Week 2 Risers and Fallers
September 24, 2015 | Chet
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Week 2 was a rough’un for myself, being unable to clear the injury bug that knocked some big named guys to the sideline. Hopefully it went a little better for you. Here’s a little stock watch on some players that may have helped or hurt your teams without the hindrance of an injury. If you have any specific questions about one of these guys feel free to hit up the comment box or shoot me a question on Twitter.
The ownership percentages are a median between Yahoo! and ESPN own%.
Larry Fitzgerald (92.8%) Will. Not. Lose.
He has already beaten his TD total from last year (a meager 2) and is on pace for 136 targets, a total he has reached 8 times in his career. Larry is 32 years old and will more than likely not reach the 95 catch mark he used to hit often in his early years, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a big fan in the guy taking the snap from under center. In Carson Palmer’s last 7 starts, Fitzgerald has racked up 56 receptions, 660 yards and 5 touchdowns. That’s a 128-1500-11 pace if extrapolated over 16 games. That definitely seems outlandish, but when they’re trying everything they can to get him the ball we can definitely see a bonafide WR1.
According to Josh Moore of 4for4.com, Larry is behind only Julio Jones in reception share percentage; Julio has caught 41.5% of Falcons’ completed passes and Fitzy is directly behind him with 38.9% and directly in front of Antonio Brown (38.3%). If the two old men running this Arizona offense can stay healthy for all of 2015 we could have an incredibly sneaky top-5 receiver on our hands. Antonio Brown just absolutely torched the 49ers on Sunday for 9-195-1 on huge plays all game long. Don’t expect Larry to slow down in Week 3 when San Fran travels to Arizona.
Allen Robinson (88.7%) managed to only catch a single pass of the six targets that came his way in week 1. In the first half of week 2 Robinson caught 5 of 8 targets for 145 yards and two scores. He was used heavily in a game script that saw the Jags fight out a close win against Miami, a stark contrast to the inefficient 20-9 thumping by the hands of the Panthers in the week before. Hopefully Bortles will continue to try and trust his receiver to “go up and get it” even though the young pass catcher is sporting a 38.9% catch rate after the first two games. Week 3 will showcase a game against the New England Patriots and the game script will probably look closer to week 1 than week 2. If Blake Bortles can find seams in the Pat’s secondary Allen could have another big day, but it’s hard to depend on the second year QB. The Penn State alum should be started if owned, but it’s hard to guarantee another WR1 performance like last week.
Kyle Rudolph (56.6%) amassed 5 catches on 7 targets in back to back games, finding his way into the end zone against the Lions. Though Adrian Peterson will poach a lot of Red Zone opportunities, Kyle has three of the five RZ targets on the year, allowing only AP and Jarius Wright a single target apiece. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has attempted only 50 passes on the year with 14 of those going to Rudolph. Though he has turned those targets into only 83 yards, it’s still impressive that a tight end is getting 28% of his QB’s looks. When starting or streaming a tight end (or, well, any position) it’s important to look at volume and the likeliness to score. Minnesota hosts the Chargers on Sunday and San Diego has allowed a score to a tight end in each week so far. Stream away.
Dion Lewis (38.4%) racked up 73 snaps compared to LeGarrette Blount’s 7, Brandon Bolden’s 5 and Travaris Cadet’s 2 as Tom Brady had to attempt 59 passes to overcome a Bills team that just wouldn’t give up. Another solid effort has the 24 year-old running back up to 109 rushing yards and 149 receiving yards on 10 catches through the first two games. Dion makes for a sneaky PPR play and a possible disastrous standard league play as we should all know very well the difficulty of predicting a Bill Belichick running back. What we do know for Week 3 is the odds of New England needing to air it out are very slim against an awful Jacksonville Jaguar team. Vegas has this line at 48 and the Patriots are currently favored by fourteen freaking points. They can practically run the ball the whole game, which should more than likely bode well for Blount, not Lewis. Dion will give us frustrating weeks as a piece of this giant running back by committee.
