Fantasy Football Week 2: What you missed Thursday night, featuring the Bengals and Texans' ineptitude
Miss news from around the NFL Thursday? Chris Towers catches you up on everything you need to know, starting with an ugly Thursday night game that made no fantasy players happy.
The Bengals backfield is still a mess
We warned you before the season. Joe Mixon might be the most talented back in this backfield, but until Marvin Lewis sees it, it doesn't much matter. In Week 1, Mixon played just 22 of 64 offensive snaps, and that number actually went in the wrong direction in Week 2, as he played 16 of 64. Jeremy Hill, meanwhile, played just 15 snaps, up from 10 in the opener.
Thursday, as it was in the opener, Giovani Bernard got the majority of the work, this time logging 33 snaps. Of course, nobody did much with their time on the field:
- Mixon: Nine carries for 36 yards, one catch for 5 yards
- Bernard: Five carries for 10 yards, two catches for 16 yards
- Hill: Six carries for 17 yards, one catch for 2 yards
We still hope and expect Mixon to start carving out a bigger workload as the season goes on, though he hasn't exactly impressed so far either. On 17 carries, Mixon has just 45 yards (2.6 per carry), with just one missed tackle forced. Mixon also averaged just 3.9 yards per carry in the preseason.
One big game might be enough for Mixon to run away with the job, especially with Hill looking so lifeless. However, he just hasn't done it yet, which means you can't trust him. Especially because …
The Bengals offense is a mess
Eight quarters into the season, and a team with A.J. Green, Tyler Eifert, Hill, Bernard and Mixon (not to mention TWO early-round picks at WR over the past two years), has yet to score a touchdown. In two home games.
Granted, the Ravens and Texans could be two of the best defenses in football, but it's fair to say this has been an absolute disaster so far. We liked Andy Dalton coming into the season as a sleeper or bye-week fill in, but the offensive line just isn't giving him any time to get the ball in the hands of those skill players.
Green and Eifert are, obviously, must-own players, and Mixon has too much upside to drop either. Beyond that, I'm not sure there is a single player on this roster you can't afford to drop next time waivers run.
Deshaun Watson wasn't bad, but he didn't cure Houston's issues
"Wasn't bad" might be a stretch.
Watson probably isn't ready to be an NFL quarterback yet. It's only two partial games, but he has averaged a woeful 4.8 yards per pass attempt so far, and hasn't shown much ability to move the ball down field – all four of his pass attempts of 20 yards or more have been incomplete.
Watson is peppering DeAndre Hopkins with targets, which isn't a bad thing for his Fantasy appeal. And his rushing ability provided the Texans' their only score of Week 2, an impressive 49-yard scamper that ultimately won the game. He isn't doing much to move this offense forward, but he has looked better than Tom Savage did in the opener, and his rushing ability and willingness to lean on Hopkins at least make him a better option for their Fantasy purposes.
That being said, in a 12-team league, Hopkins and Lamar Miller are the only Texans you need to own on offense. And Hopkins might be the only must-start of the two.
Other notes from TNF
Lamar Miller still looks like Lamar Miller … We were hoping to see a bounceback season from Miller, but that hasn't been the case so far. Miller has been pretty much exactly who he was last season, averaging 63 rushing yards on 3.6 YPC through two games. He has 8 and 9 Fantasy points in his first two games, which is fine. But we were hoping for better, if not expecting it.
John Ross played just five snaps … Fumbling on his first NFL touch certainly didn't help, but it's fair to wonder if the benching was as much a result of his lack of conditioning after being injured. We'll see moving forward. The speedster remains an intriguing stash, but nothing more.
Tyler Eifert got a bit more involved … But not much. His three-catch, 42-yard night leaves him with just four catches for 46 yards on the season. The bigger concern: Of Andy Dalton's 66 pass attempts, only five have gone Eifert's way so far.
Tyler Boyd was scratched with hamstring tightness … It originally seemed like Boyd was a healthy scratch Thursday, but it was revealed after inactives came out that Boyd was scratched with a late hamstring injury. The 2016 second-rounder is not worth owning at this point.
What else you need to know from around the NFL:
The constant daily updates are getting a little tiring. Beckham is making progress, having put in limited practices without reported issues over the past two days. However, he did reveal Thursday that his ankle injury was originally given a 6-to-8-week timetable, meaning he still isn't quite at the point where he is expected to be fully healthy.
This is new, but it doesn't necessarily change how we view Beckham at this point. He's making progress in the short term, and could play this week. However, this would have been nice to know back when the injury happened, because initial reports made it sound much less serious.
Peterson downplayed the moment cameras caught him yelling at coach Sean Payton on Monday, and he's not necessarily complaining about his usage in Week 1. In fact, he understands why things went the way they did:
"I didn't sign up for nine snaps, though, but unfortunately that's the way the game played out. In my mind, personally, I knew it was gonna take some adjusting. You know, me and [Mark Ingram] played in the last preseason game, [Alvin Kamara] didn't even play that game. So with all three of us being out there, I knew it would take a game or so to kind of get adjusted."
This isn't an issue yet, but it's not hard to see how it could become one pretty quickly. Week 2 could be another game where the Saints have to throw the ball early and often, and that is naturally going to favor Ingram and Kamara. Add in that Ingram still seems likely to get a heavy share of the rushing work, and Peterson is going to find work hard to come by most weeks. We told you he was being overdrafted coming into the season, and he shouldn't be considered a Fantasy starter at this point.
Jay Ajayi has been dealing with knee soreness ... This is one of those, "It's not an issue — yet!" issues. He's "just a little sore" according to head coach Adam Gase, but it's something to keep an eye on given the concerns about Ajayi's knee coming into the season.
Jamison Crowder (hip) is practicing in full … Crowder managed just 14 yards on seven targets in Week 1, so it'll be nice to see him at full strength. Consider him a viable WR start.
Danny Amendola (concussion) continues to sit out practice … It's looking more and more like Chris Hogan is going to see a massive role in Week 2. We could also see more from Phillip Dorsett in what should be a shootout. Consider Hogan a solid starting option, but don't trust Dorsett unless you're desperate.
Golden Tate (finger) was limited at practice Thursday … This doesn't sound like a concern at all, and it didn't slow him down in Week 1. "I didn't think it really impacted me at all, just a little pain. I caught every pass from then on out that came my way, so I got nine more."
Richard Sherman (hamstring) missed practice Thursday … That's two days in a row Sherman hasn't practiced. Keep an eye on Friday, but don't expect to downgrade Seattle's defense too much against the 49ers. All it might do is make Pierre Garcon a more viable flex play.
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