2020 EYE IN THE SKY NFL SCOUTING REPORTS
Once again in 2020, we are bringing you in-season NFL Team Reports from our "Eye in the Sky" correspondents. These reports represent a local point of view which isn't readily available on the web. We remind everyone, the views expressed within these reports contain speculation as well as fact. It's just another extra bonus from FFMastermind.com to keep all fantasy football fanatics well informed.
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The Texans are doing their best to demonstrate the good, the bad and the very ugly. TE Jordon Akins may be becoming a real offensive threat. He had another good game last week; so far, I think he’s the only receiver that QB Deshaun Watson trusts. The bad is the offensive line and quarterback both playing so far out of sync. They really stink. The very ugly must be DL J.J. Watt calling out rookie DT Ross Blacklock, publicly called him a selfish player. Very ugly.
DL Charles Omenihu with a sack looked better this week. Watt had two. Overall, the front seven just wasn’t up to stopping the run. They looked like a couple of Dominican nuns trying to stop a buffalo stampede. Ugly.
The running game never started; RB David Johnson did not look special. WR Will Fuller was never seen; I don’t believe he was involved in even one pass play! WR Randle Cobb and WR Brandin Cooks caught a few passes but none were very meaningful.
This week the Texans head to Pittsburgh where not many good things happen to visitors. The question is do the Texans have enough pride to at least make a showing? I think not. The team may be giving up on the HC. You can see it in the little things. The way the HC answers questions about the team’s performance. When you hear a HC say "it’s on me" you know something is wrong.
Hopefully my perception is wrong, and we’ll see this team snap back this week!
I’d hold off playing any of the WRs until the offense starts playing better. That goes for RB David Johnson also. If you own Watson, you must play him. If you can still pick up TE Jordon Akins in your league do so. I believe he will have a very good scoring year.
That’s what it looks like here in Houston. Good luck!
Hey there Colts’ fans! Here are my thoughts on this Sunday’s unusual 4pm ET home game as the 1-1 Colts host the 0-2 New York Jets:
INJURIES: With the season-ending injury to S Malik Hooker, rookie S Julian Blackmon will step in and get more run in the base defense. Special teams ace LB Matt Adams is also going to be out a while, so these means that his presence in kick coverage might get felt.The more pressing issues are what the Colts will do with WR Parris Campbell going on IR, and TE Jack Doyle likely being out again this week to go with TE Trey Burton on IR. The team has resigned some tight ends for the practice squad, and they are rumored to be re-signing veteran WR Marcus Johnson while Campbell is gone for a minimum of three games. Doyle did not practice yet this week and if I had to guess will again be an inactive this week.
QUARTERBACK: The Jets so far this year have not hemorrhaged a ton of fantasy points in the air, but they have allowed a very efficient day for each of their opponents. Indeed, they have played two run-heavy teams and the quarterback points have been more than serviceable at over 26 PPG, so there is hope for at least an average day for QB Philip Rivers. I suspect that his yardage total may not be the best, but that he could easily toss a couple of scores and make this a solid, if unspectacular fantasy day. Likely a high-floor, low-ceiling play this week and a solid #2 in two-passer leagues. I see something like 250 yards and a pair of scores.
RUNNING BACK: Everyone keeps saying that the Jets have a stout run defense but they have not really shown it much yet overall. They are in the top 10 in fantasy points allowed to the position, and have really been hit hard by receiving by the backfield. With 7 receptions per game. They have played run-focused teams, and have generally stuffed most inside running, but as you saw last week they can get gashed for the occasional big play because they lack team speed and have a weaker back end of the defense. This plays into the strengths of both workhorse RB Jonathan Taylor as well as speedy receiver RB Nyheim Hines. Taylor makes a strong #2 with #1 upside this week as he should get a lot of game-script dependent carries. Hines is looking to bounce back from an invisible outing and I think they will try to get him more involved to the tune of being a decent flex in PPR leagues. FWIW, OC Nick Sirianni said he wanted to get Hines ore involved, but the game plan last week was to attack the Vikings in that manner; he implied that it was not positive game flow that took him off the field. Time will tell… Heck, if this game goes to plan, then even RB Jordan Wilkins could get enough carries to be relevant (but I can’t recommend starting him of course).
WIDE RECEIVER: This has got to be the week for WR TY Hilton to break out of his funk or I am ready to put a fork in him as a fantasy starting receiver in less than a 14-team league. Speed guys have killed the Jets in 2020 and for most of last year, so he has to explode in this one with WR Parris Campbell out. I am seeing a solid day with a TD and high double-digit yards, but I can’t in good confidence predict a 100-yard game also. I do think that the team will try to work rookie WR Michael Pittman in even more this week; if I had to guess, I would say that he has a better chance than does veteran WR Zach Pascal (technically the starter to replace Campbell) to get a TD this week.
TIGHT END: We all saw the Niners backup tight end crush this defense last week, but I can’t believe that this unit that was so good in defending the tight end in 2019 suddenly forgot how (although the loss of Jamal Adams is not irrelevant here). The big thing is the health of TE Jack Doyle and the question as to the reality of TE Mo Alie-Cox doing it again this week. They are confident in Alie-Cox, so I suppose he is decent if you need someone in a pinch. But I think he is likely to be too erratic to be dependable as a fantasy player right now. Doyle did return to practice on Thursday so he is surprisingly trending in the right direction.
KICKER: Rookie PK Rodrigo Blankenship is leading the NFL in FGAs and is 1 point off the scoring lead as well. His opportunity will continue to shine with the red one efficiency issues that this team has shown, and I have to recommend him as a solid play until the offense proves otherwise. Facing a weak team always improves the odds of scoring as well, so play the rookie without fear this week.
DEFENSE: Amazingly, the Colts have allowed a paltry 208 YPG total offense, which is ~100 less YPG than any other team in the NFL. And the two teams they have played each dropped 30+ on some pretty decent defenses in the other game they played, so it looks like the defense might really be for real. With a depleted and under-skilled opponent, this is a prime week for streaming the Colts as they could be one of the best plays of the week.
OVERALL: The Jets actually have 12 guys on their roster that were recently Colts in the Reich era, so this might give them an edge with familiarity. However, those guys are ex-Colts for a reason and the team also will know how best to attack their weaknesses as well. I look for the Colts to offer up a dominant defensive performance again this week against a vastly inferior opponent, and to render them one-dimensional and vulnerable. I think that the Colts will be able to move the ball decently using the backs, although not always up the gut but rather on the periphery. Look for some chunk plays to make a difference in what might look like an uninspiring and slow game otherwise. I’ll take the Colts 31-13; they simply need to step on this team’s neck and take advantage of their struggles without any questions.
That is all for this week from the Crossroads of America. Enjoy the games this weekend and may your fantasy teams blast your opponents away. Hey boys in blue…lets go WIN ONE FOR THE SHOE!
