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Fantasy Football Lessons from Week 2

C.D. Carter examines week 2’s NFL action for actionable fantasy football advice.

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson

Sep 15, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson (10) catches a touchdown pass during the third quarter against the San Diego Chargers at Lincoln Financial Field. The Chargers defeated the Eagles 33-30. Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

There are truckloads of data to be sifted through, injury updates to be made and revised, and endless analysis of fantasy football happenings from the week that was.

For now, let’s run through what we learned from Sunday’s games, and what it might mean for the next 14 weeks.

  • Bernard Pierce was never really a fantasy football lottery ticket, as he was taken in the middle rounds of most drafts this summer. Owners could have their shot to cash in on the second year runner if (probably when) Ray Rice‘s injury status is clarified. Rice went down with a non-contact injury that the Ravens are calling a hip flexor strain after another lackluster performance (13 carries for 39 yards). The team says no MRI is planned for Rice. Pierce, who filled in nicely against Cleveland, is likely a top-15 runner with a starter’s workload. He ran for 57 yards and a score on 19 carries yesterday. Pierce, with a game or two with a full-time gig, could cause serious long-term damage to Rice’s fantasy stock.
  • I’m not really sure what David Wilson‘s role is, and until we figure it out, I don’t see any way Wilson can be plugged into fantasy lineups. He’s not the early-down back, he’s not the pass down back, and he’s certainly not the short yardage and goal line ball carrier. He doesn’t play in garbage time. He hardly plays at all. Wilson, who had seven carries against Denver, isn’t even a buy-low candidate a the moment, unless you can scoop him off your local waiver wire. Wilson has 36 rushing yards through two weeks. Wilson is — deservedly — persona non grata in fake football.
  • The waiver wire runneth over with startable fantasy quarterbacks, in case you didn’t notice. Five of fantasy’s top-12 Week 2 signal callers were waiver wire fodder at the start of the week in most 12-team leagues. Jay Cutler, Sam Bradford, Philip Rivers, Alex Smith, and Matt Schaub all had nice matchups, and delivered for their owners. See if you can trade away your elite quarterback for a top-tier receiver or runner, and trust the matchups from here on out. Live the stream.
  • DeSean Jackson is a locked-in top-10 wide receiver, and you’re making an unforgiveble error if you trade him this week, thinking you’re selling high. You’re not. Jackson followed up his 16-point Week 1 performance with a 25-point masterpiece against the Chargers. The terrifying part: Jackson, who was targeted a whopping 18 times Sunday, could have easily pushed for 300 yards. He had a long score called back on an illegal formation penalty and dropped another ball that could’ve gone for six. This isn’t the boom/bust pass catcher you remember from the Andy Reid era.
  • Chris Johnson is still a buy-low target for fantasy footballers looking to invest at a low, low price. He now has 50 carries through two games as the Titans coaching staff makes good on their run-heavy promises. Johnson didn’t break the big one against Houston, but he piled up 96 yards in an even performance. Time is running out if you’re going to acquire CJ?K and cash in on his wonderfully soft fantasy playoff schedule.
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