The NFL returned last week. It was weird with no fans and with face shields (a shout out to Andy Reid) and Zoom interviews, but the actual football was surprisingly sharp. Fantasy football managers rejoiced, watching high-draft picks like Saints running back Alvin Kamara and prized beginners like Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire offering big fantasy points. Matthew Berry’s Week 2 Love / Hate column is here, with all the info on who looked good and will continue to do so, and which players you might want to sit on.
I have already told a version of this story, but it is worth repeating.
I went to college at Syracuse University (Go Cuse!), And while I was there Doritos decided to sponsor a national competition to find “The Funniest College Student in America”
His job was to act in a comedy, make the crowd laugh and act as a master of ceremonies, keeping the show moving among inexperienced college kids, many of whom were trying to stand up for the first time.
I remember it was a lot of fun, but once in his routine he told a joke that didn’t make people laugh much. Without missing a beat, he just shrugged. “Okay. I think that line is funny. You see, most of these lines are for you guys. But,” he said, pointing to himself, “that line? That line was for Leroy. So next time I tell a joke. you don’t laugh, you just think to yourself, ‘That must have been for Leroy.’ “And he consciously pointed to his temple as he laughed with that.
Soon after, in his series, another joke failed. He stopped, looked at the audience and said, “That was for Leroy.” He had a laugh with that.
The college kids were all doing their routines, one after another. They weren’t refined, but it was an easy, indulgent crowd that had been drinking all night, so most of the students got a handful of laughs with their routines. But then a very nervous freshman got up. Even in front of a sympathetic audience, this guy was just plain BRUTAL. Crickets after each beat. It wasn’t funny bad, it was uncomfortable bad. People couldn’t even garner pity laughter, and then this guy told such a horrible joke that he bombed the room. You could literally hear a pin drop, the room became so quiet.
The boy realized how bombed he had been and stood there in silence, a deer under the headlights for what seemed like an eternity. You could feel the sweat dripping off him. And then suddenly, out of nowhere, he pointed and said, “That was for Leroy!”
He took the house down.
While I was in Syracuse, my friends and I did a sitcom for two years on the student television station. And while we were writing it or performing it, often someone would make a joke that would have made us all laugh, but I knew it was too deep and made no sense to the audience. And the writer would defend it. “Hey, that’s for Leroy!” So we set up a rule of one Leroy line per episode – a line that was entirely for our pleasure, which was just to make us happy, which we found funny, and it didn’t matter if anyone else did.
When I moved to Los Angeles after college and became a sitcom and film writer, I had a production / loan company. I called it Leroy Productions.
It was a little disposable joke from a comedian … a standard joke that I’m sure he used every show whenever one of his lines didn’t come. But many years later, not only have I never forgotten it, I often think about it.
Especially in the spring of 2017, when I was called to the executive vice president of ESPN and the office of Norby Williamson, executive director of studio production.
Norby oversees much of what you watch and hear on ESPN, and after catching up, Norby asked me a question. “Have you ever seen ‘Mad Money’ with Jim Cramer?” I nodded. “Well,” he continued, “What do you think of a similar format but with you, all about fantasy football?”
We discussed further. Cramer’s show was just a starting point, he explained. He just liked the idea of having a host, talking directly to the camera with energy, and having fun talking about what can sometimes be a dry topic for TV given all the numbers associated with fantasy.
Norby asked me if I knew Ed Eck. Ed was a producer here at ESPN, and I said yes, I had worked with Ed many times over the years and we got along well. Norby said big. He wanted Ed and I to go and think about what the show was going to be like. As I was leaving, Norby told me I only had two rules:
1) It couldn’t look like anything else on ESPN. No desk, no tie, no highlights, no debate, no radio show like TV show, nothing. It had to look 100% different from anything else on the air.
2) It was to be ready in six weeks, launched after the Fantasy Football Marathon in early August.
Most shows take a year or more to develop, so this was definitely going to be a challenge. But Ed and I decided not to worry about this and instead focused on rule No. 1, a rule I quickly added to.
