Alex Smith, Washington Redskins vs. Indianapolis Colts
In week 1 versus the Cardinals, Alex looked like the 2017 version of himself that helped many win their league. Smith was a surgeon once again, completing 21 of 30 for 255 yards and 2 TDs. Moving into week 2 he faces the Indianapolis Colts secondary that Andy Dalton was able to carve up for a 75% completion percentage (21/28), 243 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT. Look for much of the same from Alex, making his Redskins home debut.
Stat Prediction: 27/36 for 287 yards, 3 TDs. Total 24.9 PPR points.
Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears vs. Seattle Seahawks
You shouldn’t put too much stock into what you see from week 1, but in this case we are going to focus on his usage. If it keeps up it would trend Howard towards RB1 numbers. Howard played on 71% of Chicago’s offensive snaps on Sunday night versus Green Bay. Jordan carried the ball 15 times for 82 yards – AND – caught all 5 of his targets for another 25 yards, finishing with 15.7 PPR points. The Seattle defense was just gashed for 146 yards rushing yards from 32 carries by the running backs for the Denver Broncos. Start Jordan Howard in week 2 for Head Coach Matt Nagy’s home opener in Chicago.
Prediction: 21 carries for 117 yards and a rushing TD – 6 targets, 4 receptions for 33 yards. Total 25.0 PPR points.
Josh Gordon, Cleveland Browns at New Orleans Saints
Whatever the reasons were for his absence this preseason, he played on Sunday versus Pittsburgh and he scored a touchdown on his only reception. It was reported that Josh would be placed on a snap count, but he ended playing 69 snaps (78% of Cleveland’s total offensive snaps) and that was only a dozen or so behind Jarvis Landry. Josh will be all systems go this coming Sunday and will do so versus a Saints team that just imploded defensively in week 1. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Ryan Fitzpatrick were able to complete 18 receptions on 22 total targets for the wide receiver position, amassing 361 yards and scoring 4 touchdowns. Josh Gordon has torched many defensive backs in the NFL when he has been on the field. In his first game back in 2017 versus the Los Angeles Chargers, he proved he still had it by dominating CB Casey Hayward.
Prediction: 6 receptions on 9 targets for 122 yards and 2 TDs. Total 30.0 PPR points.
TE(s) Nick Boyle, Maxx Williams, Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens @ Bengals
During Week 1 the Ravens tipped their hand early and targeted their TE’s on 4 of 6 passes in the opening drive. The targets were evenly spread out all game; Nick Boyle caught 3 of 6 for 40 yards, Maxx Williams caught 3 of 3 for 32 yards, and rookie Mark Andrews caught 3 of 4 passes for 31 yards. The Bengals allowed 12 receptions for 124 yards and a TD to the TE position in Indy. Each tight end in Baltimore scored a minimum of 6.0 PPR points this past Sunday. Nick Boyle led the snap count with 54, Maxx Williams had 44 snaps, and Andrews rounded out the group with 22 snaps. After a couple major Injuries that we witnessed to Greg Olsen (Carolina Panthers) and Delanie Walker (Tennessee Titans), you could be scrambling to fill your TE vacancy. Nick Boyle is currently the one to own here, but if he is not available, there are decent floors for Williams and Andrews as well.
Prediction for the Ravens TE group: 11 receptions on 18 targets for 132 yards and 1 touchdown. Total 30.0 PPR points.
Sam Bradford, Arizona Cardinals @ Los Angeles Rams
In his first regular season game as a Cardinal at home, Sam left much to be desired. Week 1 against an average Redskins pass defense, Bradford was only able to complete 20 of 34 passes (58.8%) for 153 yards, an interception, and was sacked twice. Now they travel to LA to face a Rams defense that easily handled Derek Carr and the Raiders. Marcus Peters and the rest of the Rams secondary picked off Carr three times. The combination of Aaron Donald, Ndamukong Suh and Michael Brockers should feast on Sunday when they face the Cardinals depleted offensive line. Avoid Sam at all costs, this could get ugly quick.
LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills vs. Los Angeles Chargers
The perennial top 15-20 fantasy running back was held to 22 yards on 7 rushing attempts, and an abysmal one reception on 3 targets for -1 yards. This Buffalo offense is atrocious as of now, and they may continue to be so until they figure something out. The Chargers, who might have Joey Bosa back, are looking to right the ship after losing a shootout to the Chiefs at home last weekend. Look for the game to be in hand quickly and the Bills to resort to playing catch-up for the majority of final three quarters. The math just doesn’t add up, so if you can, avoid Shady this coming Sunday.
Chris Hogan, New England Patriots @ Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars defense is as advertised and haven’t seemed to have lost a step. They did give up 15 points to Manning, Barkley and OBJ – so you can bet that Belichick and TB12 will find a way as well. However in their week 1 matchup against the Texans, Chris Hogan and Tom Brady only connected one time for 11 yards. Hogan was targeted 5 times, so Brady did look in his direction, but Rob Gronkowski and Phillip Dorsett were targeted the most. Look for Hogan to face a lot of Jalen Ramsey coverage this coming Sunday, in a rematch of the 2017 AFC Championship game. This is not a favorable matchup for Hogan owners.
Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Philadelphia Eagles
From week 1 of 2017 to current, Cameron Brate played in 7 games with Ryan Fitzpatrick. In that 7-game sample, Ryan has 117 completions on 191 attempts, for 1,520 yards and 11 TDs with 3 INTs. Cameron Brate has only been targeted 17 times in those 191 attempts, for a measly 7% target share in the Buccaneers offense. Of those 17 targets, they connected only 7 times for 72 yards and a TD. Against the Saints, Fitzpatrick was 0 for 2 when targeting Brate. They now face the reigning Super Bowl champions who have just had a 10-day break. Their defense played very well in the first game of the season. You should fade Brate as Fitzpatrick doesn’t target him often, and it’s a bad matchup.
By Josh Deisinger – @SconnieJosh