Biggest Week 2 Studs and Stinkers (Fantasy Football)

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With Week 2 mostly in the books, The Fantasy Footballers review and react to the Studs & Duds performances on the latest episode. Here, I’ll highlight the best and worst fantasy finishes from Week 2, previewing their upcoming stretch of games. To get the full breakdown of Week 2 performances, don’t miss Episode 775 – Week 2 Studs & Duds + Big Ben & Brees Injury Fallout.

Biggest Studs

Aaron Jones, RB Packers
Week 2 vs MIN: 23/116/1 rushing & 4/34/0 on 6 targets
Upcoming Schedule: DEN, PHI, @DAL

Toot toot!  That’s my victory horn, as #MyGuy among TFFB writers in 2019 is Aaron Jones.  In a tough matchup against a solid Minnesota defense, the Packers brought their A-game.  Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams, and Aaron Jones had good performances after a worrisome Week 1.  Aaron Jones ran the ball 23 times at over 5 ypc and caught four of his six targets for 34 yards.  Aaron Jones looked GREAT.  His talent has never been in question, but his utilization has always been.  Matt LaFleur, rookie head coach, still has a lot to prove.  In fact, Aaron Rodgers was seen yelling at him on the sidelines after a play on Sunday…Will LaFleur give Jones the ball 20+ times again?  Or was this a fluke?  That’s yet to be determined.  Aaron Jones has proven he is a superior talent time and time again, but Jamaal Williams continues to see touches (12 this past week) and playing time.  I’m going to bet on Aaron Jones, but it’s going to be a bumpy ride.  That being said, Aaron Jones is efficient and will be productive even with limited carries.  In 2018, Aaron Jones averaged 17.7 fantasy points per game when he touched the ball at least 10 times, as outlined in my Aaron Jones offseason article.

Demarcus Robinson, WR Chiefs
Week 2 @OAK: 6/172/2 on 6 targets
Upcoming Schedule: BAL, @DET, IND

Instead of the Lizard King, Sammy Watkins, it was Demarcus Robinson who had a monster Week 2 performance with Patrick Mahomes. With Tyreek Hill sidelined, Robinson made the most of his opportunity.  Catching 6 passes for 172 yards and two TDs, he finished with 32.2 points in 1/2-ppr.  Gruden’s Raiders shut down the Chiefs in the 1st, 3rd, and 4th quarter.  In fact, the Raiders looked like the better team after the first quarter.  Enter Patrick Mahomes, who balled out with 278 passing yards and four touchdown throws in the second quarter alone.  Only nine QBs finished with more passing yards this week than Mahomes did in 15 minutes.  WOAH.  Anyway, back to Robinson.  He finished second in receptions and showed true playmaking ability with a couple of great deep snags.  Is he the Tyreek Hill replacement over Mecole Hardman?  It’s too early to tell, but Robinson will deservedly be one of the top waiver wire adds this week.  His upcoming schedule is mediocre in terms of opponent difficulty, so no issues there.  While Robinson could be a schemed distraction from Mecole (who had a good game too), he may also enter the role of WR2 in Tyreek Hill’s absence.

Dalvin Cook, RB Vikings
Week 2 @ GB: 20/154/1 rushing & 3/37/0 on 6 targets
Upcoming Schedule: OAK, @CHI, @NYG

Dalvin and the chipmunks should be the new team name for the Vikings.  Dalvin is quick and explosive.  He’s the best player on the field when he’s in his zone, and Mike Zimmer knows it.  The question going into Week 2 was, “Will Kirk Cousins increase from ten pass attempts Week 1?  Or is this just the Dalvin show?”.  Cousins increased from 10 to 32 attempts but only logged 14 completions.  Cousins is concerning, but the plus side is that Dalvin is scheme-proof.  Dalvin had a career-high 75-yard touchdown run in the first half, beating out a handful of defenders with his burst through the line and explosive run to the endzone.  Did I mention he’s explosive?  Cook is the real deal folks, and he deserves to be in the top-3 RB discussion moving forward.  If you drafted him in the second round, you’re feeling like you won the lottery.  And you did.  He has some challenging opponents in the coming weeks (in Chicago Week 4), but remember that the Packers Defense looks like the real deal this year and he tore them apart.  He’s matchup proof.

Austin Ekeler, RB Chargers
Week 2 @DET: 17/66/1 rushing & 6/67/0 on 6 targets
Upcoming Schedule: HOU, @MIA, DEN

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Ekeler looks like the real deal.  I’ll keep this one short and sweet, but I need to comment on it because I was wrong about him.  I fully expected Justin Jackson to become more involved, as he averaged more points per touch in 2018 while Gordon was out.  Ekeler is a top-7 RB and will outproduce his draft cost even if/when Gordon returns.  Ekeler has become even more important as injuries plague the cursed Chargers, and he’s far exceeded expectations.  He did fumble on a goal-line carry, but the rest of the game he was unstoppable.  He can do everything on the field, rushing for 4.8 ypc and catching all six of his passes for 67 yards.  His upcoming schedule is juicy – especially Week 4 vs Miami.  Hopefully, you didn’t trade him away like I did last week for back-end RB1 value.  Ekeler is a must-start and may become the MVP of fantasy this year.

