Bumps, Bruises and Bowouts
David Johnson – Wrist
Ben Roethlisberger – Elbow
Cody Latimer – Concussion
James Conner – Knee
Vernon Davis – Eye
Drew Brees – Hand
Tyler Higbee – Chest
Dallas Goedert – Calf
DeSean Jackson – Groin
Alshon Jeffery – Calf
Nelson Agholor – Concussion
James Conner – Injured his knee in the first half but returned later. His last carry was at the start of the fourth quarter but Jaylen Samuels only ran once in the final two series anyway. It appears Conner is okay but it is a reminder that the Steelers like Samuels and wouldn’t hesitate using him if Conner is injured.
Ben Roethlisberger – Injured his elbow and the status will be known early in the week. Mason Rudolph stepped in to replace him in the loss to the Seahawks and completed 12-of-19 for 112 yards and two scores with one interception.
If Roethlisberger misses any time, Rudolph will take his first career start. That’s a downgrade for the wideouts and a likely boost for Vance McDonald who caught four passes for 21 yards and two scores with Rudolph.
Drew Brees – This is uncharted territory since Brees has missed only three games during his 14 seasons in New Orleans and never more than once a year. And that was usually taking off Week 17. Teddy Bridgewater only managed 17-of-30 for 165 yards in over three quarters at the Rams.
The plus is that Michael Thomas still ended with ten catches for 89 yards. The minus was that literally, everyone else suffered. Bridgewater would play in Seattle this week if Brees remains out. That does not sound like a reason to run to the waiver wire.
DeSean Jackson/Alshon Jeffery – The starting wideouts were knocked out of the game in the first quarter of the loss to the Falcons. Jackson was out with a groin injury and Jeffery hurt his calf. Jeffery’s backup was JJ Arcega-Whiteside but he only managed one catch for four yards. Jackson’s backup is Mack Hollins who turned in 50 yards on five catches. But the lack of those starters prompted Carson Wentz to rely more on Nelson Agholor who ended with 107 yards and a score on eight receptions. If either wideout is still out when the Lions visit this week, Agholor stands to benefit the most.
Free Agent Frenzy
First off, the best free agents in Week 2 are almost always players that were dumped after Week 1 so check the league transactions.
RB Raheem Mostert / Jeff Wilson – Most big leagues added Mostert last week after Tevin Coleman was out. Wilson was called up from the practice squad and both got a lot of play in the big win over the Bengals. While Matt Breida rushed for 121 yards on 12 carries, Mostert turned 13 runs into 83 yards and Wilson went for 34 yards and two scores on his ten runs. Monster week if one player did all that. Less so when three split up the work evenly. Mostert added three catches for 68 yards and a score to make it even more diverse.
By halftime, it was Breida (6-67), Mostert (3-9) and Wilson (2-6, TD) so it was heavily skewed toward Breida prior to the game turning hopeless for the Bengals. Mostert and Wilson both have roles but don’t overpay for them. And know that the backfield committee is going to water down all and that will hurt when the 49ers play tougher opponents.
RB Jordan Wilkins – Purely a handcuff for Marlon Mack but one that most left on the waiver wire. Wilkins rushed for 82 yards on five runs in the win over the Titans thanks to a 55-yard gain. But the 19-17 win was always close so it wasn’t just running out the clock. The Colts are not as bad as feared and the offensive line is very good. If you have the room, Wilkins would be a nice stash to own if Mack was ever injured.
RB Ty Johnson – The Lions have a committee of four backs they are using and Ty Johnson took the lead as the No. 2 rusher with five runs for 30 yards while C.J. Anderson only gained eight yards on his five carries. Johnson also added two receptions for six yards. He appears to be the primary backup to Kerryon Johnson but when four backs play, that still doesn’t mean much. Worth noting for the Kerryon owner and in very deep leagues.
WR Demarcus Robinson / Mecole Hardman – Apparently with Patrick Mahomes, all things are possible. Like a third-year wideout (Robinson) that never gained more than 288 yards in a season turning in 172 yards and two touchdowns on six receptions to lead the NFL in Week 2. And a rookie wideout (Hardman) that failed to record a catch in his first NFL game turning in four catches for 61 yards and a score in his second game. Tyreek Hill is out for four to six weeks and that left a hole in the passing game. Consider it filled. Robinson won’t catch two scores every week. At least not probably.
WR Deebo Samuel/Marquise Goodwin – We’ll need a third game to decide if the 2019 49ers are good or bad. They had minimal passing in the opener and all wideouts did nothing. Some were dumped back on the waiver wire. But Week 2 in Cincinnati, Jimmy Garoppolo found success with Samuel (5-87, TD) and Goodwin (3-77, TD). Goodwin will always be a deep threat and that tends to be inconsistent. But Samuel led the team with seven targets and looked great catching screen passes. Dante Pettis remains missing in action but Samuel is fitting in very nicely so far.
TE Jason Witten – He was left undrafted in many leagues and there were plenty of reasons for it. But the aged ex-announcer scored in each of his first two games. That should merit a bye week filler if nothing else.
