The Primer: Week 2 Edition (2018 Fantasy Football)

by Mike Tagliere | @MikeTagliereNFL | Featured Writer
Sep 13, 2018

Despite his poor play in Week 1, get Ben Roethlisberger back into fantasy lineups against the Chiefs

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Whew, last week was a doozy. With it being Week 1 and us having some additional time to prepare, The Primer was a much longer article than ever before. Now that we’re officially in-season, time is of the essence, so we’ll be back to the normal length of the article seeing as there’s only so many hours in a week.

Thank you guys for the support on the Week 1 Edition of the article, I really appreciate each and every one of you sharing it/reading it. But in order for you to come back, I need to get on with the research. For those who are new here, where’ve you been?

Here’s what you can expect from this mega-article every single week: Numbers, facts, stats, opinions, and some shenanigans here and there. It’s my unbiased opinion about everyone on your roster. There’ve been some readers who asked if my own fantasy teams could impair my judgement, but when you manage 17 different rosters like I do, you don’t play favorites. I’ve told everyone (including my leaguemates) that I’m an advice-giver first, player-second. The idea here is to give you as much information as possible and give you as much confidence as possible when you hit that ‘submit lineup’ button. Let’s get this party started.

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Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers

Total: 52.5
Line: PIT by 4.5

QBs
Patrick Mahomes:
It was an offensive explosion for the Chiefs against the Chargers No. 1 defense who was without Joey Bosa for the week. Does one player make that much of a difference? Mahomes is going into a matchup with the Steelers, who are expected to light up the scoreboard. This is what you look for with streaming quarterbacks, though Mahomes will be off the streaming radar after last week’s performance. The Steelers weren’t tested much last week when Tyrod Taylor couldn’t get anything going, though their new safety duo will be tested in this game. Expect Mahomes to be pressured a lot more in this game, as T.J. Watt racked up three sacks on Taylor last week. Still, in what I expect to be a high-scoring affair, Mahomes should be locked-in as a QB1 this week. I do think there are better cash-game options, but he’s one of the better tournament plays in DFS.

Ben Roethlisberger: It was a brutal showing for Roethlisberger against the Browns, though you were warned about his road splits last week. Do we need to visit those splits again? Over the last 35 home games, he’s averaged 314.4 yards and 2.54 touchdowns per game. This is very good. The Chiefs defense may have looked decent last week, but they’re not, they’ve just have Philip Rivers‘ number over the last four years. The secondary combination of Kendall Fuller, Steven Nelson, and Orlando Scandrick doesn’t have a prayer against the Steelers wide receivers. If Eric Berry is out again, expect Roethlisberger to have a tournament-winning performance. Get him into lineups as an elite QB1 who can also be used in cash lineups.

RBs
Kareem Hunt:
Some may be concerned about Hunt after last week, but when you see he totaled 40 snaps compared to just 9 snaps for Spencer Ware, you shouldn’t be too concerned. The Steelers did a phenomenal job holding the Browns run-game in check, but the weather made that a really sloppy game. There were just six running backs who totaled more than 15 carries against the Steelers last year, and four of them were able to post 24-plus PPR points. Losing Ryan Shazier last year negatively affected their run defense, and although it didn’t quite show in Week 1, I’m not willing to believe they righted the ship. In what I’m expecting to be a high-scoring game, Hunt needs to be in lineups as an RB1 and makes for a great tournament play. The lack of use in the pass-game is a bit concerning for cash lineups, because if the Steelers jump out to a lead, we may not see him as much as usual.

James Conner: Let’s be clear – the reason the Steelers tied the Browns in Week 1 was not on Conner, who played out of his mind. He continued to do exactly what he’d done in the preseason, racking up 192 total yards and two touchdowns on a massive 36 touches. The Steelers won’t need him to do as much in Week 2, though the matchup is solid. After allowing 15 running backs to score double-digit fantasy points against them last year, they allowed both Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler to both top the 20-point mark in Week 1. Their defense is going to have issues trying to figure out which player to try and stop, making Conner a rock-solid play once again. He’s a low-end RB1 for the foreseeable future, though I wouldn’t be shocked if he takes a slight backseat to the passing-game in this one.

