By: CPGM (Twitter: @CPGMHeadley)
FANTASY FOOTBALL START/SIT – WEEK 2
The word that best sums up Week 1 of the football season is “underwhelming”. Many of the top fantasy options did not play up to their standard as Tom Brady kicked off the regular season with “NO” touchdown passes, Drew Brees was held under 300 yards with only 1 score and Russell Wilson was bottled up to a mere 167 yards passing. And that’s only the quarterbacks. Throw in poor performances from Le’Veon Bell, Julio Jones, Dez Bryant, Rob Gronkowski, Greg Olsen and Jordan Reed you have yourself a week to forget for many fantasy owners. Oh yea can’t forget about all the injuries as the fantasy number 1 overall pick David Johnson is set to miss at least half of the season, Danny Woodhead playing only one series before injuring his hamstring and Allen Robinson shelved for the season.
I had a hit or miss week myself as I nailed my Dalvin Cook recommendation along with telling you all to start Sam Bradford and Stefon Diggs. However, missed on the Doug Baldwin start along with telling folks to sit Leonard Fournette. The past is the past and now it’s time to look ahead to Week 2 in true Belichick fashion. Check out more content at couchpotatogm.com, follow me on Twitter @CPGMHeadley and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel (search Couch Potato GM).
START – CARSON PALMER VS COLTS
The veteran quarterback was awful last week in what some considered a plus matchup against the Detroit Lions. Carson Palmer struggled with accuracy throughout the game as he was pressured continuously due to his makeshift offensive line that couldn’t block anyone upfront. Palmer dropped back to pass 50 times and was pressured on 18 plays causing him to hurry and throw three interceptions which ultimately led to the demise of the Cardinals and his fantasy output. Now that I got the bad and ugly out of the way, let’s look to the good which is a sweet matchup this week against the Indianapolis Colts. Jared Goff and the Rams offense torched the “marshmellowy” Colts defense for 300+ passing yards and 46 points in Week 1. The Colts failed to generate much pressure on Goff which bodes well for Palmer as he is one of the best in the league with a clean pocket. If the Cardinals and left tackle John Wetzel (allowed 10 pressures) can protect their quarterback then it will be easy pickings for Palmer all day long. Get Palmer in your lineups as he should have a big game and put up QB1 numbers this week in this A+ matchup.
Derek Carr vs Jets
Phillip Rivers vs Dolphins
Jameis Winston vs Bears
Jared Goff vs Redskins
SIT – CARSON WENTZ VS CHIEFS
Start a Carson sit a Carson this week as the quarterback to keep on your bench is Carson Wentz. Last week Wentz showed promise for a successful fantasy season throwing for 307 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Redskins but also showed inconsistency throwing a pick 6 and making some bad decisions down the field which almost led to more interceptions. The sit recommendation is no indictment on Wentz as he should throw the ball a bunch this season and rack up huge totals; it rests solely on my affinity for the Chiefs defense, especially in Arrowhead. The #ChiefsKingdom is a loud place to play for any opposing quarterback and the pass rushing duo of Justin Houston (Top 3 pass rusher in the league) and Dee Ford should wreak havoc on the Eagles tackles and Wentz. No Eric Berry in this one which is a plus for tight end Zach Ertz and the Eagles offense but I think the Chiefs front seven will disrupt the timing of the Eagles offense which will lead to many mistakes by Wentz and company.
START – TY MONTGOMERY VS FALCONS
There was a lot of debate leading into the fantasy season if wide receiver turned running back Ty Montgomery could be a reliable fantasy option this year. The naysayers pointed to his minimal workload last season, his limited pass protection capabilities and the fact that the Packers drafted 3 running backs in the 2017 NFL Draft. If early indication proves correct then Montgomery will be just fine as a PPR RB2. Montgomery played a whopping 74 of 82 snaps for Green Bay and provided fantasy owners with 93 total yards, 4 catches and a touchdown against a very stingy Seahawks defense. I don’t believe Montgomery will continue his 90% snap count pace throughout the season but I do believe he is an outstanding play this week against a Falcons defense that allowed the most catches to the RB position last year and allowed Bears RB Tarik Cohen to catch 8 passes against them last week. The Falcons who have tons of speed on their defense have been shaky against backs in the passing games due to their zone cover 3 defense which forces quarterbacks to play conservative and check the ball down to the open receiver. Rodgers is an elite quarterback that will try and take his shots down the field but look for him to target Montgomery in the passing game early and often to mitigate the Falcons pressure. Whether it’s through the air or the ground Montgomery is a solid play in Week 2 against the reigning NFC Champions.
