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Inside the Matchup

Week 2

By: Andy Swanson | Jason Katz | Nick Caron | HC Green
9/17/20; Updated: 9/18/20



Sunday Early:



Sunday Late:




- ITM for all games will be available on Friday.
- Green highllight indicates plus matchup (top eight)
- Red highlight indicates negative matchup (bottom eight)

Bengals @ Browns - (Green)
Line: CLE -6.0
Total: 43.5

Passing Game Thoughts: When you factor in the loss of rookie camps, mini camps and preseason games, Joe Burrow's Week 1 performance was impressive. The numbers don't necessarily bear that out -- he completed 23 of 36 passes for 193 yards, 0 TDs and an INT -- but outside of a couple bad plays he looked composed and in control. This was especially true on the game's final drive where offensive pass interference erased a potential game-winning touchdown strike to A.J. Green.

Speaking of Green, he hauled in five passes for 51 yards in his first game action since Dec. 2, 2018. Early returns suggest that Green (nine targets) is Burrow's top option with last year's leading receiver, Tyler Boyd, catching four of five targets for 33 yards. Last season, Boyd totaled 10 catches for 134 yards in two meetings with the Browns, though that was obviously without Green or Burrow. For this Thursday, Green should be a high-end WR3 while Boyd is more of a flex option in Cleveland.

Three others matched Boyd's five targets: C.J. Uzomah, John Ross and Gio Bernard. Of that group, Uzomah is the only one to keep an eye on as TEs are often security blankets for young signal callers. Cleveland was pretty much hapless against Lamar Jackson, who threw for 275 yards and 3 TDs in Week 1, and they won't be getting Greedy Williams (shoulder) or Kevin Johnson (abdomen) back Thursday. There's a case to be made for starting Burrow as a QB2, though it'd be a somewhat risky proposition.

CLE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.5
CLE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.22
CLE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.12
CLE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.2

Running Game Thoughts: After not fumbling in either of his previous two seasons, Joe Mixon put the ball on the ground late in the Week 1 loss to the Chargers, setting up what proved to be the winning points. It was the low point of an inauspicious start to 2020 as his 20 touches (19 runs, one reception) garnered just 71 yards. Mixon will look to rebound against a Browns team he gashed last year, rushing the ball 49 times for 308 yards and 3 TDs. Cleveland did a nice job against Baltimore's RBs in Week 1, but Mixon still offers solid RB2 value with upside.

Value Meter:
QB2: Joe Burrow (low-end)
RB2: Joe Mixon
WR3: A.J. Green
WR3/Flex: Tyler Boyd
Bench: C.J. Uzomah

Passing Game Thoughts: Week 1 under new head coach Kevin Stefanski looked a lot like the 16 games played under Freddie Kitchens as Cleveland was blown out by the Ravens, 38-6. While not all of that falls on Baker "Hulu has live sports" Mayfield, the third-year pro was poor, completing just 21 of 39 passes for 189 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT -- that was below his modest 2019 average of 239 yards per game and 59.4 percent completions. Despite the weapons around him, Mayfield needs to show something before he's worth putting in a fantasy lineup again.

To be fair, Mayfield got little help from Odell Beckham Jr. in Week 1. OBJ had just three receptions for 22 yards on 10 targeted balls, including a critical drop when the outcome was still in doubt. Now there are reports that the Browns are shopping Beckham. It's just a mess in Cleveland. Easily the steadiest performer in the passing game is Jarvis Landry (hip), who led the way in Week 1 with five catches for 61 yards, and is a reliable WR3 if he plays. Beckham, meanwhile, is a low-end No. 2 or strong No. 3 option.

Austin Hooper caught two passes for 15 yards in his Browns debut and generally took a backseat to David Njoku (knee), who caught four passes for 50 yards and a TD before suffering a sprained MCL that landed him on IR. Cincinnati played surprisingly well against the Chargers in Week 1 given their depth of talent, but how much of that was the Bengals' defense and how much was Tyrod Taylor's struggles is unclear.

CIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.32
CIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.18
CIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.28
CIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.11

Running Game Thoughts: If there was a bright spot for the Browns in Week 1 it was the play of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. The duo combined for 132 yards on 23 carries, with Hunt (13-72-0) actually outpacing Chubb (10-60-0). Don't read too much into it. The snap split was nearly identical, and playing from behind favored Hunt, who is the superior receiver. Cincinnati allowed the combo of Austin Ekeler and Justin Kelley to combine for 144 yards on 31 carries this past week, and now they'll be without DTs Mike Daniels (groin) and Geno Atkins (shoulder). Expect the Browns to attack on the ground where Chubb rates as an RB2 and Hunt is a high-end RB3.

Value Meter:
RB2: Nick Chubb
RB3: Kareem Hunt
WR2/WR3: Odell Beckham Jr.
WR3: Jarvis Landry (hip)
Bench: Baker Mayfield, Austin Hooper

Prediction: Browns 23, Bengals 19 ^ Top

Panthers @ Buccaneers - (Swanson)
Line: TB -8.5
Total: 48.0

Passing Game Thoughts: The first game of the Teddy Two Gloves Bridgewater era of Carolina Panthers Football was a mixed bag of positive and negative signs.

On the positive side, the defense of the Panthers is every bit as terrible as we all predicted which will undoubtedly result in the Carolina offense chasing points. Teddy looked comfortable running the offense, the wide receiving corps combined to score the 10th most fantasy points on the week, and Christian McCaffrey is still a workhorse threat in the air and on the ground.

On the negative side, owners who used a third-round pick on D.J. Moore might have some buyer’s remorse. Although Moore did lead the group of WRs with nine targets, Robby Anderson and Curtis Samuel each garnered eight targets of their own as Bridgewater spread the ball around.

Moore is still the top player to own in the passing game but based on what we saw Week 1, Anderson and Samuel might have more of a role than Moore owners anticipated.

The Bucs present a difficult matchup for the receivers and Bridgewater. Tampa Bay’s young and upcoming secondary shut down the receivers for the Saints in Week 1 to the tune of eight catches for 53 yards and a score. That is not the stat line for Michael Thomas or Emmanuel Sanders. The Bucs held Drew Brees and his wide receivers to 53 receiving yards and a score, despite New Orleans winning the game comfortably.

CMC will still get his targets and is a must-start. You are going to want to start Moore based on the draft capital used to get him, but don’t be surprised if he delivers another disappointing performance. Of the three, look for Anderson to sneak behind the defense for a long score, as the Saints are an aggressive secondary.

TB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.24
TB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.10
TB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.31
TB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.13

Running Game Thoughts: CMC delivered a ho-hum, 130 yards and two touchdowns against the Raiders to open the season. Although his use in the passing game was quite a bit less than we saw over the previous two years, he came through with the No.2 performance on the week and lived up to his draft capital once again.

Look for him to get more involved in the passing game this week against a Tampa Bay team that is stout against the run. Don’t let last week's performance by the Saints fool you. The Bucs do have one of the better run defenses in the league, and were, in fact, the only team last season that did not allow 100 yards rushing on the ground.

CMC is a must-start regardless of format, and he will provide ample fantasy value this week as long as Bridgewater gets him more involved in the passing game.

Value Meter:
QB2: Teddy Bridgewater (High-End)
RB1: Christian McCaffrey (Elite)
WR2: D.J. Moore(Low-End)
WR3: Robby Anderson (Low-End)
WR4: Curtis Samuel (High-End)
TE2: Ian Thomas (High-End)

Passing Game Thoughts: Tom Brady’s first start for the Bucs did not go as planned, as the future first ballot hall of fame threw just two touchdown passes, with 239 passing yards on 23 of 36 passing. Brady threw two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown by Janoris Jenkins.

Look for Brady and the Bucs to bounce back big time this week against a terrible Panther defense that was thrashed to start the season by the Raiders. If there were ever an opponent who provides an opportunity for a get-right game, it would be the Panthers.

Brady and the passing offense should use this opportunity against a subpar defense to get their timing fixed, as it was clear that he did not have a strong rapport with his receivers. A matchup to watch will be Mike Evans (if he is able to play) outside against rookie Troy Pride Jr. Evans caught just one pass for six yards and a touchdown in garbage time against the Saints. Look for him to get back on track this week if his hamstring continues to improve.

There were whispers out of Bucs training camp that Scotty Miller could be a sleeper wide receiver after gaining the favor of Brady in practice. Those whispers turned out to be correct, with the former 6th round pick form Bowling Green putting up nearly the identical receiving line to Chris Godwin, with five catches for 73 yards on six targets.

Miller is an interesting waiver wire add in deep leagues and could be an excellent flex option this week if the Bucs jump out to an early lead and rest Evans and his hamstring.

Although Rob Gronkowski played in 77% of snaps compared to 53% by O.J. Howard, the former looked slow and ineffective. He is always a threat to score, but two receptions for 11 yards on three targets makes him a wait and see play.

Wide receiver Chris Godwin is currently in the concussion protocol. Should he miss the game, look for Brady to lean even more on Miller in the passing game.

CAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.25
CAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.3
CAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.22
CAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.16

Running Game Thoughts: The addition of Leonard Fournette proved to be a dud, at least for the first week of the season, as the Bucs combined to score the fifth-fewest points at the running back position. Considering the fact that the Saints are a stellar run defending team, it was not a surprise. What was a surprise was the fact that Fournette played in just nine snaps on the day. He may have value later on, but he is a must bench right now until we see a more defined role in the offense.

