If your week went anything like mine did, then you were reminded of the chaos that is fantasy football. The tight ends went nuts, most top 15 wide receivers went "meh", and Bishop Sankey scored two touchdowns (you read this correctly) -- basically everything felt backwards.
Now, in addition to my "5 Must Start Sleepers" of the week, I'm going to add, as a part of each article, a grade on how I did the week prior. Just like P.E. in high school, this grading system will be pass or fail. So each time a player I advise provides you single digit PPR scoring game I'll give myself a fail, and anything beyond double digits is a pass. The guys I advocate use of should be RB3's, WR3/4's or deeper so basically we are talking flex options in most cases -- we'd kill for double digits from our flex right?
Week 1 In Review
Kendall Wright, 20.1 Points - PASS
Doug Martin - 6.4 Points - FAIL
Amari Cooper - 9.7 Points - FAIL
Ryan Mathews - 11.8 Points - PASS
John Brown - 14.6 - PASS
Well I guess I'll accept a 60% hit rate, but I know we can do better than that, alas allow me to please defend myself.
Amari Cooper's afternoon was heavily due to game flow and a loss of his starting quarterback Derek Carr -- the blowout of the Oakland Raiders kept double digit targets from 'Hangin with Mr. Cooper' (he finished with 9).
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Doug Martin in similar fashion ran very well (4.7 YPC) but due to a deficit exceeding our country's own national one, he was forced to watch Winston get smoked (that's a high brow pun, guys) resulting in very few opportunities for himself.
Kendall Wright -- somebody out there owes me a thank you for this one -- not the peppered performance we expected but his 20+ PPR points was spicy enough (meh).
Ryan Mathews is an RB3/FLEX consideration from week to week in this offense -- as predicted he saw goal line work and in the future I expect even more rushing opportunities than the 3 he saw vs Atlanta. Regardless of the contract Demarco Murray signed, Chip Kelly won't hesitate to stick to his most productive running back -- this very well could be Mathews soon enough.
John Brown saw a few less targets than projected but we will still take 7 right? This is the week-to-week John Brown I envisioned with a touchdown dependency. This week "Smokey" Brown delivered for owners and his role should grow -- he's has a weekly WR3 floor going forward with Palmer at quarterback.
It's time to talk Week 2, so let's get into it.
Week 2: '5 Must-Start Fantasy Sleepers'
5. Pierre Garçon, WR WAS.
Whether you think Garçon is a sleeper or not a majority of fantasy owners hesitated playing him in Week 1. That trend is unlikely to change in Week 2 as the Washington Redskins take on the St Louis Rams and that defensive front 7. So if the idea of Kirk Cousins at quarterback scares you, hold my hand.... I'll show you the way home.
Against a difficult defensive challenge in Miami, Kirk and Pierre were still able to link up for a 6 catch, 74 yard outing. Look for Pierre to see a major target increase from the 8 he saw in Week 1 with DeSean Jackson nursing s 3-4 week injury. Remember, in this same offense back in 2013 Pierre Garçon saw 174 targets -- that was good for second highest in the league, which translates to 113 receptions (64.9%).
Look for Cousins to get the ball out fast against this dangerous defensive line Sunday and for Pierre Garcon to be the recipient of a ton of work. Some will call me insane, but I wouldn't be surprised if Pierre saw anywhere between 10-14 targets against a beatable secondary that graded out about average last week versus the Seattle Seahawks per PFF.
Don't let his first name be the reason you bench him, this one is on his parents.
4. Vernon Davis, TE SF.
He is no Rob Gronkowski, but then again who is? They do have one thing in common though -- after this coming Sunday they will both have tasted a tantalizing opportunity with the Pittsburgh Steelers DST. This is a team defense that has collectively been leaking like a sieve for a couple seasons now and it doesn't look like it'll stop this weekend.
After facing the Patriots in Week 1, Pittsburgh was graded by PFF as the worst pass coverage defense of the week with a -12.4 score (a 0.0 would be the equivalent of an average performance). Gronk, although elite, finished with 5 receptions for 94 yards and 3 touchdowns against this secondary.
