Ten Things We Learned in Week 2 (Fantasy Football)
With Week 2 wrapped up, here’s to hoping that your fantasy teams survived the injury bug and avoided some of those high-scoring players this week. It seemed as though half of the quarterbacks in the league had an injury in Week 2. Andy Dalton and Tua Tagovailoa suffered injuries and didn’t return to the game. Both seemed to have avoided major injuries, but we will see with further reporting in the coming days. Baker Mayfield and Derek Carr got banged up as well but returned. Diontae Johnson was injured on the last play of the game (which was meaningless). As of writing this article, the injury’s severity is unknown, so hopefully, he has avoided any season-ending or significant injury.
There was a lot of action to talk about in Week 2 other than the unfortunate injuries. Let’s take a look at the ten things that we learned in Week 2.
1. J.D. McKissic will Continue to Vulture Antonio Gibson
The talk of the offseason for those who love Antonio Gibson was how he might be utilized in the passing game this season. In week 1, it looked like the Washington Football Team would involve McKissic far less than they did in 2020. McKissic had only one target in Week 1 compared to Gibson’s five targets. Unfortunately for those that roster Gibson, that trend did not continue in Week 2. Gibson had only two targets to McKissic’s six targets. McKissic also vultured a goal-line touchdown from Gibson. Antonio Gibson may have played as a receiver in college, but so did J.D. McKissic. It’s probably time to accept that Gibson may not ever be utilized how we feel he should be in the passing game.
2. Saquon is Looking Better, but not Back Yet
Saquon Barkley didn’t break a tackle in a game for the first time in his career in Week 1 and was very limited, as expected. The Giants let him get a few more touches in Week 2, and Saquon looked better. He averaged 4.38 yards per carry and had a nice run where he had a nice stiff arm. Those who took the risk on Barkley knew this was a possibility, but they should be hopeful as it shouldn’t be too much longer until Barkley is fully unleashed and regains his explosiveness.
3. Justin Fields Can Take QB1 in Chicago
Andy Dalton was one of the many quarterbacks to get dinged up in Week 2. Dalton suffered a knee injury midway through the game, and Justin Fields took over. As of writing this article, the assumption is that Dalton will miss some time, but how long is unknown. Justin Fields didn’t look great against the Bengals. Fields finished with six completions for 60 yards and an interception. He added 31 yards on the ground with ten rushing attempts. The rushing attempts are what may help Fields become a very fantasy-relevant player right away. He can be a great passer as well, but that may take some time to develop. It will be interesting to see if Fields can hold off Dalton once he is back from injury, but it seems as though Fields may have his shot now.
4. Mike Williams is Finally Living Up to Expectations
Mike Williams was drafted 7th overall by the Chargers in the 2017 draft. Since then, he has dealt with many injuries and inconsistencies. He had a ten touchdown season and a 1,000-yard receiving season, but now it seems to finally all be coming together in 2021. Williams has 22 targets on the year to go with 173 yards receiving and two touchdowns (one in each game). There was speculation throughout the off-season that Williams’ role would increase as he played the “X” position, but there were still many doubts about fantasy production. Through two weeks, he has shown that he is heading for a breakout in 2021.
5. Brandon Aiyuk‘s Snaps Did Increase, but We Still Can’t Trust Him
Through multiple comments by Kyle Shanahan, it seemed as though that Aiyuk would claim his spot back once healthy and that he was not in “the doghouse.” The issue is that within those comments, Shanahan spoke to how much he liked Trent Sherfield. After not seeing a single target in week 1, Aiyuk didn’t get much more involved in Week 2, receiving two targets with one reception for six yards. Aiyuk’s snaps increased in Week 2; however, Aiyuk ran 47.3% of snaps compared to Sherfield’s 49.1%. As sad as this makes me to say, it’s going to be hard to trust Aiyuk until we see proof that we can see him perform well for fantasy.
6. Cooper Kupp May Be a League Winner
Cooper Kupp now has back-to-back weeks of at least 10 targets. Kupp finished Week 2 with nine receptions for 163 yards and two touchdowns. Kupp seems to be the early favorite receiver for new quarterback Matthew Stafford. Kupp was drafted in the 5th round of fantasy drafts and is on track to finish as a WR1 in fantasy. In the offseason, most analysts had Kupp and Robert Woods near each other in rankings. While Woods will undoubtedly be involved, the early indications are that Kupp is the one you want on your fantasy team. If his target share continues, even near where it’s currently at (38.18% through two games), he will likely finish as a WR1 be a league winner.
7. Gronk’s Stonks is Going Up
Speaking of league winners, Rob Gronkowski may fall into that category as well. Having elite tight-end production is invaluable in fantasy football, and when you find that production in the late rounds, you are likely going to find success. Gronk has two touchdowns in each of the last two weeks and is a major red-zone threat in an offense that will be there consistently. While he is unlikely to keep up the pace of two touchdowns a game, he will be a viable play for those who passed on early tight ends, and he is always going to have a high ceiling. Brady loves Gronk, and they should have continued success throughout this season, even with all the weapons in that offense.
8. Ryan Tannehill is Struggling
Ryan Tannehill was a quarterback that many wanted in the later rounds to capitalize on value. With the addition of Julio Jones, many thought this Titans’ offense would open up, and Tannehill could be a great fantasy quarterback option. Unfortunately, Tannehill has struggled, especially in fantasy production, through two weeks of the season. He has yet to score more than 15 fantasy points. In Week 2, he threw for 347 yards but didn’t find the endzone, so that is part of the slow start. Tannehill may be more of a streaming option than an every-week start that some were hoping he could be.
9. Kyler Murray is an MVP Candidate
The Arizona Cardinals are now 2-0, and Kyler Murray has looked great. In Week 2, the Cardinals beat the Vikings 34-33. Kyler had the Vikings’ defense lost when he would scramble and buy extra time to find his receivers downfield. Murray finished with 400 yards passing and three touchdowns in Week 2 and added a rushing score. He did have a bad interception, but other than that, he looked great. Not only is Murray on pace to be the QB1 overall in fantasy, but there is also already talk about him being a frontrunner for the MVP trophy. Murray has the talent and the weapons around him to continue this success, and this may be his year to take the QB1 throne in fantasy and get that MVP trophy.
10. Rondale Moore had a Breakout
The Cardinals drafted Rondale Moore in the 2nd round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Moore was a stud at Purdue when healthy despite his height (5’7″), which had many worried about how he would translate to the NFL. So far, Moore fits in quite well with this Cardinals offense led by Kyler Murray. He had four receptions for 68 yards in Week 1 and followed up that performance in Week 2 with seven receptions for 114 yards and a touchdown. Moore nearly had a 2nd touchdown on the day but came up just short of the goal line and lost the ball as he got hit. The Cardinals seem to want to get the ball in Moore’s hands, and he may be on his way to a breakout season.