Dear Arthur Smith, Kyle Pitts is not a blocker. --Sincerely, Everyone.
In today’s Fantasy Life Newsletter presented by Pikkit:
- Blowouts and Shootouts. Week 2 has it all.
- Rankings Update. Injury news, risers and fallers.
- Dear Pete. Patience. Hoping. Praying.
- Bets from the group chat. Cooper Kupp & Bud Light Cooper Kupp.
- Kickin' it. Two AFC North options.
- Hyphenated names get twitter hyped.
- It's 9/17. Take it away Dwain McFarland...
Week 2 NFL action is only one day away, and this slate offers a little bit of everything. We have four potential shootouts and multiple possible blowouts based on the lines from our good friends over at BetMGM.
There are a whopping 10 teams separated by 9 points or more this weekend, which can be positive or negative for RBs, depending on their side of the matchup.
Darrell Henderson Jr. took over the Rams' backfield in Week 1 and could be in for a monster day if it continues. Cordarrelle Patterson is one of a few backs that can withstand a bad matchup like this, thanks to his pass-catching skills. He is a riser in the rankings — see why below.
Trey Lance handled 28% of the 49ers' designed-rushing attempts in the flood last weekend in Chicago. A Top-12 week is incoming as heavy favorites at home. Rashaad Penny gets a triple-whammy against him — we got you covered in the ranking updates.
A.J. Dillon led Green Bay with 53% of the rushing attempts in Week 1 despite a trailing script, while Aaron Jones led the way in route participation (65%). Dillon could see an uptick in work in this type of game, but Jones still carries big receiving upside as the potential No. 2 passing-game weapon.
David Montgomery handled the passing-down work, and while he isn't exciting, it shelters him from bad scripts.
Today's newsletter is presented by Pikkit, the app that showed me I have bet on Matthew Stafford over 18 times, for a total profit of $335...looks like its time to order his jersey...
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Going with your gut can only get you so far. Use our industry-leading rankings to gain an edge on your league mates. Need help? Don't worry, Dwain has you covered.
Let's start with some great news. Two key players were removed from the injury report on Friday and are good to go this weekend: Najee Harris and Zach Ertz.
📈 RB – Cordarrelle Patterson
Patterson is my RB17 and climbs three spots to No. 30 overall with Damien Williams out. The do-it-all back handled 61% of the rushing attempts and sported a 16% target share in Week 1. The Rams are heavy favorites, but Patterson’s involvement on passing-downs insulates his value in a trailing game script.
📈 RB – Ameer Abdullah
Abdullah should take over most of the passing-down work, with Brandon Bolden listed as doubtful. The matchup against the Cardinals offers the best game total in a game that could be a shootout. Abdullah could provide low-end RB3 value in PPR formats.
📈 WR – Parris Campbell
Michael Pittman Jr. did not practice on Thursday or Friday due to a quad injury suffered on Wednesday, and Alec Pierce is out with a concussion.
Campbell’s route participation (82%) already suggested he was the No. 2, but that should push higher without Pierce. He is a high-end WR5 without Pierce; if Pittman can’t go, he moves into WR4/Flex territory in deeper formats.
📈 WR – Marquise Brown & Greg Dortch
Rondale Moore will miss Week 2, opening the door for Brown as a smash play, ranking inside my top 12 WRs. Expect Dortch to step back into the slot role. Last weekend he posted a 96% route participation and led the Cardinals with a 28% target share.
📉 QB – Tom Brady
Brady has struggled against the Saints, and his entire WR corps is questionable or out. He falls two spots to QB12 in my Week 2 rankings.
📉 RB – Rashaad Penny
Penny was already dealing with a tough matchup against the 49ers’ defense as 10-point dogs. Now Kenneth Walker III will return to action, creating the potential for a three-way committee with Travis Homer taking all the passing-down work. Penny looked great against the Broncos, but the situation in Seattle is suboptimal. He falls to RB28.
🤕 WR – Michael Pittman Jr.