The running back to start this week is Ronald Jones, who played in 47% of the snaps in the game and carried the ball 17 times for 66 yards. Josh Jacobs just torched the Panthers for three touchdowns and a ton of all-purpose yards, giving hope to Jones owners that their running back could bounce back this week.

Value Meter:
QB1: Tom Brady (Low-End)
RB2: Ronald Jones (Low-End)
RB4: Leonard Fournette (High-End)
WR1: Chris Godwin (Low-End)
WR2: Mike Evans (High-End)
WR4: Scotty Miller (High-End)
TE1: O.J. Howard (Low -End)

Prediction: Tampa Bay 34, Carolina 21

Jaguars @ Titans - (Swanson)
Line: TEN -8.0
Total: 43.0

Passing Game Thoughts: Gardner Minshew delivered one of the most impressive performances in Week 1, with 22.3 fantasy points as the Jaguars, a team many people picked to finish with the worst record in the NFL, beat Philip Rivers and the Colts. Minshew completed 19 of his 20 pass attempts for 173 yards and three touchdowns.

D.J. Chark, Keelan Cole, and rookie Laviska Shenault each caught a touchdown pass from Minshew, with Cole leading the team in targets with five. For owners who drafted Chark in the fourth or fifth round, his three targets could be a concern, as many projected Chark to take a massive leap into WR1 territory.

Minshew targeted his tight ends just twice on the day, with Tyler Eifert and James O’Shaughnessy each receiving one pass against the Colts. Neither is a great option this week until we see more volume in the passing game.

The Titans at home project to be a difficult matchup for Minshew, especially if pass rusher Vic Beasley is able to play opposite of Jadaveon Clowney. The Titans held the Broncos to 216 passing yards and one touchdown on Monday Night Football.

A matchup to watch is Chark against Jonathan Joseph and Malcolm Butler. Chark caught four passes for 76 yards and a score in the first matchup against the Titans in 2019 but managed just five catches for 38 yards and no scores in the second.

TEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.27
TEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.15
TEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.29
TEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.4

Running Game Thoughts: Rookie James Robinson was the only player in Week 1 to receive 100% of his respective team’s rushing attempts. Although he averaged just 62 yards on 16 carries, his workload volume is attractive as a low-end RB2, and he also was involved in the passing game with 28 receiving yards against the Colts.

The Chris Thompson blowout PPR game did not come to fruition, and the former Washington running back burned fantasy owners to the tune of two catches for six yards. Until we see him used more in the passing game in negative game scripts he should not be played.

The Broncos managed to combine for 102 rushing yards and a score against the Titans, a defense that ranked 15th in fantasy points allowed to RBs in 2019. The matchup is not something that Robinson owners should shy away from, and yet the undrafted rookie RB from Illinois State could still be a low-end RB2.

Starting inside linebacker Rashaan Evans was ejected from the MNF game for throwing a punch in a skirmish with tight end Jake Butt. His return should help the Titan run defense.

Value Meter:
QB2: Gardner Minshew (High-End)
RB2: James Robinson (Low-End)
WR2: D.J. Chark (Low-End)
WR4: Keelan Cole (High-End)
WR4: Laviska Shenault (High-End)
TE2: Tyler Eifert (Low -End)

Passing Game Thoughts: Ryan Tannehill threw the ball more times on Monday Night Football against the Broncos than in any game last year. His 43 attempts were the fifth-most of any QB on the week, yet he managed just 249 passing yards and two touchdowns.

Throwing the ball that often is not what the Titans want to do on offense. Head coach Mike Vrabel wants to run the ball more, and don’t be surprised to see the team lean more heavily on Derrick Henry against a Jags team that is not strong against the run.

A 66th overall finish for A.J. Brown is not what his owners expected when they used an early-round pick on the second year WR. If there were ever a game for Brown to get right, it would be at home against the Jags. The volume was there with eight targets vs. Denver, but Brown and Tannehill were not on the same page. Look for Brown to break a long reception for a score this week against a Jacksonville against rookie cornerback CJ Henderson.

An interesting development from Week 1 was the reemergence of former first-round bust Corey Davis. Davis posted his first 100-yard game since Week 10 of the 2018 season and looked to be a viable second option for Tannehill in the passing game. Davis has disappointed so many times in the past that it is hard to imagine him being fantasy viable in 2020, but he is someone to keep an eye on and a possible bench stash.

The Jags gave up the 22nd most fantasy points to wide receivers last week in their surprising victory over the Colts. Some of that success can be attributed to their performance, and some should be placed on Rivers and the Colts, who looked off most of the day and struggled with timing.

The Jonnu Smith breakout season looks to be off to a great start with Smith posting four catches for 36 yards and a touchdown on seven targets. Smith was on the field for 73% of the team’s snaps and should be another TE1 this week against Jacksonville.

Update: Head coach Mike Vrabel told reporters on Friday that A.J. Brown will miss Week 2 with a bone bruise in his knee. The absence of Brown will likely lead to more targets for Corey Davis. However, look for the team to use Jonnu Smith more and continue to lean on the running game with Derrick Henry. Smith is squarely in TE1 consideration, while Davis now is a reasonably safe option as a low-end No.3.

JAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.16
JAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.1
JAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.20
JAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.15

Running Game Thoughts: Derrick Henry led all running backs in carries with 31 totes Week 1 against the Broncos. Although his 3.7 yards per carry were a disappointment and he did not reach the end zone, he did catch all three of his targets and is on pace to catch 48 passes in 2020. I know it is a small sample size, but it is encouraging to see him more active in the passing game.

Henry should have a monster game this week against the Jags at home and should be considered an elite play. The reigning NFL rushing champ posted 203 rushing yards and three total touchdowns against the Jags in his two games last season, and that was against a Jags team that had Calais Campbell on the defensive line.

Value Meter:
QB1: Ryan Tannehill (Low-End)
RB1: Derrick Henry (Elite)
WR2: A.J. Brown (High-End)
WR3: Corey Davis (Low-End)
TE1: Jonnu Smith (Mid-Range)

Prediction: Tennessee 30, Jacksonville 14

Giants @ Bears - (Green)
Line: CHI -5.5
Total: 42.5

Passing Game Thoughts: Dogged all night by the relentless pass rush of the Steelers, Daniel Jones stood tall and delivered a solid performance: 26 of 41, 279 yards, 2 TDs and 2 INTs. That he did it without veteran Golden Tate (hamstring) and a running game that couldn't get out of neutral made it all the more impressive. It was also encouraging that, despite the pressure, Jones never put the ball on the ground -- that was a major issue for the then-rookie in 2019 when he fumbled 18 times and lost 11 of them.

With Tate's status for Week 2 still unclear, Darius Slayton currently looks to be the top option after he led the team in receptions (six) and yards (102) while scoring both of their touchdowns. Sterling Shepard matched Slayton's six catches, but they covered just 47 yards, leaving him on the fringes of fantasy relevance. Top-10 TE Evan Engram was targeted seven times against the Steelers; unfortunately it resulted in just two catches and nine yards. Still, it's not time to move the talented tight end out of your lineup.

Chicago allowed 297 passing yards and a TD to Detroit in Week 1, though a late dropped touchdown helped those numbers out, as did the absence of Lions WR1 Kenny Golladay. The Bears still have some playmakers in their secondary as well as in their pass rush, but their play last Sunday shouldn't strike fear into the G-Men.

CHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.20
CHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.12
CHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.17
CHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.9

Running Game Thoughts: Fifteen carries, six yards. Those were Saquon Barkley's totals against the Steelers. Incredibly, for a back of Barkley's talent, this wasn't the first time he was completely shut down. In fact, he ran 13 times for one yard last November. He'll be looking to get going against a Bears defense that allowed Adrian Peterson to run for 93 yards on 14 carries less than a week after signing in Detroit. Expect a much better showing from Barkley here.

Value Meter:
QB2: Daniel Jones
RB1: Saquon Barkley
WR3: Darius Slayton
Flex: Sterling Shepard (low-end)
TE1: Evan Engram
Bench: Golden Tate (hamstring)

Passing Game Thoughts: Through three quarters, Mitchell Trubisky was bad: he hit on 12 of his 26 passing attempts for 153 yards, and Chicago had six points. Fox's halftime show openly campaigned for Matt Nagy to pull the plug and go to Nick Foles. Instead, Trubisky came alive in the fourth quarter, throwing for 89 yards and three TDs. It likely saved his job, at least for now, but don't overreact. Trubisky has always had the Lions' number -- nine of his last 20 TDs passes have come against Detroit -- and they were dealing with massive injury problems in the secondary.

Most of the news out of Chicago this week has centered on Allen Robinson, who is unhappy with his contract and may have requested a trade. On the field, Robinson (5-74-0) is the team's top receiver and only Trubisky's inconsistency keeps him from being a viable WR1 week in and week out. Anthony Miller (4-76-1) had a good game against the Lions. He's teased fantasy owners before, but it's worth scooping him up if he's available on waivers. Jimmy Graham (3-25-1) also scored.

Defensively, the Giants didn't give up a ton of yardage to Ben Roethlisberger, who passed for 229 yards on 21 completions. Three of those completions went for TDs, though, and most of New York's success containing the Steelers came early on before Big Ben shook off the rust.

NYG FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.12
NYG FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.26
NYG FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.3
NYG FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.28

Running Game Thoughts: With 149 yards on 28 attempts, the Bears' running game was quite effective in Week 1. David Montgomery led the way with 64 yards on 13 carries, and Tarik Cohen gained 41 on seven. Neither back was involved much through the air, however, which undercuts their value a bit. New York struggled to contain backup Benny Snell (19-113-0) last Monday and could provide a nice matchup for Chicago's backfield in Week 2.