Other need to know performances
QB Kyler Murray played in Baltimore and threw for 349 yards that included over 100 yards for both Christian Kirk (6-114) and Larry Fitzgerald (5-104). The schedule is not very kind but he just excelled in Baltimore. He gets home games against the Panthers and Seahawks next.
WR Marquise Brown – No long touchdowns but his eight catches for 86 yards says he is a must-start every week.
WR John Ross – Here’s another Week 1 surprise (7-158, 2 TD) that showed up in Week 2 (4-112, TD) as well. Ross and Tyler Boyd are getting roughly the same number of targets each week.
RB Justin Jackson – He only totals 13 carries over two games but gained 116 yards (8.9 YPC). Austin Ekeler has excelled for two straight weeks but Melvin Gordon may not be back for two more months. Ekeler was given 18 touches in Week 1 and then 23 more in Week 2. The 5-10, 200-pound back may not hold up to that much work and Jackson is turning in great stats too.
RB Kerryon Johnson – It’s not that he’s been bad, but the notion that the Lions were finally going to feature one running back and “bring back the run” is just nonsense. Johnson turned in 16 and then 12 carries over these last two games and yet OC Darrell Bevell is using four different backs each week and Johnson only gets half of the rushes if that.
The Packers defense – Have to know this unit is just playing so much better in 2019. They shut down the Bears in Week 1 and then held Kirk Cousins to only 14-of-32 completions for 230 yards, one score and two interceptions. Their rush defense hasn’t fared as well but the passing defense has been beyond expectations.
RB Aaron Jones – He only rushed 13 times in Chicago but then ran 23 times for 116 yards and one score at home versus the Vikings. Two weeks and the Packers have faced two very good defenses, but the intent to feature Jones more this year has held true. Now if he can just remain healthy.
RB Carlos Hyde – He was run out of a couple of NFL towns but the Texans gave him 20 carries to gain 90 yards in the win over the Jaguars. Duke Johnson took the backseat with only six rushes and no catches by either back.
WR DJ Chark – Surprised with 146 yards and a score in the opener, but then followed that up with seven receptions for 55 yards and a touchdown in Houston. Garner Minshew prefers him and his nine targets were three more than any other receiver.
RB Kenyan Drake – The Dolphins are shopping him around which means he might actually have some fantasy value if he lands on a needy team. He caught five passes this week – more than any other Dolphin.
WR Antonio Brown – Led the Patriots with eight targets and four catches for 56 yards and one score. Then, after the game, his locker was cleaned out and name tag removed before the press was allowed in. Let’s hope for more Brown news this week!… sigh…
WR Preston Williams – If there is any Dolphin receiver with any fantasy merit – and there may not be – it would be Williams who ended with four catches for 63 yards to lead the team in Week 2. Williams caught the only Miami touchdown on the year in Week 1.
RB Frank Gore/Devin Singletary – Gore remains the primary back and rushed for 68 yards on 19 carries and one score in the win over the Giants. That’s a 3.6 YPC for the aging back. Singletary was only allowed six carries but gained 57 yards and one touchdown. After two weeks, Gore totals 30 runs for 88 yards (2.9 YPC) while Singletary has been limited to only ten rushes for 127 yards (12.7 YPC). Wait… what???
TE Eric Ebron – He caught three passes for 25 yards and a touchdown. Don’t cut him yet. But don’t start him either.
WR Terry McLaurin – The third-round rookie caught a touchdown for the second straight week. There may not be any reliable fantasy value from the Redskins passing game (like the last few years) but McLaurin is challenging that notion. Two weeks into his career and he’s led in targets both times.
RB David Montgomery – He ran for 62 yards and a score on 18 carries but more importantly, Mike Davis only rushed three times for one yard. He only caught one short pass but he handled the big chunk of the rushing unlike Week 1.
Huddle player of the week
Patriots defense – Entering my 23rd year of the Tunnel Vision and this is the first time the player of the week has been a team defense. But it is warranted. Facing the floundering Dolphins, the Pats took full advantage and dealt a shut out on the road.
The Fins totaled only 42 rushing and 186 passing yards with four interceptions. They allowed seven sacks and watched two interceptions get returned for a touchdown over a three-minute span in the fourth quarter.
If your league awards fantasy points for shutouts and yardage limits, they were even better. Sadly, they don’t meet again until Week 17.
Drama 101 – Somebody has to laugh, somebody has to cry
|QB||Jimmy Garoppolo||305||3||QB||Drew Brees||38||0|
|RB||Raheem Mostert||151||1||RB||Alvin Kamara||60||0|
|RB||Frank Gore||83||1||RB||Christian McCaffrey||53||0|
|WR||Demarcus Robinson||172||2||WR||Julian Edelman||51||0|
|WR||Deebo Samuel||87||1||WR||DeAndre Hopkins||40||0|
|WR||John Ross||112||1||WR||Sammy Watkins||49||0|
|TE||Will Dissly||50||2||TE||O.J. Howard||0||0|
|PK||Joey Slye||4 FG||PK||Matt Prater||1 XP|
|Huddle Fantasy Points = 154||Huddle Fantasy Points = 26|
Now get back to work…