NFL Week 2 Hot Takes
Howard Bender gives you the hot takes rundown from all the action fantasy football owners saw during Week 2 of the NFL season.
Week 2 of the NFL season has come and gone and fantasy football owners are already eager to get back to work on their roster as they look for either redemption or a game plan to do more damage to their opponents. While we all escaped the injury bug, at least for the most part, but after everything we witnessed, there are certainly some hot takes from the weekend’s action that need to be addressed…
Patrick Mahomes is a Golden God
Yeah, that’s right! I can invoke the words of Stillwater’s Russell Hammond here and say that the second-year gunslinger is everything we hoped he would be and then some. At least that’s what Andy Reid is saying after his quarterback threw for 326 yards and six touchdowns to beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh on Sunday. While you can’t expect this kind of insanity every week, you can certainly expect that Reid will try to build off this each and every time. The good news is that if you’re a Mahomes owner, you can expect, win or lose, to see him out there chucking the ball all around the field. The bad news is if you’re a Kareem Hunt owner, you need to brace yourself for a very inconsistent ride. Sure, he got 18 carries Sunday and caught a pass he brought into the end zone, but establishing the ground game is something Reid feels he has to do, not something he wants to do. This offense goes through Mahomes’ arm, not Hunt’s legs – a big difference from what this system was with Alex Smith at the helm. Start making those trade offers for Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce because they’re going to be the primary beneficiaries.
Conor McGregor is not the Quarterback of the Buccaneers
A lot of people are going to come out and tell you that the Bucs are for real, Ryan Fitzpatrick is a must-own and Jameis Winston ’s future in Tampa is in jeopardy. That is just not the case. Is what we’re seeing FitzMagical? Yeah, sure. For now. But as teams start settling into the season and coaches get a better look at the schemes the opposition is running, things will change. Week 1 was a tremendous feat for the Bucs, but after watching the Saints against the Browns yesterday, is anyone impressed with that team? Absolutely not. And the Eagles, dealing with their Super Bowl hangover, definitely took their Week 2 opponent too lightly. There were numerous coverage breakdowns in that secondary and while we’re all having a little fun – that post-game presser was definitely funny – there’s a reason Ryan Fitzpatrick is a journeyman back-up these days and not a starting quarterback. Cream rises to the top in the NFL and it won’t be long before teams get a firm grip on the Bucs offense.
They Are Who We Thought They Were
Man, these Bills are bad. Like real bad. The defense is going to struggle all season long and while Josh Allen gave you a glimpse of his potential as a gunslinger, he just doesn’t have the weaponry to make any kind of a difference. Kelvin Benjamin still struggles to get separation, Zay Jones just looks like he’s haphazardly running around out there hoping someone throws to him and now with LeSean McCoy banged-up, there isn’t going to be much of a reason to keep stacking the box. The Chargers defense clearly took their foot off the gas yesterday, but the plan to keep targeting defenses against Buffalo is still very much in-play this year.
Maybe He Isn’t Who I Thought He Was
Looks like the change of scenery is actually making Eric Ebron fantasy relevant after all. It’s not that he went from a losing culture in Detroit to some winning culture in Indianapolis. It’s the way he is being used by Franck Reich in this system. With Jack Doyle manning the lead tight end role, Ebron is actually being used as a hybrid tight end/slot receiver and it’s freeing him up in the passing game a lot more. He’s got touchdowns in each of his first two games and Reich is finding plenty of ways to get him in mismatched coverage, allowing Andrew Luck to find him a lot more easily. If this continues, which it’s hard to see them not doing this each and every week, I may be served up a big plate of crow from the offseason.
And while I’m tying the napkin around my neck and getting ready to chow down, I should probably get an extra helping of Kenny Golladay too. Jim Bob Cooter is finally using him with regularity and while Marvin Jones is still going to see a decent share of the targets, Golladay is apparently getting the bigger helping. Since the Lions, despite trying to address their lack of a ground game in the offseason, are clearly going to stay pass-heavy, Golladay is certainly someone to keep your eye on right now. If you’re in a shallow league and he’s available on the wire, you better grab him now. If he’s not, you should add him to your watch list for when you start talking trade.
The Giants Offensive Line Needs More Work Than We Thought
How many times were we going to see the Cowboys run that slot blitz against the Giants and put Eli Manning to the ground on second down? For crying out loud, bring in an extra tight end or something to help block. And the problem wasn’t all personnel related either. Dallas defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli had the Giants number every step of the way and took advantage of the predictability of Mike Shula’s play-calling. No, Ereck Flowers and Will Hernandez are not the best of the best on that line, but they weren’t getting beat physically as much as they were just getting beaten by Marinelli’s scheme. Giants head coach Pat Shurmur is going to need to sit down with his coaches and make sure they’re on the right page. Sunday night, they were three steps behind the whole game. You can have all the weapons in the world at your disposal but if the guy on the opposite side of the field is out-thinking you, you’re in trouble…and so are the owners of Saquon Barkley and all the Giants receivers.
If you gave up on Matt Ryan after his Week 1 performance, welcome to the wonderful world of regret. His performance Sunday should have taught people a lesson about his talent and intensity. The most common message I got from people all of last week was they dropped Ryan for guys like Case Keenum and Alex Smith . How’d that work out?
A one-legged Aaron Rodgers is better than more than half the quarterbacks in the NFL. After watching yesterday’s game this is now a proven scientific fact.
David Johnson owners are panicking in the streets and after watching the Cardinals the last two weeks, they may have reason to. If their offensive line is this bad, then he’s in for a long season. Or maybe not as defensive linemen come crashing down on him. Too bad you can’t sell him right now as you’ll be receiving pennies on the dollar for your first-round pick.
The Texans defense stinks. Maybe it was the sudden loss of Jadeveon Clowney , but to not be able to get enough penetration on the Tennessee offensive line that was working with a second-string tackle on one side and a third-string tackle on the other is inexcusable. The only saving grace for that game was that the offense finally woke up. They’re definitely going to need it to stay awake if they can’t stop a team of back-ups from controlling the game.
The fantasy football community just needs to eliminate kickers altogether. What a joke. Zane Gonzalez and Daniel Carlson should be out of a job by the end of business Monday. Chris Boswell needs to be put on notice immediately. And that goes the same for guys like Ka’imi Fairbairn, Jake Elliott , Wil Lutz and Dustin Hopkins . Fantasy leagues that score negative points for missed field goals and extra-points probably saw some serious ugliness and how about the big zero-burger served up to anyone who owned Greg Zuerlein ? Guaranteed that cost people their games. Enough is enough!