Last week didn’t play out exactly as I had hoped which is unfortunate because it is typically one of the most profitable weeks of the season. I say one of the most profitable weeks because week 2 tends to be even better. Last week I preached about how you should embrace the uncertainty since there are a lot of things that could happen. That is exactly what happened when Lamar Jackson throws for 323 yards with 147 going to Marquise Brown!
Where the edge comes in this week is how to properly adjust our perceptions of players. Using the Jackson example preseason rankings had him typically averaging 180-200 passing yards per game. His 323 yards from week 1 is well above that. But what we don’t want to do is adjust our preseason rankings too much. This is called recency bias. I don’t think many people will adjust their expectations of Lamar Jackson to average 323 yards going forward but his real expectation should be a lot closer to the 200 range than most people expect.
In addition to Jackson, some of the week 1 heroes include Sammy Watkins, John Brown, T.J. Hockenson, and Desean Jackson. This doesn’t mean these players are bad plays this week. In reality, several are in great spots. For example, Watkins should benefit from Tyreek Hill’s injury and Jackson/Brown should benefit from the up-tempo pace the Cardinals are playing. But it does mean that you should be critical of the players that did well in week 1 and make sure you aren’t overreacting.
The most heavily owned quarterback seems to be down to Patrick Mahomes II and the previously mentioned Jackson. Both quarterbacks have their plusses and minuses. For Mahomes, he is simply on a crazy run similar to Peyton Manning a few years back. Devin Knott’s, on our power grid show, said you should play Mahomes in cash games without hesitation for the foreseeable future. That seems like a pretty safe solid take to me! However, in GPP we have to consider his risk, upside, and ownership. Losing Tyreek Hill, who seems to break my projection model regularly, is not going to be easy. But he has a plus matchup against the Raiders which should at least partially offset it.
Similarly, Jackson has a great matchup against the Cardinals and is coming off the best passing game of his career. The problem, as always with Jackson is will he be able to support enough of his passers to make for a great stack. He did last week but I am not sure he can every week still. Both are good plays but at such elevated ownership levels, I will likely come in under the field given their risks.