Still reeling from Week 1? Well, guess what: We have another week starting tomorrow. Learn your lessons from Week 1, lick your wounds, and then move on. Before we get to Heath Cummings' position previews in today's newsletter, here's a quick recap of some of the biggest news you need to know about from Tuesday around the NFL:
- Diontae Johnson (hamstring) is expected to miss multiple weeks: The Steelers offense looked a lot like last year's underwhelming unit in Week 1, and now it will be playing without its top target earner. If George Pickens is going to turn into a star Fantasy WR, this is his chance, though seeing as I have him ranked just 35th for Week 2 against Cleveland, my expectations aren't high. Calvin Austin is worth a look in deeper leagues because he seemed to more or less step into Johnson's role on the field in Week 1 after the injury.
- Kenneth Gainwell (ribs) has yet to practice this week – Gainwell was the Eagles' lead back for Week 1, but that may not continue into Thursday's game. I'd expect D'Andre Swift to be the lead back if Gainwell isn't ready to go against the Vikings, but I'll be throwing Rashaad Penny into some DFS lineups if Gainwell is out, too.
- Evan Hull (knee) is being placed on IR – Between Deon Jackson's disastrous Week 1 and this injury, things could not be going better for Zack Moss. I still expect Jonathan Taylor back not long after Week 5, if not in Week 5, but Moss could be the lead RB until then if he gets back from his fractured arm this week.
- Greg Dulcich (hamstring) will miss "multiple weeks" – You can safely drop Dulcich, who was already playing behind Adam Trautman in Week 1 before the injury. So much for young breakout tight ends.
🔍Week 2 Position Previews
Every Tuesday, Heath Cummings previews each position, providing injury insights, key stats to know, the best waiver-wire adds, DFS targets, and more for tight end. Here's a brief rundown of each position, along with some key details you need to know before you go read Heath's full breakdowns:, , , and
"Josh Allen, Jalen Hurts, Lamar Jackson, Justin Fields, and Joe Burrow all finished outside the top 20 Fantasy QBs in Week 1. Most of that was because of poor play, not extenuating circumstances. And we mostly don't care; we're ranking them very close to where we had them in Week 1. I cannot say the same for Geno Smith, even though he outscored Allen, Jackson, and Burrow. I'm just a little less sure of his bounceback.
"It makes sense if you think about it. Before last year, Smith was a journeyman backup quarterback who had thrown for 1,346 yards in his last seven seasons combined. Before 2022, he had more career interceptions than touchdown passes. While he was genuinely outstanding last year, you'll generally make a profit betting against career years from 32-year-olds."
- Injuries: Aaron Rodgers (Achilles), Anthony Richardson (knee) and Kyler Murray (knee)
- Number to know: 10 -- Rush attempts for Anthony Richardson in Week 1. That's how many Jalen Hurts averaged the past two seasons in Philadelphia.
- Matchup that matters: Daniel Jones @ARI (19th vs. QB)
- Waiver add/streamer: Brock Purdy, 49ers: "It's pretty tough to doubt Purdy after his season debut against a Steelers defense that we expected to be much better than the Rams team he'll face in Week 1. Pencil him in for around 225 yards and two scores. There's not a ton of upside here, but the floor has been rock solid."
- Stash: Kyler Murray, Cardinals: "I'll leave this here for one more week. Murray should be rostered in every league that has an IR spot. You don't even have to drop anyone to add him. Go get him, stash him, and then wait and see. We're expecting Murray will show up in six to eight weeks. If he's his old self by the Fantasy playoffs, you've got found money."
"As a rule, the best thing you can do after Week 1 is try not to overreact. At the same time, there are only 18 weeks in the season and probably only 13 or 14 in your Fantasy regular season. We can't completely ignore one week's worth of action, especially in situations like Philadelphia or Atlanta where Kenneth Gainwell and Tyler Allgeier saw way more work than we expected. For the most part, I am buying surprising usage for running backs and selling surprising efficiency for running backs.
