Week 1 could have been a fluke, right?
So, Carlos Hyde’s monster Monday night game cost you a win. Or maybe he stole you one.
Either way, don’t get ahead of yourself. It’s silly to get too low or too high after one fantasy game, especially on such a weird week.
But Week 2—ah, Week 2—is crucial. The standings begin to take place as the big dogs and the pups start to separate.
You need this win. Let’s help you get it.
Player to Watch: Sam Bradford
Most of the big guns not named Peyton Manning delivered in Week 1, and even he rebounded nicely on Thursday night against the Kansas City Chiefs.
What about Sam Bradford?
Believed by many to crack the top-five fantasy options at QB, the Philadelphia Eagles’ signal-caller struggled against the Atlanta Falcons Monday night. He tossed a touchdown to DeMarco Murray, but that was really it from a fantasy perspective.
Bradford was 36-of-52 and wound up with 336 yards, two picks and score. Owners were expecting more.
Against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 2, owners who stick with him are going to get just that.
As Phil Sheridan wrote in a column for ESPN.com, the Eagles need to air it out some more after losing to the Falcons. Just one of Bradford’s 52 pass attempts traveled over 20 yards. Dallas held the New York Giants and Odell Beckham Jr. in check during their Sunday night bout, but Philly will have much more artillery than Big Blue.
First and foremost is Murray, who is without doubt dying to run all over his former squad. Then there’s Jordan Matthews, who can play all over the field, and Nelson Agholor, who was more than just quiet in Week 1—he was downright silent.
But Bradford and the Eagles can’t fall behind early. They need to take advantage of the ‘Boys, not just take the little dinks and dunks.
“If it’s there, we’re going to take it,” Bradford said of the long ball, per Sheridan. “If it’s not, you can’t force it. The big thing about this offense, when you’re efficient—when we get completions, when we get positive runs—that’s when we’re at our best.”
Expect this game to be a shootout, with Bradford and the Eagles delivering on all that offensive potential.
Player to Watch: LeSean McCoy
DeAngelo Williams, well past his prime at 32 years old, made the New England Patriots defense look like it was playing matador to a bull last Thursday.
In his first game with Pittsburgh, the former Carolina Panther cracked open big run after big run early on and wound up with 127 yards on 21 carries. The Pats were lucky it wasn’t closer to 150.
Now, LeSean McCoy, on the other hand, struggled against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 1. He toted the rock 17 times, but finished with a meager 41 yards. Karlos Williams (six carries, 55 yards) and quarterback Tyrod Taylor (nine carries, 41 yards) were much more impressive.
But again, let’s not forget what Williams did against New England. Will Bill Belichick and the Pats tighten things up? Probably. But Shady is still Shady.
The last thing coach Rex Ryan wants is a shootout between Brady and Taylor, so expect both McCoy and Williams to get a healthy dose of carries.
And count on the real Shady to stand up this time.
Player to Watch: Calvin Johnson
Calvin Johnson had two catches for 14 yards in Week 1.
Again, that’s Calvin Johnson. Two catches. Fourteen yards. What!
If you started Megatron, you probably shattered some windows and punched a few walls. And you were well within your right to do so. After all, you probably burned a first-round pick to snag him.
Things will change in Week 2. The Detroit Lions are paying Johnson more money than anyone has ever paid any receiver.
And you don’t buy a Lamborghini and leave it in the driveway, right?
Offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi didn’t think Johnson’s four targets in Week 1 were a problem, but he promised change.
“I mean, listen, I don’t think it’s an issue,” he said, per Kyle Meinke of MLive.com. “There was (47) plays, we threw it to him four times, that’s 10 percent of the plays. We had more called to him, he didn’t get it. … He’ll get it in the future, trust me.”
We do trust you, Joe. If Johnson doesn’t start getting more balls his way—and the team keeps losing—you’ll probably be shown the door.
Megatron himself literally laughed when asked if he should only receive four targets. “I mean, I think the laugh should say it all,” he told Meinke.
Johnson’s fantasy performance will be no joke in Week 2. It doesn’t matter that the opponents are the Minnesota Vikings. It could be the Seattle Seahawks or anyone else, really.
Matthew Stafford, the coaching staff and front office know that Johnson needs the ball for the team to win. They’re going to force-feed him in Week 2.
Player to Watch: Greg Olsen
Greg Olsen was another weird story in Week 1. After Cam Newton’s primary weapon, Kelvin Benjamin, tore his ACL before the season, the consensus was that his tight end would step into an even bigger role.
Here is Olsen’s line from the Carolina Panthers’ win over the Jacksonville Jaguars: one catch, 11 yards.
In fairness, Olsen did have a touchdown called back due to a pass interference penalty. But along that same path of fairness, you can’t shove guys in the end zone.
The 30-year-old didn’t seem too worried about touches going forward, per Jonathan Jones of the Charlotte Observer:
“Sometimes you run good routes and things open up. (Jerricho Cotchery) scored a touchdown on that. It’s all how the thing goes together. It’s no different than when I would catch 10 balls last year. We don’t set out to try and get one guy the ball. That’s not our offense. That’s not what we do.”
Offensive coordinator Mike Shula seemed determined to get Olsen the ball, too:
“We’ve got to make sure we move him around and get the ball to him. There were some other times that other guys had opportunities because they were favoring his side as well. We’ll definitely work on—he’s a playmaker for us—and we’ll find ways to get him the ball.”
Olsen and the Panthers get the Houston Texans at home in Week 2—you know, the team that Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce treated the same way Drake treated Meek Mill.
It was a massacre.
Kelce snagged six balls for 106 yards and two scores. The Texans were helpless.
Olsen might not go off to that extent, but expect his stat line to look more like Kelce’s than that dud against Jacksonville.
Stats and rankings are based on Yahoo standard leagues.
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