Fantasy Football Upgrades and Downgrades: Week 2

Week 2 Upgrades & Downgrades

With week 1 in the books I can definitely say that I had some good calls and some bad calls.  The good news is that this week is a different week and with every game played the expectations for each team becomes more solidified and we as fantasy players can have a better idea for what to expect from our players.  My heart goes out to all of you David Johnson owners, I took him 1.1 in my home league and am now scouring the waiver wire looking for a potential replacement.  As a final note here, this week will be more of an upgrade/downgrade compared to last week’s performance; this is because I don’t really have much to go off of in this still very young season.

As I said last week, with the new setup, keep in mind that for players I have listed as “downgrades”, I simply mean you should expect less than their statistical average given the current matchup.  They may still start for you and of course, they still may have a good week, but you shouldn’t expect as much from them.  For “upgrades”, you can expect them to score more than they typically do but they may not be a starter in your league or for your team.  Let’s get started!

 

Position: Quarterback

Upgrades –

  • Tom Brady, It’s tough to bet against Tom and after struggling mightily last week against the Chiefs and seeing Bradford torch the Saints…let’s just say I’m glad I’m not in the NO secondary.
  • Ben Roethlisberger, Had a decent week last week on the road but at home is where this gem really shines, I know Brees struggled against the Vikings D last week but I’m not too concerned.
  • Jameis Winston, Fresh off his bye (serious, this is a 1st for me) Winston will be ready to come out firing against the Bear’s secondary which finished bottom 5 in the league last season.
  • Kirk Cousins, Didn’t have a great week last week but the volume will be there and I’d wager the timing will look a lot better against a Ram’s D that isn’t as good as they seemed last week.
  • Carson Palmer, Looked like hell last week but with DJ gone they’re going to pass, pass, pass every week now and Indy’s D might just be worst in the league…

Downgrades –

  • Marcus Mariota, Needed a rushing TD to salvage his week last week and the Jag’s D looks like the real deal.
  • Sam Bradford, Went NUTS last week but I think it was more of a one-time thing than a new trend here, also the Steelers revamped their D over the offseason.
  • Alex Smith, He’s not putting up those numbers again, even against the Eagle’s D.
  • Carson Wentz, Good start to the season but Brady just struggled against this defense so…yeah.
  • Dak Prescott, When your best WR struggles it’s not going to be easy; we just saw Dez get frustrated by Jenkins last week and Denver isn’t going to be much easier.

 

Position: Running Back

Upgrades –

  • Ezekiel Elliott, I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, the 1 thing you CAN do on Denver is run the ball, and run the ball they will.
  • Le’Veon Bell, He’s going to do better this week and Vikings gave up 9 catches to NO backs last week.
  • TY Montgomery, Looked great against last week running the ball and this game is going to turn into a shootout which will be good for this pass-catching back.
  • Jay Ajayi, Didn’t get to play last week because of the devastation down in Florida but I have a feeling he will be reeling to go, also Chargers gave up over 120 rushing yards last week.
  • Marshawn Lynch, Beast Mode looked like Beast Mode last week, Jets gave up a lot to Shady last week too.
  • Mike Gillislee, All he did was score 3 TDs last week, I’m inclined to play him again and see what happens.
  • Bilal Powell, The touches Forte had were a bit confusing last week, but the Jets will be down early and forced to pass which means more Powell than Forte in the game plan…I think.
  • Tevin Coleman, Liked him last week and he had a modest day, in a potential shootout with the Packers, I like him even more.

