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Patrick Mahomes, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and what we learned from Week 2

What happened in Week 2 of the 2018 NFL Season?

Kansas City Chiefs v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

It’s hard to watch all 16 games and digest all the information that they provide. Luckily, that’s exactly what this article is here to do for you. Here’s all the fantasy knowledge you need to know from Week 2 of the NFL.

Baltimore Ravens 23 @ Cincinnati Bengals 34

  • Andy Dalton ripped up the vaunted Baltimore defense, throwing for 265 yards and 4 TDs. His connection with A.J. Green led to 69 yards and 3 of those touchdowns.
  • Gio should be the No. 1 waiver claim this week as he’s setup for monster workloads while Mixon is out. Tyler Boyd is also worth an add given his status at WR No. 2 and the Bengals upcoming schedule (after the Panthers in Week 3, they get a cake walk of opposing defenses: Falcons, Dolphins, Steelers).
  • Watch John Brown this week. If he can get it done vs. the Broncos then he’ll be squarely locked-in as a season-long WR2 with upside.
  • Alex Collins and Javorius Allen are in a frustrating timeshare. Both fielded 13 touch opportunities. Collins is handily out-producing Allen though: 90 total yards for Collins, 44 and a touchdown for Allen. Collins’ off and on fumbling issues are likely to blame but one would hope Jim Harbaugh recognizes he’s got a legit Pro Bowl back in Collins and resumes giving him the 19+ touches Collins was receiving last year, during his time as the standalone bellcow

Los Angeles Chargers 31 @ Buffalo Bills 20

  • Philip Rivers continued his QB1 ways, blasting the Bills with 256 passing yards and 3 touchdowns. He added 3 carries for 5 yards.
  • Austin Ekeler has carved out a role in this backfield with Melvin Gordon. Ekeler led the team in carries, 11 for 77 yards and caught 3 of 3 targets for 21 yards. Gordon had a nice day as well. Both are viable fantasy options moving forward and Ekeler could be an RB2 this week as Gordon could be on a pitch count due to his upper body injury.
  • LeSean McCoy has cracked rib cartilage and could miss time. Someone I almost drafted a number of times, Marcus Murphy, could be the sneaky add here. He’s a talented back and my favorite to take the reigns in the post-McCoy era.
  • Kelvin Benjamin could be useful from time to time as Josh Allen likes to launch bombs. If you own him, pray for two weeks of decent production and trade him.

Kansas City 42 @ Pittsburgh Steelers 37

  • The entire Kansas City offense is on fire and all starters (Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, Travis Kelce, and Kareem Hunt) are viable starting options this week against the 49ers.
  • No matter the opponent, Mahomes will always be throwing. The KC defense ranks dead last in yards allowed and 29th in points allowed.
  • James Washington needs to be added in all formats immediately. It could be nothing, but Antonio Brown mysteriously did not show up to the Steelers’ facility on Monday and there’s still no word as to why. Brown did post a cryptic “trade me” tweet in response to a former Steelers PR member slamming him on twitter. JuJu Smith-Schuster would immediately become a WR1 in his absence -- Washington a possible WR2.
  • Jesse James should be added in anticipation of another 5 target workload against the paltry Buccaneers defense.
  • James Conner remains an RB1 until Le’Veon Bell returns.

Miami Dolphins 20 @ New York Jets 12

  • We shouldn’t quit on Ryan Tannehill right now as he’s still got the easiest pass defense schedule of 2018. He also could have a nice rushing floor, given the matchup.
  • There’s reason for optimism on a Kenny Stills bounce back against the Raiders. He’s the best WR on the team and this is a winnable matchup.
  • The Dolphins backfield isn’t trustworthy yet. Frank Gore is taking over 2-minute duties.
  • Quincy Enunwa is a rock-solid WR2 as he’s clearly Sam Darnold’ favorite target.

New England 20 @ Jacksonville Jaguars 31

  • Jags’ OC Nathaniel Hackett called a brilliant game against New England. He successfully incorporated RBs and TEs into the passing game early and often, something Corey Grant truthers are sure to have been giddy over. Hopefully they continue to incorporate the playmaker in the coming weeks.
  • Keelan Cole (what a catch!) and Dede Westbrook should be trusted as dependable fantasy assets moving forward.
  • Sony Michel led the team in carries and yardage (10 carries for 34 yards) but we need to keep in mind that Rex Burkhead missed practice all week and again, they were playing the Jags.
  • There are sure to be fantasy owners whose confidence in their New England players is shook. Try to acquire any of Rex, Michel, Hogan, Gronk, Brady, and maybe even Dorsett at below-market value. They could set records in the next month as their current 4 games schedule is against the Lions, Dolphins, Colts, and Chiefs.

