Frascella's Fantasy Corner: Week 2 News, Notes and Analysis for your fantasy and daily fantasy teams
Hey football fans, I’d just like to very briefly introduce myself – my name is John Frascella and I am a fantasy football analyst and published sports author. You can find me @LegendSports7 on Twitter, as well as “The John Frascella Show” on the Fantasy Impact Today podcast network. I’ve also appeared on Aaron Torres’ podcast, and will continue to do so throughout the NFL season.
This will be a weekly column, and I’m just going to be straight with you:
I want this to be fun. This isn’t going to be some uppity column where I’m bringing up needle-in-a-haystack analytics from a fancy site none of us have ever heard of. Yes, I’ve been playing and analyzing fantasy football for over 20 years, but I promise I’m just one of the guys. All questions, comments and discussions will be welcomed. Always feel free to shoot your fantasy football questions over to @LegendSports7. That said, let’s roll…
Week 2 Fantasy Pickups: The Aftermath
It’s Wednesday, so your FAAB bids, free agent pickups and waiver claims have likely gone through. Here’s the good and the bad on your likely pickups:
Malcolm Brown, Rams:
The Good: Malcolm had the best game of his NFL career in the Rams’ opening victory over the same ole Cowboys, rushing for 79 yards on 18 carries, including 2 hard-earned touchdowns. He looked bouncy and physical as he outplayed his rookie teammate, Cam Akers. Brown also added 3 receptions for 31 yards. His Daily Fantasy salary is $5,700, which – interestingly enough – puts him in the same category as preseason darlings like Todd Gurley, Miles Sanders, Kenyan Drake and rookie Jonathan Taylor. He seems to have immediately jumped into a respectable tier of fantasy running backs.
The Bad: Akers started and got 14 carries of his own. This could potentially be a week-to-week situation. Maybe Sean McVay will simply ride the hot hand. We’ll have to wait and see, but Brown definitely looked better and sharper than Akers in the opener.
Nyheim Hines, Colts:
The Good: Shockingly enough, Hines opened clearly ahead of the aforementioned rookie, Taylor. If you were active on fantasy Twitter this offseason, you’d think Taylor was Barry Sanders meets Walter Payton. The hype was out of this world and out of control. Meanwhile, Hines opened with 8 receptions for 45 yards and a TD, to go along with 28 yards and another TD on the ground. He was looking like a solid two-way threat, and now, competing RB Marlon Mack is out for the season. The door is clearly ajar.
The Bad: Head Coach Frank Reich has already named Taylor the starter for Week 2. This doesn’t matter too much, as Hines will continue to get his looks and touches, especially on 3rd down. I think Hines will retain value as long as he remains healthy.
Joshua Kelley, Chargers:
The Good: The kid looked springy. I really liked what I saw, live. Austin Ekeler got plenty of work as the Chargers’ RB1, but Kelley picked up 60 yards on just 12 totes. He also exploded into the endzone for the first touchdown of his promising young NFL career. Kelley is clearly behind Ekeler on the depth chart for now, but the former is certainly a kid to keep an eye on. His short-term upside isn’t as high as Brown’s or Hines’, but long-term he obviously has immense appeal in Dynasty leagues.
The Bad: It will take an injury to Ekeler for Kelley to command a massive overall workload.
Peyton Barber, Washington Football Team:
The Good: The veteran barreled into the endzone for 2 bruising touchdowns. Rookie Antonio Gibson merely looked like a gadget player, and JD McKissic was roughly the same. Barber is clearly Washington’s goal line guy and between-the-tackles bruiser.
The Bad: He averaged just 1.7 yards per carry. This is who he is. He isn’t going to be breaking off electric 50-yard runs. Either he gets you a TD or two, or likely nothing at all.
Robby Anderson, Panthers & Sammy Watkins, Chiefs:
The Good: I’m putting these guys together because they may not be available in all leagues. Certainly it depends on the number of teams and the scoring format of the league. Robby and Sammy can be popular late-round plays in Bestball leagues, too. In addition, they are similar-type players: here today, gone tomorrow. They pop off for random big performances, and that was certainly the case again in Week 1. Perhaps Anderson will be a personal favorite of Teddy Bridgewater’s going forward, while Watkins tends to get lost in the shuffle with Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and the rest of the Chiefs’ high-powered offense. The bottom line is that these guys looked sharp out of the gate in Week 1.