Not only could it not look like anything else on ESPN, I told Ed, I didn’t want it to look or sound like anything else I’ve done. I wanted it to be his world and offer his value proposition as to why people should watch. You may not have noticed it or maybe you did and just don’t care, but to love them or hate them, this column is a very different experience from the Fantasy Focus podcast. And the podcast is a different experience than Fantasy Football Now.
There are just so many players and so many ways to say “Start this guy, bench that”, so there is already some inherent uniformity that is inevitable when doing fantasy analysis. So, for the things we could check, I wanted it to be unique to ESPN, unique to everything else I’ve done, and finally added, unique to whatever someone else was doing when it came to fantasy football analytics. Just as Norby had requested, I wanted it to be different.
Because I’ve always been different. As a child, as an adult and certainly as a fantasy football analyst. I mean, hell, there are a thousand words in this thing and I still have to mention one player, you know? Against everyone’s advice, I often argued with superiors and the public who told me this is not how you do it, I kept doing it, I kept being weird. Enough of the long introductions, enough of the podcast jokes, enough of everything they said. I did not. My style isn’t for everyone (it still isn’t!) And I’ve had to fight year after year to make it the way I do. My answer is always the same. One of these days I’m sure I’ll find the right way to be a fictional analyst. But today is not that day. And so I struggled, fighting, clawing and fighting until spring 2017.
When, for the first time in my life, I’m literally told … go ahead, make it different.
So Ed and I met every day in his office and discussed ideas on exactly how to do this. I didn’t want the stereotypical host to ask me questions or another guy in a suit and tie to argue with me. Instead I asked Daniel Dopp, my podcast producer with a big beard, sleeve tattoos, and nose piercings, with whom I had a good relationship on the air. He certainly didn’t look like anyone else on ESPN. And and I both wanted the show to be filled with insightful and intelligent fantasy analysis. The focus of the show always had to be helping people win. But on that basis we both come from the school of thought that fantasy, more than anything else, is fun. It’s a hobby, something we play to get away, and the show should reflect that.
I’ve always been obsessed with puppets. From “Avenue Q” to Gary Puppet and Jackie Puppet in the days of “The Howard Stern Show” to “Pee-wee’s Playhouse”, I’ve loved the subversive humor you could get away with with puppets that might not fly if they came from the mouth of a human being. And it’s not like any other show on ESPN has puppets, so, you know, we started making puppets.
A real Bitter Berry from my podcast rants was natural, as was a wise, talking Crystal Ball, complete with a hoarse old cigarette voice. When you’ve been around forever and predict the future, you are seen some things, you know? Crystal would reflect that. Many of the debate programs on TV often use what is known as a “straw man” argument, refuting the point raised by attacking a distorted and exaggerated version of the original premise. So we should have, I said, a real straw man. Let him do the arguments of sports radio fanatics and Twitter users with egg avatars. Straw Man is a fan favorite and the character my daughters love the most, although I never know if it’s because they think he’s funny or because I really agree with him. Ah!
Between injuries, benches, and poor performance, the fantasy is often full of bad news, so was there a mechanism for delivering bad news? Which puppet could be the bearer of bad news? A shout out to Mitchell Clements, our first year technical assistant, who suggested a real Bear of Bad News. And playing with the horror of that pun, Ed decided the bear should be a failed stand-up comic.
The only thing better than a puppet is a robot, so obviously we had to have one. The dumbest way to do an injury segment? Ask Stephania Bell to come in with the “minions” dressed in skeleton outfits, of course, so she can report the injuries in her “Show me where it hurts” segment. From costumes to a very liberal use of a green screen, from “F, Marry, Chill (where the F, of course, stands for friend)” to our underperforming Monday star segment “What the #% $ @ Just Happened? ” we made ourselves laugh. A lot.
As we rehearsed with Daniel doing wacky things, disco balls falling from the ceiling, socks with images of NFL players suddenly coming to life and talking puppets all over the place as a robot and a boy in a bear costume wandered, it happened to us very clearly .
There is no way this show will last.
We were operating in our little bubble developing the show and considering the short time it took to air, I was certain that when the people at ESPN finally saw how stupid and weird it was, we were sure we would be canceled. Sooner rather than later. So fuck it, man. Let’s just do what we want and make ourselves happy. We go out in a blaze of glory. This show is for Leroy.
