Sunday Studs and Duds – Week 2

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This article highlights fantasy football players who either met, exceeded, or failed to live up to expectations in Week 2 of the NFL and  2017 season.

Every week in the NFL is a learning experience when it comes to the fantasy football. After Week 1’s panic across the board with offenses being outplayed through out the league a lot of us have come out of Week 2 feeling renewed. The Patriots are still good at football, high upside players performed to their level for the most part, and some order was restored to the fantasy landscape. That doesn’t mean that we didn’t have some major disappointments this week, but Week 2 feels a lot more explainable than what we saw just seven days ago.

Hopefully, you didn’t let your emotions get the best of you and undersell some of your top assets going into this week. I’ll admit, it’s hard for myself to step back after a player bombs and just play the patience game. I mean what’s the deal with Cam Newton and how come the Seahawks can’t block anybody and is Denver really a new offensive power house? How come nobody saw this coming? We just have to keep reminding ourselves that it’s still early. It is still early isn’t it? ISN’T IT?! TELL ME IT’S EARLY!!!

…Come on Frank, remember your breathing exercises. Sorry. What was I saying? Oh yes…

Look the truth is that the panic button is getting closer on a couple of names even though it can’t be stated enough that it is only week 2. Offenses are still feeling themselves out, new players are still getting familiar with systems, and some position battles even after a long preseason are finally settling themselves. We can only preach patience for so long, but I feel like in the next week or two we’ll really start to finally see what is what.

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Sunday Week 2 Studs of the Week

Tom Brady, QB – NE – 447 pass yards, 3 pass TDs

The GOAT is back! Just like three years ago after taking a beating from the Kansas City Chiefs Tom Brady seemed to be on a mission. A lot of people left him for dead after week one’s over throws and misfires in accuracy, mocking the TB12 diet and saying he was over the hill. Let’s be honest though, this Saint’s defense made Sam Bradford look like a Hall of Fame in Week 1. So if anything, if TB12 is on your fantasy team you probably invested a high price into him so his official 2017 coming out party was welcomed with a sigh of relief. It was only a matter of time before the GOAT made this list and luckily for owners it was sooner than later. This week Stud is spelled T.O.M.

C.J. Anderson, RB – DEN – 118 rush yards, 3 receptions, 36 receiving yards, 2 total TDs

This last week CJ became what we thought he was from two years ago. He came out and looked to be every part of the newest member of the workhorse club in the fantasy world. We forget that just two season ago, he was coming off a stellar playoff run and got a big contract to stay in Denver and it looks like the expectations tied to that are finally coming to fruition. The big question going forward as it always has been with him is ‘Can he stay healthy?’ That remains to be seen, but for week 2 versus a very thin Cowboys defense he was in prime form. If he can keep this up expect big things going forward as this offense looks primed to continue to dominate. CJ, you a stud yo.

Michael Crabtree, WR – OAK – 6 receptions, 80 receiving yards, 3 TDs

Hat trick alert! Derek Carr’s favorite red zone target through two weeks and believe it or not his number one receiver the last two seasons. With the way Crabtree was drafted this summer you would think that he was bound for a drop off, but that’s certainly not the case. Yes they played the Jets who won’t put up much a fight against anyone this year, but they took care of business. That’s the most important thing and King Crab benefited majorly. If he continues to get soft coverage because of the defenses fear of Amari Cooper, he should continue to produce at a very high level.

Jason Witten, TE – DAL – 10 receptions, 97 receiving yards, 1 TD

The old man and the TD, Jason Witten has been a red zone threat the first two weeks of the season. That hasn’t always been the case either. One of the biggest knocks on him through out his career was the fact that even though he’s racked up receptions his prowess in the end zone had been lacking. Maybe it was a Tony Romo thing, but Dak Prescott looks for him early and often in that area. Also, with the disappointment of some top tier guys at the TE position and his target share (22 targets) in the first 2 games, he’s almost a must start going into week 3. Yes, Dallas was down big in this one, but with the flopping sieve that is their defense don’t expect this dad runner to go away.

Baltimore Defense – 10 points allowed, 3 sacks, 4 TOs, 1 TD

The new Ravens defense isn’t a fluke. Last week it made Andy Dalton regress into a ginger snap, and this week it gave DeShone Kizer his official welcome to the NFL moment. These guys are fierce and should be fired up almost regardless of match up at this point.

