We’re on to Week 2 of the National Football League regular season and we’re just 12 short weeks away from the fantasy football playoffs. All right, no need to get ahead of ourselves, but it really does go by quickly. Teams do not typically practice on Tuesday, outside of the teams playing in the Thursday night game, so news can be slow. However, there were plenty of stories flying around to make things interesting on a Tuesday.
Deshaun Watson to start Thursday
Tom Savage was the starting signal caller under center to open the season for head coach Bill O’Brien in Houston. However, it only took two quarters for O’Brien to search for a spark plug on the bench. The Jacksonville Jaguars‘ defense limited the Texans to just 52 total net yards through the first 30 minutes, prompting the head coach to make a change. Rookie Deshaun Watson led the team to its only scoring drive of Week 1 in the 29-7 loss. Now, Watson will get the starting nod in Week 2 on Thursday against the Bengals.
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Savage completed seven of his 13 pass attempts for 62 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions and his lack of mobility led to six sacks. He also lost a pair of fumbles in his two quarters of action, including one which was scooped up by Dante Fowler for a 53-yard touchdown. When the dust cleared and the Texans headed to the locker room they were staring at a 19-0 deficit. Watson came on and moved the offense, going 12-of-23 for 102 yards, one touchdown and one interception while running twice for 16 yards. Watson was sacked four times in his two quarters, and his quarterback rating was actually less (60.4) than Savage’s (66.8).
Apparently O’Brien saw something on game tape to make him decide that the future is now – something he didn’t apparently see during the preseason. Either that, or he feels Watson’s mobility is better than Savage’s, and the Texans greatly need that after allowing 10 sacks in their opening game disaster. The insertion of Watson under center won’t greatly affect the fantasy appeal of Lamar Miller, for example, as he’ll do his thing regardless of whom is throwing the ball. However, Watson’s addition has great significance to one player in particular.
Watson hooked up with fellow Clemson alumnus DeAndre Hopkins for a four-yard touchdown in the third quarter, cashing in one of his 16 targets. He finished with seven grabs for 55 yards and the score, which isn’t great production. However, 11 of his 16 targets came in the second half once Watson checked in, and Hopkins piled up six catches for 48 yards thanks to Watson. Extrapolate that type of production over an entire game and that’s the type of fantasy numbers owners have come to expect from Nuk.
Can Kerwynn Help You Win?
The Arizona Cardinals and fantasy owners everywhere were hit hard in Week 1. Early first-round pick David Johnson (wrist) suffered a wrist injury in the lost in Detroit, forcing him to the Reserve/Injured List, potentially for the entire season. His injury is expected to take him two to three months to rehab, so that leaves a giant hole in the Arizona backfield. In the opener, it was Kerwynn Williams stepping up to the plate and finding the end zone. As such, he is a player many fantasy owners are targeting off the waiver wire.
Before you put a huge dent in your FAAB budget, remember that Williams had just five totes for 10 yards. If not for the touchdown, fantasy owners wouldn’t be terribly high on Williams. In addition, the Cardinals are likely to spread the wealth with Johnson on the shelf, using perhaps a combination of Williams, Andre Ellington and Chris Johnson. Elijhaa Penny and D.J. Foster might also be vying for touches and a role in the post-David Johnson era in the desert, but the best bet is still Williams. However, he averaged just 2.0 yard per carry in Week 1, so temper expectations.
Quick Hits: Danny Woodhead will miss four to six weeks due to his hamstring injury, and reports say he might be a candidate for the Reserve/Injured list. With Woodhead heading to the shelf for an extended period it will be Terrance West and Javorius Allen holding down the fort. West rushed 19 times for 80 yards and a touchdown, while Buck Allen managed 21 totes for 71 yards. With Joe Flacco (back) slowly making his way back from a disc issue in his back, now more than ever the run game is important. … With Woodhead sidelined at least a month, Michael Campanaro might have a chance at more touches – as a running back? Is he the next Ty Montgomery, sliding from wideout to tailback? It’s not an emergency yet, but it is a situation worth monitoring closely. … The Eagles sent Caleb Sturgis to the Reserve/Injured Designated to Return list due to a quadriceps injury, adding Jake Elliott to the active roster. It’s uncertain if Sturgis will be back in 2017. … There is no fantasy value with this move, but it is a situation worth monitoring. Matt Jones, formerly of the Redskins, was added to the practice squad of the Colts. It will likely take an injury to Frank Gore, Robert Turbin or rookie Marlon Mack to get Jones into a regular role with the big club. … John Ross (knee) was able to practice in full on Tuesday after being inactive in Week 1. The rookie appears to be on target to play in Week 2, and the Bengals certainly could use an injection of offense after getting blanked in the opener against the Ravens. He’s worth stashing away in fantasy leagues of 12 or more teams if you have deeper rosters. … Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone gave his vote of confidence to both Allen Hurns and Marqise Lee, as they team needs someone to step up with Allen Robinson (knee) done for the season. Hurns is just one season removed from a 1,064-yard and 10-touchdown performance, so he is likely to be the most productive fantasy receiver in J-ville. … The Colts are reportedly considering newcomer Jacoby Brissett to start in Week 2 after Scott Tolzien was an absolute train wreck. Andrew Luck (shoulder) is sidelined again, so the Colts and their wideouts are likely to have minimal fantasy appeal again this Sunday.