Fantasy owners are still digging out from the wreckage that was Week 2 of the NFL Season. Ouch! The injury bug came biting and it was especially hard on the RB position. Adrian Peterson, Arian Foster, Doug Martin, Ameer Abdullah, Thomas Rawls and poor Danny Woodhead were all knocked out of their respective games. With Woodhead being done for the season.
The waiver wire will be busier than usual as owners look to fill the voids on their rosters heading into Week 3 but that’s another article. We are concerned with who should be in our lineups and who should be taking a seat.
The ‘Stud’ lists have all been updated with quite a few additions and subtractions at the RB position in particular. Patience can be a virtue but it can also sink a fantasy season. Some of the former ‘Studs’ were simply holding teams back and can’t be trusted as a weekly must-play. There is always the chance that they can turn things around, but until it happens, they can be thrown back into the start/bench pool of players.
Enough babbling and let’s do this!
Welcome to the Club
Derek Carr– The Raiders defense has looked awful which has led to a couple of high scoring games out of the gate and Carr has put up nice numbers. He’s thrown four touchdowns and has yet to turn the ball over while racking up 26 rushing yards. With Tennessee, Baltimore and San Diego on deck with a shaky defense, I see ‘Stud’ numbers for Carr over the next month and beyond.
Here’s Your Coat. There’s the Door
Russell Wilson– It pains me to move Wilson down but he’s playing on a bad ankle behind a bad offensive line. Through two games he has a single touchdown pass with three turnovers and has been sacked five times. If the reports of a high ankle sprain are accurate then Wilson will be limited all season in his ability to pick up rushing yards and avoid sacks.
Matt Ryan, ATLANTA at New Orleans- ‘Matty Ice’ has opened the season on a roll putting up five touchdown passes while averaging 365 passing yards per game and throwing a single interception. I toyed with the idea of moving Ryan to the ‘Stud’ list after this juicy matchup but Atlanta has Carolina at home then heads to Denver and Seattle. Ouch. Speaking of this juicy matchup, Ryan has eight touchdown passes in his last four games against the Saints. We ride him this week.
Marcus Mariota , TENNESSEE vs. Oakland- Mariota comes into this nice matchup after leading his team to a come from behind win in Detroit tossing a pair of touchdowns while racking up 249 total yards. To say the Raiders defense has been generous to the QB position would be a huge understatement. In the first two games, QBs have thrown for 819 yards and seven touchdowns against an Oakland defense that has only two sacks and one pick for the year. We like that!
Ryan Tannehill, MIAMI vs. Cleveland- Tannehill finally got the Dolphins offense moving in the second half last week in New England playing from behind in catchup mode. He ended up throwing the ball 45 times completing 32 for 389 yards and a pair of scores. It was encouraging to see both Jarvis Landry and DeVante Parker finish with over 100 receiving yards. With Arian Foster nursing a groin injury the Dolphins have no running game and will attack the Browns through the air. Through two weeks, Cleveland has only two sacks and has allowed four TD passes. This is a good week to roll out Tannehill.
Philip Rivers, SAN DIEGO at Indianapolis- The Chargers have lost two of their top receiving weapons in the first two weeks of the season and Rivers just keeps on keeping on. He has completed 70% of his passes and thrown for five TDs without an interception. The Colts’ secondary is banged up and allowing QBs to complete 73% of their passes. Indianapolis struggles to get to the QB as well having put up only two sacks to date. Rivers will continue to put up nice numbers in week three.
Sam Bradford, MINNESOTA, at Carolina- After a nice debut at home as the Vikings starting, QB Bradford will find the going much tougher this week at Carolina. Yes, Blaine Gabbert threw for two touchdowns against the Panthers last week but that was due to the 49ers being so far behind and can almost be labeled ‘garbage time’ production. The Vikings defense will keep this game close and not afford Bradford that same luxury. With Adrian Peterson likely to miss this game, Bradford is going to have to try and win it with his arm. The Panthers have four interceptions to date and have allowed only three TD passes. Advantage defense.
Tyrod Taylor, BUFFALO vs. Arizona- The best thing I can say about this matchup for Taylor is that at least he gets the Arizona defense away from home. That being said, the Cardinals just roughed up Jameis Winston intercepting four passes and sacking him three times. New offensive coordinator or not, Taylor will struggle to move the ball through the air or on the ground against the aggressive Cardinals defense. He did most of his damage with deep throws last week and you can bet Patrick Peterson and company took note. This is going to be a long day for Taylor.
Andy Dalton, CINCINNATI vs. Denver- After taking a pounding from the Steelers last week, Dalton faces one of the toughest defenses in the league. The Broncos have racked up eight sacks through the first two weeks while allowing only two TD passes. Their secondary is among the best in the NFL and will look to keep A.J. Green in check, much as the Steelers did last week. Dalton doesn’t have many options at WR behind Green and will likely be dumping the ball off to Gio Bernard this week as he dodges the pass rush. Dalton is nursing an ankle injury he suffered last week, so even without Demarcus Ware (arm injury), Denver will be able to pressure him forcing a turnover or two.
Carson Wentz, PHILADELPHIA vs. Pittsburgh- Yes, the kid has looked very good through his first two starts putting up three TD passes and not turning the ball over. Let’s slow our roll on him as the competition was Cleveland and Chicago. This week he gets his baptism under fire as the Steelers come to town. Pittsburgh has allowed only 16 points per game holding Kirk Cousins and Andy Dalton to one TD pass combined in the first two weeks. Let’s hold off on starting Wentz until we see how he performs this week against a real NFL defense (no apologies to the Browns and Bears).