Week 2 Observations

Week 2 Observations

This article is part of our NFL Observations series.

The early slate was so dull, I couldn't escape into the right game, and it seemed like there were more commercial breaks than ever. I had a bad fantasy day too – I'm getting too many 50/50 lineup calls wrong, and the defense never seems to tackle my opponents' players when it has the chance. "Stop him!" is apparently the thing I most frequently say, according to Heather, who only ducked in to bring me a plate of the Chinese food we ordered. In general, I don't consume seed oils, but I make an exception for legit Szechuan, and Chuan Yue is legit. 

  • Clyde Edwards-Helaire was a bad second-round pick. Mercifully, I have him in only one league, but he's still not playing on most third downs, Patrick Mahomes never checks down (I saw one play in the fourth quarter where he looked at CEH open in the flat, but went to Travis Kelce over the middle instead), and he fumbled away the game. He's just not an important player for the offense.
  • Mahomes is the top fantasy QB not because of his ceiling – Lamar Jackson's  and Kyler Murray's are higher – but due to his floor. He gets 350 and three walking out of bed.
  • Lamar Jackson's MVP was no fluke. He's just an okay NFL passer, but that combined with his running skills is enough. It not only creates favorable downs and distances, but also turns average running backs into Jim Brown. There's a Steph Curry effect where the defense has to guard all the way out to half court, opening up space for everyone else. The defense has to freeze for Jackson, so there are massive lanes for the backs and broken coverages down the field.
  • Ty'Son Williams (13-77-0-2-2-16-0) showed the most burst, but Latavius Murray (9-36-1) scored his second TD.
  • Marquise Brown (10-6-113-1) just needs to stay healthy. He's too fast and quick for defenses needing to sweat the running game.
  • Mark Andrews (5-5-57) is a good player, but his usage is not consistently high. Consider in a game where the Ravens scored 36 points, Jackson completed only 18 passes.
  • People were praising John Harbaugh for the decision to go for it on 4th-and-1 to seal the game rather than punt back to Patrick Mahomes, but it's only praiseworthy in the context of his troglodytic forebears. To anyone with a functioning brain cell, getting one yard with Lamar Jackson vs punting to Patrick Mahomes with a minute left and a one-point lead is not a decision.
  • I'm starting to regret passing on Derrick Henry (35-182-3, 6-6-55-0) for Jonathan Taylor and (in one early league) Saquon Barkley. I'm still bullish on both, but sometimes you need to be simple-minded and take what's in front of your face rather than looking around the next corner. If those six targets were not a fluke, look out.
  • When Julio Jones (7-6-128-0) did his apparent toe-tap for a TD, I thought, "maybe Julio's allergy to the end zone was an Atlanta thing." No idea what happened to A.J. Brown this game.
  • Tyler Lockett is putting up DK Metcalf's numbers.
  • I love Justin Herbert, but I expected a lot more against a Cowboys team missing DeMarcus Lawrence.
  • I told you Austin Ekeler (9-54-0, 9-9-61) would catch a pass this year.
  • The equal timeshare with Tony Pollard (13-109-1, 3-3-31) Sunday is more worrisome for Ezekiel Elliott (16-71-1, 2-2-26)  than his Week 1 dud.
  • Masterful job by Mike McCarthy on the final drive of setting up a chip shot 56-yarder.
  • Tom Brady won't face the Cowboys and Falcons every week, but he's got a shot at Peyton Manning's TD pass record if his receivers largely stay healthy,
  • Rob Gronkowski now has six TDs in his last three games. Did you know he's only five months older than Kelce?
  • Matt Ryan actually looked good, despite the picks and pedestrian per-play numbers. He made some good decisions and tough throws under duress. I don't think he's done.
  • I always wondered why teams never used 6-2, 238-pound Cordarrelle Patterson (7-11-1, 6-5-58-1) more as an offensive player. The guy is a monster and has great vision in the open field. Maybe Arthur Smith sees that, though Patterson is now 30 years old.
  • Kyle Pitts (6-5-73) looks bigger and faster than anyone around him. The big games will come.
  • Take it easy on Greg Joseph, it's not like he blew the cover.
