One week into the fantasy football season tends to bring premature panic along with some excessive celebration, especially when it comes to a sleeper pick that delivered.
While most fantasy owners tend to keep a level head about their Week 1 results, fine-tuning a roster for Week 2 isn’t the worst thing in the world.
Come late Monday night, some trends will be in place, enabling fantasy owners to properly separate the proverbial wheat from the chaff. Though early, Week 2 will feel like a make or break vibe for some players (see Wentz, Carson).
START: Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons: The Cowboys didn’t allow a passing touchdown in Week 1 but did allow a league-worst 13.8 yards per completion. That’s potential trouble against Ryan, who comes off a 454-yard effort in Week 1 loss and will use WRs Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage upon a suspect Dallas secondary.
SIT: Carson Wentz, QB, Eagles: Three interceptions, a 57.1 percent completion rate and being sacked eight times in the loss to the Washington Football Team far offset how sharp Wentz looked early. A makeshift offensive line doesn’t bode well for Wentz’s chance for a quick bounce-back, not with Aaron Donald and the Rams’ front line coming to Philly.
START: Benny Snell Jr., RB, Steelers: Snell was basically the Pittsburgh running game in Monday’s win over the Giants, accounting for all but one of the team’s 20 rushing attempts after starter James Conner (ankle) was sidelined. The Broncos gave up 116 yards to Derrick Henry in their loss to the Titans, but could be in more dire straits with Snell, especially if QB Ben Roethlisberger opens the passing lanes early to allow Snell’s running to exploit the Denver defense.
SIT: Adrian Peterson, RB, Lions: Peterson’s 93 yards on 14 carries were a pleasant Week 1 surprise, but don’t count on a Week 2 repeat. Peterson managed just 31% of the Lions’ RB snap counts and the fact that Packers QB Aaron Rodgers will feast on an injury-riddled Detroit secondary means the Lions could be playing catch-up for most of Sunday afternoon.
START: Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Saints: With All-Pro Michael Thomas (ankle) sidelined for Monday night’s matchup at the Raiders, Sanders will see more than the mere five targets he had in Week 1. Sanders also gets a sweeter matchup as the Las Vegas defense had the ninth-most fantasy points allowed to opposing receivers in Week 1.
SIT: DK Metcalf, WR, Seahawks: Seattle’s second-year wideout had five catches for 95 yards and a score in Sunday’s win over the Falcons, but facing the Patriots’ secondary is a different challenge. New England allowed just 126 receiving yards in its win over the Dolphins, and it’s a sure thing that All-Pro Stephon Gilmore will be covering Metcalf for much of Sunday night.
START: Logan Thomas, TE, Washington Football Team: One of the more popular waiver wire adds, Thomas led Washington with eight targets in Week 1. The Cardinals have struggled against opposing tight ends in recent years, and only an injury to 49ers All-Pro George Kittle kept them from being hurt again in Week 1. Thomas’ athletic presence likely means they won’t dodge it twice.
SIT: Noah Fant, TE, Broncos: Fant had a solid Week 1, catching five passes for 81 yards and a touchdown, but the return of WR Courtland Sutton will cut into his production. The Broncos will also be facing a Steelers defense that did a stellar job of locking down Giants TE Evan Engram in Week 1, making Fant a considerable risk.
START: Austin Ekeler, RB, Chargers: He’s a gold-plated must-start in PPR formats against a Chiefs defense that he caught 17 passes for 151 yards against last season. Ekeler will still get the bulk of the ground game versus a KC run D that allowed 5.4 yards per carry to the Texans, the second-worst average in Week 1.
SIT: Christian Kirk, WR, Cardinals: The presence of DeAndre Hopkins made Kirk a non-factor as he had just one catch for zero yards on five targets. There’s nowhere but up for Kirk, yet it’s not enough to consider starting him versus a Washington Football Team that had the ninth-best fantasy showing against opposing wideouts in Week 1.
START: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Cowboys: Lamb was on the field 82% of the time in his NFL debut, catching five targets for 59 yards. With TE Blake Jarwin (ACL) done for the season, expect Lamb to be targeted more frequently, a trend that should begin against a Falcons secondary that allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing wideouts in Week 1.
SIT: Jordan Howard, RB, Dolphins: Howard did score in Week 1, but 7 yards on eight carries isn’t going to cut it. The emergence of Myles Gaskin, who had 63% of Miami’s RB snap counts compared to Howard’s mere 15%, translates to Howard getting only a handful of touches against a Bills defense that allowed just 3.5 yards per carry and 52 total rushing yards to the Jets in Week 1.
