Monday Recap, Week 2

So, Week 2 of the NFL Season was just as bananas as Week 1. Maybe a different kind of bananas, but still plenty unexpected. I was happy to see Ricky Valero’s favorite quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, go off in the Fourth Quarter. That was a wild and fun finish. I missed watching offensive football when I tuned in for the Broncos game, but I did get to see plenty of penalties. How are you feeling after two weeks? How’s your fantasy team doing? If you need a Monday Night Miracle, this is the week for it. We have not one but two games, featuring four fantasy-rich teams. More on that in a minute, first let’s consider three takeaways from Sunday’s action on the grid-iron.

Maybe it wasn’t all Carson Wentz in Indy

The Colts fell short of the playoffs in 2021 after a dreadful start and thanks to a Week 18 loss to the Jaguars. The team seemed to indicate it was a problem with quarterback Carson Wentz—who despite finishing as QB14 in fantasy was quickly traded to Washington, D.C. this off-season. Enter veteran Matt Ryan and all the hype in the world. After falling behind by 17 to the Texans in Week 1, the Colts fought back to tie the game. They missed a kick and cut their kicker. In Week 2, the team came out and took a 24-0 loss to the Jaguars. I wonder who the 0-1-1 Colts will cut this week? Anyway, it’s fair to wonder if there is another root cause for the issues—such as a Head Coach in Frank Reich that changes quarterbacks every year and yet hasn’t really made the team better or lived up to its roster. It’s only been two weeks, but when you’ve changed over everything else, it’s time for the focus to shift to the coach. Welcome to the hot seat Coach Reich!

Trey Lance’s future is murky at best

The San Francisco 49ers paid a King’s Ransom for Lance in the 2020 draft, surrendering three No. 1 picks to move up and snag Lance. Viewed as a project, he wasn’t a huge factor in Year 1. Lance started two games and looked OK at times. Jimmy Garoppolo, meanwhile, took the 49ers to the NFC Championship Game. This off-season, the 49ers looked to turn it over to Lance. Jimmy G. remains on the roster, but it was Lance’s job. In Week 1, Lance still looked like a project in a loss to the Bears. In Week 2, on the second possession, he broke his ankle and will miss the rest of the season. So, heading into Year 3 Lance will have about three games experience and all the pressure in the world, especially if the 49ers make another playoff run with Jimmy G.

The Super Bowl Hangover is Real

The Bengals are 0-2. They played the Steelers at home and faced Cooper Rush and the Cowboys. The offense hasn’t clicked. The protection isn’t great. And the Bengals face an uphill battle after starting out 0-2 with two games they were favored to win. The Rams are 1-1, but let’s not get too excited. The Rams were blown out at home on Opening Night by the Buffalo Bills. Then, in Week 2, the team built a sizeable lead over the woeful Atlanta Falcons—also at home—only to watch the game nearly slip away. Many were bullish on these teams coming into the season but both look like they’ll need a little more seasoning before they’re ready to cook.

Now, on to our Monday Night double header!

Tennessee Titans (0-1) at Buffalo Bills (1-0)

The Titans were the No. 1 seed in the AFC last season but they didn’t look great losing at home to the New York Giants in Week 1. Meanwhile, the Bills looked every bit the Super Bowl favorites as they dominated the Rams in Los Angeles on Opening Night. The Bills had an 11-day layoff and now open at home. I don’t suspect this game will be close.

For fantasy, you’re starting Derrick Henry, who should be OK. Dontrell Hilliard is out, which means Henry won’t split time. I don’t know that I trust a single receiver. Robert Woods is the veteran, Treylon Burks is the rookie and Kyle Phillips wowed at camp. The Titans also have veteran Austin Hooper at tight end. Anyway, I’m not confident starting any. If I needed a miracle, I’d lean Burks.

On the flip side, the biggest blow is Gabe Davis is trending toward being out. Hopefully this boosts up tight end Dawson Knox and should also be a boon to Isaiah McKenzie and Jamison Crowder. You’re staring Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs. I’m also bullish on Devin Singletary, who’s looked good, is the lone Bills’ back not to fumble in Week 1 and is playing a defense that got gashed on the ground in its home opener.

The Pick: Bills

Minnesota Vikings (1-0) at Philadelphia Eagles (1-0)

This looks like potentially the game of the week, and it’s the final game of Week 2. The Vikings crushed the Packers in Week 1 while the Eagles managed a huge road win over the Lions. Both these teams have playoff aspirations, and a 2-0 start would be the great path to getting there. This should also be a fantasy-rich affair.

For the Vikings, I’m starting Kirk Cousins, Justin Jefferson and running back Dalvin Cook. All three should be Top 12 plays at their position. I think Jefferson is in for a monster season. As for the rest, I’m not confident. It could be a decent game for Adam Thielen, but the Eagles’ secondary is no joke.

For the Eagles, I’m playing Jalen Hurts and A.J. Brown with confidence. Again, I see both as Top 12 plays and ranked them as such. I’m also back in on Miles Sanders. The Vikings allowed plenty of rush yards to the Packers, and Sanders looked great in Week 1. Even better, Sanders seemed to be a big part of the game plan. Tight end Dallas Goedert is also in play for the Eagles, but I’m not starting DeVonta Smith until we see him as a larger, more reliable part of the offense.

The Pick: Eagles

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.

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