Patrick Daugherty

Goal Line Stand

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Week 2 Rankings

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Updated 9/17 at 11:55 AM ET. Removed Sam Bradford, added Case Keenum. Moved Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen and Kyle Rudolph down. Ticked Dalvin Cook down. Moved LeGarrette Blount down. Removed Jermaine Gresham. Moved Steelers up.   


Last season, Ty Montgomery was a converted wide receiver dealing with muscle issues related to his sickle-cell trait. Understandably, the Packers seemed reluctant to go all in on Montgomery as a feature back, limiting him to 11 weekly touches after first unveiling him in Week 6. He never handled the ball more than 19 times or played more than 60 snaps.

Sunday, Montgomery incinerated both totals, taking the ball 23 times against the Seahawks’ elite defense. He played 74-of-82 snaps, and likely would have been on the field for all 82 plays had he not required an ankle taping. It was jaw-dropping usage, and confirmation after an offseason of passing on meaningful competition that the Pack were ready to commit to Montgomery on all three downs.

For Week 2, Montgomery gets a Falcons defense that allowed 30.6 combined fantasy points to Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen in the opener. It’s quite possible Montgomery won’t hold up under these kinds of workloads. It’s also probable they will be the norm for the foreseeable future. You don’t give a running back 74 snaps against the Seahawks only to ease off against the Falcons. Montgomery is an RB1 with monstrous upside.  


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Week 2 Quarterbacks

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Aaron Rodgers at ATL -
2 Tom Brady at NO -
3 Matt Ryan vs. GB -
4 Drew Brees vs. NE -
5 Derek Carr vs. NYJ -
6 Ben Roethlisberger vs. MIN -
7 Russell Wilson vs. SF -
8 Cam Newton vs. BUF -
9 Philip Rivers vs. MIA -
10 Jameis Winston vs. CHI -
11 Carson Palmer at IND -
12 Marcus Mariota at JAC -
13 Alex Smith vs. PHI -
14 Kirk Cousins at LAR -
15 Matthew Stafford at NYG -
16 Carson Wentz at KC -
17 Dak Prescott at DEN -
18 Jay Cutler at LAC -
19 Eli Manning vs. DET -
20 Jared Goff vs. WAS -
21 Tyrod Taylor at CAR -
22 Andy Dalton vs. HOU -
23 Trevor Siemian vs. DAL -
24 DeShone Kizer at BAL -
25 Joe Flacco vs. CLE -
26 Case Keenum at PIT -
27 Blake Bortles vs. TEN -
28 Deshaun Watson at CIN Questionable (ankle)
29 Josh McCown at OAK -
30 Mike Glennon at TB -
31 Jacoby Brissett vs. ARZ -
32 Brian Hoyer at SEA -

QB Notes: Of this summer’s consensus top 10 quarterbacks, just two had 300-yard games in Week 1: Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan. Now they will be squaring off in a rematch of last season’s NFC Championship Game, a contest which produced 860 yards of offense and seven aerial touchdowns. With his receiver corps as healthy and deep as it’s been in some time, Rodgers gets the nod over the 2016 MVP, but Ryan isn’t far behind. … Tom Brady has made 236 career starts. In only four of them did he complete a lower percentage of his passes than he did against the Chiefs (44.4 percent). The scoreless start was just the 31st of his career (13.1 percent). Brady was bad, pure and simple. Questions remain. Namely, how is Brady going to adjust to Julian Edelman’s absence in the middle of the field? Edelman is not only defensive attention that’s no longer being commanded, but a telepathic connection ruthlessly milked for easy yardage that Brady no longer has. It’s possible no combination of Chris Hogan, James White, Danny Amendola and Rex Burkhead can make up for that. Possible, but not likely in Week 2. With 10 days to prepare, the Pats get a Saints defense that just got ripped to shreds by Sam Bradford. At least this week, Angry Tom and Bill Belichick will have an answer.

