Welcome to the Monday Morning Rewind, a weekly column where I discuss my start & sit hits and misses from the previous week and give my take on some of the major story-lines of Sunday’s NFL Games. Happy Monday, my hope is this read makes it a little easier as you wait for Monday Night Football. Pour your coffee, sit at your desk, check your emails, and let’s jump right in.
Them’s the Rules
For QBs, I’ll define a “hit” as a Start suggestion that results in a QB1 (Top 12) performance or a Sit suggestion that results in a QB2 (13+) performance or worse. A “miss” will be any suggestion that fails to meet these criteria. The same ranges will be used for TEs. For RBs the range will expand to + or – 24th at their position. For Wide Receivers the range will be + or – 36. ESPN rankings are used
Start: Ben Roethlisberger QB1
I call ‘em like I see ‘em. And this matchup was a shootout at the O.K. corral if I’ve ever seen one. Trailing all game, Big Ben chucked it up early and often to the tune of 452 yards and 3 TDs through the air. He also managed a score on the ground in a losing effort.
Start: Patrick Mahomes QB2
If you still don’t consider Patrick Mahomes a rock-solid fixture in your top three QB rankings in both season-long and dynasty leagues I don’t know what to tell you. Mahomes had his first professional 300-plus yard game and threw for six… yes SIX TDs. This is what happens when you give Andy Reid a quarterback people. Pay attention!
Sit: Sam Bradford QB30
What happens when you mix a rookie head coach, a terrible offensive line, and a road matchup with the league’s most talented defense? I’ll tell you. 0-34. Sam Bradford was pressured on almost every snap and was only able to manufacture 90 yards through the air with an interception thrown in for good measure. Rosen is coming… and I fear for him too.
Sit: Josh Allen QB27
I’ll admit this one was an easy call. Allen and the entire Bills offense struggled mightily, though they were able to muster 20 points this time around, up 17 from last week. Still, Allen threw two picks and only one touchdown in their matchup with the Chargers. Its hard to watch a train wreck as its happening. I offer my sincere condolences to anyone in the Buffalo area for this game and the remainder of this season. Oh, and a Bills player retired during the game… so there’s that.
Sit: Ryan Tannehill QB19
Its hard to be too harsh on Tannehill as he is still just coming off a long injury layoff and leads an undefeated team into week three. That said, 168 yards doesn’t inspire confidence. I don’t buy the Dolphins record so far this year and I still wonder if Tannehill is the man for the job.
Start: Drew Brees QB14
Drew Brees was the 2017 version of himself in this game as Cleveland showed once again how solid of a defense they can be this season. Unfortunately, this is the Browns we’re talking about and, well, they don’t get happy endings for whatever reason. Though the Saints pulled out the win in this contest, Brees threw for less than 250 and only added a couple scores to his tally. I expect better days for him ahead.
Running Back Hits
Start: Chris Thompson RB6
Thompson led Washington in receiving yards and that fact alone should tell you all you need to know about why Patrick Mahomes was an obvious upgrade to Alex Smith. During the offseason, many touted Smith’s 2017 deep ball prowess as something that could not be repeated by a first-year starter. Well yeah… about that. Thompson and Reed are Smith’s best two receiving options in DC and its not close. With a back like Thompson, its not about the rushing. He runs routes better than most of the receivers on his team.
Start: Christian McCaffrey RB3
CMC did exactly what I expected he would and that is carve up ATL’s depleted defense. With a ridiculous 14 receptions, McCaffrey displayed in full view why he operates as his team’s unquestioned RB1 and WR1. McCaffrey will be a solid play all year. Like Thompson, he’ll continue to do most of his damage through the air.
Sit: LeSean McCoy RB27
I asked my editor if I could opt not to write for this section and instead insert a dumpster fire gif. He replied that that would not be acceptable and would diminish the quality of our brand. Well, that’s an unfortunate situation because I feel that would have best described what happened to Shady on Sunday. Largely game-scripted out of this contest, McCoy’s total of 13 touches for just under 70 yards tells you all you need to know. Don’t chase running backs tied to poor offenses. It just doesn’t pay. Ask David Johnson.
Sit: Derrick Henry RB45
Marcus Mariota having to sit out this contest could have been seen as a reason to start Henry in this contest. Maybe the Titans would pivot to Henry instead and play ball-control football. Well, not so much. Henry’s line of 18 rushes for 56 yards with a 3.1YPC average isnt going to get it done for most fantasy gamers.
Running Back Misses
Start: Royce Freeman RB35
I am a Denver Broncos fan. I was raised this way and had no real say in it. My father went to school in Denver and I have plenty of family still out there. Even I thought John Elway had made a fine decision spending third round draft capital on the big back out of Oregon. Boy was I wrong. He could have used that pick elsewhere and just brought in Phillip Lindsay who is a revelation and who’s future excites all fans that bleed orange and blue. I picked the wrong guy. I accept my mistake. I won’t make it again. This situation will remain a committee backfield it seems though, so both backs should remain involved all year.
Devonta Freeman did not play*
Wide Reciever Hits
Start: Quincy Enunwa WR29
Enunwa commanded another 11 targets this week, resulting in seven catches for 92 yards. He has the eye of Sam Darnold and should continue to be the most targeted reciever in that offense for the remainder of this season barring injury. So far, he has seen 34 percent of the targets in 2018. I think he’s going to be a thing this year.
Start: Tyreek Hill WR18
Tyreek run fast. Tyreek run far. Tyreek catch ball. Its all so simple for him in this offense. Mahomes has been throwing dimes through these first two weeks of the season and Tyreek has the skill to capitalize on those opportunities when they are presented to him. That said, he did find himself third in the pecking order today behind both Sammy Watkins and Travis Kelce which is a departure from what he had been seeing through the preseason and in Week 1. Still, when Hill can produce a decent fantasy day’s total on any given snap, its always worth rostering the player,
Sit: Corey Davis WR49
Davis struggled along with the rest of the team in this contest as Tennessee had to resort to trick plays to pull out the win this week. This is a situation to avoid until Mariota returns, and with complete honestly Mariota might not be able to do enough to make the Titans a viable fantasy offense even when he does.
Sit: Kelvin Benjamin WR53
I literally don’t have any more to say about the awful, awful team that is the Buffalo Bills this season. Just avoid everyone wearing white, red, and blue at all costs until major changes are made.
Wide Reciever Misses
Start: Cooper Kupp WR43
Kupp found himself third on the totem pole in team targets on Sunday and the result was a lesser finish than he (and I) would have liked. That said, he still managed to snag all six of his targets for 63 yards and likely didn’t hurt your squad too much if you took my advice. Kupp also wasn’t alone in his lack of TDs as Goff only threw one throughout the game to Tyler Higbee. In my opinion, Kupp is still an every week play in PPR leagues until further notice.
Sit: Amari Cooper WR13
Uh… what? Amari Cooper is the ultimate boom/bust option at wide reciever and today (against a solid Denver secondary) he had a boom week. He didn’t score a touchdown but he did catch all 10 of his targets for 116 yards in a losing effort. Starting Cooper is like a roller-coaster. It takes guts to ride them both.
Tight End Hits
Start: Travis Kelce TE1
Kelce recorded one catch last week and I’m sure that caused some fantasy gamers to shed a tear or two when he found himself on their benches this week. That KC offense is hot and I am of the belief that with Mahomes and Andy Reid, there will always be enough to go around. Kelce secured a whopping seven receptions on 10 targets in Week 2 and also punched it in for two scores. Fade Kelce in any matchup and any situation only at your own peril.
Sit: Cameron Brate tTE56
Brate has yet to record a reception this season and I believe that has a lot to do with Ryan Fitzpatrick starting games for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With that said, if Fitzpatrick continues acing his Peyton Manning impression, he will be hard to bench for the currently suspended Jameis Winston when he returns in Week 4. For now, I’d say its safe to drop Brate in all formats.
Tight End Misses
Start: Jordan Reed TE14
For the record I would hardly call TE 14 by .7 points a miss, but by the letter of the law… Still, six receptions for 55 yards isn’t a bad day at the office for any tight end and I would still continue to start Reed with confidence week in and week out. I don’t know if he still has the TE1 potential he once possessed but you could do a lot worse than rostering Reed and starting him on any given week. Along with Chris Thompson, he is the best receiving option in Washington.
Start: Jared Cook TE15
I reasoned that the best way to attack Denver’s elite secondary was to feed targets to the middle of the field. I was right about that but picked the wrong guy. Amari Cooper turned out to be the main beneficiary of this strategy as Carr peppered him with 10 targets which he turned into over 100 yards. I fell for it. I saw a plus matchup and figured hey, if Cook can do this to the Rams he can certainly do the same vs. the Broncos. Wrong! Never again…
Sit: Kyle Rudolph TE8
Of course I should have known to start the guy that got two targets in Week 1 against a defense that allowed one catch to TE Trey Burton last week and 177 yards to his QB Mitchell Trubisky. Oh how foolish I am for making such a dumb decision… Moving on. For what its worth, I still think it’s a toss-up on who garners the targets in for Minnesota moving forward. I for one don’t expect Kirk Cousins to continue to have the license to chuck it 48 times a game.
Sit: Austin Hooper TE6
Man, this ATL offense is going to be a tough one to figure out this season. Between Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, Hooper, Devonta Freeman (when healthy), Tevin Coleman, and Mohamed Sanu, it’ll be near impossible to reasonably predict who will go off in a given game. It’s a complete toss-up on who produces when in this offense moving forward and for that reason I would still avoid placing too much faith in Hooper this season. Though you can gather historical touchdown rates, it is extremely difficult to figure out who gets them and when week to week.
So there you have it folks. 65.2 percent of the time I’m right every-time. I think that’s a pretty solid mark. Now for a few quick thoughts I had about this weekend’s games:
NFL Week 2 Final Takes
• The Chiefs have the best offense in the league. They had to beat the best offense to be the best. And they did just that.
• Do the Steelers miss Bell? The game got away from them early this week but 17 yards on the ground isnt going to cut it for a lead back in the NFL. How will they control the clock moving forward? Also, with Antonio Brown’s outburst how committed to winning are the players in that locker room?
• Tannehill & Darnold will be “meh” for this season.
• Has the Fitzmagic Man finally found a permanent home?
• If we all were as bad at our jobs as Hue Jackson is, we wouldn’t have jobs.
• In a game between Andrew Luck and Alex Smith, most industry wise guys had Smith as the play this weekend. There is a danger in getting too cute.
• The Bills are bad.
• I’m pretty tired of the tie rule still around in the NFL. A team should win and a team should lose.
• Who needs Devonta Freeman? Tevin Coleman is the better back.
• Oh, the dangers of small sample sizes…
• The Cardinals might be as bad as the Bills
• Matt Patricia
• How will the Broncos fare away from Denver?
• The Jags are for real. Deal with it.
• Will you look at that? Dak Prescott can throw deep.
• Eli Manning and that O-line are bad and need to be replaced ASAP.
Thanks for reading. Agree? Think I’m nuts? Follow me on twitter @FF_Wonderkid and let me know. Also be sure to tune in to my podcast called the All Twenty Two Pod. It comes out every Thursday and I’m told it is one main component of a happier life.
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