The Browns won a football game. Sorry if anybody’s game hinged on the absolute barn burner that was Jets vs. Browns on Thursday night, but let’s be honest, it probably didn’t. At most, you had accidentally left Isaiah Crowell in as your flex and he accidentally scored two touchdowns. Patrick Mahomes and Ryan Fitzpatrick are just wrecking leagues right now, as well as the other well known position players (Gronk, Kelce, Gurley, Kamara, Antonio Brown, OBJ, etc.). So for now, we’re going to cover the lesser known options that are available in most leagues.
Quarterbacks to Start
I don’t like to admit it, but Andy Dalton is starting to become a legitimate starter in 2 QB leagues, and he’s very close to cracking a must start in a single quarterback league as well. While the Bengals offense isn’t flashy, Marvin Lewis has finally figured out to utilize his star players correctly. AJ Green is benefiting, and Dalton is playing well. He’s at 508 yards and 6 TDs, and people need to realize that the Panthers aren’t the defensive powerhouse they once were. Speaking of surprises, Blake Bortles beat Tom Brady, and it looked relatively easy. He went for 376 and 4 touchdowns in Foxborough which doesn’t happen very often (cough…cough….old friend alert Alex Smith did it too). I’m not saying he’s ready to be a snap start on any teams yet, but going against a tattered Titans squad that’s without Mariota and a banged up Fournette who won’t be at 100%, Bortles is lined up to have a pretty good matchup. One last sleeper to give a glance (if you’re struggling for a 2nd QB in that type of league) is Dak Prescott. While Dallas isn’t nearly the pass happy offense they’ve been in years past, they’re going against a Seattle team that just looks like it’s in disarray. Chicago won pretty handily last Monday night, and their offense looks terrible. The Legion of Boom has been disbanded, so this will be a great time for Dak to get back on track. The juiciest matchups feature the top talents in the position, and Jimmy G is getting the benefit of going against Bob Sutton’s patented “I hope we can outscore the other team” defensive tactic. He will be a top 5 QB this weekend, as well as Kirk Cousins against the helpless Bills. Cousins is without Dalvin Cook, so get ready to see another blowout, I expect 350 yards and 3 touchdowns from Cousins this week.
Running Backs to Start
Giovani Bernard (remember that guy?) is getting the start this week, thanks to the odd injury situation with starter Joe Mixon. The Bengals really have no real running back options behind Bernard, so he will not only be getting the majority (if not all) the carries, but he will be used in the passing game. I hope I’m not jinxing it for anybody, but it seems like after 16 years of shenanigans, Marvin Lewis has Cincinnati looking like they know what they’re doing. Adrian Peterson has gone from RB1 to a sleeper pick, but that doesn’t mean that his talent has really gone anywhere. After battling back from injuries, it looks like he’s almost back to his top form. While he won’t ever be as dynamic as he once was (the only one who’s beaten Father Time so far is Tom Brady, but they got rid of his warlock doctor, so we will see how long that lasts) he is certainly looking like he’s found a home in the Alex Smith friendly offense in Washington. While Chris Thompson is the better back for most weeks, I think Peterson should enjoy the Packers traditional lack of defense, especially close to the endzone. Look for 100 total yards and a touchdown from AP. Matt Breida isn’t an every week starter, but just like Jimmy G, he’s getting a significant points boost this weekend (in a 42-35 loss to the Chiefs) that may help steal a win for some fantasy owners (except for my older brother, who’s losing to me this week). The sleeper of the week is Corey Clement. With both Ajayi and Sproles out, that leaves Clement to shoulder the load for the majority of the plays at running back. Carson Wentz is back, and the Eagles are going against a very average Colts team. This game may end up being higher scoring that people think, so there are plenty of points to be had, and Clement is a fantastic option.
HOT TAKE ALERT!!
Warning: The following take is extra spicy. It may be unsuitable for rankings slaves and get off my lawn fantasy owners. Possible side effects are: rage, the urge to punch me, the “cringe” face, and confusion. If you experience one or more of these, please consult your common sense and the stats of the season so far.
