Each week in “The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly” we will review the highlights, low lights, and injuries from the week prior. This article will not cover every bit of information, rather some things which stood out. I recommend allowing this piece to serve as closure for the losses you suffered and a benchmark to start on the current week’s path to greatness.
1. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, TB
Fitzpatrick has now thrown for 819 yards, and 8 touchdowns through 2 weeks. His average completion percentage is 78.41%. He’s playing lights out and faces a winless Steelers defense whose wheels are seemingly falling off.
Hold: Fitzpatrick is currently playing better than Jameis Winston has ever played in his young career. I firmly believe Winston is the future for the Buccaneers, but Tampa Bay simply cannot bench Fitzpatrick with the way he has performed. If Fitzpatrick is announced the starter after Winston returns I would be looking to sell Fitzpatrick every week until he is almost inevitably benched. His leash won’t be particularly long. Pay close attention to new reports involving a lawsuit coming Winston’s way in his alleged “groping” case.
With no significant quarterback injuries thus far there is a good chance you’ve got other options at quarterback aside from Fitzpatrick. He’s still a “looking to sell” case in dynasty; however, further suspension for Winston could raise Fitzpatrick’s price.
2. QB Patrick Mahomes, KC
Mahomes is the second quarterback of the currently unstoppable variety after this week. He has now broken the NFL record for most touchdowns thrown through the first two weeks of any season. His completion percentage improved dramatically from 55.56% in week one to 82.14% in week two. He has yet to attempt over 30 passes.
Sell: Hold your marbles. In dynasty we are regularly looking to sell players at peak value; especially at the quarterback position in 1QB. The term “sell” has gained a negative connotation for getting rid of players while you still can, but we’re ideally selling players when they’re worth the most. Mahomes’ touchdown percentage is unsustainable, and his attempts are slightly concerning. He has been phenomenal and is very clearly a great quarterback, but his value will likely go down from here.
I’ll continue to emphasize, Mahomes is clearly a great quarterback. I do not recommend selling him for "anything you can get" and I’m not projecting a steep drop off. I do not fault owners for reaping their rewards and riding into the sunset with Mahomes. For those movers and shakers out there, here are some trades that have been executed involving Mahomes in 1QB leagues.
Via Ryan McDowell (@RyanMc23) – Mahomes/3rd - Calvin Ridley | Mahomes - James Washington, 19’ 1st, 20 1st | Mahomes/Golladay - David Johnson / 19’ 2nd
I’ll take the non-Mahomes side in all three trades. Blake Bortles is currently the QB8 and is playing well. He is a realistic option at a fraction of the cost should you choose to cash out on Mahomes.
3. RB Phillip Lindsay, DEN
Lindsay had a surprising first week with 71 rushing yards and a touchdown. I admittedly shrugged the performance off as I truly believe in Royce Freeman’s talent. I did not anticipate Lindsay nearing another 17 touches in week 2. Lindsay rushed for 107 yards on 14 attempts and caught his only target for 4 yards.
Buy: Denver head coach Vance Joseph refuses to name Lindsay the starter over Denver's third-round running back Royce Freeman. Some dynasty owners will be wary of Joseph’s lack of commitment but bear in mind the term “starter” is simply a formality. In the same press conference, Joseph mentions he intends to “ride the hot hand”. Lindsay is clearly the hot hand in the Broncos' backfield and Freeman’s third-round draft capital isn’t quite enough to hold Lindsay off for long.
4. WR Michael Thomas, NO
Thomas has certainly lived up to his twitter handle, @Cantguardmike. Through two weeks no one has been able to guard him. Thomas has amassed 269 yards with 28 receptions and 3 touchdowns thus far.
Buy: This one is simple, yet expensive. Thomas has not only passed Antonio Brown for my WR3 overall in dynasty, but he’s entered the first tier of receivers with Odell Beckham Jr. and DeAndre Hopkins. Don’t be late to this party. If someone in your league rosters Thomas, and has him ranked anywhere later than WR3, get a deal done involving your top receiver aside from “OBJ” or “Nuk”.