"One other person I'm buying after Week 1 is James Cook. Cook had a terrible matchup and his QB turned the ball over too often, but I am pretty thrilled with the usage. He had a 15% target share and handled 54% of the team's rush attempts. Last year that would have translated to 246 carries and 91 targets. Josh Allen's continued turnover problems may eventually translate to even more running back targets. Go see if the Fantasy manager who drafted Cook is frustrated by Week 1."
- Injuries: J.K. Dobbins (Achilles), Jonathan Taylor (ankle), Austin Ekeler (ankle), Aaron Jones (hamstring), Kenneth Gainwell (ribs), Jeff Wilson (abdomen), Kendre Miller (hamstring), Zack Moss (forearm), Evan Hull (knee) and Cordarrelle Patterson (thigh)
- Number to know: 33% -- Bijan Robinson's 33% target share led all rookies. That takes the sting out of all those Tyler Allgeier carries.
- Matchup that matters: Travis Etienne vs. KC (20th vs. RB)
- Waiver add: Kenneth Gainwell Eagles: "Gainwell played 62% of the snaps in Week 1, by far the most among Eagles running backs. Even in an inefficient game against a bad matchup he managed 11.5 PPR Fantasy points. Week 2 presents a much better game script and I like Gainwell as an RB2. He'll be that for as long as he holds onto this role. I would still expect D'Andre Swift or Rashaad Penny to play more at some point this year, so I'm not breaking the bank to get Gainwell. Around 20% of FAB is good, depending on your need."
- Stash: Kyren Williams, Rams: "The only reason Williams is in the stash section is because he's facing the 49ers this week, and I have no interest in playing him against that matchup. Williams played 65% of the snaps in Week 1, but that doesn't even tell the whole story. Williams out snapped Akers 26-4 in the first half and 11 of Akers' 22 carries came as the team tried to run the clock out. I fully expect Williams to be the best Rams running back rest of the season, I'm just a little concerned that the job isn't that attractive."
"As we approach the first waiver run of the season, everyone is talking about Puka Nacua, and for good reason. He's going to rocket from 11% roster rate to over 90% in the next two days, and his Week 1 performance certainly warranted it.
"While some people may have a hard time deciding who to drop, that's not as big of a concern when you're picking up someone with Nacua's short-term upside. I worry more about who people are going to spite drop or drop for lesser players. While the first waiver run of the year is exciting on Tuesday, in a lot of leagues there will be even more exciting guys available on Thursday morning."
- Injuries: Cooper Kupp (hamstring), Christian Watson (hamstring), Diontae Johnson (hamstring), Jerry Jeudy (hamstring), Jakobi Meyers (concussion), D.J. Chark (hamstring), Wan'Dale Robinson (knee), DeVante Parker (knee) and John Metchie III (hamstring).
- Number to know: 47.6% -- Zay Flowers' 47.6% target share leads the NFL. Not bad for his first game.
- Matchup that matters: Nico Collins vs. IND (26th vs. WR)
- Waiver add: Puka Nacua, Rams: "If you don't have a glaring need, Nacua should be the top waiver wire add this week regardless of position. Nacua's 40.5% target share ranked second only to fellow rookie Zay Flowers this week. Matthew Stafford looked like himself again and Cooper Kupp is out for at least three more weeks. View Nacua as a borderline WR2 for the next three weeks, and then we'll see if he can settle into a Robert Woods-like role opposite Kupp."
- Stash: Nathaniel Dell, Texans: "I was very impressed by the fact that Dell played 48% of the offensive snaps in Week 1, so he stays atop my stash adds at wide receiver. He has a great relationship with C.J. Stroud and at some point this team is going to stop running Robert Woods out there as they play for the future. Dell could be a big-time help in the second half."
"We used to think we knew how bad tight end was. Until last week, we had no idea.
"Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews missed the week. Dallas Goedert played, but didn't score. Darren Waller took the second half off in a blowout loss. George Kittle had one of his many low-yardage games. Pat Freiermuth caught a touchdown pass but was one and off the field with injuries. Kyle Pitts dominated his team's passing game, but that doesn't mean much when your team throws for 115 yards."
- Injuries: Travis Kelce (knee), Mark Andrews (quadriceps), Pat Freiermuth (chest) and Greg Dulcich (hamstring).
