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Fantasy Football Likes and Dislikes: Week 2

In an effort to aid you in your lineup-setting endeavors, I’ll be providing a weekly glimpse into my rankings; meaning, I’ll be highlighting players I like or dislike more compared to the expert consensus rankings as listed on FantasyPros.com or who I simply like or dislike for that given week. My ranking at the time of the writing will be alongside the player’s name. Bear in mind that I start this writing earlier in the week, so Expert Consensus Rankings will likely be different by the time of publication. These cannot be held against me – only used for credit.

While I do acknowledge that kickers are people too, neither they nor D/STs will be included.

Finally, these cannot be held against me – only used to give credit when credit is due.

As always, feel free to reach me on Twitter for any queries before the slate and I’ll try to get back to you.

*Note that half PPR scoring applies.

Quick Link: Check out all of my Fantasy Football Rankings for Week 2 here

QUARTERBACK

Josh Allen

BUF vs. MIA

Coming off his first career 300-yard performance, Allen now faces what could be the league’s worst defense in the Dolphins. We saw how poorly they defended fellow running quarterback Cam Newton and the Patriots, who scooted for two rushing scores in his New England debut.

Allen is usually good for a mistake or two and some unseemly incompletions; it comes with the territory of being a deep ball thrower and improvisational scrambler. He is, however, a quality fantasy quarterback. The schedule smiles upon Allen and the Bills for the second consecutive week. The only quarterbacks I’m starting ahead of Allen, as of this writing, are Lamar Jackson, Dak Prescott, Patrick Mahomes, and Russell Wilson.

Aaron Rodgers

GB vs. DET

I, for one, did not give Aaron Rodgers enough credit last week. In fact, I didn’t give him enough credit throughout the offseason. He looked like the Rodgers of old on Sunday throwing for at least 360 yards and four touchdowns in a game for the 10th time over his 16-year career. Will it turn out to be Rodgers’ best 2020 performance? That is a strong possibility. Nonetheless, I am taking him more seriously, particularly against a team with whom he owns a career 41-8 touchdown to interception ratio. If you made the mistake of leaving him out of your lineup a week ago, go ahead and redeem yourself.

RUNNING BACK

Derrick Henry

TEN vs. JAC – RB3

Admittedly, the winner of the 2019 rushing title was largely unimpressive in a narrow Week 1 victory. Henry did, however, tote the rock a league-high 31 times. Volume is king and King Henry is a true workhorse – a rare breed in today’s NFL. You’re starting him every week, but you especially look forward to starting him in matchups such as this one. The Jaguars surrendered 42.3 half-PPR points to the running back position a week ago – third-most in the sport. Henry is a top-three running back in Week 2 in my eyes with an overall RB1 ceiling.

Ronald Jones

TB vs. CAR – RB17

To the simultaneous delight and chagrin of many, it’s clear that Jones is the lead back in the Tampa Bay backfield despite Leonard Fournette joining just before the commencement of the season. While 82 total yards leave something to be desired, it’s the 19 total touches on which we should focus. As it turns out, the lauding from Bruce Arians wasn’t just coach speak. Jones did nothing to force Arians to give him fewer touches, at least not yet.

He’s a prime sell high candidate at this early juncture given his workload and Fournette’s presence, but I wouldn’t sell just yet. Jones and the Buccaneers offense as a whole own one of the most advantageous fantasy schedules in 2020 based on fantasy points given up by last year’s opponents. If Jones maintains his workload and his good health then he’ll establish himself as one of the better steals of the season.

WIDE RECEIVER

Mike Evans

TB vs. CAR – WR9

There are always players who frustrate and disappoint in their first game of the season. Evans was at the top of the list last week, albeit he was not playing at full strength and was only thrown to four times. He was still limited in practice Wednesday with a hamstring ailment, but head coach Bruce Arians’ tone regarding the receiver’s status has been promising.

If Evans can register a full practice then he’s a WR1 candidate. But wait, there’s more! Evans probably has a better chance of playing than his counterpart, Chris Godwin, who is in the concussion protocol. If Evans is full go and Godwin is inactive, we have a 2020 Evans breakout incoming. I really like his chances facing Donte Jackson and Troy Pride Jr.