WRs
Tyreek Hill:
I’ve completely changed my tone with Hill over the last month, as we saw him heavily used in the preseason, and it continued into Week 1 where I’ve given him the nickname “cheat code.” Once we learned that Joey Bosa was going to be out, we knew it just meant more time for Mahomes to find Hill down the field. The Steelers don’t play shadow coverage or anything and run a lot of zone defense, so Hill will see a mixture of Joe Haden, Artie Burns, and Mike Hilton. Haden is playing admirably considering how far his career went in the wrong direction, but he’s not built to handle Hill. On top of that, the Steelers have an inexperienced safety in Terrell Edmunds who might just get crossed up. Hill should be played as a WR1 with little concern. As mentioned last week, there won’t be a game this week where he shouldn’t be considered for tournaments.

Sammy Watkins: It turns out that Andy Reid wasn’t lying about Watkins’ slot usage, as he spent 41 percent of his time in the slot in Week 1, though it didn’t help his production. He saw a respectable five targets (18.5 percent target share) on limited pass attempts, which is good, but just three catches for 21 yards to show for it. It’s a step in the right direction, but if he’s playing the slot that much, he’s got the toughest matchup this week against Mike Hilton. He came on last year and forced his way into the starting lineup, though he did allow four catches for 60 yards to Jarvis Landry in coverage in Week 1. At this point, you’re likely best-off waiting to see Watkins and Mahomes get on the same page, but I wouldn’t simply cross him off this week. It could be a shootout where Mahomes throws 40-plus times, making Watkins a upside WR4. He’s not to be used in cash lineups, but he’s a solid contrarian play to Hill in tournaments.

Antonio Brown: There were a lot of Brown owners panicking after the weather reports and slow start to the game, but he delivered (as he always does) in the end, posting 9/93/1 in a horrible game for Roethlisberger. This week will likely be bigger when Brown meets up with Steven Nelson and Kendall Fuller in coverage, as they aren’t equipped skill-wise to handle someone like Brown. They combined to allow 11 catches for 152 yards to the Chargers wide receivers on 15 targets last week, though those numbers would’ve looked even worse had Travis Benjamin not dropped two passes, including a touchdown. Brown is the best wide receiver play on the board and should be used wherever you’re able.

JuJu Smith-Schuster: After closing out the 2017 season with 332 yards and two touchdowns in the final three games, Smith-Schuster touched-up the Browns for 119 yards in Week 1. To know that he did that in bad conditions with a less-than-stellar Roethlisberger says a lot, and he now gets to go against Orlando Scandrick, who was let-go by both the Cowboys and the Redskins in the last six months. He was in coverage on two of the three touchdowns that Philip Rivers threw last week, making Smith-Schuster even more appealing. Still, with Antonio Brown on the other side of the field, it’ll be difficult for both of them to live up to WR1 status, but this could be one of those weeks. I’d feel confident starting Smith-Schuster as a WR2 this week who can also be considered in cash games.

Justin Hunter/James Washington: It was disappointing to see Hunter out there over Washington in Week 1, but the snap counts were Hunter 51, Washington 11. It’s clear that they aren’t giving the rookie the nod just yet, so I wanted to list them both to give you an idea as to why you can’t trust Washington right now. With those snaps for Hunter, he’s on the sleeper radar as a full-on contrarian play from both Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster, as his matchup against Steven Nelson is a good one. Nelson is just 5-foot-11 and has seemingly gotten worse in coverage every year, while Hunter is 6-foot-4, though he’s also been disappointing throughout his career and did drop a pass against the Browns. It’s only a matter of time before he’s benched for Washington, but for now, he’s worth a look as a punt-play in tournaments.