DON’T PLAY DAVID JOHNSON THIS WEEK
Are we ok? Is everyone alright? Have we rioted the same level that Cleveland did when the beer fridges opened? For those of you that have not thrown your phones across the room or clocked off in protest. Let me explain this. THE ARIZONA CARDINALS ARE HORRIBLE AT FOOTBALL. The only reason that Johnson has a touchdown at all this season, is that they had a meaningless garbage time score against Washington in Week 1. They scored a whopping ZERO against the Rams last week, and have a now top 5 defense in the Bears this week. Khalil Mack has absolutely inspired Chicago, and are an Aaron Rodgers on happy pills away from being 2-0. There’s really no reason to believe that Arizona is all of a sudden going to put up points this week, they will be behind, and they will have to throw the football. Sure, it’s possible DJ gets a garbage time touchdown, but that’s true for almost any running back every single week. Until Arizona has a better matchup, or until they figure out how to not suck, I’m staying away from him. As you all should too. Now go and ignore me and start him this week, but don’t come crawling back to me with your 9.8 points and a L. Let’s move along.
Wide Receivers to Start
I’m not saying this just because I drafted him, but Kenny Golladay should be an every week starter at this point. You can’t go wrong with any Lions wideout really, but Golladay is a hell of a pass catcher in Detroit right now. He’s already at 13 catches for 203 yards through two games. Sure the Lions suck, but Stafford is going to continue to fling the ball around the field and Golladay can go up and win it from almost any defender. New England just got torched by Blake Bortles, so there’s little doubt that the Lions receiving corps is set up for a good outing. Keelan Cole is also someone that’s worth giving serious consideration this week. We all saw the OBJ-esque catch he had, but that’s not a flash in a pan. He’s got real talent, and with Jacksonville now more comfortable throwing the football, Cole has major upside and a great matchup against Tennessee this week. He’s at 170 yards and a touchdown through Week 2, and he’s clearly the favorite target right now. DeAndre Hopkins may be the most talented receiver in Houston, but DeShaun Watson’s favorite target is back, and that’s Will Fuller. In his first game this season, Fuller had 8 catches (out of 9 targets) for 113 and a touchdown. The chemistry from last year seems to have continued without a hitch, and going against a struggling New York Giants defense, a big game from the Watson/Fuller connection is certainly in the making.
Tight Ends to Start
Finding a good tight end to start outside of Gronk and Kelce is a challenge, but often times, the dying position is the difference between a win and a loss. So, the secret is in the details. O.J. Howard only has 5 catches this season, but on those five, he has 150 yards and a touchdown. He’s certainly worth riding the Fitzmagic train, and has a favorable matchup against a broken and in-fighting Steelers squad. While Jack Doyle may be the name in Indianapolis, Eric Ebron is producing the results. He has a touchdown in each game this season, and it seems like Andrew Luck isn’t too happy with Mr. Doyle fumbling the ball and losing the game against Cincinnati. With Doyle out this week, Ebron has a chance to solidify the number one spot and become even more of a fantasy force. One last option is Will Dissly. Yes, Seattle is a Wilson injury away from literally being Buffalo, but Wilson is still there, and he’s throwing it to Dissly. 6 catches for 147 and two touchdowns, Dissly can be a really cheap option and a good contrarian play this week as well.
That’s all I have for everyone this weekend, I wish you all luck! My team (The Sloths) won a big game against Team Savage Package (who thinks Trubisky is better than Mahomes, AND started David Johnson) so I’m on to 2-0. It’s not ALL luck, I do know what I’m saying. Sometimes. Luck has a big part in it. But he can’t this week, I’m playing against Andrew Luck. It’s The Sloths versus The Force in Week 3. I’ll see you all next week! Feel free to hit me up on Twitter, AND GO CHIEFS! See you at Arrowhead.
HOW ABOUT THOSE KANSAS JAYHAWKS?!?!?!?