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14 Players the Top Experts Like/Dislike: Week 2

Sep 15, 2017

It’s only been two weeks (well, for the Bengals and Texans at least) and there’s already a coaching change. After the Bengals failed to score a touchdown for a second straight game, Ken Zampese, their offensive coordinator, was given the boot. While the week, and effectively the season is over for Zampese, our fantasy teams have plenty to look forward to on Sunday/Monday. Now the million dollar question is, how will our players perform?

While there’s no way we’ll know the exact outcome, it helps to get advice from the most accurate experts in the fantasy industry. After looking through our rankings, we identified some of the tougher decisions that may be facing you and asked the experts below why they hold differing opinions on the players listed compared to the consensus.

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Jacquizz Rodgers (RB – TB): vs. CHI
John’s Rank: RB14 | Consensus: RB20
“Doug Martin begins his three-game suspension this week, so Rodgers will likely serve as the lead back against the Bears. He has seen at least 12 carries in seven games over the past four years. In those games, he averaged 97 total yards and 0.57 TD on 22.2 touches (4.25 yards per carry). After Martin’s injury last season, the Bucs initially tried using Charles Sims as the lead back, but eventually Rodgers took over. In the last five games Martin missed, Rodgers averaged 23.4 touches for 105.4 yards and 0.40 touchdowns. With Sims healthy and involved, I’m not expecting that type of workload, but 15-18 touches seems likely. Due to his size (5-7, 190 lbs), Rodgers is not considered an every-down back, but he’s certainly capable of carrying the load when called upon.”
– John Paulsen (4for4.com)

Christian McCaffrey (RB – CAR): vs. BUF
Pat’s Rank: RB10 | Consensus: RB18
“Yeah, yeah, I know: We can’t comfortably project a heavy workload for McCaffrey this week. But I’m totally sold on his talent. The kid moves like mercury — either the chemical element or the Roman god, take your pick. And it seems reasonable to assume that McCaffrey will get a minimum of 14-15 touches with the Panthers a 7-point home favorite against the Bills.”
– Pat Fitzmaurice (The Football Girl)

Mike Gillislee (RB – NE): at NO
Dalton’s Rank: RB12 | Consensus: RB17
“He scored three touchdowns in Week 1 on a team that clearly helped the pedestrian LeGarrette Blount lead the league with 18 last year. This game has the highest projected total of the week at 56 points, and it wouldn’t surprise if that goes down as the highest over/under of the year. The Saints allowed the third-most fantasy points to running backs last year, so I’m not sure why projecting Gillislee as a top-12 fantasy back in Week 2 seems high. If anything it’s low.”
– Dalton Del Don (Yahoo! Sports)

Randall Cobb (WR – GB): at ATL
Greg’s Rank: WR24 | Consensus: WR31
“The concerns with Randall Cobb entering the season were primarily based on his health and his competition for touches with all the other pass-catchers in Green Bay. For now, Week 1 has dispelled those worries. Cobb led the Packers with 13 targets, hauling in nine receptions for 85 yards. Meanwhile, against Atlanta in Week 1, Mike Glennon had 40 pass attempts, fifth-most in the league, and it’s safe to assume the Bears didn’t want to throw that much. Aaron Rodgers should continue the trend of high-volume passing against the Falcons on Sunday night, evidenced by Green Bay’s relatively high implied team total (25.75 points) as a slight underdog (+3). We don’t know exactly how Rodgers will distribute his targets, but Randall Cobb could provide a direct proxy for what Tarik Cohen did last week. It’s not a sure thing, but Cobb’s opportunity to get fed yet again has me higher on him than consensus.”
– Greg Smith (TwoQBs)

Martavis Bryant (WR – PIT): vs. MIN
Joseph’s Rank: WR13 | Consensus: WR25
“After how badly CB Trae Waynes struggled last week (he was one of the few weak links on the Vikings’ defense in their domination of the Saints), we’re guessing the Vikings want him absolutely nowhere near Antonio Brown, leaving Brown mostly to top CB Xavier Rhodes. Unfortunately, that means Waynes will have to deal with Bryant, who had a horrendous Week 1, catching just 2 of 6 targets for 14 yards. But he got open a number of times, and his timing with Ben Roethlisberger seemed off. That’s not surprising given he basically hasn’t played football in over a year. But now the Steelers are at home, where they’ve typically been significantly better than on the road, and I’m guessing OC Todd Haley will try to get his mercurial young star going.”
– Joseph Dolan (Fantasy Guru)

Ted Ginn (WR – NO): vs. NE
Pat’s Rank: WR30 | Consensus: WR36
“I’ve been friends with 4for4’s John Paulsen for several years now, and clearly John’s boundless enthusiasm for Ginn has rubbed off on me. As I wrote in my Saints team preview this summer, Ginn’s hands rank just below topaz on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, but it doesn’t really matter. He’s a starting receiver playing with one of the top QBs in the league, he’ll be playing in a game with a Vegas total of around 55.5 points, and he has lethal speed. Ginn has a decent chance of rolling Yahtzee this weekend.”
– Pat Fitzmaurice (The Football Girl)