Value Meter:
RB3: David Montgomery
RB3/Flex: Tarik Cohen
WR2: Allen Robinson
Bench: Mitchell Trubisky, Anthony Miller, Jimmy Graham

Prediction: Bears 24, Giants 20

Falcons at Cowboys - (Katz)
Line: DAL -4.5
Total: 54.0

Passing Game Thoughts: It sure looks like a Matt Ryan year. One of my favorite late-round quarterbacks showed exactly why he earned that title last week throwing for 450 yards and two touchdowns. While most of that production came in garbage time, that’s going to be a theme for the Falcons this season.

If anyone remembers what the Cowboys did at home last season against the Rams, that’s kind of the image I have for what this week’s game is going to look like. The Cowboys offense is going to make the Falcons have to throw a ton. Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley are both going to continue to eat. Julio, Ridley, and Russell Gage each saw 12 targets last week and while that’s obviously not sustainable, all three have a real shot at 100 targets with Gage looking like he’s the Austin Hooper replacement, not Hayden Hurst, who was targeted just five times. With Leighton Vander-Esch out for the Cowboys, Hurst could feasibly have a solid game, but the Cowboys contained Tyler Higbee last week with no problem. This smells like a monster Julio game with Ridley being a solid secondary performer in a likely shootout.

DAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.28
DAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.7
DAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.18
DAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.21

Running Game Thoughts: Todd Gurley didn’t look hurt at all last week, but he did look slow and inexplosive. Gurley’s fantasy value is going to rely heavily on touchdowns as he’s just not dynamic anymore. Fortunately for him, the Falcons should be in scoring position a lot. Gurley is pretty much Malcolm Brown at this point, but we saw what Brown was able to do against this Cowboys defense last week. Gurley can certainly at least match that. The RB1 upside is not really there, but Gurley should remain a solid weekly RB2 and has a great shot at double-digit touchdowns. This week is no different.

Value Meter:
QB1: Matt Ryan (mid-range)
RB2: Todd Gurley (mid-range)
WR1: Julio Jones (high end)
WR2: Calvin Ridley (high end)
TE1: Hayden Hurst (low end)
Flex: Russell Gage (PPR only)

Passing Game Thoughts: Dak Prescott played fine last week in a tough home loss to the Rams. If not for a phantom offensive pass interference call on Michael Gallup late in the game, Prescott would have likely eclipsed 300 yards passing. The Cowboys undoubtedly were paying attention to how the Seahawks attacked the Falcons last week. Expect a similar pass heavy approach with a lot of first down throws. This is an absolute smash spot for the entire Cowboys offense. With Blake Jarwin done for the season, look for the Cowboys to go extremely heavy on 11 personnel and distribute targets primarily to Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and CeeDee Lamb. Any doubts over Cooper’s alpha status should have been put to rest last week with his 14 targets. However, Gallup’s lackluster stat line doesn’t represent how well he actually played. Meanwhile, Lamb looked great on his six targets, catching five for 59 yards. Lamb is going to be an every week WR3 soon enough. The Falcons were torched by Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf last week. Cooper and Gallup will look to do the same. This is the type of game fantasy players dream of.

ATL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.2
ATL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.4
ATL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.6
ATL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.6

Running Game Thoughts: Any concerns about Tony Pollard eating into Ezekiel Elliott’s workload are over. Pollard played just 10% of the snaps. This is Zeke’s backfield and he’s sure looking like the guy that should’ve been the second overall pick in fantasy leagues this season. Elliott looked as good as I’ve ever seen him - making defenders miss and effective in the passing game. He found the end zone twice in just an all-around complete effort.

The Falcons really struggled to handle Chris Carson catching passes out of the backfield and have notoriously struggled with defending running backs as receivers. Elliott is a vastly superior pass catcher to Carson. Surely Mike McCarthy and Kellen Moore are aware of this and will look to exploit it. Tyron Smith potentially missing this game is definitely a concern, but Zeke, like the rest of this offense, is poised to smash.

Value Meter:
QB1: Dak Prescott (high end)
RB1: Ezekiel Elliott (high end)
WR1: Amari Cooper (mid-range)
WR2: Michael Gallup (mid-range)
WR3: CeeDee Lamb
Bench: Tony Pollard, Dalton Schultz

Prediction: Cowboys 34, Falcons 24

Lions @ Packers - (Green)
Line: GB -6.0
Total: 49.0

Passing Game Thoughts: Under center for the first time since a back injury cost him the final eight games of 2019, Matthew Stafford appeared ready to lead his team to an opening week victory over the Bears. Things fell apart in the fourth, though, including Stafford going 8-for-17 and tossing a pick. Of course, his final totals (297 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT) would've looked much better if rookie D'Andre Swift hadn't dropped what would have been the game-winning touchdown on the game's penultimate play.

Stafford was also working without No. 1 receiver Kenny Golladay (hamstring), who hasn't practiced this week and appears on track to miss a second game. Without him, the duo of Marvin Jones (4-55-0) and Danny Amendola (5-81-0) are the top two wideouts with T.J. Hockenson (5-56-1) also heavily involved. Of that group, Jones is the safest bet as a WR3, and if Golladay is active he'd slide in as a WR2. Hockenson could also be deployed as a low-end starter with risk/reward potential.

Green Bay put the clamps on Kirk Cousins for much of Week 1, holding him to seven completions through three quarters while Jaire Alexander intercepted a pass and recorded a safety. Once the Packers went up 29-10 late in the third it was a completely different story as the Vikings marched down the field for three TD drives marked by bad coverage and worse tackling. We'll see which group shows up in Week 2.

GB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.11
GB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.8
GB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.11
GB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.22

Running Game Thoughts: Signed six days before the opener, Adrian Peterson stepped in as Detroit's top back last Sunday, rushing 14 times for 93 yards. It's both a testament to the 35-year-old's conditioning and an indictment of Kerryon Johnson, who carried just seven times for 14 yards. Swift had six touches in his debut and scored a TD, but all anyone will remember is his late drop. Green Bay allowed 134 yards on 22 rushes last Sunday and could be without star DT Kenny Clark (groin). This seems like an area the Lions will attack, and some of Peterson's best days have come against the Packers.

Value Meter:
QB2: Matthew Stafford
RB3: Adrian Peterson
WR2: Kenny Golladay (hamstring; if active)
WR3: Marvin Jones
Bench: T.J. Hockenson, D'Andre Swift, Kerryon Johnson, Danny Amendola

Passing Game Thoughts: It's anyone's guess how many articles were written about Aaron Rodgers during the offseason regarding his decline and/or the team's decision not to add to their receiving corps. For at least one week, Rodgers told them all to relax as he eviscerated the Vikings for 364 yards and four touchdowns -- this despite a dropped TD and a few other drops that would've pushed him well above 400 yards. He looked confident in the offense and his accuracy, an issue for much of 2019, was excellent. It was a vintage performance from No. 12.

Davante Adams (14-156-2) had a monster game, even though he was guilty of two of those drops, including the touchdown. While Adams is a known commodity, Green Bay also got big contributions from Allen Lazard (4-63-1) and Marquez Valdes-Scantling (4-96-1). Lazard emerged as a steady contributor down the stretch last year, whereas MVS had struggled after an encouraging start. There's still work to do with Valdes-Scantling, who dropped two passes of his own, but I wouldn't leave him on waivers.

Much like the Packers, Detroit's secondary held up for three quarters before falling apart late. One key difference, however, was that Green Bay never took the field with less than a three-score cushion while the Lions watched their lead evaporate. Injuries to starting CBs Desmond Trufant (hamstring) and Justin Coleman (hamstring) were part of the issue; Coleman has since been placed on IR while Trufant hasn't practiced and looks unlikely to play Sunday. Rookie Jeff Okudah (hamstring) could make his debut, but this looks like a tough ask of Detroit's secondary.

DET FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.9
DET FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.28
DET FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.5
DET FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.17

Running Game Thoughts: While no individual had a huge game on the ground, the Packers as a team gained 160 yards on 30 attempts (not counting two kneeldowns) against the Vikings. Aaron Jones (16-66-1) saw most of the touches while Tyler Ervin (3-38-0) and Lazard (1-19-0) keep the defense off balance with jet sweeps. Jamaal Williams gained 42 total yards and rookie A.J. Dillon ran twice for 14 yards. The Lions allowed Chicago to average 5.3 yards per carry last week, though with the advantage Green Bay seems to have via the air you wonder if they'll run less this week.

Value Meter:
QB1: Aaron Rodgers
RB1: Aaron Jones
WR1: Davante Adams
WR3/Flex: Allen Lazard
Flex: Marquez Valdes-Scantling
Bench: Jamaal Williams, AJ Dillon

Prediction: Packers 31, Lions 20

Vikings @ Colts - (Swanson)
Line: IND -3.0
Total: 48.0

Passing Game Thoughts: Kirk Cousins and the Vikings passing offense got off to a terrible start against the Packers, only to bounce back in the second half to finish as the No.11 fantasy quarterback of the week.

On a positive note, Cousins threw for 259 yards and two touchdowns, and Adam Thielen dropped 110/2 to finish as the No.3 wide receiver on the week. On a negative note, is a ton of that production for Cousins came with the game already out of hand and in garbage time. Yes, garbage time is good for fantasy, but it was clear, at least early on this game, that the Vikings passing offense was not as potent without Stefon Diggs.

