College Football Pick’em
Talking the business of sports
Last week I wrote that Week 1 was the most difficult time for Fantasy Football analysis because it was so tempting to throw out six months of research over one week of football. Week 2 feels easier, because we have more information, but is also more dangerous because two weeks of football really shouldn’t give you that much confidence.
After all, Jonathan Taylor was RB23 after two weeks last year. Tyler Lockett, Adam Thielen, and Amari Cooper were all top-five wide receivers. Noah Fant was the No. 5 tight end. We have plenty of new information since August, now it’s time to parse what that means.
The Case: Heading into Monday Night Football, Tyreek Hill is WR2 and Jaylen Waddle is WR4 for the season. Tagovailoa himself is QB2 after he lit up the Baltimore Ravens for 469 yards and six touchdowns on Sunday. Any concerns about whether Hill and Waddle could co-exist as No. 1 Fantasy wide receivers have been answered and it sure looks like they’ll elevate Tagovailoa to be a starting Fantasy QB as well.
The Verdict: Don’t believe it.
Just a week ago the Dolphins scored one offensive touchdown against the Patriots. This Ravens secondary was arguably the worst in football last year and came into this game with almost nobody fully healthy. The Dolphins’ furious comeback was some of the most compelling football we’ve seen this year, but they also scored just 14 points in the first three quarters of this game.
In the next two weeks, we’ll see this team face the Bills and the Bengals. If they prove it against those two defenses, then I’ll believe it. This is not quite a sell-high situation unless you’re selling really high, but don’t go buy Hill or Waddle at their current price. Especially with this playoff schedule:
Let’s run some Week 2 Believe It or Not polls. We’ll start with the early games.
Tua Tagovailoa can support two top-15 wide receivers
The Case: Through two weeks, London has seen nine more targets than Pitts, caught nine more passes, produced 122 more yards, and scored as many touchdowns as Pitts has in 19 career games. It couldn’t be more obvious who the No. 1 option is.
The Verdict: Believe it
This might seem like an overreaction, but only if you undervalued London as a prospect. He was a top-10 pick who dominated as a 20-year-old at USC. He just became the third-youngest player ever to earn 12 targets in a game. Only Larry Fitzgerald and David Boston did it at an earlier age. London scored more Fantasy points than both.
Pitts is a tight end and still has enormous value, so I would absolutely recommend buying low. He’s still my No. 5 tight end for the rest of the season. But it sure looks like he’ll have to play second fiddle to Drake London. Don’t be surprised if Pitts’ production picks up once teams start properly accounting for his rookie running mate.
Drake London is the best pass-catching option on the Falcons
The Case: Wentz has thrown for 650 yards and seven touchdowns in his first two games as a Washington Commander. His 100.3 passer rating is his highest since 2018 as is his 7.5 yards per pass attempt. Frank Reich neutered Wentz last season only allowing him to throw 30 pass attempts per game, but Ron Rivera and Scott Turner are setting him free with 87 attempts in his first two games. If you lost Trey Lance or lost confidence in Tom Brady, Carson Wentz is your man.
The Verdict: Believe it
I don’t necessarily believe that Wentz is any better than he’s ever been, but the situation is absolute gold for producing Fantasy points. The defense is absolutely atrocious, the run game is mediocre at best, and he’s surrounded by the best set of weapons he’s ever played with. As long as he has Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel, Jahan Dotson, Logan Thomas, and a pair of excellent pass-catching backs, I’m starting Wentz as a low-end top-12 guy.
If they all stay healthy he’s going to have the best year of his career.
Carson Wentz is a top-12 Fantasy quarterback until further notice.
The Case: The Cowboys finally used their best back more often and he continued to outproduce Ezekiel Elliott. In Week 2 Pollard saw three fewer touches than Elliott but doubled the veteran’s yards and more than tripled his Fantasy points.
Maybe, more importantly, the Cowboys showed that they see it. Pollard received a goal-line carry (and he scored) and he received seven targets to Elliott’s two. The writing is on the wall, don’t be surprised if Pollard sees more touches next week.
The Verdict: Don’t believe it
Like the Dolphins, this is another situation where Week 2 doesn’t match Week 1 at all. In Week 1, it was Elliott averaging more than five yards per carry while Pollard produced eight yards on six carries. And the goal line carry may have just been a reward for a long catch and run Pollard had on the previous play where he was tackled inside the one. Week 2 was a data point, and it may point to something in the future, but for now, I’d still barely take Elliott over Pollard and I still expect him to see the most touches in Week 3.
Tony Pollard will be the top scoring Cowboys running back rest of season
The Case: This offense has only looked good in garbage time and they’ve still yet to play a good defense. Now James Conner is hurt as well. You’d be better off ignoring this entire offense against Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey, and company.
The Verdict: Don’t believe it.
First off, garbage time still counts. Murray is QB8 on the season entering Monday Night and Ertz is TE5. Second, despite their many superstars, the Rams aren’t exactly shutting everyone down. They were destroyed by the Bills in Week 1 and Marcus Mariota had a serviceable performance against them outside of his turnovers.
You should keep starting Murray and Ertz and I wouldn’t blame you for continuing to trust Marquise Brown as a WR3. If Rondale Moore is still out, you may want to run Greg Dortch out there as a Flex as well.
There are no must-start Cardinals in Week 3 against the Rams
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