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Outliers: Week 2

A comparison of the weekly positional rankings and the Top 200, this is an output of the players who could either have unexpected good or poor fantasy weeks.

Outliers

This article will take a weekly look at players who are either undervalued or overvalued in a given week. The outlier value players offer is calculated by a comparison between the Top 200 forward, a look at the top 200 players with the whole season in mind, and the weekly Footballguys rankings. Both of these are from the Footballguys.com subscriber content. An emphasis will be on the players with the largest differences between the season outlook and this week only. Also, a preference will be given to differences for the higher ranked players. Some of these differences will be due to injury, the matchup of the week, or short-term situation.  Now, let's look at this week's outlier players. 

Quarterback

Derek Carr

  • Top 200 ranking: 16
  • Weekly ranking: 5
  • Difference: +11

The Raiders host the reeling Jets this weekend in a battle between teams going in opposite directions.  New York travels west after getting pummeled by Buffalo.  Oakland played well last week in the win over Tennessee.  With the lack of quality defensive starters for the Jets, Carr and his receivers are looking at a plus matchup.

Philip Rivers

  • Top 200 ranking: 13
  • Weekly ranking: 8
  • Difference: +5

The Chargers are coming off the tough loss late Monday night and get to host the Dolphins.  We will Rivers’ chances of rebounding into a quality outing at home.  His receivers are mostly healthy and this is a great matchup.  The Dolphins players have been displaced by the storm and now travel west.  Concentration may not be at the highest level.

Drew Brees

 

  • Top 200 ranking: 3
  • Weekly ranking: 7
  • Difference: -4

 

The Saints host a riled-up Patriots offense embarrassed by the collapse last Thursday night in the opener.  Each of these teams desperately needs a victory to avoid starting the season 0-2.  We expect Brees to play well but will have some much better matchups soon.  He has a chance have another 5,000-yard season. 

Matthew Stafford

 

  • Top 200 ranking: 8
  • Weekly ranking: 16
  • Difference: -8

 

The Lions squeaked out a win against the Cardinals in Week 1 but now travel to face the New York Giants.  The Giants are another team who is looking to rebound after an embarrassing opener.  New York has an elite defense and will have Stafford on the run.  The Giants need to win to avoid a 0-2 start and will rely on its defense for turnovers and pass rush.

Running Back

Marshawn Lynch

 

  • Top 200 ranking: 16
  • Weekly ranking: 8
  • Difference: +8

 

Lynch and the Raiders host the lowly Jets this week.  In a game that could get out of hand early, Lynch will see enough carries to be an RB1 option.  The other Oakland ball carriers are better receiving options than bellcow.  This might be the veteran ball carrier’s best matchup of the season as the Raiders play the balance of the contest with a sizable lead. 

Devonta Freeman

 

  • Top 200 ranking: 9
  • Weekly ranking: 4
  • Difference: +5

 

Freeman and the Falcons host the Packers in what appears to be a high-scoring game.  Green Bay is not especially strong against the run and Freeman’s receiving ability will help stockpile the fantasy statistics.  Historically, Freeman scores prolifically at home, several points higher than on the road.  We are banking on the trend continuing. 

Carlos Hyde

 

  • Top 200 ranking: 12
  • Weekly ranking: 24
  • Difference: -12

 

The 49ers offense looked anemic in the opener and now travel to face division foe, Seattle.  If Hyde is going to help fantasy owners, it will be as a receiver, not on the ground.  The Seahawks defensive line is stellar. Still, he is a low-end RB2 this week with little hope of a RB1-level game.  There are better RB2/flex options available on most fantasy benches.  Seattle will be ready to play after the loss in Green Bay last Sunday.

Dalvin Cook

 

  • Top 200 ranking: 5
  • Weekly ranking: 12
  • Difference: -7

 

Cook is coming off a big outing in his first career start against New Orleans.  He and the Vikings travel to Pittsburgh for Week 2.  The Steelers held Isaiah Crowell and the Browns rushing game under wraps in Week 1.  While Cook is a solid prospect and could have a big season, this is a tough matchup for the rookie.

Wide Receiver

Larry Fitzgerald

 

  • Top 200 ranking: 28
  • Weekly ranking: 9
  • Difference: +19

 

Fitzgerald was held under wraps in Detroit last week but will be needed much more this week in Indianapolis with David Johnson out of the lineup.  The star tailback is out a few months with a wrist injury.  Johnson’s absence will give Fitzgerald ample opportunity to have a great day.  The veteran will have a sublime matchup against the weak cornerbacks of the Colts. 

Chris Hogan

 

  • Top 200 ranking: 40
  • Weekly ranking: 24
  • Difference: +16

 

Hogan will see even more targets than normal with Danny Amendola concussed and unlikely to be cleared in time.  After the gashing the Saints defense took on Monday night, there is hope that the Patriots will be able to do the same.  If Sam Bradford was able to carve up the New Orleans defense, so should Tom Brady.

T.Y. Hilton

 

  • Top 200 ranking: 12
  • Weekly ranking: 35
  • Difference: -23

 

Hilton and the Colts receivers are counting the days until quarterback Andrew Luck returns.  Poor quarterback play last week scares us for the tough matchup against Arizona.  Neither Scott Tolzien nor Jacoby Brissett offers Hilton a chance at fantasy WR1 numbers. 

Dez Bryant

 

  • Top 200 ranking: 10
  • Weekly ranking: 21
  • Difference: -11

 

Dez Bryant had a rough game against the Giants Week 1 and gets another tough matchup this week as Dallas travels to Denver.   The Broncos secondary is littered with players able to contain Bryant’s physical style.  The good news is that the schedule gets much easier after this contest. 

Tight End

Jordan Reed

 

  • Top 200 ranking: 10
  • Weekly ranking: 6
  • Difference: +4

 

Reed was able to get open last week against Philadelphia but could not connect with quarterback Kirk Cousins.  Against the Panthers this week, we see Reed rebounding to a solid fantasy outing.  Washington needs to get their star tight end involved in the offense. 

Jack Doyle

 

  • Top 200 ranking: 13
  • Weekly ranking: 22
  • Difference: -9

 

The Colts host the Cardinals in Week 2.  This is the same Arizona pass defense that shut Eric Ebron down last week.  As with Hilton above, the quarterback play will limit Doyle’s upside and make a rough matchup even worse.

Cameron Brate

 

  • Top 200 ranking: 12
  • Weekly ranking: 21
  • Difference: -9

 

The Buccaneers are hosting the Bears this week.  Chicago has a solid defense and will be a tough test for the Tampa Bay pass offense, especially the tight ends.  It might take Tampa Bay a week to shake the rust off after getting Week 1 postponed. 

Feel free to (email me) with feedback.  Also, I am on Twitter (www.Twitter.com/JeffTefertiller), LinkedIn, and Google+, so you can ask me questions on one of these as well.