TEs
Travis Kelce:
It wasn’t a great start to the Kelce/Mahomes connection, as he caught just 1-of-6 targets for six yards against the Chargers, though it’s important to note that we talked about Kelce’s struggles against them in last week’s primer. His last two games against the Steelers haven’t been great, either, totaling 4/37/0 against them last year and 5/23/1 in 2016. In fact, Kelce has played against the Steelers four times in his career and totaled more than 37 yards just once. They were one of the best teams in the NFL at defending tight ends last year, as there was just two players who topped 58 yards against them. Those players were Delanie Walker and Rob Gronkowski, who combined for 22 targets. Let’s be real, you’re playing Kelce as a TE1 and expecting results, but this isn’t a week where I’d play him in cash lineups. I do, however, think he’s in-play for tournaments, as the Steelers have enough to worry about with Tyreek Hill.

Jesse James: After Vance McDonald was held out in Week 1, I’m not expecting him to get a full compliment of snaps even if he does play this week, meaning James is the primary option at tight end. His matchup can go one of two ways, as Eric Berry is a legit great safety, but he missed Week 1 as he’s dealing with a sore heel (coming off Achilles injury). If out, we have to upgrade James’ matchup, as the Chiefs did allow six different tight ends to rack up 60 yards or more without Berry last year. The did only allow three touchdowns to them, though, so it’s not as if it’s a can’t-miss streaming opportunity. Seeing as there was just one game last year where James topped 42 yards, he’s just a touchdown-or-bust TE2 whose ceiling is lowered if McDonald plays.

Miami Dolphins at New York Jets

Total: 43.5
Line: MIA by 1.5

QBs
Ryan Tannehill:
It’s hard to take much away from the Dolphins first game that included multiple lightning delays that lasted several hours, obviously changing the regularity to the game. Tannehill wasn’t bad, though there were a few mistakes. The Jets just made Matthew Stafford look worse than he has at any point in his career, though some are calling it a mirage. The reason for concern with Tannehill is that his offensive line isn’t good enough to handle the pressure the Jets brought. You don’t see sacks in the box score, but they got to Stafford an awful lot. The Jets added pieces of Trumaine Johnson and Avery Williamson seemed to fit in mighty well, while Jamal Adams is a budding star at safety. Playing in New York is going to be a tough place to pull off even close to a QB1 performance, making Tannehill just a low-end QB2.

Sam Darnold: After what looked like “just another rookie performance” on his first NFL throw, Darnold did what the Jets have been saying the last few weeks – he learned from his mistake and moved forward. For the remainder of the game, Darnold looked like the real deal, doing exactly what he did while at USC. Maneuvering the pocket well, making confident throws, and playing with a short memory. He just turned 21 years old in June, so he’s going to make some mistakes as he goes through the growing pains. The Dolphins defense was probably underrated by some, though they lack experience at the linebacker position. Still, their secondary was impressive last week while intercepting the Titans quarterbacks three times. Dating back to Week 13 of last year, the Dolphins have now allowed just four passing touchdowns in their last seven games, while intercepting eight passes. Darnold is likely going to be better than most thought, but he’s nothing more than a back-end QB2 here.

RBs
Kenyan Drake and Frank Gore:
Some may see the 14 carries for Drake compared to the 9 carries for Gore as a timeshare, it’s really not. Drake played 46 snaps to Gore’s 18 snaps, so we’re looking at more of a 70/30 split, which would be phenomenal news for Drake. The Jets are coming off a game in which they allowed just 34 yards on 13 carries to the Lions, though that game was a complete mess on the Lions part. We know the Dolphins offensive line isn’t going to do Drake many favors, but the Jets are a defense that improved this offseason, but also one who held opposing running backs to just 3.67 yards per carry last year. The good news is that they allowed the eighth-most fantasy points through the air to running backs, the role Drake has on lock-down. Knowing he’s gamescript-proof, Drake should be an RB2 each week, though he’s on the low-end of that conversation this week. Gore is nothing more than a handcuff who’ll come in when the Dolphins are winning, which may not happen all that often.

