The Fantasy Footballers’ Rankings Audit & Podcast Highlights for Week 2
Welcome in, #Footclan! It’s football time!
Hot on the heels of a surprisingly high-scoring affair in Ohio between the Cleveland Browns and the Cincinnati Bengals, we find ourselves ready for a fresh batch of games in Week 2 of the National Football League.
As a reminder, this article is another weekly installment where I’ll review the Fantasy Footballers’ player rankings and highlight a few specific players per position that deserve extra attention. I’ll also recap important moments from the past week’s Fantasy Footballers’ podcast episodes with links to each episode provided. So be on the lookout every week for this series!
Also, please keep in mind that the Footballers’ rankings are constantly being updated whenever any breaking news is released. So always refer to their rankings page or click on a specific player below to see their latest rankings!
Now sit back, relax, and…let’s go already!
Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
Wilson proved himself worthy of the “Mr. Unlimited” moniker with an absolute shellacking against the Atlanta Falcons to finish as the overall QB1. Seattle didn’t just #LetRussCook; he flambéed the entire city of Atlanta. But what was more responsible: Wilson’s scorching offense, or the Falcons’ lukewarm defense? He’ll have to prove it was the former with a battle against Bill Belichick’s resilient defense up next. The ‘Ballers have him as the consensus QB3 this week, but I’d temper expectations as HC Pete Carroll and OC Brian Schottenheimer have a predilection to lean on the run game against tougher matchups. It also hurts that this game is projected to have the 6th lowest scoring total. I agree that Wilson will likely be a top 12 QB this week, and if you have him, you’re obviously still starting him…but I wouldn’t expect a top-three blowup game this time.
Daniel Jones, New York Giants
The QB with the greatest rankings disparity between the guys is by far Daniel Jones. Jason is the lone believer with a QB16 ranking, but Mike disagrees by ranking him at QB24. Meanwhile, Andy has him near the bottom of the barrel at QB29. In other words, the guys have “Danny Dimes” as a mid QB2, fringe QB2, and an unplayable QB3. We all saw Jones last year swing wildly between extreme breakout games and devastating slumps, typically dependent on the strength of the opposing defense. Playing against Chicago is no joke, but the Bears just allowed a Kenny Golladay-less Matthew Stafford to throw for nearly 300 yards and what should have been 2 TDs. Jones managed that against an even tougher Steelers defense, ending as the overall QB16 in the opening week. I’m not saying it’s going to be pretty in Chicago (Spoiler alert: it’s not gonna be pretty). But I’m definitely playing him in 2QB or SF leagues, and I don’t think you should be afraid to do so either.
Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears
On the other hand, this one was…pretty ugly. Trubisky saved an abysmal showing against the Lions by overcoming an incredible 17-point deficit in the fourth quarter with three clutch TDs.
— NFL (@NFL) September 17, 2020
It was truly a tale of two Mitch’s. He went from being nearly outscored by sorta-QB Taysom Hill after three quarters, to finishing as the overall QB8. So which Mitch will we get? The ‘Ballers believe we’ll get the former with a consensus QB25 ranking. But I’m betting it’ll be a mix of both again, and there’s enough upside to protect his fantasy numbers for risky managers. The risk, though, is that he’ll be outright benched for Nick Foles. Luckily, he gets to play the New York Giants this Sunday, who just gave up three passing TDs to Ben Roethlisberger. It’s not one for the faint of heart, but Trubisky could be a cheap QB2 option with QB1 upside.
Running Back Rankings
Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts
Welcome to the top-10, Mr. Jonathan Taylor [Thomas]! The ‘Ballers consensus RB9, Taylor is primed for a grand introduction into fantasy glory against the vulnerable Minnesota Vikings. With fellow RB Marlon Mack out for the season due to an unfortunate Achilles tear, Taylor is officially the new lead back on a contending team with the league’s best o-line. He’s Jason’s Start of the Week. One of our writers believes he’s a league winner in the Day Trader: Week 1 Newsletter. I’m excited for Taylor as well, but must remember that his upside (and workload) is capped so long as Nyheim Hines exists. If you’re betting on Taylor to meet his lofty RB1 expectations, then you’re betting on high production and a TD or two every week. Luckily, he just might do that on Sunday in Indianapolis’ home opener.
Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers
Here’s a weird fact: Lifelong Packers’ RB Aaron Jones has never scored a TD against the Detroit Lions. That’s right. Jones, who scored 19 TDs in 2019 alone, has never scored against Detroit, a divisional rival who they see twice a year. In two showdowns last year, he first notched only 6.0 half PPR points from 15 total touches, then improved on their rematch with 15.3 points from 27 touches. The crew has him at RB7, though Jason is the lone dissenter with an RB10 ranking. As mentioned above, you’re banking on high production and a score with these RBs. Jones should deliver at home, but the Lions may simply have his number when it comes to the goal-line.
Wide Receiver Rankings
Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons
It’s crazy seeing Calvin Ridley ranked as the consensus WR8 when teammate Julio Jones is already unanimously ranked at WR2. It’s even crazier that their Week 1 results against the Seahawks ended the opposite way, with Ridley finishing as the overall WR2 and Jones at WR9. The Dallas Cowboys vs the Atlanta Falcons is the matchup of the week with Vegas’ highest implied scoring total. You want to have a hand in essentially all parts of this game. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Ridley, Jones, Amari Cooper, and a combo of Michael Gallup & CeeDee Lamb all end up in the top-12 this week.