We all thought that the Colts were one of the better first week streaming defensive plays with Indy taking on Gardner Minshew and the Jags. Although the Colts did come through with four sacks, they did not force a turnover, and Minshew threw for a near-perfect 19 of 20 for 173 passing yards and three touchdowns.

A matchup to watch in this game is safety Xavier Rhodes going against his old team. Rhodes will most likely cover Thielen exclusively, with two former teammates going at each other like they did numerous times in practice. Each player knows the other’s tendencies and weaknesses. My money is on Thielen, but don’t be surprised to see Rhodes make a few splash plays.

The tight end duo of Kyle Rudolph and Irv Smith produced no fantasy worthy numbers last week against the Packers. Both players were on the fire for 62% of the plays as the Vikings used 21 personnel for the majority of the game. Until we see one emerge as a viable fantasy option, it is best to look to other players with higher volume floors.

IND FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.15
IND FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.31
IND FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.7
IND FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.31

Running Game Thoughts: Dalvin Cook got paid. Now he needs to live up to his new contract with production on the field. Cook put up a pedestrian 48 total yards on 13 touches against the Pack, but salvaged his lack of yardage with two rushing touchdowns.

The team used Alexander Mattison on 37% of snaps compared to 58% for Cook. Was this just a game flow issue, or perhaps this is a sign of things to come as the team looks to avoid overusing their star running back? We will learn more as the season progresses, but regardless, Cook is a top-10 running back regardless of format and should be in your lineup.

Should Mattison continue to see 37% of snaps, he would have low-end stand-alone flex appeal in most formats.

Only the Steelers and the Washington Football Team gave up fewer points week one to opposing RBs than the Colts. Although rookie James Robinson did post some solid runs, the Colts and their new high priced defensive lineman DeForest Buckner kept the Jags from scoring on the ground.

Value Meter:
QB2: Kirk Cousins (High-End)
RB1: Dalvin Cook (Elite)
WR1: Adam Thielen (Low-End)
WR4: Justin Jefferson (High-End)
TE2: Irv Smith (Low -End)

Passing Game Thoughts: New location, same Phillip Rivers. While he may have culminated enough stats to be considered a hall of fame quarterback, Rivers continues to make risky throws that kills his fantasy value in leagues that give negative points for interceptions.

Only Matt Ryan and Aaron Rodgers threw for more passing yards Week 1, yet those two players combined for six passing touchdowns and one interception. Rivers, on the other hand, threw costly picks and only one touchdown to finish as the 16th ranked quarterback on the week.

We saw some positive signs, with Parris Campbell getting nine targets out of the slot. But we also witnessed T.Y. Hilton and Rivers failing to connect well with just four catches for 53 yards on nine targets. Rookie second-round pick Michael Pittman Jr. was a dud and likely should not be started any time soon.

In addition to throwing picks, Rivers is widely considered one of the better passers to running backs. This proved to be the case with a whopping 17 receptions going to Colts running backs, for 142 yards and a touchdown.

Nyheim Hines caught all eight passes for 45 yards and a score to lead the team, but rookie Jonathan Taylor also got into the action with six catches for 67 yards. Both players will continue to have excellent stand-alone value in both formats, but even more in PPR leagues.

MIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.3
MIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.6
MIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.1
MIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.32

Running Game Thoughts: The crowded backfield of the Colts became much clearer on Sunday with the unfortunate season-ending Achilles injury for Marlon Mack, the starter of the game and a favorite of head coach Frank Reich.

It was primarily Mack and Hines as the one-two punch before Mack went down, but now Taylor will assume the role filled by Mack and now should be considered a low-end RB1.

Aaron Jones, Jamaal Williams, Tyler Ervin, and AJ Dillon combined to rush for 138 wars and a score against a Vikings defense that is a far cry from the dominant teams we have come to expect under Mike Zimmer. Rodgers and company proved you can run and pass on the Vikings, making both Hines and Taylor great starts this week at home.

Linval Joseph is now a Charger, Everson Griffen is a Cowboy, and Danielle Hunter is on IR with a neck injury. Start both running backs and reap the rewards in Week 2.

Value Meter:
QB2: Philip Rivers (High-End)
RB1: Jonathan Taylor (Low-End)
RB2: Nyheim Hines (Low-End)
WR2: T.Y. Hilton (Low-End)
WR3: Parris Campbell (High-End)
TE2: Jack Doyle (Low -End)

Prediction: Colts 28, Vikings 20

Bills at Dolphins - (Katz)
Line: BUF -6.0
Total: 41.0

Passing Game Thoughts: Josh Allen’s opening to the 2020 season was as Josh Allen as it gets. He had egregious misses and was careless with the ball, fumbling twice. He also ran 14 times for 57 yards and a touchdown while throwing for two more. What was definitely new to the 2020 season was Allen’s completion percentage hitting the 70% threshold. Allen’s recklessness will always hold him back, but from a fantasy standpoint, he’s looking like the guy that closed out the 2019 season.

It looks like Stefon Diggs and John Brown aren’t going to be much different fantasy assets. Allen is not typically going to support two fantasy viable performances in a given week. Whether you get a Diggs week or a Brown week is anyone’s guess.

The Dolphins defense isn’t as bad as you think, but this is still a favorable matchup for the Bills. We saw Cam Newton run all over this defense last week and Allen is a better runner than Newton at this point in their respective careers. The Bills shouldn’t have much trouble moving the ball even on the road. Outside of Allen, Diggs, and Brown, though, there’s nothing going on here for fantasy.

MIA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.7
MIA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.13
MIA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.27
MIA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.30

Running Game Thoughts: Devin Singletary played 59% of the snaps last week while Zack Moss played 45% of the snaps. This is a classic timeshare. Singletary’s passing game usage was encouraging as he saw seven targets, but Moss was the guy in around the goal line. Both backs struggled on the ground against the Jets tough run defense. The Dolphins are a much easier matchup, but the Bills’ actual RB1 is Josh Allen. Both Singletary and Moss will retain value due to their roles, but neither is a confident play on any given week right now. I wouldn’t fade either this week, but I wouldn’t advise going out of your way to get either into your lineup if you have a better option. This backfield is one you want to wait to see how it plays out.

Value Meter:
QB1: Josh Allen (high end)
WR3: Stefon Diggs
WR3: John Brown
Flex: Zack Moss, Devin Singletary
Bench: Dawson Knox

Passing Game Thoughts: Ryan Fitzpatrick is a lot of fun, but he’s operating on borrowed time right now. Tua Tagovailoa is healthy and there’s just no incentive for the Dolphins to stick with Fitzpatrick if he continues to be ineffective. Even against a tough Patriots defense, I expect more than 191 yards and three interceptions.

The Bills have just as tough of a defense so this is not a great week to start members of the Dolphins passing game. DeVante Parker is dealing with a lingering hamstring injury and is questionable to suit up. Those who roster Preston Williams should hope Parker plays, otherwise Tre’Davious White will lock down Williams rather than Parker. Williams led the team with seven targets last week and looked fully recovered from his ACL tear. Williams has legitimate upside in better matchups but this is not one of them. As for Parker, it’s all about his health right now. Even if he plays, I’m not interested in a banged up receiver against a tough defense.

Mike Gesicki couldn’t get anything going last week and while I’m not a big fan of his in general, I’m not writing him off due to a down game. He’s a viable starting option as the way to attack the Bills is to avoid throwing at their cornerbacks.

BUF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.26
BUF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.24
BUF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.19
BUF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.19

Running Game Thoughts: After bringing in both Jordan Howard and Matt Breida this offseason, it only makes sense that the Dolphins would play Myles Gaskin an overwhelming majority of the snaps. Gaskin saw a 63% snap share while Breida played just 23% and Howard 15%. Simply put, there’s no way you can start any of these running backs this week. We are probably a week or two away from calling Howard and Breida drops.

The Jets managed just 52 rushing yards against the Bills last week. While going by the Jets isn’t the best reference point, the Bills have a good rush defense and the Dolphins don’t have a good running game. Avoid.

Value Meter:
TE2: Mike Gesicki
Flex: DeVante Parker (if he plays), Preston Williams
Bench: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jordan Howard, Matt Breida, Myles Gaskin

Prediction: Dolphins 19, Bills 17

49ers at Jets - (Katz)
Line: SF -7.0
Total: 42.5

Passing Game Thoughts: In what should’ve been a smash spot last week, Jimmy Garoppolo underwhelmed against the Cardinals. Garoppolo managed to complete just 57% of his passes for 259 yards and two touchdowns. It was a passable fantasy effort, but we’d certainly like to see better.

Josh Allen completely eviscerated the Jets last week, but also did a lot of work on the ground. Garoppolo is not exactly the same athlete as Allen and he’s hampered by his lack of weapons. With Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk out, he had to rely on Kendrick Bourne, Trent Taylor, and ::gulp:: Dante Pettis, when he wasn’t throwing to George Kittle. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Kittle sprained his knee last week and is looking iffy for Week 2. Aiyuk is hopeful to return, which would be a welcome addition for a very depleted group of pass catchers.

If Kittle can’t go, Jordan Reed is a legitimate streaming option as he should play a full complement of snaps and share with Aiyuk as Garoppolo’s primary target. It’s never ideal for a quarterback’s top options to be a rookie who has been hurt for weeks and a tight end one concussion away from retirement, but this is where we are. Fortunately, the Jets look like a dead team walking so Garoppolo is a fine streamer this week. The only fear would be all the scores coming on the ground, but that’s not something we can predict.

