When you play fantasy football, the best you can do is gather as much information as possible. Whether that is from podcasts, articles, your own research, and/or the time we spend on social media apps (looking at you Fantasy Life App). You then have to take all of these pieces of this giant puzzle and try to piece them together, and the end result is who you start and who you sit each week. Every now and then that advice doesn’t seem to jive with what you think of the player, or the statistics say your player is worse than you think they are. When this happens to me, I like to dig a little deeper. After all, I am from the Show-Me State. Show me the film, and I will tell you what I see.
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Week 2 Recap:
Atlanta Falcons at the Oakland Raiders
Quarterback: MATTY ICE! That is all. He looks good, and I don’t really know what else to add. He took some big hits while delivering some really nice balls. We’ll see if his command of the offense continues throughout the season, but if you have QB issues and Ryan is on waivers then grab him.
Running Back: What a year for owners of this backfield. Freeman was highly drafted and through two weeks owners are frustrated. If you didn’t cuff him with Coleman, you’re probably kicking yourself. If you’re a Coleman owner then you’re glad you drafted him in the 6th-8th round or later. So how does this shake out in Week 2? Well, what I saw was a nearly even split in carries.
Freeman looks so much better when running to the outside; he has the ability to cut and turn up-field without losing much speed. A few times he ran inside and was met at the line of scrimmage, and he still managed to gain a yard or two. I believe there was only one play where he lost yardage, but other than that he netted zero or positive yards. Don’t let the box score fool you on this one. Freeman is still a very good running back, and I believe he is better than Coleman (at least in this one).
Coleman appears to have gotten the nod on passing downs; there were definitely designed pass catching opportunities for him. Go look at Justin Hardy’s TD play. It was a designed pass to Coleman. He also just cannot cut the way Freeman can. For every designed pass play, it felt like I saw another play where Coleman ran right into defenders or his blockers – even with gaping holes to run through. Don’t get me wrong. He’s got definite value, if only because of coaches forcing it.
My ultimate takeaway: both guys are RB2/flex options with a bump for both in PPR leagues (even without Freeman getting much pass catching work he was out there on passing downs). I prefer Freeman to Coleman for the rest of the season. If you could package either one with someone else depending on team needs, I would definitely explore that route to have some peace of mind.
Wide Receiver: HOT TAKE! Julio Jones is not too shabby at this whole football thing. Other than that, fahget about it. Sanu was not a major factor. He will probably have his weeks, but I’m not sure when that will be. For deeper leagues, I did have some interest in keeping an eye on this fifth year receiver, Aldrick Robinson (A. Robinson). I can’t tell you the number of times I thought the play description was telling me Allen Robinson made a catch. Maybe he’s figured it out, maybe I am wrong. Outside of Julio, there’s not much immediate value here.
Tight End: TAMME! He was on the field almost every play I looked specifically for him (which was a lot). He did some blocking, but he primarily ran nearly every TE route I could recognize (full disclosure, that’s not a lot). There was one play where Ryan took a shot and threw it to Tamme (who was behind the man covering him), who almost made an awesome one handed grab. He almost had an additional TE in the first half if not for an EXCELLENT interception by David Amerson. Tamme’s TD catch was an awesome run where I felt he sat down in a zone, grabbed a pass, and turned up-field quickly. Hooper had a few plays, but one of them was a definite busted coverage. The LB covering him turned up-field, but Hooper continued out a bit wider. This was a good chunk of his yardage for the week. Tamme is a lower class TE1 and is an excellent candidate (through two weeks) to be this year’s Barnidge.
Quarterback: Derek Carr is a baller. As a Texans fan, I was sad that big brother David Carr didn’t have an offensive line. That’s what happens when you’re an expansion team. Carr will give you some rushing yardage on scrambles in addition to his passing stats, and should probably be played nearly every week.
Running Back: What. The. Hell? Everyone, everywhere seems to be bailing on this backfield. I paid especially close attention to this (so I may have missed some other issues with the Raiders offense). What I saw was Richard and Washington breaking off a few nice runs, but Murray getting the bulk of the work and looking great in the process.
Murray started the game, he got first crack at goal line work (his TD run), and he was in on the final drive for each half of the game. In the second half he was pulled for Olawale after a few snaps – that is definitely concerning. He also had one catch called off due to a false start that would have been a minimum of a 10 to 20-yard gain (check out 13:07 in the 3rd quarter). He looked better as the game wore on, so I had to do some digging. Per sportingcharts.com, of a possible 148 offensive snaps through two weeks: Murray had 81 (54.7%), Richard had 26 (17.6%), and Washington 23 (15.5%). Take that however you will.
What I take from all of this is that Murray is still “the guy.” Look, there are very few workhorse backs in the NFL. You’ll take 50%+ of the snaps for a RB with the talent that Murray has. The biggest issue I have with him is that he does not meet contact well; he runs very upright. Man, can he cut though. As far as the other two backs, I think if they break off a few long runs and/or score a TD you will be happy. Don’t rely on them as anything more than fill-ins or in deeper leagues though.
Wide Receiver: Not much to say here. Amari Cooper made several amazing grabs, but if you wanted to focus on just one of them then look in the 2nd quarter on a 3rd and 6 on a play starting at 8:56. Crabtree will make some very good catches, and both of them will have their games. Cooper will have more good games than Crabtree. As a result, Cooper is a solid WR1, and Crabtree is a legit WR2.
Tight End: Walford is interesting. His touchdown came on a play where the LB covering him let him go, and then the corner responsible for covering him fell down on the play. Even if the safety rolled over correctly, this would have been a nice 20ish yard grab. Outside of Walford I think you’re really rolling the dice, so best of luck to you.
Written By: Adam Drewery – Follow Adam on the Fantasy Life App @ad87 or on Twitter @adrewery87