Game Previews: All Fantasy Relevant Players For Week 2
Seahawks vs. Bears
With Doug Baldwin out, who is the main beneficiary?
Seahawks star receiver Doug Baldwin is dealing with an MCL injury, and could miss a couple of weeks. Tyler Lockett is the immediate beneficiary, as he becomes the team’s No. 1 receiver. I expect him to have 7-10 catches on Monday night, and he’s a great option in PPR leagues.
However, I think Brandon Marshall is an equal beneficiary, as he should receive many of the red zone targets that would have gone toward Baldwin. Marshall already appeared to be Seattle’s primary red zone option, and he should also get more targets throughout the game with Baldwin sidelined. I’d be picking him up in 12-teamers if he’s still unowned, and he’s not a bad FLEX play this week.
Who is going to run the ball?
Pete Carroll stated that Chris Carson has taken the lead at the running back position, and I’d expect a heavy dose of Carson both in the running and the receiving game on Monday. If he struggles, the team is certainly going to get rookie Rashaad Penny into the game as a change of pace back. The team admitted they may try to use C.J. Prosise as a receiver as well, which could give him sneaky value in PPR formats. However, Carson is the only running back I’d be starting this week, and even then he is a fringe FLEX play in 12-teamers. As usual, Seattle’s backfield is not one to mess around with unless you have to.
Should I pick up Will Dissly?
Even at an incredibly thin spot like tight end, I wouldn’t give up much for Dissly. Don’t get me wrong, his 105 yards and touchdown were really nice in his first game. But he has long been touted as a run-blocking tight end, with Nick Vannett expected to be the receiver. I don’t think Dissly will put up consistent enough numbers to be a force at the tight end spot this season.
Is Russell Wilson going to get sacked six times again?
Honestly, probably. The Bears have an incredible pass-rushing attack, and the Seahawks offensive line still isn’t very good. This shouldn’t knock Russell Wilson down too much, as he is still a dynamic playmaker and capable runner who should rebound from a less than stellar performance last week. He is still a very solid QB1 and shouldn’t be benched after one bad outing. However, the Bears will get to him early and often, and he will need to scramble better than he did last week to make plays happen.
Can Mitch Trubisky improve on last week’s passing performance?
On any given Sunday, most teams script their first dozen or so plays to set up a rhythm. The goal is to test out the defense, see what works and doesn’t, and then attack accordingly. Well in week 1, the scripted plays worked like a charm. The Bears moved all over the field and took a 20-0 lead. However, not much else went right after that. I attribute a lot of this to Mitch Trubisky and mistakes he made. He did a lot of good, but I felt like he left points on the table. In week 2, the Bears are at home against a middling Seattle defense. Gone is the Legion of Boom, and so another good test lies ahead for our young quarterback. Can Mitch find the open man? Can Coach Matt Nagy help him through play design? I personally think we will see improvement because of the way Trubisky extends plays with his legs, and I think he makes for a decent streamer candidate because of his rushing upside.
How high can Jordan Howard go?
The one big knock on Jordan Howard has always been his pass catching. He could never be a three down back because he simply can’t pull in the ball. I’m sure you’ve heard the narrative or seen the clunky drops from last year. Well over the offseason, Howard reportedly caught 100s of passes a day to shore up his weakness. The result? Howard caught all 5 of his targets for 25 yards in game one. To put this in perspective, he caught 23 balls all of last season for 125 yards. This is obviously a much better start and a great sign moving forward. If Howard puts up another 3-5 catches today, then I have no reservations about considering him a safe RB1 moving forward.
Will Trey Burton get better looks/ put up the stats we expected?
I was highly invested in Trey Burton this whole offseason. I wanted him everywhere I could get him, and I was happy to preach the greatness waiting to happen. I even wrote a “My Guy” article about him, as well as the lofty heights he could reach in an Andy Reid style offense. Well, Burton caught one pass in week 1 and was hardly a factor the whole game. Is it time to abandon ship? NO! It was clear that Trubisky had some trouble connecting with Burton. He was targeted 6 times, so they clearly wanted to use him. It just didn’t work out this week. I could understand benching Burton for a week (though I personally wouldn’t), but I am still happy to buy in for the season. As the offense grows, so will the Trubisky-Burton connection.
Which receivers should I target?
As the season drew closer, the ADP improved for Trey Burton and Anthony Miller while Allen Robinson seemed to stagnate, or even drop a little. The thought was why not buy into the offense on the cheap (Burton or Miller) instead of paying the premium price tag for Robinson? Well, Robinson was the only Bears receiver to put up any meaningful yardage in week 1, and he still had only 61 yards. I am happy to roll with Robinson as a WR2 with WR1 upside this week. I am currently avoiding Taylor Gabriel as I don’t think there is enough to go around yet. I will buy into Anthony Miller because of the minimal cost, and what I expect to be growing involvement each week. I want to own him before he blows up, even if I don’t think it will happen yet. Lastly, Tarik Cohen looks like he could have good weeks, but the whole passing game needs to improve. Cohen is at his best when given the opportunity to break a few big plays, and it just didn’t happen in week one. Better sustained offensive drives should help moving forward.
How much can the defense impact the game?
If we are to take anything from week one, it’s that the Bears defense decided to “git gud”. Sure, they tired out in the second half. Sure, Khalil Mack and Roquan Smith need to improve their familiarity with the system, as well as their conditioning. The talent was on display, though. Khalil Mack had the most impressive half of defensive football I’ve ever seen as he played stat-sheet Bingo. He forced a fumble, recovered it, sacked Rodgers, picked off a pass, and returned it for a touchdown. I will happily play the Bears defense moving forward, and I trust defensive coordinator Vic Fangio to improve the unit with each passing week.