Week two enters Monday night and it was a week full of interesting and injury-filled results. There were some outstanding performances and some not so outstanding. This weekly piece reviews the top 5 and bottom 5 surprise performances of the week.
10. Demarcus Robinson
Back in the summer at the height of the Tyreek Hill investigation, it appeared that the Kansas City Chiefs were going to need to prepare themselves for life without Hill for an undetermined period of time. They drafted Mecole Hardman and looked prepared to roll with Sammy Watkins and a combination of Hardman and Demarcus Robinson as their main receivers.
Fast forward a few months, Hill escapes legal and league disciple and starts week 1 in his regular spot for the Chiefs. When Hill went down in week 1, the Chiefs were right back to where they were in the summer and fortunately for them, they already had a plan in places.
In the first week without Hill, when most thought Mecole Hardman was in for a lift in production (which he got), it was Demarcus Robinson who stole the spotlight.
Robinson caught all six of targets for 172 yards and two touchdowns in the Chiefs’ Week 2 win over the Raiders.
Robinson had his way with the Raiders secondary the entire afternoon. His first touchdown was 44 yards and the result of a blown coverage, but the second came on a tough contested catch from 39 yards out.
Having exposure to pretty much anyone in this Chiefs offense will be good for business more weeks than not with Mahomes under center. Robinson will likely be heavily involved in week three against the Ravens.
9. Mark Andrews
So perhaps after his week one output, Mark Andrews week two results shouldn’t be overly surprising. What is a surprise is how he is doing it. Andrews is off to quite the start in 2019. He is in the midst of breaking out and we are potentially looking at something historic.
Andrews has gone over 24 fantasy points in PPR scoring in both weeks thus far. Andrews sits with 50.0 PPR fantasy points on the season. He sits as the top-scoring TE entering Monday night’s action, 10.6 points clear of Evan Engram.
Since 1950, that is tied for the fifth-most by any tight end through his team’s first two games. The astonishing part of all of this is Andrews is playing limited snaps, making the production all the more impressive.
He was on the field for only 39 percent of the plays in Week 1, but his usage ramped up late on Sunday as he played 41 of the team’s 72 offensive snaps (57%). If Andrews takes a firm hold of the snaps his role could be expanding to the point where he’s capable of repeating these performances. Baltimore heads to Kansas City in week 3, which should be a high scoring up-tempo game in which I would expect Andrews to be heavily involved in.
8. Raheem Mostert
Raheem Mostert first came onto the fantasy radar last season when given an opportunity in the San Francisco backfield. He had two contests with over 80 rushing yards and looked to be someone fantasy relevant until a gruesome arm injury ended his season in week nine.
This season he looked to be a special teams contributor behind Matt Brieda, Tevin Coleman and Jerrick McKinnon on the 49ers depth chart. After injuries to Coleman and McKinnon, Mostert is suddenly relevant again in San Francisco.
Raheem Mostert rushed 13 times for 83 yards and caught 3-of-4 passes for 68 yards and a touchdown in Week 2 against the Bengals. He led the backfield in carries, even though Matt Breida started and was the feature back. Mostert and his 49ers play host to the Pittsburgh Steelers who have been vulnerable against the run through two weeks this season
7. Aaron Jones
Aaron Jones was bottled up by the tough Chicago Bears defense in week one. He finished that one with 13 carries for 39 yards. Heading into a week two match-up with another solid defense in Minnesota expectations were for another tough day at the office.
In the end, Jones rushed 23 times (career-high) for 116 yards and a touchdown in the Packers’ Week two win over the Vikings, adding four receptions for 34 additional yards.
The Packers came out of the gate on fire in this one jumping out to an early 21-0 lead. The offense gradually succumbed to Mike Zimmer’s elite pass defense, but Jones didn’t let up. Jones is a high-end RB2 who can get to RB1 status, with this amount of touches. It will be interesting to see if Jones can keep it up. Green Bay’s run defense schedule does not lighten up with Vic Fangio’s Broncos in Week 3.
6. Will Dissly
Will Dissly looked like the surprise tight end early in the 2018 season. He had 8 receptions for 156 yards and 2 touchdowns before a season-ending injury in week 4. Those might not seem like eye-popping results, but they were good enough for TE14 a mere 2 points behind then 12th ranked Jesse James. Two weeks into the 2019 season and Will Dissly is TE10.