Vernon Davis is a physical freak and with Carlos Hyde eating up yards on the ground, expect Davis to feast on this awful secondary while Pittsburgh attempts to load the box to stop the run. In Week 1, Davis got most of his volume back seeing 6 targets and converting them into 3 catches for 47 yards. Colin Kaepernick threw it just 24 times as a product of game flow, but expect a bigger passing game from him as the Steelers offense will definitely make this a shootout.
Expect San Francisco to dial up some deep balls to Vernon Davis, whom, when on his game, is harder to cover than 'Your Kiss Is On My List' by Hall & Oates.... Because it's just so damn good.
3. Darren Sproles, RB PHI.
Either Chip Kelly owns a time machine or Darren Sproles never lost it, either way this 32 year old guy can still ball. He's coming off a 20.3 point performance where he rushed 5 times for 50 yards and saw 9 passing targets which he spun into 7 receptions for 76 yards. Clearly he's still dynamite, and in this particular offense he could be back to RB1 status.
This week, the Eagles take on the Cowboys and an overall defense that just yielded 99 yards on the ground (4.1 YPC) and a score to the NYG. Sproles is unlike anything the Giants saw last week -- so if Shane Vereen was able to pull off 4 catches for 46 against the Dallas linebacker/safety corps, then expect Sproles to hurt them even worse. This Dallas defensive gave up 14 catches and 135 yards just beyond the line of scrimmage across the center and right sides of the field respectively -- this is where I expect Sproles to eat.
His usage wasn't a fluke, his production wasn't uncommon and his role isn't in jeopardy. With Jordan Matthews, Nelson Agholor & Zach Ertz stretching the field on the outsides, look for Sproles to exploit these mismatches the same way Vereen did.... but much worse.
2. Bishop Sankey, RB TEN
The poster child for unwarranted hatred. The average fantasy football "expert" just looks at "YPC" & "touchdowns" as statistics to make concrete determinations off of, I just roll my eyes when I see it. What Sankey did Week 1 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was not an accident, Bishop can play.
In Week 2 Bishop Sankey will get his crack at the 5th lowest graded defense from Week 1 -- the Cleveland Browns. This is a defense that allowed Chris Ivory to rush for 91 yards (4.7 YPC) with 2 touchdowns, and Bilal Powell to tack on an additional 60 yards (5.2 YPC). Bishop Sankey is a far shifter runner than either Ivory or Powell so look for him to make his money after first contact. Sankey has excelled in this statistic in the past and the Browns gave up 97 yards after contact to the NYJ backfield -- that my friends is not good.
A new found confidence as a runner, a real quarterback in the huddle, and a feature back role are all playing in Bishop Sankey's favor after his Week 1 performance. Look for a similar outing with serious touchdown potential versus a defense that would allow 200 yards to Chris Johnson with cement shoes on.
1. Cole Beasley, WR DAL.
It's no secret that Dez Bryant is going to be out of commission for a while, so who is going to pick up the slack in his absence? Cole freaking Beasley will. In what some will consider a tough matchup, Dallas will square off with the Philadelphia Eagles and their recently roasted secondary. So, can Cole capitalize?
I said it last week and I'll say it again this week, volume (targets) = a higher ceiling. Cole saw 6 targets last week and with Dez Bryant sidelined expect a serious bump. A dangerous weapon after the catch, Cole Beasley ranked 8th in the NFL in 2014 with an average of 6.7 yards after the catch per reception. That's an extremely impressive stat considering it was better than: Randall Cobb, Demaryius Thomas, Odell Beckham, Julio Jones, TY Hilton and AJ Green just to name a few. He's electric and Dallas' lack of high end run game may translate to more short area opportunities and designed pass plays schemes for Beasley.
Look for Cole to expose the 2nd and 3rd cornerback options Philadelphia has to offer as Terrence Williams steps into that number one wide receiver role. The Eagles struggled mightily covering crossing routes and everything else that consisted of the middle of the field -- which is where I expect Cole to make his money this week. Support your local diminutive wide receiver by starting Cole Beasley everywhere this weekend.
To everyone asking me sit/start questions -- it's way easier to get ahold of me on Twitter (@AnOutragedJew) but I will do my absolute best to answer them all on here as well.
Good Luck in Week 2.
Editor's Note: FanDuel is running a $1,000,000 fantasy football league in week 2. The Top 46,000 teams win cash with $100,000 paid to first place. Join now!
Sorry, Washington residents - your state can't play.