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RED LIGHT/GREEN LIGHT: Week 2

Arizona Cardinals at Indianapolis Colts

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2017 Fantasy Points Allowed
Position Cardinals Colts
Quarterback 2nd 15th
Running Back 26th 7th
Wide Receiver 1st 7th
Tight End 30th 12th
Defense/Special Teams 6th 1st
Vegas Line: Cardinals -7.5
Vegas Over/Under:
44
Already locked into a high-volume role, Fitzgerald should receive even more targets as his he shifts toward the safety valve role previously occupied by David Johnson (wrist/IR). The Cardinals D/ST should be able to feast, as the Colts’ looked completely discombobulated against the Rams without Andrew Luck under center. Regardless of whether it’s Scott Tolzien or Jacoby Brissett quarterbacking the Colts, Arizona is one of the top defensive plays of the week.
Kerwynn Williams is first in line to head the Cardinals’ RB committee as the chairman of early down work. In a game the Cardinals are favored by 7.5, you could do worse if you’re desperate for running back help. John Brown (quad) popped back up on the injury report, but draws a favorable matchup against a still Vontae Davis-less Colts defense. If Brown can’t go, I really like J.J. Nelson as a sleeper this week, as the Cardinals will have to rely on the pass even more than before without their star RB.
All Colts should be considered off-limits: Donte Moncrief, Frank Gore, Jack Doyle, even T.Y. Hilton. Andre Ellington, who averaged 3.1 receptions per game in 2013/2014, is expected to fill the pass-catching RB role in Johnson’s absence. It would be best to take a wait-and-see approach before inserting him into fantasy lineups. In an expected move, the Cardinals re-signed veteran RB Chris Johnson earlier this week, and while it’s reasonable to assume he won’t need much time to get integrated into the offense based on his history with the team, I can’t imagine he gets a large backfield role after being signed off the street just days ago.

Buffalo Bills at Carolina Panthers

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2017 Fantasy Points Allowed
Position Bills Panthers
Quarterback 21st 29th
Running Back 28th 25th
Wide Receiver 27th 23rd
Tight End 16th 22nd
Defense/Special Teams 18th 19th
Vegas Line: Panthers -7
Vegas Over/Under:
 43
I’m chalking Greg Olsen‘s 2-18-0 last week to game flow and Cam Newton shaking off rust. Olsen is too good not to rebound against a Bills defense whose Week 1 numbers are skewed due to playing the rudderless Jets. After getting back into the swing of things last week, look for the Panthers to be a little less conservative with Cam Newton. The Panthers D/ST makes for an intriguing option as Carolina is a 7-point favorite in a game with a low over/under.
Bills’ CB E.J. Gaines (shoulder) is expected to play, which is not good news for Kelvin Benjamin, who struggled in Week 1 with a 1-25-0 stat line. Christian McCaffrey looked spry on his 18 touches last week, but it seems apparent the Panthers want to keep Jonathan Stewart (20 touches) plenty involved as well. I know I bashed Charles Clay in last week’s edition of this piece, but he ended up leading the Bills in targets against the Jets, and QB Tyrod Taylor seems inclined to lean on Clay more than his receivers right now. I’m not a fan of Tyrod Taylor‘s matchup against Carolina, who have a better pass rush than the Jets, but Taylor’s rushing upside (8-38-0 last week) should not be ignored.
Zay Jones disappointed in a juicy matchup last week, catching just 1 of 4 targets for 21 yards. Right now it appears he is behind TE Charles Clay and WR Jordan Matthews in the target heirarchy. The Panthers D/ST might be tempting after holding San Francisco to just 3 points, but the Bills have a conservative offense that tends to avoid big mistakes.

New York Jets at Oakland Raiders

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2017 Fantasy Points Allowed
Position Jets Raiders
Quarterback 6th 8th
Running Back 5th 27th
Wide Receiver 19th 15th
Tight End 3rd 10th
Defense/Special Teams 11th 24th
Vegas Line: Raiders -13.5
Vegas Over/Under:
 43.5
In what should be an extremely lopsided affair, all of the prominent Oakland skill players get the green light: Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree, Marshawn Lynch, and Derek Carr. The Raiders D/ST is also in play as a solid streaming option. My only concern for the Raiders’ pass attack is if they build an early lead and decide to ride Beast Mode for the remainder of the game.
If you’re desperate for tight end help, give perennial tease Jared Cook a look on the waiver wire, after the Jets allowed 5 catches for 75 yards and a score to Buffalo tight ends in Week 1.
None of the Jets are in play against the Raiders, so forget about Bilal Powell, Matt Forte, Robby Anderson, and Jermaine Kearse. Even if/when garbage time becomes a reality, there’s no telling which guy will benefit, if any.

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.