On Sunday Dissly caught all five of his targets for 50 yards and two touchdowns in the Seahawks’ Week 2 win over the Steelers.
Dissly seems to have a knack of popping out of nowhere for big games. He caught a pair of red-zone touchdowns in this one from 14 and 12 yards out. Dissly’s 6’4/265 frame sticks out in the scoring area when Russell Wilson is looking for big targets. Dissly isn’t a set it and forget it TE yet as he is still recovered from his 2018 knee injury. He is, however, a must-own in all dynasty formats.
5. Alvin Kamara
A week after totaling 169 yards vs. Houston, Kamara was limited to 60 total yards in week 2 in Los Angeles.
Kamara, it would appear was a victim of Drew Brees’ early exit. When Teddy Bridgewater came in, the Saints were in comeback mode, and for whatever reason, that didn’t result in easy dump-offs to Kamara.
With Brees set to miss six weeks with a torn thumb ligament, Kamara’s floor and ceiling may take a hit. Kamara remains the top man out of the Saints backfield and I would anticipate a new approach from Sean Payton and the Saints going forward.
The Saints remain out West with a week three matchup in Seattle. We are still waiting on Kamara’s first touchdown of the season. Kamara will most likely be more of a low-end RB1 than an elite RB1 while Brees is out.
4. Dante Pettis
Pettis was a hot commodity in the fantasy world this offseason. He finished 2018 strong after missing a portion of his rookie season due to injury. Add in the fact that the 49ers were getting their starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo back under center, and expectations were for a break out season.
In the week two beat down of the Cincinnati Bengals, Dante Pettis didn’t see a target.
It would appear that if you are the Pettis owner and a panic button is within reach, you should be pushing it. He played 3 snaps in week 1 and added 35 in week two. He is running as the WR3 in the Niners offense behind Marquise Goodwin and rookie Deebo Samuel.
With Samuel breaking out (this week), and Trent Taylor getting close to a return, there’s not much to be optimistic about with Pettis right now. The craziest part of Pettis’ season so far is he has more passing yards (16) than receiving yards (7) thru two weeks.
3. O.J. Howard
O.J. Howard is a great blocking TE. He is also one of the premier pass-catching tight ends in all of football. When your offensive line is as bad as Tampa Bay’s you can use all the blocking help you can get.
The bad news for Howard and his owners is in order to catch passes in this league, you need to run routes. Running routes is something that Howard has not been doing a lot of so far in 2019. Howard ran 17 routes in week 2 and was not targeted at all.
Bruce Arians had been labeled as a coach that typically doesn’t use the TE that much in his offense. He also has never had as talented a tight end as O.J. Howard. Through two games Howard has been limited to 4 catches on 5 targets for 32 scoreless yards.
In Week 3 the Bucs host the New York Giants who have one of the worst defensive crews in the NFL. Look for Howard to use this one as a get right game.
2. Cam Newton
Last Thursday night, Cam Newton looked like he would have rather been anywhere other than under center for his Carolina Panthers.
Cam was incredibly inconsistent from pass to pass in this one. He had some nice throws and immediately followed those up with overthrows and balls in the feet of his receivers. He was extremely fortunate to have a horribly thrown interception reversed as a result of a defensive holding call.
After 2 weeks Cam has the highest percentage of uncatchable throws 34.2% according to Pro Football Focus. That translates to 30 of his 88 attempts on the season.
Besides, it appears that the Panthers are hell-bent on ensuring that Cam doesn’t run the football. If you are not giving your franchise quarterback and opportunity to punch it in from a yard out on the last play of the game, with the game on the line, when will you? Don’t quit on Cam just yet, Andrew Luck struggled out of the gate last year after his shoulder surgery, let’s hope Cam follows suit and improves as the season progresses.
1. Josh Gordon
A week after hauling in 3 catches for 73 yards and a touchdown on 4 targets, Flash Gordon caught 2 of 5 targets for 19 yards in the Patriots 43-0 destruction of Miami.
His week one total saw him finish as WR29 and in week two he fell to WR78.
Week two was also the debut of Antonio Brown in the Patriots lineup. Brown was targeted 8 times, catching half of them for 56 yards and a touchdown.
Gordon remains a solid WR3 and it will be interesting to see how this offense plays out if and when a team poises any challenge to the defending Super Bowl Champions.