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What To Watch For Fantasy Football Week 2 Of The Regular Season

Leonard Fournette’s a game-time decision for his 4:25 game, Aaron Rodgers will tough it in his match up with the Vikings while Devonta Freeman, Marquise Goodwin and Josh Gordon are out week 2.

Like last week, we’ll be going more in-depth for this column. Obviously, you’re playing your studs for the most part except bye weeks. With week 1 in the rear view, let’s get to things you should watch for fantasy football week 2.

You can see my week 2 rankings here.

Sunday

1:00 pm games

Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons 

Panthers

Watch to see who Cam Newton targets behind clear choices Christian McCaffrey and Devin Funchess with Greg Olsen month-to-month. McCaffrey led Panthers pass catchers with nine targets week 1.

Torrey Smith had two targets in 76 percent of snaps, Jarius Wright tied Funchess with five targets in 46 percent of snaps and D.J. Moore was not targeted in 25 percent of snaps. If you have the roster space or an IR spot, Curtis Samuel’s worth a speculative add. Samuel was going to be a big part of the offense until his preseason injury, according to an ESPN + column.

Falcons

Matt Ryan’s unranked week 2, while Julio Jones, who had a league-high 19 targets week 1, is a top five fantasy receiver. Watch to see if Steve Sarkisian’s offense improves year two. In week 1, no dice, as the saga of having Jones carry you into the red zone, then abandoning him when you’re there continued.

The biggest news is Tevin Coleman filling in for Devonta Freeman, who was ruled out for week 2. He’s a top 20 play.

Los Angeles Chargers at Buffalo Bills

Chargers

Feel comfortable starting Phillip Rivers and Keenan Allen. Watch to see if Austin Ekeler can sustain his week 1 production. Ekeler played in 27 percent of snaps, but produced over 23 fantasy points with five carries for 39 yards and five catches on five targets for 87 yards and a touchdown. Don’t flex Ekeler yet, but another week of production would put him in starting lineup consideration week 3.

Travis Benjamin is questionable, so it he’s out Mike Williams would be a strong flex play with more targets his way.

Bills

Try as best as you can to stray away from this offense, but based on where you drafted him Lesean McCoy’s probably in your starting lineup. In addition, Kelvin Benjamin’s a flex play, but you won’t feel good starting him. Chargers gave up over 200 yards and three touchdowns to the Chiefs’ receivers week 1, though two of those touchdowns were tap passes behind the line of scrimmage.

Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers

Vikings

Cousins is outside the top 12 week 2, but watch to see if he can play better than expected. Packers allowed less than 200 yards passing to Mitch Trubisky, but Cousins is a better passer. Watch to see how many targets Kyle Rudolph gets. He played in 83 percent of snaps week 1, but had two targets. However, one went for a touchdown. On a weekly basis, one of Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen and Rudolph could disappoint. Maybe it was Rudolph’s week.

Packers

All indications are Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams will play, so you’re starting them. Against a stout Vikings that allowed a combined 110 yards to the 49ers’ receivers week 1, watch to see how effective a hobbled Rodgers is. Cobb is in flex consideration, but you should pivot away from Geronimo Allison. Watch to see if Jimmy Graham can bounce back against this defense that allowed five catches for 90 yards to George Kittle week 1.

Cleveland Browns at New Orleans Saints

Browns

Watch to see how the Browns fare in a controlled weather game. Taylor’s a nice streaming option after the Saints gave up over 400 yards passing and four touchdowns to Ryan Fitzpatrick week 1. Also, watch who’s next in the pecking order after Jarvis Landry in targets. Based on snap count, Rashard Higgins should be the no. 2. He’s a flex play but may be shadowed by Marshon Lattimore.

Saints

Watch how the Saints defense plays after allowing 42 points to Fitzpatrick week 1. This could be a get right game as much as it’s a start-all-Browns game. If you’re feeling lucky, go back to the well another week with the Saints defense, especially with no Josh Gordon threat for the Browns.

Miami Dolphins at New York Jets

Dolphins

Watch to see 1) how much Frank Gore plays and 2) how many carries he gets. In week 1, Gore played in 29 percent of snaps, compared to Kenyan Drake’s 74 percent, but got nine carries for 61 yards. Drake had 14 carries for 48 yards and three receptions for 18 yards. Another situation to monitor is the state of the offensive line without Josh Sitton.

And, watch how many targets DeVante Parker commands if he plays alongside Kenny Stills.

Jets

All of a sudden the Jets have an abundance of options at the receiver position. With Jermaine Kearse expected to make his season debut, watch to see who leads the Jets in targets; Kearse, Quincy Enunwa, who led with 10 last week or Robby Anderson, who had one target last week that went for a touchdown, all have a chance to.

