Football is back and so is your 16 week quest for dominance over your old friends, new coworkers, and everything in between in the fake football life. Week one brought us some fun surprises and some terrible turns for the worse. Before we go any further, let's pour one out for friend of the column Keenan Allen. A personal favorite, Allen was set up to have a monster season and was lost for the year with a torn ACL. It won't be the last injury but it was certainly the biggest to date. Yes, we also lost RG3, but that impacted no one outside of Griffin's mom's team, but even she only took him as a backup.
Let's dive into Week 2:
We're going to try something new, see if it works. We're going to put the running backs in a color coded grid. Blue means blue chip matchup, green means go, yellow means caution, orange means bad idea, red means bench. We're ranking the running backs on the left and their matchups along the top. Running back rankings are subjective and my own creation - top 10 (self-explanatory), middle tier is an RB2, and low end are guys who are flex worthy to bench players. Matchup rankings are based on fantasy points allowed to the position group based on 2015 information. Eventually, we'll move this into 2016 rankings but one week is not enough to incorporate. You always want to start your stars when you can but sometimes it's a better idea to start a guy with a great matchup. No ranks within the boxes but give preference to the higher ranked backs within the same color boxes.
A lot of tough matchups for top end backs so watch it with your expectations of high end guys. Gurley had a terrible first week but it's not getting any better against Seattle. Mark Ingram has a chance to feast this week. It will be interesting to see what happens with Atlanta. Coleman did a lot with his opportunities last week, but Freeman was so darn effective last year. Dan Quinn has no loyalty to Freeman so a changing of the guard isn't out of the question.
Dumpster Diving Picks - low ownership guys for desperate owners
Toss Sweep Sleeper - Terrance West 23% owned
West was supposedly the clear cut starter in Baltimore until he wasn't and Justin Forsett lined up to take the first handoff. West put together a great preseason and it's not out of the question for him to get back into the good graces of Mark Trestman if he gets a hot hand. No better team to get a hot hand against than the Cleveland Browns. As little as I think of Baltimore this year, I can see game flow dictating a lot of running out the clock for Baltimore so volume could be your friend with West this weekend.
Fly Route Flyer - Michael Thomas 49% owned
I'll tout one of my favorite rookies before the moves over the 50% ownership mark and I can't use him in this space anymore. Back in May, I ranked the WRs coming out of the draft and had Thomas as my #1 guy. He and/or Sterling Shepard are on every team for me this year so I'm putting my money where my mouth is (incidentally, I'd make very few changes to that article today). We talked about it in the divisional previews with the Saints (terrible defense, great offense) and in the QB rankings about Drew Brees. No one ever lost any money on Drew Brees in fantasy football. None. Ever. So, if you can get a piece of it, go do it. Brandin Cooks was an early pick and you'll never get Willie Snead now that he started the year with a monster year. You might be able to get the #3 guy who has the talent to be the #2 guy. Check your wire.
Shotgun Sleeper - Jimmy Garoppolo 14% owned
I don't know why you'd need a QB longshot this week but I like Jimmy G for those in need. He looked fantastic against the Cardinals and the Dolphins offer far less resistance. With Julian Edelman back to full speed and the chance to get Rob Gronkowski back from the hamstring injury, Garoppolo is a sneaky play. If you're worried about Russell Wilson's ankle, this might be your best play.
Who got hit by the Keenan Allen train? I know I did. Anything else you're worried about from week 1? Anyone want a re-draft?