And so the countdown began. I asked Ed if we could get a sign made, like those signs you see in factories. You know, those “We have ___ accident-free days!” signs? We should put one, I said, that says “____ days without cancellation”. It is located right next to the door I pass through at the start of each show. So we diligently drew a “1” on the “Days without cancellation” sign and launched on ESPN2, on time, as we made a very specific promise to our viewers. “Give us 20 minutes,” we said. “We promise to make you a much smarter fantasy player. And a much dumber person.”
And then a funny thing happened on the road to immediate cancellation and derision. People liked it. People liked it internally, people watching ESPN2 liked it. Not all, of course. It’s true with everything I do. But many more people liked it than not.
So we kept adding numbers to that sign.
After the first season, the bosses came back to me. ESPN + was starting up, it was a huge business priority, and they were assembling content to put on the platform. Content that they believed people would want to pay for. Content like … “The Fantasy Show”.
I couldn’t believe we were getting a second season of this ridiculous. They know we have angry, foul-mouthed puppets, right? That we now have talking watercoolers, cartoon aliens, a low-cost superhero named Waiver Man, and a guy in a giant caterpillar suit who grudgingly brings out stats for us to discuss called The Stat-a-Pillar? They know, don’t they? They did, and yes, they wanted more.
So we jumped on ESPN + and got even dumber (a personal favorite was Daniel who started a rival network on our show called ESPN Minus), and I’ll be damned but yeah, people have supported it with subscriptions. And we kept adding numbers to that sign.
Last Thursday, the Thursday of week 1 of the NFL season, the first Thursday of season 4 of “The Fantasy Show”, we wrote issue 250.
We did 250 episodes of this stupid thing. In typical show fashion, we had fun with the issue, and ESPN even issued an ironic press release about it, in which I was told, “When I reflect on the incredible result of the 250th episode of The Fantasy Show, surpassing shows like “Seinfeld”, “The Office” and “MASH”, I can’t help but think that if those shows had puppets or talked more about fake football, maybe they would have lasted longer. “
I joked about this, but honestly I was (and continue to be) really, really, really proud of it. Of the show, of surviving, of finding a loyal audience, of the incredible team of people who work on the show every day to make the impossible happen. ESPN isn’t built for the kind of show we do – you’ll be surprised how hard it is to do a show with puppets, props and robots and (this year) cartoon characters. We don’t have any budget for professional voice actors, so every character on the show is played by a staff member, who all have actual work on the show they have to do.
During this 250th episode or so, Brian Lockhart, vice president and executive producer, original content for ESPN +, was asked about our stupid little show. This is what he said:
“The best thing about ‘The Fantasy Show’ with Matthew Berry is that there is nothing like it anywhere on any platform. It is truly unique, both in its approach and in the people who run the show. There is a perfect combination of comedy and in-depth statistical analysis that actually makes fantasy players smarter. Add the fact that there’s only one Matthew Berry and no one works harder than Matthew, Daniel, Ed and the show’s production team. It’s something no one else can match – no wonder it’s one of the most popular shows on ESPN +. “
I mean, right? What do you say? He’s right about how hard the show’s production staff are to work. Starting at the top with the man overseeing the production of the fantasy and gambling studio for the company, Scott Clark, aka @all_biz, Adam Schefter of The War Room League and the man Scott Clark represented me in fantasy a few years ago. Our producers, Dennis Renno and Bryan Rubin, our directors, Becky Coole and Javi Escalante, our production assistants, Lexa Paluszewski and Tatiyana Smallwood, staff researcher (who helped with this column) Kevin Pulsifer and, of course, producer show business, researcher and The Stat-a-Pillar himself, Damian Dabrowski. And there have been many who have worked hard and done a great job on the show over the years who now work elsewhere, but they will always be part of the family.
But I want to give special thanks to Ed Eck, of course, Daniel Dopp and our best producer and the man who writes every script on the show, DJ Gallo. They’ve all been there from the start, the only ones who’ve been there for all 250 episodes. I couldn’t do the show without any of them, but especially these three.
And another guy I have to mention that we absolutely couldn’t do the show without.