  • The player I most regret not drafting is Kyler Murray because I knew at the time he'd be great. I have two Josh Allen shares (I think he'll be fine), but I should have jumped Murray there instead.
  • Rondale Moore (8-7-114-1) isn't going away. DeAndre Hopkins (4-4-54-1) will still get his targets, but there's plenty to go around for Moore and Christian Kirk on a fast-paced team that throws so much. Maybe Maxx Williams (7-7-94) becomes useful too.
  • Matt Prater's 62-yarder at the end of the first half (and Joseph's miss) were the difference.
  • I didn't watch much of Denver-Jacksonville. and maybe the Broncos have a great defense, but I thought Trevor Lawrence would be much more ready.
  • If Sam Darnold is good and Zach Wilson terrible, Curb Your Enthusiasm might unfortunately prove prophetic.
  • Christian McCaffrey missed a few plays early with cramps, but still saw 24 carries and six target, i.e., he's at his 2019 workload.
  • The Saints offense got exposed. Alvin Kamara should be fine, but no one else is startable, and perhaps not even rosterable.
  • Derek Carr (10.3 YPA, 382 yards) lit up a Steelers defense missing key players, but the Raiders look credible after wins over the Ravens and at Pittsburgh. Getting deep threat Henry Ruggs (7-5-113-1) going is big for them, even if Darren Waller (7-5-65-0) had a more modest role,.
  • The Steelers still can't run block, but Najee Harris (10-38-0, 5-5-43-1) made himself useful as a receiver.
  • I really hope Diontae Johnson (hurt on the game's final, meaningless play) is okay. He's the quickest receiver in the league and was headed for a massive year.
  • I picked up Elijah Mitchell everywhere, and I don't know what to think. The Eagles are always nasty against the run, but at least Mitchell got 17 carries and two catches. He also injured his shoulder, but apparently he was healthier than Trey Sermon (head) and JaMycal Hasty (ankle) because he was able to return, and they weren't. Nothing would shock me at this point – Mitchell being the guy for six more games, him needing to go on IR due to the shoulder, or him being healthy but losing carries to a player not yet on the roster.
  • Maybe all those Michael Carter drafters were right after all. (Assuming the Jets can ever score a touchdown.)
  • Damien Harris had an insane TD run, but did nothing otherwise. Rhamondre Stevenson was scratched after a terrible Week 1, so Harris is locked in as the starter.
  • You can mostly throw out the Bills-Dolphins game because Jacoby Brissett was hopeless, and the game flow got destroyed.
  • Jonathan Taylor (15-51-0, 1-1-2-0) got three goal line carries out of the gate, was stuffed on all of them and didn't do much the rest of the day. The presence of Marlon Mack (five carries) cut into Nyheim Hines (one carry, two targets) workload more than Taylor's, but a three-way split isn't feasible in a subpar offense, especially if Carson Wentz (ankle) has to miss time.
  • Cooper Kupp (11-9-163-2) is easily the best receiver on the team. No idea why people were taking Robert Woods ahead of him.
  • There was a moment when the Texans were up 14-7 and Baker Mayfield injured himself making a tackle where it looked like a seismic Survivor event might happen. But Mayfield was fine, and it was the Texans who lost their starting QB (Tyrod Taylor) later in the game.
  • If Jarvis Landry misses any time, and Odell Beckham doesn't come back soon, I have no idea who the Browns would favor target-wise. The three tight ends, Austin Hooper (5), Harrison Bryant (4) and David Njoku (3), were the team's leaders Sunday.
  • The Texans are taking the season seriously for now.
  • What a garbage push ATS for the Bears, who were dominating all game. Worst, they let JaMarr Chase and Tee Higgins (in whom I have zero shares) off the hook after what should have been terrible games. Justin Fields needs to be more careful with the ball when the point spread is in the balance.
  • Joe Burrow actually flopped NBA/EPL style on an out of bounds run where he slowed up on purpose to draw (a very slight) hit and flew to the turf as though he'd been clocked. Peyton-Manning-level (master of snapping the ball when the 12th man was sprinting off the field) weasel-s***.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Liss
Chris Liss is RotoWire's Managing Editor and Host of RotoWIre Fantasy Sports Today on Sirius XM radio.
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