Fantasy Football Believe It or Not: Tom Brady is the No. 1 quarterback again, Chris Carson is a workhorse in Seattle
Heath Cummings looks at a wild Week 2 and tells you what you should believe, and what you shouldn't.
After one week it's easy to say "don't overreact" at every observation you see. It's not necessarily smart, but it's easy. It gets a little bit harder each week after that. An 0-2 record in a 13-week Fantasy season feels like time to panic.
It's even easier (and more advisable?) to buy into the first two weeks when they confirm a trend we've seen in the past. After missing Week 1 due to Irma, we're back to help you decide what you should believe from the first two weeks of the season.
Remember when Tom Brady was all washed up? The Saints don't.
Brady torched the Saints in Week 2 for 447 yards and three touchdowns and it could have been even worse. Brady threw all three touchdowns in the first quarter and only attempted two passes in the final 10 minutes of the game.
This was with a receiving corps that started out with only three healthy receivers and saw Chris Hogan get injured mid-game. This was also with Rob Gronkowski leaving due to a reportedly minor groin injury. This was as impressive as quarterback performances get and a good reminder why he's the greatest of all time. Brady's also going to be the greatest of 2017 if you're talking Fantasy value.
Verdict: Believe it
Yes, it was the Saints. I don't care.
What happened in Week 2 highlighted the reason I had Brady as the No. 1 quarterback in the preseason. The Patriots' pass-catching depth is incredible. They've lost Malcolm Mitchell, Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola to injury. Hogan and Gronkowski were both hobbled in this game. They were fine.
There is no quarterback I would rather have over the rest of 2017 than Brady.
Chris Carson is must-own as the best running back in Seattle
It's rare to see a training camp star ascend so quickly, but let there be no doubt about Chris Carson.
It is happening.
Carson was one of the few bright spots in the Seahawks putrid Week 2 performance against San Francisco. He ran the ball 20 times for 93 yards and caught another pass for 7. This was just a continuation of what we saw all preseason, Chris Carson is Seattle's most dynamic running back.
Verdict: Believe it
With Thomas Rawls available, the team made Eddie Lacy inactive, which tells you all you need to know about that little experiment. Rawls himself only saw five carries in the game (for a measly 4 yards). While you could definitely make an argument they were just getting his feet wet, there's really no reason at this point to think he steals Carson's job.
When and if both Thomas Rawls and C.J. Prosise are 100 percent, this could very well turn into a super-committee, but Carson will be at the head of that committee. He's also still available in 33 percent of leagues and should be your.
It tells you something about the growth of the Titans franchise that they just trounced the Jaguars 37-16, and we're worried about their quarterback and their running back. Well, one of their running backs.
DeMarco Murray saw just nine carries on Sunday and was completely. Murray now has 69 rushing yards on the season and has yet to reach the end zone. Henry had 92 yards on the ground and a touchdown in Week 2 alone. It's clear who the best running back in Tennessee is, I just hope Murray owners drafted Henry too.
As for Mariota, his performance wouldn't be so concerning if we were drafting him to perform as he did last season. But I thought he had a chance to be a top-five quarterback and he looks nothing like that right now. What's more, Eric Decker has been inefficient at best and Corey Davis can't get his hamstring healthy. Mariota is a borderline top-12 quarterback who is matchup dependent.
Verdict: Don't believe it
Not yet anyway. Murray is battling a hamstring issue that has been bothering him since before the season started. It's not serious and I'm hoping they just give him a week off to get it right. Henry is a fine running back, but he won't replace Murray's work in the passing game and he won't supplant him as the No. 1 running back unless the injury gets worse. Besides, what are you going to do? Sell low?
I'm also not worried about Mariota yet. If anything, it was encouraging that he didn't bomb against a bad matchup with a terrible game script. Mariota has scored two fewer Fantasy points than Matt Ryan so far this year and he's outscored Cam Newton, Russell Wilson and Kirk Cousins. I still believe he has the ability to take the next step in 2017.
Todd Gurley is a No. 1 running back again
There was a lot of talk after Todd Gurley's inefficient Week 1 performance (that was salvaged by a touchdown) that you should sell high on him. As someone who knows a thing or two about, I hope you didn't listen.
We saw vintage 2015 Gurley in Week 2. He was leaping over defenders, making decisive jump cuts, and scoring touchdowns. He finished the game with 136 yards and two touchdowns. Now would be the time to sell high, but I'm not. Todd Gurley is going to be a top-10 running back the rest of the season.
Verdict: Believe it
Gurley isn't just "vintage" Gurley. He's a new-and-improved version that comes with a pass-catching upgrade. He has eight receptions in the first two weeks of the season and has looked his best in the open field. Any idea that the Rams would need to employ a third-down back has been dashed by Gurley's excellence in that area.
On a team with a developing quarterback who loves to dump it off short, Gurley's receiving ability may turn out to be his most valuable. There will be people shopping him in the coming week and I'll be making offers.
Well that didn't last long. After a productive Week 1, including several red zone targets, Amari Cooper again took a back seat to Michael Crabtree. Crabtree scored three touchdowns and was the No. 1 wide receiver in Fantasy in Week 2.
This is the third year we've expected Cooper to become the true No. 1 in Oakland, and it's going to be the third year we're disappointed. Crabtree is 1A in this offense and the favorite of Derek Carr's in the red zone.
Verdict: Don't believe it
Cooper was the better receiver in Week 1 and he will be from this point forward as well. There is no true No. 1 in Oakland, but Cooper's talent and deep-ball ability will lead to more Fantasy points in the long run. He's a borderline No. 1 in Fantasy and Crabtree is a solid No. 2. This would be an excellent time to try to buy low on Cooper.
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