2014 Fantasy FootballFantasy Football

2014 Fantasy Football: Week 2 Gold Mine

Andrew Hawkins
Andrew Hawkins

Wow! What a wild, wild week in football. The week began with an upset of the Titans over the Chiefs that saw two star defenders from KC tear their Achilles. The Rams got absolutely dismantled by the Vikings which was a complete shock to many fans, and the Giants proved that their offense might actually be the worst in the NFL.

The Eagles came back from a 17-point deficit in the first quarter to win by 17-points, the Cowboys turned the ball over four times in their first five offensive drives including three interceptions and a fumble returned for a touchdown on the opening drive.

But, that’s not all! The Bills and the Falcons upset both the Bears and the Saints respectively with dramatic overtime victories.

And of course, on Monday afternoon Ray Rice was officially released by the Baltimore Ravens and subsequently suspended indefinitely when video of his heinous actions were officially released to the public.

But for the most part these are all negatives. There was still amazing football played on Sunday (and Monday) with some unlikely heroes popping up around the league.

As always, we will take a look at this weeks Gold Mine. These players are all owned in less than 25% of ESPN leagues and should definitely find their way on more rosters as the days move on.

*All Player percentages were designed as (ESPN | YAHOO | NFL.COM)*

Carson Palmer (ARI): Are you as shocked as I am that Palmer (24.8 | 58 | 26.5) is still sitting on many free agent wires? Palmer, who faces the 31st ranked passing defense following the Giants week 1 slaughtering by the Lions, threw for 304 yards,two touchdowns and no interceptions. Palmer was most impressive in the fourth quarter on Monday night when he led the Cardinals to a 91-yard game winning drive to take an 18 – 17 lead. Obviously had it not been for that final drive the numbers wouldn’t look that pretty, but you can’t take it away once it has happened, and it surely did. The Cardinals Week 2 opponent, the Giants, gave up 346 yards passing to the Lions on Monday. Look for the Cardinals to continue to sling it around specifically if Andre Ellington is still injured heading into the match up.

Jake Locker (TEN): Jake Locker has had one hell of an up and down career, which includes setbacks in both his collegiate and his professional career. Locker (11.9 | 24 | 10.7)  has seen his fair share of injuries in his two professional seasons, which should make just about any person hesitate. However, when healthy, Locker has a track record of performing at an above average level, and with Ken Whisenhunt as his new head coach there will be plenty of time and ensuing play calls to make him one of the better options in the NFL. Locker proved that when healthy he could dominate with a powerful performance in Week 1 against the Chiefs who were ranked in the top five of fantasy defenses in 2013. Locker threw for 266 yards, 2 passing touchdowns with no turnovers. Although he only gained 14 yards on the ground, his six attemptsare certainly promising. The Titans face a Cowboy team that gave up two passing touchdowns in Week 1, which only makes Locker an even more intriguing Week 2 option.

Donnie Avery (KC): Week 1 wasn’t very friendly to the Kansas City Chiefs, but you aren’t going to see Avery complaining. Avery (9.6 | 3 | 1) saw 13 targets for seven catches and 84 yards. Although Donnie didn’t find the end zone, he certainly was a major focal point of the Chiefs offense in Week 1. Despite Dwayne Bowe coming back from suspension in Week 2, Avery shouldn’t lose that many targets to the point where he is immediately a non-option. The Chiefs have another tough road ahead of them as they face the AFC Champion Broncos on Sunday, however, the 184 yards the Broncos gave up in Week 1 to wide receivers bodes well for Avery.

Andrew Hawkins (CLE): Although I gave ample warning heading into Week 1, it seems as if many fantasy players decided not to heed those warnings. Hawkins {11.4 | 29 | 1.9) secured 16 fantasy points in Week 1 against the Steelers, and in Week 2 he has an even better match up. Hawkins was targeted 10 times for eight receptions and 87 yards and should continue to see the same level of production now that Ben Tate is officially out for a few weeks. Josh Gordon (CLE) continues to be suspended and Jordan Cameron (CLE) continues to nurse his ailing shoulder. The Saints, who head to Cleveland in Week 2 gave up the most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers in Week 1 and could honestly see a similar fate if they don’t figure out their woes pretty quickly.

Jermaine Gresham (CIN): Did you know that prior to the 2013 season Gresham was a TE1? Not many people do, but in fact he was. But the drafting and then emergence of Tyler Eifert resulted in Gresham’s numbers decreasing last season. With Eifert going down in Week 1 with a dislocated elbow and being placed on IR-Designated to return, Gresham easily falls right back in place as the go-to tight end in Cincinnati. Gresham (1 | 4 | 1.9) is facing the 21st ranked defense against opposing defenses when the Bengals host Atlanta in Week 2. The Falcons gave up the 3rd most touchdowns to tight ends in 2013, and with a significant number of targets expected to go Jermaine’s way in the red zone, it would be good to take a second look at the former Oklahoma Sooner tight end.

Honorable Mention:

Justin Forsett (BAL):  Forsett (28.2 | 55 | 30) is not owned in less than 25% of leagues, but it’s certainly close which makes me scratch my head. Forsett is coming in to take on the major workload in Baltimore now that Bernard Pierce has put himself into some murky water following his lack luster Week 1 performance. Forsett faced a top six overall defense and top five against the run from 2013 in Week 1 and still gained 70 yards on 11 carries while also grabbing 5 receptions for 14 yards. Forsett has a considerably better match up in Week 2 when the Steelers visit Baltimore on Thursday Night Football. The Steelers gave up 174 yards rushing to the Browns in Week 1, the BROWNS! Keep that in mind when you are deciding your flex options like Steven Jackson (ATL), Danny Woodhead (SD) or RB2 options like Zac Stacy (STL) and either Detroit Lion option.

The NFL season is finally here. I, for one, absolutely couldn’t wait for the season to begin, and now that it is here every weekend it is going to be as exciting as the last. Week 1 and tons of headlines made for a very exciting opening week of football and Week 2 should hold up to the same standards.

Follow me on Twitter @JustinMandaro where you can reach me leading right up to game time for all start / sit questions and much more.

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