Bilal Powell and Isaiah Crowell: I’ll be the first to say it – Crowell looked really fast on that touchdown run down the sideline. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, we need to address the state of this backfield, which is a full-blown timeshare. Both Crowell and Powell each played 24 snaps, while rookie Trenton Cannon came on in garbage time and played 12 snaps. Similar to Jay Ajayi, these are not enough snaps to continue producing at a high level. The Dolphins were able to hold the big running back Derrick Henry in check last week (just 10/26/0) but allowed Dion Lewis to go off for 110 total yards and a touchdown. If the timeshare persists (there’s no reason to believe it won’t), it’s going to be a very bumpy ride for both running backs. Knowing this game likely favors Powell a bit more as the better pass-catcher, I’d rank him slightly ahead as a low-end RB3, but Crowell isn’t too far behind. You’re obviously not playing either of them in cash, and I’d avoid the headache in tournaments as well.

WRs
Kenny Stills:
It was a great game for Stills who wound up with four catches for 106 yards and two touchdowns, though the fact remains that he saw just five targets. It wasn’t a high-volume game, but his role didn’t really increase with Devante Parker out of the lineup. Still, it was an impressive performance against a good secondary. He’ll play another talented duo this week, as Trumaine Johnson and Morris Claiborne are both above-average NFL cornerbacks. Claiborne has shown lapses at times, but I wouldn’t consider it a plus-matchup. Some will point to Kenny Golladay‘s 100-yard game as a reason to disagree, but garbage time doesn’t convince me of anything. I’m okay trotting Stills out as a WR3, but I’m not expecting another big performance in this one.

Devante Parker: As of this time, Parker is unsure for the game, though they’ve said he will return to practice. My guess is that he does play, but that it’ll be in a limited capacity, sharing time with Albert Wilson until he gets his feet under him. Parker shouldn’t be near fantasy lineups until we see him get through a game with normal snap counts.

Danny Amendola: He had the best matchup on the field last week and even though he saw six targets, he turned them into just four catches for 26 yards. It was the most targets on the team, so that’s a plus, but it’s clearly not the Jarvis Landry role that some expected. Let’s be clear, Amendola isn’t near the skill-level of Landry. However, Amendola once again has a great matchup this week, as he’ll be matched-up with Buster Skrine in the slot, a cornerback who has allowed 180 receptions for 2,046 yards and 12 touchdowns over the last three years (and one game), which includes a catch-rate of 66 percent. It’s tough to say you love Amendola, but in PPR formats, he should be able to at least deliver WR4 numbers this week. I’d avoid him in standard leagues, though.

Robby Anderson: Even though he saw just one target in the season-opener, Anderson made it count, hauling in a 41-yard touchdown where he made an excellent play on the ball. While it was Quincy Enunwa getting 10-of-21 targets in Week 1, it could just as easily be Anderson getting the majority of targets in Week 2. It’s just too small of a sample size to worry, though Anderson’s matchup this week isn’t a great one. Over the last month of 2017, cornerback Xavien Howard started to make a name for himself as one to avoid in coverage, though he’s not likely to shadow Anderson. If he stays at LCB like he typically does, Anderson would see him roughly 40-45 percent of the time. Anderson is still one big play away from happening (as we saw last week), making him a risk/reward WR3/4 in a tough matchup. He’s in-play for tournaments, but avoid in cash.

Quincy Enunwa: He saw 10-of-21 targets from Darnold in Week 1… that’s a lot. Prior to that game, we talked about Enunwa on the podcast where I made the point that Darnold may have a “favorite” target to throw to and that we need to pay attention. As it turns out, Enunwa might be it. He played the slot on 65 percent of his snaps, which was one of the higher marks among wide receivers. Because of that, we can comfortably say that he’ll match-up with the impressive rookie Minkah Fitzpatrick, who the Dolphins have covering the slot. We would ideally have more information on both Fitzpatrick and how the Jets use Enunwa in a normal game, but if you’re looking for a spot-starter, Enunwa can be played as a WR4 this week.