NYJ FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.1
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.19
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.4
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.26

Running Game Thoughts: Any concerns about who the lead back in San Francisco is are over. It’s Raheem Mostert. He played a team high 60% of the snaps and was actually utilized more in the passing game with five targets. It is unclear whether Tevin Coleman’s minimal usage was due to bad air quality or just his role in the offense. Either way, he’s nowhere near a viable fantasy option. Jerick McKinnon was the clear RB2 and he looked fantastic. McKinnon only touched the ball six times, but he matched Mostert with five targets and caught a touchdown as well. If anything were to happen to Mostert, McKinnon is the clear beneficiary. Until then, he’s just a bench stash, but you could start him in a pinch and not get zero.

While Mostert did dominate touches, he only managed 75 yards on his 18 touches outside of his 76-yard touchdown reception. The Jets were a pass funnel defense last year, struggling against the pass, but excellent against the run. Week 1 looked like more of the same as they couldn’t stop Josh Allen, but the running backs combined for just 41 yards on 18 carries. This game will be a test to how committed the 49ers are to Mostert in the passing game as it trends more like a McKinnon game.

Value Meter:
QB1: Jimmy Garoppolo (low end)
RB2: Raheem Mostert (low end)
TE2: Jordan Reed
Bench: Jerick McKinnon, Tevin Coleman, Brandon Aiyuk, Kendrick Bourne, George Kittle (knee)

Passing Game Thoughts: If you object to the nomination of Dwayne Haskins as the worst starting quarterback in the NFL, the next candidate would be Sam Darnold. The Jets never had a chance last week with Darnold’s inaccurate passes and tendency to feel pressure that doesn’t exist. Darnold does not know how to read a defense, which results in him not diagnosing where pressure is going to come from.

Darnold’s prospects are not good against a solid 49ers defense. However, with Richard Sherman out, that does make things a bit easier. Jamison Crowder predictably led the team in targets and that’s going to be a recurring theme with Denzel Mims and Le’Veon Bell out. However, Crowder didn’t practice Thursday with a hamstring injury. As we saw with Kenny Golladay last week, straining your hamstring during a mid-week practice doesn’t bode well for playing on Sunday.

Breshad Perriman is nothing more than a deep threat for a quarterback that doesn’t have a good deep ball. Chris Herndon wasn’t overly productive last week, but he saw seven targets and will remain a starting option if he’s being targeted that frequently. If Crowder is out, they may be starting Perriman, Chris Hogan, and Braxton Berrios, in what is undoubtedly the worst starting wide receiver trio in the NFL. This is shaping up to be a disaster for the Jets.

SF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.4
SF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.11
SF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.13
SF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.29

Running Game Thoughts: Yikes. Can I just stop the analysis there? It would be sufficient. This Jets running back situation is a disaster. Le’Veon Bell was already trending towards being a bust due to the Jets offense, but now it’s confirmed with Bell out at least three weeks with a hamstring strain. In Bell’s absence, 89 year-old Frank Gore will start. With rookie La’Mical Perine still nursing an ankle sprain, behind Gore will be Josh Adams and newly promoted Kalen Ballage. Adams is clearly the most talented running back on the team at this point, which is more of an indictment on the team than praise for Adams, but you don’t want any of these guys on your roster, let alone your starting lineup.

Value Meter:
WR3: Jamison Crowder (if he plays)
TE2: Chris Herndon
Bench: Sam Darnold, Breshad Perriman, Chris Hogan, Frank Gore

Prediction: 49ers 27, Jets 6

Rams at Eagles - (Katz)
Line: Pk
Total: 46.0

Passing Game Thoughts: Last week’s Sunday night game produced awful fantasy results for Jared Goff, but he actually played quite well. Goff completed 64% of his throws and looked relatively sharp. The Rams scored only two touchdowns and Malcolm Brown took both of them. Touchdown variance is impossible to predict so we have no reason to believe Goff isn’t capable of throwing multiple touchdowns against the Eagles this week.

We can’t measure the Eagles by what Dwayne Haskins did last week but what we can take away is that the Eagles gave up 27 points to the Football Team. The Rams are a far superior offense with two excellent receivers in Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp and a quality pass catching tight end in Tyler Higbee. The Eagles let Logan Thomas see eight targets and catch a touchdown. This bodes well for Higbee’s chances of bouncing back. Woods led the Rams with eight targets last week and surpassed 100 yards. He’s clearly the WR1 in this offense and has fantasy WR1 upside in higher scoring affairs. Kupp picked up right where he left off in 2019 with a low target, low yardage game, but I wouldn’t get too discouraged just yet. Again, it was a defensive, low scoring contest. All three of the Rams primary pass catchers are must starts this week.

PHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.17
PHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.12
PHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.13
PHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.25

Running Game Thoughts: Fantasy managers are likely discouraged by Cam Akers’ production and Malcolm Brown’s involvement, but it wasn’t as bad as it seems. While Brown is clearly the 1A to Akers’ 1B, Akers did see 14 carries and one target. In 2019, Brown looked like a real threat to Todd Gurley in Week 1 and then he faded into the abyss. I don’t expect that to happen this season, but Akers’ role is going to increase. His 33% snap share should work its way closer to 50%. Brown will probably retain his goal line back status, though, which is going to be a problem for Akers’ upside.

Although the Eagles played terribly last week, this is a road game for the Rams, which should result in them having to throw a bit more. That should create more opportunities for Akers in the passing game. Both Brown and Akers are startable. If you’re wondering why I haven’t talked about Darrell Henderson yet, it’s because Henderson does not matter. The Rams have made it very clear since early in the 2019 season that he’s at the bottom of the depth chart. He can be dropped in all formats.

Value Meter:
QB2: Jared Goff (high end streamer)
WR2: Robert Woods (mid-range)
WR3: Cooper Kupp
TE1: Tyler Higbee (mid-range)
Flex: Malcolm Brown, Cam Akers
Bench: Gerald Everett, Darrell Henderson, Van Jefferson

Passing Game Thoughts: It was a truly embarrassing performance for Carson Wentz last week in a game the Eagles should have won handily. Wentz completed just 57% of his throws while turning the ball over three times. He was admittedly under pressure constantly, being down multiple starters on the offensive line, but he did not step up in the face of it. The Eagles offensive line is not getting any better so if Wentz struggled that much against the Football Team, imagine what will happen when the best defensive player in the NFL is running at him this week.

Adding to Wentz’s problems is the Eagles lack of consistency at wide receiver. No wideout played a full complement of snaps with Jalen Reagor leading the way at 59%. DeSean Jackson was at 54% while Greg Ward, John Hightower, and JJ Arcega-Whiteside all played around 40%. Jackson is always a boom or bust WR3 as all it takes is one play for him to return value. Reagor caught just one of four targets. He will be the WR1 in this offense, but he’s not there yet. The rest of the receivers are irrelevant.

This passing attack really runs through its most talented player, Dallas Goedert, who played 79% of the snaps, and that other tight end they have, Zach Ertz, who played 85% of the snaps. Both are TE1s and should be viewed as the quasi top two receivers in this offense. The Rams are a tough defense and there’s not much we can glean from their performance against the Cowboys’ tight ends last week, but regardless, Goedert and Ertz are must starts.

LAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.21
LAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.5
LAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.14
LAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.27

Running Game Thoughts: By no means did the Eagles lose last week due to Miles Sanders’ absence. However, I’m sure Doug Pederson thinks they would have been better off with Sanders on the field. For that reason, I’m reasonably confident Sanders returns from his hamstring strain this week and leads this backfield in touches. Boston Scott played 56% of the snaps to Corey Clement’s 37% last week. Look for Sanders to hover around 60%, pushing Scott to 30% and Clement down to around 10%. The matchup isn’t ideal, but Ezekiel Elliott had no trouble running against the Rams and look for the Eagles to try and utilize Sanders in space and get him going in an effort to take some of the pressure off Wentz. Scott isn’t completely off the radar, but he shouldn’t be in lineups outside of double flex leagues.

Value Meter:
QB2: Carson Wentz (will be better than you expect)
RB2: Miles Sanders (mid-range)
TE1: Dallas Goedert (low end)
TE1: Zach Ertz (low end)
Flex: DeSean Jackson
Bench: Jalen Reagor, Greg Ward, Boston Scott

Prediction: Eagles 23, Rams 20

Broncos @ Steelers - (Green)
Line: PIT -7.0
Total: 40.5

Passing Game Thoughts: Minus No. 1 receiver Courtland Sutton (shoulder), Drew Lock looked like a game manager in the team's Monday night opener. He completed 22 of his 33 passes for 216 yards and a touchdown. Lock wasn't sacked but did fumble twice, though neither was lost. It's unclear if Sutton, or second-round pick K.J. Hamler (hamstring), will return for Week 2. Without a full complement of weapons it's hard to get a read on Lock's upside for 2020, but he should remain benched this week.

Despite losing in Week 1, Denver wasn't without some silver linings. At the top of the list was second-year TE Noah Fant, who caught five passes for 81 yards and a touchdown. He's the one player in the passing game you can absolutely plug into your lineup this Sunday. Sutton, if he returns, would also warrant inclusion. With him out, Jerry Jeudy caught four passes for 56 yards in an uneven NFL debut. He's a nice stash candidate but would be a dicey starter at this stage.