Denver 21 Pittsburgh 26 Backup QB Jeff Driskel played surprisingly good. Fangio's defense played its heart out, limiting the Steeler’s rushing attack, taking the ball away twice, forcing a turnover on downs in a key moment of the game and holding the Steelers to 2-for-17 on third down. The Broncos have been cursed by the injury bug and dropped passes. The Broncos' O-line deserves some credit for picking up 104 rushing yards against the Steelers, it had no answer for the Steelers' pass rush (7 sacks). The Denver Special Teams coverage unit give up 112 yards (punt/kick) and their return specialists did nothing. It's impossible to win when the special teams play poorly in coverage, field goals, and turnovers.
Jeff Driskel 18/34-256-2; Melvin Gordon19-79-0; 2/3-14-1; KJ Hamler 1-9-0; 3/7-48-0; Courtland Sutton 3/6-66-0; Jerry Jeudy 4/7-62-0; Noah Fant 4/5-57-1; Tim Patrick 2/5-24-0. The Broncos will have work their tails off to salvage their season. However, the Broncos are odds-on favorites to land a top-5 selection are one of the most likely teams to ‘earn’ the first overall pick in the 2021 draft. Can you say Trevor Lawrence?
Transactions Signed QB Blake Bortles to a one-year contract. Signed DL Deyon Sizer to the practice squad. Placed linebacker Mark Barron and defensive end DeMarcus Walker on injured reserve. Promoted S P.J. Locke to 53-Man Roster.
Denver lost QB Drew Lock for 2-6 weeks (labium/rotator cuff) and top wide receiver Courtland Sutton (knee) for the season. However, the Broncos showed they can compete even without Lock and Sutton. But, they will have to make clutch plays that have eluded them for too long. QB Jeff Driskel, TE Noah Fant, WR KJ Hamler, RB Melvin Gordon, and WR Jerry Juedy will need to supply the offensive fire power. NT Mike Purcell and S Justin Simmons will need to continue to lead the defense. CB Michael Ojemudia will need to absorb the lessons Roethlisberger provided him. RT Elijah Wilkinson for the second game showed he isn’t an NFL starting right tackle. P Sam Martin’s inexcusable drop of a good long snap giving up a safety prevented Denver from taking a chip shot field goal to tie the game. DL Dre’Mont Jones will miss four weeks. Shurmur is still trying to acclimate to Denver’s personnel, but in two straight games his offensive design and play calling has been inadequate. The most critical aspect of season was determining if Lock is the franchise quarterback, now he will miss 2-6 weeks, as an unblocked blitzer could put an end to it before it even gets started. This is Lock's second major injury in his two seasons. The Broncos need to start looking at quarterbacks for the 2021 NFL Draft, so they are do not repeat the quarterback fiasco after Peyton Manning retired.
They also need to stop rotating Noah Fant with Nick Vannett. Fant needs to be on the field! OLB Von Miller has his sights set on and believes a December return "is possible".
Tampa Bay @ Denver
No team has been hit harder by the injury bug than Denver. So many injuries to key players have left Denver scrambling for answers. Tampa Bay has momentum coming into Mile High and QB Tom Brady is playing better than his statics indicate because of all the passes dropped by his receivers, plus the Bucs penalties. It will be tough for the Broncos with all the injuries and their continuing to play Elijah Wilkinson at right tackle. Both rookie wide receivers will have the opportunity to step up their game. However, the Bucs are good at playing the slot receivers, so the Broncos should look to their outside pass game. It’s time for WR Tim Patrick to prove he belongs on the field. RB Leonard Fournette should be the lead ball carrier, Denver is tough to run against, but the rookies in the secondary will need step up. Both teams have some major play makers that can score in a hurry. Tampa Bay is a six point favorite because of Denver’ injuries and despite Brady’s struggles playing in Denver. Tampa Bay is looking for an easy victory this week, but it won’t be easy. TB 24 Denver 20
With Sutton IR Target increases?
Drew Lock IR
Jeff Driskel 11-16
Melvin Gordon III 13-17
Phillip Lindsay IR
Royce freeman 3-5
Courtland Sutton IR
Jerry Jeudy 7-12
KJ Hamler 5-9
Tim Patrick 4-6
DaeSean Hamilton 3-4
Noah Fant 9-11
Nick Vannett 1-3
Jack Butt 1
Albert Okwuegbunam 1
Brandon McManus 5-8
Good luck this week!
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
It wasn’t easy but the Chiefs are 2-0.
A couple of quick week2 observations before we look ahead to the 3rdgame of the season against the Ravens.
Patrick Mahomes DID fire 2 more TD passes bringing his 2-game total to 5. And while the KC QB did break 302 yards passing, it was a hard-to-come-by 302 thanks to Mahomes rare inaccuracy, poor timing with his receivers and some good coverage by the Chargers’ secondary. The Chiefs’ chief on the field did sharpen up when it counted though. Rookie RB Clyde Edwards-HelaireDID expand his pass-game participation in week 2, seeing 8 targets (3rd on the team), catching 6 for 32 yards. However, CEH was handed the football 15 times less than his debut contest last week. Still, fantasy coaches can be thrilled the lofty 41 touches in 2 games played. Shades of 2019 as Sammy Watkinsdisappeared after a fine season opener, targeted just 3 times, snaring 1 for 11 yards. Watkins did take a big hit and is in the concussion protocol as I write. Tyreek Hill was almost invisible in week 1 but got busy last game versus the Chargers. Hill was thrown at 11 times, hauled in 5 for 99 yards and a TD. The sporty wideout added 9 rushing yards. Of course, the one constant for Mahomes and fantasy folks is TE Travis Kelce. Just another team-leading 14 targets, 9 grabs, 90 yards and a score. Kelce already has 2 TDs in his pocket and seen 20 targets after just 2 played. Star of the Chargers-Chiefs show was kicker Harrison Butker. Not only did Boomin’ Butker blast a 58-yard field goal in OT to win the bout, but it was his 2nd 58-yarder of the game and he hit a pressure-cooker 30-yarder with 3 seconds left to send the tilt into overtime. Harrison Butker has been the best kicker in the NFL for a few campaigns. The O-line did a great job protecting the QB, allowing just 1 sack and plowing the path for KC rushers to gain 5.7 YPC. Speaking of rushers, one might note that 2nd-season RB Darwin Thompson had more snaps that Darrel Williams (15-10) last week, some of that due to Williams getting injured. Thompson popped for 5.3 YPC (4-21 rushing) but failed to hang onto his 1 target. Williams accounted for 1 catch and 12 scoreless yards; no carries. Again, Did anyone see Mecole Hardman last week? Oh, 3 targets, 2 receptions and 30 yards. He bounced 1 run for 3 yards. What gives Coach Andy?
IDP folks had more fun with KC defenders in week 2. Speaking of fun, here’s a fun stat… just go with it. Rookie CB L'Jarius Sneed leads the NFL in INTs! OK, it is only 2 games but the young cover corner is being targeted by enemy QBs and meeting the challenge in a big way thus far. Sneed has a pick in each of his first 2 contests. LB Ben Niemann posted 9 total tackles (5 solo). Fellow ‘backer Damien Wilson racked up 11 stops, 7 solo. Anthony Hitchens also had 7 solo tackles and finished with 9 stops total. DT Derrick Nnadi had the rare 9 tackle effort (2 solo-7 assists). Rookie DE Michael Danna got 11 more snaps than his debut in week1 and landed 4 total tackles; eye on this guy IDPers. And CB L'Jarius Sneedfinished with 7 tackles (6 solo) to go with his INT.
