Re­al­ity check? Week 2 should bring clar­ity

The Morning Call - - VARSITY - By Bran­don C. Wil­liams

With one week in the books, fan­tasy foot­ball play­ers are in the “was it real or was it an il­lu­sion?” mode.

La­mar Jack­son prob­a­bly isn’t that good (but the Dol­phins may be that bad), Dak Prescott isn’t likely go­ing to flirt with 5,000 pass­ing yards, Sammy Watkins can’t get ev­ery tar­get and the Steel­ers of­fense won’t en­dure a sea­son set­tling for field goals.

Week 2 will of­fer clar­ity to the above. At the same time, con­sis­tency is a beau­ti­ful thing to have, es­pe­cially if you have fan­tasy play­ers men­tioned here. Start: Tom Brady, QB, Pa­tri­ots: He’s a must-start even if An­to­nio Brown doesn’t play. Brady has done some of his best work for fan­tasy play­ers against the Dol­phins, hav­ing thrown at least five TD passes in five of his last six games.

Sit: Jared Goff, QB, Rams: The lin­ger­ing ef­fects of his Su­per Bowl strug­gles ap­peared to have car­ried over. Goff was 23 for 39 for 186 yards in Week 1. The Saints had the third-worst fan­tasy points al­lowed to op­pos­ing quar­ter­backs in Week 1 and while the matchup is tempt­ing, the risk of start­ing Goff looks higher than the re­ward.

Start: Leonard Four­nette, RB, Jaguars: Yes, Four­nette will get the bulk of the car­ries against a Tex­ans de­fense that was 28th in fan­tasy points al­lowed to op­pos­ing run­ning backs in Week 1. What places him here is that he was tar­geted six times. Rookie Gard­ner Min­shew will look in Four­nette’s di­rec­tion fre­quently. Sit: Phillip Lind­say, RB, Bron­cos: Lind­say will get a high vol­ume of touches, but those touches won’t gar­ner much fan­tasy im­pact go­ing against the Bears de­fense, which al­lowed just 2.16 yards per carry to Pack­ers run­ning backs in Week 1 and lim­ited them to just 15 re­ceiv­ing yards.

Start: Sammy Watkins, WR, Chiefs: No Chiefs re­ceiver other than Watkins was tar­geted af­ter Tyreek Hill went down with a shoul­der in­jury. Watkins, who was tar­geted 11 times on Sun­day, shapes up to be the big­gest ben­e­fi­ciary of Hill’s ab­sence, has six catches for 118 yards and a TD in two games against the Raiders. Sit: Tyler Boyd, WR, Ben­gals: He’ll likely draw Richard Sher­man as his shadow. Even at times when Boyd won’t see Sher­man, he will face a 49ers sec­ondary that al­lowed a 43.7% com­ple­tion rate to Bucs re­ceivers in Week 1. Start: Jimmy Gra­ham, TE, Pack­ers: Gra­ham looked like his old self at times in Week 1 and should con­tinue to do so against the Vik­ings. Fal­cons tight ends had a 90% catch rate against the Vik­ings in Week 1.

Sit: T.J. Hock­en­son, TE, Lions: Don’t count on the rookie to re­peat his 131-yard out­ing against the Car­di­nals. The Charg­ers do a good job of tak­ing tight ends out of the game.

Start: Matt Ryan, QB, Fal­cons: The Ea­gles sec­ondary will help Ryan be near top-five sta­tus among fan­tasy QBs. He will have a great op­por­tu­nity to im­prove on his 9.2 yards per com­ple­tion from the loss to the Vik­ings.

Sit: Aaron Jones, RB, Pack­ers: The rough road Jones faced in Week 1 doesn’t get eas­ier against the Vik­ings, who al­lowed a com­bined 71 yards on 19 touches to Fal­cons run­ning backs (3.7 yards per touch). Jones’ best bet for fan­tasy po­ten­tial will be near the goal line, but fan­tasy play­ers will be bet­ter off us­ing an­other op­tion.

Start: Michael Gallup, WR, Cow­boys: His seven re­cep­tions for 148 yards weren’t a fluke. With de­fenses draw­ing much of their fo­cus on RB Ezekiel El­liott and WR Amari Cooper, Gallup will have fa­vor­able matchups against the Red­skins.

Sit: Mar­lon Mack, RB, Colts: The Ti­tans de­fense made Nick Chubb a non-fac­tor in Week 1 and will do the same to Mack. De­spite com­ing off a 174-yard, two-TD out­ing at the Charg­ers, Mack doesn’t project to come any­where close to du­pli­cat­ing those to­tals.

Start: Calvin Ri­d­ley, WR, Fal­cons: He should have more than the six tar­gets he net­ted in Week 1, es­pe­cially against the Ea­gles. In what should be a high-scor­ing matchup, Ri­d­ley is in a po­si­tion to be a ma­jor fan­tasy con­trib­u­tor.

Sit: Mar­cus Mar­i­ota, QB, Ti­tans: Yes, Mar­i­ota re­bounded from a slug­gish first half and tossed three TD passes against the Browns, but fan­tasy own­ers shouldn’t put much stock in a QB who strug­gles to com­plete half of his passes.

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