That first year we only had the budget for four puppets. (Turns out puppets are a lot more expensive than you’d think). So when we met with the puppet boys, they suggested a puppet in a suit. This way you could do a lot of different things with it, change the hair color, add glasses or mustache, you could make the puppet be a reporter, lawyer or game agent, etc., etc. You could get a lot of characters from a generic puppet in a suit. And a light bulb went on.
No, we said, we don’t want a puppet in a suit and tie. We want a puppet that is a dress. Obviously a show like this needs a puppet boss. A puppet boss yelling at Daniel and me, pointing out all the many things at ESPN that are better than our terrible show.
During rehearsals we instinctively called the puppet “Norby” after our real-life boss. But before we aired, I remember showing Norby a clip of the puppet boss character to see what he thought and make sure he agreed. He was fine with it.
And then we said “Well, we want to call him Norby”.
Norby: “You shouldn’t name it after – ahh, I don’t care. If you think it’s funny, go ahead.”
Unlike puppet Norby, who yells at us not to talk enough about LeBron or wish our show had a real star like Stephen A. Smith, the real Norby is incredibly supportive. “If you think it’s funny, go ahead.”
Not much happens on television … everywhere. Where do you find someone powerful in your corner who supports you and says, “If you think it’s fun, go ahead.” Who basically says “I trust you to make it good, smart and fun and I’ll give you the support you need to do it” giving you the space and freedom to do it the way you think works best. But it happened here. So yes, none of this exists without the real Norby Williamson.
There’s a lesson there, on how to pursue what you like and not worry if someone else likes it, and another management lesson on how to help people do just that. But in the end, I just want to leave you with this:
As ESPN + is still growing, “The Fantasy Show” reaches a smaller audience than anything else I do for the company. But while I love my work and enjoy all aspects of it, I have to tell you … “The Fantasy Show” is my favorite thing to do. I really, really love it and the people I have the honor of working with. And I hope you watch it if you don’t already. Because he’s good, smart, funny and different. But what if you don’t? All right. And I know this introduction was really long, even by my standards, but you know what else? I do not care
Because the show and this introduction are entirely for Leroy.
Let’s see it.
As always, “Love / Hate” is not a start / sit column, but simply about expectations and players that I believe will exceed or not live up to general expectations. Here we are.
Quarterback that I love in the second week
Points projected by ESPN: 19.5
The year is 2029. Self-driving flying cars are finally on the market, allowing the few Americans who no longer work full time on Zoom to watch the 1,000th episode of The Fantasy Show on ESPN + on their way to work. Meanwhile, fantasy managers are still reluctant to get Allen to leave despite his 10 consecutive years finishing in the top 10 fantasy quarterbacks. OK, well, so flying cars may never come (although I ask the flying car scientists to start working on that technology immediately), but Allen sure did and it’s time we all realized it. Sure, we might not get the pass we got him in the first week of every game, but even with 46 career high passing attempts, Allen still ran 14 times for 57 yards and a touchdown. Whereas in week 2 he faces a Dolphins defense that has just been ripped apart Cam Newton on the ground and that Allen averages 31.1 points per game in his career against Miami, Allen is not just a love for me (I am in the top four this week), he is a must to start going come on. Don’t wait until 2029 to jump on the Josh Allen (flying) train.
Points projected by ESPN: 20.8
Look, I’m not going to press the panic button on Brady after week 1. I would tell the Panthers to press the panic button on their defense, but they probably wouldn’t be able to make contact with the panic button and eventually it would waltz untouched area. Carolina had her fourth worst defense in the red zone in 2019 and in week 1 allowed three touchdowns in four red zone trips by the Raiders. Even with Brady’s fights last week on the road against a good Saints defense, he was still QB13 in the fantasy and just 1.3 points away from being in the top 10. While Chris Godwin was put on the concussion protocol on Wednesday is #notideal, it doesn’t matter to me. Tom has been hearing the criticism all week and the Panthers will pay for it. Expect him to be one of the top ten players this week against a decidedly bottom ten defense.
Field Yates says any fictional manager who is disappointed with Tom Brady’s 20.5 points of fantasy against the Saints must restore their expectations.