TEs
Mike Gesicki:
After all the hype with Gesicki, he played just 21 snaps in the opener. Meanwhile, A.J. Derby played 46 snaps, highlighting that Gesicki is a part-time tight end. He did have two targets while Derby had none, but don’t chase touchdowns from a guy who’s playing limited snaps. The Jets did allow nine tight end touchdowns last year, which was fourth-most in the NFL, but they’ve improved up the middle with Avery Williamson, and have second-year safety Jamal Adams growing into a star. Bottom line, you don’t want to trust him just yet outside of an odd tournament addition, though I won’t be doing it.

Neal Sterling: While it’s tough to judge how the Jets will actually use their tight ends given the state of the game on Monday night, Sterling appears to be the leader of a four-way timeshare. Yep, four-way. Here’s the snap counts: Sterling 40, Chris Herndon 34, Eric Tomlinson 29, Jordan Leggett 15. Sterling is the only one who saw more than one target, but it’s clear that this is a timeshare to avoid in fantasy circles.

Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Total: 44.0
Line: PHI by 3.0

QBs
Nick Foles:
As of the time I’m putting this together, it seems likely that Foles makes another start and that the Eagles are bracing for Carson Wentz to miss another week or two. After looking like a mess in the first half, the Eagles offense gained some life once Keanu Neal left the game. Foles himself never got things going, but he’ll face a much lighter secondary this week, as the Bucs back-end is weak. Despite knowing exactly what was coming (they were well ahead), Drew Brees was able to complete 82.2 percent of his passes against them. They were without Brent Grimes last week and will be without Vernon Hargreaves this week, which would leave a rookie duo starting at cornerback. The pass-rush of the Bucs couldn’t get to Brees, so it’s unlikely they’ll get to Foles. He’s risky considering how bad he’s played throughout the preseason/Week 1, but he’s got streaming appeal as a middling QB2. I couldn’t trust him in cash right now, even though he’s cheap. The fact that this game is on the road with a low total, it’s also difficult to play him in tournaments.

Ryan Fitzpatrick: In what was an incredible first week of football, Fitzpatrick’s performance against the Saints may have been the most impressive. I suppose we should’ve seen something coming, as the Saints had allowed 11 passing touchdowns in their final seven games of 2017, but to think Fitzpatrick would be the QB1? He’ll take his hot start into a tough matchup with the Eagles who will be coming off 10 days rest. The pass-rush isn’t going to allow Fitzpatrick much time in this one, which will be much different than last week where he was pressured on just 17.6 percent of his dropbacks. By comparison, Fitzpatrick was pressured on 34.4 percent of dropbacks last year, where his quarterback rating was just 75.7 on those attempts. Matt Ryan was pressured 38.8 percent of the time against the Eagles. The odd part is that the secondary is the weakest point of the Eagles defense, though I just can’t see Fitzpatrick having enough time to throw. He’s just a mediocre QB2 this week.

RBs
Jay Ajayi, Darren Sproles, and Corey Clement:
After a heated Twitter debate with all my haters, I made the point that you cannot use last week’s performance as a way to defend Ajayi as a high-end RB2. He played 28 snaps, guys. 28. Did you know there were 35 running backs who played more snaps than him? Nyheim Hines, Theo Riddick, Jalen Richard to name a few. His two touchdowns came with Keanu Neal out of the game, and Deion Jones was on the sideline for one of them. Now, the bright side… Doug Pederson came out after the game and said that he’s pleased with Ajayi’s performance and that he plans to give him more snaps going forward. That’d be exactly what Ajayi needs to be a consistent fantasy option. He looked like the best running back on the field last week, so I could see Pederson following through on his comment. The Bucs front-seven was overhauled this offseason, adding Jason Pierre-Paul, Vinny Curry (from the Eagles), and Vita Vea. They combined to hold the Saints to just 38 yards on 12 carries, though they didn’t get much of a pass-rush. They did allow two rushing scores to Alvin Kamara, something they did four times last year (allow multiple rushing touchdowns to a running back). If the Bucs front is a run-stopping unit now, it would open the screen game which is where Sproles will operate the majority of time. Knowing Foles’ struggles, Ajayi should be able to sneak into RB2 territory once again provided the snaps increase. Otherwise, it’s touchdown or bust. As for Sproles, I think he can be played as an RB4 in PPR formats, while Clement is just a bench stash at this point.