Leonard Hankerson (3.9%) was targeted on 11 of Matt Ryan’s 46 pass attempts Sunday, playing on the opposite side of the field of a Mr. Julio Jones who reeled in 13 catches, tying the franchise record. Leonard caught 6 of those 11 targets for 77 yards and a score – his first touchdown since October of 2013. He actually almost had a second score but ended up being called down inside the 1-yard line. Much of this bloated target count had a lot to do with how Matt Ryan was practically ignoring Roddy White; attempting a pass in his direction only once to give his long time receiver a goose egg in the reception column. Roddy was actually on the field more often than Leonard (57 snaps vs. 48 snaps) so it wouldn’t seem as if the old man was nursing an injury or anything of the sort. Right now I think anyone on the Falcons offense who isn’t named Matt Ryan or Julio Jones should probably be kept out of all non-DFS lineups, but 11 targets is nothing to scoff at. If you’re desperate for some WR depth it wouldn’t harm your team to have Hankerson on your bench in case this is a sign of things to come.
C.J. Anderson (98.6%) is raising red flags large enough to cover Mile High. While his 56 yards on 24 carries is quite hateful, running mate Ronnie Hillman has also gathered only 75 yards on 21 attempts. Things are looking grim as even Peyton Manning can’t get anything going behind this line! But then again, this offensive line isn’t throwing these passes. Unfortunately, you likely drafted CJA around the same spot as everyone else did, which means you really can’t just get rid of him. According to Football Outsiders the Lions have the 21st ranked defense according to DVOA and the 19th overall rush defense after allowing 294 rushing yards through the first two weeks. Hang on tight and watch Anderson come back to life in week 3.
Kendall Wright (80%) turned 4 targets in week 1 into 101 yards and a touchdown. Kendall Wright turned 4 targets in week 2 into 17 yards. These are the things you’re going to have to work with while owning a Tennessee WR with a rookie QB tossing to him. It would seem the Colts’ defense isn’t nearly as good as the Cleveland D that just shut him out, but they didn’t even need Joe Haden covering him to give Kendall a terrible day. It would seem that even if Vontae Davis misses this week 3 battle it would be hard to predict what Kendall will be contributing. Either way, keep him in your PPR lineups; the ball has to go somewhere and with Harry Douglas catching only one of his friggin’ eight targets last week, Mariota may pay extra special attention to his no. 1 WR.
Nelson Agholor (73.6%) is wrapped up in a whirlwind of a surprisingly terrible offense that has shown simply no promise from any offensive position. The six week 2 targets are much better than his menial two week 1 targets, but he still only converted them into 31 yards and 3 receptions. The rookie is far from droppable this early in the season, but his next two games will be against tough Jets and Washington defenses. If Nelson throws up another stinker in week 3 it might end up being a great time to buy extremely low, or even grab him off the waiver wire.
Alfred Blue (40.4%) is proving that an open lane to be a no. 1 RB for a team and the assumption of a plethora of touches doesn’t exactly make a fantasy commodity. Blue looked clueless Sunday, being targeted just once and rushing 5 times for 6 yards while Jonathan Grimes and Chris Polk combined for 15 targets. Chris even out-rushed Blue, 14 attempts to 5. You could play Polk against a pretty shabby Tampa Bay defense, but I hope it’s a deep PPR league. I wouldn’t touch this Alf or pretty much the entire backfield until Arian Foster returns to our open arms.
Rueben Randle (29.6%) received what could only be good news earlier this week when the Giants dropped pass-dropper Preston Parker. This would be as good of a time as any to help raise Sandwich Randle’s 7 targets and take some pressure off of Odell Beckham. Starting the season 0-2 and having Victor Cruz on the sideline means that if New York wants to switch things up they may have to get Randle back into the mix, something that’s perfectly possible as he finished 2014 going 12-for-290 over the final two games. It’d be a long shot to play him this week against Washington, but crazier things have happened, I suppose. I’d rather wait and see if all of Parker’s targets come to Rueben.