Week three has the Chiefs traveling to Baltimore for a legit “Game of the Week” bout with the soaring Ravens. Mahomes is 2-0 versus Baltimore. He bested rival MVP QB Lamar Jacksonback in week 3 last season (at home), 33-28. In that epic battle Mahomes torched the Ravens for 374 yards, 3 TDs while completing a hair under 72% of his throws. The successful game script (take note fanballers!!) included RB Darrel Williams’ 109 YFS on 14 touches and LeSean McCoy’s 80 YFS on 11 touches. McCoy even rushed for a TD and caught a score. Swift Mecole Hardman got 5 passes sent his way, catching 2 for 97 yards, one of those good from 83 yards and a TD. TE Kelce hauled in 7 of 8 for 89 yards. Ravens QB Lamar Jackson struggled, hitting on just 22 of his 43 tosses for 267 scoreless air yards. He did manage 46 rushing yards and a TD on the ground. RB Mark Ingram aced his KC test in that one, ripping 103 rushing yards and 3 TDs. Ingram chipped in 32 more yards on 4 receptions. The Chiefs DBs frustrated fleet-footed WR Marquise Brown, who was able to catch just 2 of his 9 targets for 49 yards. Kelce-esqueTE Mark Andrews drew 7 looks from Jackson but managed just 15 yards on 3 grabs, his biggest gain just 5 yards.
But that was last year, in a jammed-pack Arrowhead Stadium. 2020’s setting is far different as Mahomes and company head down to Baltimore and an empty stadium loaded with piped-in crowd effects.
The injury outlook for this contest is:
Antonio Hamilton, CB,questionable
Charvarius Ward, DB, questionable
Mike Pennel, DT, out
Darrel Williams, RB, questionable
Ricky Seals-Jones, WR, questionable
Alex Okafor, DE, questionable
Frank Clark, DE, questionable
Sammy Watkins, WR, questionable
Last week Mahomes and Tyreek Hill started getting back on the same pages of the route book. Hill missed last year’s bout versus Baltimore but in 2018 he lit up the blackbirds’ secondary for 8-139 receiving. Mahomes has broken over 370 yards passing in both of his games against the Ravens. TE Travis Kelce surpassed 70 yards in each of his 3 career games versus Baltimore, scoring once. As noted previously Coach Andy Reid deployed a full backfield assault on Baltimore last year, featuring both Darrel Williams and LeSean McCoy. McCoy is no longer on the club and Darrel is dinged for week 3 and likely limited. But exciting rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire is here and ready to dive head-on into this heavyweight NFL matchup. The Browns used a 2-back attack against the Ravens in week1, as Nick Chubb and ex-Chief Kareem Hunt combined for 132 rushing yards at a powerful 5.7 YPC. However, Baltimore held strong at the goal line and neither RB scored a TD. The Ravens also held the Cleveland backs in check as receivers, capping Chubb and Hunt at 5 catches for just 15 yards. Baltimore shut down Houston’s David Johnson last week, allowing a paltry 34 rushing yards on 11 totes. If Coach Reid stays true to much of his planning history we should be set for a full blown featuring of the rookie, Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Last week Big Red kept a lid on his young RB’s carries regardless of the scoreboard and the clock. Edwards-Helaire handled just 10 carries and even with the 6 receptions his 16 touches were less than the 25 (all runs) the rook saw in the opener. Coach Reid likely was preserving the legs of the freshman for this sure-to-be rugged challenge in week 3. I anticipate 20+ runs for Edwards-Helaire against the Ravens, a handful of targets (4-5), 130 YFS and a TD of some sort. A hobbled Darrel Williams and the smallish Darwin Thompson are just not great options versus Baltimore. Williams can be quite valuable should he be deemed healthier and more ready come kickoff. Check in on that situation. One way or another, this is a national spotlight opportunity for Clyde Edwards-Helaire, and he gets every chance to deliver. The Ravens got a dress rehearsal for their showdown with Patrick Mahomes when they faced-off against Houston’s superb QB/athlete Deshaun Watson. Watson as good-not-great, tossing 274 yards and 1 TD to 1 pick. Week 1 Baltimore surrendered just 189 air yards and 1 TD to Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield, who also got picked off once. As we’ve seen in the nothing quite prepares defenses enough for a battle with Mahomes. Last season Mahomes threw 26 TDs, 15 of those came on the road. Only 2 of his 5 INTs were thrown in enemy stadiums. Nothing rattles the fireballing QB and this week will be no different as Patrick Mahomes once again rises to the challenge. 315 passing yards and 3 TDs later, his fantasy coaches are thrilled.
The Ravens have yet to allow a TD to a WR. Many expect a made-for-TV matchups between very gifted and dynamic ex-teammates, WR Tyreek Hill and Ravens CB Marcus Peters. The 2 ball-hawks will lock horns on some snaps but the Ravens usually do not shadow an opposing top wideout, confident in scheme and overall defensive talent over individual matchups. It is more likely Hill sees a lot of CB Jimmy Smith. Smith is NOT the player he once was and this is a bigger Chiefs advantage on the field than on paper. This is why I see Hill and Mahomes firing it up early and often with Hill closing out an 8 catch, 100+ yard night, including a TD. I want to say Mecole Hardman will tear up overmatched Marlon Humphrey but will Coach Reid dial up the sophomore’s number more than 2-3 times? Hard to say. Hardman owns the microwave chops to whip up instant 70-80 yards and a long TD on just a few passes his way, but only the stoutest of fantasy hearts can risk that option. Check in on the status of ailing WR Sammy Watkins to get a clue regarding Hardman’s potential for more targets. TE Travis Kelce will be physically challenged by tough hitting safety Chuck Clark but Clark is out of his coverage league versus Kelce. 7-80-1 TD for Travis.
Points will be score din this one despite the unfriendly venue and the rough-n-tumble Baltimore defense.
The Ravens boast a TE in the same mold as Kelce. Mark Andrews was handled quite by the Chiefs last year, catching 3 passes on 7 targets and just 15 yards. If he gets isolated on LB Anthony Hitchens, Andrews is in for a big night and Hitchens set for a long one. Look for safety Tyrann Mathieu to lurk around the field with eyes on Andrews. Mathieu is poised to pick off an ill-advised toss to Andrews, baiting the QB into the poor decision. Covering the often-targeted TE also means Mathieu finishes with a solid tackle total for the evening; 7. Chargers’ skilled TE Hunter Henry hit KC up for 6-83 on 8 targets last week.