Arizona Cardinals 0 @ Los Angeles Rams 34

  • All of the Rams receivers are startable, high-floor-at-worst fantasy options.
  • Jared Goff continues to effectively helm the uber-efficient Rams offense. Goff will always be a starting candidate against lackluster teams, with Sean McVay at the controls.
  • Mike McCoy should be fired immediately and never again be a part of an NFL coaching staff. David Johnson is being used solely as an interior runner, never mind his unacceptable 2 targets in the passing game -- he’s not even being given runs to the outside.
  • The only way we can trust any Cardinals players are in overly-obvious plus matchups.

Oakland Raiders 19 @ Denver Broncos 20

  • If Phillip Lindsay is available in your league, add him immediately. The kid’s the real deal and should be the 1A in the Broncos backfield moving forward.
  • There should be no question at this point that Emmanuel Sanders is Denver’s No. 1 wideout and will maintain steady high-end WR2 production all year.
  • Amari Cooper righted the ship this week but I still find it difficult to trust a slot receiver being forced into a X-role.
  • Marshawn Lynch totaled an inefficient 68 yards on 20 touch opportunities. He will continue to produce given his volume.

Cleveland Browns 18 @ New Orleans Saints 21

  • Drew Brees continued his steady ways, throwing for 243 yards and 2 touchdowns. His upcoming schedule of the Falcons, Giants, and Washington Football Team should continue to yield fruitful outings.
  • Michael Thomas had a monstrous 13 targets. In this offense, he’s unstoppable.
  • Alvin Kamara hits 99 yards on a bad day.
  • Antonio Callaway had a great day in the post-Josh Gordon era. Callaway is more talented than fellow receiver Rashard Higgins and I like Callaway to solidify himself as the No. 2 WR in Cleveland -- but Hue Jackson a catastrophic moron and could choose to give Higgins the No. 2 role. Both should be added, Callaway if you’re betting on talent -- Higgins if you’re planning on Hue Jackson to Hue-Jackson-It.
  • Carlos Hyde buoyed his inefficient 43 yards on 16 carries rushing line with at touchdown. He added 1 7 yard reception. Nick Chubb owners were pleased with Chubb 2 carries for 14 yard performance coupled with Hyde’s poor showing. We need to monitor this situation -- I wouldn’t blame you for picking up Chubb right now.
  • Duke Johnson remains woefully underutilized in the passing game, registering only 2 targets (and 3 carries).

Indianapolis Colts 21 @ The Washington Football Team 9

  • Andrew Luck turned in a lackluster performance against Washington. With dates against the Eagles and Texans ondeck, it might be time to drop him.
  • The Colts backfield is not trustworthy. Jordan Wilkins continues to outplay the rest but is locked in a 3-way timeshare.
  • Eric Ebron has a touchdown in both games so far. I still prefer Jack Doyle but Ebron is probably worth an add.
  • Adrian Peterson fell flat in a matchup that a 2-down runner should’ve found success in. I do not trust him as more than a (sometimes) boom / (mostly) bust candidate moving forward.
  • Continue to fire up Chris Thompson for as long as he’s healthy. He’s Alex Smith’s favorite target.
  • Similarly, revel in the healthy Jordan Reed time while it lasts.

Philadelphia Eagles 21 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27

  • Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Bucs pass catchers are all must-start fantasy options this week against Pittsburgh. OC Todd Monken is a brilliant coordinator who will unquestionably keeps this pass offense flying high for as long as Koetter lets Fitzpatrick man the helm.
  • The Bucs do not have a usable fantasy running back at this time.
  • Nelson Agholor is the Eagles No. 1 WR, regardless of Alshon Jeffery’s playing status. Zach Ertz is still Zach Ertz. The Eagles have the Colts and Titans up next. Agholor and Ertz will continue to eat.
  • Jay Ajayi was injured last week but successfully re-entered the contest and dominated touches through the second half. Sometimes injuries take a minute to set in though. Monitor Ajayi’s status -- Corey Clement could see 15+ touches next week, should Ajayi miss time.

Carolina Panthers 24 @ Atlanta Falcons 31

  • Matt Ryan had a great bounceback outing against the Panthers. More good stuff is on tap against the Saints this week.
  • Tevin Coleman played like a man on fire. He could seriously increase his season-long role if he continues to play like this.
  • Keep an eye on Ito Smith, should Devonta Freeman continue to miss time.
  • Both Calvin Ridley and Julio Jones played well. Obviously you’re starting Julio this week but Ridley could be a sneaky flex play too.
  • It was nice seeing Devin Funchess assume the No. 2 pass catching role in the wake of Greg Olsen’s injury but a touchdown sure would have been nicer.
  • Christian McCaffrey had 8 carries for 37 yards and an outrageous, team leading 14 catches on 15 targets for 102 receiving yards. He’s firmly the centerpiece of this offense.

