New England Patriots 40

Buffalo Bills 32 

What Happened: In the words of New England play-by-play broadcaster Bob Socci, after a week filled with “bluster and bravado” the Buffalo Bills late comeback attempt came up short in Orchard Park. Tom Brady completed 38-of-59 passes for 466 yards and three touchdowns, while diminutive dynamo Dion Lewis racked up 138 total yards and a touchdown. Julian Edelman reeled in 11 passes (19 targets) for 98 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while Rob Gronkowski snagged seven receptions for 113 yards and a touchdown.

Advanced Sports Logic Fantasy Takeaways

(Scouting the film and the stat line to give you the edge you need to win your league)

The scary part of this game is that the Patriots left plenty of points on the field against one of the league’s elite defenses. Due to their in-experienced offensive line, the New England’s offense is predicated on Brady getting the ball out of his hand quickly (virtually eliminating the opposing pass rush) and spreading it around to his plethora of talented targets. Gronkowski and Edelman present huge matchup problems for opposing secondary’s and even if you manage to blanket the dynamic duo, Brady showed that he can burn defenses with his secondary targets (Aaron Dobson, Danny Amendola and Scott Chandler) who combined for 11 catches and 139 yards against the Bills. 

This is a Patriots offense that is still without it’s best interior lineman (Bryan Stork) and outside wide receiver (Brandon LaFell). Given their willingness to all-but abandon the ground game, this is setting up to be a potentially historic campaign for Brady, who has thrown for 754 yards and seven touchdowns through two weeks. Finally, Dion Lewis is going to play a major role (if that wasn’t apparent already) even with LeGarrette Blount back. With a matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars on tap, it will be interesting to see if Bill Belichick finds a way to work the bruising veteran (Blount) back into the mix.

As far as the Bills go, this is exactly why I have been extremely high on Tyrod Taylor from a fantasy perspective this season. Despite throwing three interceptions (all of which were overthrown, forced throws over the middle of the field) he managed to complete 23-of-30 passes for 242 yards with three touchdowns while also using his legs to tack on 43 yards and a rushing touchdown. It’s hard to blame Taylor for the eight sacks and multiple turnovers, which came in obvious passing situations with the Bills facing a huge deficit. What he has done extremely well through two weeks is make big plays with his both his arm and his legs, which makes him a viable fantasy commodity. If you’re a Tony Romo or Jay Cutler owner, Taylor should be at the top of your list as a potential replacement, if he’s available in your league.

Finally, Karlos Williams is an intriguing option in deeper leagues. He’s now scored in back-to-back weeks and it’s clear that he’s their main option in the red-zone. There’s a lot to like in his profile considering that he’s big, runs downhill and has excellent vision. He’s not going to overtake LeSean McCoy (barring injury) but this is an offense that wants to run the ball and he’s getting enough work to warrant being on your fantasy news radar. 

Dallas Cowboys 20

Philadelphia Eagles 10

What Happened: Tony Romo fractured his left clavicle and is out indefinitely, forcing the Cowboys to turn to backup Brandon Weeden going forward. With Dez Bryant already sidelined with a broken foot, things just got worse for Dallas. There’s no way to sugarcoat it. The Philadelphia offense was atrocious until late in the fourth quarter. This was an ugly game.

Advanced Sports Logic Fantasy Takeaways

The Iggles issues on the offensive line cannot be understated. It’s not DeMarco Murray’s fault that he’s getting hit behind the line of scrimmage on every run. They have real problems there due to all of the turnover this offseason and until they solve it, I’m not expecting Murray to have a big game. With that important caveat out of the way, I’m going to recommend buying in on the Philadelphia passing game. Sam Bradford has struggled with his decision making and getting on the same page as his receivers, but that’s something that one would assume an “offensive mastermind” like Chip Kelly would be able to iron out.

You may not be able to “buy-low” on Jordan Matthews, who managed to rack up six receptions for 80 yards and a touchdown in garbage time at the end of the game, but I would try to pick up as many shares of Nelson Agholor and Darren Sproles as possible. This offense isn’t going to look this bad all year. Let’s not panic (at least in terms of fantasy). 

Aside from Jason Witten and Joseph Randle, it’s going to be hard to trust anyone in the Dallas offense going forward until either Romo or Bryant return. That’s the cold hard truth.

