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Fantasy Fix: Early Elimination

Random thoughts on Week 2's fantasy football implications:

So many starting RBs were hurt that "zero RB" draft strategies may pay off big this year: Adrian Peterson, Doug Martin, Jonathan Stewart, Arian Foster, Danny Woodhead, Ameer Abdullah - all injured in Week 2, with Peterson and Woodhead definitely done for the season, and the others likely to miss multiple games.

If you consider that Jamaal Charles and Chris Ivory also have yet to play this year, and that Thomas Rawls has played hurt, almost a third of the top 30 RBs have or will require replacements in the first half of the season.

So, if you played the "zero RB" game in your draft and ended up with PPR specialists Theo Riddick and Charles Sims - both projected outside the preseason top 100 - as your starting RBs, you're already a winner. Both are starting this week.

How many fantasy teams saw their seasons end in Week 2? It certainly makes fantasy football less fun when your chances of winning the league greatly diminish before Week 3 kicks off, but it's very possible some fantasy teams had not one, but two, of the injured RBs mentioned above.

Taking the reliable Peterson early in the second round and grabbing PPR maven Woodhead later on sure seemed like a decent draft play at the time, but with both done for the season, and a waiver wire rush on RBs, those teams have nothing left to do but gamble on RBs deep down the depth charts who may produce in favorable match-ups. Good luck with that.

The three best fantasy WRs are not who we expected: Kelvin Benjamin, Stefon Diggs, Willie Snead. All three were projected outside the top 60 overall in the pre-season, but are running 1-2-3 in fantasy points after two weeks.

Benjamin, was viewed as talented but inconsistent coming into this year, but has collected 199 yards and three TDs from QB Cam Newton, who looks every bit as good as last year.

Diggs' stock rose on last year's late-season surge, but fell when QB Teddy Bridgewater was injured. Who knew he would be leading all WRs with 285 yards catching throws from replacement QB Sam Bradford?

Snead, meanwhile, is being kept busy by Drew Brees.

What happened to the big three WRs of the draft's first round? Antonio Brown has the seventh-most fantasy points in Yahoo! PPR leagues, though Pittsburgh has been so good, he hasn't needed to dominate.

Julio Jones, who went two or three overall in many drafts, has the 12th-most fantasy points, but still has fewer than 10 catches after the first two weeks.

Odell Beckham, Jr., who was drafted third in many leagues, though probably second in some, has 12 catches and 159 yards, but no TDs, and has been slightly out-produced points-wise by NYG rookie Sterling Shepard, who has caught 11 of 12 targets for 160 yards and one score.

Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to take a WR in the first round . . .


Dan O'Shea is our man in fantasyland. He welcomes your comments.

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Posted on Oct 22, 2021