Houston Texans 17 @ Tennessee Titans 20

  • Neither Derrick Henry (3.1 YPC) nor Dion Lewis (3.0 YPC) was particularly effective running the ball. Henry out-produced Lewis 56 yards to 42. Lewis added a 1 yard catch. I think it’s likely Dion Lewis out-produces Derrick Henry for a bit. Dump-off passes should be a featured part of Gabbert’s game.
  • Corey Davis maintained his stranglehold on a high percentage of the target share.
  • Lamar Miller is being extremely inefficient with his touches. Towards the end of last season, Alfred Blue was out-touching him almost 2:1. Blue ran very well, gaining 36 yards on just 7 carries. A speculative Blue add might pay off down the road.
  • Start Will Fuller and DeAndre Hopkins with confidence in almost every matchup.

Minnesota Vikings 29 @ Green Bay Packers 29

  • Dalvin Cook carried the ball 10 times for 38 yards and caught 3 of 5 targets for 52 yards. He injured his hamstring in overtime and we need to keep an eye on this. Whoever leads the Vikings backfield against the putrid Bills defense next week will likely post RB1 numbers.
  • The Minnesota Twins, Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs each had 13 targets. They’re weekly candidates to flirt with high-end WR1 numbers.
  • Cousins looks right at home, leading this dominant passing game.
  • Rudolph is a weekly mid-to-low-end TE1.
  • I had high hopes for Jamaal Williams due to his favoritism amongst the coaching staff. He’s not doing a lot with his touches though and the impending return of Aaron Jones could turn this into a serious 3-way committee.
  • Davante Adams is likely the only pass catcher who can trusted as a top-flight option every week. We should be able to discern which 2 or 3 others are viable weekly options given matchup diagnoses though.
  • Aaron Rodgers had a mid-tier showing against a top-tier defense. He should retain his QB1 status in almost all other matchups though, even with the MCL injury.

Detroit Lions 27 @ San Francisco 49ers 30

  • Matt Bredia severely outplayed Alfred Morris. Breida: 159 total yards and 1 touchdown vs. Morris: 80 total yards. Breida might be taking over as the 1A.
  • The pass catchers had a bit of a down week but they should bounce back this week against the Chiefs.
  • Kerryon Johnson was able to effectively produce in the wake of LeGarrette Blount’s ejection. Fingers crossed this was enough to get Johnson some serious bellcow work.
  • Although Marvin Jones Jr. scored this week, Kenny Golladay may be emerging as the team true No. 1 WR. Babytron also found the endzone last week. I did not expect him to find much success against SF’s big bodied corners.

New York Giants 13 @ Dallas Cowboys 20

  • Dak is still not producing enough for fantasy purposes. If there was ever a defense to make him look good, it’s the Giants. The supporting cast just isn’t there for Dak to be a fantasy relevant QB against the 5th hardest pass defense schedule (per Warren Sharp) moving forward.
  • If we can figure out which defense can’t handle gadget players, Tavon Austin might become a usable flex option.
  • Zeke got it done on volume and sufficiently increased his YPC.
  • Appalling play-calling led to Odell Beckham Jr. being woefully under-targeted. Expect this to be rectified soon if Pat Shurmur wants to keep his job.
  • Saquon Barkley struggled to move the ball on the ground due to a terrible offensive line and even worse play-calling. He had a preposterous 16 targets -- which is good for PPR leagues, but they’re passing to him in the worst situations. He’ll continue to produce on volume but it’s ugly.
  • Evan Engram remains a TE1 after finding the endzone in Week 2.

Seattle Seahawks 17 @ Chicago Bears 24

  • Mitchell Trubisky looks great and I expect the box score to begin to show it.
  • Allen Robinson and Trey Burton both turned in solid performances on the screen and in the box score. Expect more from both.
  • Anthony Miller should be added at this time. He’s an exceptional talent and his redzone TD shows Trubisky is beginning to trust him more.
  • Jordan howard had a rough day at the office but keep the faith. He’ll undoubtedly bounce back in the upcoming 3-week slate: Cards, Bucs, and the Miami Dolphins.
  • Russell Wilson is doing everything he can to keep this franchise afloat. The play-calling is unacceptable. He’s a shaky, low-end QB1 for me.
  • Rashaad Penny is getting carries over Chris Carson because of Pete Carroll’s ego -- not Penny’s talent. Carson is the better player. Avoid this ground game for now.
  • Tyler Lockett and Will Dissly look like the trust-able options in the passing game. Look for matchups against defenses that struggle to cover the tight end and the slot (while Doug Baldwin remains sidelined).