I'll keep it simple. The lesson learned after Week 2 was that the draft is just a part of the fantasy season. It doesn’t matter what format you play. Re-draft squads took the brunt of the carnage, but even best-ball managers were looking through their portfolio to find out how many players would be missing from their optimal lineups. Injuries are like earthquakes for the fantasy community. They shake up the current landscape while plate tectonics shift player values into new formations. Guys left for dead on the waiver wire become must-have acquisitions. First-round draft picks can be found on the waiver wire. Week 2’s injuries, the fallout, and our corresponding waiver wire additions and trades will tell the story of our season. But, for now, some of us are left in damage-control mode.
The injury chaos helped hide some of the disappointing performances in Week 2. Players with Top-12 projections or in positive game environments that still underperformed require a second look before we put them back on our active roster. With injuries to manage and bye weeks coming, we’ll need some assurance that a rebound is possible. Let’s look at a few cases from this past week.
Quarterback: Tom Brady, Buccaneers
Week 2 Results: (Projected) 21.5, (Actual) 8.7
The Panthers were the prime matchup for Brady and the Buccaneers to get right. After a disappointing Week 1 loss, the results were chalked up to a tough matchup and Mike Evans being less than 100%. But the team, and the fantasy community, quickly turned to Week 2. Derek Carr had an efficient outing against Carolina while completing 50% of his deep passes (one for a touchdown) and working the short to intermediate areas of the field with his playmakers. He finished with a +8.6% completion percentage over expectation (CPOE) while averaging 0.36 expected points added per play (EPA per play) which was comparable to the top quarterbacks in the league. If Carr could do that, Brady looked unstoppable against the young Carolina secondary. Tampa scored 31 points, but Brady’s arm wasn’t the main contributor. Ronald Jones II and Leonard Fournette combined for three scores on the ground while Brady threw an interception and lost a fumble on a hand-off exchange. Two weeks outside the Top 12 forces us to look at the former Patriot in a new light. He might be the most recognizable quarterback in the league, but that doesn’t help us in the box score.
Advice Moving Forward: