From the Sports Desk: Fantasy football advice week two


Courtesy of ESPN

Zack Goodrow, Sports Editor

Week one of NFL competition has come and gone. There were many surprise players busting out on the fantasy landscape and some stars disappointing. Some advice from the sports deck was great, like starting Josh Jacobs, sitting rookie backs, and not playing Hayden Hurst. Some advice was bad, like sitting DeAndre Hopkins and starting Antonio Gibson. With more information on players and finally being able to see action on the field, this weeks fantasy advice should be even better. 

START: Kyler Murray – Quarterback Kyler Murray had an amazing game for fantasy owners last week, compiling 26.3 points in PPR leagues and ranking fifth in total points among quarterbacks. Not only did he impress through the air with new Arizona Cardinals addition DeAndre Hopkins, but Murray was also dynamic on the ground. Murray ran with the ball 13 times and gained 91 yards with a rushing touchdown. This week he will face off against the Washington Football Team. Washington absolutely destroyed the Philadelphia Eagles offensive line last week, amassing eight sacks. Carson Wentz was torched, but he doesn’t have the same mobility Murray does. With Washington pressuring an inconsistent Cardinals offensive line, expect Murray to run the ball abundantly and to put off similar points to his week one performance. 

SIT: Mitchell Trubisky – Trubisky ranked seventh last week in quarterback points with his fourth quarter heroics to stun the Detroit Lions. It is extremely doubtful however that the Chicago Bears QB will continue to rank in the top ten in fantasy leagues against the New York Giants. The Giants do not have a good defense with one of the worst secondaries in the league and Trubisky may have a good game. However, with higher upside players like Ryan Tannehill facing the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tom Brady going against the Carolina Panthers, Trubisky should not be in starting lineups. 

START: Ronald Jones – Against the Panthers last week, running back Josh Jacobs of the Las Vegas Raiders had 35.9 fantasy points. Jacobs is a great player, but the Panthers run defense had a big factor on his fantasy surge as well. This week, it will be Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Ronald Jones who will benefit from playing a terrible defense. Jones amassed only 10.2 in week one, but he did receive the majority of RB snaps for the team with 17 rushes and three targets coming his way. With no more questions about who would see the field the most in the Bucs running back committee, I feel comfortable putting Jones in my lineup and expecting big results against the Panthers. 

START: Austin Ekeler – After the first week of play in the NFL, the Los Angeles Chargers offense has scared away many fantasy players. The offense didn’t look good, barely scraping out a win against the Cincinnati Bengals. It’s doubtful that QB Tyrod Taylor will throw the ball enough to make tight end Hunter Henry and wide receiver Keenan Allen fantasy studs in 2020. Instead of a vertical attack, the Chargers will have to lean more on their running game, screen plays and check down passes. Enter Austin Ekeler, who should have a bounce back performance against the Kansas City Chiefs. Ekeler disappointed in week one and he was even outscored by his backup Joshua Kelley. Even without the fantasy production, Ekeler did touch the ball 20 times. With that many chances to run and catch, Ekeler will eventually break out once again. I expect that to happen this week against the Chiefs, as the Chargers will have to get the ball in the hands of their play makers to have any chance to win. 

SIT: Josh Jacobs – Josh Jacobs is an excellent running back, by evidence of his performance in week one. This week however, the Raiders will face the New Orleans Saints who have an excellent defense and shut down Tampa Bay’s running backs last week. Against New Orleans, I do expect Jacobs to have a mediocre to good game, but nowhere near his previous 35.9 point performance against Carolina. There are better upside players to potentially start. Indianapolis Colts RB Jonathan Taylor will be the number one running back now with Marlon Mack out for the year. Denver Broncos RB Melvin Gordon will also see an increase of touches with Phillip Lindsay ruled out for week two. With other options available against less threatening defenses, Jacobs should take a rest on fantasy benches this week. 

SIT: Jordan Howard – When training camp began, Jordan Howard was the only real option the Miami Dolphins had to take the majority of snaps in the backfield. Howard was a sleeper in fantasy drafts, with his high usage rate in the Dolphins offense. In Miami’s first game however, Howard received the second most rush attempts, only eight, and provided almost zero production. He did have a touchdown, but he garnered only seven yards for the entire game. Against a tough defense this week with the Buffalo Bills, Howard should be no where near starting lineups. 

START: Diontae Johnson – Last week against the Broncos, Diontae Johnson had a good game. He only caught six passes for 57 yards, but he was targeted ten times. With fellow receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster being banged up this week, he won’t be at one hundred percent against the Denver Broncos. QB Ben Rothlisberger should be targeting Johnson even more this week. The Broncos also have been ravaged by injuries on defense, with Von Miller out for the year and cornerback A.J. Bouye now on injury reserve. The Pittsburgh Steelers offense should have a great performance against the Broncos with Diontae Johnson leading the way in receiving.  

START: Scotty Miller – Man does Tom Brady love his slot receivers. In week one, Scotty Miller was targeted six times and hauled in five passes for 73 yards. Fellow receiver Chris Godwin has been dealing with a concussion this past week and is doubtful to play in week two against the Carolina Panthers. Miller should be expected to see his role expand this week with Godwin out. Fantasy players should pick up Miller off waivers and slot him into their lineups. 

SIT: Robby Anderson – Robby Anderson surprised many fantasy players last week with his performance against the Las Vegas Raiders. Anderson caught six passes for 114 yards and a touchdown. He currently ranks as the sixth receiver in fantasy points, and will likely continue to find success this season. Against a tough Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense this week, there’s almost no chance Anderson will again score over 25 fantasy points. Receivers like Allen Robinson with the Chicago Bears, Marvin Jones with the Detroit Lions and Terry McLaurin with the Washington Football Team have a better chance of scoring more points than Anderson this week.

START: Hayden Hurst – I like Atlanta Falcons tight end Hayden Hurst’s matchup this week against the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys will be without linebackers Leighton Vander Esch and Sean Lee for this game. The middle of the field will be vulnerable for Dallas, and Atlanta will likely pounce on this opportunity to target their tight end. Hurst caught only three passes last week and was hardly targeted. In week two however, Hurst should see his production increase. 

SIT: Christopher Herndon – I’m staying away from any player who wears white and green with the word Jets across their chest. The New York Jets looked absolutely horrendous in week one, and are in for an even worse week two. New York will go into the game without RB Le’Veon Bell and WR Jamison Crowder. Crowder was the only Jets player last week to be fantasy relevant and without him, the entire offense should struggle. That being said, without QB Sam Darnold’s top weapon, TE Christopher Herndon should see more targets coming his way. If only they weren’t playing a vengeful San Francisco 49ers defense, after they lost in week one. Against an extremely tough defense, I’m steering clear of Herndon.

Defense: Speaking of the San Francisco 49ers, I love their match up this week against the Jets. The defense should be in Darnolds face all day, mustering up sacks and a few interceptions. This is no doubtedly the most mismatched game in week two in terms of offense and defense. The 49ers defense should pave the way for their first win of the season. 

Kicker: Greg Zuerlein of the Dallas Cowboys should see ample opportunity this week to kick field goals and extra points. A Cowboys offense with dynamic players all around the field should have a field day against the Atlanta Falcons. Zuerlein is one of the best kickers in the league and he should have a great fantasy week .