Points projected by ESPN: 17.5
Will Newton get injured if he keeps running as much as he did in the first week? Could be. How am I supposed to know? It is not my job to predict the future. Sorry, what? Yes, go ahead. Ah OK. I am told in my ear that predicting the future is exactly my job. Well then I’ll tell you that Newton is healthy now and a healthy Newton is a fantasy star. Two hasty touchdowns last year; Since Newton joined the NFL, he has been leading all players in quick goal-to-go touchdowns. Considering last season Seattle was the fifth worst goal to go defense and allowed the Falcons to convert twice to goal to go situations in week 1, this week I find myself in Newton as a strong top-10 in what I predict it will be an epic battle with Russell Wilson.
Others who get votes
A Browns defense that gave up on a championship 10.9 YPA and third-highest completion rate in week 1 is playing in a short week and is really slammed, as more starters in the Cleveland secondary are out for this match. So give me Joe Burrow, who had eight carries for 46 yards and a score last week and should find the pass much easier this week as a top-15 in week 2. … for deeper leagues, two-quarterback leagues or as a game of punt DFS, take into account Teddy Bridgewater against the Buccaneers. The Bucs will likely keep Carolina’s game in check – Christian McCaffrey averaged just 1.7 yards per fetch against the Bucs in 2019 – and Carolina should also be significantly behind (see Brady, Tom). That means a heavy game script for Teddy B. And quietly, Bridgewater showed some ongoing promise last week as well. He joined Russell Wilson, Lamar Jackson, and Josh Allen as the only quarterbacks to go through 270 yards and run for 25 in week 1. … Another two QB or deep league game: Yes, Philip Rivers he fought in the first week, but none fought worse than the defense of the Vikings. That unit may want to head north over the border where it could find some CFL offenses it could potentially handle. Rivers won’t do as well as Aaron Rodgers against Vikings in Week 1, but that Colts heavy attack shouldn’t be struggling to move the ball.
Quarterback I hate in the second week
Points projected by ESPN: 17.7
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I’m a big Washington homer as there is, but even I was like, um, Philly, what the hell was it last week? An offensive line that has been decimated by injury could get some help (Lane Johnson, who missed the first week, trained fully on Wednesday), but nonetheless. The line is young and a work in progress. And after giving up eight (eight!) Bags in week 1 to Ryan Kerrigan, Chase Young & Co., Wentz now has to contend with Aaron Donald and friends. Donald and the Rams were in sixth place in the highest pressure rate in week 1. I have Wentz out of my top 12 this week in all leagues except the ones that award fantasy points for being pushed to the ground.
Points projected by ESPN: 18.4
Do you know what’s wrong with a quarterback? Losing one of the best football receivers (#analysis). But just because it’s obvious that Michael Thomas is missing from this game is bad for Brees doesn’t mean it’s not true. Last season, Thomas accounted for 30.1% of Brees’ fantasy points. Yes, they will work to get Emmanuel Sanders in step with the times, they have Jared Cook and Alvin Kamara off the pitch and we also saw Tre’Quan Smith having great days. The number above / below here is high and nothing we have seen in week 1 since defending the Raiders scares us. But I’m afraid the Saints are going to run more here (they had a 47.7% overhang rate last week in a game they were leading for a long time, and are very favorites at that), especially since their defense shouldn’t have problem stop the Raiders. Plus, there’s always a chance the Taysom Hill vultures are working as manager Sean Payton tries to be creative to explain Thomas’s absence (Hill has over 15 shots played in five consecutive games). Gut calls, but it seems the Saints win this match, they win easily and don’t need much from Brees to do it. It’s out of my top 10 of the week.
The running backs that I love in the second week
Points projected by ESPN: 14.8
If the Panthers are done leaving the panic mark, could they send it to everyone with Austin Ekeler on their team? Everyone except me, that is. While fantasy managers have gone crazy over Ekeler’s lack of use of the passing game in week 1 and reports from Anthony Lynn stating QB checkdowns will be less of a part of the Chargers game plan, I’m choosing to focus on the fact. that Ekeler GOT 19 CARRIES in week 1 (19!). I’m sorry, but I don’t think the Chargers are going to say, you know, we have one of the best running backs in football, you know what we should do? Fewer steps to him. The receptions will arrive. And I think it starts this week against a Chiefs defense who, since the start of last season, gave up more yards in reception on running backs and a fourth most catch, while coughing up to 4.95 yards per carry. last week in Houston. Magazines are 8.5 point underdogs in this one, so expect plenty of passes to reach them and Ekeler returning to PPR monster state in week 2.
