Welcome into 5 to Thrive, 5 to Dive. In this weekly write-up, I’ll try to predict which players will outperform their weekly FantasyPros rank (Thrives) and those who will underperform (Dives). This isn’t a start-sit piece. It’s simply telling you who has a chance to do what this week. Let’s just say that Week 1 didn’t get off to a great start. I came in thinking I was spiting hot fiya and all I did was spit out shit. This week, things are gonna turn around. I believe it, and you need to as well. Let’s get to it.
QB Buffalo Bills (Fantasy Pros Week 2 Rank: 15)
This dude had 4 turnovers last week against the Jets and still found a way to finish with over 16 fantasy points on the week. He literally finished behind Trubisky, Big Ben and Jameis Winston in grades according to Pro Football Focus and in case you missed it, they #suckedbutts last week. This week, Josh “Uncle Rico” Allen gets to take on the Giants and their absentee defense. Dak Prescott lit up the GMen for 400 yards and 4 touchdowns in Dallas last week while giving up a lot of chunk plays. Not only does Allen possess a cannon for an arm, his mobility keeps his floor high. The 2nd year signal caller finds his way into QB1 status this week.
RB New England Patriots (FantasyPros Week 2 Rank: 18)
In the words of the great White Goodman, let me introduce you to my fitness consigliere, Michel. Picking a dude as a Thrive who had more carries than yards in Week 1 isn’t normally a recipe for success. But, when you get to play the Miami Dolphins and their defense that just gave up 59 to the Baltimore Ravens in a vicious slaughtering, you can look past some things. Not only did the Fins let Lamar Jackson light them up all day through the air, they gave up 190 yards on the ground as well. The Patriots have a good offensive line and should roll in this one, and if we know anything about Belichick, he’ll run the score up until the game’s over. Michel should bounce back this week.
RB Chicago Bears (FantasyPros Week 2 Rank: 33)
To pick David Montgomery is to trust Matt Nagy. Can Matt Nagy actually be smart this week and not a total fuckin idiot? We’ll see. I’m going to roll the dice and trust that he’ll recognize the fact that the rookie from Iowa State is his most talented running back and should get the ball more than 6 carries and 1 reception like he did in Week 1 against the Packers. We were all obviously disappointed by that usage (38% snap rate) and need to see more from DMont if he’s going to return his draft day value. A road matchup with the Broncos could help. On Monday night, Denver gave up 113 total yards and 2 touchdowns against fellow rookie Josh Jacobs. If used correctly, Montgomery could see similar success. When Nagy uses the rookie correctly, he’s gonna feel real good about himself.
WR Los Angeles Rams (FantasyPros Rank: 17)
Time for a Kupp check. In his return from a torn ACL, Kupp played on 90% of the Rams snaps while seeing 10 targets from rich-ass Jared Goff. He’s a trusted weapon who should continue to get even more comfortable as he sees more game action. This week, Los Angeles takes on the Saints in a rematch of the NFC Championship and is a game that screams shootout. Points should be scored fast and furious and I love Cooper Kupp this week not only for that but for his individual matchup. If he continues to play the majority of his snaps from the slot, he’s going to see a lot of PJ Williams. PJ Williams is no bueno. Cooper Kupp is going to eat him alive.
WR Oakland Raiders (FantasyPros Week 2 Rank: 33)
A backup 6th round pick was 22 for 25 for 275 yards and 2 touchdowns in emergency action for Jacksonville against the Chiefs defense last week. I’m no fan of cool guy Derek Carr, but I’m thinking the Raiders passing game can find a way to have some success Sunday in Kansas City in a game where Oakland could have to play catch-up. And if the Raiders are going to have success, Tyrell the Gazelle Williams is going to play a big part of it. With the release of total asshole Antonio Brown, Williams is the de facto number 1 option in the passing game and proved that on Monday night against Denver going for 6 catches and 105 yards with a house call. The Raiders will move him all over the field to get him looks and should find WR2 value in Week 2.
