Well, how was your Week 1? On the one hand, football is back. It was glorious to watch an NFL game on Thursday, three on Sunday and then another two on Monday. On the other hand, when your most commonly owned players in dynasty are Courtland Sutton, Michael Thomas, Le’Veon Bell and Phillip Lindsay, Week 1 probably wasn’t all it was cracked up to be for you. Oh, that was just me? Well, let’s move on then.
You know who else might want a do over, or to forget Week 1, the two teams that play tonight to open Week 2. The Bengals and Browns clash tonight in the semi-annual Battle for Ohio, and both are hoping to get their first win of the season. Only one team will (or none if they somehow manage a tie).
The Bengals came up short at home, 16-13, to the Chargers on opening Sunday. Rookie quarterback Joe Burrow looked decent, but it wasn’t a great game for Joe Mixon. Then a penalty on A.J. Green and a missed field goal led to the defeat.
The Browns, meanwhile, struggled mightily, losing 38-6 to the Baltimore Ravens. Injuries player a role, but so did inefficiency. And, again, there’s already rumors swirling Odell Beckham, Jr., is unhappy and might get traded. But nothing cures the Week 1 blues like a Week 2 win. Both teams come in licking their wounds and with a short week, but both need the win. The Ravens and Steelers already opened with wins and look good. Whoever falls short here runs the risk of falling two games down in the AFC North early on.
Baker Mayfield didn’t look great in Week 1, and Burrow is a rookie who is inconsistent. Thursday night games also tend to be a mixed bag, particularly early in this disjointed season. I hope both end up doing well this season (particularly Baker since I have him in a few places), but I have both as low-end QB2s this week.
The running game is a place where both teams should thrive. But Mixon fumbled in Week 1, while Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt were likely hampered by an uneven game plan. Mixon’s fumble was his first in 621 touches, so it doesn’t happen every week. The Browns’ defensive front also isn’t quite as impressive as the Chargers’ defense. I think Mixon has RB1 appeal. I also like Chubb and Hunt to be better, but also to eat into each other’s work. The Bengals aren’t a push over, so I have both as RB2s this week.
In the receiving game, Jarvis Landry is on the injury report. His status bares watching, but I think he’ll play. Still, I have him lower as a WR3. Look, I know OBJ didn’t look good on Sunday, but he’s home now and still a talented receiver. I like him as a WR2. At tight end, David Njoku is on IR, but Austin Hooper is still there. That being said, he’s a TE2 for me. For the Bengals, Green looked solid in Week 1 while Tyler Boyd didn’t have as big a role as I’d expected. Still, the Browns’ defensive backfield is banged up. I like Green as a high-end WR2 and Boyd as a WR3 tonight.
Prediction: I have the Browns winning to try and get back on track.
Drive-In Podcast Network Picks
It’s time to own that Week 1 was not great for my picks, either. There are eight of us in the Drive In Podcast Network picks group, including my wife, Lindsay. I finished eighth after Week 1. In case you just want the bottom line, that’s last place. Anyway, the rest of the group we’ll be following this year includes my co-hosts at the Fantasy Football Roundtable, Matt Bruening and Dennis Bennett, the co-hosts of the Devy Delight, Chris Stoops and Ricky Valero, and the hosts of the Music City Drive In Podcast, Kenzie Vanunu and Jacob Throneberry. Below is how everyone did Week 1.
- Jacob 11-5
- Ricky 10-6
- Lindsay Fox 10-6
- Kenzie 9-7
- Stoops 9-7
- Dennis 8-8
- Matt Bruening 8-8
- Matt Fox 6-10
Check back each Thursday to see how we’re doing. Let’s hope I can pick it up….
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.