Pittsburgh allowed Daniel Jones to throw for 279 yards and 2 TDs in the earlier Monday night affair, though they made him pay a physical price well beyond the three sacks. The Steelers also picked Jones off twice and forced most of the action to happen in front of them. They're well suited to make life difficult on Lock.

PIT FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.13
PIT FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.27
PIT FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.10
PIT FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.20

Running Game Thoughts: It was a rough start for the one-two punch of Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsay (toe). The former had an early fumble while the latter left the game with turf toe and is uncertain for Week 2. Gordon was better in the second half and finished with 78 yards on 15 carries and a score. Meanwhile, in Gotham, the Steelers were completely shutting down Saquon Barkley, whose 15 carries gained six yards. This is a tough matchup for Denver's ground attack.

Value Meter:
RB2: Melvin Gordon
RB3/Flex: Phillip Lindsay (turf toe)
WR2/WR3: Courtland Sutton (shoulder)
TE1: Noah Fant
Bench: Drew Lock, Jerry Jeudy

Passing Game Thoughts: Taking the field for the first time in almost a year, Ben Roethlisberger needed a few series to shake off the rust. After that, the 38-year-old started to find his rhythm. His final numbers don't jump off the page -- 229 yards and 3 TDs -- but after living through 14 games of Mason Rudolph and Duck Hodges the return of competency to the position was a breath of fresh air. He's not a weekly starting option anymore, but Roethlisberger is a solid reserve/matchup play.

Big Ben's return was an especially welcome sight for JuJu Smith-Schuster, who endured a miserable 2019. Although his six catches and 69 yards aren't WR1 numbers, those two TDs were big time. With a couple more performances like that, Smith-Schuster could find himself back among the top-10 receivers. Popular breakout candidate Diontae Johnson was targeted a team-leading 10 times (6-57-0) and is a viable WR3.

Defensively, the Broncos gave ground grudgingly through the air, as the 29 completions they allowed covered just 249 yards. The pass rush only got home once on 40-plus drop backs from Ryan Tannehill, continuing a problem from last season and one that the long-term absence of Von Miller (leg) won't help.

DEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.17
DEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.25
DEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.15
DEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.3

Running Game Thoughts: Injury-prone James Conner (ankle) carried the ball six times before bowing out with an ankle injury. His status for Week 2 is unclear. Given how Benny Snell ran the ball, though, the team should elect a conservative approach. Snell racked up 113 yards on 19 carries and profiles as a steady RB3 this Sunday. He has a little upside too after the Broncos dealt with 31 punishing carries from Derrick Henry in their Monday loss.

Value Meter:
QB2: Ben Roethlisberger
RB3: Benny Snell
WR2: JuJu Smith-Schuster
WR3/Flex: Diontae Johnson
Bench: James Conner (ankle), Eric Ebron

Prediction: Steelers 27, Broncos 13

Football Team at Cardinals - (Caron)
Line: ARI -7.0
Total: 47.5

Passing Game Thoughts: It came as no surprise that second-year receiver Terry McLaurin led the Washington Football Team wide receivers in snap count, targets, receptions and yards in Week 1. McLaurin remains a strong candidate for a big season and he’s a strong play against a weak Cardinals secondary here in Week 2. Sure, quarterback Dwayne Haskins is one of the lowest-upside QBs in the game right now, but he has done a decent enough job getting the ball to McLaurin in matchups like these.

What’s more interesting for Washington is actually the pass catchers aside from McLaurin, namely fellow receiver Steven Sims and tight end Logan Thomas. Sims was entrenched as the No. 2 receiver in the offense in Week 1 and that should continue this week. He was only targeted three times on the day, but he did catch all of those passes for 50 receiving yards. With Arizona likely to put points on the board this week, we could see Washington have to lean on their passing game more heavily than they did in Week 1, which could make Sims a sneaky Flex option in deep leagues, or a cheap DFS option with some upside.

Tight end Logan Thomas was a player that much of the fantasy football community had their eyes on this offseason and we were not disappointed in Week 1 when he caught four passes, including a touchdown. Thomas is an athletic specimen who played 75 percent of the team’s snaps in Week 1 and he has to be considered a startable tight end this week against Arizona, who has been one of the worst teams in the league at defending tight ends in recent seasons.

ARI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.18
ARI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.2
ARI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.32
ARI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.14

Running Game Thoughts: We knew the Washington backfield would be a confusing one to start the season, but it was even uglier than most of us expected. Veteran pass-catching back J.D. McKissic led the team with a 44 percent snap share, while plodder Peyton Barber checked in at 41 percent and rookie Antonio Gibson played on just 26 percent of snaps.

Washington’s game plan against Philadelphia certainly meant a run-heavy approach and that might not be as possible against Arizona who is capable of putting up some high point totals here in Week 2. That could lead to more passing downs and a heavier usage of McKissic and even Gibson, with fewer opportunities for Barber. Barber doesn’t have much upside beyond the possibility of scoring a couple of goal line touchdowns, but his presence does limit the upside for the other two backs as well.

The Cardinals are a bad defense, but unfortunately Washington just isn’t an offense that is likely to score a ton of points and until Gibson or McKissic runs away with a heavier snap there, there really isn’t much to like about this backfield from a fantasy standpoint.

Value Meter:
WR2: Terry McLaurin
TE1: Logan Thomas
Flex: Steven Sims, Antonio Gibson
Bench: Dwayne Haskins, Peyton Barber, J.D. McKissic

Passing Game Thoughts: All offseason we were told to temper expectations for DeAndre Hopkins. We were told that receivers going to new offenses often need a year to really get used to their new home. Well, that narrative came tumbling down right away in Week 1 as Hopkins absolutely exploded in his Cardinals debut, catching an impressive 14 of the 16 passes for 151 yards on the road against a very good San Francisco defense. Hopkins re-solidified himself as one of fantasy football’s most valuable weapons and an unquestioned WR1 starter in any matchup for the foreseeable future.

What happened down the depth chart was a little more concerning, as Christian Kirk caught just one of five targets. Of course, the Cardinals may have schematically planned things that way as it was actually Kirk who lined up primarily on Richard Sherman’s side of the field in Week 1, allowing Hopkins to see more favorable matchups on the other side. Most teams aren’t quite that stacked defensively, especially secondaries as thin as Washington’s, so don’t give up on Kirk quite yet. Sure, we have to be concerned about his lack of usage, but the Cardinals are a smart team and allowing Sherman to take their secondary pass catching option out of the game while their primary weapon feasts is a great decision. Washington doesn’t have that luxury, so Kirk can be placed back in your lineup here in Week 2, especially in PPR formats.

Veteran Larry Fitzgerald remains a quality contributor out of the slot for quarterback Kyler Murray, but Fitz himself is no longer much of a fantasy option. The trio of wideouts does help make Murray one of the most dangerous quarterbacks in the game, however, in addition to his elite-level rushing which he showed off in Week 1 when he added 91 yards and a touchdown against the 49ers. Murray is a top five option this week against Washington, but keep in mind that this may be a game in which he struggles to find time to throw the ball, as Washington’s front seven is quietly among the best in the league and Arizona’s offensive line still needs some work.

WAS FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.19
WAS FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.32
WAS FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.26
WAS FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.1

Running Game Thoughts: One of the rumblings around fantasy football circles this week is that running back Kenyan Drake just did not look the same in Week 1 as he did toward the end of the 2019 season. Of course, it’s a small sample size and we shouldn’t overreact, but Drake did not look like a league-winning back against the 49ers as he rushed for just 60 yards on 16 carries, adding just two catches for five yards in the passing game in an Arizona win. He did get into the end zone which saved an otherwise mediocre fantasy day, but what’s most concerning is that backfield-mate Chase Edmonds has been touted quite a bit this week by film grinders, many of whom noted that he looked every bit as good - if not better - than Drake in Week 1. Edmonds only had 26 rushing yards and 19 receiving yards, but he also scored a touchdown as a pass catcher and may end up breaking into Drake’s workload more than Drake enthusiasts would have hoped.

Either way, this isn’t a game where running the ball looks like it’s going to be an extremely viable option, as Washington’s defensive line and linebackers look to be among the best in the league and Arizona’s front line just is not built to compete. Look for Arizona to lean even more heavily than usual on their passing game, which could play into Edmonds’ favor. Drake is still a high-end RB2 and Edmonds is nothing more than a PPR-only flex option in deep leagues, but this is certainly a situation to keep an eye on.

Value Meter:
QB1: Kyler Murray
RB2: Kenyan Drake
WR1: DeAndre Hopkins
WR3: Christian Kirk (PPR only)
Flex: Chase Edmonds (PPR only)
Bench: Larry Fitzgerald

Prediction: Cardinals 24, Football Team 17

Ravens @ Texans - (Swanson)
Line: BAL -7.0
Total: 50.5

Passing Game Thoughts: Lamar Jackson and the Ravens passing game toyed with the Browns in a lopsided 38-6 victory. The reigning NFL MVP completed 20 of 25 passes for 275 yards and three touchdowns, including two scores to his favorite target, tight end Mark Andrews. Although he did not provide as much yardage on the ground as in previous matchups, his 30 points placed him at sixth overall on the week.

The Marquise Brown breakout season that many in the fantasy industry predicted looks to have started off well, as Brown and Jackson connected for five catches for 101 yards on six targets. Willie Snead added four catches for 64 yards and a score on four targets, and Miles Boykin came in third on the team with three catches for 37 yards.