Pittman missed the last two days of practice due to a quad injury on Wednesday. HC Frank Reich remains optimistic that Pittman will play, but this could come down to the wire. If Pittman plays, we might not see a 28% target share as we did in Week 1. He drops from WR8 to WR15.
🤕 RB – D’Andre Swift
Swift (ankle) missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday but was able to return for a limited session on Friday. He is questionable for the Lions’ matchup against the Commanders on Sunday. If he can’t go, Jamaal Williams climbs into mid-range RB2 territory with RB1 upside similar to James Conner. Williams has shown an ability to play an every-down role when called upon, and he is always a threat to score.
🤕 RB – Alvin Kamara
Kamara (ribs) is questionable for the Saints’ tilt against the Buccaneers. He didn’t practice on Thursday or Friday, making this an actual situation we must monitor. Mark Ingram II is also questionable (ankle) but was able to practice in a limited fashion all week. Last season, in two healthy games replacing Kamara, Ingram posted 20.8 and 17.3 fantasy points. Given the ankle issue, it is tough to project that type of output, but he becomes a high-end RB3 if Kamara can’t play.
👀 WR – Buccaneers WRs
Chris Godwin is out, and the rest of Tampa Bay’s WRs are questionable for a tough matchup against a Saints’ secondary that has had their number. If any of Mike Evans, Julio Jones, or Russell Gage miss the game, the remaining two get a slight bump. However, it is hard to go all-in with the health questions and matchups.
👀 WR – Allen Lazard
Lazard (ankle) was limited throughout the week in practice. He is a high-end WR4 if he can suit up against the Bears. If he is out, the rest of this receiving corps should be avoided until the pecking order irons itself out.
🤕 TE – George Kittle
Kittle is listed as questionable after getting in a limited practice on Friday. He currently ranks as my TE15 ahead of names like David Njoku, Cole Kmet, and Evan Engram. That is the group of players I would consider benching for a less-than 100% Kittle who could reaggravate his injury. However, Kittle plays in the late window so you will need a backup plan.
Brandon Aiyuk becomes a mid-range WR3, and Deebo Samuel is a low-end WR1 if Kittle is inactive.
Feeling lost in life? Need help with your fantasy football team? Peter is here to help.
A lot of people just assume we fantasy footballers are tough people. It’s hard to blame them. We ruthlessly manage our fake football teams with cutthroat tenacity.
But that doesn’t mean we aren’t capable of emotions and being vulnerable. We all second guess things like our waiver or start/sit decisions. That might appear “weak,” but I’m here to normalize fantasy players opening up in this new Saturday series.
Think of me as your fantasy football therapist. Stretch out on that fainting couch and air it all out…
Dear Pete, I thought Cam Akers would’ve had at least a share of the workload for the Rams. But Thursday night has me tilting hard. What should us Akers owners do? — Grifted in Grafton
DEAR GRIFTED: It’s understandable to feel grifted right now. Sean McVay sang Akers’ praises throughout the offseason and then rugged us with three rushing attempts. Hell, a 5th-round rookie pick was playing ahead of Akers at one point before he got hurt.
The best piece of advice I can give Akers managers is to go back in time and draft a WR instead. The second best piece of advice I can give is to be patient. It sounds like he needs a few more reps to feel fully comfortable again. Akers bellcow days might be over, but better days are ahead.
Dear Pete, I named my dog Kelce after my favorite TE took me to my fantasy football championship in 2019. Now, every Chiefs game, my Kelce zooms, howls, barks - last Sunday 9 times due to Travis Kelce's 8 receptions leading to 1TD. This is out of control. I can't watch the NFL with my dog. He needs a new name. Pete, will you please suggest a name that will not give my dog fits when I watch NFL? — Buried by Barks
DEAR BARKS: Naming your dog after an NFL player is all fun and games until you realize they have a Pavlovian barking response to PPR production. It seems vaguely cruel to change your poor dog’s name just for some peace and quiet, so let's get creative.