START: Philip Rivers, QB, Colts: Don’t expect Rivers to ease up after throwing for 363 yards on 36 of 46 passing in Week 1. The loss of RB Marlon Mack (Achilles tendon) means Indianapolis will further emphasize its passing attack against a Vikings defense that allowed a league-high 54.5% of its third downs to be converted in their loss to the Packers.
SIT: Baker Mayfield, QB, Browns: Don’t be the fantasy owner whose Week 2 slips into a hole on Thursday night. Thus far in his brief career, Mayfield has been a mediocre passer in September, managing a paltry 6.48 yards per attempt and a 7-9 TD:INT number. Even in deeper leagues, there will be better Week 2 options for fantasy users to consider, including the option of streaming Daniel Jones (Giants) or even the quarterback Mayfield will face on Thursday, Bengals rookie Joe Burrow.
This column was provided to The Associated Press by SportsGrid Inc., www.sportsgrid.com
More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL
Watch Jamal Murray hit insane hand-switching layup around LeBron
Are. You. Kidding. Me.
You are not going to see a better layup these playoffs than this one by Denver’s Jamal Murray, going around LeBron James near the end of the first half of Game 4.
Murray went up thinking dunk, had to change his mind because of LeBron, brought it down, went around him, and spun it in off the glass. Insane. It had some people on Twitter referencing the legendary Michael Jordan hand-switching shot. Not sure I’m willing to compare this Murray shot to a layup that helped launch a dynasty, but it’s close.
Murray had 16 in the first half but the Nuggets trailed at the break 60-55 in a high scoring first half. Anthony Davis had 19 to lead the Lakers.
Watch Jamal Murray hit insane hand-switching layup around LeBron originally appeared on NBCSports.com
NL playoff race wide open, AL nearly locked in
A look at what’s happening around the majors Friday:
Eight teams in the National League are vying for four available postseason spots heading into the regular season’s final weekend, and Cardinals ace Jack Flaherty can get St. Louis a crucial win in the opener of a doubleheader against Milwaukee. The clubs opened a five-game series Thursday that could have huge implications on the race, as none of the six other contenders are facing each other.
The Marlins, Phillies, Cardinals, Reds, Brewers and Giants are the top teams still in contention — and they’re packed tightly with slots available for one team from the NL East, another from the NL Central and then two wild cards. The Mets (26-31) and Rockies (25-31) are mathematically eligible but need to win out just to have a shot.
Only one playoff spot remains open in the AL, and Michael Brantley and the Astros are on the verge of clinching it. Houston is visiting the Rangers this weekend.
The Twins are trying to seal the AL Central. They hold a one-game lead over the White Sox and are at Target Field to finish up with Cincinnati.
Minnesota slugger Nelson Cruz has missed four straight games with soreness in his right knee. Manager Rocco Baldelli says Cruz wouldn’t be back in the lineup until he’s 100 percent.
SECOND CITY SKIDS
The White Sox and Cubs both hope to reverse recent slides when they meet this weekend at Guaranteed Rate Field before opening the playoffs.
The Chisox have lost five in a row, dropping them out of the AL Central lead and one game behind Minnesota. Rookie outfielder Luis Robert, stuck in an 0-for-28 slump, wasn’t in the lineup Thursday at Cleveland. The 23-year-old Cuban leads all rookies with 30 RBIs and is tied for first with 11 homers.
”The reality is you have a young man coming into the big leagues, and no matter how talented you are, you hit a wall,” manager Rick Renteria said. ”Nobody wants to see the wall be hit, but you hit a wall.”
The NL Central-leading Cubs have a magic number of two for clinching the division. They’ve lost five of six, scoring two or fewer runs in each of those losses.
Cubs ace Yu Darvish (7-3, 2.22 ERA) starts against Dylan Cease (5-3, 3.52).
Three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer makes his final start of the season, taking on the Mets at Nationals Park. A win would let Scherzer (4-4, 3.67) finish with a winning record for the 11th straight season, tying Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw for the longest active such streak.
Washington was eliminated from postseason contention this week, a year after the winning the championship. Manager Dave Martinez intends to point out to his players what they’ve accomplished in the recent past.
”I’ll remind them that other than not making the playoffs this year, we did win the World Series in 2019,” Martinez said. ”That means a lot. That doesn’t go away. Let’s come back in 2021 and do it again.”
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports
Kings ‘pretty confident’ in who they’ll take No. 2 in the NHL draft
Quinton Byfield and Tim Stuetzle said what you’d expect with the NHL draft less than two weeks away.
During a virtual media session with other top prospects Thursday, the two players most widely-projected to be the Kings’ second overall pick sounded similar notes, declaring they both want to break into the NHL as soon as next season and will feel fortunate regardless of which team they end up with.