Kareem Hunt vs Eagles
James White vs Saints
Terrance West vs Browns
Chris Carson vs 49ers
FRANK GORE VS CARDINALS
This Colts team is a mess right now especially on the offensive side of the ball without their quarterback Andrew Luck. Until further notice all Colts offensive players should be benched. Old man Frank Gore in my estimation should probably be leaned on more heavily to alleviate the horrendous quarterback play but if defenses are stacking boxes in preparation then it’s nothing Gore can accomplish. Gore received 10 carries last week for a modest 42 yards but game script dictated only 3 carries in the second half after the Colts fell behind by a huge margin against the LA Rams. I am afraid this will continue this week against the Arizona Cardinals who allowed a mere 3.0 yards per carry against the Lions last week. Gore can maybe salvage his fantasy day with a touchdown but with last year’s goal line vulture Robert Turbin still on the roster and Marlon Mack who lead the team last week with three carries inside the 5, I don’t see this as a possibility. Sit Gore
START – COOPER KUPP VS REDSKINS
The Rams are up to something in L.A. with a stout defense that should have Aaron Donald back this week and a young up and coming offense led by Sean McVay and Jared Goff. Goff looks night and day from his abysmal 2016 rookie campaign and although we shouldn’t crown him after destroying the Colts “marsmellowy” defense, he is trending in the right direction. The main reason for this upward trend other than of course new head coach McVay is the weapons he is surrounded by with game changer Sammy Watkins, the athletic young tight end Gerald Everett and the reliable and sure handed Cooper Kupp. There’s no other way to put it, Goff loves Kupp as he looks to him on third downs to move the chains and whenever he needs a big play. Kupp caught 4 of his targets last week for 76 yards and a touchdown and I see this continuing against a Redskins defense that is sweet between the hashes in pass coverage. Carson Wentz, Nelson Agholor and Zach Ertz picked the Redskins apart in the middle of the field for huge yardage as starting safeties Deshazor Everett & DJ Swearinger missed 4 tackles and graded out by PFF as 31.6 and 36.0 respectively. Start Kupp with confidence especially in PPR leagues as he ran 62.5% of his routes from the slot last week.
Keenan Allen vs Dolphins
Larry Fitzgerald vs Colts
Michael Crabtree vs Jets
Emmanuel Sanders vs Cowboys
Martavis Bryant vs Vikings
Chris Hogan vs Saints
T.Y. HILTON VS CARDINALS
See Frank Gore above…Sit all your Colts until further notice. It pains me to sit “My Guy” T.Y. Hilton but without Andrew Luck I’m afraid this is the smart decision. Check out our YouTube matchup video last week as I didn’t hesitate to start Hilton. I am singing a different tune this week after Hilton almost made me look like a whiz kid by catching 3 passes for 57 yards in the first half against the L.A Rams. However that was all she wrote as he didn’t produce a catch after half time even with the Colts trailing heavily throughout the game. Maybe I would be a little more bullish this week if Hilton wasn’t going to be matched up against All-World corner Patrick Peterson but the Colts QB situation coupled with the Pat P treatment stands to ruin Hilton’s chances for success this week.
START – JIMMY GRAHAM VS 49ERS
Jimmy Graham had a poor Week 1 showing against the Packers with only 3 catches for 8 yards and a couple of dropped passes. The 49ers actually did a superb job last week limiting Greg Olsen to 2 receptions for 18 yards but I will bet on Graham’s talent to bounce back in this matchup. Graham produced big numbers in the 2 games last year against the 49ers with 164 yards and a TD. The Seahawks will be angry this week at home after only putting up 9 points in a loss to the Packers last week and Graham and Doug Baldwin should be the main beneficiaries of the receiving yards from Russell Wilson. Rookie linebacker Reuben Foster is hampered with a high-ankle sprain and will more than likely miss this contest which makes Graham even more enticing.
Evan Engram vs Lions
Cameron Brate vs Bears
Antonio Gates vs Dolphins
AUSTIN HOOPER VS PACKERS
Don’t get fooled with the big fantasy performance by Austin Hooper last week as he only received 2 targets, one of which was a broken play where the Bears left the 2nd year tight end wide open for a 88-yard touchdown. The Falcons are not a team to target a primary tight end much in their passing game which makes Hooper a risky fantasy play each and every week. He will definitely have some of the big games like you saw last week but he will mix that in with some duds. The Packers defense is weak on the outside therefore I see big games from the Falcons receivers, not the tight end, keep Hooper on your bench.
DEFENSE TO STREAM
OAKLAND RAIDERS VS JETS
The Raiders defense had a season to forget last years as they were continuously torched in the passing game giving up a league high 7.3 net yards per pass attempt. They gave up big plays week after week to start the season until they settled down a bit in the second half of the year. The 2017 season opener against the Titans should give the fan base hope as they bottled up Marcus Mariota and company led by reigning Defensive Player of the Year Khalil Mack who finished the game with 5 hurries, a batted pass and 3 defensive stops. I can talk up the Raiders defense all I want but the main reason to stream them this week is because they play against the talent deprived Jets offense. Josh McCown is their starting quarterback with newly signed Jermaine Kearse as their leading receiver. The Raiders defense should roll all over the Jets and can be a fantasy difference maker for you this week.