Emmanuel Sanders, New Orleans Saints
Emmanuel Sanders is in a prime, sneaky spot against the soft Las Vegas Raiders defense. Currently the consensus WR28, he is a cheap option for your WR3 or Flex spot that has great scoring upside with Michael Thomas expected out. As I mentioned in the Fantasy Day Trader series, four of the five targets Sanders received were in the red zone, making him Week 1’s leader in red-zone targets (tied with Aaron Jones). He was also the only WR to score last week. With Thomas out, Sanders becomes Drew Brees‘ new lead receiver in a great matchup, giving him a safe WR2/WR3 floor with a very decent chance to score.
Tight End Rankings
Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs
Though he was the number one TE for the last few years, Kelce is currently ranked as the consensus TE2 with Mark Andrews ahead of him for the first time. And honestly? Kelce should be ranked even lower. He has a surprisingly spotty track record against the Los Angeles Chargers. In the last two years against their divisional rival, he’s finished as the TE26, TE2, TE5, and TE52. And that TE2 performance happened when Tyreek Hill left the game injured in the first quarter. Kelce is certainly a man among boys in the TE landscape and should be in your lineup if you have him. But don’t be surprised if he doesn’t end up with top-three fantasy numbers.
Logan Thomas, Washington Football Team
A rare case of coach speak coming true, Washington TE Logan Thomas had a great debut last week, playing 74% of offensive snaps and seeing eight passes for four catches, 37 yards, and a TD. He finished as the overall TE7, and now faces a delicious matchup against the Arizona Cardinals. Last year, Arizona was without question the one team you wanted to play TEs against. This year, they’ve upgraded their defense with first-round pick Isaiah Simmons, but are still a friendly matchup to target. The ‘Ballers have Thomas as their consensus TE14, but if he maintains his usage, there’s a direct path for him to repeat as a TE1 this week.
— Washington Football Team (@WashingtonNFL) September 13, 2020
Biggest Takeaways from the Week 1 Podcasts
Monday (Week 1 Studs & Stinkers + Russ Cooks, Mike Cries)
The gang kicks off the week by sharing their favorite Monday Punday submissions at 02:50, including a hilariously brutal one for Detroit’s rookie RB:
— Fantasy Footballers (@TheFFBallers) September 14, 2020
After a recap of the latest news on the Weekly Rewind at 05:35, Mike gives a tragic sendoff to his #MyGuy, Blake Jarwin, at 13:00. The ‘Ballers then discuss all the Week 1 Studs at 19:00, before moving to the Week 1 Stinkers at 46:16.
Tuesday (Week 2 Waivers + Full Stream Ahead, Spicy Toes)
In this episode, Andy, Mike, and Jason recap the Monday Night Football games between the Pittsburgh Steelers vs New York Giants and the Tennessee Titans vs Denver Broncos at 02:40, including Kicker Stephen Gostkowski‘s brutal debut as a Titan. They move on to News & Notes at 13:25 before getting to the juiciest part of the episode: the Weekly Waivers at 20:55. Next up are their choices for Team Defense Streamers at 51:40, before wrapping up the episode with their QB Streamers at 53:45.
Wednesday (Mahomes Interview + Can’t Play Mike, Buy or Sell)
The ‘Ballers kick off this episode with the Buy or Sell segment at 03:00, discussing wildly debated players like Nyheim Hines and Keenan Allen. They move onto News & Notes at 10:00, including an amazing pun for Adam Gase’s new RB pickup, Kalen Ballage:
The Jets backfield is straight goreballage 🗑️🚮 for #fantasyfootball
— Fantasy Footballers (@TheFFBallers) September 16, 2020
Next up at 17:50 is the hotly anticipated interview with reigning Super Bowl MVP, Patrick Mahomes! Afterward, the guys get into the Thursday Night Breakdown – Bengals at Browns at 32:20. They then finish up the episode by answering Mailbag questions at 41:30.
Thursday (Starts of the Week + Week 2 Breakdown, JuJu Reporting)
Thursday’s episode starts with the Taking It Up To 100 segment, where the guys discuss Scotty Miller, Diontae Johnson, and David Montgomery at 02:35. That’s followed by the News & Notes at 07:45, then the ‘Ballers talk about the upcoming matchups in the Fantasy Forecast at 15:40. We then hit the meat & taters of the episode at 57:05…the ‘Ballers Starts of the Week! And don’t forget Jason Moore’s Iron-Clad Locked and Loaded 100% Guaranteed Boom-Boom Kicker of the Week at 01:05:40!
Friday (Week 2 Matchups + Ketchup Mode, In-or-Out)
The ‘Ballers recap Thursday Night Football’s surprisingly fantasy-friendly game at 01:00, making note of A.J. Green‘s disappointing (yet promising) performance. They discuss Footclan Fridays at 12:00 before hitting the News & Notes at 12:45. Afterward, the crew previews the Fantasy Forecast for the remaining Week 2 matchups at 17:05, including a discussion about #MyGuy Melvin Gordon at 17:54 and Andy’s Almost Upset of the Week at 41:10. They round off the episode at 58:10 with their can’t-miss segment, Prop It Like It’s Hot!
Have a great weekend #Footclan and let’s crush all our matchups! And as always, remember to tune in Sunday for Mike’s livestream, where he provides last-minute updates to help you make those crucial roster decisions!