Fantasy Football: 20 Thoughts Recapping Week 2

Photo: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Week 2 will be remembered somberly for many in the fantasy football community. Sunday was a day marred by many, many injuries. Players like Saquon Barkley and Raheem Mostert left with major knee injuries, with the former likely being out for the season. Christian McCaffrey might miss time too. Drew Lock and Tyrod Taylor also suffered injuries, among many others. However, the show much go on.

Before we turn the page to Monday Night Football and the start of Week 2, here are my 20 fantasy football takeaways from Sunday, ranked in no particular order. Please note, this article will be updated with a new note after Sunday Night Football.

  1. GARDNER MINSHEW: Minshew is going to be a player in single-QB leagues, especially when bye weeks start in Week 5. With four more solid matchups between Weeks 3-6, he might even make his way into your lineup sooner than that. It’s clear Jay Gruden’s offense is helping Minshew’s production and he’s making the most of his opportunities with excellent ball placement—check out his touchdown throw to Chris Thompson on Sunday if you haven’t already. Home vs. Dolphins, at Bengals, at Texans, home vs. Lions are his next four games. It’s hard to imagine he’s not a top-16 quarterback each of those weeks.
  2. LAVISKA SHENAULT: For the second week in a row, Gruden has made a concerted effort to get the ball in the rookie’s hands early and often He finished with eight touches (3/35/0 in the receiving game and 5/37/0 on the ground). While he’s not an every-week start before byes get here, he’ll take advantage of the same matchups Minshew will starting in Week 5. Anyone starting Packers or Lions receivers should have an eye on Shenault as a bench option who could be a Week 5 starter with those NFC North teams on bye.
  3. SAQUON BARKLEY: The fear is that Barkley tore his ACL against the Bears on Sunday afternoon. That’s obviously absolutely devastating for the young star and for the fantasy managers who spent a top-three pick on him. If it is indeed an ACL, the obvious next question is who steps up in the Giants backfield? Right now, the top two options are Wayne Gallman and Dion Lewis. Both are worthy of a roster spot, but I wonder if the Giants will add a back like Devonta Freeman this week. I’m not sure I’d blow a huge amount of FAAB on anyone, but if you want to throw 15-20% on either player that’s fine. I’d prefer Lewis unless they sign a prominent free agent.
  4. DARNELL MOONEY: I’ll be curious to see the final snap counts from this game, but I believe Mooney played the second-most snaps of any Bears wide receiver—significantly more than Anthony Miller. I’m not backing off of Miller despite his poor day—aided by a dropped touchdown—but if Mooney is going to be on this field this often, he’s going to be worth a look in the right matchup. I don’t think you need to pick him up yet, but put him on your waiver wire speed dial.
  5. CALVIN RIDLEY: Ridley needs to be viewed as a WR1 moving forward. He won’t always have average-to-favorable matchups like he did in Weeks 1 and 2, but he needs to be treated like a player you took as the seventh- or eighth-best receiver off the board regardless of where he actually went in your draft. He’s matchup-proof and a weekly must-start in all leagues. He won’t catch two touchdowns every week, obviously, but he’s leading all Falcons in targets and Julio Jones is dealing with a nagging hamstring injury. I wouldn’t be shocked if he challenges for a top-five spot at the position by season’s end.
  6. CEEDEE LAMB/MICHAEL GALLUP: Lamb had the first 100-yard game of his NFL career with a 6/106/0 performance in Dallas’ improbable comeback victory over the Falcons on Sunday. It was Lamb's second consecutive solid performance and he tied for the team lead (Amari Cooper) in targets with nine. Conversely, Gallup didn’t improve on his five targets from last week, getting exactly five again this week. He had two catches for 58 yards after catching three passes for 50 last week. Lamb should be ranked higher than Gallup moving forward.
  7. AARON JONES: Where are all those Aaron Jones haters now? After a 236-yard, three-touchdown day against the Lions, those claiming that Jones “couldn’t do it again” in 2020 look pretty foolish. This isn’t a one-game overreaction, either. I’ve been in on Jones all offseason, ranking him as my No. 5 overall player in fantasy. I don’t expect him to score 19 touchdowns again, but four through two weeks is a heckuva start. He’s a mid-level RB1 and always should’ve been.
  8. T.Y. HILTON: I am thisclose to being off the Hilton train altogether. I championed him as a supreme value all offseason, but unlike Jones, he just looks lost. He dropped two passes in Week 1 and dropped a wide-open touchdown against the Vikings in Week 2. He doesn’t look right and will fall into flex territory until some consistent improvement is shown. I’m not sure what the problem is, but I’m concerned it might be mental at this point.
  9. BILLS PASS-CATCHERS: Buffalo’s trio of Stefon Diggs, John Brown, and Cole Beasley all had solid games as Josh Allen destroyed the Dolphins defense. Diggs is a weekly WR2 play and Brown is a weekly flex option. Beasley could prove to be a solid fill-in during bye weeks in PPR formats like he was in the second half of last season. So far, so good when it comes to Buffalo’s fantasy pass-catching options after an offseason where many were concerned about everyone not named Diggs. 
