Fantasy Football

2017 Fantasy Football Week 2 Preview: Solace

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The drama unfolds again into Week 2 and I cannot wait to see what thematic twists this weekend has in store for us. Last week was clearly about the unsung quarterback. Several, usually viewed as the fantasy draft also-rans, stood up and delivered some amazing performances.

The injuries became understandably topical and I myself became hung up with too much grief over them this week. If I secured a first-round draft pick this year, I probably would have drafted David Johnson. I couldn’t escape those feelings of that it could have been me and the thought of my number coming up too. So it’s a very disconcerting eventuality for all of us who write and talk about Fantasy Football.

Well, the clouds eventually rolled away somewhat and I began to concentrate on Week 2. This week the Dolphins and Buccaneers have their season openers after the postponement, so we’ll finally get a complete picture of all the fantasy players with early evaluations.

2017 Fantasy Football Week 2 Preview

Hoping for more breakouts and rebounds? Concerned about regressions from Week 1? We could be in line for both. Game plan shifts certainly can create fantasy point fluctuations everywhere. The good thing is that an extra week adds to trendlines we are looking for. For the most part, Week 2 will add to the data and our flowcharts for who start in matchups.

Games To Watch

Feature Game: Eagles at Chiefs

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The Chiefs coming off such a big opening win against the defending champions had a few extra days relax those highs and prepare against let-down. Kareem Hunt demonstrates a very good style for the Chiefs type of offense. The Eagles will somehow prepare for him, but at the same time will have to do it without opening too much opportunity for Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill. That’s not going to be easy at Arrowhead Stadium.

For the Eagles on offense, the main factor comes down to Wentz and whether his pass protection holds enough to allow his medium range passing the effectiveness we saw against Washington. The key here is Darren Sproles. If Sproles can spring a few outlet breaks to avoid too many third and longs, we could see an interesting tug of war between these defenses for ball-control.

Alshon Jeffery needs to be a factor if the Eagles want to maintain an offensive pace to keep up with the Chiefs. Nelson Agholor, a new favorite of Wentz, needs to continue playing at the level he did last week.

Sleeper: Torrey Smith, WR, Eagles

High OU Game (56.0): Patriots at Saints

The Chiefs broke the gameplan of Bill Belichick last week and as with every loss, grimly wanted to just move on. Tom Brady, not at all sharp against Kansas City, wants to dispel any hint that he’s ready for Sunny Hills. The Saints, for their part, will continue their complicated offense to try and baffle the Patriots. Both Sean Payton and Bill Belichick have their inclinations toward tactics and strategy in the NFL, so the outcome and players most involved always remain unknown until the story unfolds.

So the only certainties we have are Drew Brees and Tom Brady. The Saints have to figure out who is to be “running back of the week” and the Patriots to a lesser extent face almost the same on the other side. For the Patriots you can sometimes guess it will be the guy we saw little of in the previous week. That would be Dion Lewis this time. Too daring? How about Rex Burkhead? A better choice, maybe.

The passing game is always a showcase at SuperDome events, so Brees and Brady will certainly have no shortages there. The Saints settled for too many field goals against the Vikings and that just won’t do versus the Patriots. Brady has some pass catching depletions that may now include Danny Amendola; dealing with a knee injury as well as concussion issues. This opens the door wider for this guy…

Sleeper: Chris Hogan, WR, Patriots

Sunday Night Football: Packers at Falcons

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A rematch of last year’s conference final. Much has changed over the year and Green Bay improved defensely. Randall Cobb seems to be back in the mix after a down year that ceded attention more toward Davante Adams. Martellus Bennett is gaining in his respect from Aaron Rodgers in more ways than just the passing game. He stood up in bodyguard spirit against the Seahawks after a late hit on his quarterback.

The Falcons are fighting off the curse of the Super Bowl loser this season and did not comfortably defeat the Bears last week. Their team has the multi-faceted style of modern NFL offenses, but somehow the Bears with their lack of weaponry stayed with them. Yes, the Bears sprang a surprise with Tarik Cohen, but Glennon still managed an equitable 26-213-1 stat against their defense. Just think then what Aaron Rodgers could cook in the kitchen!

This game should have a fine mix of run and pass and is also a game with a high OU of 54. I look for extensive work for Julio Jones after a rather tepid 4-66-0 outing on five targets last week.

