Patience or Panic: Week 2
In Week 2, injuries across the league took their toll on fantasy rosters, especially at the quarterback position. We also take a look at a couple of backs that were drafted early in fantasy drafts yet should give owners hope. Plus a few that should have owners worried.
Joe Mixon (RB – CIN)
Week 2 line: 11 carries, 17 yards | 5 targets, 3 receptions, 10 yards
I am not ready to give up on Joe Mixon just yet. Heading into the season most observers saw the offensive line as being the largest hole on the Cincinnati Bengals. However, I am not sure anyone imagined a line that was this bad. The Bengals are allowing penetration at an alarming rate. The team is averaging under two yards a carry and the defense is stuffing the run 40% of the attempts. Mixon has no room to operate. And when he does get a good block, the line has been called for holding. I have to think that talent will overcome, at least to a point, and Mixon will return to being a startable asset. These first two games of 2019 were the worst of Mixon’s career yet he was given several carries inside the 10-yard line and doesn’t look like his injury slowed him down much. Keep him in your lineup and you will be rewarded soon.
Kerryon Johnson (RB – DET)
Week 2 line:12 carries, 41 yards | 3 targets, 2 receptions, 47 yards, 1 TD
Keep an eye on Kerryon Johnson, because he looks like a player ready to explode yet a prime buy low target. Johnson showed glimpses of his talent and explosiveness in Week 2, taking a swing pass 36 yards to the house for his touchdown. He is a player who can make people miss in tight spaces too. Detroit has been a below average run blocking line to open the season but that should improve as the season wears on. Before missing the final six games of 2018, Johnson reeled off 15+ point fantasy games against Miami, Seattle, Chicago, and Carolina includes a 26 point effort against the Bears. Opponent won’t matter as much as opportunity and the Lions did release backup running back C.J. Anderson this week. That will open up the additional opportunity for Kerryon, which is exactly what fantasy owners need.
QBs Across the League (NFL)
The quarterbacking situation across the league is in disarray. Professional football is a game of attrition but the recent and rapid weakening of the position is alarming. Before the season even began Andrew Luck retired. In Week 1 Nick Foles was lost for at least half of the season with a collarbone injury. Then Week 2 started and the hits kept on coming. Sam Darnold with mono, Drew Brees torn thumb ligament, Ben Roethlisberger possibly Tommy John. Cam Newton may not go this week and we haven’t even begun to discuss the benching of Eli Manning or the inept quarterbacking from Ryan Fitzpatrick, Mitchell Trubisky, or Jameis Winston. If you are an owner who generally streams the position, be prepared to face stiffer competition on the weekly waiver wire. Explore trade offers and see if someone sitting on your bench can be flipped for a decent QB who is still standing after two weeks.
Phillip Lindsay (RB – DEN)
Week 2 line:13 carries, 47 yards | 2 targets, 2 catches, 30 yards
Two weeks in and Denver has told us exactly how they want to use their two backs, Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman, and that is in a full-blown committee. So far both players have been on the field for exactly half of the team’s snaps. Lindsay is coming off a productive 2018, finishing as a startable running back in 65% of his starts, but that role looks to be long gone. Lindsay is running like the same back so many of us fell for last season but without the volume, he cannot be trusted in anything more than a flex role. Even then you will need to be careful what matchups you roll him out on, as much of his role will depend on game script. Proceed with caution.
Donte Moncrief (WR – PIT)
Week 1 line: 1 target, led to 1 interception
In the infamous voice of Regina George: ” Stop trying to make Donte Moncrief happen! It’s not going to happen!” Heading into the season I was telling anyone who would listen (mostly our QBList Discord channel) that Moncrief should not be drafted. A week after playing plenty of snaps, earning ten targets and catching just three of them for seven yards, you would think performances could not get worse. Then Week 2 happened and Moncrief dropped his only target which led to an interception. Over the last three seasons, Moncrief has only managed to be a WR2 or better just 10% of the time. That means that in leagues where you start two receivers he would have disappointed you 90% of the time. Just drop the guy already.
(Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire)