BRICK! Brick is a basketball term, it’s used to describe a badly missed shot that hits off the rim or backboard hard as if dropping a brick on them. You could say I put up a lot of bricks last week, enough to build a home. Sure some of my picks were locks, some were decent depending on your leagues scoring system, but a couple definitely went the opposite of what I projected. I mean there was no way Chris Hogan was going to be relevant against the Jags D last week, but maybe I looked at that the wrong way. See while they were busy shutting down Rob Gronkowski to the tune of 2 catches for 15 yards, Hogan silently scored 2 tds. Still I would try to avoid him, except in the deepest of leagues, especially with what transpired over the weekend. For years the Browns have been patiently waiting for their star WR Josh Gordon to return to form and be the absolute force he once was. Dealing with substance abuse, not to mention the occasional injury and terrible QB play had pretty much all but derailed Gordon’s hype train. That was until Saturday morning when Josh showed up late to practice and with an injury sustained at a promotional shoot. The Browns had reached their limit and decided that, barring a trade partner by Monday, they would release Flash Gordon. Enter the Patriots. The team everyone loves to hate swooped in and added another weapon for the price of a 5th round pick. Under New England’s no-nonsense regime and with arguably the greatest QB ever under center, look for Flash to flourish.
Speaking of flourishing, lets dive into some surprise players that seem to be doing just that in the first 2 weeks of the season. Running Back is always a shallow division, usually with 5 studs, 12 solid starters, and the rest of the field. This year things have been a little weird. Through week 2 your top 5 rushers are 1. Matt Brieda 2. Joe Mixon 3. Phillip Lindsay 4. Lamar Miller 5. James Conner! Sure this is just leaders in rushing yards and not fantasy point leaders for the position, but still the percentage of players that expected this top 5 is very low. Of those 5, Conner and Lindsay seem to be benefitting the most from their opportunities. Plenty of late round or undrafted players out their outperforming some first rounders. That being said there is a good chance somewhere, someone in your league has David Johnson and is panicking. DJ is an incredible “buy low” candidate at the moment. The Cardinals offense with Sam Bradford under center is looking terrible. Once a dual threat RB, Arizona doesn’t seem too fixed on getting Johnson involved through the air. I think that all changes in week 3 and if you can get him for cheap in his slump I say do it. At QB the biggest hype train coming into the season was Patrick Mahomes. I’ll admit I was very skeptical of how well he would perform in his first year as the starter. 10 tds and 582yds later and Mahomes is far and away the hottest thing out right now. With a rocket for an arm, one of the fastest WRs in the league and an offense built for speed there seems to be nothing that could slow down this locomotive. One more surprise player at their position so far this year is Jesse James. Things in Pittsburgh are in shambles. Le’Veon Bell is jet skiing in Miami instead of playing, Antonio Brown is skipping practice and suggesting trades, and the team is 0-1-1. A bright spot, outside of JuJu Smith-Shuster, is at the TE with Jesse James. With bank robbers and smoke show singer/reality show stars sharing the name, James is very far from being the most popular JJ in history but he is quickly becoming one of Big Ben’s favorite targets. Top 5 in the position so far, James looks to have the skills and route running of a top-tier TE, and he is only owned in 18.2% of leagues. Go out and grab him if you’re in need of TE help.
In the rough..
By this time it’s a little tougher to find players that are buried in the rough. Barring injury to a key position player, most of the guys that are worth a roster spot have come out and shown what they can do. However, in some cases there are guys with incredible potential that haven’t seen the field yet. Aaron Jones was a star in the making last season. At 5.5 ypc and with Aaron Rodgers keeping the defense on their heels, it’s very easy to imagine Jones becoming a top 10 RB. The only worry is his pass protection, but if he can stay on the field during pass plays he can be this years Alvin Kamara. This week will be his first game back off of suspension. Stash him at the end of your bench now until you see him getting reps, then start him every week. His ceiling is very high. Another deep league find is Cincinnati’s Tyler Boyd. Boyd has 9 catches on 14 targets through two games. Anyone who is getting solid targets weekly on the opposite side of A.J. Green is worth a roster spot. He is at very least serviceable as a bye week fill in at the flex.
I’m a survivor!
I think we have stumbled upon a solid strategy to stay alive in your survivor leagues. Last week we chose the Chargers to defeat the Bills and boy were we right. The game was a blow out by half time, so much so that CB Vontae Davis called it a career in the locker room. Never have I heard of such a thing, but at half time Davis decided to take his $5mil guaranteed, get dressed, and leave the stadium. He officially retired later via an Instagram post. With a team this much in shambles it’s safe to pick the team facing them almost every week. Not to mention the team they face this week is the Vikings. With one of the top defenses in the league, Kirk Cousins under center, and stars at every other skill position, the Vikings look poised to roll right over the Bills this week. Let’s see how many players they can push into retirement as well.
Value in DFS
Some of the more casual fans of fantasy enjoy Daily Fantasy Sports as opposed to season long fantasy. Picking a new roster every week and playing for money is very intriguing, especially if you can get the right players and solid value. Matt Ryan seems to be clicking with his WRs, outside of the redbone, and he got even better in week 2. This week he is going against the Saints and their defense that has been burned by the Bucs and Browns. The Falcons are head and shoulders above those offenses on paper and look to light up the scoreboard. Grab Ryan at a great value of $5,700. If you’re saving money at QB use it to load up on some solid PPR RBs going against average defenses this week. Saquon Barkley and Christian McCaffrey look to have big weeks and are very involved in the passing game to go along with their rushing stats. They will cost you above $7000 each but it should pay off dividends. With big money elsewhere you’ll have to cut some cost where you can. Geronimo Allison will help you do just that. He may not win the game for you just by himself, but at $4,500 you probably won’t find better value anywhere else. Another value pick you can find is Eric Ebron. So far this season it is Ebron, not Jack Doyle, that seems to have Andrew Luck’s eye. With a TD each week and plenty of targets to boot, Ebron is a steal at $3,400. Use these players to help you build a winning team in any DFS league. (Prices based on DraftKings)
Remember to keep me posted with your fantasy season and ask any questions on Twitter @NoseBleedsChale. Good luck and enjoy “My Deepest Fantasy!”