What Are the Comfort Levels for Fantasy Studs Heading into Week 2?

Richard Janvrin@@RichardJanvrinFeatured ColumnistSeptember 12, 2017

What Are the Comfort Levels for Fantasy Studs Heading into Week 2?

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    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    Fantasy football studs are not immune to bad games, in case you didn't know.

    This could be for any number of things.

    Maybe it was just a bad game. Maybe your quarterback is no good (*cough* Blake Bortles *cough*). Or hey, maybe you just don't match up well against your opponent.

    Whatever the reason, in the end, football is hard, man.

    Some players are immune to matchups. But some guys, if shadowed by elite cornerbacks, just can't get anything going on the stat sheet.

    In this slideshow, there are nine total players: Two quarterbacks, three running backs, three wide receivers and one tight end.

    They all fall within one of three categories: Guys I'm stoked about, guys that I'm somewhere in the middle with and a select few that I'm just kind of scared of.

    Hint: I'm stoked about the first guy in this slideshow. He throws the football nicely.

Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints

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    Jim Mone/Associated Press

    In Week 1, the New England Patriots defense allowed 42 points to the Kansas City Chiefs as well as nearly 400 yards and four touchdowns to their quarterback, Alex Smith.

    Yes, there are new faces on their defense and, while it may have just been Week 1 blunders, there are still some evident holes.

    Either way, the Patriots are going to New Orleans to take on the Saints and their quarterback, Drew Brees.

    At the time of writing this, the Saints are 4.5-point underdogs to the Patriots, but no over/under line is available.

    However, you can expect it to be quite high as this should be a shootout.

    Brees and the Saints have a plethora of options on offense, they're at home and in a dome. Brees is going to feast on the Patriots defense whether he wins or loses. If Vegas is correct regarding the Saints being underdogs, the Saints will need to throw to stay in it.

    This could be a game where both teams reach the 30's.

    A no-brainer here.


    Comfort Level: Like sleeping on a cloud.

Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys

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    Tom Pennington/Getty Images

    I know what you're thinking: Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant hasn't been the fantasy stud we all knew him to be once upon a time.

    But hey, you guys drafted him like a WR1, so don't come at me.

    Either way, Bryant is coming off a poor statistical outing in Week 1. He caught two passes for just over 40 yards.

    However, Bryant had nine targets. He should have had a better game, but he didn't.

    Week 2 is going to be a terrible week for Bryant. So much so that he might be a low-end WR2 for me this week.

    He, like his teammate, running back Ezekiel Elliott, is going to face the Denver Broncos and cornerbacks Chris Harris and Aqib Talib. He's going to be shut down in this game.

    Of course, the more targets he gets, the better, but attacking these corners is going to be a heck of a time for Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott.

    I'm not sure if he eclipses 50 or 60 yards in this game.


    Comfort Level: Wearing skinny jeans that are three sizes too small.

Brandin Cooks, WR, New England Patriots

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    Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

    In the first slide, we covered New England Patriots wide receiver Brandin Cooks' former quarterback Drew Brees.

    Here, we're going to cover Cooks' first matchup against his former team.

    In a loss in Week 1, Cooks caught three passes for 88 yards on seven targets. Yes, he was held out of the end zone, but expect Cooks to be there perhaps a couple times in Week 2.

    Heading into the season, we knew the Patriots would be without wide receiver Julian Edelman due to a torn ACL.

    The Patriots will be without another wide receiver in Danny Amendola most likely in Week 2, as he is dealing with a concussion.

    If you'll recall, Amendola led the team in receiving in Week 1.

    With his injury, we're left with Cooks, Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett and tight end Rob Gronkowski as the main pass-catchers.

    Dorsett likely needs a few more weeks to settle in, Hogan won't take away from Cooks' production and Gronk is, well, Gronk.

    And oh, the Patriots will make sure Cooks does something against his former team.


    Comfort Level: Like staying at the Le Meridien (a highly-rated luxury hotel) in New Orleans for a week-long stay.

Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys

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    Ron Jenkins/Associated Press

    Against a stout New York Giants defense, Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, amid all the suspension talk, performed well, fantasy-wise.

    On 24 carries, Elliott had 104 yards (4.3 yards per carry) and added another 36 yards through the air on five receptions.

    Again, this was a nice fantasy performance, but as you can tell, volume was important here.

    While volume is what's important for most running backs, there is a point where the opponent is just a difficult out.

    In Week 2, Elliott scores a date with the Denver Broncos who are arguably the best defense all around in the league.

    Of course, combining Elliott's skill with volume could produce nice results, but it's tough to say.

    There's no way you're benching Elliott, but this matchup is a tad worrisome.


    Comfort Level: Like falling asleep reading your kid a bedtime story and waking up with a sore neck.

Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

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    David J. Phillip/Associated Press

    If you ask around to your favorite fantasy football analysts, they'll all fall on different points on the map when it comes to their opinion on Jacksonville Jaguars rookie running back Leonard Fournette.

