After Opening Day, we’re onto Week 2. Even though the season is only one week old, there are numerous fantasy angles to cover as the middle of the week rolls along, inching ever closer to Sunday. As always, hit Evan Silva’s Thursday Night Matchups for all of your start/sit needs if you have players potentially rolling in Texans vs. Bengals.
Let’s hit Wednesday’s News.
Unfortunately, Danny Woodhead (hamstring) is about to miss the majority of the fantasy regular season. The Ravens confirmed that Woodhead will miss at least four weeks of action on Wednesday, and Baltimore’s brass are still considering putting him on injured-reserve. If Woodhead is placed on IR, he would not be able to return to the team until November. Since his injury appears to be severe, the Ravens will likely go ahead and place Woodhead on redeemable IR instead of letting Woodhead sit on the roster for over a month. Turning 33-years-old in late-January next year, Woodhead has appeared in 21 and one quarter’s worth of games over the past four seasons.
With Woodhead out, Buck Allen is now, at the very least, the Ravens’ receiving back. Even though Woodhead went down in the first quarter of Week 1, he still led the Ravens in receptions (3). The Ravens heavily targeting their backs isn’t anything new. In fact, quarterback Joe Flacco targeted a back on 23.3% of his passes last year (fifth-highest rate in the league). What’s more, this all goes without mentioning that Allen saw more opportunities (23 to 20) and out-snapped (51% to 40%) Terrance West in Week 1. Allen and West will form a committee for most of the season while Jeremy Langford or Alex Collins will be called up from the Ravens’ practice squad.
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In other “Danny” news, Patriots’ receiver Danny Amendola (concussion) is still not practicing. With his extensive injury history that includes multiple concussions, Amendola is highly questionable for Week 2. In his likely absence, Chris Hogan and Brandin Cooks will shoulder the load at receiver. Cooks’ role is locked in — he led the team with his share of the team’s air yards (26%) in Week 1 — but Hogan is now the sole slot receiver when the Patriots’ run 11-personnel (3WRs, 1RB, 1TE). While Cooks tied for the team lead in targets (8) in Week 1, Hogan led the Patriots’ receivers in snap rate versus the Chiefs and averaged a monstrous 20.6 average depth of target at the catch point (aDOT) on his five passing looks. Last week, the Saints were ripped eight times for passes over 20 yards against the Vikings. No team allowed more on Opening Day.
After missing Week 1, Thomas Rawls (ankle) is practicing in full for Week 2 against the 49ers. He’s fully expected to play. Rawls looked nimble (per Twitter videos) in pre-game warmups in the Seahawks opener against the Packers and was likely very close to playing. Instead, Chris Carson led the Seahawks in snap rate in Week 1 (53%) while C.J. Prosise (33%) was second and Eddie Lacy was mostly left on the bench (seven total snaps, 14% share). This backfield remains in no-mans-land until someone breaks out.
Per Cardinals’ HC Bruce Arians, Kerwynn Williams will “start” in place of David Johnson (wrist) while Andre Ellington will serve as the “primary back on third downs.” With Chris Johnson re-signed and Elijhaa Penny hanging around, the Cards’ backfield reeks of a committee already. While Bruce Arians is always fun to listen to in his press conferences, he’s never really been one to offer meaningful advice about his backfield. In 2015, Arians adamantly started Chris Johnson over David Johnson after trying to pigeon-hole Andre Ellington in as a “workhorse.” Both approaches failed. Simply put: The Cardinals have no way of “replacing” David Johnson on offense, and they are likely going to devolve into a two- or three-way committee. Williams and Johnson are the likely bets to lead the backfield in carries, while Andre Ellington has some cheap PPR appeal. Once David Johnson (wrist) went down to injury in Week 1, Kerwynn Williams entered the game ahead of Andre Ellington. Williams handled three carries (one target) while Ellington didn’t see a single carry (four targets) without David Johnson. However, Ellington out-snapped Williams (20 to 9) vs. Detroit. There’s no way you can faithfully start a Cardinals’ running back in Week 2 versus the Colts, even though it’s a beautiful matchup.
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Texans TE C.J. Fiedorowicz (concussion), TE Ryan Griffin (concussion), TE Stephen Anderson (concussion) and Bruce Ellington (concussion) have all been ruled out for Week 2 against the Bengals. Meanwhile, NFL suspended Texans ILB Brian Cushing 10 games for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing drugs. … Jaguars CB Jalen Ramsey (ankle) did not practice on Wednesday. … T.J. Yeldon (hamstring) is practicing in full for Week 2 against the Titans. … Colts placed RT Denzelle Good (wrist) on injured reserve. … Terrance Williams (ankle) did not practice Wednesday. … Devontae Booker (wrist) returned to practice Wednesday, but he won’t play in Week 2. … Josh Doctson (hamstring) was limited in Wednesday’s practice. … Packers RT Bryan Bulaga (ankle) didn’t practice Wednesday. … Markus Wheaton (finger) remained limited at Wednesday’s practice. … Jermaine Gresham (ribs) didn’t practice Wednesday. … Patriots WLB Dont’a Hightower (knee) didn’t practice on Wednesday. … Finally, Saints LT Terron Armstead (shoulder) remained sidelined at Wednesday’s practice.
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