The Bad: It’s hard to know when to start these two. They are worth gambles as final flex plays, but I don’t think you want them at WR3. Just throw the dart once in a while and see what happens.
Scotty Miller, Bucs:
The Good: Tom Brady already likes Miller more than Mike Evans? Sure, that’s clearly an overreaction, but it also appeared that way out the gate. Scotty looks like an Edelman/Amendola type out there, and TB12 likes those read/timing routes. Miller had 6 targets to Evans’ 4, and he turned those 6 targets into 5 receptions for 73 yards. The one miss was a near-big play which would have put Scotty over 100 yards receiving on the day. He’s certainly a young player to keep an eye on in the slot.
The Bad: I’m sure Evans will bounce back, and Chris Godwin is still clearly the Bucs’ WR1. I think tight end O.J. Howard is going to carve out a nice role, too.
Russell Gage, Falcons:
The Good: Having Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley on the outside – that’s the good. That opens up things for Gage in the middle of the field, where he picked up 9 receptions for 114 impressive yards on a whopping 12 targets. Julio and Ridley also received 12 targets apiece. Gage can’t repeat this every week, but the one-on-one situations are clearly there. He will roast overmatched linebackers in exposed one-on-one scenarios.
The Bad: Julio and Ridley get so much volume. Gage is still, in the end, just a WR3 on his team. Best to play him in projected shootout matchups.
Gonna burn through this section quickly…
Dallas Goedert, Eagles: May or may not actually be a free agent in your league. Could be the No. 2 overall target for the Eagles, behind fellow TE Zach Ertz. Definitely worth a look if you are thin at TE.
Logan Thomas, Washington: Was an offseason darling on fantasy Twitter, and he delivered out the gate with 4 receptions and a touchdown. Could be the No. 2 or 3 guy behind Terry McLaurin in Washington.
O.J. Howard, Bucs: Gronk looks done. Just a name at this point. O.J. looks quicker and more explosive with far more upside. Definitely worth a stash if you have need at the position.
Jordan Akins, Texans: Didn’t get a lot of targets, but he looked like one of the Texans’ best options to me. Big, strong, fast – Bill O’Brien needs to find a way to get this kid the rock.
Week 2 Daily Fantasy Plays
Each week I will give you “Safe”, “Sleeper” and “Perfect Storm” plays at each position. Perfect Storm means reasonable salary with a high point upside.
Safe: Lamar Jackson $8,200 @ HOU
Sleeper: Jimmy Garoppolo $5,700 @ NYJ
Perfect Storm: Matt Ryan $6,600 @ DAL
The 49ers are gonna wanna show that last season wasn’t a fluke. I expect a statement-type performance vs. my lowly Jets. Garoppolo is quite cheap, there.
Safe: Ezekiel Elliott $8,200 vs. ATL
Sleeper: Ronald Jones $5,200 vs. CAR
Perfect Storm: Derrick Henry $7,900 vs. JAX
That Cowboys/Falcons game looks tasty. Lot of potential DK plays in there. I like Prescott as well (not so much Gurley).
Safe: Julio Jones $7,400 @ DAL
Sleeper: Diontae Johnson $4,500 vs. DEN
Perfect Storm: Allen Robinson $6,400 vs. NYG
Yup, goin’ with A-Rob! Yes, he’s pissed at the Bears and wants a hefty contract extension or trade, but this is a juicy matchup against the Giants after a subpar Week 1 performance by Robinson. Maybe he wants to make a statement. Maybe he wants to earn that big money, and this would certainly be the week to do it.
Safe: Travis Kelce $7,000 @ LAC
Sleeper: Jordan Akins $3,300 vs. BAL
Perfect Storm: Zach Ertz $5,600 vs. LAR
The Eagles need a win this week after an ugly opening loss to the Washington Football Team. Ertz is Carson Wentz’s go-to-guy, and he could be in line for a big day vs. the Rams’ inconsistent defense.
Wishing you all the best of luck this week!
John Frascella is a published sports author and fantasy football analyst with over two decades of experience. Follow him on Twitter @LegendSports7 for all things fantasy football.