Fantasy owners will be calling in a mayday after week 2
If you scored more than 50 points in any format this weekend you were lucky with the amount of injuries, last second deactivations, and just garden variety weird turn of events that happened in fantasy football. I know that in more than a few of my own leagues I squeaked out a win by just a point or two, thanks to DeMarco Murray (I own him in most of my leagues).
Jay Cutler only throws for 176 yards, but manages 4 touchdowns to finish as the #2 ranked QB in week 2. Brandon Marshall is listed as questionable, but everyone is saying closer to doubtful than questionable; he goes off for 3 TDs with just 48 yards. Tom Brady, Matt Ryan, and Tony Romo all disappointed, while Philip Rivers, Knile Davis, and Sammy Watkins all turned in top 5 performances in their respective positions. Go figure!
Injury News and Info
Redskins QB Robert Griffin III is injured… again, but Kirk Cousins steped in and is a sexy waiver wire add for QB needy teams.
Chargers RB Ryan Matthews sprained his MCL and could miss 4-5 weeks as a result. Danny Woodhead is already owned in 85.4 percent of NFL.com leagues, but Donald Brown is owned in just 2.0 percent of them. Word from those around the Chargers seem to think Woodhead's role won't change much (if at all), and it will be Brown who should have the higher ceiling in fantasy terms. If you need a RB, Brown is going to be the #3 must-add RB, behind Knile Davis and Khiry Robinson.
Speaking of Robinson, Mark Ingram broke his hand and will miss "at least" one month. Robinson is this week's #2 FA grab for RBs.
And last but not least, keep a close eye on Doug Martin's status this week as Bobby Rainey put up 174 total yards against a Rams defense that shut down Adrian Peterson in week 1. The Bucs take on the Falcons next week, and Rainey could make it rain with fantasy points against a Falcons defense that has given up 309 total rushing yards in just their first two games. Coach Lovie Smith suggested on Monday that Doug Martin would have participated if they had held a practice, but didn't go so far as to say Martin would play on Thursday.
Philip Rivers – Chargers: Rivers and Antonio Gates weren't supposed to do as well as they did against the Seahawks ferocious defense, but that is just what they did in route to a 30-21 upset victory on Sunday. Rivers finished with 284 passing yards and 3 touchdowns, stats good enough for a top 3 fantasy finish for QBs in most scoring formats. Rivers has a chance to keep the momentum rolling next week against a Bills defense that is allowing 275.5 passing YPG through two games this season.
Kirk Cousins – Redskins: There has been question marks about who the Redskins starting QB should be all off-season, and the injury to RGIII this weekend only made it worse when Cousins stepped in threw for 250 yards and 2 TDs on Sunday. Cousins was virtually unowned prior to week 2, but you can be sure that QB needy teams will pick him up in the hopes that he doesn't relinquish the starting role once Griffin is healthy again.
Darren Sproles – Eagles: Sproles put on a PPR clinic on Monday Night Football, as he finished with 7 receptions, 178 total yards and a touchdown. 152 of those yards came via the air, which we always knew would be his bread and butter with Shady McCoy handling the ground work. Sproles is going to be in the flex discussion every week, but his owners got a nice surprise this week as he finished as NFL.com's #1 ranked fantasy RB.
Knile Davis – Chiefs: Jamaal Charles suffered the dreaded high-ankle sprain in week 2, forcing Davis to step in a wreak havoc on fantasy line-ups as he finished with 105 total yards (79 rushing and 26 receiving) and 2 touchdowns. Davis is the guy you want off the waiver wire this week as high-ankle sprains have a way of taking a few weeks to fully heal. If nothing else, he will give you a few weeks of RB1/2 stats for free.
Bobby Rainey – Buccaneers: Doug Martin was inactive with a knee injury this week, and Rainey went crazy on the Rams and finished with top 7 fantasy numbers at the RB spot. While Coach Smith is saying Martin could have practiced on Monday, Rainey most certainly carved out a larger piece for himself at the dinner table with week 2's performance. I still think Rainey is worth an add if you aren't cutting anyone with legit value since Martin hasn't really impressed anyone following his breakout rookie season.
Sammy Watkins – Bills: There is usually little good to say about the Bills passing game, but Watkins went against the grain this weekend and found his way to a top-5 finish on the WR leader board. Watkins was targeted 11 times and finished with 8 catches for 117 yards and a touchdown. He accounted for 58 percent of E.J. Manuel's total passing yards, so you can see the danger in owning him. When (not if) Manuel doesn't have a good day, Watkins too will have a bad day. And, Manuel has far more bad games than he does good games. Watkins is a TD or bust kind of play most weeks.
