Fantasy Football: What To Watch For In Week 2

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Hey there #Footclan, and welcome back to the weekly series, “What To Watch For“. Each week we take a look at the schedule and the matchups and point out some interesting things that we all should pay attention to. These can be something simple, or those ongoing burning questions we have in the back of our minds. Let’s take a look at Week 2.

Make sure you listen to the podcast highlighting some of these Week 2 Matchups.

Will Dez Bryant continue to struggle against elite CBs?

Earlier in the offseason, a good friend of the podcast and one of my favorite fantasy analysts to follow in Scott Barrett released an article where he was able to research and take wide receivers and cornerbacks and look at snap counts and stat lines, and was able to compile a list of top 12 WRs versus the bottom 25 CBs, as well as bottom 12 WRs versus the top 25 CBs in the NFL. The one thing that he came up with in his findings, and in this case, set the fantasy community ablaze was how sensitive Dez Bryant’s performance becomes when faced against the top CBs of the NFL world. Dez’s schedule is not for the faint of heart this year, and now just after last week by being shut down by Janoris Jenkins who told reporters for that “everything’s got to be a double move to get him open because he’s not fast.”

He faces the daunting task of going head to head with the stingiest and most lockdown secondary in the league in the “No Fly Zone” of the Denver Broncos featuring Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr. In the same article mentioned above, Scott Barrett showed Harris is able to decrease receivers to only 1.28 fantasy points per target, which spans throughout his whole career! With Talib likely going head-to-head with Dez and is able to do the same as Jenkins in taking away any receivers double moves, it’s likely the Cowboys will have to rely on the ground game of Ezekiel Elliott and the quick legs of Dak Prescott. It’s a good week to fade Dez Bryant to a flex position if you took high draft capital on him, or if you have another stronger option at WR to play them instead.

Brandin Cooks makes his return to New Orleans against the Saints.

In what could be the game of the week when two Hall of Fame quarterbacks in Drew Brees and Tom Brady meet in what could be an offensive showdown for the ages, Brandin Cooks who was traded this past offseason to the Patriots for the 32nd pick in the this year’s NFL Draft, returns back to the Superdome where he is very familiar with the field and flashed his dominance at the WR position for the Saints in season’s past. Because both defenses are looking vulnerable at best, this matchup could favor Cooks as he looks to not only show that he is the WR1 option in New England and try to sure up a longer contract with them, but there have to be some thoughts in the back of his mind of showing the city of New Orleans what they now are missing out on as well. It was no secret that Brandin showed frustration being a Saint at times during interviews and wanted a trade to happen ultimately. Might the Saints fire back and show Cooks that his services are no longer needed and we see an uptick in performance for the new WR1 in town, Michael Thomas? This could be a bonanza of points, so it should be one roller coaster ride of a game and we should brace ourselves for the thrill ride.

Jim Rogash / Stringer

Will the Green Bay defense contain the high-octane offense of Atlanta?

It was shocking for most that watched the game last week that had the Green Bay Packers hand the Seattle Seahawks their first loss of the season in a 17-9 contest.  We all knew what the Seahawks Defense is capable of with the remaining “Legion of Boom” members Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman, and Michael Bennett still on the roster, but this Green Bay defense came out of left field. In the offseason, the Packers did make moves to add more defense than offense to eliminate the huge gaps in production they had last year, in turn, had many fantasy players targeting their matchups against Green Bay with hardly any secondary left and a leaky defensive line that could be run on. Now we saw a new Packers defense that held Seattle to only picking up only four first downs in the first half. The Seahawks running backs combined for just 50 yards on the ground, with 30 of them coming on one play. Seattle’s quarterback Russell Wilson threw for a small amount of 158 yards and was harassed all day long. But can this momentum keep going when faced against the high-powered offense of the Atlanta Falcons in a rematch of the NFC Conference Championship from last year? With so many weapons compared to what Seattle has, Matt Ryan is continuing on in stride from last year which earned him MVP of the league honors. Something has got to give one way or the other, and people are salivating at the possibilities of who will get the highest production, whether that means the always dangerous Julio Jones, the rising star of TE Austin Hooper, or the fast tandem backfield of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. But could this all be spoiled and Green Bay’s defense prove they are not a one hit wonder? We get to find out on Sunday night in primetime.

Can Jameis Winston be a Top 5 fantasy QB this week?

In what will be the debut of the 2017 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jameis Winston will finally get to throw to all his new shiny toys as they take on the Chicago Bears this weekend. With what transpired in Florida with Hurrican Irma, might this fuel Winston and the Bucs with motivation to get their first win of the season and boost the morale of the Tampa Bay community? This is also a homecoming for Bears QB Mike Glennon who will start against his former team as he sat as Winston’s backup the past 2 seasons. Though Chicago doesn’t necessarily rank towards the bottom of defenses after Week 1, they do have the daunting task of covering all the many weapons that Tampa Bay was able to pile up for Winston, the biggest acquisition was the signing of speedster and down-field threat, DeSean Jackson. Adding him with an already elite WR in Mike Evans, and bringing in rookie wideout Chris Godwin, and adding an O.J. Howard to go alongside Cameron Brate who lead all TEs with 8 touchdowns last season, and the picture is painted that the Bears have their hands full! This brings up the question, that if Jameis Winston can make smart plays all game long, decrease his interceptions in this game, could he wind up in the Top 5 of fantasy production at quarterback for fantasy this week with all this fire-power? With a 1 pm start time, this will be one of the first games we will get to see and find out for sure!

How many points can the Raiders score on the Jets?!

During the “Starts of the Week” segment for Week 2 on The Fantasy Footballers Podcast, Jason said that he is going to start Marshawn Lynch against the New York Jets and even went on to say that “Beastmode” looks to be his old self and well rested, and he thinks could at least go for 2 touchdowns this week. This got me thinking when listening to the podcast in my commute back home on the road, “how many TDs or points can the Raiders really drop on the Jets?” If Lynch runs in 2 TDs of his own, with the red zone targets finally going to Amari Cooper, and the excellent yards after the catch that Michael Crabtree is capable of, can we see a game like last week when the Rams demolished the Indianapolis Colts and went for 46 points? I’m being bold here and saying that the Raiders can get to the 50 point marker in what would look like a lopsided Madden game online playing a buddy whos skill level is a beginner. Like we talked about last week, the Jets are purposely tanking in hopes of grabbing the 1st overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, and this isn’t the same tough Jets’ secondary that use to be back there a few seasons ago. So will I succeed and be right with the 50 points, or will I be surprised and the Jets put up a fight against Oakland in their first home-opener for 2017?

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