We’re another week down, and week 2 proved to be just as unpredictable as the first. Thus far it looks like another year of disappointing RB play in the early going, especially with injuries considered. Aside from Cam Newton, there weren’t really any big QB performances of note. However, Jimmy Garoppolo was off to a great start before being knocked out of the game. Jameis Winston was unable to follow up his great game in week 1 as he threw 4 INTs this past Sunday. There has been tremendous WR play thus far, making it even more of a question mark who to start in your lineup.
It was hard to narrow these lists down to just 5 this week, as it tends to be each week. 2nd year guys like Melvin Gordon and Stefon Diggs headline the ‘Risers’ portion, while disappointing RBs such as Todd Gurley and Adrian Peterson lead the charge for the ‘Fallers’.
RB Melvin Gordon (San Diego Chargers)
After a huge week 1 which saw Gordon reach pay dirt twice after going his entire rookie season without a TD, we see yet another big performance from Gordon in week 2. Gordon finished with over 100 rushing yards and chipped in with another TD on the ground this week as he helped the Chargers upset Jacksonville. He looks like a new man this year and is bound for a breakout season.
Not only is Gordon looking like the feature back in San Diego, he’s likely to get a steady, increased workload from here on out with the knee injury to Danny Woodhead, although he’s awaiting an MRI on Monday. Even with Woodhead on the field, Gordon should finish the season as an RB2 if he continues to post performances like this.
WR Travis Benjamin (San Diego Chargers)
When Keenan Allen suffered a season-ending injury in week 1, I was a bit nervous regarding San Diego’s passing game. However, that would allow more opportunities for prized free agent signing Travis Benjamin. He made his presence known on Sunday as he hauled in all 6 of his targets for 115 yards and 2 scores as he led San Diego to an upset win over Jacksonville.
Benjamin’s big game was exactly what San Diego needed as it re-instilled life for Philip Rivers and the air attack. Benjamin’s deep threat ability fits in very well with Mike McCoy’s offensive scheme, and of course the big arm of Rivers. From here on out Benjamin warrants a start in your FLEX as the top weapon in an offense that loves to pass the ball, and will likely play from behind most weeks.
WR Corey Coleman (Cleveland Browns)
It didn’t take long for the first WR taken in the 2016 NFL Draft to make an impact. The Baylor product showcased his big play ability as he caught 5 passes for over 100 yards and 2 TDs on his way to finishing the week as a top 5 fantasy WR in week 2. It looks like Josh McCown is just what he needed.
While his fantasy value increased a lot after week 2, I still view him as a “boom or bust” type fantasy performer from week-to-week. However, it’s hard to sit him after a game like this, especially because he’s the top weapon through the air.
WR Stefon Diggs (Minnesota Vikings)
If you didn’t watch Sunday Night Football, you missed a treat from Stefon Diggs. The 2nd year WR out of Maryland stole the show for the Vikings as he established an instant rapport with Sam Bradford. Diggs finished the week as the top scoring WR with 9 catches good for nearly 200 yards and a score.
You have to love what you’ve seen from Diggs if you were wise enough to draft him. Through 2 weeks he looks like the most improved player in all of football. From here on out he should be a must start and I’ll go as far as saying he holds WR 1 potential. We’ll likely be accustomed to big performances like this from Diggs.
WR Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona Cardinals)
I thought he was done. I wasn’t touching Fitzgerald in any of my fantasy leagues. Through 2 weeks, he’s already exceed my expectations with his quick impact. After a great first impression in week 1 where he scored twice, the ageless wonder scored yet again in week 2 and matched his 6 catches and 81 yards that he produced in the opening week.
This looked like the breakout year for Michael Floyd in that WR corps, but it looks like Fitzgerald remains the top weapon through the air for Carson Palmer. While it usually seems like an enigma on whether or not to start any of the Cardinals WRs, for now Fitzgerald looks like a safe FLEX play.
RB Todd Gurley (Los Angeles Rams)
For a guy who was widely considered the top RB throughout the offseason, Gurley’s poor start has to draw concern. After a poor, sub-50 yard game on Monday Night Football in week 1, he followed that up with just 51 yards this wee. Granted, he was up against a tough Seattle defense, but that’s no excuse for the league’s top RB.
I still remain optimistic that Gurley will turn it around much sooner rather than later – he’s just too good not to. Once the season sets in a bit, expect him to turn in huge performances like we had expected. At this point, if an owner is willing to trade Gurley, definitely buy while his value is this low.
RB Duke Johnson (Cleveland Browns)
Throughout the offseason it looked like Duke Johnson would be the #1 back in Cleveland over Isaiah Crowell, in my mind at least. After Crowell’s big week 2 performance, Johnson’s playing time may dip a bit. On the season, Johnson has only 6 carries and hasn’t scored a TD – while Crowell has received the majority of touches in the backfield.
Until he proves he’ll be a viable piece in the offense, Johnson can’t be trusted as a starter. With 7 catches to 6 carries, he’s a better option in PPR. It hasn’t all been bad however, as he racked up 44 receiving yards in week 2 which included a 28 yard reception.
RB Adrian Peterson (Minnesota Vikings)
Even before Adrian Peterson went down with a bad knee injury on Sunday Night Football, it wasn’t looking good for the 1st round RB. After an abysmal week 1 performance where AP averaged less than 2 yards per rush, he followed that up yet again in week 2. On 31 carries, he has only 50 yards to show for it.
You mix in his extremely disappointing start with what could be a serious knee injury, Peterson has huge bust potential in 2016. If he comes back healthy, which is a big “if”, there’s still a huge cause for concern after how bad he’s been to start the year.
RB Thomas Rawls (Seattle Seahawks)
Injuries stumbled Rawls into week 1 where he posted 58 total yards, there was reason for optimism heading into week 2 as he was considered fully healthy and assumed his starting role back. Things didn’t go as planned. Rawls was held to -7 yards on 7 carries, yes, he averaged negative yards. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he left the game with a knee injury. While it doesn’t seem serious, that’s never a good sign.
With Rawls apparent decline, his job could be in jeopardy as Christine Michael looked like the better back in both games this season. Rawls could be in for a sophomore slump, while losing his starting job in the process. Injuries remain a concern as well.
WR Golden Tate (Detroit Lions)
With the departure of Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate was expected to step up as the top weapon in Detroit’s high octane passing attack. We haven’t seen that be the case yet this season. While he hauled in 7 catches in week 1, it went for only 41 yards. This past week he hauled in only 2 catches on 9 targets and was held to just 13 yards.
We haven’t seen Tate showcase that big play ability we were hoping for, not yet at least. It’s still early so there’s no need to get too worrisome just yet However, Marvin Jones had a huge week 2 and looks like the go-to guy for Stafford early on. Tate could still be a solid FLEX option, but it’s been very disappointing to start.