Opposing Brady will be Drew Brees, who from a yardage perspective is coming off his quietest Week 1 since 2010. Brees had just 216 yards against the Vikings until the Saints’ meaningless final drive. With Willie Snead suspended two more games, Brees’ weapons are a concern — Brandon Coleman is his No. 3 receiver — but Michael Thomas, Ted Ginn, Coby Fleener and Brees’ trio of running backs will make do against a Pats team that couldn’t figure out a way to slow down Alex Smith in Week 1. … Derek Carr is coming off one of the most methodical, impressive starts of his career. His only concern for Week 2 is that the Jets won’t keep it a game long enough, allowing the Raiders to ride backup running backs DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard for most of the second half. … With his Nos. 2 and 3 weapons (Le'Veon Bell, Martavis Bryant) returning from long layoffs, Ben Roethlisberger got off to a sleepy start. It should be nothing returning home can’t fix. Big Ben completed 71 percent of his passes while averaging 8.47 yards per attempt in Pittsburgh last season. The Vikings have a strong pass defense, but the volume is almost always there for Roethlisberger at Heinz Field.

Per Pro Football Focus, Russell Wilson was pressured on 13-of-33 dropbacks against the Packers. The only reason that number wasn’t (much) higher is that the Pack’s pass rush wrecked nearly every Seahawks drive before it even had a chance to get going. It’s most concerning because this is something that ailed Seattle for all of 2016, especially on the road. Mercifully, Wilson is returning home for Week 2 against the cupcake 49ers, but with his “blocking” the way it is, Wilson’s downside will match his upside until further notice. … Cam Newton didn’t look quite comfortable in the Panthers’ new-look offense against the 49ers, but the Bills represent another warmup act for his 2017. ... Fresh off dropping three touchdowns on the league’s top pass defense, Philip Rivers should be throwing all day against the Dolphins. … The Bears’ defense has been greater than the sum of its parts under DC Vic Fangio, but Jameis Winston has one of the week’s higher floors in the Bucs’ (home) opener. It’s hard to see him posting fewer than 250 yards and two touchdowns. … Carson Palmer’s career seemed to be gasping for air against the Lions. Maybe he really is finally done. The Colts seem unlikely to tell us. Comprehensively lacking impact players on defense, Indy won’t be able to stop a team that will be passing early and often as it adjusts to life without David Johnson.  

Coming off disappointing openers, Marcus Mariota and Kirk Cousins both have daunting road matchups. Cousins, in particular is in danger of a bona fide two-game slump, as he’s trekking cross country to face a Wade Phillips-coordinated defense getting the best interior lineman in football back. … Maybe this is too aggressive for Alex Smith against the Eagles’ front seven. With creative play-calling and game-breakers at every level of the field, I think Smith will do what Kirk Cousins couldn’t, busting the Eagles with big plays. The Eagles’ corners are just waiting for Tyreek Hill to run by them. … Are the Lions moving on from their “keepaway” approach? Their Week 1 no huddle percentage suggests yes. It helped Matthew Stafford finish as the QB2. The Giants are an imposing road matchup, but one way to counteract that? The no huddle. … It was against a rookie quarterback making his first career start, but the Steelers dialed up seven Week 1 sacks. Sam Bradford and his impressive stable of weapons will try to neutralize the pressure with quick passing. Even if they have success, Week 1’s humiliation of the Saints won’t be repeating itself.    

Carson Wentz had one of his best starts in Week 1. Heading to Kansas City, a Week 2 repeat probably isn’t in the cards, even with the Chiefs missing the heart and soul of their defense (Eric Berry). … Coming off an eye-test impressive performance against the Giants’ stout defense, Dak Prescott should have to settle for another workmanlike effort against the Broncos’ elite unit. … Reunited with quarterback whisperer Adam Gase, Jay Cutler has his best supporting cast in some time. … Eli Manning looked done in Week 1. The “duh” statement of the week is that he desperately needs Odell Beckham’s healthy return. … Tyrod Taylor had one of his vintage fantasy days against the Jets. He probably won’t do it again against a Panthers defense that comes in waves up front. … Now do it again, Jared Goff. … Especially with John Ross (knee) looking questionable, Andy Dalton will have to wait a week to move on from Sunday’s horrorshow. … Although Eli Manning would lead you to believe otherwise, Trevor Siemian is streamable against the Cowboys. … DeShone Kizer will provide upside no matter the opponent. The problem is his downside is through the trap door against the Ravens. … Without a single factor working in his favor, it’s hard to get excited about Deshaun Watson as a DFS dart throw.


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Patrick Daugherty is a football and baseball writer for He can be found on Twitter .
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