Observer Fantasy Corner: Week 4, Mike Williams and Tony Pollard take top spots
Week 2 of the NFL is in the books, and man, was it brutal. Many key players were injured, which is always terrible to hear. However, besides the injuries, many players went off for fantasy teams across the world. Week 3 is underway, and whether your 0-2, 1-1 or 2-0, we here at the Fantasy Corner are ready to help you win.
Sam Ouhaj – Sports Writer
Must Start: Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
How about Mike Williams having an excellent start to the 2021 season? The Clemson product has had 22 points in both games so far this season, and with a matchup against Kansas City this weekend, he is likely to continue his streak. Williams and second-year quarterback, Justin Herbert, have already developed a flourishing relationship with one another despite him being the WR2 on this team. Williams is a solid flex play this week and is someone I would consider implementing in your starting lineup here on out. It also helps that he is rostered in only 85% of leagues, which means there’s a good chance he is on the waiver wire this week or on someone’s bench.
Must Sit: James Robinson, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
As an owner of Robinson, this is not what I wanted to see two weeks into the season. Robinson was the best waiver wire pickup last season, and many thought he would continue his dominance in Duval. However, as the Jacksonville offense continues to struggle, there is little reason to keep Robinson in your starting lineup. Robinson has yet to have over eleven carries in a game and has only had three receptions in each of his first two games. If you have the second year running back, bench him immediately or find a trade partner.
Who To Pick Up: Tony Pollard, RB, Dallas Cowboys (Owned in 38.6% of leagues)
John Kalemkerian – Sports Writer
Must Start: Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
Only three WRs have accrued 20+ PPR points in both weeks. Two, Cooper Kupp and Tyler Lockett, are almost unanimously started. The third? None other than fifth-year Charger Mike Williams. This finally appears to be the year Williams breaks out, as the clear 1A option next to Keenan Allen for young gun-slinger Justin Herbert. The Chargers offense looks to keep rolling in what is likely to be a high-scoring affair with Kansas City in week three and Williams, who has been targeted a ridiculous 22 times so far this season, will be a primary beneficiary of the Chiefs suspect secondary.
Must Sit: Kareem Hunt, RB, Cleveland Browns
Hunt’s situation in Cleveland is frustrating, as he is clearly a talented back with high fantasy potential. However, sitting behind Nick Chubb on the depth chart severely decreases Hunt’s value. Although he actually saw more carries than Chubb against the Texans, his low snap count (he was only on the field for 23 plays) lowered his ceiling significantly. A matchup against a stout Bears front seven in week three will make it difficult to envision starting Hunt this week.
Who To Pick Up: Rondale Moore, WR, Arizona Cardinals
Gehrig Smalstig – Sports Writer
Must Start: Sterling Shepard, WR, New York Giants
On a team that seems to only be looking down right now, Shepard has been the bright spot. While I do expect Saquon to get things going in the coming weeks, the Giants (and their fans) seem insistent upon believing in their playoff chances and therefore will likely continue to lean on what’s worked so far. Shepard’s 19 targets have resulted in 16 catches for 207 yards and 1 touchdown. It’s safe to say that he’s been working and will only continue to do so against a poor Falcons’ defense.
Must Sit: Henry Ruggs, WR, Las Vegas Raiders
I know that many who started Ruggs this past week will be riding the high of his second career 100 yard performance, but he still is very limited by his reliance on the big play. Ruggs now has nearly 40% of his career yards in just two of his 15 career games. This, coupled with the fact that he will be matched up against one of the best secondaries in the league leads me to believe that he will have a more typical and underwhelming performance. Instead, find a more reliable receiver with better target share, especially in PPR leagues.
Who To Pick Up: Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR, Green Bay Packers
J.J. Post – Sports Writer
Must Start: Tony Pollard, RB, Dallas Cowboys
Despite only being rostered in 38% of ESPN leagues, I’m going bold on Tony Pollard as a viable 12 man league RB2/FLEX guy right now. I get Ezekiel Elliot is the big star in the Cowboys backfield, but Pollard got plenty of chances for the first time this year against the Chargers and thrived. Averaging 8.4 yards per carry, a touchdown and three catches for 31 yards, the nominal backup posted 23 PPR points. While Zeke had a solid game, Pollard did more with less. It’s hard to imagine if that continues the Cowboys won’t continue to work him into the backfield more and more.
Must Sit: Mike Davis, RB, Atlanta Falcons
I was bearish on Davis, who looked to have an ideal fantasy situation as the undisputed lead back for a team that picked him up seeing clear value off a good year. It appears as if my fears are looking more and more true. Davis owners now might have the same worry as Elliot owners, though on a much smaller scale. The backup running back in Atlanta (Cordarrelle Patterson) has looked to be more efficient than the starter through these two weeks. And unfortunately, teams (especially struggling ones like the Falcons) care about production far more than fantasy ownership. If Patterson keeps making himself useful, Davis’ somewhat rare value as the owner of almost all the reps in his team’s backfield will diminish and with it will his fantasy upside.
Who To Pick Up: Darnell Mooney, WR, Chicago Bears
Jamison Cook – Sports Writer
Must Start: James White, RB, New England Patriots
With at least six targets and six receptions in both Week 1 and 2, White is a must-start flex in PPR leagues. He is a great fit with Mac Jones, and the volume he sees in the receiving game is off the charts each and every week. If White can get in the end zone like he did this week, then he becomes a reliable weekly starter. The Saints’ defense gave up 65 receiving yards on five catches to Christian McCaffrey a week ago, so this sets up nicely for White to have another high-scoring game. He may not be an RB as of yet, but he should be played at flex in PPR leagues.
Must Sit: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
I am sad to say that I seemingly wasted my second-round pick in both of my leagues on Clyde. Through two weeks, Edwards-Helaire has a whopping 86 rushing yards and three catches for 29 yards, totaling a cumulative 12.8 fantasy points in PPR formats. He also had the game-losing fumble on the final drive of the Monday night game against the Ravens, giving coach Andy Reid even more reasons to lose faith in the second-year back. The fact that he did not have any catches either is more cause for concern. I am not too optimistic about CEH going forward, especially in the Chiefs’ pass-heavy offense. Leave him on your bench in Week 3.
Who to Pick Up: Tim Patrick, WR, Denver Broncos (Owned in 12.8% of leagues)