues after being targeted 8 times in Week 1.

Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2017 Fantasy Points Allowed
Position Titans Jaguars
Quarterback 10th 28th
Running Back 18th 22nd
Wide Receiver 3rd 24th
Tight End 17th 15th
Defense/Special Teams 27th 29th
Vegas Line: Titans -3
Vegas Over/Under:
42
With Allen Robinson (knee) done for the year, it becomes more apparent than ever the Jaguars’ offense will be driven by Leonard Fournette‘s legs. He draws a decent matchup against the Titans who allowed 102 rushing yards to Oakland. Delanie Walker hasn’t fallen out of favor yet as one of the primary Titan pass catchers.
Marcus Mariota scored a rushing touchdown last week, but disappointed fantasy owners by not scoring any with his arm against a weak secondary. Things won’t get any easier against the Jaguars, who allowed the fewest passing yards in Week 1 (I’m aware it was against the offensively challenged Texans, but still). DeMarco Murray should receive more of his usual workload, after game flow limited his touches in the first half of last week’s contest. The matchup is not as scary as one might believe, as Jacksonville did give up 4.0 YPC to the Texans. Jaguars’ CB Jalen Ramsey (ankle) is questionable, and if he sits, then perhaps Rishard Matthews becomes a flex-worthy starter based on his rapport with Mariota. Jacksonville had the highest scoring D/ST of Week 1 (tied with the Rams), but the Jaguars have had issues defending the Titans with Marcus Mariota under center, allowing point totals of 42 and 36 in the last two contests that Mariota started and finished.
Corey Davis and Eric Decker appear to still be getting acclimated to the offense, so I would keep them reserved until we receive more clarity on the pecking order. That said, the receiving duo did rack up a combined 18 targets last week. Even in a plus matchup, it’s hard to trust Allen Hurns and Marqise Lee after their minimal contributions last week following Allen Robinson‘s season ending injury. Jacksonville would much rather feed their running backs than rely on Blake Bortles‘ arm for a victory.

About Will Weiler

An NFL Red Zone addict and all-around data nerd, I've been obsessed with the NFL and stats ever since I started playing the virtual pigskin game in 2005.