Kickoff: Sunday, September 17th, 4:25 PM ET
Location: Empower Field at Mile High, Denver, Colorado
Betting Odds: DEN -3.5, 38 total via PFF.com
Writer: Matthew Cava (@cavaM_ on Twitter/X)
Sam Howell (Sit)
It was a closer game than it needed to be for Sam Howell and the Commanders in Week 1 against the lowly Cardinals. Washington won 20-16, and it wasn’t a very impressive outing for Howell, but enough to have done the job in fantasy to an extent. He completed 19 of 31 attempts for 202 yards and a touchdown, as well as two rushes for 11 yards on the ground and a touchdown; which ended up proving to be the game-winner. He did lose a fumble – which led to an Arizona score – and threw an interception. The Week 2 task won’t be easy, as he’s set to face a tougher Denver defense, and Howell doesn’t excite as a streaming option in 1-QB leagues.
Brian Robinson Jr. (Start, RB2), Antonio Gibson (Sit)
Week 1 all but confirmed this backfield belongs to Brian Robinson Jr., who out-snapped Antonio Gibson 43 to 25 per FantasyData. BRob turned 19 carries into 59 yards, and caught one of two targets for a touchdown. Gibson not only lost a fumble but had rushed three times for nine yards and caught his only target of the game. If you’re going to start a Commander ‘back against a Broncos defense that just held Josh Jacobs to 48 yards, better it be Robinson.
Wide Receivers/Tight End
Terry McLaurin (Start, WR2), Jahan Dotson (Start, FLEX), Curtis Samuel (Sit), Logan Thomas (Sit)
Jahan Dotson may have led the Washington receivers in targets against Arizona with seven, but it was Curtis Samuel who had the most productive day, catching all five of his looks for 54 yards; good for 11 points in full-PPR leagues. Where does that leave Terry McLaurin? He was only targeted four times, catching two passes for 31 scoreless yards. It could be that he is still dealing with the toe injury that he suffered back in August, and the matchup this week against a CB like Patrick Surtain won’t make matters any better. Even so, you’re going to start McLaurin and hope the target share sways in his favor. Dotson should be a beneficiary to Surtain-on-Terry, and has FLEX appeal again. It’s worth noting the Denver secondary did just allow Jakobi Meyers to score twice in the loss last week. And despite his 100% catch rate against the Cardinals, Samuel doesn’t hold any fantasy relevancy right now.
Tight end Logan Thomas logged 82% of snaps against Arizona, catching half of his eight targets for 43 yards. Injuries have been his issue since a breakout 2020, but if he can remain on the field, he could find himself on the streaming radar in time; though likely not until after Week 4, as he’s set to face Denver this week, followed by the Bills and Eagles.
Russel Wilson (Start, QB2)
The people are wondering – has Sean Payton blamed Nathaniel Hackett for the Week 1 loss to Las Vegas yet?
Russell Wilson played mistake-free football against the Raiders, but was still relatively quiet on the day. He did throw for two touchdowns – both from five yards out – and only 177 yards, completing 27 of 34 passes in the process. He was without Jerry Jeudy, but he could be ready to make his season debut this week. Wilson will have a chance for a better showing this week against the Commanders, planting him on the QB2 radar.
Javonte Williams (Start, FLEX), Samaje Perine (Sit)
Javonte Williams held his own in a small sample size in his first game action since tearing his ACL, MCL, & PCL in 2022. Against Vegas, he turned 13 carries into 52 yards, and was targeted six times, but caught four of those looks for (somehow) only five yards. One would think he will continue to be eased back into the fold, which will keep him on the FLEX radar for the time being. His counterpart Samaje Perine had 41 yards on eight carries and caught all four of his targets for 37 yards. It’s only been one game, and hard to gauge whether or not he’ll continue to carve out a real role, especially as Williams continues to take on more touches.
Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends
Jerry Jeudy (Start if he plays, WR3), Courtland Sutton (Start, FLEX), Marvin Mims Jr. (Sit), Lil’Jordan Humphrey (Sit) Adam Trautman (Sit)
Jerry Jeudy logged three limited practices leading up to the Raiders game but was ultimately inactive with a hamstring injury. At the time of writing, it’s unclear whether or not he suits up this week, but if he does, he can be treated as a WR3 who could be projected to score 10-15 points in full-PPR leagues. Courtland Sutton was on the receiving end of one of Wilson’s touchdowns, and it certainly saved his fantasy day. Otherwise, he caught four of five targets for 32 yards and can remain on the FLEX radar. Lil’Jordan Humphrey was called up from the practice squad on Wednesday, but like Marvin Mims Jr., doesn’t hold standalone fantasy value right now.
With Greg Dulcich out multiple weeks with a hamstring injury, look for Adam Trautman to step up from the TE room. He caught all five of his targets for 34 yards against the Raiders, and will certainly see the bulk share of targets in comparison while Dulcich is out. That being said, you should have better streaming options around the league this week to pivot to.