The Early Sunday games are now in the books, and it's been an eventful Week 2. Here are my early takeaways...
(1) Aaron Hernandez: Brutal blow if you had him ranked as high as the TE4 in the preseason, but with this ankle injury (status unknown), you'll be scrambling to find a backup. Some Waiver Wire TEs available: Dennis Pitta and Martellus Bennett are both available in most 12 team leagues, and I like their roles as modest substitutes for Hernandez.
As for Gronkowski, he ascends to the #1 TE position over Jimmy Graham, while Hernandez is on the mend (PFT is citing a high ankle sprain, which can take up to six weeks for AHern).
(2) Pick up Donnie Fucking Avery: Yes, that's the name on his birth abstract, don't look at me sideways. Avery has always been the fantasy football "Chupacabra", seemingly always dinged up and never living up to his full potential. Well, my old mantra remains- Week 1 is a fluke, week 2 is a trend (that you ACT on) and week 3 that player has been likely snatched from under your nose. Andrew Luck has developed chemistry with Avery over the last two weeks, and with Collie only a threat to consume a subsequent concussion, you have to love Avery's deep bench upside. Go out and grab him in 10 and 12 team leagues.
(3). If you traded with a scared Welker owner: Bully for you. You can't foresee injuries like the one to Hernandez, but this clearly shifts a bigger slice of the offensive pie back to Lil' Wesley. It also makes the race for red zone TDs (after Gronk) up for grabs. We could see Welker, Lloyd and Ridley find an uptick in TDs as a result, and whatever hair Belichick had across his arse, hastily snipped.
(4) Sell High on Kevin Kolb: Fuck you! Kolb isn't on your roster, and because he looked "better" vs. a Pats defense that was hell bent on not giving up big plays to Larry Fitzgerald, doesn't mean he'll be a fantasy stud anytime soon. If anything, buy low on Larry Fitzgerald, because his value hasn't been any lower. He's still the top option, and he'll have better matchups going forward. Remember, even #1 WRs in bad offenses have flex value.
(5) Don't panic! Darren McFadden, Tom Brady, and Adrian Peterson all had less than stellar fantasy outings today, but don't go setting up shop with Jodie Foster in the hermetically sealed bunker just yet. Nobody will be quick to trade these studs on the cheap, nor should you. Your studs will put up stinkers now and then, but primarily they'll carry your ass. Be patient.
(6) While we're at it: Feel good that Trent Richardson is as advertised. If you picked him up in the draft on the cheap, good for you. He'll have some monster games going forward, but he'll also have some down games when Cleveland falls behind in games and has to throw a ton. The positive? Trent is still fairly active in the passing game, so that helps.
(7) Brandon LaFell is the #2 WR in Carolina: Until further notice. He's still only a borderline flex play, but he's worth rostering and should continue to grow a role in the offense. As for the RBs? Ugh. When your QB (Newton) leads all back in carries, this is a butt ugly committee. Let someone else shit themselves trying to figure out the DWill/JStew carry distribution.
(8) Fuck you, Danny Amendola: That's it, I don't have anything else. Waste your WW allotment on him if you want, I won't. If he catches 15 balls next week, I'll rock a new avatar on Twitter in his honor.
(9) Andre Brown is the back to own in "Joisey.": Dynasty owners will have to wait on David Wilson, as Ahmad "What now, Doc?" Bradshaw is set for an MRI on his neck Monday. This one is pretty simple, Wilson struggles in pass pro. A matter of Coughlin trusting the crusty vet over the wet behind the ears (albeit more talented) rookie.
(10) These are the Jets we know and love: Not the fantasy anomalies that beat up on the Bills. Face a tough defense like the Steelers? It gets real. We told you to stay away for fantasy purposes, and that looked like a reasonable call. They're a matchup play at best on offense.
(11) Get something for Chris Johnson: Yeah, I know, but this is clearly in his head. He's just not decisive. The speed isn't an issue, it's just that he's not trusting his explosion and ability to shred a seam and break off a big run. He's not even salvaging fantasy owners in PPR. Not advising you sell 10 cents on the dollar, but if you can a solid, week to week double digit performer in exchange? Do it. Hopefully there are owners out there that still believe. Johnson should have wrecked San Diego, and he looked like a sucker. It's time to cut bait.
(12) For the the love of Jerome Bettis: Don't pick up Jackie Battle. He got two goal line dump TDs. When Mathews is back (and hopefully soon), you won't remember his name.
Sunday Night 40 Ounce: The Niners are legit, and may be the best team in football. While Alex Smith looks like a new man at QB, he's still only a QB2 in my book, so ease up on your expectations a little, even though he's a surprisingly safe option nowadays. Frank Gore? Still ticking, much to the chagrin of Kendall Hunter honks like yours truly. I'd still hold onto Hunter on your bench, unless you truly have a potential starting RB available on the waiver wire. Vernon Davis is the player to own in the Niner offense, as the other wideout production could be spotty going forward. Davis is taking his place along side the like of Gronk and Graham, as true #1 options in their respective offenses.
What can I say about Matt Stafford? He looked bad yet again, but he ran into a buzz saw vs. the Niners juggernaut defense. Going forward I expect him to bounce back, as I do Kevin Smith and the beast they call Megatron. The other options will be spotty week to week. You might want to take aim at a disgruntled Stafford owner and buy low, because this is low hanging fruit, chock full of fantasy football nutrients.
Look for my MNF game updates on Tuesday, until then follow me at @RumfordJohnny on Twitter. Cheers.