Brandin Cooks vs. Tampa Bay
There were a lot unhappy campers in the Cooks’ complex last Sunday. The man that was a fantasy must-have turned into a source of frustration very quickly. Cooks looked underused and at times, unprepared for his matchup against Patrick Peterson. Thankfully, that will be the last time Cooks squares off against the Arizona ace as he now gets a Tampa Bay secondary that is lacking any kind of player resembling the aforementioned talent of Peterson. Cooks should see more room to run and will hopefully get his number called more often than he did in Week 1. If not, we may be looking at a WR3 with WR1 potential as compared to a surefire, must-start WR1.
Frank Gore vs. New York Jets
Everything about the Indianapolis Colts in the matchup against Buffalo looked awful. That does not exclude Gore, who looked old and slow. The elder running back also missed time with calf cramps and then was somehow allowed to limp his way back in even though the head coach stated Gore would be on a “pitch count” to keep him healthy. Sadly, things don’t seem to get better this week as the Jets defense looks to be just a tier below Buffalo. If Gore can’t find his 2006 form here then he’ll slip down to a middle-of-the-road RB2 and will become a matchup-dependent play. That’s a far cry from his draft positioning so owners need to see something more out of Gore.
Adrian Peterson vs. Detroit
Wasn’t that a nifty little play where Peterson carried several defenders for an extra 4 or 5 yards? That was great, right? Well, too bad for us we don’t get points based on effort. Peterson disappointed out of the gate leaving owners pondering if they whiffed on their first-round selection. One game is not worth running head first into a wall over but two stinkers back-to-back would send up a red flag. Detroit is still good against the run but not on the same level as say Baltimore, Buffalo or the New York Jets. That means that a letdown would lead to a larger than usual value hit on weeks where the defensive opposition is above average. Peterson has always bounced back time and time again after underwhelming games over the years. If he doesn’t here, we have to wonder in the great Peterson has lost his kung fu grip on the title of best runner in the league.
Nelson Agholor vs. Dallas
All the hype and promise that surrounded the Philadelphia rookie went right down the toilet after 60 minutes of play. Agholor finished with one catch for 5 yards on the night. People will argue that on the bright side, he saw 80 percent of the offensive plays. Another argument could be made that one catch on 80 percent of the plays speaks volumes as to how much his performance stunk. He and Sam Bradford were simply not on the same page and as the game went on, Bradford focused heavily on Darren Sproles and Jordan Matthews. Agholor has to respond in a big way here. He has perhaps the most value on the line for a wide receiver this week due to the fact that most other letdowns are still proven commodities in the league. Agholor has a zero track record and will drop faster than lead in water if he repeats last week’s awful stat line. Anything less than 75 yards against Dallas should call for a fantasy benching until he can show more.
Eli Manning vs. Atlanta
Two words: Pee. Whew. Just as Manning was beginning to win fantasy drafters over once again, BANG, he puts up a sub 200-yard and zero touchdown performance in Week 1. It’s true that Victor Cruz wasn’t in the lineup but he still had Odell Beckham Jr., Larry Donnell, Rueben Randle, and new toy Shane Vereen to play with against a divisional opponent that he knows very well. Truth be told, there wasn’t an excuse for Manning to post the numbers he did, especially with Dallas’ best defensive lineman being suspended and best corner lost for the year. If Manning were to look soft again here in Week 2, it could be time to move him out of any and all QB1 considerations. Manning has the chance to either reestablish himself as a borderline top-10 option or fall back to being a bye week filler in the weeks he faces Washington.