With two weeks of play under our belt, fantasy managers are starting to look at their roster to make some changes. Some players that were primed for a great year have disappointed so far, and keeping them in your starting lineup is not going to feel great. These players have tanked the confidence of their fantasy managers, and we need to keep an eye out on them this weekend. If they fail to show us a glimmer of hope or produce for fantasy, it’s going to be time for these players to move to the bench.
If there was one takeaway from Watson’s game on Monday, it is that he is certainly not the same player he was a few years ago. He’s looked much like himself from last year where he struggled to help his offense get anything done. We could forgive his performance in Week 1 because of the horrible weather conditions that made throwing the ball difficult. If you truly want to give Watson an excuse for a lackluster performance in Week 2, you could mention that he had to face an angry Steelers defense in Pittsburgh.
But if he fails to fails to perform in Week 3 against the Titans defense, who just let up 300 yards passing to the Chargers, then it’s time to move on from him as your fantasy QB. Watson is able to give Amari Cooper strong fantasy performances, but two touchdown passes in two games is not going to help your team win games. Luckily most people grabbed Watson late and won’t be too committed to the Browns QB, making him an easy bench if he fails once again.
What an absolute travesty this bears offense has been in 2023. I don’t care if it’s been two games, I don’t want to hear it – this offense is not what we thought it would be. We can blame the horrible play calling all we want but it starts with the man behind center. Justin Fields has been horrifically bad to open this season and I’m not sure he will get any better. This is not the same elite rushing option managers saw in the back half of 2022, and he certainly did not make that next step we all thought he could make.
Watching Justin Fields play football at this moment leaves a terrible taste in your mouth. He hangs onto the ball for far too long. His vision downfield is nonexistent. Worst of all, he doesn’t even run. Fields simply has not been worth the draft capital. Fields needs to show us something to be worth of rostering. Whether it be a massive improvement in his passing or at least a return to his rushing tendencies – we need to see anything positive.
Nuk being stuck on the Titans is such a bummer. 18 targets through two weeks is fantastic, but has ultimately led to just 20 fantasy points so far this season. That’s good enough for WR39 (or WR48 in HPPR) – not exactly what you’d expect from an elite talent like Hopkins. The tough part of rostering D-Hop is that you most likely can’t drop him out right. There are simply too many opportunities here for him to be bad for fantasy football. That doesn’t mean you can’t bench him until something drastic changes.
The quarterback play of Ryan Tannehill is the biggest draw back of Hopkins, as he has been just not been great. Week 1 was far worse than Week 2 and a rushing touchdown was the only reason his fantasy week was saved. Cleveland is a great defense and it’s hard to see an outcome where Tannehill performs better or even just equal than he did against the Chargers.
At the moment Hopkins feels like a “trade-away” target, especially if you are one of the unlucky teams to get hit by the running back injury bug. As much as it sucks to have someone as good as Hopkins not perform to his potential it sucks to have him hurt your team while he’s in your roster. He needs to come through this week or you may have to move on from the former fantasy all-star.
The big back from ‘Bama is not getting it done like used to. In Najee’s rookie year he was an absolute fantasy force thanks to the overwhelming volume he received while Big Ben was under center. Harris benefited from a boatload of check-down passes, and with no other relevant running back behind him, he was the go-to guy on all three downs. However as the years pressed on and injuries have piled up, Najee isn’t looking quite as explosive as he used to. The saving grace for Najee has always been that he is the featured back in a Mike Tomlin system: one that typically focuses on one primary runner.
However change is in the air. The Steelers offense is looking anemic early this season, and Najee’s value is starting to dip.
The emergence of Jaylen Warren is what has fantasy managers uneasy about Najee’s production going forward. In the few opportunities we have seen from Warren he appears to be a far more exciting playmaker than Harris at this point in the year. Harris could still be the primary goal line back for this offense, the issue is just getting there. Without Diontae Johnson this passing attack looks much weaker and drives are ending well before the redzone. This week will be the key matchup as the Steelers will finally face a defense that allows points to the running back position.
It’s kind of the same story for Herbert as it is for Fields, but Herbert is in the spot where he is struggling because of the poor QB play. If Fields can’t threaten the passing game then defenses will continue stack the box.
The good news is Herbert hasn’t necessarily looked bad when he does get his chance to run. It just doesn’t help that they have a talented back up in Roschon Johnson waiting in the wings. Then again Johnson is already racking up the touches as this offense tries to find something, anything, that works.
Last thing about this offense: the defense is terribly bad. The Bears will be in a negative game script for a lot of their matchups, making running the ball not an option. Chicago is just such in a bad spot, but fantasy managers are in a worse spot if Herbert can’t get it done.
I just discussed Goedert as a trade-for target in another piece, so I won’t take too much time talking about him here. This Philly offense is winning games, it just isn’t targeting Goedert as much as it has in the past. Against the Vikings it appeared as though the Eagles wanted to get the ball to Goedert, but the fantasy value just wasn’t there. A little more patience could help, but if he drops another egg on your face Goedert should sit on the bench for a bit
You might already need to be benching Pitts, but I’m holding out for the tiniest sliver of hope. We were all worried about Drake London as well in this run-heavy offense and Ridder was able to find him in the endzone. Maybe this week Pitts could see some love?
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