Austin Ekeler only had one goal in week one, but Matthew Berry is not worried considering Ekeler had 20 touches on Sunday.
Points projected by ESPN: 16.1
The year was 2016. America faced the presidential election, LeBron James made it through the NBA playoffs, and David Johnson was a fantasy star. Ah, remember. OK, so even in 2020 some things haven’t changed. I’ve been saying throughout the offseason that Bill O’Brien would try to justify DeAndre Hopkins trading by featuring Johnson heavily this season, and that happened in week 1: 74% of Houston RB’s touches went to his new acquisition. In week 2, he should only go up with Duke Johnson slammed. I see. The Ravens defense is scary, but a lot of work for Johnson in this one against a Baltimore defense that allowed 5.7 yards per run in the opening.
Points projected by ESPN: 15.5 (Taylor), 10.5 (Hines)
You had me at “Minnesota”. Dopo aver tossito per oltre 175 yard e un atterraggio precipitoso su una media di 4,96 yard per carry la scorsa settimana ai Packers, sono entusiasta di vedere cosa fa loro questa coppia dinamica questa settimana. Con Marlon Mack sfortunatamente perso per la stagione, Taylor assume il ruolo di lead-back prima di quanto ci aspettassimo e lui, insieme a Hines, avrà anche molto lavoro nel gioco di passaggio. Poco meno del 50% dei completamenti della prima settimana di Philip Rivers è andato al running back, poiché Hines e Taylor si sono uniti per 14 ricezioni. La propensione di Rivers a lanciarsi alle sue spalle, combinata con un Vikes D che ha permesso nove ricezioni RB nella settimana 1, mi ha pronto a parlare con questi ragazzi del 252 ° episodio di The Fantasy Show su ESPN +. Taylor è tra i primi 10 questa settimana e Hines è un giocatore di alto livello per i campionati PPR.
Matthew Berry si aspetta che Jonathan Taylor condivida il carico di lavoro con Nyheim Hines, ma lo riterrà comunque un must per il resto della stagione.
Altri che ricevono voti
L’attacco dei Bucs ha faticato nella prima settimana, ma Ronald Jones II è stato un punto luminoso, ottenendo il 73% dei tocchi di RB di Tampa Bay. Se quel volume continua (è sempre rischioso con Bruce Arians, ma mi aspetto cautamente che continui questa settimana), Jones è in fila per una bella giornata contro una difesa della Carolina che è finita la scorsa stagione come la peggiore difesa contro RB e è stata ferita da Josh Jacobs la scorsa settimana. … Come Jonathan Taylor in Indy, pensavamo J.K. Dobbins alla fine avrebbe ricevuto la maggior parte del carico di lavoro a Baltimora. Semplicemente non pensavamo che sarebbe successo così in fretta. Dobbins ha portato Ravens indietro in scatti nella settimana 1 ed è stato in grado di convertire entrambi i suoi porta goal-to-go. Ora affronta una D texana che consente al quarto posto più fantasy di correre back dal 2019. … Lo so David Montgomery non è una scelta entusiasmante, ma considerando che i Giants hanno appena permesso a Benny Snell Jr. di correre per oltre 100 yard, non c’è motivo per cui Montgomery non possa fare lo stesso nella settimana 2. … Come menzionato nella sezione Drew Brees, io si aspettano che New Orleans vada ancora più pesante senza Thomas in formazione e in una partita sono fortemente favoriti per la vittoria. Tranquillamente, Latavius Murray aveva 15 trasporta la scorsa settimana.
I running back che odio nella settimana 2
Punti proiettati da ESPN: 11.4
Saquon Barkley aveva 15 trasporta per appena 6 yarde contro gli Steelers lunedì notte. Notizie flash: Melvin Gordon non è Saquon Barkley. Certo, la linea offensiva di Denver non è così male come quella dei Giants, e con Phillip Lindsay probabilmente manca questa partita con la punta del tappeto erboso dovrebbe esserci più lavoro per Gordon, ma comunque, la linea difensiva degli Steelers non è uno scherzo, avendo permesso solo cinque atterrando di corsa agli RB nelle ultime 17 partite. Dall’inizio del 2019, solo un running back è riuscito a segnare 14 o più punti contro Pittsburgh (Kareem Hunt), e sto dicendo che il fatto è ancora vero dopo domenica.