Jackson owners should be licking their chops in this matchup against a Texans team that gave up 34 points to the Chiefs on opening night. Although the Chiefs only won by eight points, they easily could have scored two more touchdowns if needed against a subpar Texans secondary.

Jackson is a no-brainer, must-start, who is an elite play. Hollywood Brown is another strong play who should take advantage of veteran Vernon Hargreaves, who does not have the speed to keep up with Brown on deep passes.

The Texans get some help at the linebacking corps with the debut of rookie Jonathan Greenard. Greenard will provide some much-needed speed on the outside to help contain Jackson.

Defensive lineman J.J. Watt was limited in practice on Wednesday but should be good to go.

HOU FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.14
HOU FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.14
HOU FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.8
HOU FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.7

Running Game Thoughts: Rookie J.K. Dobbins entered week one as the No.4 running back on the Ravens depth chart behind Mark Ingram, Gus Edwards, and Justice Hill. Depth charts should always be taken with a grain of salt, as Dobbins received seven carries for 22 yards and two scores. Mark Ingram rushed 10 times for 29 yards, and Gus Edwards ran four times for 17 yards.

No Raven had much success in terms of yards per carry, but that should change this week against the Texans defense that gave up 25/138/1 to rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire.

Ingram owners are likely freaking out after the low usage Week 1. Was it only a result of a blowout? If so, will the team once again use Ingram sparingly if this game too turns out to be lopsided? You are likely playing him because of the draft capital used to get him and the fact that he is always a threat to score. But if he continues to only get ten touches, he might be a risky play going forward.

Value Meter:
QB1: Lamar Jackson (Elite)
RB2: Mark Ingram (Low-End)
RB3: J.K. Dobbins (Low-End)
WR2: Marquise Brown (Low-End)
WR4: Willie Snead (Low-End)
TE1: Mark Andrews (Elite)

Passing Game Thoughts: Deshaun Watson technically finished as a QB1 last week with 25.4 fantasy points against the Chiefs. Those who played him know that it was looking pretty dire for most of the game, as Watson scored a garbage rushing TD and a passing TD to salvage his day on what could have been a subpar start to the year.

While David Johnson did look good, it was pretty clear early on that Watson missed having DeAndre Hopkins as his favorite target. Will Fuller did a decent job as the team’s No.1, but the Texans lacked explosiveness and did not test the Chiefs deep much in the game.

Look for the Ravens to take a page out of the Chief’s playbook by playing two high safeties and forcing the Texans to throw underneath. The splash plays that have made Watson a stud fantasy play were absent last week because of the defensive scheme used by Andy Reid and Kansas City.

An interesting matchup to watch will be Marcus Peters against Will Fuller. Peters is an aggressive corner who often jumps routes. Perhaps the Texans and Bill O’Brien will use that aggressiveness against Peters with a few double moves.

Watson needs Brandin Cooks and Kenny Stills to be more active in the offense. Will Fuller saw 45% of the wide receiver targets and 62 of the team's receptions against the Chiefs. That is good for Fuller owners but not something that will lead to success for the team long term.

BAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.30
BAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.23
BAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.30
BAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.5

Running Game Thoughts: David Johnson was one of the more polarizing players this offseason. Some fantasy writers in the industry predicted a bounce-back season based on high volume and the fact that Johnson had something to prove, while others in the industry pointed to his terrible play in the second half of last year as a sign of his demise.

If Week 1 is any indication, Johnson is very much a viable fantasy option in 2020. Johnson dropped 109 total yards and a score against the Chiefs, including an impressive 20-yard touchdown reception that featured his famous jump cut.

Duke Johnson left the game against the Chiefs win an ankle injury and is questionable for Week 2. Although the Ravens present a difficult matchup for David Johnson to find success running the ball, his pass-catching, especially if Duke is out, could more than make up for it, and he is squarely in the strong No.2 RB range.

Value Meter:
QB1: Deshaun Watson (High-End)
RB2: David Johnson (High-End)
WR2: Will Fuller (Low-End)
WR3: Brandin Cooks (Low-End)
TE2: Darren Fells (High-End)

Prediction: Ravens 30, Texans 17

Chiefs @ Chargers - (Caron)
Line: KC -9.0
Total: 48.0

Passing Game Thoughts: It’s no surprise at this point that the Chiefs are one of the most impressive passing games in the history of professional football, so we won’t focus too much on the obvious, other than to say that Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce continue to be among the very best fantasy players at their respective positions. They need to remain in all lineups in any matchup, so long as they remain healthy. Their destruction of the Houston offense just solidifies that nothing has changed this offseason regarding these superstar talents.

The more difficult to predict aspect of the Kansas City offense continues to be the secondary and tertiary options in the passing game. We’ve seen big games from pretty much every pass catching weapon on this roster at some point over the past three seasons, but the lack of consistency from any of them has made it extremely difficult - and frustrating - to own any of them in fantasy football.

Week 1’s standout was Sammy Watkins, who did the same thing in Week 1 of the 2019 season before flaming out immediately thereafter and not returning to real fantasy relevance for the remainder of the regular season before contributing a nice playoff stretch for his Super Bowl-winning team. Watkins is, however, seemingly entrenched as the team’s second wide receiver, as he played 80 percent of the Chiefs’ snaps in Week 1, finishing behind only Hill who played 86 percent. The next-highest snap share in the group came from Demarcus Robinson who played on just 48 percent of snaps. Second-year receiver Mecole Hardman played on just 29 percent of snaps and while he’s capable of breaking off for a long touchdown at any time given his speed, he’s going to need to see more than the one target he got in Week 1 if he’s going to be a player who we can trust in a matchup like the one he’ll face here against the Chargers in Week 2.

Watkins is a player who should probably be on most benches given his lack of consistency, but those desperate after some Week 1 wide receiver injuries could do worse than Kansas City’s third option in the passing game.

LAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.22
LAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.29
LAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.23
LAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.18

Running Game Thoughts: One of the biggest stories of Week 1 was the debut of 2020’s only first-round rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Edwards-Helaire dominated the Chiefs backfield with 25 carries to Darrel Williams’ seven. Edwards-Helaire also scored a touchdown while dominating the goal line snaps. What’s a bit odd is that he was actually off the field on quite a few third down passing downs. Edwards-Helaire was widely believed to be one of the best pass-catching backs in this class so we have to assume that he’ll end up taking over the passing down role eventually, however it might be a little longer than expected before he becomes the every down back in Kansas City. Nevertheless, his 25 carries were a sign of great things to come.

Edwards-Helaire should be looked at as a strong RB1 here in Week 2. The Chargers did do a fairly good job of containing Joe Mixon in Week 1, but this is a substantially more established, stronger offense and Edwards-Helaire has a real shot to get into the end zone multiple times in this contest.

Value Meter:
QB1: Patrick Mahomes
RB1: Clyde Edwards-Helaire
WR1: Tyreek Hill
TE1: Travis Kelce
Bench: Darrel Williams, Sammy Watkins, Demarcus Robinson, Mecole Hardman

Passing Game Thoughts: No one expected that Tyrod Taylor would jumpstart the Los Angeles offense, but the fact that he barely completed 50 percent of his passes against a very beatable Bengals defense, while adding just seven rushing yards, is extremely concerning.

Taylor himself is really only a player who could be considered a low-end starter in a two-QB league, but one positive is that Taylor’s targets were extremely consolidated. Only Keenan Allen (8), Mike Williams (9) and Hunter Henry (8) were targeted more than twice by Taylor in Week 1. We’ve seen low volume passing games like this still deliver decent fantasy contributors simply due to the way in which they utilize their pass catchers. It’s going to be tough to trust a player like Williams who has been up and down throughout his career, but Allen should be someone who can be relied on as at least a low-end WR2/high-end WR3 due to the volume he should continue to see. Tight end Hunter Henry plays a position that lacks many truly consistent playmakers and we’ve seen him produce TE1 numbers in the past, so it seems very possible that he continues to be a quality contributor.

KC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.10
KC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.21
KC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.21
KC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.10

Running Game Thoughts: One of the more disappointing performances from a fantasy standpoint from Week 1 was the performance of 2019 breakout running back Austin Ekeler. While he still rushed for 84 yards on 19 carries, which is a respectable number on its surface, Ekeler’s lack of usage in the passing game has to be concerning for those who selected him in the second round of fantasy drafts.

The change from Philip Rivers - one of the most checkdown-heavy passers in the league, to Tyrod Taylor - who likes to run the ball when plays break down - may be a bigger impact than any of us could have predicted. Of course, it’s only one week so we have to step back a bit and let things play out a bit more, but it’s something we need to look out for here in Week 2.

Another major concern for Ekeler owners is that rookie Joshua Kelley saw a surprising 12 carries - including a goal line carry which he converted for a touchdown - and he contributed 60 yards on the ground in what was a close victory for the Chargers over the Bengals in Week 1. Thankfully, it’s certainly more likely that the Chargers will be behind on the scoreboard this week and need to rely more on Ekeler in a pass-heavy offense here in Week 2 against the Chiefs.

Ekeler is a player who still has to be slotted in as an RB2, but this might not be as obvious of a bell cow role as it appeared to be just a few weeks ago.