Mark Andrews, TE Ravens
Week 2 @ARI: 8/112/1 on 9 targets
Upcoming Schedule: @KC, CLE, @PIT

Mark Andrews was an offseason darling for many fantasy experts.  He has hit big on two weeks in a row.  He’s Lamar Jackson‘s favorite target, and Jackson is looking more and more like the real deal as a passer.  Jackson threw for 272 yards and two TDs while also rushing for 120 yards on the ground, albeit against a beatable Arizona defense.  The Ravens have had two easy matchups in a row, but they’ve done enough to prove they’re the real deal.  Andrews tied Marquise “Hollywood” Brown for the most receptions this week – eight.  Despite putting up big numbers, there were still a couple of throws by Jackson that were off-target for Andrews.  Expect Jackson’s accuracy to improve throughout the season and he gains experience and confidence.  Mark Andrews is looking like the George Kittle of 2019.  Andrews currently sits at the top of the TE throne, averaging 21 points per game through two weeks.  He is a must-start over anyone not named Travis Kelce.  If you are fortunate to have both, trade one for the best value.  His upcoming schedule continues to look attractive – the Ravens should put up big points next week against the ferocious Chiefs with a porous defense.

Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Biggest Stinkers

DeAndre Hopkins, WR Texans
Week 2 vs JAX: 5/40/0 on 8 targets
Upcoming Schedule: @LAC, CAR, ATL

For the first time in over two seasons, Hopkins was held to less than 50 yards receiving and without a TD. Fantasy owners clearly don’t need confidence starting him in Week 3 and on. Hopkins was shadowed on Sunday by Jalen Ramsey, arguably the best corner in the league.  While Hopkins had productive outings both times they faced the Jaguars in 2018, he was outplayed this time.  He caught five of eight targets for 40 yards and left owners feeling disappointed.  Don’t go full tilt.  Hopkins is one of the most valuable fantasy football players and remains a must-start for every game he’s active.

O.J. Howard, TE Buccaneers
Week 2 @CAR: 0/0/0 on 0 targets
Upcoming Schedule: NYG, @LAR, @NO

O.J. Howard is one of the most disappointing fantasy football players through two weeks of the 2019 season.  He finished 54th at his position this past week with zero points on zero targets.  YIKES.  This follows a Week 1 performance of only 3.2 points (four receptions for 32 yards).  In Week 1, he caught four of his five targets.  The storyline was that he wasn’t getting involved enough.  I was the leader of the pack saying “go buy Howard!”.  I admit it doesn’t look good.  What’s bizarre is that head coach Bruce Arians released a statement that “[OJ Howard] can play a heck of a lot better than he’s playing”.  What?  He wasn’t targeted, how can you judge his performance?  Or maybe he was referring to his blocking skills?  Here are the facts… (1) Jameis doesn’t look like he can support three elite players.  (2) Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are studs.  (3) Bruce Arians has never used a TE as a big-time receiving threat.  (4) Almost every fantasy expert in the world thought O.J. Howard, who’s a beast, would have a productive season because of his talent and opportunity.  It doesn’t look good for O.J. Howard’s future.  I wouldn’t drop him yet, but some people might have to due to injuries clogging up their bench.  If you can manage to hold onto him, he’s a firm “bench” candidate until he can prove otherwise.

Deshaun Watson, QB Texans
Week 2 vs JAX: 16/29 for 159/0/0 passing & 4/5/1 rushing
Upcoming Schedule: @LAC, CAR, ATL

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Watson struggled behind a poor offensive line this past week.  He’s been sacked ten times so far this year.  He was sacked 62 times last year, most among all QBs in over ten seasons.  He’s on pace to break the record again this year.  It’s concerning to see such a talented, exciting player have to overcome such a significant obstacle, but that’s the challenge he faces.  Jacksonville has a good defensive unit and was able to shut down DeAndre Hopkins (see above) as well as the other Texans receiving options.  Chaulk this dud up to a bad week.  Despite the terrible offensive line in front of him, Watson has managed to be an elite quarterback almost every time he’s on the field.  He will continue to be a top-3 option at the position moving forward, barring an injury.

Alvin Kamara, RB Saints
Week 2 @LAR: 13/45/0 rushing & 1/15/0 on 3 targets
Upcoming Schedule: @SEA, DAL, TB

Kamara had a rough outing against a stout Rams defense.  The Rams are one of the best defensive units in the league, and the Saints were playing without veteran all-star Drew Brees for much of the game.  Naturally, the game didn’t go as Sean Payton planned.  Brees is expected to miss some time, so Teddy “Gloves” Bridgewater will be the starter in the interim.  While this lowers Kamara’s ceiling a bit, he’s still a top-5 RB.  If you’re worried about Kamara, watch his highlights from Week 1.  Kamara will bounce back and continue to be a cornerstone in fantasy lineups.  In fact, he may be a buy-low candidate with the poor performance and Drew Brees injury…

Don’t miss the latest episode of the podcast for the full breakdown on the rest of the Week 2 Studs & Duds.

Other Week 2 Studs

QB

  • Lamar Jackson vs ARI — 24/37 for 272/2/0 — 16/120/0 rushing
  • Patrick Mahomes @OAK — 30/44 for 443/4/0 — 1 fumble
  • Dak Prescott @WAS — 26/30 for 269/3/1 — 5/69/0 rushing
  • Tom Brady @MIA — 20/28 for 264/2/0 — 2/1/1 rushing
  • Russell Wilson @PIT — 29/35 for 300/3/0 — 6/22/0 rushing

RB

WR

TE

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  • Travis Kelce @OAK — 7/107/1 on 9 targets
  • Will Dissly @PIT — 5/50/2 on 5 targets
  • Vance McDonald vs SEA — 7/38/2 on 7 targets
Other Week 2 Stinkers

QB

  • Cam Newton vs TB — 25/51 for 333/0/0 — 2/0/0 rushing
  • Derek Carr vs KC — 23/38 for 198/1/2 — 2/18/0 rushing
  • Philip Rivers @DET — 21/36 for 293/0/1 — 1/12/0 rushing
  • Mitch Trubisky @DEN — 16/27 for 120/0/0 — 1/8/0 rushing
  • Kirk Cousins @GB — 14/32 for 230/1/2 — 2/17/0 rushing

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TE