    Week 1's production from Fournette was based largely on volume. He had 29 touches for 124 total yards and a score.

    The Jaguars and quarterback Blake Bortles didn't need to throw—the defense embarrassed the Houston Texans.

    In Week 2, however, the Jaguars will face off against another division foe in the Tennessee Titans.

    Sure, the Titans only scored 16 points in Week 1, but this game will be much more competitive than the trouncing the Jaguars delivered in Week 1.

    Keeping the game close, the game will need to be a bit more balanced. Fournette will still get his fair share of the load, but he'll face a defense that is fantastic against the run. They didn't have their best outing in Week 1, but in 2016 this defense gave up the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs, and there are still a lot of the same players.

    Based off of his workload and who he is on your team, again, you're not benching him, but this Week won't be as solid a performance as Week 1.


    Comfort Level: Falling asleep on the floor watching a New York Jets game.

Kareem Hunt, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

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    Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

    This could be a bit unpopular, but I'm somewhere in the middle on my expectations with Kansas City Chiefs phenom running back Kareem Hunt in Week 2.

    Week 1 was one of the greatest debuts by a rookie running back ever. That cannot be debated.

    With that said, the Patriots were just outclassed in that game, the Chiefs were ahead, so Hunt got the ball a ton, and yes, Hunt's pure ability also assisted in his production.

    Week 2 is looking like it could be a different story for Hunt and the Chiefs, though.

    They're a great team by the looks of it through one week, but Hunt is going to face a Philadelphia Eagles defense in Week 2 that shut down the Redskins running game and have some great players along their defensive line to help stop the run.

    Players like defensive lineman Fletcher Cox and Timmy Jernigan lead that charge. While Cox may not have done well against the run in Week 1, that's a trend that will not continue.

    Hunt will still be productive in this game, but some of these rankings having him inside the top-three might be a little bit too much for me.

    Like Leonard Fournette and Ezekiel Elliott, you're starting Hunt, but don't be disappointed if he doesn't have another incredible game.


    Comfort Level: Just an ordinary night of sleep in your bed, but with two pillows instead of one.

Alshon Jeffery, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

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    Alex Brandon/Associated Press

    After a poor statistical output in Week 1, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery could be in for another tough week.

    Coming off a three-reception, 38-yard game on seven targets, Jeffery is set to do battle with Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters.

    In case you hadn't heard, Peters is not a guy to mess with.

    Heck, even New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady respects him enough to only throw his way one time.

    Peters is a corner who traditionally lines up on the left side of the field and Jeffery usually on the right, meaning they'll meet quite often.

    If I'm the Chiefs, it might be time to consider letting Peters follow Jeffery.

    Either way, when you have a day against Peters, that is a matchup that will make you cringe.

    Though it's difficult to bench Jeffery in Week 2, you're going to be hoping for one of two things: A big play somewhere, or so many targets that he's forced to produce (which doesn't seem likely).


    Comfort Level: Driving in the middle of the night for eight straight hours.

Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers

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    Mike Roemer/Associated Press

    Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers didn't have his usual 300-yard, three-touchdown game in Week 1 hosting the Seattle Seahawks, but he did still manage to reach the 300-yard milestone.

    Rodgers was unable to make many big plays down the field, so a lot of his yards came on some quick strikes.

    In Week 2, we will get a rematch of the NFC Championship Game when the Packers travel back to Atlanta and take on the Falcons.

    The Falcons defense in Week 1 played physically. They had a number of tough hits, and cornerback Brian Poole played well. On the other hand, their all-world cornerback Desmond Trufant could have been better.

    If Trufant is not able to shake off the rust, he'll be in for a hell of a day in Week 2.

    Either way, the Falcons defense is still not one that elite quarterbacks like Rodgers will fear.

    If you'll recall, Rodgers had just under 300 yards and three touchdowns last year in the playoffs against Atlanta.

    Expect another highly productive outing from Rodgers in this one with QB1 upside.


    Comfort Level: Floating on a raft with a cupholder and your favorite adult beverage.

Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans

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    Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

    Many spelled the end for Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker after the addition of wide receiver Eric Decker.

    There were issues with his potential target share, they said.

    That wasn't the case in Week 1, however, when Walker had seven receptions for 76 yards on nine targets.

    Week 2, though? This could be a game where those people say "I told you so."

    Walker will go up against a tough Jacksonville Jaguars defense in just the second week of the season.

    We saw the destruction they laid on the Houston Texans in Week 1, but looking at the matchup, Walker could have some trouble.

    At linebacker, the Jaguars have the second-year stud Myles Jack, Paul Posluszny and Telvin Smith. Among those three, Jack was incredible in coverage, ranking as the second best cover linebacker from Week 1, per Pro Football Focus.

    This could be a rather pedestrian outing for Walker. The only problem is that he's probably your starter and you have no better options.

    Be prepared.


    Comfort Level: Sleeping in an airport after a long flight delay


    Statistics courtesy of Pro Football Focus and Pro-Football-Reference.