Also, monitor the backfield battle between Isaiah Crowell and Bilal Powell. Both played in 40 percent of snaps, while Powell paced Crowell in carries 12-10. That said, Crowell’s 10 carries went for over 100 yards and two touchdowns. Don’t chase yards and touchdowns, chase sustainability. Week 2 will say a lot for the direction of the backfield.

Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers

Chiefs

Travis Kelce disappointed fantasy owners with a one-catch performance week 1, but he played every snap and had six targets so look for him to bounce back in what could be a shootout week 2. As suggested in the preseason, Sammy Watkins was more or less a decoy, too. Watch the progress of the aforementioned two, and if Patrick Mahomes can keep up his hot streak after throwing four touchdowns week 1, albeit two were passes behind the line of scrimmage.

Steelers

In fantasy, owners tend to overract, good or bad, after week 1, so watch to see if James Conner can repeat a good outing in week 2. Expect Ben Roethlisberger to bounce back at home, and watch how much of an impact Vance Mcdonald has in the offense. He could be a potential week 3 waiver wire pick up. In his absence last week, Jesse James played in 82 percent of snaps catching three of five targets for 60 yards.

Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Eagles

Though they won week 1, outside of Nelson Agholor’s eight catch performance on 10 targets for 33 yards, the passing game was anemic. Zach Ertz tied Agholor with 10 carries, but caught five and had three drops. Watch to see if he can bounce back, in addition to Mike Wallace stepping up in the absence of Jeffery. Wallace played in 92 percent of snaps last week, and the Bucs just gave up 40 to the Saints in what should’ve been a blowout for them.

Buccaneers

Watch to see how the target distribution of targets goes among Desean Jackson and Chris Godwin. Jackson caught all five of his targets week 1 for 146 yards and two touchdowns, while Jackson caught three of four targets for 41 yards and a touchdown. In addition, Jackson played in 30 percent of snaps, while Godwin played in 70 percent. Godwin should pace Jackson for targets sooner than later.

Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans

Texans

Watch how Deshaun Watson looks in this game, as he appeared a bit rusty week 1 against the Patriots. Fortunately for the Texans, the Titans will likely start Blaine Gabbert, so unless there’s “Gabbert magic” we don’t know about this should be a low scoring affair. That said, Lamar Miller should be in for a heavy workload, after being one of five backs to carry the ball 20 or more times week 1.

Titans

Watch the playing time split between backfield mates Dion Lewis and Derrick Henry. Lewis played in 71 percent of snaps week 1, while Henry played in 29 percent. As far as production, Henry had 10 carries for 26 yards and a catch for 5 yards, but a 62-yard touchdown was called back.

Lewis paced Henry for carries with 16 for 75 yards and a six-yard touchdown, while catching five of eight targets for 35 yards. For now, this is Lewis’ backfield. Also, watch who gets Delanie Walker’s target share with him on IR. No one behind Corey Davis is fantasy relevant at the moment.

Indianapolis Colts at Washington Redskins

Colts

Watch how Andrew Luck fares against a defense that held its week 1 opponent’s quarterback to 153 passing yards and no touchdowns week 1, albeit it was Sam Bradford. Continue to monitor the Colts personnel, whether it’s 12 (running back, two tight ends) or 11 (three WRs). This will dictate who’s fantasy relevant behind T.Y. Hilton and Jack Doyle. You can read the week 1 snap counts piece here.

Redskins

Watch to see if Adrian Peterson can sustain his production from week 1, as he, too, was one of five backs with 20 or more carries. Colts gave up over 90 rushing yards and a touchdown last week, so Peterson (166 total yards and a touchdown week 1) and Chris Thompson (128 total yards and a touchdown) are in line for good days at the office.

No Washington receiver dominated, so watch to see if Paul Richardson (four catches on six targets), Jamison Crowder (three catches on four targets) or Josh Doctson (one catch on three targets) do so week 2. Jordan Reed’s probably the best pass catcher on the team.

Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams

Cardinals

If Sam Bradford can’t get it done against the Rams, who gave up over 300 passing yards to Derek Carr week 1, it might be Josh Rosen time. No one outside of David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald is fantasy relevant, but watch to see if OC Mike McCoy follows Jon Gruden’s playbook against the Rams and utilizes the tight end. Ricky Seals-Jones caught three of six targets for 19 yards week 1, and he is a top 20 TE this week.

Rams

The trio of Brandin Cooks, Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods will be a situation to monitor all season, as more than likely one will be a fantasy dud every week. But in week 1, the Rams ran a lot of 11 personnel, as all three receivers played in 97 percent of snaps. Kupp and Woods had nine targets, while had five. From a fantasy perspective, Woods had the worse day with three receptions, as Jared Goff missed him on a few throws and he dropped a couple.

