Takeaways from Week 2 Game Film (Fantasy Football)
Week 2 was a nightmare with a dozen legitimate fantasy assets going down with injuries and touchdowns being vultured by backups whichever way you looked. Chances are, you saw the highlights like Mike Williams laying out for the bomb to set up a field goal or Gardner Minshew orchestrating a brilliant two-minute drive to close the game. Today and every Monday afternoon, though, I’ll be telling you about everything I saw when I went back through and watched every play of every game. I saw the Thursday night game and three Sunday games live then used NFL Game Pass to see the other 10 contests this morning. As you can imagine, I had to wake up extremely early to see it all and write this up by the afternoon, but it’s easy to get up when your job is to watch football. I can tell you about how incredible Dalvin Cook looks, but you already know things like that. I want to tell you about what you may have missed.
It is time to sell David Johnson
This is nothing against Johnson the football player, although he isn’t quite what he once was, just like any other football player 900 touches into their career. Rather, this has to do with the way the Cardinals are using Johnson. First of all, the offensive line might be even worse than the trainwreck we are seeing in Miami, and that is most certainly saying something. More importantly, however, the Kliff Kingsbury refuses to use the best part of Johnson’s game: his third-down abilities. Johnson made his name in fantasy as a true three-down, game-script proof back, and that was the draw once again with taking him in the first round of fantasy drafts this summer. More often than not, though, Kingsbury is splitting four wide receivers out on third-downs and keeping Johnson in pick up the blitz. This is far from ideal. I’d gladly accept Davante Adams or Travis Kelce for him right now.
Todd Gurley may have finally turned the page mentally
Gurley wasn’t awful in Week 1, tallying over 100 yards once again, but there is no one who would claim he looked like the Todd Gurley of old. Sunday afternoon’s game got off on the same foot, as Gurley meandered into holes and went down almost gingerly every time contact was made. When he ran passing routes, he commonly took the play off, and when he was picking up the blitz, he seemed disinterested, then a play happened that seemed to change it all. The Rams ran a toss to the right side with three lead blockers for Gurley and he cruised to a first down, at one point leaping over one of his blockers who had fallen to the turf. For whatever reason, that gave Gurley a spark that we hadn’t seen at any other point in the season. For the rest of the game, he played with purpose and ran aggressively. If we get that Gurley from here on out, he’ll be fine and you just may be able to buy him low with the owner in your league likely fearing the worst.
Carson Wentz has a dangerous habit
Eagles fans won’t want to hear this but Wentz is going to get hurt if he isn’t careful. Yes, he has one of the better offensive lines in football, and you might even say the best, but sometimes the pass rush will leak through and Wentz will take a hit unlike anyone else in football. I know what you are thinking, “Wait, that’s good, right?” Folks, it’s admirable, that’s for sure. It can be the difference between 30 and 34 touchdowns or 10 and 11 wins, but it can also be the difference between 30 and 8 touchdowns or 10 and 7 wins. Wentz has a sizeable medical folder from past injuries which is why he doesn’t run anywhere near as much as he used to. If he keeps landing these enormous blows, he might not be around to help Zach Ertz return top 3 tight end value again.
Mason Rudolph is an upgrade over Ben Roethlisberger
I might as well make the entire state of Pennsylvania upset with me. Please don’t hear me wrong; this has nothing to do with Ben’s historical career. Rather, he led the league in interceptions last year and had the same yards per attempt as Marcus Mariota and Eli Manning. He looked even worse over the last two weeks, then Rudolph came in and was surprisingly competent. In fact, the player he most reminds me of is a young Big Ben with a big durable frame, accuracy and poise in the pocket. Consider this a fantasy upgrade for Juju Smith-Schuster.
Frank Gore is Josh Allen‘s fullback
You might think I’m joking, but just go watch the tape yourself and you’ll know this is legitimate. Yes, Gore had more carries, but Allen is their real lead-back. They had numerous run plays for Allen with Gore ahead of him as the primary blocker, and if Devin Singletary ends up missing some time, you can expect Allen to get enough carries to justify using him every single week. Additionally, as I mentioned last week, his passing has improved more than any QB in the NFL over the past 12 months
Patrick Mahomes‘ wide receivers are wide open more than I’ve seen in 20 years
Again, don’t read into this as me thinking anything less than stellar things about Mahomes, but do you remember when Alex Smith started for the Chiefs two years ago and was an MVP candidate? It’s because Andy Reid is an offensive genius. Now replace Smith with a superstar QB and that’s how records get smashed, especially when there is speed hitting the defense from all corners of the field. It reminds me of 20 years ago when Mike Martz took over in St. Louis and ran a downfield air attack with some quarterback named Kurt Warner. This offense is just on another level and you can’t fade them in DFS cash games until their prices get substantially higher than they already are.
- The Saints offensive line looked atrocious. Bridgewater was knocked down every other play
- D.J. Chark is the best wide receiver on the Jaguars
- Justin Jackson had a long touchdown called back and otherwise looked tremendous again
- Austin Ekeler fumbled on the goal-line again
- Matt Breida is one of the better running backs in the NFL
- Richie James is a player to watch if he gets consistent snaps