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Sunday Week 2 Duds of the Week

Cam Newton, QB – CAR – 228 pass yards, 27 rushing yards

One of the more disappointing players at the QB position so far this year. He missed most of the off season after shoulder surgery which has limited his practice time and it shows. It really shows. Never one known for his accuracy, he’s had a number of over throws that should have been wide open TDs, none more egregious than the throw in the flats to Christian McCaffrey that would have sealed the game. Now with the loss of Greg Olsen to a broken foot things don’t look to be turning around for him. The worst part about Cam Newton is that even though he is long past droppable in 12 team leagues his upcoming match ups against the Saints and the Patriots are going to suck the people who own him into starting him once again. It’s a tough situation to be a part of as a fantasy owner… Also, are there game splits on him pre/post bleached chin hair? I feel like that was his downfall.

Ezekiel Elliot, RB – DAL – 22 total yards, 4 receptions

Denver defense happened the the Cowboys this week and Mr. Elliot took the brunt of it production wise. Zeke was routinely getting hit in the backfield when he got the ball. Then once the game script left them and the team was down, they abandoned him all together. This will be good for him in the upcoming weeks as long as Commissioner Goodell doesn’t get his way, but this week was a stunner. We’re going to have to admit that maybe he isn’t match up proof like we believed. Hopefully though, you got him at a big enough discount that it didn’t hurt your squad too badly. Better days are ahead.

Amari Cooper, WR – OAK – 4 receptions 33 yards

Come on Derek Carr! You couldn’t throw one of those touchdowns to Amari! We all took him in the second round! How don’t you know this? Look, I’m not one to complain to NFL players on Twitter about them screwing up my fantasy day and neither should you, but Cooper was shafted in this match up. It was against the Jets and as well as the offense played you would think Amari had something to do with it. Yes, he got coverage shadowed to his side opening up the holes for everyone else (aka Week 2 Stud King Crab), but we don’t care about that real football stuff. This is fantasy! In all seriousness though, no reason to panic. He’s too talented to be left down for long. For week 2 however he’s a dud. A gosh darn dud.

Jimmy Graham, TE – SEA – 1 reception, 1 yard

Making his second appearance on the list and not on the good side. Things are getting ugly for the Seattle offense and Graham seems to be suffering the worst of it fantasy wise. The offensive line is so terrible that Russell Wilson is running for his life pretty much any time he drops back to pass. This means Jimmy is being forced to stay in a block most of the time. Also, he’s been steadily dropping passes through out the season. Things should get better for him (we hope) as we know he has the talent to be one of the elite talents at the position. Still, the lack of production so far hurts everyone who has him because his draft price was to be Top 5 production at the position.

Buffalo Bills Offense – 3 points, 107 passing yards, 69 rushing yards

It’s beginning to be time to panic for this offense. After an off season where they seemingly tried to trade away all their studs, Anquan Boldin signed just to retire again, and they forgot to match a contract on Mike Gillislee it’s looking worse than we thought. If Lesean McCoy can’t even get going it’s going to be a long season. Week 1 they played the Jets and it was a close game. If anything is alarming that should be it. I don’t see this team coming back and being productive any time soon. Everyone is miscast and if you invested anything into this team I suggest getting out. The wheels have already fallen off.

BONUS: Monday Night Predictions

Stud: Golden Tate, WR – DET – 8 receptions, 97 yards, 1 TD

A PPR monster coming into the season and continuing his ways last week, he should be another target monster coming into Monday night. Stafford loves to look his way underneath and in a game that the flow should work in the Lions favor he’s going to be productive as always. Fire him and and watch the points flow in.

Dud: Paul Perkins, RB – NYG – 8 rushes, 23 rush yards, 1 reception, 7 receiving yards

If there was ever an obvious call in this game this is it. Perkins looked dreadful last week and I think the leash is shorter than ever on him. Vereen is slowly taking over the job and I think that they even give Orleans Darkwa a shot at early down work. You shouldn’t be starting him regardless, but if you do you’re making your own grave. Paul Perkins is toast.

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Frank grew up in the swamps of Florida, but moved to the ice dungeon known as Chicago back in 2013. He’s become a huge fan of the Bears, polish sausages and giardiniera. He hosts of the ‘Calling It Now’ Fantasy Football Podcast which you can find on both iTunes and Soundcloud. You can follow him on Twitter: @TheFrankCalhoun to yell at him about why he’s wrong about all his takes on fantasy football.