The second week is here and there were many surprises in week one. From the four-touchdown game by Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota, to the 27-point fantasy outburst from Patriots Tight End Rob Gronkowski. We look back on those performances, and look ahead to the upcoming week with our weekly prediction column: Take it to the Bank.
AP Gets It Together
Last week, we watched as Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was held to just 31 yards on 10 carries. Not really the numbers that fantasy owners were expecting after almost all took him in the first round. This week, Peterson and the Vikings return home for the first time this season. I’d expect AP to get his regular workload and should make an impact against a Detroit Lions team who lost some big guys off their line this offseason.
It’s On Like Gronky Kong
This past week, Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan said that he may have to opt to put three defenders on New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. While I found this a bit humorous, I don’t really think that Rex was kidding. There will be times where Gronk has three players covering him. I’d expect Gronkowski to have a below average game, but anything is possible. Pats wide receiver Julian Edelman is expected to have a good fantasy outing, and Danny Amendola is a sneaky play this week.
Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota was in for a huge week in week one, becoming just the second rookie quarterback ever to throw four touchdowns in his first career game. This week, Mariota turns his attention to the Cleveland Browns, who just allowed a big game to New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick last week. Expect big things for the rookie this week.
Macaroni and Brees
The search party is out for New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees this week. Listen, I know that he still threw for 355 yards last week against the Arizona Cardinals, but the stat that stood out to me was that Brees had only one touchdown pass on four trips to the red zone. Now while there is concern about Brees, the veteran will get to try in week two against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who allowed four touchdown passes in the first half to Marcus Mariota. We’ll see how much easier that makes it for Brees. Start him as normal.
In case you haven’t heard, the St. Louis Rams have been practicing with running back Todd Gurley this week. The rookie halfback isn’t supposed to return to the lineup until week four after tearing his ACL last season at the collegiate level with Georgia. This is great news for Gurley owners, as it signals the possibility of a week three return. Currently, Gurley is listed as questionable for this week’s matchup against the Washington Redskins, but I’m not confident that Gurley will play this week. Look for Tre Mason to get the start at running back for the Rams.
UPDATE (Sunday 9/20 @ 11:30 AM): Gurley is inactive today. The Rams are targeting a week three return.
Brett Malamud is an English Rhetoric Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy
By Brett Malamud
The regular season has come and gone, and teams begin to look forward to the playoffs. However, we’ll take a step back. There were many highs and lows this season, and that leads us to this season’s final edition of Studs and Duds:
Stud: Dallas Cowboys records
The Cowboys made Jerry Jones one happy man this season. Running back DeMarco Murray broke Emmitt Smith’s franchise rushing yards record. Then Dez Bryant broke Terrell Owens’ single-season receiving touchdown record.
Dud: Ray Rice/Adrian Peterson/Roger Goodell
Domestic violence in the NFL quickly made national headlines after Roger Goodell brought a two game suspension down on the now-former Ravens running back Ray Rice for an altercation with his fiancée. Then TMZ released the video footage which showed Rice delivering a violent punch to the face of his fiancée. Goodell faced numerous protests calling for his resignation. While Goodell handled himself well in national press conferences, the situation was far from over. The NFL was being criticized by various women’s rights organizations, anti domestic violence organizations, and even current NFL players. Goodell suspended more players that were reportedly involved in domestic violence cases, including Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. Rice was released by the Ravens the day he was suspended and although he was reinstated by the NFL, he is still a free agent and is looking for a job. Peterson was suspended for the entire season and it remains to be seen as to whether he will be back with the Vikings next season or not.
Stud: Seahawks Media Antics
I’m not sure which I enjoyed more, Marshawn Lynch replying “yeah” to every question, replying “nope” to every question, or replying “thank you very much for asking, I appreciate the question.” I’d probably go with the latter. From the short answers to the cardboard cutouts, the Seahawks antics were hilarious this year.
Dud: New York Jets
Oh the Jets. Gang Green headed into this season confident as always. After taking a win at home against the Raiders, the New York tabloids declared that the Jets were much improved from last season, in which they went 8-8. The additions of Eric Decker and Chris Johnson meant that this team was for real. But then the Jets went on a eight game losing streak, virtually ending their season. While they somehow pulled out a win against the Steelers at home in week 10, They lost three more games after that to push their record to 2-11, with just three weeks remaining. In the game dubbed “The Mariota Bowl,” named for Oregon quarterback and top 2015 NFL Draft prospect Marcus Mariota. The loser of this game was expected to have the top pick in the draft with the opportunity to draft the franchise quarterback. The Jets won the game, bringing Jets fans hopes and dreams of a franchise quarterback to a crashing halt. The Jets proceeded to win two of their final three games, dropping them to the sixth pick in the draft.
Stud: Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants
Beckham Jr. came on the spotlight in the middle of the season after Victor Cruz went down with a season ending injury. The rookie took the league by storm with his one handed grab against Dallas Cowboys on November 23. Beckham Jr. is sure to be a great weapon for years to come.
Dud: Jadeveon Clowney
Clowney was down and out from the start. In the preseason, he experienced concussion like symptoms and missed preseason weeks three and four. Week one came and Clowney went down with a knee injury. It was later revealed that he had a torn meniscus. After a brief comeback, Clowney was sidelinded for the rest of his rookie season and had knee surgery.
Brett Malamud is a Computer Science Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy