Fearless Forecast: 11 carries, 56 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 12 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 14.3 fantasy points
Agholor to spread wings in Tampa
Nelson Agholor, Phi, WR (40 started; Yahoo DFS: $24)
Matchup: at TB
Vegas line/total: Phi -3, 43.5
PPR detractors seethed in their loungers last Thursday night watching Agholor. His 10-8-33-0 line, a very useful 11.8 fantasy-point output in reception-friendly formats, is exactly why many despise scoring for catches. It’s a justified stance. Agholor was essentially a WR version of James White, a player who consumed yardage in snack-sized chunks. Comically, his 5.2 average depth of target (aDOT) nearly matched White’s (5.1) Week 1. Again, it benefited the PPR masses, but despite the absurd catch total, his effort in standard left much to be desired. This week expect a better-rounded contribution. The Eagles, again without Wentz and Alshon Jeffery, should snap back resoundingly after last week’s nap-inducing exhibition. Their opponent, Tampa, was bombed on the Bayou last Sunday. Down Brent Grimes, the Bucs secondary yielded 9.8 yards per attempt, 439 pass yards and three vertical strikes to Drew Brees. Now possibly without the services of starting corner Vernon Hargreaves, “emaciated” best sums up Tampa’s current defensive state. If Carlton Davis (5-85-1, 151.8 passer rating allowed Week 1) and M.J. Stewart (3-3-29-0, 106.9) are pressed into action, it’s extremely exploitable. No matter who Dirk Koetter deploys count on Agholor to reach WR2 numbers, at a minimum, this weekend.
Fearless Forecast: 6 receptions, 68 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 15.8 fantasy points
Gabriel to wield ‘Sledgehammer’ against ‘Hawks
Taylor Gabriel, Chi, WR (1 started; Yahoo DFS: $10)
Matchup: vs. Sea
Vegas line/total: Chi -3, 43
Overshadowed by Allen Robinson, Trey Burton and Tarik Cohen, Gabriel is the forgotten man in the Windy City. In his prior stint with the Atlanta Falcons he flashed occasionally, deployed primarily as a short-field, screen/quick-hit option. His role with Chicago won’t deviate much, but he’ll occasionally rise to the occasion. Week 1 against Green Bay he played 60-of-70 snaps, well ahead of rookie Anthony Miller, and caught all five his targeted passes for a useless 25 yards. On Monday night, however, he’s in a prime position to be a fantasy noisemaker. Seattle’s hollowed secondary isn’t the fearful “Legion of Boom” from yesteryear. Yes, Shaq Griffin and Earl Thomas are restrictive DBs, but the rest of the unit is largely meek. Fifth-round rookie Tre Flowers was harshly welcomed last week by the Denver Broncos. Targeted nine times, he was torched for seven receptions, 124 yards and a touchdown. His 155.8 passer rating and 3.26 yards per snap allowed ranked top-five in most yielded by Week 1 corners. Robinson is a strong play in season-long and DFS, but Gabriel could shock the world on roughly 5-7 targets.
Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 57 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 13.7 fantasy points
WEEK 2 SHOCKER SPECIAL (Under 10 percent started)
Courtland Sutton, Den, WR (1 started; Yahoo DFS: $10)
Matchup: vs. Oak
Vegas line/total: Den -6, 45
Three weeks ago when I picked the brain of a reliable Broncos source how Sutton was progressing in Broncos training camp, the received response stirred the blood. It read, “In 16 years covering the NFL, I’ve never seen a rookie dominate quite like this.” Beat writers, fans, coaches, talk to anyone who visited Dove Valley in August and ask what they witnessed from Sutton and a beaming smile is sure to show. The SMU product’s length, 35.5-inch vertical and stellar athleticism (84th-percent SPARQ score) left onlookers thinking “greatness.” To say he’s an unpolished Calvin Johnson isn’t hyperbole. Sutton, my No. 1 WR prospect from this past April’s NFL Draft, is special. Working in opposite Demaryius Thomas last Sunday against Seattle, the greenhorn played 59.5 percent of the snaps, attracted five targets and caught two balls for 45 yards. It wasn’t the most memorable performance, but it provided a glimpse of what could be on the horizon. Week 2 presents a possible breakthrough moment. The Raiders, already painting scowls on Jon Gruden’s face, are a pliable defense. Against the Rams, they weren’t atrocious in coverage giving up 7.1 yards per attempt, 233 pass yards and two touchdowns. Still, Sutton likely one-on-one clash with Gareon Conley in three-WR sets is attractive. The DB conceded 1.66 yards per snap in Week 1 and is at a significant size disadvantage. In an aggressive Broncos passing attack, look for Sutton to snag a splashy catch or three.
Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 52 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 13.2 fantasy points
BONUS WEEK 2 FLAMES (Under 60 percent started)
QB: Case Keenum, Den, QB (vs. Oak; $27) – Denver has an army to march on offense. Keenum was imperfect last week against Seattle, but confidently pushed the ball downfield. More of the same is in store against an Oakland defense already doing backstrokes in the cesspool. (FF: 279 yards, 2 TDs, 0 ints, 19.2 fpts)
RB: Dion Lewis, Ten, RB (vs. Hou; $17) – Lewis out-snapped Derrick Henry 47-20 and rolled up 3.44 YAC/att along with 110 combined yards and a score in a delay-ridden contest at Miami last week. Houston yielded 3.96 ypc to New England RBs last week, but Lewis is too slippery to contain. (FF: 14-55-1, 4-23-0, 15.8 fpts)
WR: Josh Gordon, Cle, WR (at NO; $27) – Reinserted into the starting lineup and coming off one of the finest TD grabs of his career, Gordon is about to become the downfield focus in Cleveland’s playbook. Marshon Lattimore was uncharacteristically torched by Mike Evans last week (4-115-1, 149.3 passer rating, 3.38 yards per snap allowed). If the DB’s generosity continues, Gordon crosses the 80-yard threshold with ease. (FF: 5-98-1, 18.3 fpts)
TE: Nick Boyle, Bal, TE (at Cin; $10) – Could Boyle be Joe Flacco’s new Todd Heap or Dennis Pitta? It’s possible. The fellow Delaware product caught 3-of-6 passes for 40 yards in the opener against Buffalo. Last week, the Bengals allowed 12 receptions for 124 yards and a score to Jack Doyle and Eric Ebron. He’s a sneaky option for Greg Olsen or Delanie Walker owners reeling from their departures. (FF: 4-45-1, 12.5 fpts)
DST: New York Jets (vs. Mia; $11) – The Jets broke the sound barrier last week in Detroit picking off Matthew Stafford five times while hanging a 22-point spot in default leagues. At home against a sub-optimal Miami team it could accumulate additional riches. The Dolphins were brilliant in pass pro last week. Ryan Tannehill was under pressure on only 12.9 percent of dropbacks, but expect the Jets to turn up the heat. (17 PA, 312 YDSA, 3 SCK, 3 TO, 12.0 fpts)
#TEAMHUEVOS PICKS OF THE WEEK
Each week one fortunate guest prognosticator will have a chance to silence the Noise. Following the rules stated above, participants are asked to submit their “Flames” (1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 1 TE, 1 D/ST) by midnight PT Tuesdays via Twitter @YahooNoise. How large are your stones?
— J (@jsimvet2016) September 11, 2018
Reader record – 2-5
Brad record – 4-7 (W: Mike Williams, Kenny Golladay, Jordan Reed, John Ross (SS); L: Dak Prescott, Royce Freeman, Rex Burkhead, Peyton Barber, Jordan Wilkins, Marcus Mariota, Detroit D/ST; DNP: Will Fuller)
Want to bull rush Brad? Follow him on Twitter @YahooNoise. Also check out his TV show, “The Fantasy Football Hour,” now available in 91 million households on various regional sports networks, and his award-nominated podcast, “The Fantasy Record.”