Seattle Seahawks 17

Green Bay Packers 27 

What Happened: Aaron Rodgers delivered a stellar performance, completing 25-of-33 for 249 yards and a pair of touchdowns in a victory over Seattle. Russell Wilson delivered a solid fantasy performance, throwing for 206 yards with a pair of touchdowns an interception, while adding 78 yards rushing.

Advanced Sports Logic Fantasy Takeaways

Where is Jimmy Graham? I don’t have an explanation for what the Seahawks are doing. One of the games premier offensive weapons, Graham was a non-factor against Green Bay, catching just one pass for 11 yards on two targets. Aside from Marshawn Lynch, it’s hard to trust anyone else in the Seattle offense.

It doesn’t appear as though Eddie Lacy’s ankle injury is serious, which throws some cold water on James Starks, who racked up 106 total yards on 24 touches, as a potential pickup. The ultimate fantasy zombie (hat tip to Matthew Berry and the ESPN Fantasy Focus podcast), James Jones, continues to find pay dirt. Unreal.

Houston Texans 17

Carolina Panthers 24 

What Happened: Cam Newton has put the weight of the Panther franchise squarely on his shoulders. Through two weeks, he’s gotten the job done. Superman completed 18-of-37 passes for 195 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while adding 76 yards and an insane diving touchdown on the ground.

Advanced Sports Logic Fantasy Takeaways

Aside from Greg Olsen, who caught six balls for 70 yards against the Texans, there isn’t anyone else in the Panthers moribund offense worth starting on a weekly basis in shallow leagues. Jonathan Stewart was a popular “breakout” selection in fantasy drafts given his stellar second-half a year ago, but he’s underwhelmed so far, failing to find the end-zone yet despite 35 carries through two games.

I’m not sure where the Houston Texans go from here. Their quarterback situation is a disaster. Ryan Mallett managed to pile up 244 yards and a touchdown, but he completed just 27-of-58 passes and threw an interception. The impending return of superstar Arian Foster should provide a reason for optimism, but from a fantasy standpoint, aside from DeAndre Hopkins, there is little reason to focus on this offense.

San Francisco 49ers 18

Pittsburgh Steelers 43

What Happened: The Niners secondary had zero answer for the leagues premier wide receiver, Antonio Brown, who caught nine of his 11 targets for an absurd 195 yards and a touchdown. Ben Roethlisberger completed 21-of-27 for 369 yards and three scores. San Francisco had little trouble throwing the football as Colin Kaepernick went 33-of-46 for 335 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but Week 1 sensation Carlos Hyde came crashing to earth with just 43 yards on 13 carries.

Advanced Sports Logic Fantasy Takeaways

What do the Steelers do with veteran DeAngelo Williams, who rushed for 77 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries, now that the league’s most talented running back Le’Veon Bell is set to return? Pittsburgh might want to keep Williams involved, but it’s almost inevitable that he’s going to get phased out over the next few weeks. They would be crazy to take the ball out of the hands of one of the league’s most explosive playmakers on a regular basis.

I want to avoid using the Jekyll & Hyde cliché, but that’s kind of what you’re going to get with the Ohio State product this season. I had concerns regarding the Niners offensive line coming into the year and against solid defensive front’s they may continue to struggle. He’s a boom or bust depending on the matchup. The Steelers defense is capable against the run, and it showed as he was bottled up with regularity in this game. After an underwhelming debut it was encouraging to see free agent import Torrey Smith snag six balls for 120 yards and a touchdown. He should be their primary target downfield going forward with veteran Anquan Boldin serving as their safety valve underneath.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 26

New Orleans Saints 19

What Happened: Despite facing a Buccaneers defense that was shredded by rookie Marcus Mariota in Week 1, Drew Brees completed just 24-of-38 passes for 255 yards with a touchdown and an interception (29.4 QBR) in a loss. Jameis Winston completed just 14 passes for 207 yards but threw a touchdown to Vincent Jackson and ran one in on the ground in the victory.