- Number to know: 1 -- Isaiah Likely saw just one target in Mark Andrews' Week 1 absence. The Ravens may not be as tight end centric as they once were.
- Matchup that matters: Evan Engram vs. KC (25th vs. TE)
- Streamer: "I loved Musgrave's usage, especially the downfield targets. In Week 2 he'll face a Falcons defense that just let Hayden Hurst into the end zone. I view Musgrave as more of a long play than a stream, but I am perfectly comfortable starting him this week, especially if Christian Watson remains out."
Fantasy Football Today Newsletter
Know What Your Friends Don't
Get tips, advice and news to win your league - all from the FFT podcast team.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox.
There was an error processing your subscription.
Bonus thoughts about Monday's game
I didn't really write much about Monday night's game beyond Aaron Rodgers' injury in yesterday's newsletter, but there were obviously a ton of high-profile players in action between the Jets and Bills. Here are five quick thoughts on those two teams moving forward:
Breece Hall looked awesome
You might point to him getting caught from behind on his 83-yard run, but I chalk that up to not having his conditioning up to par – that play started on the 4-yard line, and that's a long way to run. Hall looked explosive and hard to tackle, just like he was last season, and while it will likely take a few more weeks until he's back to full speed (and longer until he's at full snaps), I think he's probably already back in the RB2 range for Week 2, and has RB1 upside by October if he avoids any other injuries.
James Cook got the workload
I was a bit disappointed by how Cook played Monday night, but I think it's fair to chalk up 3.8 yards per carry and 4.3 per reception to a tough defensive matchup. Cook got 12 of 14 RB touches and six of 10 RB targets for the Bills, with the only real downside to his usage being that Damien Harris got the team's lone carry inside the 10-yard line. I expect the Bills offense to be much better moving forward, beginning in Week 2 against the Raiders, and Cook definitely has a path to RB1 upside if this usage continues.
Garrett Wilson is probably in trouble
I want to be careful not to write off Zach Wilson and the Jets offense entirely, but my expectations are low. Certainly lower than they were before Rodgers' injury. I mean, if we knew Zach Wilson was going to be starting the entire season, Garrett Wilson definitely wouldn't have been a second-round pick in Fantasy this season. It's a brutal blow, but how could the arrow be pointing anywhere but down now? Wilson is still such an absurdly talented player that he should still be useful for Fantasy, but I think his touchdown Monday night was illustrative of the problem – Wilson had to play defense on the pass first, swatting it away from the defender with one hand and then back to himself to make the circus catch. It shouldn't have to be that difficult, and it took that effort to get Wilson to a WR22 finish for Week 1. That's about where I would have him ranked moving forward, and anything more than that is a bet on Wilson being such an outrageous talent that he overcomes potentially worst-in-the-league QB play.
The Bills need more playmaking
Maybe it'll come from Cook getting loose a few times per game where he wasn't really able to Monday. Maybe it'll come from Dalton Kincaid getting more involved and more confident. Maybe it'll even come from Gabe Davis being what so many still hope he can be. But this team just hasn't made enough of a priority of adding playmaking since it took a big step forward with the addition of Stefon Diggs three years ago, and it's starting to show up on offense. Yes, it was a tough matchup, and yes, Josh Allen made some terrible decisions. But it's not hard to see how he might feel he needed to force it on a night when Diggs was the only player really doing anything. They need someone else to step in.
The Jets need more playmaking too
Hall showed last season he can be a difference maker even with little to no help, and Garrett Wilson is going to do the best he can. But when you look at the rest of this offense, what becomes immediately apparent is how much they tailored the offense to Aaron Rodgers' comfort level rather than maximizing playmaking. That made sense when Rodgers was healthy, but was this really a team that could afford to trade Elijah Moore? I don't think Mecole Hardman is going to elevate Zach Wilson or anything, but I think the Jets have to get him on the field ahead of Randall Cobb and potentially even Allen Lazard (whose blocking makes him a decent option in two-WR sets) given how much they figure to rely on the run moving forward). But when you look at the guys who played on Monday, it's Hall, Wilson, and not much else that figures to scare defenses at this point. If this offense is going to do anything without Rodgers, it needs more guys who can do it themselves.