A few potential solutions:
- Hope and pray the team starts using rookie Skyy Moore and steals away some of Kelce’s targets, reducing your pooch’s strong BPG (barks per game) numbers.
- Try the foreign language broadcast. Maybe the Italian pronunciation of “Kelce” will be less triggering for your Kelce. “Mama mia! Travis Kelce!”
- Find the dog version of Derwin James to put your Kelce in his place.
If you really do need to go the new name route, though, I recommend “Kittle.” You’ll never have to worry about his name being mentioned.
Send your fantasy questions to [email protected] for a chance to get them answered each Saturday in the Fantasy Life newsletter.
🔥 Clyde Edwards-Helaire sure gets y'all fired up. Utilization sayz sell high.
🏃 Everyone loves a juicy nugget, right? Pat Kerrane has 1 takeaway from his Walkthrough. Run, don't walk.
💰 Chase Edmonds remains a buy-low. Keep making offers.
🚀 Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle might have a day. The Ravens' secondary is in shambles.
🥵️ The Fantasy Life Podcast is LIVE. Dive into Rankings with us.
🤩 We see you, Rodrigo. Jason Kelce feels you.
👉 Play-calling woes in Dallas? The finger-pointing has begun.
Our resident betting sharps at Fantasy Life have a group chat. Lucky for you, they are leaking the alpha. Here's what Eliot came up with for Week 1...
Amon-Ra St. Brown Over 63.5 Receiving Yards -115 BetMGM
While Amon-Ra St. Brown’s yardage total wasn’t impressive (64), he did see 32% of his team's targets and now has eight straight games of double-digit targets. We see this much opportunity in receivers with prop lines of at least 10 yards higher - making this a strong value bet.
The matchup makes it even better for St. Brown as he takes on Washington corner Benjamin St.-Juste, who allowed a 65% catch rate season and just allowed 117 yards in the slot to Christian Kirk. He accumulated the most slot yards of any player. Having gone over this total in eight straight games, look for St. Brown to make it nine on Sunday.
We just launched our FREE Player Props tool!
Check it out and let us know what you think!
Cooper Kupp Over 93.5 Receiving Yards -115 BetMGM
Speaking of players who consistently go over their prop number. Folks continue to doubt Cooper Kupp, and he continues to sail over his prop numbers. Using props.cash, we see Kupp has gone over this total in 82% of games since last season while hitting 92 yards in half of his under games.
Kupp is matchup-proof. He saw 49% of his team's air yards (fifth-most), while his 15 targets proved his league-leading volume in 2021 was no fluke. The Rams are going to force-feed the ball to Kupp. As long as his prop number stays under the 100-yard mark it was consistently at last season, I will keep betting the over.
It's time to Leave the Chicken to @kfc! Here's my BOLD call of the week from the @MBFantasyLife Podcast
Cheer up, Jags fans 👀
— Matthew Berry (@MatthewBerryTMR)
Sep 16, 2022
Picking kickers can be a pain, but relax, we have our resident kicking expert Linda to help you make the right choice.
Last week was kind of a kick in the teeth. Younghoe Koo was lights out for an Atlanta team that looks poised to support a fantasy kicker, and Harrison Butker was injured on the opening kick-off.
What fun things do special teams have in store for us in Week 2?
The 2021 rookie took the world by storm last season, hitting every single field goal attempt in the postseason, helping send the Bengals to the Super Bowl. As a result, McPherson was moved into the upper echelon of fantasy kickers.
So, what the hell happened in Week 1? McPherson missed an extra point and a short field goal, but those misses aren't completely his fault. Cincinnati’s veteran long snapper Clark Harris went down and TE Mitchell Wilcox was the emergency long snapper.
Harris has been put on IR, and rookie LS Cal Adomitis has been moved up from the practice squad. Adomaitis handled the LS duties in the preseason when McPherson went 9 for 10 on field goal attempts. Adomitis gets the Harris seal of approval, making McPherson a plug-and-play kicker. If he's been dropped in your league, pick him up, and don’t look back.