Downgrades –

  • DeMarco Murray, Seemed a little slow last week, hoping this isn’t the new Murray but with that in mind and the Jags quietly having a great offseason buffing their defense I don’t like Murray.
  • Todd Gurley, Had a pretty decent week 1 for himself, but Washington kept Philly to low totals running the ball last week.
  • Mark Ingram, Usage, that is the key to projecting fantasy success, and Ingram was just not used very much last week.
  • Jordan Howard, Seems like there could be a timeshare in the Bears’ game plan, if that’s the case, that spells trouble for Howard owners and Cohen looked good coming out of the backfield.
  • Jacquizz Rodgers, Bears are very soft over the top defensively but may have enough talent to stop the run, not liking Rodgers this week.
  • Rob Kelley, Just didn’t get used much at all last week, not liking him until Captain Kirk looks comfortable with his receivers which will open up the run game.
  • Isaiah Crowell, Steelers held him to almost nothing last week and the Ravens D looked scary good against the Bengals last week…not that carries much weight at the moment.
  • Terrance West, Take a look at what the #1 RB in fantasy did last week against the Browns, don’t expect too much from him this week.

 

Position: Wide Receiver

Upgrades –

  • Brandin Cooks, Read what I said about Brady above, I want every New England player on my roster starting this week, and even maybe those on waivers.
  • Mike Evans, Going to feast against this Bears secondary this week.
  • Doug Baldwin, Has a much better matchup this week and Seattle will want to make a statement with this game that screams “we don’t actually suck”.
  • Terrelle Pryor, Got fed the rock last week and even though he didn’t have a great completion percentage that should improve with more and more reps ever week.
  • Chris Hogan, EVERY Patriots’ player is starting for me this week, especially this burner.
  • Jeremy Maclin, Ravens are going to have to throw more this week than they did last week and AB seemed to have his way with the Browns’ secondary.
  • Larry Fitzgerald, DJ’s gone (commence crying), so this offense is going to be about passing the ball if Palmer can hold up.
  • Stefon Diggs/Adam Thielen, Steelers game plan should be to keep the WRs from burning them deep but in PPR these guys will get theirs.

Downgrades –

  • Antonio Brown, He’s obviously still starting in every single league but the Ravens secondary will be doing their best to stop him and defenses have the edge in divisional games.
  • Dez Bryant, Got shut down last week and will be shut down again this week, it does get better for him soon though, I promise.
  • Golden Tate, Had a big week last week even though he was kept out of the end zone but he wasn’t shadowed by Peterson, he WILL be shadowed this week.
  • Alshon Jeffery, Another tough matchup this week with Marcus Peters likely covering him for the majority of plays.
  • DeVante Parker, Going to need some time to develop chemistry with Cutler.
  • TY Hilton, Luck’s not playing AND he’s going to see a lot of Patrick Peterson…ouch town population 1.
  • Odell Beckham Jr., Supposedly he STILL might not play this week, be sure you’re keeping an eye on his availability, don’t be surprised if he is simply a decoy as well, it’s happened before.
  • Brandon Marshall, He just…IDK…he PLAYED but he didn’t do crap, I’m not playing him until OBJ is back for sure, may be a potential draft day bust.

 

Position: Tight End

Upgrades –

  • Delanie Walker, I think I have a fantasy crush on this guy, but Tennessee is going to have to throw this week and the Jag’s LB/S combo isn’t as good as their CBs are.
  • Coby Fleener, New Orleans is going to throw the ball a lot in this game and the Pats are famous for taking away the opposing offense’s #1 threat, likely Michael Thomas this week.
  • Greg Olsen, Down week last week but he’s still Cam’s favorite target, have faith.
  • Zach Ertz, Eric Berry is out and in case you weren’t aware the defenders that cover TEs most are LBs and Safetys, solid matchup.
  • Eric Ebron, Dude is a perennial fantasy bust but the stars are aligning for him this week.

Downgrades –

  • Kyle Rudolph, Good week last week, but Steelers have some of the fastest LBs in the game.
  • Jimmy Graham, I’m not confident in him until I see some production, every year it seems that this offense needs time to get going so I’m going to give him time on my bench until it does.
  • Austin Hooper, Great day last week, but was mainly because of blown coverage on 1 play, less likely to happen this week as Graham was held to almost nothing last week.
  • Jesse James, 2 TDs last week, but don’t expect that against the Minnesota defense this week.
  • Jason Witten, Just don’t think it’s in the game plan for him this week.