Bet the house Coach Jon Harbaugh wants flash-fast Marquise Brown lined up across from rookie CB L'Jarius Sneed. Sneed has a pick in both of his NFL games but that won’t deter the Ravens from challenging the rookie aggressively and abundantly. I get the feeling that Brown is due to bust this one wide open and Sneed is about to suffer his first true flop of his very young pro career. Brown has that kind of instant acceleration, route-savvy and blazing long speed to make this a nightmare start for Sneed. The Chiefs D has allowed a wideout to break over 95 yards in each of the 2 games played thus far.
The thrust of the Ravens attack on home turf will come form the backfield, namely rookie JK Dobbins. This is a marquee matchup opportunity featuring arguably the top 2 rookie RBs taken in this year’s draft, Dobbins and Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Like Coach Reid practiced with his rookie RB last week, Coach Harbaugh seemed to save his rookie back’s legs for this head-on battle. Dobbins handled just 2 carries last week but rocked out 48 yards in the small sampling. To-date Dobbin has just 9 totes to show but already chalked up 2 TDs (week 1) and is busting it at 7.8 YPC. Last week Mark Ingram had his moment, rushing 9 times for a stellar 6.1 YPC and a TD. Unsung Gus Edwards support role is well-defined and he gets his 7-10 carries a game and is rattling ground defenses to the tune of 6.4 YPC. Last week the Ravens gave the Chiefs advanced scouts an evenly divided 3-back rotation to ponder in planning this one. I expect all 3 Baltimore backs will be busy to a degree in this one, but Dobbins will be the featured tailback. The Chiefs run D remains an issue. Week 1 Houston’s David Johnson gained a Raven-like 7.0 YPC on the KC run D. Last week the Chargers duo of Austin Ekeler and Joshua Kelley (rookie!) combined to thrash the Chiefs for 157 rushing yards on 39 carries. The 4.0 YPC is not all that impressive but the raw volume is. Add to the RB gains against the Chiefs versus the Chargers 104 receiving yards by Ekeler and Kelley and we have the Chiefs getting mauled for 261 YFS on 45 touches in week 2. There is no doubt the Baltimore backfield can generate that massive touch count as well as the success experienced by the Chargers’ RBs versus the Chiefs. That also means an abundance of tackle opportunities for KC defenders. Sporty Ben Niemann should be busy as heck chasing Ravens’ rushers in week 3 as he was last game versus L.A. Another 9-tackle effort is not out of the question for Niemann. Damien Wilson gave IDPers a fine 11-tackle performance last week and should be set for 10+ in this one. A new name to watch on the IDP front in KC; DE Tershawn Wharton. The 22-year-old rookie turned his 25 snaps into 4 solo tackles, 1 assist and a TFL in week 2. He’s garnering more snaps by merit. Undrafted out of DII Missouri S&T, the 6’1-285 D-lineman plays the run well and has ability to get to the QB as well. His head coach at Missouri S&T noted, "His (Wharton) god-given ability, work ethic and that he is coachable will always put in position to compete. Let's go Chiefs!" Built low to the ground with a powerful, thick lower body, Wharton is a name to keep on IDP speed dial.
Then there’s Harrison Butker.
Like last season’s epic bout between these 2 heavyweight combatants, the 2020 matchup should produce a flood of points on the scoreboard and in fantasy lineups. Unlike last season I think the Ravens come out on top and deliver the Chiefs their first loss of the season. Baltimore is playing much more in-sync and effectively than the Chiefs at this point. That’s Ok, we’ll get ‘em in the post-season rematch.
Ravens 31-28 over Kansas City. But boy will this be fun to watch!
Chiefs go for the road win and get it while padding a 2-0 record.
The march to repeat hit a speed bump but Happy Football anyway!
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
Last week, the Chiefs beat the Chargers 23-20, to bring the Bolts’ record to 1-1 on the season. The big surprise was the play of rookie QB Justin Herbert, in his first NFL start. This week, the Chargers take on the Carolina Panthers. This report will be a review of last week’s lose and a preview of the upcoming Panthers at Chargers game.
QB: Rookie Chargers’ QB Justin Herbert was a late start because the Chargers team doctor had punctured the scheduled starter, Tyrod Taylor’s lung. Herbert will also start this week and while the Chargers have said that Taylor is their starter, based on what I have seen, I think they would be fools to keep Herbert on the bench. In his first NFL start, Herbert was 22/33 311 yards, 1 TD and a boneheaded INT that likely cost the Chargers the win. But it was his first game, so let us cut him some slack. This week consider Herbert a middle-of-the-pack starter with major upside potential. In my view, he should be owned in most larger leagues, if you have the room. He’s a QB2 for now, but has QB1 potential going forward, assuming the Chargers don’t later do something dumb, such as benching him in favor of Taylor.
RB: Carolina is weak against the run, so look for a decent for RB Austin Ekeler, who is a weak RB1 and RB Joshua Kelley, who is a RB2 or FLEX. Last week, Kelley carried 23 times for 64 yards and no TDs and had 2 receptions for 49 yards and no TDs, while Ekeler got 16 carries for 93 yards and no TDs and caught 4 passes for 55 yards and no TDs. Kelley is definitely worth owning in most leagues, while RB Justin Jackson is not worthy of a roster spot at this time.
WR: Chargers WR Mike Williams can be a boom or bust player, and last week was a bust. Williams caught only 2 passes for 14 yards and no TDs. WR Keenan Allen did a bit better with 7 receptions for 96 yards and no TDs. This weekconsider Allen a WR2 and Williams a WR3, FLEX or bench.
TE: If TE Hunter Henry remains fairly healthy, I consider him to be a Top Ten tight end and perhaps even Top Five. Last week, Henry caught 6 for 83 yards but did not score. If you own him, you will likely start him.
DEF: Despite some injuries, the Chargers have one of the league’s better defenses and they should have a good showing against the Panthers. Only 1 sack last week, but Carolina is allowing 3 per game. Looks like a good matchup to me.
Good luck this week!
NEW YORK GIANTS
The Giants lose a tough road game to Chicago against the Bears 17-13. They had a chance to win in the last seconds of the game but couldn’t pull it off. To make matters worse, star RB Saquon Barkley tore his ACL and is out for the season. The G-Men face a banged up 49’rs team this Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
The reviews/previews by area are below:
QB Daniel Jones flashed but ultimately needs to be more consistent as this team needs him more than ever. He completed 25 of 40 passes for 241 yards, 0 TD’s, 1interception and a passer rating of 68.9. He was sacked four times.
DJ is facing a Niners pass defense that is ranked 4th in the league. They allowed 2 TD passes and an opposing passer rating of 83.6. They also had 3 sacks and 1 interception. Until he shows more consistency, I would leave him on the fantasy bench. In 2 QB formats, expect 225 yards with 2 TD’s.
RB Saquon Barkley had 4 carries for 28 yards before leaving with the knee injury. RB Dion Lewis had 10 carries for 20 yards and 4 catches for 36 yards.
I expect Dion Lewis to get 60% of the workload over newly signed RB Devonta Freeman. That being said, I wouldn’t consider either of them to be fantasy worthy this week as I am not sure what to expect. They go against the27th ranked rush defense which allowing 142 yards per game and 2 TD’s which normally would be a very good matchup. OC Jason Garrett will likely go with the hot hand.