Parris Campbell

IND vs. MIN – WR35

One of the most pleasant surprises of Week 1 – although maybe not a surprise to some – came in the form of Parris Campbell. The promising second-year receiver is healthy and has evidently gained the trust of new quarterback Philip Rivers. The speedster was tied for the team lead with nine targets and led all non-QB skill position players in snaps played (82%).

As the aforementioned Aaron Rodgers and company showed, the Vikings’ cornerback situation is a mess. Campbell’s speed and athleticism are a mismatch for most defenses – especially Minnesota’s. His Week 1 efforts were not an anomaly. I’d wager he finds the end zone for the first time this year, too.

TIGHT END

Jonnu Smith

TEN VS. JAC – TE7

I was big on Smith this offseason and he didn’t disappoint on Monday night. The game plan and game script favored Derrick Henry in this contest versus the Denver Broncos, but Smith still managed to find the end zone on a promising seven targets.

Smith’s biggest advantage is his athletic freakishness – like if Thor were a tight end in human form. This athletic prowess aids in Smith’s unique ability to break tackles and gain yards after the catch. He was, after all, second among tight ends in yards after contact per reception in 2019. Look for more of the same against what many label the worst defense in the NFL in the Jacksonville Jaguars. There is top-five tight end appeal here in my opinion.

Logan Thomas

WAS @ ARI – TE14

What a career path it’s been for Thomas. He was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in 2014 as a promising quarterback prospect, he didn’t play in the NFL again until 2017 and now he’s the starting tight end for The Washington Football Team. Going into Week 2 he was – or at least should have been – one of the top waiver-wire considerations (a perfect replacement for Blake Jarwin) after a breakout 2020 debut in which he paced Washington with eight targets. He caught four of them for 37 yards and his team’s lone receiving touchdown. Believe it or not, he demands borderline TE1 consideration from here on out.

Week 2 Dislikes

It sounds simple, but I tend to dislike players who are dealing with injuries in the days leading up to a game. This week those players include Miles Sanders, James Conner, Phillip Lindsay, Chris Godwin, Kenny Golladay, Courtland Sutton, etc. Diligence is necessary for keeping a pulse on the practice statuses of and coaches’ quotes regarding said players. If they’re active I’ll almost certainly have them ranked lower than the ECR.

Other players, I dislike more than ECR:

Carson Wentz

PHI vs. LAR – QB15

The offensive line is beaten up and he was sacked eight times last week. He faces Aaron Donald and the lot in Week 2.

Cam Newton

NE @ SEA – QB13

It was an easy first test back against the Dolphins in Week 1. Jamaal Adams, Bobby Wagner, and the Seahawks won’t be so accommodating in this trying road tilt.

James White

NE @ SEA – RB36

We’re in wait-and-see mode with White in the Patriots’ new offense and game style under Newton. White didn’t do anything to write home about against Miami and saw fewer carries than Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead.

Peyton Barber

WAS @ ARI – RB48

Barber put up one of the most repugnant stat lines you’ll ever see as he turned 17 carries into 29 yards and two touchdowns. He might lead the team in carries again, but the two scores aren’t happening again and his rushing efficiency is subpar.

Sammy Watkins

KC @ LAC – WR51

The Week 1 Wonder will fall back down to earth. The Chargers boast one of the best cornerback duos in football in Casey Hayward and Chris Harris Jr. and one of the best defensive units as a whole.

Brandin Cooks

HOU vs. BAL – WR48

Speaking of quality defensive units, the Ravens might be the cream of the crop. The only Houston wide receiver I’m considering is Will Fuller.

Hayden Hurst

ATL @ DAL – TE15

There were a plethora of disappointments in 2020’s first slate of contests. Hurst was near the top of those disappointments for me. I’m not saying he can’t rebound, but my expectations are lowered.

Austin Hooper

CLE vs. CIN – TE19

He was an afterthought in a game in which the Browns needed to pass a lot. Hooper is a backup tight end until further notice.

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