Advanced Sports Logic Fantasy Takeaways

The Saints weapons at wide receiver simply aren’t good enough. As talented as Brandin Cooks is, he’s not going to carry this passing game by himself. I didn’t buy into the inflated draft day price on Cooks in the pre-season for this exact reason. There is no way to sugarcoat it, but Marques Colston, Willie Snead and Brandon Coleman aren’t explosive playmakers. For whatever reason, Brees targeted his running backs just five times. That needs to change, especially when you have a weapon like C.J. Spiller at your disposal. Aside from Mark Ingram, I don’t trust any of the weapons in this offense right now. 

It was a solid bounce-back performance from Winston, who is still a long ways off from being fantasy-relevant in single-quarterback leagues. Doug Martin looks really good. Not something I expected to be saying, but he ran for 78 yards on 21 carries (3.7 yards-per-carry) while adding two receptions for 20 yards. He’s the clear-cut starter in Tampa Bay and deserves to be rostered in all formats.

Detroit Lions 16

Minnesota Vikings 26

What Happened: A pair of fantasy legends in Adrian Peterson and Calvin Johnson proved that their dismal Week 1 performances were a mirage with stellar performances. Simply put, Adrian Peterson happened. The legendary playmaker exploded for 134 yards on 29 carries while adding two receptions for 58 yards. Meanwhile, Johnson racked up 10 receptions (17 targets) for 83 yards and a touchdown.

Advanced Sports Logic Fantasy Takeaways

These two teams puzzle me when it comes to their usage of a pair of explosive young playmakers. How rookie Ameer Abdullah only got seven touches in this game for Detroit is baffling. They need to find a way to get the ball in his hands any way possible. On the other side of the ball, where is Charles Johnson? He was targeted just three times against a Lions secondary that made Keenan Allen look like Jerry Rice for one afternoon a week ago. It’s too early to give up on Johnson, but the Vikings aren’t making him a priority at this point.

Arizona Cardinals 48

Chicago Bears 23

What Happened: Carson Palmer threw for only 185 yards, but threw four touchdowns (three to veteran Larry Fitzgerald) in a blowout victory. Somehow it was the first three-touchdown performance of Fitzgerald’s career. Jay Cutler injured his hamstring trying to make a tackle after throwing an interception, putting his status going forward in doubt.

Advanced Sports Logic Fantasy Takeaways

David Johnson should be receiving a majority of the workload for Arizona. Head coach Bruce Arians aversion to rookie running backs is well documented, but after piling up 42 yards and a touchdown on just five carries (and opening the game with a 108-yard kickoff return touchdown) it’s clear he’s their best option. He’s a must-own in all formats. Fitzgerald and John Brown are the only fantasy options in the Cardinal passing attack that you want to have in your lineup on a weekly basis.

How can you trust anyone in Chicago if Jimmy Clausen is under center? Obviously you’re going to roll Matt Forte, but I don’t want any part of their other options.

San Diego Chargers 19

Cincinnati Bengals 24

What Happened: Andy Dalton threw three touchdowns to three different receivers and Giovani Bernard ran for 123 yards on 20 carries after starter Jeremy Hill was benched in an impressive victory for the Bengals at home. Philip Rivers completed 21-of-27 for 241 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the loss.

Advanced Sports Logic Fantasy Takeaways

Hill (10 carries for 39 yards) was benched after a pair of fumbles. His fantasy owners have to hope that this is a one-time situation. He has the talent to lead the league in rushing, but he can’t do it from the bench if he puts the ball on the ground. Tyler Eifert is the real deal, folks. With touchdowns in consecutive games, as long as he stays healthy, he has a shot to finish as a top-five fantasy tight end this season.

As good as Melvin Gordon looks (16 carries for 88 yards) it’s clear that Danny Woodhead isn’t going anywhere. He’s an every-week fantasy starter in point-per-reception leagues who has a major impact even when he doesn’t score, like he did against the Bengals, accumulating 104 total yards on 13 touches.

Stevie Johnson should be owned in every league. His route running is incredible and he’s quickly become one of Rivers favorite targets, finding the end zone in back-to-back contests.

Tennessee Titans 14

Cleveland Browns 28 

What Happened: I’m still confused about this one. Dexter McCluster and Travis Benjamin were the offensive standouts for their respective teams, which is not something anyone would have predicted coming into the game. I’m not really buying either, except in deeper leagues. There was a time when I was driving the McCluster bandwagon in Kansas City, but that was a long, long time ago. The Browns managed to shut down Kendall Wright, holding him to just two catches for 17 yards. There will be weeks like this with a rookie under center.