Value Meter:
RB2: Austin Ekeler
TE1: Hunter Henry
WR2: Keenan Allen (low-end)
Flex: Mike Williams
Bench: Tyrod Taylor, Joshua Kelley, Justin Jackson

Prediction: Chiefs 30, Chargers 23

Patriots at Seahawks - (Caron)
Line: SEA -4.0
Total: 45.0

Passing Game Thoughts: Fantasy football is just better when Cam Newton is healthy and we saw that in Week 1 when the former NFL MVP made his debut for the Patriots, leading the team to a big victory over the Dolphins. Newton didn’t contribute a ton as a passer and he really didn’t need as he returned to prime Cam Newton form by running the ball 15 times - which is more than any other Patriots ball carrier - for 75 yards and two touchdowns. Newton may not be quite as fast as he once was, but he’s a smart runner with a huge frame and it appears as though he could be back to being a QB1 for fantasy purposes, primarily due to his legs.

If Newton isn’t getting more than 19 pass attempts in a game, however, it’s hard to believe that any of his receivers will return starting caliber fantasy numbers. Thankfully we should see Cam throw the ball more this week as he and the Patriots head on the road to face the Seahawks, who themselves are one of the league’s better offenses. If Newton throws the ball around 30 times, which is very possible, then he should be a QB1 and Julian Edelman should be back to being a borderline WR2 in PPR formats. Second-year receiver N’Keal Harry is also a player who fantasy owners should keep their eye on. Harry was a disappointment as a rookie and shouldn’t be in fantasy lineups at the moment, but he did see over 31 percent of the Patriots’ targets in Week 1 and could break out if given a higher total target volume.

SEA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.6
SEA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.20
SEA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.2
SEA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.23

Running Game Thoughts: The Patriots backfield is always an adventure for fantasy purposes and things started in that direction in Week 1. The Patriots gave four or more carries to four different running backs, not including the 15 carries that Newton took himself, in their victory over the Dolphins. It was Sony Michel who got the sole touchdown out of the group, but let’s be honest - Newton is the goal line back in this offense.

As of right now, the Patriots backfield is probably one to avoid for fantasy purposes, unless you’re in a touchdown-heavy league where you can play Michel as a low-end Flex, or a PPR league where you could Flex James White in a desperate situation. Other than that, there’s just too much happening in New England to trust any of these players.

Value Meter:
QB1: Cam Newton
WR2: Julian Edelman (PPR only)
Bench: Sony Michel, James White, Rex Burkhead, J.J. Taylor, N’Keal Harry

Passing Game Thoughts: Russell Wilson finally got an opportunity to cook and it was a glorious thing. The star quarterback completed a ridiculous 31 of his 35 pass attempts for 322 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions. He also added 29 yards rushing. In other words, Wilson had one of the most efficient games of his professional career and not surprisingly, the Seahawks scored 38 points in a big road victory over the Falcons. The Seahawks aren’t historically a team that will rely on Wilson nearly that often, but this is the kind of upside that we love to see from a fantasy standpoint. Both wide receivers Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf performed well, while newly acquired veteran tight end Greg Olsen also contributed his first touchdown with his new team.

Certainly we shouldn’t expect that the Seahawks rely quite as heavily on Wilson and the passing game this week against the Patriots, but the performances we saw in Week 1 should give us confidence in this passing game, particularly that Lockett and Metcalf continue to be by far the most-trusted targets for Wilson. While Lockett is the more established player, though, it could be Metcalf who ends up seeing more coverage from 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, cornerback Stephon Gilmore. Lockett played almost two-thirds of his snaps out of the slot in Week 1 and Gilmore tends to play primarily on the outside. This could limit Metcalf’s target upside, but Metcalf remains one of the most heavily-targeted players in the league in the end zone, so there’s always a decent chance that he scores a touchdown.

NE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.31
NE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.16
NE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.24
NE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.24

Running Game Thoughts: The Seahawks have long been a run-heavy offense and that has helped Chris Carson be one of the most consistent fantasy players during his time as the team’s starter. However, if Week 1 was any indication, things might be headed in a different direction here in 2020. Carson was kept to just six carries and while he did lead the team in running back snaps, it was only his surprising contributions in the passing game that saved what would have otherwise been a disastrous fantasy day.

The Seahawks might be more pass-heavy than in recent seasons, but it still seems likely that they will get back to relying heavily on their running game, which should mean that Carson touches the ball 15-plus times per game most weeks, and that could start as soon as Week 2 against the Patriots.

New England’s defense isn’t one that the Seahawks are likely to light up with any facet of the game, but controlling the clock against them would seem to be something that would follow the usual Seattle offensive philosophy. Carson should be trusted as a solid RB2 this week even in what is considered to be a fairly difficult matchup.

Value Meter:
QB1: Russell Wilson
RB2: Chris Carson
WR2: Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf (low-end)
Bench: Carlos Hyde, Greg Olsen

Prediction: Seahawks 24, Patriots 20

Saints at Raiders - (Caron)
Line: NO -6.0
Total: 50.0

Passing Game Thoughts: 18 of 30 for 160 yards is not a very Drew Brees-like stat line, but that’s what we saw from the future Hall of Famer in Week 1. However, even given this less-than-stellar stat line, the biggest concern for the New Orleans offense has to be that they’re now expected to be without superstar wide receiver Michael Thomas for multiple weeks. Thomas suffered an ankle injury in the Saints’ Week 1 victory and the team will now have to turn to the likes of Emmanuel Sanders, Tre’Quan Smith and tight end Jared Cook to fill in the gigantic hole left in the offense.

Brees himself obviously takes a step down as a fantasy contributor without Thomas. Brees was already a borderline QB1 in most leagues given his lack of mobility, but now that line is even thinner without Thomas. Certainly Brees is capable of finding other players with the football, but the upside is just significantly capped now that he doesn’t have his top weapon.

Meanwhile, Sanders and Smith become potential starters in deep leagues, but they’re probably both still players that most fantasy owners will want to bench for the time being. We could consider putting Sanders in as a Flex, but it’s tough to know exactly how the targets will be distributed now that defenses will not have to focus their attention so heavily on stopping Thomas.

Cook is still a player who should remain in fantasy lineups, however, as he was heavily utilized in 2019, and in Week 1 of 2020. He’s a big time red zone weapon with plenty of speed and size. He’s not going to suddenly become Travis Kelce, but Cook should see a heavy target share and could be a reliable fantasy TE1.

LV FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.23
LV FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.9
LV FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.9
LV FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.25

Running Game Thoughts: While the Saints passing game wasn’t particularly spectacular in Week 1, there has to be a real worry that Alvin Kamara wasn’t more successful on the ground. Kamara carried the ball 12 times for just 16 yards, while backup Latavius Murray actually ended up seeing 15 carries which he converted into 48 rushing yards. Of course, it was Kamara who got into the end zone as a runner - and as a receiver, wherein he added five catches for 51 more yards, so Kamara was still a highly productive fantasy asset even in a game that he didn’t look particularly good in.

The Saints will need him to get back to being productive on the ground in Week 2, as they’ll be up against an Oakland defense that gave up over 140 total yards and two touchdowns to Christian McCaffrey in Week 1. Kamara is McCaffrey-like in a lot of ways, but he doesn’t see nearly as high of a snap share, so he’ll need to be more efficient on a per-touch basis if he’s going to turn in a McCaffrey-esque fantasy performance.

Murray shouldn’t be in fantasy lineups right now, but he’s someone that Kamara owners need to be aware of. He’ll likely see more touches in games where the Saints are ahead on the scoreboard, though, and this game should be more competitive than the Saints’ Week 1 game.

Value Meter:
QB1: Drew Brees (low-end)
RB1: Alvin Kamara
TE1: Jared Cook
Flex: Emmanuel Sanders
Bench: Latavius Murray, Tre’Quan Smith, Taysom Hill

Passing Game Thoughts: The Raiders passing game isn’t a high-volume one and Derek Carr isn’t a very mobile QB, so there isn’t much to be excited about right now from a fantasy standpoint. There could be some upside once the team figures things out, but right now there are just a lot of young players who lack NFL experience and it’s just too difficult to trust any of them to be in fantasy lineups.

The one exception is tight end Darren Waller who broke out in 2019 and seems to be picking up right where he left off. Waller caught six passes for 45 yards in Week 1 against the Panthers, but more importantly he was targeted a team-high eight times - good enough for a nearly 27 percent target share. That’s a very high number that even the best tight ends don’t typically approach, but it does demonstrate just how high his upside is in this offense. Waller is a top five option at the position, especially in this matchup against the Saints who gave up a decent fantasy day to O.J. Howard in Week 1.

NO FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.8
NO FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.30
NO FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.16
NO FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.8

Running Game Thoughts: Josh Jacobs was one of the big fantasy winners of Week 1 as he continued his momentum from 2019 and improved upon it to start this season. Jacobs didn’t have a particularly impressive day from a per-carry standpoint as he rushed for 93 yards on 25 carries, but he got into the end zone three times. Not only that, but he also did something that many predicted that he wouldn’t, by catching four passes for an additional 46 yards.

We knew that Jacobs would be the primary ball carrier for the Raiders this season but what we weren’t sure of is if he’d take the step forward in the passing game to move into the upper-echelon of fantasy running backs. It’s too early to be certain that he’s there yet, but Week 1 was an indication of what could happen if he’s utilized in that manner.

Jacobs is an obvious RB1 in pretty much any matchup right now, but especially against a Saints team that isn’t likely to be as powerful on offense as they typically are. He should see 20 touches again this week and that makes him a very reliable option with the upside to be an elite performer yet again.

Value Meter:
RB1: Josh Jacobs
TE1: Darren Waller
Bench: Derek Carr, Devontae Booker, Henry Ruggs III, Hunter Renfrow, Bryan Edwards, Nelson Agholor

Prediction: Raiders 24, Saints 23