Punti proiettati da ESPN: N / A
Stessa partita qui, e se James Conner è attivo, non ho idea di come potresti sentirti sicuro di farlo partire dopo quello che abbiamo visto la scorsa settimana, dove era inefficace e (ancora una volta) ha lasciato il gioco in anticipo a causa di un infortunio. E anche se fosse fuori, ti sentiresti meglio a far rotolare Benny Snell Jr. là fuori, ma non di molto. La parte anteriore dei Broncos ha tenuto Derrick Henry a 3,7 yard per carry la scorsa settimana, lo ha fermato tre volte diverse su rush da porta a porta e dall’inizio del 2019 ha rinunciato a soli sette touchdown veloci (pari al quarto in meno).
Punti proiettati da ESPN: 11.0
Ecco la parte strana: mi piace Brown. Come lui come un corridore e penso che il suo lavoro sia probabilmente più sicuro di quanto si meriti. Vedrai alcuni Cam Akers, ne sono sicuro, ma questo non è perché dubito che abbia un carico di lavoro completo. Ma piuttosto perché gli Eagles sono un incontro molto difficile. Sì, Peyton Barber è caduto in end zone due volte la scorsa settimana, ma ha fatto una media di 1,7 yard per carry on 17 (17!) Tentativi. Dall’inizio del 2019, Philly ha concesso il terzo minor numero di yard in corsa, il quarto YPC più basso e il settimo minor numero di punti fantasia agli RB avversari. Tutto questo in più, sai, potrei sbagliarmi completamente sul fatto che Brown abbia una forte presa sul lavoro. He’s a touchdown-dependent flex for me this week.
Matthew Berry reacts to Malcolm Brown’s performance in Week 1 vs. the Cowboys, and Field Yates adds that he’s widely available in leagues.
Pass-catchers I love in Week 2
ESPN projected points: 15.6
You know who I really love? The Vikings’ “secondary.” Not only did they allow Aaron Rodgers to torch them (and later in this article their poor defense may come up again when discussing the Colts’ passing game Sunday; that’s what the kids call foreshadowing), but by putting Minnesota in negative game script, it means Kirk Cousins has to start passing. When he starts passing, he passes to Thielen. Thielen had an insane 32% target share last week, and for his career when he sees 8+ targets he averages 21.7 PPG. Shouldn’t be a tough matchup with the Colts, who allowed a 92.9% catch rate and three scores to the Jaguars last Sunday. With a sneaky high over/under of 48.5 (as of this writing), Thielen is locked in as a confident top 10.
ESPN projected points: 13.4
I’ll admit: My preseason prediction of Gallup’s ascension to fantasy superstar status got off to a slow start in Week 1. But, as Tony Stark said in “Avengers: Endgame,” part of the journey is a five-target, three-reception Week 1 road loss to the Rams that included a BS OPI call that wiped away a 47-yard reception. I haven’t seen the movie recently, but I’m pretty sure that’s a direct quote. I’m back on Gallup (and really, the entire Cowboys passing game) this week at home against a Falcons team that allowed the fourth-most yards to wide receivers in Week 1. Since the start of last season, the Falcons give up 15.5 yards per reception to WRs lined up wide, which is where Gallup gets most of his work. I expect Dallas to be pass-heavy on Sunday against that weak Falcons secondary, and Gallup averages 16.9 FPPG for his career in games in which he gets seven or more targets. Gallup remains a season-long Love for me, and I’m all in on him in Week 2.
ESPN projected points: 11.3
Clever readers who were paying attention may have noticed the very subtle hint I put in Adam Thielen’s write-up about Indy’s matchup with the Vikings “secondary.” Sorpresa! I was talking about Parris Campbell, who, lest you forget, was taken ahead of DK Metcalf, Diontae Johnson and fellow Ohio State product Terry McLaurin in the 2019 NFL draft. Forget his injury-plagued rookie season. The kid can flat-out play. The Colts love him — he led all Colts receivers in snaps and targets in Week 1 — and he responded with a team-high 71 receiving yards. Look for more of the same in Week 2 against that Vikings defense that gave up 22 receptions, 315 yards and four touchdowns to wideouts last week.