Advanced Sports Logic Fantasy Takeaways

I’m not buying in on Johnny Football. He made two incredible throws, which deserve to be recognized, but aside from that, he didn’t do very much. He threw it just 15 times (eight completions) and fumbled twice. Let’s see what he does going forward and if he keeps the job before we start investing here.

As good as Mariota looked a week ago, he was sacked seven times, fumbled three times (losing two) and posted an ugly 29.7 QBR. Part of the problem was the absence of Delanie Walker, but it’s clear that the Tennessee offense is a work in progress. There’s plenty of talent, but it’s going to take some time.

Atlanta Falcons 24

New York Giants 20 

What Happened: The Giants bungled another late-game situation, enabling the Falcons to come away with a victory on the road. Matt Ryan completed 30-of-46 for 363 yards including the game-winning touchdown to Julio Jones, who finished with 13 receptions for 135 yards in the win. Odell Beckham shook off a lackluster Week 1 performance with seven catches for 146 yards and a touchdown.

Advanced Sports Logic Fantasy Takeaways

It’s hard not to like both of these offenses. If I were forced to go with one running back from each side, it would be Tevin Coleman and Shane Vereen, who both had nice games. There isn’t a lot else to discuss on either side with the exception of Leonard Hankerson overshadowing Roddy White.

St. Louis Rams 10

Washington Redskins 24 

What Happened: Matt Jones broke out with a monster performance (123 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries) against a stellar defense in St. Louis. With DeSean Jackson out of the lineup, Jordan Reed and Pierre Garcon stepped up.

Advanced Sports Logic Fantasy Takeaways

Alfred Morris still got 18 carries for 59 yards in this game and isn’t just going to disappear, but it appears as though Jones has set himself up as the clear successor at the end of the current season. Clearly, Jones needs to be owned in all leagues. Sometimes the takeaways are obvious.

Things didn’t go well for Nick Foles (28.6 QBR) on the road. Their running game was non-existent and Jared Cook was the only non-running back to catch more than two passes. Aside from Todd Gurley, I’m not excited about the Rams offense.

Miami Dolphins 20

Jacksonville Jaguars 23

What Happened: Blake Bortles delivered one of the best games of his young career, hooking up with sensational second-year wide receiver Allen Robinson six times for 155 yards and two scores. Bortles, who threw for 273 yards, also ran for 27 yards. Despite throwing for 359 yards and a pair of touchdowns, Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins came up short in a game they were heavily favored.

Advanced Sports Logic Fantasy Takeaways

Lamar Miller went down with an ankle injury, missing the entire second half. With him on the sidelines, the Dolphins running game was non-existent. Jarvis Landry is the real standout in the Miami passing game, but at some point we have to start believing in Rishard Matthews, right? He’s someone worth stashing in a point-per-reception format because the numbers are getting hard to ignore.  Look for him to appear in future fantasy updates.

Baltimore Ravens 33

Oakland Raiders 37

What Happened: You lost in your eliminator pool. Sorry.

Advanced Sports Logic Fantasy Takeaways

It’s time to be seriously concerned about Justin Forsett. He’s not a major factor in the passing game, being used more in pass protection than anything else, and he managed just 68 yards on 15 carries against a terrible defense. Lorenzo Taliaferro, who ran for 34 yards and a touchdown on seven carries, is already taking the red-zone and goal line work away and looks phenomenal. Taliaferro might be a vulture right now, but if he gets 20 carries a game, he could be a star. He’s worth stashing. 

I hesitate to buy into the Oakland offense, but I would trust Amari Cooper (obviously) and Michael Crabtree going forward in the right matchup. Crabtree, who had 16 targets (nine catches for 111 yards and a touchdown) is coming off an inspiring pre-season and should be owned in deeper point-per-reception formats. The final line looks okay for Latavius Murray (15 carries for 65 yards and a touchdown) but he didn’t have a run over 10 yards and isn’t a huge factor in the passing game. Despite possessing prodigious talent, his upside is surprisingly limited by his surroundings.

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