Week Two Sleepers and Busts
Week One has come and gone, and wow was it fun! Week One was full of surprises – some players outperformed their expectations (hello Randall Cobb), and some fell short (looking at you, Matt Stafford). Now we are heading into Week Two – a week where you can make decisions based on our first glimpse at what teams will look like this season. Many teams will make adjustments after Week One, and you should make adjustments to your lineups. Who can you trust in Week Two? Let’s look at some sleepers and busts to keep an eye on heading into Week Two of the fantasy season.
Week Two Sleepers and Busts
Jared Cook, Oakland Tight End, @ DEN
Cook just had a great game against the Rams – 9 catches for 180 yards. And while I don’t expect him to have 180 yards again, Denver’s defense against tight ends has me believing 100 yards is absolutely doable. In fact, Denver was the third worst defense against tight ends last season. Also, they just allowed Will Dissley 3 catches for 105 yards. Both Dissley and Cook had receptions of more than 40 yards (Dissley’s longest catch was 66 yards). Cook saw 12 targets Monday night and I expect the Raiders to pass a lot again to stay in the game against a Broncos team that can move the ball. Look for Cook to have a big game again in Week Two.
Tyler Lockett, Seattle Wide Receiver, @ CHI
Lockett looks to benefit from Doug Baldwin’s injury. Baldwin saw 116 targets last year, so there are opportunities to be had. Brandon Marshall will take some of those targets, but Lockett will undoubtedly see more targets as well. Lockett’s main role in the Seattle offense is slot receiver. In Sunday’s game against the Broncos, Lockett ran 67% of his routes from the slot. The Bears gave up 27.3 points (in PPR) to Randall Cobb in the slot Sunday night. Lockett should be able to capitalize on these opportunities. Lockett is also a deep threat, and Chicago gave up 90 yards to deep passes against the Packers. The heat map below shows that Chicago poorly defends the long ball. The main takeaway from this heatmap is the 60% completion percentage allowed to deep middle targets (the number inside of each box is the completion percentage allowed in that zone). Expect Wilson to target Lockett, both short and deep, in Week Two.
Royce Freeman, Denver Running Back, v. OAK
If you watched my Broncos game on Sunday, you know the main running back take away from Denver in Week One was rookie Philip Lindsay. But don’t sleep on Royce Freeman. Freeman had 15 carries for 71 yards (that’s an average of 4.7 YPC) and played more snaps than Lindsay (29 snaps compared to 26 for Lindsay). Denver will likely continue a timeshare between Freeman and Lindsay. Freeman looks great running between the tackles and is now going against an Oakland run defense that allowed 147 total yards to Todd Gurley. As we can see in the Oakland rushing heat map below, they allow an average of more than four yards-per-carry in five zones. I fully expect Denver to be in control of this game, which should produce a favorable game script for Denver’s running game. I expect Freeman to get the first touchdown of his career this Sunday.
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Quarterback, @ PIT
Mahomes burst on the scene in Week One, throwing 4 touchdowns and leading the Chiefs to a victory against the Chargers. But what happens when we take a closer look at the numbers? Mahomes passed for 256 yards. 94 of these yards came on two plays – a 58-yard touchdown and 36-yard touchdown. If we take out the two big plays, Mahomes only passed for 162 yards. Taking out these two big plays also brings him down to a 52% completion percentage.
The Chargers dominated in Week One in almost every category – more first downs (33 to 19), more yards (541 to 362), greater yards-per-carry (5.6 to 3.9), and time of possession – all on the same number of drives (each team had 11). Mahomes’ great day was helped by the big play ability of Tyreek Hill. Playing in Pittsburgh will pose a stiff challenge, and unless Hill has another monster day, Mahomes won’t live up to the hype.
Chris Hogan, New England Wide Receiver, @ JAX
Chris Hogan had a bad Week One, and that will likely continue in Week Two. He played 91% of snaps in Week One but was only able to produce 1 catch on 5 targets. The Patriots are also facing a tough Jacksonville defense. Let’s look at Chris Hogan’s last 8 games, compared to the last 8 games of WR1s going against Jacksonville. Hogan has only had 2 games over 20 fantasy points, and Jacksonville has only allowed over 20 points once in the last 8 games. Don’t expect Hogan to be a big factor in Week Two.
Dion Lewis, Tennessee Running Back, vs. HOU
Dion Lewis was pretty heavily involved Week One – he had 16 carries, 5 catches, and found the end zone. This week, however, he is facing a tough Texans defense. Houston allowed the 11th fewest rushing yards last season and the 5th fewest receiving yards to running backs.
As you can see in the chart below, the Texans have only allowed a running back more than 20 points once in the last 8 games. Last week the Texans only allowed 4 catches to James White. And, interestingly enough, Lewis had no red zone targets last week. I don’t expect Lewis to match his Week One totals in Week Two.