Fantasy Football: Five stars of Week 2

Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley celebrates after scoring during a game against the Arizona Cardinals Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

It was a crazy week in football. From Blake Bortles looking like a Pro-Bowler versus the Patriots, to Eli Manning getting knocked on his back more times than anyone can count, it was a fun one to watch. However, for fantasy football players, it was probably a very frustrating one.

Not many players had standout weeks, so if you were playing one of these guys, well, go get ‘em next time, tiger.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers: 38 points standard, 39 points PPR

Fantasy owners rejoiced when Sunday’s Steelers-Chiefs game turned into a shootout, and the roughly 50 percent of owners who started Roethlisberger after his disaster of a Week 1 performance reaped the benefits. He went 39 for 60 with 452 yards and three touchdowns passing and rushed twice for just nine yards, but also scored.

Roethlisberger had an extremely high workload due to the Steelers playing from behind for virtually the entire game. In fact, the Steelers only rushed the ball 13 times, including Roethlisberger’s two runs. This is mainly why he should not be expected to put up these crazy numbers week-to-week. The passing game is simply not going to be as prominent as it was this week. Roethlisberger should still be starting caliber, especially next week against the Buccaneers, but he will certainly come back down to earth.

Quarterback Patrick Mahomes II, Kansas City Chiefs: 38 points standard, 38.8 points PPR

Pro-Bowl? All-Pro? MVP? Not yet, but if Mahomes keeps up this pace, he will certainly be headed straight to Canton. Mahomes was on the winning side of the Steelers-Chiefs shootout, going 23-28 for 326 yards and six touchdowns. Yes, you read that right, six touchdowns.

Mahomes simply couldn’t do wrong, and even accomplished the ludicrous feat of throwing more touchdowns than incompletions. He is off to one of the best starts in NFL history. With 582 passing yards, 10 touchdowns and no interceptions through just two games, no one has been better than Mahomes.

Let’s be honest, Mahomes will not keep this pace up. If he did, he would throw for 4,656 yards and 80 touchdowns and be the best quarterback to ever live. I’m not saying he’s bad, not in the least. He has proven he is the real deal and should have a very good rest of the season. Start him next week against the 49ers and most others, but don’t expect this same level of insanity. It’s simply not realistic.

Honorable Mentions: Kirk Cousins, Blake Bortles

Running back Todd Gurley II, Los Angeles Rams: 29 points standard, 32.3 points PPR

Gurley was his normal self against the pathetic Arizona Cardinals: a dominant force who made the defense look silly. He had 22 touches for just 73 yards, but reached the end zone three times.

Gurley did leave the game late due to cramping and did not return. Fear not, he could have returned if needed, but up 27-0, the Rams simply decided not to risk anything. Gurley is the best running back in the NFL, and now that Le’Veon Bell is holding out, there really is no competition. Johnson, Elliott, Kamara and Gordon are all amazing, don’t get me wrong, but Gurley truly stands alone. The Rams face the Chargers next week in the battle of LA, and while it’s not the greatest matchup, as the Chargers have a great defense, Gurley still should put up RB1-caliber numbers. He’s just that good.

Honorable Mentions: Melvin Gordon, Matt Breida

Wide Receiver Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings: 26 points standard, 35.9 points PPR

Stefon Diggs is a beast and one of the most undervalued wide receivers in fantasy football this year. Looked at as a WR2, Diggs consistently puts up WR1-caliber numbers. In Sunday’s tie with the Packers, Diggs caught nine passes for 128 yards and two touchdowns, proving that he can coexist with fellow wide receiver Adam Thielen, who also had a great game, catching 12 passes for 131 yards and a touchdown.

That is not a surprise at all, as last season with Case Keenum at the helm for the Vikings, Diggs had 64 receptions for 849 yards and eight touchdowns, which is incredible, considering Thielen had 91 receptions for 1,276 yards and four touchdowns. Now, with Kirk Cousins at QB and a general consensus that Diggs is set to see an even larger role, his value is sky high. He is a must- start every week, especially next week when the Vikings play the Bills.

Honorable Mentions: Adam Thielen, Michael Thomas

Tight End Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs: 22 points standard, 29.9 points PPR

After a pitiful Week 1 where he saw just one reception for six yards, Kelce reassured fantasy owner’s faith in him against the Steelers. Bringing in seven passes for 109 yards and two touchdowns, Kelce dominated the tight end position and was just one of the many receivers who benefited from Patrick Mahomes’s explosion.

This is more like it for Kelce. While, yes, there will be some weeks where he will only put up 3-4 points, or in rare cases even less, there will be many more weeks where he will be one of the top scorers at the position. At the tight end position, even the best will have down weeks, including Gronk, who had just two catches for 15 yards in Week 2. Kelce is one of the best in the game, start him no matter what. The position is too thin to do otherwise.

Honorable Mentions: Jesse James, O.J. Howard


Jorge Eckardt is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at jorge.eckardt@uconn.edu.