The pair’s most important conversations of the pre-draft process, after all, took place long before this. For teams at the top of next month’s draft board, there’s little left to learn about the highly regarded prospects expected to be, in some order, the Nos. 2 and 3 picks after Alexis Lafreniere.
Come Oct. 6, the overwhelming likelihood is that one of the two will be slipping on a black Kings uniform.
And according to director of amateur scouting Mark Yannetti, the club is already “pretty confident” in who they’re going to pick.
For the Kings to change to course now, “something drastic would have to happen,” Yannetti said by phone this week. “It took a long time to separate who we had at two and who we had at three.”
“This,” he added, “was the hardest decision I’ve had in L.A. probably.”
That’s no small claim. In his 13 years running the Kings’ amateur scouting department, Yannetti’s had a hand in almost 100 total selections, 11 first-round picks, and four in the top-five overall. In 2008, the last time the Kings picked second in the draft, they chose Drew Doughty from a similarly small group of top-end contenders. Last year, they felt they got a steal by getting Alex Turcotte at No. 5.
But this draft is different, both because of the specific players populating the top of their board and the extra time with which they’ve had to evaluate them.
While the COVID-19 pandemic denied the team a typical in-person interview process and reduced their opportunities to watch the prospects with their own eyes, the draft’s postponement from June to October gave the Kings an unusually long period to finalize their assessments.
Yannetti said the team “drew the process out intentionally,” cross-referencing their in-person scouting reports with an unprecedented amount of video analysis and analytical data.
In Stuetzle, they saw a player who excelled in Germany’s top professional league, validating his top-line status with 34 points and a plus-four rating in 41 games.
With Byfield, they took note of his response to an underwhelming performance in the World Junior Championships, as he registered 25 points in his final 15 Ontario Hockey League games.
The Kings considered other prospects too, organizing an impressive draft class into several tiers.
“We had two guys almost coin-flip close,” Yannetti said, “and then we had three guys really banging on the door but not quite at that level.”
Yannetti didn’t specify which two players the Kings’ decision came down to, or who holds the edge with the pre-draft just about complete.
But it seems unlikely that, after consensus No. 1 pick Lafreniere, the Kings were more focused on anyone but Stuetzle and Byfield. And when asked to compare the two specifically, Yannetti drew very few distinctions.
“I think the development curve is a lot more similar with those guys than people might have said,” he explained, pushing back somewhat against the common perception that Stuetzle is clearly the more “NHL ready” of the two.
“I think they’re both probably, in a physical sense, in a similar area as to readiness to play.”
In his view, neither player appears quite yet prepared for an immediate jump to the NHL. And even if one of them was closer to their full physical maturation, Yannetti insisted “it would have almost no bearing on our decision. It would be infinitesimal. There’s so many other rating points and evaluation points I would use, that one wouldn’t come into play.”
Instead, the Kings are looking at the long-term benefits of each player, weighing the big-picture progress of their rebuild over all else.
“Making the right pick here could speed along the process by two years, or it could add two or three years on the back end of how long you’re a contender,” Yannetti said. “The pressure isn’t any different, but the importance certainly is.”
- Infant dies after being found unconscious in NYC home, man charged
- Watch Jamal Murray hit insane hand-switching layup around LeBron
- China attacks US at Security Council
- Palantir Expected to Be Valued at Almost $22 Billion, Dow Jones Reports
- Raptors coach Nick Nurse discusses long-term deal: ‘I love being here’
- NBA Playoffs: Los Angeles Lakers vs Denver Nuggets Game 4 WCF Injury Update, Lineup and Prediction
- Google server problems took out Gmail and other services briefly
- California sheriff’s deputy pleads guilty to having sex with teen boy
- NL playoff race wide open, AL nearly locked in
- Democrats prepare bill limiting U.S. Supreme Court justice terms to 18 years
Entertainment5 days ago
Danish TV show ‘Ultra Strips Down’ records kids eyeing naked adults
Sports News3 weeks ago
Fantasy Football Auction Draft strategy: Tips, advice for spending your 2020 player budget wisely
Sports News3 weeks ago
NBA 2K21 Cover Star Damian Lillard Reveals His Issues With the Game
Sports News4 days ago
Fantasy Football Buy-Low, Sell-High Stock Watch: Leonard Fournette, Stefon Diggs among movers heading into Week 3
Sports News3 weeks ago
NBA playoff bracket 2020: Updated standings, seeds & results from each round
Tech3 days ago
iOS 14 basics: how to add widgets to your iPhone’s home screen
Sports News2 weeks ago
NFL Analyst Takes a Cheeky Dig on Browns Stars Odell Beckham Jr. and Baker Mayfield
Sports5 days ago
What just happened? Danny Lee six-putts 18th green, withdraws from U.S. Open