WR Sterling Shepard had 2 grabs for 29 yards before exiting the game with a toe injury. He was placed on IR later in the week. WR Darius Slayton had 3 catches for 33 yards and WR Golden Tate had 5 receptions for 47 yards.
Tate and Slayton are both middling flex plays facing a tough secondary. Both should have 5 catches for 65 yards with a possible score.
TE Evan Engram had 6 catches for 65 yards as he came alive in the 2nd half. He will need to do more of that going forward.
Engram will get more looks going forward as he presents matchup problems to opposing defenses. Consider him a top 8 TE with 6 catches for 75 yards and a TD.
Two turnovers and four sacks is solid defensive road production.
This group bears watching but keep them on the waiver wire for now.
PK Graham Ganois a top 12 kicker.
That’s all for now and good luck in Week 3!
Tony de Armas
Mastermind Moment (Free Preview):
Washington QB Dwayne Haskins has impressed me thus far, but he's not producing enough for real fantasy consideration, and that won't change at Cleveland.
Rookie RB Antonio Gibson has also impressed, and is a solid RB3 this week against the Browns. RB Peyton Barber saw just one carry last week, giving him zero fantasy floor. He may score this week, but his lack of touches scare me away from starting him.
WR Terry McLaurin is the clear WR1 for the team, making him a top 10 fantasy wideout option against the Brown. You are obviously starting him. WR Steve Sims has a bit of flex value in PPR leagues. I have my eye on you WR Dontrelle Inman, but only my eyes, you are not starting for me... yet.
TE Logan Thomas remains the #2 option in the passing game, making him a decent fantasy play this week, even though he's not highly ranked.
Good luck this week!
Week 2 Recap/Analysis: Giants at Bears
The Bears took a game that they should've won by [insert big number here] and turned it into another final play nail-biter as they barely hung on to beat the Giants 17-13 at Soldier Field on Sunday.
Quarterback QB Mitch Trubisky completed 18 of 28 passes for 190 yards with two TDs and two INTs and ran four times for 16 yards. He played fairly well overall, with both TDs coming on plays that he kept alive with his legs. He was a bit unlucky on the INTs (more on them later). He also should've had another TD pass (WR Anthony Miller dropped it in the end zone). That said, Mitch had at least a couple of plays where he took unnecessary sacks even though he had open receivers in the flat or across the middle. HC Matt Nagy has always preached a touchdown-to-checkdown mentality, and that's something Trubisky has always had trouble with. Sometimes he takes the checkdown too quickly when he has a receiver open downfield, and sometimes he has plays like he did on Sunday where he doesn't take the checkdown and takes a sack instead.
Nagy continued a positive trend from the season opener by having Mitch under center more often and calling more play action passes to keep the opposing defense off balance. He also incorporated some designed quarterback runs, another thing I've been wanting to see more of for a long time (since 2018 basically). I get that Trubisky needs to have success in the pocket if he wants to become an elite quarterback, but the guy also runs better than most signal callers in the league. Why not take advantage of that more often? I get that you don't want to see him get injured (and he did get injured last season trying to escape a sack), but teams like Baltimore and Arizona (and even New England, despite Cam Newton's injury history) don't mind the risk of running their quarterbacks. The quarterback runs from Sunday weren't very effective, but they do give opposing defenses another thing to think about, and there will be times where they do work and give Mitch a confidence boost.
Runningback RB David Montgomery had 16 carries for 82 yards and caught all three of his targets for 45 yards, including a 28-yard TD. On a day when so many of the NFL's stars suffered serious injuries (including Giants star tailback Saquon Barkley), the Bears had an injury scare of their own when Montgomery got upended and landed right on his head on a second quarter carry. When he went to the locker room afterward, I figured that his day was done, but fortunately for the Bears he was able to return in the second half and came up big. On the team's final drive, Montgomery was dominant and nearly ran out the clock by himself until Nagy decided to throw on third-and two and fourth-and-two for whatever reason. OT Bobby Massie's first NFL reception on a tipped pass on fourth-and-two bailed the Bears out, but eventually the drive ended with a missed field goal. The fact that Montgomery was more involved in the passing game was definitely encouraging.
RB Tarik Cohen had a big day off the field on Sunday as the Bears gave him a three-year contract extension worth up to $18.25 million. Considering the fact that WR Allen Robinson, a more important player to the offense, is still waiting for his extension, this was a somewhat surprising move, especially with Cohen coming off a disappointing 2019. It's a lot of money for a guy who is more of a gadget player than an integral part of the offense at times. Maybe this was GM Ryan Pace's way of telling Robinson, "See, we do reward our players. Your money is coming too... eventually. Really, it is." On the field, Cohen didn't make much of an impact as he had five carries for 12 yards and caught his only target for 15 yards. As we saw many times last season, you just don't know how many touches he'll get from week to week, and that often makes him a boom-or-bust flex play. RB Cordarrelle Patterson had seven carries for 25 yards and caught both of his targets for eight yards.
Robinson caught just three of his nine targets for 33 yards. He was Trubisky's target on both INTs, and you could argue that he coulda/woulda/shoulda either caught both of them or at least prevented them from being intercepted. The second pick was slightly underthrown, but I think Robinson would tell you himself that he should've reeled that 50/50 ball in. Was this just an off game for him, or is his lack of a contract extension proving to be a distraction to him on the field as well as off it? As I mentioned last week, A-Rob has always been a consummate pro, but as long as his lack of new paper is an issue, people are going to ask questions (fair or not) if he doesn't perform at his usual high standard. It would be in GM Ryan Pace's best interests to get a deal done soon, very soon.
Miller was targeted three times and came away with zero stats for the game. If he catches the easy TD that he dropped late in the first quarter, who knows, maybe the game does turn into a blowout and he winds up with a big game. Instead, he wound up in the coaching staff's doghouse, only playing 26 snaps (40 percent) while rookie WR Darnell Mooney played 39. Miller also cut his route short on a third down later in the game, causing Nagy to say yet again that Anthony needs to focus on details.
Miller's lack of snaps isn't just performance-related though; he had a low snap count in the season opener as well, despite having a good game. Why? Nagy and the offensive coaching staff have (at least for now) shelved the idea of trying to be the Chiefs and have decided to run the ball and use play action more often. Now that they actually have decent tight ends, they're using heavier formations (including the much-ballyhooed 12 personnel that some in the media kept calling for in the offseason). Two and three-tight end sets means fewer receivers on the field, which means fewer snaps for Miller, etc.
So if your name is not Allen Robinson and you want to get on the field, you'd better make your snaps count, and Mooney did that on Sunday as he caught all three of his targets for 36 yards and a 15-yard score on a Trubisky scramble drill. Mooney now has six catches on six targets through two games. Mitch trusts the guy (he said as much after the game). If Miller isn't careful, Mooney could continue to take away his snaps. WR Javon Wims caught both of his targets for 17 yards.
