Another week, and of course there were some injuries. Danny Woodhead left the game on Sunday with an apparent knee injury. While it isn’t clear how severe the injury is, this comes as a major blow for a team that lost Keenan Allen for the season just one week ago. Another big injury that occured happened in the Sunday night game with Adrian Peterson. It looked like a Packer defender rolled up on his ankle, but the word out of Minnesota is that they were looking at his knee. Either way, there is a decent chance Peterson may have to sit out next week, as he wasn’t putting any weight on his entire right leg. At least there were some good performances to help ease those injuries hopefully, or maybe just frustrate you more if you went against them.
The goal of this article is to highlight those top guys, and if you can expect some similar performances in the future from them or if it was a flash-in-the-pan. In addition, I will cover a few other players that didn’t perform up to standards, and whether you should be worried or not. So without rambling on longer in this intro, let’s take a look at those who performed well in week 2.
QB - Cam Newton 353 Passing Yards, 4 TD’s, 1 INT, 6 Rushes for 37 Yards and 1 Fumble Lost, 29 Fantasy Points
Not much to say here. He is the top QB, and put up the best performance of the week. You can expect more performances like this to happen.
QB - Matt Ryan 396 Passing Yards, 1 INT, 27 Fantasy Points
This now marks two straight games where Ryan has thrown for over 330 yards and at least 2 TD’s. Matt Ryan a few years ago used to be a guy we could trust to be a top 12 QB because of how much he threw the football and the weapons he has. The bad news though from all of this has been the teams he has faced. The first game was against the Bucs who got torched by Carson Palmer this week, and his opponent this week was the Raiders who were torched by Drew Brees in week one. If you are looking to stream a QB though for next week, I can’t recommend anyone better than Matt Ryan who faces the New Orleans Saints. After that game though, his stretch gets ugly, and get reverted back to being just a top 20 QB.
RB - Matt Forte 30 Carries for 100 Yards and 3 TD’s, 2 Receptions for 9 Yards, 28 Fantasy Points
So who would have guessed Matt Forte would run the ball 30 times in one game this year? The 30 carries were a career high for him, and through two games he has 52 total carries. It appears as though the Jets plan is to run Matt Forte into the ground, and well that is music to a fantasy owners ears. While his efficiency isn’t great, only averaging 3.3 ypc in that last game, when you get as much volume as Forte gets, you become a top 10 RB.
RB - Isaiah Crowell 18 Carries for 133 Yards and 1 TD, 1 Reception for 15 Yards, 20 Fantasy Points.
The big news out of Cleveland is that Hue Jackson may start using Crowell as his workhorse back. Really who can blame him with the effort he put forth on Sunday, where he broke one run for an 85 yard TD. If we can see a workhorse back type of workload for Crowell, he immediately becomes a top 15 back, while Duke Johnson becomes a handcuff and deep league PPR play.
WR - Stefon Diggs 11 Targets, 9 Receptions for 182 Yards and 1 TD, 24 Fantasy Points
Breakout alert! Diggs just showed the entire world how good of a receiver he is. Last week with Shaun Hill as his QB he put up 7 receptions for 103 yards. This week with a better QB in Sam Bradford, he just put up that crazy statline above. Not only is it a great line, but you can see from his route running and catching that this guy is a legit threat to be a top 15 guy this year. While I won’t rank him that high quite yet, he is borderline top 20 at the moment, although he does draw a tough matchup against the Panthers next week. As long as Bradford is his QB, he has the potential to be that middle to late round receiver that you hit on and ride to wins going forward.
WR - Travis Benjamin 6 Targets, 6 Receptions for 115 Yards and 2 TD’s, 23 Fantasy Points
Keenan Allen is down, and it now appears Danny Woodhead may be down for some time. So who does that leave left to catch the ball in San Diego? That leaves Travis Benjamin and Tyrell Williams as the top 2 options for Philip Rivers, as it appears Antonio Gates may be used more so as a redzone and short yardage guy. While I am a big Williams fan, It is clear that Benjamin will be the more trust worthy guy on a week to week basis. At this point Benjamin should be able to reach 1,000 yards receiving for the season en route to a top 20 year.
TE - Greg Olsen 8 Targets, 5 Receptions for 122 Yards and 1 TD, 18 Fantasy Points
The other player on the Panthers that doesn’t need to be talked about at length. Olsen is the guy you drafted. He is a safe player at the TE position who should finish as a top 3 guy.
TE - Martellus Bennett 6 Targets, 5 Receptions for 114 Yards and 1 TD, 17 Fantasy Points
It is tough to really get a grasp on Bennett’s role in the offense at this point. He is currently playing without both Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski. Not only that, but Jimmy Garappolo got hurt and may not play in the next two games. If Brissett is the QB the next two weeks, I am not coming close to starting Bennett, regardless of whether Gronk is playing or not. I would not go and drop Bennett though until we see what his role may be once Tom Brady returns.
TE - Delanie Walker 6 Targets, 6 Receptions for 83 Yards and 1 TD, 14 Fantasy Points
This is the one constant target we can expect out of the Titans this year. We saw the connection Walker and Mariota had last season, and while they may be more run oriented this season, Walker should still get his. Consider Walker a borderline top 7 TE the rest of the way, and if we see the Titans offense open up more, he can creep into the top 5.
Now a look at a couple of other performances that stood out to me from Sunday’s games:
QB - Russell Wilson 254 Passing Yards, 5 Rushes for 14 Yards, 11 Fantasy Points
Don’t panic! I repeat, don’t panic on Russell Wilson’s start to the season. Currently Wilson is trying to play through a high ankle sprain, which is tough for someone who relies on his mobility in the pocket to extend plays. The read option also isn’t an option with Wilson like this, but don’t let that cause you to overreact here. He is still a great passer who knows how to adapt to what he can do. I fully expect him to bounce back next week against the 49ers, keeping his top 5 QB status.
RB - Jay Ajayi 5 Carries for 14 Yards, 4 Receptions for 31 Yards, 1 Fumble Lost, 2 Fantasy Points
This was an ugly game. Even after Arian Foster went down with a groin injury early in the game, the Dolphins were in no position to run the ball with Ajayi. Being down by three scores early forced Miami to throw the ball on most plays. Don’t look at this statline and think that Ajayi won’t be able to get the job done as a starter next week if Foster is out. Ajayi is going to be facing the Browns, so he should have plenty of opportunities in that game. Sure some of the work may be split with Kenyan Drake, but I only see him as a change of pace guy and passing down back. Ajayi should get a majority of the work, which will give him his chance to lockdown the starting role going forward.
WR - Golden Tate 9 Targets, 2 Receptions for 13 Yards, 2 Fantasy Points
This is not looking good for Tate. While he was targeted nine times, he only converted 2 of those for receptions. Not only that, but for the second straight week Marvin Jones has beat him in targets, receptions, and yards. Clearly Matthew Stafford has a new favorite target in Detroit, and his name isn’t Golden Tate. This is a profound disapointment, as I was possibly Tate’s biggest backer this offseason. While I do believe it will get better for Tate moving forward, Jones has clearly surpassed him as the top Lions receiver, rendering Tate as a WR3 or FLEX play only in 12 team leagues until further notice.
Want thoughts on a specific player? Leave a comment on who it is, and I will respond with my thoughts on that guy’s performance and where he stands going forward.