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.

 

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A WEEKLY REVIEW OF CRENNEL'S COACHING

Now my job: Texans feast on Lions

Photo by Getty Images.

Thanksgiving is full of tradition. There's the typical family gathering, large meal, and of course, football. Sometimes, new traditions are added and old ones are retired. I think the Texans did both in their impressive 41-25 win over the Lions in Detroit. Old traditions were carried on (Lions losing on Thanksgiving), some were put to rest (Texans not being able to get turnovers), and new ones were started (multiple passing touchdowns by Deshaun Watson in six straight games).

The fact that this defense got three turnovers in the game was unbelievable! They got all three in the first quarter within the span of eight plays. JJ Watt's pick-six was insane. He went for a batted ball, ended up catching it, and ran it in. They forced Jonathan Williams to fumble on the Lions' very next play from scrimmage and recovered it. On the Lions' next possession, the Texans recovered yet another fumble after the challenge was reversed. Great call by the coaching staff to challenge and win. The defense looked good. Tyrell Adams stood out because he was in on those two fumbles, made 17 total tackles with 14 of them being solo tackles. They also brought pressure that seemed to make Matthew Stafford very inaccurate and resulted in four sacks. I give defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver credit for knowing he needs to blitz to get pressure, but the run defense has to improve.

The offense kept the tempo up in this game as well. The spread and hurry-up were used to keep the Lions already staggered defense off balance. Knowing the Lions were without a couple defensive backs, I thought it would be the perfect marriage of their defense and the Texans' offense. A buddy asked before the game about the line (Texans -3.5) and the over/under (52.5). I told him bet the Texans and the over because neither team can play defense and both have good quarterbacks. Offensive coordinator Tim Kelly put together another good game plan and Watson executed it flawlessly. One route combo I saw later on in the game I particularly enjoyed. Two receivers were tight to the left side. Cooks ran a hook/curl and settled in the middle of the zone while Fuller ran a vertical route. Duke Johnson ran a swing route to that same side. It left Cooks wide open as the attention went to Johnson in the flat, Fuller deep, and the action to the other play side. Route combos are important because it gives the quarterback different reads as he goes through his progressions and lets him pick apart the defense based on what he sees. Combine that with Watson's play and the way Kelly has changed his play calling now that he's liberated from he who shall not be named, we're seeing a beautiful thing.

As good as things were, there's still room for improvement. The defense gives up way too many easy yards, both run and pass. They can't get pressure bringing only four and will often give up big plays if the blitz is picked up. Plus the run defense is still an issue as evidenced by the Lions' first possession of the second half. The Lions ran the ball 10 plays straight for a total of 58 yards on that drive. Utterly ridiculous! Watson was good (17/25 318 yards and four touchdowns), but he missed two more touchdowns with passes slightly off, and continues to hold onto the ball too long at times. The difference between these two issues I've presented here is the fact that Watson has so played well, his "issues" are minor and very correctable, while the defense is terrible and there's no easy fix in sight. But let Romeo Crennel and Anthony Weaver tell it, they're getting the most out of these guys and they're playing disciplined.

The thought that this team may actually creep into the playoff picture may take shape better after next week if they can beat the Colts. I doubt it, but it is getting interesting. Let's see what else happens around them because they need help getting there.

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