Tight end TE Jimmy Graham caught his only target for 18 yards, while TE Cole Kmet made his first NFL reception on his only target for 12 yards. TE Demetrius Harris was targeted once and was open on a deep shot downfield, but Trubisky overthrew him.
In retrospect, I should've had this unit as an above-average start instead of an average start because Daniel Jones can be a turnover machine at times (much like his predecessor). The pass rush was improved thanks to DE Robert Quinn, who made his Bears debut and came up with a strip sack on his first snap that OLB Khalil Mack recovered. This unit wound up with four sacks and a pick by S Deon Bush and also had a pick-six by S Eddie Jackson called back by a controversial pass interference penalty that I'm sure Malcolm Butler would disagree with.
However, as it sometimes did last season, this unit had trouble getting off the field at times. Giving up a 95-yard TD drive to a Giants offense without Barkley was not a good look. Neither was allowing the G-Men to get down to the ten yard line before finally stopping them at the end. The poor performance of LB Danny Trevathan continues to be concerning, as the Bears have had to sub him out more and more often. On the bright side, rookie CB Jaylon Johnson had another solid performance.
Kicker PK Cairo Santos made both of his extra points but only one of his two field goal attempts, missing a 50-yarder that could've given the Bears a little more cushion at the end.
Week 3: Bears at Falcons
The Bears will head to Atlanta to face a reeling Falcons team (seriously, just fall on the onside kick) on Sunday afternoon.
The Falcons have coughed up the second-most passing yards in the league, including 450 of them to the Cowboys' Dak Prescott last week (along with three rushing TDs). Obviously Mitch isn't at Dak's level, but I suspect that he'll have to throw a fair amount to keep up with the Falcons' high octane offense. You can start him if you need him, but just keep in mind that Trubisky throwing more than 30 times generally doesn't end well.
Ezekiel Elliott ran for 89 yards and a score and had six grabs for 33 yards against the Falcons last week. Chris Carson had six catches for 45 yards and two scores against Atlanta in Week 1. Montgomery looks like a solid start as a RB2 or a flex, though the Bears may have to abandon the run if they fall behind by too many points. If the Bears do fall behind and have to play catch-up, Cohen could get more targets, potentially making him flex-worthy this week in deeper leagues (though it's always risky to start him).
Robinson (knee) is listed on the injury report but fully practiced on Wednesday, as did Miller (calf) and Mooney (quad). Start A-Rob if you have him. Do I think Miller will bounce back? Yes. Would I bet on it (by starting him)? That's... at your own risk. For those in deeper leagues, I think Mooney is startable this week. He'll be playing about two hours away from his hometown of Gadsden, and I think this could be a game that really puts him on the map.
Just because the Bears likely will have to throw more this week, Graham could merit a look in deeper leagues, but it's hard to strongly recommend him after one target last week. Kmet (shoulder) practiced in full but isn't a fantasy factor at the moment.
Mack (knee) was limited on Wednesday, while Quinn practiced in full and Trevathan got a veteran's day off in the hopes that he'll rebound. DT John Jenkins (thumb) DNP because he tore a ligament in his thumb against the Giants and may be out for several games. The Falcons can really air it out and have 64 points in two games. Julio Jones (hamstring) did not practice on Wednesday, but even if he's out/limited, Calvin Ridley has been on fire and even third receiver Russell Gage has put up numbers. This unit is just an average start this week.
You should be able to find a more reliable kicker than Santos.
Good luck this week!
Lions at Cardinals
QB: A bit of a rocky day for QB Matthew Stafford. The Lions looked strong and scored on their first two drives, but everything sort of collapsed after that, and Stafford would like to have a few of those plays back. He ended up 20-33 for 244 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT. Last year in the desert, Stafford had 385 yards and 3 TDs, although playing a 10 minute OT gave a lot of guys some extra stat padding. I expect a typical Stafford day this week, probably around 250 yards with 2 TD passes.
RB: I think we have a better idea of what the rotation at running back is going to look like at this point, RB Kerryon Johnson started and had a nice workload on the opening possession, capping it off with a TD. RB Adrian Peterson entered on the second possession. RB D’Andre Swift was sprinkled in on mostly passing downs. They all ended up with a similar amount of snaps. Kerryon had 8-32 with the TD, Peterson had 7-41, and Swift had just 5-12 on the ground but added 5-60 in the air. It’s tough to project things in any given week with a three man rotation, but if you think the game script could see the Lions playing from behind, maybe Swift gets some touches through the air again this week. Of course the stat going around recently is that the Lions have actually had a double digit lead in their last 4 games, and lost all four.
WR/TE: Keep an eye on the injury report for WR Kenny Golladay (hamstring). He is officially listed as “limited practice” and I expect him to have the questionable tag, but I think most expect him to play. it’s a tricky 4:25 kickoff, so you will need a plan B. I wouldn’t blame you if you kept him on the bench another week just to make sure he is back and 100%, especially since he could see a lot of Patrick Peterson. In last year’s game against Arizona, TE T.J. Hockenson exploded onto the scene with 131 yards and a TD. Arizona went on to struggle with tight ends all year. Hockenson caught all four of his targets on Sunday and still seems to be a little under the radar in the fantasy world. WR Marvin Jones scored on Sunday but only had 4-23, so hopefully if Golladay returns we will see the Lions try to stretch the field a little more.
K/DST: Another missed field goal for PK Matt Prater on Sunday, but it was from 57 yards on the last play of the first half, so there is no reason to worry. The Lions are not afraid to let him try long kicks, and that’s a good thing. On defense, things are ugly, there is no doubt about it. Through 2 games, the Lions haven’t forced a turnover and they only have two sacks, so they aren’t doing anything to generate fantasy points. They don’t pressure the quarterback, don’t force mistakes, and are abysmal against the run. You can feel good about any Cardinals in your lineup this week. Last year the Lions held Kyler Murray in check for three quarters, but that was his NFL debut.
Good luck to everyone with their fantasy teams this week.
GREEN BAY PACKERS
Week #2 Review:
First, a correction from last week’s report. The Packers played the Lions in Green Bay, not Detroit as I stated. Never mind the vacant stadium due to COVID pretty much negates the advantage anyway – or at least that is my opinion. In week 1 the Vikings stacked 7-8 in the box daring the Packers to beat them in the air. Which Green Bay did quite well. This week the Lions went with 6 defensive backs trusting their front 4-5 primarily with getting pressure on Rodgers and stopping the run. They did get one sack, but couldn’t stop the Packer running game. If this is the way it is going to go fantasy owners will need a defensive game plan from Packer opponents to know who to play. But this game showed me that the Packers have matured as a team – they can adjust on the fly and do what they need to do to win. In the process they put up another 502 yards and 42 points. Only this week it was the running backs day to shine. The passing game plays a role as well – just not in the way you would have expected.
At quarterback, QB Aaron Rodgers completed 60.0% of his passes for 240 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. He also had 2 carries for 12 yards giving him 152 total yards. All this combines for a 107.6 passing rating. His receivers were guilty of 5 outright drops that significantly affected his numbers.
