The NFL week one games are now over and for many football and fantasy football fans it’s time for overreactions. The Browns were the offense to look at and be amazed over but were lackluster at best. Other NFL teams, such as the Patriots and Chiefs, performed as expected. Many top end wide receivers struggled in week one for a number of reasons. This brings up many questions going into week two as many fantasy owners puzzle over the reasons for bad performances. Lets look at three pre-season top 20 wide receivers that owners might consider benching in week two.
The first is Vikings WR Stefon Diggs who is in his fifth season with the team under head coach Mike Zimmer. In week one Stefon Diggs and the Vikings offense played the Falcons and only managed 2 targets with two receptions for
thirty seven yards and no touchdowns for a total of 4.70 points.
The Vikings won despite Kirk Cousins only throwing ten times for eight completions resulting in ninety-eight yards and one touchdown. The one touchdown went to Adam Thielen, saving his fantasy day. The lack of throwing from Cousins is worrisome as it makes predicting touchdowns more difficult than it already is. The Vikings offense under Mike Zimmer is very run heavy and I don’t see that changing.
Stefon will be playing against a tough Packers defense that held the Bears to just three points. Many fans watching the first game of the NFL season on Thursday night might have thrown the game up as an early outlier, as the gameplay was just awful. That being said, I think it showed a much improved Packers defense that kept Mitch to only 9.22 fantasy points with 45 attempts, 26 completions, 228 yards and one interception, and most important no touchdowns.
Another quick note is that Aaron Rodgers should put up a lot more than 10 points, even against a tough Viking defense. The Packer’s defense last year was 13th best in stopping third down completions at 37.3% In the Bears game the Packers were able to stop the majority of third down conversion attempts. There isn’t enough data yet to see just how good the Packers will be at stopping the run, as this is important to know how many times the Vikings offense will throw.
The lack of throwing and focus on running makes Diggs impossible to predict. This matched with Adam Thielen being the number one guy means Diggs will struggle to gain enough targets to be reliable in your lineup, unless Zimmer moves away from the running so much.
The second WR is Chris Godwin, number two WR behind Mike Evens. Jameis Winston was awful throwing three interceptions with only one touchdown and 194 yards on Sunday. In week one Chris faced off against the 49ers and received six targets, catching only three of them for just fifty-three yards. A touchdown saved Chris’ day allowing him to make 12.80 fantasy points.
In week two the Buccaneers play against the Panthers, a team that normally has a pretty good defense. Last year this was not the case, but they only allowed a powerful Rams offense to score 30 points. It’s hard to tell this early how the Panthers will look this season. All that being said, the major focus is on the lack of offense from the Buccaneers and bad judgments from the QB that leads the offense.
Chris played with a sick Mike Evans, who was suffering from an earlier flu illness, but still only managed six total targets. A healthy Mike Evans will demand more targets and is always a major weapon for touchdowns in the red zone and beyond. It’s worrisome that Chris only managed one touchdown with his best chance to get more and step up. Now some might be saying a healthy Mike Evans will leave more opportunities for Chris, as the focus won’t be on him but rather Evans. I don’t see Jameis improving enough to allow Chris high upside fantasy points but rather average despite being in the top twenty of wide receivers. I would consider other options until Jameis proves to be more of a reliable QB.
The final receiver is Seattle’s Tyler Lockett, a guy that seems like for many years fantasy football experts thought could take on a much bigger role. With Doug Baldwin gone, many assumed Tyler would take on a WR1 role and therefore Doug’s place in the offense. In week one Seahawks played the Bengals and just managed to win but the major storyline was DK Metcalf, a 6’3” rookie who got targeted six times compared to Tyler’s two. Tyler managed to get only one reception for forty-four yards and a touchdown for a total of 10.90 points.
This 10.90 points is also what DK managed but without a touchdown. In other words, the touchdown saved Tyler’s fantasy day. In week two the Seahawks are playing the Steelers, a team that will be looking for redemption after their embarrassing loss to the Patriots. The defense should be much tougher due to the gritty nature of the team and Lockett could simply be ignored in the offense to the much bigger rookie. His day will depend on getting a touchdown and for a starting WR this makes him a much lower tier. If DK keeps a high target share Tyler could become a high risk play week to week.