Viable Streaming Options: Week 2
In this straight-forward series, I’ll investigate players who have the potential to exceed their point projections and be viable position streamers on a week-to-week basis. Unlike a traditional start sit column, I will only seek to identify players whose current rankings and projections place them on the fringe or outside of fantasy starting lineups. All point projections are from ESPN’s PPR format.
Week 1 Picks Recap:
Jameis Winston (ESPN projection 18.8 points/Actual performance 7.1 points): I can honestly say of all my expectations for Week 1 of the NFL season, Winston’s abysmal 7.1 point performance featuring three interceptions (two returned for touchdowns) and two non-lost fumbles certainly hurt the most. All throughout the off-season fantasy professionals were touting Winston’s ability to “take the next step” and yet he showed up in Week 1 looking like an exact replica of the Winston we all know and have come to despise. Although I do not think it is time to worry about his season-long outlook just yet, it is unsettling that the Buccaneers are on a short week against their division rival the Carolina Panthers for Week 2.
Miles Sanders (ESPN projection 10.4/Actual performance 3.7 points): Despite the fact that his game didn’t translate into a worthwhile fantasy performance, there was actually a lot to be happy about with Miles Sanders following the Eagles’ come-from-behind victory against the Redskins. For starters, he had a 21-yard touchdown run called back because of a holding penalty and he was given two goal-line opportunities which he was disappointingly unable to turn into six points. Not to mention, my recommendation of Sanders was heavily based on the implied game flow that comes with the Eagles being 10-point home favorites. The Eagles falling to an early 17-0 deficit was an unfortunate development for an extremely talented running back’s fantasy outlook. However, I still believe Sanders is the most talented back in the Eagles running committee and he will eventually flourish on a week-to-week basis.
Rashaad Penny: (ESPN 9.3/Actual 1.8): Similar to Sanders, the Penny recommendation was rooted in the fact that the Seahawks were double-digit favorites at home against the Cincinnati Bengals. To the Bengals’ credit, they put up a great fight against a far superior Seattle team. This game had six lead changes including four in the second quarter alone. As a result, Penny only received six carries and an upsetting zero targets out of the backfield. After Week 1, it is clear that Seattle’s backfield belongs to Chris Carson. There is no 60/40 or 70/30 workload split between Carson and Penny as was advertised by Pete Carroll and the Seahawks coaching staff. Penny is nothing more than a highly talented handcuff who should remain on your bench.
Michael Gallup: (ESPN 10.1/Actual 23.8): At least one of my Week 1 recommendations proved worthwhile. Gallup slaughtered his ESPN projection of 10 fantasy points and he did it without scoring a touchdown as he caught all seven of his targets from Dak Preskott for an incredible 158 receiving yards. In the first game under the new Kellen Moore offense, Prescott post a perfect 158.3 passer rating and was able to complete throws to Gallup of 62, 36, and 23 yards. The Cowboys made the Giants look silly in Week 1 and Gallup was a large part of that. He should see his impressive production continue in Week 2 against the Redskins.
Week 2 Picks:
Jared Goff (LAR vs NO): Fresh off his mind-numbing $134 million-dollar contract extension including an NFL record $110 million guaranteed, Goff disappointed his fantasy managers on Sunday with a measly 9.4 fantasy points against the Panthers. While the performance is still insufficient, this was largely expected as Goff has historically performed poorly outside of Los Angeles. He averageed nearly 100 more passing yards per game at home in 2018. Not to mention that he was also faced with a cross-country 1:00 PM kickoff time; a notorious spot for west coast teams. However, Goff and the Rams get the New Orleans Saints at home in Week 2 in a rematch of the NFC championship game where the Saints’ 2018 Super Bowl hopes were eliminated by one of the most egregious no-calls in NFL history. In three games against the Saints, Goff has averaged over 21 fantasy points, which is significantly more than the 17 points ESPN currently has him projected to score. Goff’s average ranking among ESPN experts right now is the 15th quarterback for Week 2. Start Goff with confidence in a game that has a Vegas total currently at 51.5 points.
Devin Singletary (BUF @ NYG): During the off-season, I touted Singletary as a running back with incredible dynasty league potential. After the release of LeSean McCoy, he now has considerable value in all league formats for the 2019 fantasy season. Annoyingly, Bills Head Coach Sean McDermott is still saying that Frank Gore will remain the team’s starting running back in Week 2 despite Singletary’s wildly more efficient performance in Week 1. Singletary posted an impressive 70 yards on only four carries while adding an additional five receptions for 28 receiving yards. Compare that to Gore’s performance of 11 carries for 20 yards and it becomes clear that the rookie is way more talented and versatile than the rapidly aging 36 year-old Gore. The Bills will be on the road again in Week 2, but they will be returning to Metlife Stadium for the second week in a row to play the New York Giants as 1.5 point road favorites. Due to his extensive use in the passing game, Singletary should exceed his ESPN projection of 11 points and makes for a viable flex starter this week. He is currently ranked as the 27th running back for Week 2.
Dede Westbrook (JAX @ HOU): Despite the fact that Nick Foles unfortunately broke his collarbone and will be sidelined for the next 6-8 weeks, Westbrook still managed to put together a respectable fantasy outing posting. The slot receiver accumulated 30 yards on five catches while scoring a receiving touchdown and adding a two-yard rush for a total of 14.2 fantasy points. Although there was much anticipation regarding Westbrook’s connection with Foles, Gardner Minshew performed admirably as the Jaguars back-up quarterback. Against the Kansas City Chiefs, Minshew posted an incredible 100% adjusted completion percentage and a non-adjusted percentage of 88%; This was not only the highest single-game percentage in Jaguars history, but it was also the highest ever for an NFL debut. When it is all said and done, the Jaguars still have what they believe to be a competent signal caller and they are going to have to throw the ball a lot in Week 2. The Jags are currently 9 point underdogs as they travel to Houston to play the Texans in a divisional game where neither team wants to start the season 0-2. Westbrook can certainly beat his projection of 10.9 points as he currently ranked as the wide receiver 37 on ESPN.
Mark Andrews (BAL vs ARI): Andrews was another player I identified in the off-season who had exceedingly high potential heading into the 2019 season and his Week 1 performance certainly did not disappoint. Although his touchdown catch came in the second half from back-up quarterback Robert Griffin III, Andrews still did some impressive damage when Lamar Jackson was under center posting a final receiving line of eight receptions for 108 yards. The Ravens will be playing Week 2 at home against an Arizona Cardinals defense that just got lit up by rookie tight end T.J. Hockenson for 131 yards and a touchdown on six receptions. Vegas currently has the Ravens as 13.5 point home favorites but I believe this to be an overreaction from their stellar Week 1 performance. Andrews is only projected for 8.6 fantasy points and he is currently being ranked right near the fringe of the top-12 at the tight end position for Week 2. However, with the recent injury to Hunter Henry, the position is even thinner than it was before. Start Andrews with confidence.