Mohamed Sanu – Bengals: Sanu found himself as the go-to guy in week 2 after A.J. Green went down with turf-toe (not on the list since he never saw a target). Sanu managed to rack up 84 receiving yards and a touchdown, then decided to try his hand at a little Tecmo Bowl trickery when he hooked up Brandon Tate for a 50-yard completion. Sanu will be on the WR3 map with Green expected to miss week 3, and should be picked up in most 12-team leagues.
Antonio Gates – Chargers: I had little hope for Gates as the Chargers faced off with the Seahawks, but I was dead wrong! Gates turned back the clock and showed fantasy owners he IS still relevant as he hauled in all 7 of his targets to finish with a 7-96-3 line in week 3. Gates silenced his critics and proved he is still atop the TE depth chart for the Chargers. Gates is worth adding and will be on the TE1 bubble as long as he is healthy.
Buffalo Bills defense: The 2014 Bills defense isn't the same aggressive defense we saw in 2013, but that didn't matter this week as they were able to feast on a struggling Dolphins offense. In the end, the Bills gave up just 10 points while they tallied up 4 sacks, 1 INT, 1 recovered fumble, and 1 TD return (for those in leagues that count it) for their fantasy owners. The Bills schedule gets much harder the rest of the way, so I wouldn't be so quick to jump on their defensive bandwagon.
Robert Griffin III – Redskins: I've already covered this, but RGIII is out probably 6-8 weeks with a dislocated ankle, and Cousins looked very good in relief on Sunday. My personal opinion is you can cut RGIII right now in 12-team formats because even if he doesn't get his starting job back upon his return, he is going to have a LOT of rust to shake off and probably won't play like the QB1 you drafted him to be. This was the danger in drafting Griffin, he is injury prone.
Matt Ryan – Falcons: After tearing up the NFL in week 1 with 448 passing yards and 3 touchdowns, Ryan was looking like an excellent value pick at the top of the 6th round. However, the Bengals showed why they have a top 5 fantasy defense as they limited him to just 231 passing yards and 1 TD. To make it worse, they were able to rack up 3 INTs on the day. Ryan finished in the 25 range for fantasy QBs this week, with even Eli Manning beating him out in fantasy numbers (and you all know how much I HATE Eli Manning in fantasy football).
Reggie Bush – Lions: Bush is always viewed as a PPR monster in fantasy terms, but he has been anything but that this season as he has just 96 total yards and 8 receptions this season. Bush is one of those guys you probably took as your RB2 or flex, so it is hard to outright bench him. The Lions do get the Packers leaky defense in week 3, so things could turn around for him quickly. I view him as a buy-low candidate at the right price.
Matt Forte – Bears: The 49ers run defense stymied Forte all game long, and held him to just 21 yards rushing and 15 yards receiving on 5 catches. The entire Bears offense was ineffective when you look at it, they just scored 4 touchdowns on short fields is what it was. Next week Forte has another tough match-up with the Jets, so it might not be a terrible idea to sit him if you have the RB depth (Davis or Robinson off the waiver wire) to do so.
Marques Colston – Saints: Colston snapped an 86-game streak of catching at least one pass. To make matters worse, Colston wasn't even targeted one time in the game. Colston is still the Saints No. 1 WR and should be played as a WR1 in week 3 when the Saints get the Vikings in their home opener.
Torrey Smith – Ravens: There is a reason why I steered clear of Smith at draft time, because he is prone to disappearing for entire games. That is just what he did in week 2 as he finished with just 1 catch for 10 yards. Steve Smith is killing [Torrey] Smith's fantasy value, and fantasy owners who were brave enough to take him in the middle of the 6th round are paying for it. Torrey is a deep ball threat who will be a true boom or bust play every single week.
Rob Gronkowski – Patriots: As the Tight End position goes, it is a feast or famine fantasy position. While Gronk is normally money in the bank for his owners, there is still some risk in owning him in my mind because I think Tom Brady is on the downside of his career. Gronkowski finished with 32 yards and no endzone visits.
Chicago Bears defense: The Bears defense suffered another devastating blow this weekend as they lost DB Charles Tillman to another torn triceps. He missed the final seven games of last season with a triceps tear, and at 33-years-old, there's a good chance "Peanut" has played his last down with the Bears. If you own the Bears, I'd be looking for other options. They did finish as a top 10 fantasy defense in week 2, but the future is starting to look dim with this injury prone defense.
For anyone wondering, I missed on starters Kelvin Benjamin, Justin Hunter, and the Bucs defense, as well as Ruben Randle on the sit list. All in all I went 12-16 which is 75 percent for the week. Not where I'd like to be, but I can't and won't complain about being right 3/4 of the time!