At wide receiver WR Davante Adams was targeted 3 times for 3 receptions, and 36 yards, before he left the game with a hamstring injury. Fantasy owners will want to check his availability from week to week. The Lions clearly had a plan for taking Adams out of the game with consistent double teaming. WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling (MVS) was targeted 7 times for 3 receptions, and 64 yards. MVS outright dropped another two other passes or his production would have been significantly greater. When I say he dropped passes (both last week and this week) I mean he did so at times he was in the clear and the pass was clearly catchable. But as it stands MVS is averaging 22.8 yards per reception this year. If he puts together a complete game he would easily have been over 100 yards in both games. Just when that happens, I don’t know. WR Allen Lazard was targeted 5 times for 3 receptions, and 63 yards.
At running back, the run percentage was 53.8% of all snaps. RB Aaron Jones was both the leading rusher and the leading receiver for Green Bay. He had 168 yards on 18 carries (9.3 yards/carry), and 2 touchdowns. Jones was also targeted 8 times for 4 receptions, 68 yards, and 1 touchdown. Jones had a total of 236 yards and 3 touchdowns on the day. RB Jamaal Williams had 63 yards on 8 carries (7.9 yards/carry). He also had a 2 point conversion to his credit as well. RB Tyler Ervin had no rushing carries or yards, but he was targeted 1 time for 1 reception, 4 yards. Ervin left the game early with a concussion. RB AJ Dillion had 17 yards on 5 carries (3.4 yards/carry). All I know for sure is that Jones is the real deal and will be very expensive to re-sign. The Packers used 4 different primary carriers (including Rodgers 2 carries for 12 yards).
The tight ends were a little more existent this week. TE Robert Tonyan was targeted 3 times for 2 catches, 25 yards, and 1 touchdown. TE Mercedes Lewis was targeted 1 time for 1 catch and 4 yards. TE Jace Sternberger was targeted once - again. TE Josiah Deguara did not play because of injury. So the group had 3 receptions on 5 targets for 29 yards and a touchdown. The only thing I will say about the offensive line is that they are still effective in spite of changes. OG Elgton Jenkins moved back to left guard. OG Lucas Patrick was inserted at right guard. And OT Rick Wagner played right tackle.
As for the defense, they allowed 333 total yards and 3 touchdowns. Less than half the yards came after the Lions first two touchdowns on their first two processions. The Packers also had 4 sacks, 3 tackles for loss, 7 hurries, 1 interception returned for a touchdown by CB Chandon Sullivan, and 4 passes defended. Letting up in the 4th quarter did not happen this week – but figuring out how Detroit would play to start the game evidently was. Either way, it was a better effort in that they allowed 13 less points, 60 less yards, and scored a touchdown. Crosby was again 2 for 2 in field goals and 3 for 3 in extra points. That is a face value of 9 points. His field goals were from 35 and 43 yards out. The Packers had 9 drives. 4 ended in touchdowns, 2 ended in field goals, and 3 ended in a punt. And there were no turnovers. Good day offensively.
Week 3 Preview: Next week the Packers play the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans on Sunday night football. Now that head coach Matt LaFleur is 8-0 vs. his division, the level of difficulty is going up for Green Bay. This week the Saints, followed by the Falcons, then after a bye week they play Tampa Bay. League wide, Rodgers is 2nd in touchdowns thrown, 5th in quarter back rating, 6th in passing yards, and 16th in completion percentage among NFL quarterbacks. Aaron Jones is 1st in rushing yards, and 3rd in touchdowns scored among NFL running backs. MVS, for all his troubles, is ranked 13th in receiving yards. And he is averaging 22.8 yards per reception. Just image what he might do when he quits dropping the ball. The Saints lost to the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday night football. It is hard to get a good take on either the Saints or the Raiders for this season so far.
One injury I know the Saints have is WR Michael Thomas was out for week 2 and maybe out for the Packers. He had a Packer doctor look at it and diagnose it as a high ankle sprain – talk about a conflict of interest. No team will get thru the season healthy – so it is how each team deals with it that will make the difference. Just look at the big names on the injury list. Along those lines don’t forget to check both the COVID list and the injury report to be sure the players you want to play will be available.
Also, week 5 is the Packers bye week – you may need to start planning ahead to be sure your positions are covered. I would recommend; QB Aaron Rodgers, RB Aaron Jones, WR Davante Adams (if he is healthy enough to play), WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and K Mason Crosby. Another bright side in this environment – no traveling to get to the games, just think of the bucks your saving in gas, hotel and perhaps plane fares. Stay safe until next week.
Arizona Cardinals (2-0) vs Detroit Lions (0-2) Week 3 Report
Well, not too surprisingly, the Arizona Cardinals defeated the Washington Football Team in pretty easy fashion 30-15 last week in Arizona. The Cardinals looked very good getting out to a lead and then giving up some late drives for scores by Washington.
Fantasy Hero’s and Zero’s for last week: QB Kyler Murray (Hero) 26/38 for 286 yards 1 TD 1 INT – 8 carries 67 yards and 2 TD on the ground RB Kenyon Drake (Hero) 20 carries 86 yards but Murray took the TDs RB Chase Edmonds (Zero) 3 catches 9 yards and 3 rushes 4 yards. Bleh! WR DeAndre Hopkins (Hero) 8 catches 9 targets 68 yards and 1 TD WR Larry Fitzgerald (Hero – note: I will NEVER call him a Zero by the way!) 7 catches on 7 targets 50 yards. GOAT for AZ! WR Andy Isabella (Zero – but improving) 2 catches 3 targets 67 yards. We have a WR Andy Isabella sighting! Woohoo! TE Dan Arnold (Zero) 4 targets 2 catches 26 yards.
K Zane Gonzalez (Hero) 3/3 on FG with a long of 49 and 3/3 XPTS. Well done!
This week the Detroit Lions come to down looking to do better than they have the last two weeks. With losses to the Packers and Bears, the Lions are itching for a win and will look to get that win soon! Will it come this week? That might be a tough task against an Arizona team that is on a roll.
This week in fantasy:
QB: QB Kyler Murray is due for another big game fantasy-wise. This should be an amazing game for Murray to exploit the Lions defense. I would start Murray if he was on my team.
RB: RB Kenyan Drake was the workhorse carrying 20 times to the rest of the teams 12 times (QB Kyler Murray 8 carries). So far Chase Edmonds does not appear to be much of a factor. Start Drake if you have him.
WR: WR DeAndre Hopkins is the lead #1 receiver and should be. WR Larry Fitzgerald is amazing at his age and caught 7 passes in 7 targets for 50 yards. His amazing game streak continues as well with at least 1 catch. Start Hopkins for sure. WR Larry Fitzgerald is a good Flex play this week and should get into the end zone. WR Christian Kirk has not shown the progress I had hoped. Due to injuries and large starting requirements I may be forced to use him but watch carefully as he is questionable with a groin injury. Watch him closely. WR Andy Isabella showed us his speed and needs to continue to provide a deep threat to open things up for the others and get a few over the top catches.