Peyton Barber and Jacquizz Rodgers: Despite having a positive gamescript throughout, Barber didn’t reach 70 total yards in the season opener. It’s disappointing that he didn’t even get a score in a game they put up 48 points. That’s not going to happen against the Eagles defense. It also may be tough for him to post even 70 yards this week, as there were just five running backs to top 64 rushing yards against them last year. The area of weakness against the Eagles is through the air, as running backs racked up 91 receptions against them in 2017. Overall, though, they allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to running backs. While they have had some changes to the front-seven, the Eagles are still a rock-solid unit up the middle. Barber is just an RB3 for this matchup and not an exciting one, while Rodgers could see some receptions, though Fitzpatrick isn’t a quarterback to check-down very often. I’m not actively playing any Bucs running back this week in DFS, tournament or cash.

WRs
Nelson Agholor:
It was a Jarvis Landry-esque performance last week, as he racked up 10 targets and eight receptions, though they only amounted to 33 scoreless yards. Sorry to those of you in standard leagues. I’m going right back to the Agholor well this week and expecting a bounce-back against the Bucs, who may be without two of their top three cornerbacks. Vernon Hargreaves is definitely not good, but the fact that he was starting over rookie M.J. Stewart tells me that Stewart isn’t ready. Still, he’s the one who’d have to step-up if both Brent Grimes and Hargreaves are out. There’s no spot of the field where I’d be concerned about the matchup for Agholor. Trot him out there as a high-end WR3 and expect results. I’d feel good starting him in cash this week, while throwing him in a few tournament lineups.

Mike Wallace: With Alshon Jeffery seemingly out for another week, Wallace will be an every-down player against the Bucs. While he didn’t catch any of his three targets against the Falcons, it was an extremely bad game for Nick Foles, as well as a tough matchup for Wallace against Robert Alford and Desmond Trufant. The veteran Wallace is going to see a whole lot of rookie cornerback Carlton Davis this week, which is obviously a good thing. In his first career start, Davis allowed five catches for 85 yards and a touchdown on seven targets in his coverage. While Wallace is no Michael Thomas, he can do his best Ted Ginn impression, as Ginn was able to post 5/68/1 on his six targets. Wallace is just an emergency WR4 start in season-long leagues, but don’t be surprised if he scores this game (though that’d require Foles to look a lot better), making him an interesting tournament play.

Mike Evans: After being left out of the elite wide receiver conversation in fantasy drafts this year, Evans made everyone pay last week, roasting Marshon Lattimore for 7/147/1. Keep in mind that Lattimore kept him in check in both their matchups last year. After going back to watch that game, Evans played better than I’ve ever seen him play. He was running with explosion, using his body to create space, and attacking the ball. Over the last few years, I’ve been on Evans for relying too much on his size and not grinding enough. He looked phenomenal last week, even dominant. Heading into a matchup with Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills, he needs to bring it again. The duo just allowed Julio Jones to go for 169 yards, though I don’t know if they learned anything from that game. The Eagles did allow nine WR1 performances last year, which was tied for the second-most in football, but I’m concerned about the time Fitzpatrick will have to throw the ball, as the Eagles bring tons of pressure. Still, Evans is back into the WR1 conversation as they won’t be able to move the ball on the ground against the Eagles. I don’t think you need to play him in cash, but he’s got appeal in tournaments for sure.