QB Carolina Panthers (FantasyPros Week 2 Rank: 8)
Wham bam no thank you, Cam. The QB in Carolina got off to a rocky start in Week 1 against the Rams talented defense only throwing for 239 yards and an interception. And while is passing numbers aren’t spectacular, his shoulder seemed fine. What concerns me most about the giant man playing QB is that he didn’t run. Like at all. He had negative yards for rushing. We’re interested in Cam because of his rushing ability and if his foot is still banged up from a preseason injury, we might not see him be too mobile anytime soon and that’s what scares me most. The Bucs defense played pretty well against handsome Jimmy Garoppolo and while Newton is a better QB, I don’t trust him until he starts scrambling. So Cam, for the sake of my fantasy team: Run.
RB Arizona Cardinals (FantasyPros Week 2 Rank: 9)
It took new coach Kliff Klingsbury all of one week to figure out that you need to throw the ball to DJ. In Week 1 against the Lions, Mr. Johnson caught 6 passes for 55 yards while adding 83 yards rushing in a game that ultimately ended in a tie. This week however, the young Cards travel to Baltimore in a less than ideal matchup. The Ravens absolutely skullfucked the Dolphins in Week 1 and should come in to Baltimore flying high off of their win. They did lose some key contributors to their defense this offseason, but it’s still a solid group that should give rookie Kyler Tyler Murray some issues. And if that’s the case, we could see Arizona playing from behind. Gamescript won’t be kind to Johnson. He’s going to have to get it done through the air if he hopes to live up to his rank this week.
RB Jacksonville Jaguars (FantasyPros Week 2 Rank: 16)
Earlier I attached a GIF of Uncle Rico with Josh Allen because they can both throw a football over them mountains. But if we’re going by physical appearance, Jags rookie Gardiner Minshew is the definition of that. And I bring up the 6th rounder in this Fournette write-up because that’s his QB for at least this week if not until Big Dick Nick Foles returns from injury. That’s significant. Halloween Leonard already faces 8 man fronts regularly, but with an unchallenged rookie QB in, he’s going to see them even more. And that’s going to start this week in Houston against a Texans team that got gashed by Alvin Kamara on Monday Night. I like Fournette, but he ain’t Kamara. And the Texans should bounce back on defense at home. Their defense only allowed 3.4 yards/carry last season. Much like Johnson, Fournette is going to need to get it done in the air if he’s to return value.
WR Green Bay Packers (FantasyPros Week 2 Rank: 4)
This is the one that might come back and get me the most. Adams is an awesome receiver playing with a Hall of Fame quarterback at home in a game that everyone who owns him is hoping he rebounds from his 4 catch Week 1 outing. Xavier Rhodes and the Vikings defense might have other ideas though. Last week, Minnesota held Julio Jones to 6 catches and only 31 yards on 11 targets (he did score a garbage time TD, but this is fantasy so we’ll take it) while swarming the computer generated quarterback Matt Ryan in the pocket and forcing him into some bad throws. The Vikings defense is legit and last year they allowed the 3rd fewest passing yards/game. Davante Adams is talented enough that shadow coverage normally won’t bother him, but Rhodes is a great corner. I’m betting on the Vikes and Rhodes here. Adams won’t finish in the Top 12.
WR Detroit Lions (FantasyPros Week 2 Rank: 21)
Casey Heyward and the Chargers made me look like an absolute fuckin’ moron last week. I called T.Y. Hilton as a Dive here and he proceeded to go out and light San Diego, er Los Angeles on fire (they should still be in San Diego). I’m going back to the well with Heyward again though against Kenny G and his smooth routes. The physical corner should shadow the lengthy Lions WR on Sunday and that could be reason enough for Matt Stafford to look to other options in the passing game. Dear Casey,
Hank Mardukus is the Blitzed Football Fantasy columnist. You can yell at him on Twitter here.