Detriot Lions at San Francisco 49ers

Lions

With a report that the Lions’ veteran players are unhappy with Matt Patricia the only solution is winning. After a four pick game on MNF, watch to see if Matthew Stafford can bounce back. It’s worth noting the 49ers held Kirk Cousins to under 250 passing yards on 36 attempts, though they allowed two touchdowns.

With LeGarrette Blount expected to play week 2, the Kerryon Johnson coming out party’s postponed. Still, watch closely what back dominates touches and playing time. In week 1, Johnson paced Blount in snap percentage 23-19, and in carries 5-4 though game script forced the Lions to abandon the run.

49ers

Jimmy Garrppolo and friends should bounce back week 2 against the Lions. Watch to see if rookie Dante Pettis can make an impact with Marquise Goodwin out. In addition, going against a defense that gave up over 100 rushing yards and two touchdowns to Isaiah Crowell, watch to see if Alfred Morris can solidify himself as the main back.

Morris paced Matt Breida in snap percentage week 1 52-45 with one less carry (12 carries for 38 yards) though Breida (11 carries for 46 yards and a catch for five yards) was more efficient.

Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos

Raiders

Watch to see if Jalen Richard’s week 1 performance was due to game script, or if he’ll be a part of the offense in 2018. Potentially, he could decrease Marshawn Lynch’s value. Richard paced Lynch in snap percentage 53-34 and had five carries for 24 yards and nine catches on 11 targets for 55 yards. Also, watch to see if Derek Carr can be good enough to sustain Amari Cooper as a fantasy relevant receiver. In week 1, no dice.

Broncos

Monitor the Broncos backfield, as Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay had 15 carries for 71 yards apiece week 1. However, Lindsay added two catches on three targets for 31 yards and a touchdown. If Lindsay provides similar production back-to-back weeks he’s a flex play next week against the Ravens.

New England Patriots at Jacksonville Jaguars

Patriots

With Rex Burkhead and Sony Michel in question to play week 2, watch to see if signed-this-week Kenjon Barner could take advantage of his potential opportunity if the aforementioned two are out. Still, the Patriots are facing the Jags, so it’s not a good match up. Barner’s worth a speculative add if he’s the starter, but don’t play him this week. Also, watch to see if Phillip Dorsett can continue his success from the preseason and week 1 in that tough matchup.

Jaguars

Until one of the receivers becomes the no. 1, it’s hard to trust Keelan Cole or Dede Westbrook. Watch and see. In week 1, Cole played in 75 percent of snaps, while Westbrook played in 49. Cole caught three of four targets, and Westbrook caught five of six targets. It’s confusing at the moment. Also, watch how effective T.J. Yeldon plays in the absence of Leonard Fournette, as he’s an impending free agent.

New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys

Giants

Watch to see if the Giants offense can get going in an easier matchup week 2 against the Cowboys. Depending on his play, Sterling Shepard could be a potential trade target. Receivers coach Tyke Tolbert produced two thousand yard receivers prior to 2017 five years in a row in Denver.

Cowboys

Like the Giants, watch to see if the Cowboys offense fares better against a lesser defense. Dak Prescott should be benched if he’s your starter, and if he stanks it up back-to-back weeks you can welcome him to dump city. However, if the Cowboys add Josh Gordon ahead of week 3, Prescott’s season-long outlook gets an increase.

Seattle Seahawks at Chicago Bears

Seahawks

With Doug Baldwin out a few weeks, watch to see if Brandon Marshall or Tyler Lockett take over as the no. 1 in his absence. In week 1, Lockett played in 98 percent of snaps, while Marshall played in 65. In addition, Lockett caught three of four targets for 59 yards and a touchdown, while Marshall caught three of six targets for 46 yards and a touchdown. Marshall had another touchdown called back due to pass interference, so he has a chance.

While you’re watching the receiver battle, pay close attention to tight end Will Dissly to see if he builds off his three-catch 105-yard performance week 1.

Bears

If Mitch Trubisky can’t be fantasy relevant against the Seahawks, who just gave up 27 points to a Case Keenum led offense week 1, then the Bears offense isn’t what NFL analysts hyped it to be. Watch to see if Jordan Howard continues to pace Tarik Cohen in catches, as he did last week 5-3. And while game script led to Trey Burton’s one-catch outing last week, it’s put up or shut up time for Burton, Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel and Anthony Miller.

Think about this, fantasy owners are hoping Trubisky can sustain four pass catchers, in addition to Howard and Cohen. Lofty expectations.

Joshua Kellem is a Slippery Rock University graduate with a BS in Journalism. In addition, he is the creator of fantasy football website fftalk.org

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