Smoke ’em, pass ’em, Week 2: Aaron Jones or nothing

The Mitchell Trubisky truther meetings have moved underground until further notice. Thursday already feels like months ago, but I bet Trubisky remembers it all too well. Perhaps the weight of all it is getting to the young Chicago Bears quarterback. The pressure has to be immense. But who cares, really?

First, it’s just football. Second, if you have him on your fantasy team, you’re either cutting him or benching him indefinitely. I’d tell you what to do but I never drafted him in the first place. 

What was it Ken Kesey said to the man who was having a bad trip? I can’t help you. You saw yourself in, get yourself out. That’s good advice for fantasy footballers in these wild times when Sammy Watkins looks like Antonio Brown without the madness of King George.

But the season is young. Impulsiveness is how we got into a couple of these bad situations. Did we overvalue Aaron Jones? No, he just dealt with a very good defense on a night when the offense never got off the bus. But we know David Montgomery, Jameis Winston, and maybe even Todd Gurley (despite his high snap rate) are on probation for the next couple weeks. Now is not the time to panic. Now is not the time to panic. Sometimes I have to say things twice for my dumbass to listen. 

My pickup of the week is Malcolm Brown, though it’s with caution after only seeing just 21 snaps, but we’ve been high on him all summer. Brown was a deep cut, but I rostered him in several places. Now is the time to pounce on him. He should continue to get work if he proves he has a nose for the end zone. Super excited about this guy because the coaching staff loves him. Jamison Crowder (NYJ, WR); John Ross (CIN, WR); Marquise Brown (BAL, WR); and Deon Cain (IND, WR) are also some names you should consider on the waiver fire. As for who has a hot hand and a hotter matchup this week, here’s who you should start and sit in Week 2.

Let’s put the smoke ‘em, pass ‘em in the air.  

Smoke ‘em

Quarterbacks

Derek Carr vs. Kansas City: In the distant future entire clans will live on salvaging anything they can from the apocalyptic landscapes. Nomadic by nature, these people will simply resort to collecting garbage along their travels in order to survive. This is the future we are chasing with Carr. It’s a brutally tragic thing to covet this type of QB—flawed, erratic, on a bad team—but he should be usable going forward.

Josh Allen vs. New York Giants: This guy is going to get hurt if he continues to play with total disregard for his body. He threw for 254 and a TD and ran for another one. It was ugly but he had a decent day even though it took a while to get there. The Giants are an embarrassment to modern football—and Allen is warmed up.  

Gardner Minshew at Houston: Oh, we’ve added another joint to the circle. Mostly because of his name, but also because chasing garbage is what we are about: 22/25 for 275 and 2 TDs is a better line than half the league week-to-week. Salvage well, comrades.   

Running backs

Derrick Henry vs. Indianapolis: If you get four solid games out of an RB drafted after the third, you gotta be happy. Henry probably just won you the week. If by Week 6 he’s had a few more solid performances, he’s already become a value pick at his ADP. They promised to feed him and he’s a man with steel-driving blood, for his great-great-grandfather was a guy named John Henry. Maybe you’ve heard of him. If you get a chance, read Colson Whitehead’s John Henry Days. It was published in 2001. It’s about a journalist who is covering a town’s celebration of John Henry. Masterfully structured, it touches on issues of race, guns, and the incipience of the internet age. John is an American Hero and Derrick is, too.

Aaron Jones vs. Minnesota: Hear me out. At home, with 10 days of rest, there will be lots of opportunities. The numbers show it’s gonna be a 60-40 mix with Jamaal Williams, but if he’s the guy and if he gets going, look out. I know it’s gonna be tough to push this button if you have another option you deem better. But this button is a bidet. 

Wide receivers

Antonio Brown at Miami: Robert Kraft hasn’t spent so recklessly since he was in Jupiter, FloridaBut Brown just might be worth the clubhouse-rocking free agent signing.

Michael Gallup at Washington: He didn’t score in Week 1 but he caught every target and there were some gems. This has all the makings of a great offense if Dak Prescott can find a shred of consistency.

Marquise Brown vs. Arizona: This is a bonus for you this week because you need a guy nicknamed “Hollywood” on your team. I told you this was going to be fun; 4-147-2 isn’t gonna happen every week, but this isn’t the week to guess it won’t. 

Tight ends

David Njoku at New York Jets: This is what we wanted to see from this young TE. He was getting open and Baker Mayfield was peppering him. He might remain TD dependent, but there’s a solid chance he’s gonna get plenty of chances. Don’t panic here on the rest of the offense. Timing is key and Mayfield looked good when he had time. Things will get groovier for Nick Chubb and this offense will keep them in games. Did this Browns pep talk feel forced? Because I’m hyperventilating and I’m running out of weed.

Defense/special teams

Denver vs. Chicago: The Chicago offense looked like a drunk rugby team that learned the rules of football in a three-minute YouTube video made for foreign businessmen. And now their former defensive coordinator gets to exploit everything he knows about Mitch Shitbiscuit. It’s gonna get ugly for the Bears if they can’t somehow win this game.  

Pass ‘em

Quarterbacks

Kirk Cousins at Green Bay: Kirk Cousins on the road after throwing a few TD passes sounds like a no-brainer pass. Cousins hasn’t had back-to-back great games since Pop Warner. And even then he was better at backing up Robert Griffen III. Green Bay gave Shitbiscuit fits last Thursday and has 10 days to prepare for this mediocre signal-caller. The Vikings will feed Dalvin Cook and hope Cousins doesn’t lose them this game. But you don’t hide QBs. Just ask the Giants.

Case Keenum vs. Dallas: Maybe you play in a 24-team league and you’re looking to get cute. Don’t. 

Running backs

Leonard Fournette at Houston: Garbage time doesn’t apply to the plodders among us. He rumbled for 66 yards on 13 carries. His snap count was like 90% so there’s that. But this was against one of last year’s worst rushing defenses. If you took him, congratulations your top-36 pick is unstartable in Week 2. Get a new hobby.

David Johnson at Baltimore: He went for 18-82 at home against the Detroit Lions. I guess he ran some routes out wide, too. But now he goes on the road against last year’s best defense. You were dumb enough to take him in the first round, though, so you gotta play him.

Wide receivers

Anthony Miller at Denver: About an hour before kickoff last Thursday, I dropped Miller for Tyrell Williams. It was more about Antonio Brown leaving than about Miller or my own genius. But the impulse to chop him was probably correct. He was a guy who would only survive on target volume. And it appears they have no use for him.

Geronimo Allison vs. Minnesota: It’s not time to cut him, but there’s no chance I’d trust him here. Minnesota has been solid against the pass and division games are always battles. Plus, it appears that Marquez Valdes-Scantling is Green Bay’s No. 2.

Tight ends

Vernon Davis vs. Dallas: Honestly I had no idea he was still playing.

Defense/special teams

Philadelphia at Atlanta: Philly got Washington at home and made Keenum look like Doug Williams. No matter how bad Atlanta is it’s not bad enough to start Philly here. 

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Ken Griggs

Ken Griggs

Ken Griggs is an author, literary snob, and beloved fantasy football Twitter dude. Follow him: @dexters_library