FANTASY SEASON REVIEW: WEEK 2
Cam Newton. Remember him? Well he kicked off week 2 off the NFL season with a mediocre outing in a defeat by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He did manage to rack up some decent yardage (333 yards) but what use is Cam to you if he throws zero touchdowns and produces zero rushing yards?
Fortunately, the Panthers can always rely on Christian McCaffery. Right? Hmmm…not so much in week 2. The Bucs rush defense held him to 37 yards on 16 carries and he managed only two catches for 16 yards in the passing game. So yeah, if you were all in on the Panthers in week 2, you probably lost.
Cam’s passing yards were evenly split between Greg Olsen (6/110), DJ Moore (9/89) and pre-season darling Curtis Samuel (5/91). Yes, there really was a time when Curtis Samuel was a thing.
The Buccaneers had a better fantasy outing. This was the first clear indication that Chris Godwin was going to live up to his offseason hype. 8 receptions, 121 yards and a touchdown gave an impressive stat line and he comfortably outperformed Mike Evans (4/61). It wasn’t a great game, but dedicated fantasy owners finally got to see Godwin come to the fore.
If Lamar had shown in week 1 that he didn’t need rushing yards to boost his fantasy value, he used week 2 to show that his dual threat value was very, very real. 272 yards and 2 touchdowns through the air were supplemented by a spectacular 16 rushes for 120 yards. There was still a little scepticism that Miami and Arizona weren’t indicative of the season to come but most people were catching on quickly. Lamar was legit.
Along with Lamar we seen more promise from tight end Mark Andrews who had 8 catches for 112 and a touchdown and early season favorite Hollywood Brown who put up 86 yards.
Kyler Murray put in a Cam like performance with big passing yardage but little else. David Johnson gave you the first signs of the disaster ahead as he rushed 7 times for 14 yards and caught a single pass. He did salvage a terrible day with a touchdown.
If the 49ers offense looked iffy in week 1, week 2 saw an offensive explosion. Just not one that helped too many fantasy owners. Production was spread around multiple players. George Kittle caught only 3 passes and the stars of the day were little owned Raheem Mostert and goal-line vulture Jeffrey Wilson.
The Bengals, who the Niners crushed 41-17 gave you little to cheer about outside of another flash by John Ross who had 4 for 112 and a touchdown. Joe Mixon had a woeful 11 carries for 17 yards.
The Dallas Cowboys continued their inevitable Superbowl march with a 31-21 win over Washington. Dak had another strong outing cementing his MVP campaign with 269 yards and 3 touchdowns along with 69 rushing yards. We also saw a better outing from Zeke as he went over 100 rushing yards. The Redskins who, it was becoming increasingly clear, were terrible had very little to shout about outside of Terry McLaurin’s 2nd decent outing of the season.
The Steelers fell to 0-2 losing narrowly to the Seahawks on a day they also lost their Quarterback. Big Ben injured his elbow in the game before handing over to Mason Rudolph who, of course, the Steelers “felt great about”. We did see a little life from Juju (5/84) but not a lot else. Russell Wilson had a big game for the Seahawks (300 & 3 TDs) and we seen a nice glimpse of DK Metcalf who got 61 yards and a touchdown. Chris Carson owners started to worry a bit about Rashad Penny as they split the work and both got just 60 yards.
The Raiders promising start ran into a brick wall against Kansas City. The Chiefs went crazy in the 2nd quarter with Mahomes throwing 4 touchdowns and that of course meant a big day for Demarcus Robinson. Wait, what? Yes, this was the week that Demarcus Robinson was a thing. With Tyreek Hill out the former Florida Gator put up a crazy 172 yards and 2 touchdowns. If you then started him at any point in the next few weeks you almost certainly regret it to this day.
Week 2 was also the week that people started to realise that Carlos Hyde was relevant. Much of the talk around Hyde was about how much he’d eat into Duke Johnson’s production. The answer was he’d eat most of it. He had 20 carries to Duke’s 6. Johnson didn’t even get a catch to compensate. Any thoughts that Duke could be a viable fantasy option were blipping in front of your eyes.
For what it’s worth the Texans sneaked past the Gardner Minshew led Jags 13-12.
In LA, the Saints lost Drew Brees to a thumb injury and got smashed by the Rams 27-9. It was clear to everyone that the Saints season was in trouble and the Rams were on their way back to the Superbowl. The Rams got decent days from Cooper Kupp (5/120) and Brandin Cooks (3/74/1) but they weren’t showing any signs of the explosive fantasy attack of the last few years.
The Packers held onto to a strong early start to beat the Vikings with Aaron Jones having a good day on the ground (23/116/1). The Vikings running game continued to look impressive with Dalvin Cook building on his strong start against the Falcons with 191 yards and a rushing touchdown.
Sunday night football was a strange affair, with The Falcons outlasting the The Eagles in an error strewn battle that seen Philly lose DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery and Dallas Goedert before kickoff. Matt Ryan had an up and down night, throwing 320 yards and 3 touchdowns but also 3 interceptions. He got big nights out of Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley, who combined for 211 yards and 3 touchdowns against a laughable secondary.
Carson Wentz was equally inconsistent, throwing for 231 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions. The biggest Eagles contributor was Nelson Agholor who caught 8 balls for 107 yards and a touchdown, if not for a horrendous drop that cost him another 40 yards and another touchdown, he would have had a huge night. Eagles fans will also remember this game as the night Mack Hollins caught 5 passes for 50 yards, there are not many other games to confuse it with.
The week ended with the Luke Falk led Jets losing to the Cleveland Browns who didn’t look great despite their opposition losing their Quarterback to mono. We did, however, see flashes of the old Odell Beckham who returned to MetLife Stadium with a standout 6 catches for 161 yards and a spectacular score.