The Packers are coming off a defensive game, so they swung the bat with a weight donut coming into this game. You know Rodgers. Whoever creates separation is going to get the ball and he still has the legs to extend drives and take it in himself if need be.

Sleeper: Taylor Gabriel, WR, Falcons

Monday Night Football: Lions at Giants

There’s no other way to put this, but the appalling Giants performance last Sunday night became almost as distressing to see as the injuries after Week 1. Without Odell Beckham Jr., this offense runs on fumes. Recent news puts his timetable at 6-8 Weeks. He’s just over three weeks into that.

So the scene turns to Met Life and a visit from the Detroit Lions. A team pumped after an appreciable win over the Cardinals. The Giants still don’t have a running game worth mentioning and I saw no improvement. The Lions are beatable, but a dangerous opponent for the G-Men on Monday night.

The Lions are secure enough with their incremental growth. They have a new playmaker in Kenny Golladay it appears, but they too can turn things sideways. I sense that the fewest turnovers, therefore, wins this game and kickers may decide the outcome.

Sleeper: Eric Ebron, TE, Lions

Players to watch

I watched Joe Mixon last week, but there wasn’t much to see. There was always a risk in drafting Mixon because of the rotation that Marvin Lewis stubbornly continues to advocate. Mixon I suspect will come along stronger, but the Bengals offensive line needs to gel and Mixon breaking through to at least the main guy of this RBBC remains something where patience comes in.

The main players to watch are those we haven’t seen yet. I’m speaking of course about the Buccaneers and Dolphins. So you’ll see their names in here this week.

Jay Ajayi, RB, Dolphins

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Ajayi will open his 2017 fantasy account against the Chargers in the late set of games on Sunday. The only concern for owners is consistency in production. There’s no doubt he’s a high level running back, but a solid entry in 2017 is what owners will look for.

Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Buccaneers

With Doug Martin on suspension, Rodgers has a window of opportunity to take at least some kind of hold on this backfield. Martin has had an up and down career, so if Rodgers has a strong showing out of the gate, he could hold high fantasy value throughout the season. All depending on which Doug Martin rejoins the team.

Kareem Hunt, RB, Chiefs

I think everyone wants an encore from Hunt and from what we saw, this guy is not a one-hit wonder. You don’t come in and beat up the defending champions without having something special. Just the same, we want to further evaluate Hunt to better determine his floor and ceiling.

Cooper Kupp, WR, Rams

It’s not just his chemistry with Jared Goff, it’s the way he catches the football. It gets swallowed into his body. This can only tell you how exact Kupp is with route running. He juggled a catch against Colts, but Kupp realizes the importance of corraling such passes quickly.

Jay Cutler, QB, Miami Dolphins

A golden opportunity landed on Cutler in 2017, in an offense that couldn’t be more suited to his style. Since Adam Gase groomed him before with the Bears, it stands to reason. Both Cutler and Rivers are gunslinger types, so this is another game open for good fantasy point production.

Nelson Agholor, WR, Eagles

Although Agholor had an encouraging Week 1, the jury is still out until after another outing. The arrows pointing up for Agholor are there, but soft. If Wentz and Agholor truly are in connection mode, Agholor could be the sleeper of the year. So let’s see.

In The Booth on Sunday

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Kevin Burkhardt

CBS

Patriots at Saints: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo
Bills at Panthers: Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon
Titans at Jaguars: Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta
Browns at Ravens: Andrew Catalon, James Lofton, Steve Tasker
Jets at Raiders: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts
Dolphins at Chargers: Greg Gumbel, Trent Green

FOX

Eagles at Chiefs: Kevin Burkhardt, Charles Davis
Vikings at Steelers: Kenny Albert, Ronde Barber
Cardinals at Colts: Chris Myers, Daryl Johnston
Bears at Buccaneers: Dick Stockton, Mark Schlereth
Cowboys at Broncos: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman
Redskins at Rams: Thom Brennaman, Chris Spielman
49ers at Seahawks: Sam Rosen, David Diehl


Check out the rest of our 2017 Fantasy Football content from our great team of writers.

About Richard Savill

Richard is an NFL Fantasy Football Writer and Editor of Fantasy Six Pack. Host of The Fantasy Edge Podcast. FantasyPros Contributor. Member of the FSWA. Richard is known for his "outside the box" insight into NFL fantasy football. Winner of the 16-Team 2015 FSWA challenge.

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