Sometimes when your opponents zig, you need to zag. With Week 1 in the books, Doug Moore presents his Week 2 fantasy football bold predictions that will separate you from the competition.
Now that the NFL season has officially started, fantasy football is in full swing, with surprises each week. Here are my 10 bold predictions for Week 2.
Odell Beckham Jr. bounces back in a big way
For most players, four receptions for 73 yards would be a solid performance. But for the Giants star receiver, it’s a tad below average for him. Luckily for him, he has one of the easiest matchups of his career coming in Week 2 against the Saints. New Orleans gave up 137 receiving yards to Amari Cooper in Week 1 and lost top cornerback Delvin Breaux to injury during the game. With such an easy matchup Beckham should gain at least 100 yards receiving and one touchdown if not more.
Derek Carr throws a TRIO of touchdowns
Oakland‘s franchise quarterback is coming off of a solid performance in Week 1 against the Saints with over 300 yards passing and a touchdown throw. He did well connecting with both Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree in a shootout. Carr will face the Falcons, who gave up over 280 yards and four touchdowns to Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, in Week 2. It is not out of the question that Carr could have a similar performance as Winston, as he started off on the right foot in Week 1.
Peterson entered Week 1 with a solid matchup against the Titans and came out with a very uninspiring performance. He amassed just 31 yards on 19 carries and could not get going at all. After losing starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater for the season, Shaun Hill stepped in and did not intimidate Tennessee’s defense at all. The Vikings faces a Packers team in Week 2, that only gave up 39 yards on 21 carries to T.J. Yeldon last week. Peterson should be fine overall in 2016, but he will struggle again this week against the division foe.
New quarterback, better results. Gary Barnidge returns to glory
The Cleveland Browns tight end laid a big goose egg on Sunday (two targets, zero receptions) with new quarterback Robert Griffin III. It was a big disappointment after Barnidge’s breakout season in 2015. But Griffin broke a bone in his non-throwing shoulder and has been placed on injured reserve, which means that Josh McCown will be back under center for the Browns. McCown was Barnidge’s quarterback for half of 2015 and helped him break out initially. With McCown under center for the foreseeable future, Barnidge will have no problem putting up top-eight tight end numbers against the Bills in Week 2.
Tyler Lockett continues to let down fantasy owners
Coming into this season, the Seahawks wideout had big expectations placed on him in fantasy football. He flashed some real potential at points during his rookie season and some expected him to take the next step in his second year. It’s not out of the question that he can, but it won’t happen in Week 2. He did have eight targets in Week 1 but only came away with three receptions for 17 yards. Doug Baldwin functioned as the #1 WR for Russell Wilson with nine receptions, 92 yards, and a touchdown. Speaking of Wilson, he is dealing with an ankle injury that will not prevent him from starting but could limit his effectiveness in Week 2.
If that’s the case, it’ll be even more difficult for Lockett to do well against the Rams, who only allowed seven receptions for 73 yards against the 49ers on Monday. Regardless, Lockett can’t be trusted in Week 2 for a big game given all the factors heading into the game.
C.J. Anderson goes for 150 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns
Anderson started off his 2016 season in a terrific way, gaining 139 yards from scrimmage (92 rushing, 47 receiving) to go with two total touchdowns for the Broncos. That was against one of the toughest defenses in the NFL, the Carolina Panthers. In Week 2, he faces the Colts, who allowed Ameer Abdullah to gain 130 yards from scrimmage and 108 yards to Theo Riddick, as well. The Colts defense is in shambles as it was already one of the weaker built units before the current injuries they are dealing with. It’s a great matchup for Anderson, and I could see him having an even better performance in Week 2 than he had in Week 1. He is a terrific play at running back this week.
Jimmy Garoppolo continues his upward trend with over 300 yards and two touchdowns
Garoppolo surprised a lot of people on Sunday night, throwing for over 270 yards and a touchdown against one of the best teams in the NFL,the Arizona Cardinals. Without Rob Gronkowski and numerous injuries to his offensive line, New England‘s starting quarterback showed poise and made some terrific throws in the upset victory. This week, he faces the Miami Dolphins. While they did give the Seahawks and Russell Wilson some issues, the Seahawks had an even worse offensive line than the Patriots. The Dolphins secondary is very weak on paper and Gronkowski has a chance to be back. It would not be surprising for him to put up a top-12 week for quarterbacks on Sunday.
Coby who? Coby Fleener continues to struggles with his new team
After signing a large contract with the Saints in the offseason, Fleener received a lot of hype in a very pass-friendly offense led by one of the best quarterbacks in the game. But Fleener hadn’t exactly done much to earn all of the hype in fantasy football that he had received. And that showed on Sunday, when he had four targets but only caught one pass for six yards. Michael Thomas, Brandin Cooks, Willie Snead, and Travaris Cadet all saw more targets than Fleener. Despite having a favorable matchup against the Giants, Fleener is clearly behind other players in the pecking order and may not have an impact for a while.
Emmanuel Sanders torches the Colts
While he had a less-than-stellar game against the Panthers in Week 1 (eight targets, five receptions, 49 yards), Sanders has a terrific matchup ahead of him in Week 2. Facing off against the depleted secondary of the Colts, Sanders has the chance to wreak havoc. His teammate Demaryius Thomas, is dealing with a hip injury and could be hindered, if he even suits up at all. That would give Sanders more opportunities to make plays. This game has all the makings of a shoot-out against the dangerous passing offense of the Colts. Sanders could have a six-to-eight reception game with 90-to-100 yards and a touchdown against the easily-burnable Colts defense.
Ezekiel Elliott comes back with a vengeance in a division matchup
“Zeke” didn’t necessarily have the best NFL debut last week for the Cowboys with 51 yards rushing on 20 attempts, but the fact that he received 20 carries is a good sign. He is established as the team’s workhorse running back and will continue to get a lot of work as Tony Romo recovers from a back injury. In Week 2, Elliott is going up against a Washington defense that gave up 143 yards and two touchdowns to DeAngelo Williams. Behind Dallas’ offensive line, it would be surprising to see Elliott not run for at least 100 yards and a touchdown. He will be a great play this week in fantasy.