The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947

THE GANNON KNIGHT

The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947

THE GANNON KNIGHT

The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947

THE GANNON KNIGHT

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February 23, 2024

Anthony Watson’s fantasy picks of the week

fantasy-football-logoIt’s hard to believe Week One of the National Football League is already in the books.  Maybe it’s just me, but it seemed like “Deflate-gate” went on for about a millennium.  Preseason is still just four weeks, right?  Because there were times that it felt like much, much more than that.

How long ago was it that Rex Ryan was hired as the Bills’ lead man?  It feels like ages.  And one more thing:  since when did the NFL offseason reside in the judicial system?  It appears that every year, more and more legal issues arise.  We all know how boring the court system is, so I’m sure that only made it feel like a longer offseason.

But we’re here.  We made it.  You’ve drafted.  You’ve got a small taste of what the NFL will be about this year.  For example, the Bills might just be a contender.  On the other hand, maybe the rest of the league has found some kinks in the Seahawks’ armor.

That’s what we have to navigate through as fantasy owners.  Put ourselves in the best situation to succeed and hopefully it goes our way.  There will always be surprises, so don’t put your eggs all in one basket.  Remember this word: diversify.  Technically, every player is hit or miss.  It’s up to you to balance out those bad performances with good ones.

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So buckle up your bootstraps, put your thinking cap on and, most importantly, get ready for a fun-filled year. Here’s some “starts” and “sits” for your Week 2 lineup:

Admittedly, it’s tough when there is only one week of sample size.  Therefore, I can only give you one player per position that I think will exceed expectations; after all, I don’t want to look like I’m completely clueless.

At quarterback, I’m looking at Drew Brees to have a stellar week.  In his Week One bout against the Cardinals, Brees had plenty of yards (365) but lacked stats in the touchdown column (1).  Things will change this time around against a Tampa Bay defense that continues, for whatever reason, to run the outdated Cover 2 scheme with mediocre personnel.  Add in a struggling rookie signal-caller on the other side and Brees adds up to some fantasy goodness.

Lamar Miller had a pedestrian outing against the Redskins, racking up a mere 53 yards on 13 carries.  Now, the matchup this week against the Jaguars could look troublesome.  Jacksonville actually has a pretty good defense, but its offense is so abysmal that even the second-coming of the ’85 Bears would have trouble shutting opponents down.  Given that Lamar’s quarterback is a game-manager, I think Miami would be wise to hand it to its lead guy 20-25 times and let him take the game into his own hands.

I’ve always been high on Keenan Allen.  I truly believe the guy is a beast on the outside and he proved it last week.  Snagging 15 receptions and 168 yards in Week One, Allen is finally capitalizing on all his promise.  If you’re in a PPR league — which I am — he will single-handedly win games for you this year — as he did for me.  Plug him in your lineup the rest of the year and forget about it.

Before I give you a tight end to start this week, I just want to say that Rob Gronkowski is going to have the best statistical season of any tight end ever.  The guy is a monster and I totally understand if you spent a No. 1 pick on him.  Since we all don’t have the luxury of Gronk, how about Zach Ertz? Things didn’t go quite as planned in the season opener for the big guy — it didn’t for the entire Eagles’ offense — but he should rebound this week nicely.  Look for Bradford to get into a rhythm by feeding the ball to Ertz early and often.

Peyton Manning, yikes.  Listen, it’s not all his fault.  The Broncos are trying to establish themselves as more of a ground-and-pound type of team.  That doesn’t excuse Peyton’s misthrows that cost him a number of touchdowns, though, and a final stat line of 175 yards, zero touchdowns and one interception.

It saddens me to say it, but I think the ol’ veteran is just fizzling out.  I’m hoping with all the Nationwide commercials he’s been doing that he took out some sort of insurance policy on his body this year.  I could see his season getting ugly.  Quick. If you have a viable backup option, begin using that option.

I’m going to lump these two guys together for a less-than-favorable play this week: Demarco Murray and Lesean McCoy.  I thought they were severely overvalued in the offseason by their new respective ball clubs.  Murray was run into the ground last year and it’s showing.  He had eight attempts for nine yards.  Do the math; even a 50-touch game would only net him 50 yards with that average.

Then there’s McCoy, who simply looked flat in Week One.  He’ll make the explosive play here and there, but the Bills are going to revolve around defense and Tyrod Taylor dinking and dunking to the end-zone.  I’d try to trade these guys while you still can.

Mike Evans didn’t play last week with a hamstring issue.  What’s worse is the situation he’ll come back to in Week Two. His quarterback looked mediocre, at best.  His coaches will most likely put him on a snap count to keep his hamstring from tightening up.  Even though I personally have Evans on my team, I can’t trust any Tampa Bay offensive players until the young gunslinger shows some more playmaking ability.

As a Vikings fan, I just want to extend my deepest apologies to anyone who took a chance on Kyle Rudolph.  Year in and year out, analysts from ESPN and NFL Network peg him as the next breakout tight end.  Year in and year out, Rudolph looks so slow it appears that he’s underwater and his offense just doesn’t materialize to anything good.

After all the preseason hype, it appears all of us Vikings supporters get to suffer through yet another losing season.  And anyone who bought the hype in fantasy, well, good luck to you.  You’re going to need it.

ANTHONY WATSON

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