Josh Jordan

Fantasy football under-the-radar plays — Week 2

Lamar Miller looks like he's a good play again this week. Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The first week is in the books and I have more sleeper plays for Week 2. Let’s take a peek at how I did last week, and then look ahead to this week’s slate of games. My criteria for a good game is around 100 total yards and/or a TD. Last week was a pretty good week considering the uncertainty of Week 1 in fantasy football, and the fact that I’m not picking studs. Here’s how I did in Week 1.

Derrick Henry (TEN): Wrong

James White (NE): Right

James Conner (PIT): Right (Holy Crap)

Lamar Miller (HOU): Right

JuJu Smith Schuster (PIT): Right

Chris Hogan (NE): Wrong

Jamison Crowder (WAS): Wrong

Eric Ebron (DET): Right

Jordan Reed (WAS): Right

Week 2

 

RB

James White (NE): This week, I like James White again. His matchup is not good, but he does have several things working for him. He plays with Tom Brady, Jeremy Hill is out for the year with a torn ACL, and RB Rex Burkhead is dealing with a concussion. White should get a lot of touches against the Jags.

James Conner (PIT): Start him every week until Bell comes back. That is all.

Lamar Miller (HOU): He was pretty good against the Patriots, and he might get even more opportunity against the Titans this week. Hey Bill O'Brien, let's give Miller some goal line opportunities! If the weather turns out to be an issue, Houston may focus on the running game. 

Dion Lewis (TEN): They may lean on Lewis this week with Mariota banged up. Lewis could be deployed against the Texans in a similar fashion as James White and Rex Burkhead were last week. I don’t expect a ton of rushing yards against the Texans stout defense, but he should be active in the passing game.

TJ Yeldon (JAX): If Fournette is out with a hamstring injury, Yeldon becomes a must-start.

WR

JuJu Smith-Schuster (PIT): I love his matchup this week. Big Ben is at home and the Chargers WRs had huge games against the Chiefs last week. Roll with JuJu again unless Roethlisberger is unable to go or limited. 

Cooper Kupp (LA): Kupp was active with 9 targets catching 5 of them and also scored in Week 1. He has a nice matchup in the slot where he shouldn’t have to deal with Patrick Peterson, so he’s looking good.

Josh Gordon (CLE): If Gordon is set to start this week, you have to like his chances in the Superdome against the Saints. They were dominated by the Bucs in Week 1, but keep an eye on his hamstring. I’m out on him if he’s not practicing all week.

Mike Williams (LA): Williams is a bit of a dart throw if you’re looking for a flex play this week. He had over 80-yards receiving against the Chiefs, and there’s nothing scary about his matchup against the Bills. Keep in mind, he’s not someone you HAVE to get in your lineup. The negative body clock could be an issue for the Chargers traveling all the way across the country. But if you’re desperate, he’s worth taking a chance on.

Brandon Marshall (SEA): Doug Baldwin is out and Jimmy Graham left in free agency. Somebody has to catch some passes in this offense, so why not Marshall? The Bears gave up quite a few plays to some big-bodied Packers WRs last week, and Marshall is a big dude. He's a low-end flex play.

TE

Jordan Reed (WAS): Reed was good in Week 1, and if you played him, you had to be happy. The Colts are not what you would call GOOD on defense. Give him another shot this week, before he gets hurt again.

Jack Doyle (IND): Doyle caught 7 balls last week, and Andrew Luck is still a little hesitant to push the ball down the field. Washington gives up points to the TE, so fire him up again.

Eric Ebron (IND): He had over 50-yards and a TD against the Bengals, so he’s worth using again. I was on him last week, and I think he’s worth using, especially with all the injuries to the TE position across the NFL in Week 1.

 

J.J. Watt is headed for illustrious but strange company

Maximize opportunity before Watt gets wasted

Houstontexans.com

Thursday the reality of what J.J. Watt is facing really hit me. The Houston Chronicle reported Watt had a minor offseason knee surgery. The last three years prove he's far from immortal, though the once incredible career is back on track. For how long, no one knows. Then I finally realized it.

J.J. Watt is on pace to be the greatest defensive player to never play for a conference championship or a Super Bowl.

I started digging into the lists of the all-time great defenders and the best pass rushers in the game's history. Most of the players who would easily be considered a great on defense have at the very least won a Lombardi. If they haven't won the big trophy they've either played or been one game away.

Two names stick out on the all-time greats list. Deacon Jones played three postseason games all in the divisional round. Dick Butkus never played in the postseason. You have to go to 24th all-time in sacks, Pat Swilling with 107.5, to find a sack leader who hasn't at least played in a conference championship or better.

It's a line on almost every great's resume and Watt's missing it.

Watt's only 30 sacks away from the top 20 in career sacks. His three defensive player of the year awards in four years cemented an era of dominance rarely matched in NFL history. He will put on the gold jacket one day. It would be bittersweet to find himself among those greats having never played in a game with that level of importance.

Unless he plays in one.

Brian Gaine and Bill O'Brien can't mess this up or they will be accessories to a sports crime: cementing Watt's place as the all-time great without a huge game to his name. The Texans enter one of the most important offseasons in franchise history. They have to find a way to protect Deshaun Watson as he's the key to making sure Watt's schedule pushes beyond 16 games each year. It's no easy task, but go do it. Make the defense's job just a little easier with some powerful offense.

Give Watt and company just a second more too with better secondary play. Help him out with a better pass rush next to him and not just opposite him. There's so many things the Texans have to get right with their massive cap space and three picks in the top two rounds.

It won't all be Gaine and O'Brien's fault if they don't do it, however they have a chance, with Watson and the rest of this team, to make sure a truly significant game appears on the schedule for Watt. Just one conference championship appearance, then, who knows. Maybe the big one and the Lombardi trophy.

Now here's a thought that will shake all Texans fans.

If the Texans don't nail it this offseason and show the next few seasons they're not legit threats, maybe Watt fills the hole in his distinguished career elsewhere. Reggie White left in his 30's. DeMarcus Ware found glory with the Broncos after a long Cowboys career. It isn't unheard of to see one franchise's legend don another team's colors.

I'm not sure what would hurt Texans fans more. Knowing Watt never played in the biggest games with the Texans or seeing him get to one of those games with another team. It's the hope neither of those things happen. There are almost never happy endings in football, but Watt's story deserves one or more of those chapters.

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