ESPN projected points: 12.1
Even in a game in which JuJu Smith-Schuster had two touchdown catches, and even after starting the game with a muffed punt and a dropped pass, Johnson still led the Steelers in targets on Monday night with 11. Targeted on 33.3% of his routes (tied for the sixth-highest rate among WRs who ran 20-plus routes in Week 1), he’s in the Antonio Brown role in the Re-Roethlisberger’d Pittsburgh offense, and the Johnson business should be booming in Week 2 against a Broncos pass defense that allowed 13 receptions and 147 yards to WRs lined up wide a week ago. Last chance to buy low. He’s gonna be awesome this year.
Matthew Berry feels extremely encouraged by Diontae Johnson’s performance against the Giants and adds that Johnson is a guy he would make a trade offer for.
ESPN projected points: 12.8
Sanders would be a Love for me this week even without Michael Thomas on the shelf. Sanders led all players in red zone targets in Week 1, while the Raiders have allowed the eighth-highest completion percentage in the red zone since the start of 2019. But, yes, now that he is in line to get even more targets because of Thomas’ injury? I like Sanders even more. He’s averaged 18.8 FPPG in his past eight games with at least six targets.
Others receiving votes
Regardless of whether Chris Godwin starts or is out due to being placed in the concussion protocol, give me some Scotty Miller against the Panthers. You know how I feel about Brady, and Miller (5-73 on six targets last week, plus he got a rushing attempt for 6 yards) has as good a matchup this week as he’ll see all year. … Dallas Goedert led the Eagles in targets, catches and yards in Week 1 and, since the start of 2019, among TEs he ranks seventh in targets, eighth in receptions and 10th in yards. Over the same period, the Rams — Goedert’s Week 2 opponent — allow a league-worst 12.7 yards per reception to tight ends. … Logan Thomas led my Football Team with eight targets in Week 1, and this week he gets an Arizona team that continues to be abysmal defending the tight end position. Field and Stephania made fun of me for bringing him up in the preseason, but Thomas is gonna be a thing this year, guys. He really is. Worth seeing if he’s still out there in your league. … I know, I know. He disappointed in a big way last week. But I kinda like Eric Ebron this week against a Broncos squad that gave up a score to Jonnu Smith last week and since the start of last year is top six in the NFL in most receptions and yards allowed to opposing tight ends.
With Michael Thomas out for Monday night football, Matthew Berry and Field Yates believe that Emmanuel Sanders can fill the fantasy void that Thomas is leaving.
Pass-catchers I hate in Week 2
ESPN projected points: 13.6
You know it pains me to say, but my little Kupp is on the Hate list. And it’s all because the Rams are giving him only a little bit of targets: just 52 in his past nine games. In the nine games before that? Kupp got 93 targets. A Kupp getting 10 targets a game is always a Love for me, but not one getting five.
ESPN projected points: 8.2
Facing a Bills defense that since the start of last year has allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to tight ends, you’re likely looking elsewhere. Nothing that Ryan Fitzpatrick did last week could inspire confidence here, especially in another tough matchup. Gesicki has over 51 yards in just three of 33 career games. You’re most likely gonna need a score for him to pay off here. In a game against Buffalo with the lowest over/under on the slate, how lucky do you feel?
ESPN projected points: 13.7
If putting Kupp on the Hate list was upsetting, how do you think I feel adding McLaurin, too? The answer: not great. By the way, “not great” is also the answer to the question: How has McLaurin’s target share been lately? Since Week 3 of 2019, McLaurin’s share has been scary, only twice getting more than seven targets in a game. He also has scored just two touchdowns in his past 10 games. Likely shadowed by Patrick Peterson as well, this is just … ugh. OK, the end of this column has made me sad. Time to wrap it up. Hope you all have a happy Week 2.
Matthew Berry, The Talented Mr. Roto, can’t wait for you to see what we have planned for Waiver Man this year on “The Fantasy Show” on ESPN+.