  10. MYLES GASKIN: For the second consecutive game, Gaskin led all Dolphins running backs with 13 touches—including six catches on Sunday. He’s assuming the role I pegged Matt Breida for at the start of the season. Considering how quickly the Dolphins seem to be down in games, Gaskin is a worthy flex consideration in full-PPR leagues.
  11. DIONTAE JOHNSON: Two weeks and two team-leading double-digit target games for Johnson. Johnson caught eight balls for 92 yards and a score on 13 targets on Sunday. Ben Roethlisberger has quickly developed chemistry with the second-year receiver. Couple that with how Johnson finished last season with inferior quarterback play, and you know this is legit. Johnson should be ranked as a top-30 wide receiver moving forward. 
  12. LEONARD FOURNETTE: Buccaneers running backs had a favorable matchup against the Panthers on Sunday, but only one really took full advantage. Ronald Jones got into the end zone early, but it was Leonard Fournette who really stole the show on the ground. E finished with 103 rushing yards and two touchdowns, including the game-sealing 46-yarder in the fourth quarter. This felt like a changing of the guard a little bit. Jones and Fournette will still split some work, but I’d be surprised if Fournette doesn’t get the majority of the carries moving forward.
  13. ROBBY ANDERSON: Anderson was the last wide receiver name on my waiver wire column last week because I was intrigued by how often Teddy Bridgewater targeted him in Week 1. I’m even more intrigued now after he had a 9/109/0 day with 10 targets against the Buccaneers. It appears Anderson has emerged as Carolina’s No. 2 option ahead of Curtis Samuel. Anderson is worth an add to the end of your bench if you need some help at wide receiver. 
  14. RAHEEM MOSTERT/JERICK MCKINNON: Mostert, like seemingly everyone else in the football world, left with an injury on Sunday. He looked really good before his departure, including an 80-yard touchdown run to open the game. Early word is that he’s dealing with an MCL injury, so his status for the next couple of weeks is in doubt. Between McKinnon and Tevin Coleman, the former was much better with his limited opportunities. He had a 55-yard scamper and a 16-yard touchdown run as two of his three attempts. He offers intriguing flex value against the Giants next week if Mostert is out.
  15. ANTONIO GIBSON: Gibson looked better in Week 2 compared to Week 1 and got a few more carries. He found the end zone for the first time and averaged 4.2 yards per carry on his 13 attempts. He surprisingly only got two targets in the receiving game yet again. That's something to monitor going forward because it was presumed that would be a big part of his fantasy value this season.
  16. DEANDRE HOPKINS: While he didn't quite have a repeat of his Cardinals debut, Kyler Murray did not shy away from leaning heavily on the star receiver in a Week 2 victory. Hopkins was targeted nine times, catching eight for 68 yards and a touchdown. The ball was spread around a little but more on Sunday than it was in Week 1, but this sort of target share seems sustainable and keeps Hopkins firmly among the tippy-top fantasy receivers.
  17. RAVENS RBS: If you started Mark Ingram, his late touchdown saved his fantasy day, but I want no part of this situation going forward. Lamar Jackson led the Ravens in rushing attempts... fine. But Gus Edwards got 10 carries to J.K. Dobbins' two, a reversal from last week. Ingram got only 11 total touches against the Texans. No Baltimore back will rank in my top 25 heading into Week 3.
  18. JUSTIN HERBERT: Herbert looked pretty good in his surprising debut. He almost beat the defending Super Bowl champions with a 311-yard, two-touchdown (one rushing, one passing) performance. A pre-game chest injury to Tyrod Taylor thrust the rookie into action but if he starts from here on out, the Chargers will not only be more fun to watch, the fantasy values of Keenan Allen, Hunter Henry, and others will be on the rise. Herbert himself is a top-20 fantasy quarterback if he's named the full-time starter.
  19. CLYDE EDWARDS-HELAIRE: The rookie sensation came back down to earth a bit against the Chargers, but he was used a lot more in the passing game in Week 2. He was targeted seven times, catching six of them for 32 yards. All in all, a 13-point fantasy day is nothing to be mad at, but his performance was more encouraging than the box score indicates because of his passing-game usage.
  20. RUSSELL WILSON: It was another phenomenal night for Wilson, who is well on his way to not only getting an MVP vote, but getting the most MVP votes. He tore up a New England secondary, throwing for five touchdowns (four to wide receivers) against a unit that gave up only four touchdowns to wide receivers last season. He's probably the consensus QB3 in fantasy right now, but he'll be ranked as my QB1 next week against Dallas.

Written By:

Jaime Eisner

Managing Editor

Managing Editor of The Draft Network. He’s a former editor for Sports Illustrated, FanRag Sports and Arizona Sports. He’s the co-host of the TDN Fantasy Podcast and has an extensive background covering fantasy sports and sports betting.

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