Chris Godwin: After the offseason hype, Godwin delivered with three catches for 41 yards with a touchdown in tight coverage. He also played 46 snaps, which was second to only Mike Evans, a great sign for his future production. As mentioned in the Evans paragraph, the combination of Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills is good, though the Eagles run defense is so good, it leads to tons of targets for wide receivers. It’s why the receivers playing the Eagles ranked second in targets last year. While Evans is the alpha-dog here, Godwin is also on the fantasy radar. If DeSean Jackson misses this game with a concussion, Godwin should be discussed as a WR4 against the Eagles. Given his low price, I’d consider him in cash games, though he’s still probably best-suited for tournaments until we see bigger target numbers.

DeSean Jackson: He’s in the concussion protocol after last week, though there’s more reason for caution, even if he plays. His injury didn’t take place until the fourth quarter, yet Jackson finished the game with just 20 snaps played, which ranked fourth behind Evans, Godwin, and Adam Humphries. The Eagles won’t have issues pressuring Fitzpatrick, meaning Jackson won’t go off on your bench again. It’s best to leave him out of your lineup this week.

TEs
Zach Ertz:
You were warned about Ertz last week, as it was a tough matchup against the Falcons, who do a great job defending tight ends. Sadly, his matchup in Week 2 isn’t much better. There were just three teams who allowed less yardage to tight ends than the Bucs, as tight ends as a whole averaged just over 40 yards per game against them. It’s likely why we saw Ben Watson total just 44 yards in a game where Drew Brees threw for 439 yards. Still, Ertz is the focal point of the offense and is often lined up as a wide receiver, so we can’t always go by the tight end numbers with him. The fact that Foles targeted him 10 times on 34 attempts in a tough matchup is telling. Ertz is a TE1 this week, though I’d avoid paying up for him in cash lineups.

O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate: The trend continued with Howard being Fitzpatrick’s favorite target at tight end last week, as he totaled 54 yards on two receptions while Brate didn’t catch either of his two targets. In his games with Fitzpatrick last year, Brate averaged just 26 yards per game. The telling part, though, is that Howard played nearly double the snaps of Brate, as the final tally was 43 to 24. This means Brate is literally just a touchdown-dependent backup tight end, while Howard has true breakout potential. The Eagles are not a team to target with streamers, as they allowed just five touchdowns to the position last year, but with all of the less-than-ideal situations at tight end in fantasy football, I’m coming around to playing Howard as a high-upside low-end TE1 almost every week, as he can break a long play at any time, as evidenced by his 17.4 yards per reception in his young career.

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4Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)C
5Kevin Durant (GSW)SF,PF
6LeBron James (LAL)SF,PF
7Stephen Curry (GSW)PG,SG
8Nikola Jokic (DEN)PF,C
9Damian Lillard (POR)PG
10Russell Westbrook (OKC)PG
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11Victor Oladipo (IND)PG,SG
12Paul George (OKC)SG,SF
13Joel Embiid (PHI)PF,C
14Kawhi Leonard (TOR)SG,SF
15Chris Paul (HOU)PG
16Jimmy Butler (PHI)SG,SF
17Kemba Walker (CHA)PG
18Kyrie Irving (BOS)PG,SG
19Ben Simmons (PHI)PG,SF
20Jrue Holiday (NOR)PG,SG
21Rudy Gobert (UTH)C
22Andre Drummond (DET)PF,C
23John Wall (WAS)PG
24Kyle Lowry (TOR)PG
25Khris Middleton (MIL)SG,SF
26Donovan Mitchell (UTH)PG,SG
27Bradley Beal (WAS)SG
28Kevin Love (CLE)PF,C
29Draymond Green (GSW)PF,C
30LaMarcus Aldridge (SAS)PF,C
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