Alex Smith (QB – KC): vs. PHI
Sean’s Rank: QB9 | Consensus: QB15
“Alex Smith is a player we certainly need to be careful over adjusting to his Week 1 eruption game. Typically a very low ceiling QB2 I am buying into his stock a bit in that he now has 3 legit weapons in Hunt/Hill/Kelce. He gets a home matchup against an Eagles secondary that is susceptible to big plays and just lost key CB Ronald Darby. I’m viewing him as a low end QB1 this week even though his expected output may feel like a letdown compared to Week 1.”
– Sean Koerner (STATS)

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Isaiah Crowell (RB – CLE): at BAL
Joseph’s Rank: RB32 | Consensus: RB22
“Crowell was not good in Week 1. Against the Steelers, he managed just 33 yards on 17 carries, while catching 2 passes for 33 yards. He added a 2-point rush as well. Crowell’s actually a competent receiver and is overlooked in that department because of Johnson’s excellence, but it stunk that he actually needed that production to post a respectable Week 1 log (he was still just RB34 for the week in PPR leagues). It is worth noting that Crowell posted 201 yards from scrimmage and a TD on 31 touches against the Ravens in two games last year, but over half of his fantasy production came on a 85-yard TD run in Week 2, a game in which the Browns blew a big lead. For the most part against Baltimore last year, he looked like the guy he was in Week 1 this year.”
– Joseph Dolan (Fantasy Guru)

Ameer Abdullah (RB – DET): at NYG
Dalton’s Rank: RB34 | Consensus: RB27
“He yields passes to Theo Riddick and is no guarantee for goal-line work while facing a Giants front seven that allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to running backs last season. I don’t get the optimism with Abdullah, who ranked #41 in yards per touch among running backs in Week 1 and got a paltry 1.8 YPC against a base front (#54).”
– Dalton Del Don (Yahoo! Sports)

DeMarco Murray (RB – TEN): at JAC
John’s Rank: RB17 | Consensus: RB13
“In Week 1, the Tennessee running game didn’t look very strong against an Oakland defense that yielded the 10th-most rushing yards last year. Murray struggled to 60 yards on 14 touches, a far cry from the 104 yards and 21.6 touches that he averaged last season. The running game may bounce back in Week 2, but the Titans face a tough test in an improved Jacksonville defense that looked sharp in Week 1, holding the Houston running backs to 77 yards on 21 carries.”
– John Paulsen (4for4.com)

T.Y. Hilton (WR – IND): vs. ARI
Matt’s Rank: WR47 | Consensus: WR33
“Without Andrew Luck, the Colts are turning to their second backup option in as many weeks in Jacoby Brissett. Brissett was traded to the team just over two weeks ago, so he clearly hasn’t had much time to learn the offense or develop any kind of rapport with Hilton. Oh, and Hilton will likely see a lot of Patrick Peterson. There’s no reason to consider using Hilton with so much going against him this week.”
– Matt Camp (Bleacher Report)

Sammy Watkins (WR – LAR): vs. WAS
Joseph’s Rank: WR61 | Consensus: WR26
“This is simply an acknowledgment that I’m not yet buying into the Jared Goff resurgence. It was absolutely wonderful to see Goff look comfortable and competent in Week 1, but he was essentially throwing against air with that atrocious Colts defense on the opposite side. I want to see more before I start ranking Watkins in the same tier I would have been ranking him if he stayed in Buffalo with Tyrod Taylor. He’s an elite talent, and I love Sean McVay, but I’m not yet totally comfortable with the situation, which I think is fair.”
– Joseph Dolan (Fantasy Guru)

Adam Thielen (WR – MIN): at PIT
Dalton’s Rank: WR46 | Consensus: WR28
He secured 9-of-10 targets for 157 yards in Week 1 and impressed while doing so. But that was in the best matchup possible, and he’s now up against a Steelers defense that allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to WRs last year while traveling on a short week. But to be clear, I’m a Thielen guy moving forward otherwise.”
– Dalton Del Don (Yahoo! Sports)

Kirk Cousins (QB – WAS): at LAR
Greg’s Rank: QB16 | Consensus: QB12
“Kirk Cousins continues to ride a wave of unfounded optimism from the preseason. You’d think his Week 1 dud against a solid Eagles defense would have corrected the perception of his value, especially with an equally formidable Rams defense on tap for Week 2, but here we are again with the fantasy hive mind considering Cousins a QB1. I don’t see it. There are too many red flags. He’s on the road, traveling cross-country to get there. He’s still adjusting to a new group of receivers. And most importantly, Aaron Donald returns to the Rams’ defense this week, making an already tough matchup worse. Cousins is still a top-20 quarterback, which makes him serviceable in 2QB and Superflex formats, but there are too many other good options with easier opponents to rank Cousins in the top-12 on this slate.”
– Greg Smith (TwoQBs)


Thank you to the experts for explaining their dissenting opinions. Be sure to give them a follow on Twitter if you’re not already doing so and check out our latest podcast below for more great advice.


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