Week 2 of the NFL has concluded and luckily for fantasy owners it helped to show which players look like the real deal and which ones got lucky in the first week. Although the season is by no means in the thick of it, teams and players are beginning to take shape and you can definitely start to see the trends beginning across the league. Going into the third week, owners will want to look at which players have begun taking over the majority of snaps from the depth chart and which ones are being left on the sideline.
Chris Thompson, Washington Redskins RB
Although the running back has only registered 13 touches in the first two weeks, he has produced 81 rushing yards, 81 receiving yards, and three touchdowns. This may look like a flash in the pan, but head coach Jay Gruden reported the Redskins’ main back Rob Kelley may have a fractured rib. If this turns out to be true, it will be hard to deny Thompson the main portion of carries after his first two performances. Even if Kelley plays next week, Thompson has managed to make the most of the touches he’s gotten so far and can be a dangerous flex moving forward.
Javorius Allen, Baltimore Ravens RB
Allen has quickly taken the reigns as the Ravens main running back after Danny Woodhead was placed on injury reserve. He split carries with Terrance West in week two, but that does not mean the workload or results have been even; the Ravens have given Allen almost three times as many touches as much as West, largely due to the fact he has shown his ability to make big catches in addition to rushing. Running for 77 yards on 21 carries in the first game, he elevated his game further against Cleveland by adding 35 receiving yards and a touchdown to his 66 yards on the ground. Allen registered 19 touches in week 2 to West’s 10, this shows an increased workload compared to week 1 where Allen had 21 to West’s 19.
Trevor Siemian, Denver Broncos QB
Most would not have batted an eye at Siemian before the season began, but the rookie from Northwestern has found himself on the top of fantasy lists after two huge performances in a row. He will be going against a Bills team that allowed an average of 207 receiving yards in its first two games, however they have not allowed a passing touchdown. This creates a risk for fantasy owners but it is easily worth the risk for those who are looking for a replacement for Sam Bradford, who had to leave the Vikings game early with a knee injury and may not return for up to six weeks. The Broncos are stacked as far as receivers go, so picking up Siemian could prove to be a power play as the season progresses.
Benjamin Watson, Baltimore Ravens TE
It would have been dangerous to pick up a Ravens tight end after their first week, when all three of their committee only received one target. This is in sharp contrast to previous seasons where the offense has relied on its tight ends, such as last year when Dennis Pitta was the third most targeted tight end in the NFL. Watson showed he was primed to take on that role in the week two matchup against the Browns, being involved in 74% of the Ravens’ snaps and catching all eight targets for 91 yards. Although Watson is 37 this year, he is a solid pick-up if you are in need of a tight end this week as he faces a Jaguars defense that allowed 91 yards and touchdown to the Titan’s tight ends last week.
Brandon Marshall, New York Giants WR
Many hoped that Marshall would be able to shake off some rust and become a valuable WR2 behind Odell Beckham Jr. in New York. OBJ showed in the Lions game on Monday night that regardless if he is injured still or not, he has not been able to put up the yards and dominate like he has in the past. This is bad news for those with Marshall, as opposing defenses will be able to pay more attention to him in the passing protection. Through two weeks, the former Bears ace has shown a complete lack of effectiveness, registering only two receptions for 27 yards in the first two weeks. If you didn’t think Marshall was past his expiration date last year, you had better now or risk a wasted roster spot.
Terrelle Pryor Sr., Washington Redskins WR
Pryor started the season as one of the main targets for Redskins’ quarterback Kirk Cousins, but has shown that he is unable to produce in the first two weeks. After only catching 6 of 11 targets week one for 66 yards, he was only targeted 4 times in week two, catching 2. This looks like a dangerous time for Pryor owners, as he looks to be slowing with age and losing the trust of Cousins and coach Gruden. The Redskins relied more on their running backs in their second game, signaling it may be a smart time to offload the wide receiver. If he does not perform in week three I would definitely drop him in favor of a wide receiver on a hot streak.
Thomas Rawls, Seattle Seahawks RB
Despite an injury that sidelined Rawls in the first week of the season, Pete Carroll still referred to him as the feature back going into the Hawks week two matchup with the 49ers. Although limited production in that game may have been due to Carroll trying to rest him, it opened up a wide opening for Chris Carson to continue to impress. Carson showed his mix of power and speed as he ran for 93 yards on 20 carries, moving the downs when they needed it most at the end of the game. Even if Rawls returns to full health soon, it doesn’t look like he provides enough different style from Carson to warrant keeping him on your team.