Man, this game is fun right? For the second week in a row I went 3 and 1 in my leagues, and still have 2 teams undefeated with one having the most points in the league. I hope everyone is having as much fun playing as I am.
Let’s get into some injury updates. The Chargers have said that they are “pretty sure” that Danny Woodhead has torn his ACL, he is going in for a second opinion though. The second biggest injury might just be Adrian Peterson. Peterson tore his meniscus, though this sounds a lot worse than most think, Zimmer has yet to rule him out for this week but it is not looking very good for his owners this weekend. Third, Jonathan Stewart is dealing with a hamstring injury and could miss one to two weeks, Doug Martin is also dealing with a hamstring injury and might miss time. Finally for the RB’s Thomas Rawls left the game with a leg injury, however he might be able to play through it. Oh yeah, and it is looking like Jamaal Charles will play this week. Now to QB’s, Jimmy Garappolo has a sprained AC joint, though this will likely not impact most fantasy leagues. The second QB injury was Josh McCown who left the game with a shoulder injury and will not start this weekend. Third, Cutler left the Monday night game with a hand injury. I think that is just about it for the new injuries that could drastically impact your lineups next week.
Matt Ryan – ATL (owned in 48% of ESPN leagues): Matty Ice, what can I say about him… Well, last year Ryan really struggled last year to say the least. Although, through the offseason the Falcons went out and signed Mohamed Sanu to help out the passing game. If that was the difference maker or not, something happened and suddenly the Falcons can throw again. Ryan has averaged 25.5 fantasy points through the first two weeks of the season, while tallying 300+ yards and at least 2 TDs in both games. This week he and the Falcons play the Saints, who somehow were not in a shootout last week. Although, I would expect a shootout this week. The Saints have given up 16.5 points per game to opposing QB’s.
Joe Flacco – BAL (owned in 26.3% of ESPN leagues): Joe Flacco has played average this year, he has thrown for about 275 passing yards per game this year, and has a TD in each. It seems like Flacco has a new favorite target in Mike Wallace as they connected for all three of Flacco’s TD’s. This next week Flacco will take the Ravens down to Jacksonville to play, which is a good matchup for Flacco. The Jags have given up 22.5 points per game to opposing QB’s, and through this year and last they have had trouble stopping opposing offenses. Look for Flacco to play well this week, but on the season I think I would rather have Matt Ryan given the choice.
Jerick McKinnon – MIN (owned in 24.1% of ESPN leagues): Adrian Peterson left the Vikings Sunday night game against the Packers with a torn meniscus, while it is possible for him to play on it and the Vikings have yet to rule him out, it seems like a long shot for him to play. That means next man up, and that next man should be Jerick McKinnon. The Vikings had two RBs that they replaced Peterson with two years ago when he was suspended and that was McKinnon and Asiata. McKinnon is the younger of the two backs, he is more of a 3 down back and Asiata is more of a power back. In 2014 when McKinnon has the biggest sample he played in 11 games starting 6, ran for 538 yards and had nearly 5 yards per carry. Additionally he had almost 2.5 receptions per game. Though he had all his TD’s vultured by Asiata, he was still effective. I would expect Adrian Peterson to miss at least this week and McKinnon to taking the starting job over Asiata. The Vikings are going up against the stingy Carolina defense, but they gave up 29 points week one to CJ Anderson, so why not McKinnon?
Fozzy Whittaker – CAR (owned in .8% of ESPN leagues): Now to talk about the other running back in this game. Jonathan Stewart was the starter for the Panthers until he left the game last week with a hamstring injury. Ron Rivera has already said that he expects Stewart to miss 1 to 2 weeks with this injury. Now on to who I think will replace Stewart this week as the starter, my guess would be Fozzy Whittaker and here is why; Whittaker was the one to replace Stewart last week as he compiled 131 total yards in Stewart’s absence. Now you are probably thinking to yourself, “wasn’t there that rookie guy last year who the Panthers liked,” and the answer is yes his name is Cameron Artis-Payne; though the reason I like Whittaker over Artis-Payne is due to the fact that Artis-Payne was a healthy scratch both the first two weeks. I would expect Whittaker to take over as the starting running back as the Panthers host the Vikings.
Jamison Crowder – WAS (owned in 3.2% of ESPN leagues): Jamison Crowder is a young guy who Kirk Cousins has proven over the course of last year and the early part of this one that he likes throwing to. Crowder has 6 receptions in both the first two games and has one TD, while scoring double digits in both. The Redskins play the Giants this week, and the Giants made a big offseason signing when they went out and got Janoris Jenkins, though with the way DeSean Jackson has played I think Jenkins will spend most of his time on Jackson. Also due to Jackson’s blazing speed the Giants might need to give safety help on a lot of plays to be sure that they do not get burned. This should open up the field for Jamison Crowder and Jordan Reed to work their magic. I would look for Crowder to hit double digit fantasy points this week and be a decent flex play in some leagues.
Victor Cruz – NYG (owned in 42.3% of ESPN leagues): It is funny how I talked about guys playing each other in the RB section, now I am doing it in the WR section, but Victor Cruz deserves to get noticed this week. After almost 2 years of not practicing his salsa dance Cruz landed in the endzone week one. Then he followed that performance up week two with 4 catches for 91 yards. The Redskins, like the Giants did go out and sign a big name free agent corner; however, his name is Josh Norman, and has had and given his fair share of issues to Odell. Norman knows how to get in Odell’s head, and he did it effectively last year, I would be shocked if he does not try again this year. That being the case Odell will likely be slowed down by Norman leaving more receptions to go in different directions. I would expect Cruz and Manning to hook up at least a couple times and I think he will get into the endzone this week and we will see the salsa once again.
Clive Walford – OAK (owned in 31.7% of ESPN leagues): Clive Walford is a second year TE who has shown flashes of brilliance in his short career to this point, but has also disappointed in some weeks. In this season so far he has gone for 22 points, hauling in 9 receptions for 75 yards and a TD. Clive and crew are playing the Titans this week, and I expect him to come through for the Raiders. The Titans have given up 9 and 10 points to opposing TE’s throughout the first two weeks of the season. Additionally the Raiders defense has struggled to stop opposing teams which could lead to a high scoring game and a lot of passing attempts for Carr. Look for Walford to be an important part of the passing game, especially in the redzone, this week and for the rest of the season.
Dolphins D/ST (owned in 5.8% of ESPN leagues): The Dolphins defense played really well against the Seahawks gathering 11 points, but really poorly against the Patriots getting negative 2. The reason that I am still talking about them though is that they get the luxury of playing the Browns, who are without their starting QB, and now without their backup QB. The Browns will likely be turning to Cody Kessler to start this week, and unless they sign anyone I would have to imagine that Tyrelle Pryor is the emergency QB. I do not have to be in the defensive meetings this week to know that every Dolphins defender is licking their chops knowing they are going up against a third string Browns QB. Additionally the Dolphins have given up a lot of points, but they have managed to get 3 turnovers and 5 sacks so far this year. I think that the Dolphins have a decent chance of pitching a shutout, and an even better chance to get at least 2 or 3 turnovers. The Dolphins defense has got to be the best defense to stream this week.
The scoring that I have used is based off of ESPN’s standard PPR scoring. Good luck on the waiver wire this week and in your upcoming match-ups. Remember to follow me on twitter and the Fantasy Life app @FantasySportGM and tweet me your start/sit or trade questions this week.
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