Fantasy football Week 2: What we learned
By C.D. CARTER
We learned, more than anything, that the injury bug is as brutal as it is indiscriminate, taking down those deemed prone to injury, and those who aren't.
Remember, in the wake of yesterday's cosmically comical spate of injuries to big names across the fantasy landscape, that all is not lost. The coming days, in fact, present a chance for the savvy fantasy owner to capitalize on the changes stemming from Week 2's ridiculous litany of injuries.
It's a concept deeply ingrained in the political psyche, and it'll prove foundational in making the most of the aftermath of yesterday's injury apocalypse: "You never let a crisis go to waste."
There is opportunity to be had in the wreckage of your league's suddenly injury-riddled fantasy teams. Seize it. Capitalize on chaos.
Below are notes on the impact of Week 2's injuries.Knile Davis should be the No. 1 priority for everyone, not just Jamaal Charles owners. I'm not the only one in fantasy circles who has daydreamed about what Davis could do with a starter's workload. Davis, a metrics freak of nature with a bit of a fumbling problem, has piled up 191 yards and four touchdowns in two of Kansas City's past three games (including last year's Wild Card loss to the Colts). His 105 total yards and two scores against Denver was no fluke. I see Davis as a plug-and-play top-10 running back if he gets a full load in Charles' absence. The Chiefs have two great matchups coming up too. Davis will win weeks for fantasy owners.
Kirk Cousins torched the Jaguars' sieve of a secondary after Robert Griffin III was carted off with a hideous ankle injury that could keep him sidelined for most - if not all - of the remainder of 2014. Cousins instantly rises toward the top of the streaming quarterback ranks, as yesterday wasn't the first time the Michigan State alum put up nice numbers in RGIII's stead. Cousins hasn't proven a model of efficiency during his pro career, posting a mediocre .39 fantasy points per attempt (FPAT) thanks to a couple blow-up performances. Cousins has a potentially fantastic matchup next week against Philadelphia, followed by terrible matchups against the Giants and Seahawks. Cousins isn't a must-grab for RGIII owners, who have now entered the streaming world for the next three months. Welcome.
A.J. Green could very well miss next week's game with turf toe - an insidious injury that often lingers for weeks, if not months. The Bengals are reportedly considering holding Green out through their Week 4 bye week. I think Green owners should hope they do. Take your lumps and hope Green returns to full strength in October. Mohamed Sanu will see an uptick in opportunity, of course, but I don't see him as a waiver wire priority unless you're in a particularly deep league. Gio Bernard, after injuries to Tyler Eifert and Green, could set records for running back targets and receptions. Bernard has 11 catches for 141 yards through two games.
Donald Brown should be owned in every league, no matter the size. Ryan Mathews went down in a heap with what is thought to me an MCL sprain yesterday against Seattle, and Danny Woodhead is not going to take a workhorse role if (when) Mathews misses time. Brown had an incredibly efficient run over his final four games of 2013, notching a remarkable 1.4 fantasy points per touch over that stretch. Brown should be fresh too: he's carried the ball just nine times over two games as a Charger (though he caught seven passes against Seattle). Four of the Chargers' next four games are decidedly running back-friendly matchups. I would sell Lamar Miller upon news that Knowshon Moreno will miss the next 4-8 weeks with an elbow injury. The concept of Miller as Miami's primary ball carrier is probably better than the reality of Miller as the Dolphins' main backfield guy. We know what Miller is, and I don't think he's a runner who will show he deserves a full workload while Moreno recovers. I'm not saying to sell Miller at all costs, but if someone is willing to part with a top-25 receiver, for instance, don't dismiss the offer. Perhaps it'd be best to package Miller with another player off to an unsustainably hot start to 2014.
This isn't related to injury, but it's worth mentioning: Niles Paul's Week 2 stat line was not a fluke. No, he's not going to post 24 PPR points every week while Jordan Reed sits, but the chemistry Paul has with Cousins is undeniable and should not be ignored. Paul was targeted 10 times against Jacksonville - enough for him to finish as Sunday's N0. 3 tight end. DeSean Jackson's injury should be a major opportunity boon for Paul and Andre Roberts. Washington has a spate of favorable tight end matchups coming up, making Paul a must-grab off the waiver wire and a plugged-in starter in most leagues. I ranked Paul as my No. 10 tight end in Week 2, which will likely be the lowest I rank him as long as he's getting starter's snaps.
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