Week 2 Observations & Musings: Antonio Gates, Washington’s Skill Players & More

by Matthew Gordan

Ignoring the events of the week if you can, it was an exciting day in the NFL. Many heroes from last week fell back to earth, notably rookie wide receivers (unfortunately drops are not a fantasy stat). What were some of the biggest takeaway from yesterday’s action?  Let’s take a look:

Arguably the most interesting story was that of Washington and it’s backups. Kirk Cousins, filling in for the perpetually injured Robert Griffin III, and Niles Paul, filling in for the perpetually injured Jordan Reed, erupted in the win over Jacksonville. Both starters should be sidelined for at least a few weeks (if not several), giving Cousins and Paul ample playing time in the short term. There’s no debating Cousins has looked better than Griffin since the preseason, even though Griffin looked good in the early going yesterday. That being said, Cousins could be a sneaky good QB2 depending how Jay Gruden’s offense evolves. Read more

Snap Count: How Should We Value Shane Vereen/Stevan Ridley For Week 3 & Beyond?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston broke down the Patriots snaps (click here for the article), which was as follows for the running backs:

  • Stevan Ridley — 37 of 67
  • Shane Vereen — 20 of 67
  • Brandon Bolden — 10 of 67

Obviously the number of overall snaps were down significantly from Week 1, when the Patriots ran 86 offensive plays. The game plan was also significantly different, as Vereen was a focus in Week 1 playing 61 of 86 snaps (70.9%). This week he was down to 29.9%, as the Patriots focused on a ground based attack. Read more

Waiver Worthy: Week 2 Fallout: Kirk Cousins, Bobby Rainey and More

by Will Overton

There have been injuries a plenty in the first two weeks of the season. Yesterday saw several top players hit the shelf. Injuries can be a serious frustration for fantasy owners, but injuries also create opportunities as well. Opportunities for guys not owned and not on fantasy radars to emerge and make a difference.

Several of the guys mentioned in this week’s waiver column have reached waiver worthy status because of injuries. Not every opportunity works out in fantasy land, but most of the time when a starting job gets opened the guy has to at least be explored for potential fantasy value.

Here are six of the guys coming out of week two that are going to be popular names on the fantasy radar this week: Read more

Sunday Morning Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Alshon Jeffery, Doug Martin, Matt Asiata & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Just hours before the start of Week 2 I know many people have questions running through their heads. Who should I start? Who should I sit? Let’s take a look at how some of the recent news changes things:

 

Doug Martin – Running Back – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
He’s listed as questionable, but according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times (click here for the article):

“Martin practiced last week and, although he is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game, is expected back in the lineup against the St. Louis Rams. The Bucs would also like to have his good name and reputation restored as well.”

Read more

Quick Hit: With Tyler Eifert Out, Is Jermaine Gresham A Viable TE1?

by Ray Kuhn

Unless you drafted one of the top few tight ends you are likely in a situation where streaming may be your best option. Now I’m not saying anyone needs to overreact to Jason Witten’s poor performance in Week 1, but if you lost Jordan Reed to injury then a replacement is needed. After you get past the top two tiers, playing the matchups and looking for values is the way to go.

Entering this season Tyler Eifert was a popular sleeper option even though he was going to share time with Jermaine Gresham. After catching four passes for 37 yards to start the 2014 season, Eifert dislocated his elbow and is currently on the short term injured reserve. Eifert joins Marvin Jones on the shelf, and now Andy Dalton is down two targets of his best targets.

We know that A.J. Green is the number one target; there is no question about that. Giovanni Bernard will also be a large part of the passing game, but someone has to pick up the slack for Eifert and Jones.

And that person will likely be Jermaine Gresham. Read more

Snap Count: Bills Wide Receivers: Is There Value In Sammy Watkins/Robert Woods?

by Eric Stashin (The Rotoprofessor)

According to Chris Brown of the Bills’ official website (click here for the article), Bills’ wide receivers played the following snaps in Week 1:

  • Sammy Watkins – 54 – 95%
  • Robert Woods – 52 – 91%
  • Mike Williams – 30 – 53%

From Week 1, it’s clear that the Bills plan on using their two young wide receivers in a major way. Of course, the team actually needs to throw the ball if we want any of their wide receiver to make an impact but that’s a different story. Read more

Fantasy Football Crystal Ball: Looking For Under-the-Radar Options To Grab For Week 5

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Do you play in an extremely deep, competitive league?  Are you trying to get a step up, stashing players for a few weeks ahead?  Let us try to help!  Each week we are going to turn the clock ahead three weeks in an effort to find a few players you may want to stash.  For this week, we move to Week 5 to dig for a few options:

 

Heath Miller – Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 5 Matchup – at Jacksonville
ESPN Ownership – 12.5%

Miller is a player we’ve been hyping since the preseason, as he played a bit banged up last season as he worked his way back from knee surgery. He also figured to play an important role in replacing the depleted receiving corps (including the departure of Emmanuel Sanders), though over the first two weeks that hasn’t the case as he managed just 7 receptions for 61 yards,  When coupled with his less than stellar numbers from last season it makes sense for some to be down on him. Don’t be. Read more

Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Is Latavius Murray Worth Grabbing Immediately?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

I wrote about the Raiders’ Latavius Murray a lot this past offseason, though the signing of Maurice Jones-Drew and the resigning of Darren McFadden appeared to render him unownable. We are just one week in and things have already changed dramatically.

First, Maurice Jones-Drew is already banged up having to undergo a procedure on his hand this past Monday. While we don’t know the specifics of yet, he hasn’t been practicing and appears primed to miss Week 2 (though that’s not a given).

You also have the complete in effectiveness of the top two running backs in Week 1:

  • Maurice Jones-Drew – 9 carries for 11 yards; 2 receptions for 12 yards
  • Darren McFadden – 4 carries for 15 yards; 1 receptions for 6 yards

Suddenly the idea of Murray making a major impact looks quite possible once again. In fact, if you play in a deeper format or are in need of help at RB, grabbing him now would actually be prudent. Read more

Quick Hit: Looking At The Potential Of Terrance West

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Ben Tate left Sundays Browns’ game due to a knee injury and is going to miss some time. The real question is, is anyone really surprised?  Never the pillar of health, everyone knew that he was an injury waiting to happen as the 2010 second round draft pick has never played a full 16 game slate.

The real story coming out of the game was the production from a pair of rookies behind him:

  • Terrance West – 16 carries for 100 yards
  • Isaiah Crowell – 5 carries for 32 yards and 2 TD (3 yards & 15 yards)

Read more

Five Takeaways From Baltimore vs. Pittsburgh: No Committee For Steelers, Wheaton’s Upside & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Ravens took it to the Steelers last night, en route to a 26-6 victory.  While the surprise performance was from Owen Daniels, who had 5 receptions for 28 yards and 2 TD, does anyone really expect that to continue?  Of course not, though it impacted the performance of Dennis Pitta (3 catches for 30 yards).  It’s not a concern, as Pitta is still a clear top option, and was just one of those things that happen.  What did we learn from last night’s game?  Let’s take a look:

 

1) There’s no running back committee in Pittsburgh…
Heading into the season it looked like Lagarrette Blount would play a significant role in the Steelers’ rushing attack, and maybe he will at some point, but right now this is a running game dominated by Le’Veon Bell.  They did get away from the run yesterday, after falling behind, but just look at the production of each back: Read more