TE: TE Dan Arnold at 2 catches a game is not being utilized enough. No start here until he gets to 5-6 catches.
K: PK Zane Gonzales was amazing this week and could be relied upon this week as well at home. Start him if you got him!
Outlook: I look for the Lions to hang tough but the Cardinals should be too much for them this week especially with limited fans if any. I look for the Cardinals to be able to work the ball downfield quite a bit. Arizona 38- Detroit 20
It is like Marshawn’s mother had a direct word with the Big Guy after that play and requested that the Seahawks never forget and have to keep filling that frustration over and over from when they did not let her boy carry the rock at the one. With the game on the line, QB Cam Newton needing one yard to win with time running out and he always scores on that play. (Just like Marshawn) So they run it and he is stopped for no gain. Seahawks win! And somewhere in the back of their minds they are thinking, “He should have passed it.”
“Let Russ Cook” they say. Fantasy Owners just let Russ stay in your lineup every week. 9 TDs in the first 2 weeks is second only to the 2018 version of QB Patrick Mahomes. Last week Russ faced what was likely the best secondary he will face all year. Dallas does not have anything like that especially considering injuries. The biggest risk to Russ getting 300+ yards and 5 TDs is RB Ezekiel Elliott. How does Coach Carroll stop Elliott? Ball control. Keep him off the field with long sustained drives. But that is not “Let Russ Cook” talk. If Pete lets this game go through the air from the beginning, then this is the year of Russ.
The offensive line is holding up fine and I do not see a point to give them their own section. Only thing to watch is how OLT Duane Brown’s foot is holding up. Isn’t it nice that RB Chris Carson is so good in the passing game? He has yet to cross the goal line rushing this season, but is still giving decent RB2 stats. RB Carlos Hyde was back to only 5 carries to Carson’s 17 last week, so start Carson with confidence.
I hope all my readers picked up WR DK Metcalf over WR Tyler Lockett. Lockett is great and is doing just fine with 15 catches on 16 targets, but Metcalf just let his game go to the next level last week. Metcalf was lined up with last year’s DPOY all game and gave him more than he could take including tossing him aside on a 54 yard catch and run for a TD. There is a lot more fun to come with DK. Start him as a WR1 this week. Lockett as a WR2 and WR David Moore looks like a decent WR3.
All of what is going down in the aerial attack and the tight ends are not even catching fire yet. TE Will Dissly was the only one with a catch last week, but I really expected many more passes to go their way. That time is yet to come. Start Dissly with caution and the others with even more caution.
A year of touchdowns is not great for PK Jason Myers. He was never a strong start but now he is maybe in the bottom 10 instead of the middle 10 for fantasy starters.
I expect Seattle’s D to be battered about again this week. They have given up more yards than any other team in the NFL. There is no doubt that Dallas has a good offense, but Seattle’s defense is better than Dallas’s and they will do well enough for Seattle to be 3-0.
There will be lots of yards for both sides with Seattle holding on to win with a few good defensive stands and help from special teams.
LOS ANGELES RAMS
Big Road Win! The Rams traveled to Philadelphia and earn a convincing 37-19 victory. The offense moved the ball consistently and the defense forced three turnovers as Los Angeles controlled most of the game. The 2-0 Rams travel to Buffalo in week three to take on the 2-0 Bills who defeated the Dolphins in week two. Let’s take a look at how Rams players did against the Eagles and what I think they do in Buffalo.
QB: QB Jared Goff (20-27 for 267 yards with 3 touchdowns) got off to a hot start completing his first thirteen attempts. Jared was accurate and took care of the ball to post solid numbers for the Rams and Fantasy Owners. The Bills allowed Ryan Fitzpatrick to throw for 328 yards and 2 touchdowns while sacking him 3 times. These numbers are a bit deceiving as a lot of the yards and one touchdown came on the last drive with the Bills up by eleven and playing prevent defense. McVay has done a good job of balancing the run and pass so Jared could post similar numbers, 250-275 yards with 2-3 touchdowns, against Buffalo. These are solid QB2 numbers.
RB: Rookie RB Cam Akers (3-13 rushing) injured his ribs on the first drive and is questionable for week three. RB Malcom Brown (11-47 rushing) injured his finger so his playing time was limited; however, he should be available against Buffalo. RB Darrell Henderson (12-81 and 1 touchdown rushing and 2-40 receiving) had his best game as a pro and could be in for a heavy work load depending of Brown’s health. The Bills held Miami to 99 rushing yards but allowed 4.5 yards a carry. The Rams should rest Akers, start Henderson, and bring in Brown as a sub. If you have Henderson, I would play him and expect 50+ rushing, 20-30 receiving and maybe a touchdown. Brown always has potential for goal line work if he plays.
WR: WR Cooper Kupp (5-81 receiving, 2-19 rushing, and 1 fumble on a punt return) had a costly fumble on a punt return but was solid in the receiving game. WR Robert Woods (2-14 receiving and 3-19 and 1 touchdown rushing) got a nice contract extension a few days before the game (congrats Robert) and then scored his first touchdown of the young season. Rookie WR Van Jefferson (4-45) had an expanded role and delivered when his number was called. WR Josh Reynolds (2-33) made a few plays but appears to be falling behind Jefferson. The Ram receivers have yet to score a receiving touchdown but look for that to change this week. I thought Woods and Kupp would both score in week two but only Woods did. I think they both score receiving touchdowns this week and are solid Fantasy starters. Keep an eye on Jefferson as a possible sleeper.
TE: TE Tyler Higbee (5-54 with 3 touchdowns) had a career day and has potential to be a solid Fantasy starter. TE Gerald Everett was nursing an injured back and did not have any receptions. Higbee has taken over as the Rams lead tight end and is a solid TE2 quickly reaching TE1 status. Tyler should continue to be involved in the passing game and 40-60 yards with a possible touchdown is always possible.
K: PK Samuel Sloman (1-1 field goals (30) and 4-5 extra points) hit his only field goal attempt but had his last point after attempt blocked. Sloman needs to get more height on his kicks and maintain accuracy before he should be considered for Fantasy teams.
DEF: The defense did not have any sacks but forced three turnovers. LB Micah Kiser (11 solos and 5 assists) led the team in tackles and forced one of the fumbles. Rookie SS Jordan Fuller (5 solos and 4 assists) had another productive game and continues to play at a high level. CB Troy Hill (7 solos, 1 assist, and 1 interception) made many plays as the Eagles tried to avoid All-Pro CB Jalen Ramsey. All-Pro DL Aaron Donald (1 assist) did not put up many numbers but was active as usual. Kiser has quickly become an every week IDP along with Donald. One more productive game from Fuller and you can play him as well. The Rams have a tough matchup against a solid Buffalo offense but hopefully they can come up with enough plays.
The Rams are back on the East Coast and can hopefully stay undefeated. Akers should be held out until he is 100% so look for Henderson to lead the run game. Continued prayers to everyone during this pandemic and thank you Lord for letting us have Football back, even with no fans in the stands. Love and blessings to my family. Miss you Pops! Aloha!
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Sunday, September 13th, 2020
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