5. TE Jesse James, PIT
Tight ends need love too, and this article is a recap of primarily the previous week. James caught all 5 of his targets for 138 yards and a touchdown against the highly susceptible Kansas City defense.
Hold: Keep this performance in mind. Through James’ first three seasons he’s been mostly disappointing; especially so with his infamous “drop” in the AFC Championship game. With the return of Vance McDonald, James was supposed to take a back seat; however, James’ out snapped McDonald 45 to 37. Trades for players coming off great performances are always tough but his price tag should return to a bargain soon enough.
The following are players whose performances disappointed in week two followed by my level of panic on a scale from one to ten. Ten is a full panic button and one represents no concern.
1. RB David Johnson, ARI
Through two weeks Johnson has touched the ball only 28 times for a total of 119 scrimmage yards. In his historic 2016 season, he averaged 23 touches per game.
Welcome to the David “RB1” Johnson support group. I’ll admit I personally traded my 2018 1.01 for David Johnson and have him ranked as my overall RB2. His personal performance has been subpar, but most concerning is his lack of opportunity. New Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks seems to have missed the memo regarding Johnson’s otherworldly talent. Oddly enough, the Cardinals extended Johnson to the tune of three years and thirty-eight million dollars prior to this season.
7/10 – I’ve mailed Wilks a VHS tape to match the time period his offense is from; which shows Johnson’s 2016 season. I attached a sticky note which reads, “Do this, no matter what”. More to come next week.
2. QB Russell Wilson, SEA
Wilson threw 36 passes, completing 22 for 226 yards, and 2 touchdowns. He also threw an interception. The Bears defense sacked Wilson six times.
Wilson is my overall QB1. I won’t be dropping him due to two weeks of relentless pressure; however, 2018 is not looking promising. The Seahawks elected to use their first-round pick on running back Rashaad Penny, whom I ranked worst amongst rookies in pass protection, rather than bolstering their below-average offensive line. They have also elected to start 2017 seventh-round running back Chris Carson over Penny.
Wilson’s best two options so far in the receiving game have been his blocking tight-end Will Dissly and wide receiver Tyler Lockette. Doug Baldwin will be back from his MCL injury within the next couple weeks but will still be dealing with his injured opposite knee all season.
6/10 – Wilson still gets it done when the game is on the line and protects his body well. I’m very fearful for his 2018 season but I anticipate a heavy overhaul into 2019; for the better.
3. WR Antonio Brown, PIT
Brown caught 9 of his 17 targets for 67 yards last week.
In PPR Brown did fine but this is not the performance you’d anticipate from redrafts undisputed WR1. Ben Roethlisberger seemed to be on the money with every receiver aside from Brown Sunday against the spotty Chiefs defense. It's fair to question if timing may have had more to do with Brown than Roethlisberger.
Brown had a meltdown involving Steelers offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner after being missed on numerous deep balls. Brown also missed Monday’s meetings at the Steelers facility for undisclosed personal matters which the team may or may not have excused him for. Meltdowns are nothing new for Brown, yet I wanted to mention only Antonio Brown would lose his mind over usage while being targeted seventeen times. In watching the game, it seems his only beef should’ve been with Roethlisberger who was also visibly frustrated with their connection.
3/10 – Brown is still the best receiver in the NFL. His connection with Roethlisberger will help land them both in the Hall of Fame but it just wasn’t there on Sunday.
The worst of the sections. I will quickly list some of the key fantasy relevant injuries and who may see an increased role because of them.
RB Joe Mixon (Knee) – RB Giovanni Bernard, RB Mark Walton
WR Doug Baldwin (Right knee) – WR Tyler Lockette, WR Brandon Marshall, TE Will Dissly
RB LeSean McCoy (Rib cartilage, may still play) – RB Chris Ivory, TE Charles Clay
TE Greg Olsen (Right foot) – TE Ian Thomas, WR DJ Moore
RB Leonard Fournette (Hamstring) – RB TJ Yeldon, RB Corey Grant
RB Devonta Freeman (Knee) – RB Tevin Coleman, RB Ito Smith
QB Marcus Mariota (Elbow) – QB Blaine Gabbert