NFL Proj. Week 2
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Tee Higgins caught 3-of-6 targets for 35 yards in the Bengals' Week 2 loss to the Browns.
Higgins was promoted into three-wide sets tonight, playing more snaps in the first half (23) than he did in all of Week 1 (15). He played ahead of John Ross and rendered Auden Tate a healthy scratch. It was still a disappointing statline as Joe Burrow attempted 61 passes. Higgins was shaken up late after landing hard on the ball, but he stayed in the game. With A.J. Green off to a slow start, the Bengals should continue to try to develop Higgins' play-making ability. He won't yet be in the WR4 mix for Week 3 against the Eagles.
Added 12:46 am (EST)
D. Sample - TE
Drew Sample caught 7-of-9 targets for 45 yards in the Bengals' Week 2 loss to the Browns.
Sample was involved early, but six of his nine targets came after C.J. Uzomah appeared to suffer a torn Achilles' tendon with 8:53 remaining. That, of course, will create a big opportunity for the No. 52 overall pick of last year's draft after he caught just five passes in nine games before landing on injured reserve with an ankle injury. Sample had a nice 2019 Combine after catching all of 46 passes for the University of Washington. It's hard to see there being much upside here, but tonight's seven catches are certainly an attention grabber. The Bengals are going to have to focus on quick hitters because of their protection issues. Sample will be ranked in the TE22-26 range for Week 3 against Philadelphia.
Added 12:40 am (EST)
John Ross was held without a catch on two targets in the Bengals' Week 2 loss to the Browns.
Ross was demoted this evening, placing a distant ninth in targets as Joe Burrow attempted 61 passes. Their timing was off on both attempts. It's been a highly unimpressive first five days to the 2020 season for the former No. 9 overall pick. With Burrow having little time to throw behind Cincy's woeful offensive line, the odds he and Ross will be hooking up for big plays with any regularity are remote.
Added 12:38 am (EST)
Giovani Bernard caught 5-of-7 targets for 22 yards in the Bengals' Week 2 loss to the Browns, adding a three-yard carry.
His passing-game advantage wasn't quite as pronounced as Week 1, but Bernard still out-targeted Joe Mixon 7-4, out-catching him 5-4. Mixon did out-gain him 40-22. Bernard's lone carry appeared to be a four-yard touchdown out of shotgun late in the third quarter, but upon review he was ruled down at the one-yard line. The Bengals are holding back their offense by refusing to commit to Mixon as a three-down back, but there is no reason to expect Bernard's usage to change for the time being. It is not enough to carve out PPR value.
Added 12:33 am (EST)
Austin Hooper caught 2-of-4 targets for 22 yards in the Browns' Week 2 win over the Bengals.
Hooper is now sitting on a 4/37/0 through two games as a Brown. His biggest contribution tonight came a on pick play to free one of his teammates for a nice gain. Hooper never had a fantasy prayer with Baker Mayfield attempting only 23 passes. A distant No. 3 passing option for a run-based, two-back offense, it already seems clear that Hooper has little shot at repeating last year's TE1 value.
Added 12:29 am (EST)
Kareem Hunt rushed 10 times for 86 yards and a touchdown in the Browns' Week 2 win over the Bengals, adding two receptions for 15 additional yards and a score.
Tonight was the stuff of nightmares for both opposing defenses and Nick Chubb fantasy managers, as the Browns had their 1-2 running back punch working to perfection. Chubb easily won the carry battle 22-10, but the Browns were comfortable using Hunt in any situation. That included the goal line(ish), where he scored a six-yard touchdown in the waning moments of the first half. The Browns were able to establish their will and dominate game flow tonight, but when they can't, Hunt is going to gobble up snaps as the comeback back. Game script shouldn't be an issue in Week 3 vs. Washington, but the WFT's stout defensive line will be. Hunt will be a back-end RB2.
Added 12:25 am (EST)
Jarvis Landry caught 3-of-3 targets for 46 yards in the Browns' Week 1 win over the Bengals.
It was a quiet night for Landry on an evening where Baker Mayfield attempted only 19 passes. The Browns ground the Bengals into dust on the ground. Landry will be needed for more in Week 3 against Washington, though still working his way back to 100 percent effectiveness following his hip injury, he will not be upgraded into the top 30, even with 10 days of rest.
Added 12:22 am (EST)
Tyler Boyd caught 7-of-8 targets for 72 yards and a touchdown in the Bengals' Week 2 loss to the Browns.
That was more like it after Boyd's 4/33/0 Week 1, though it required 61 passes from Joe Burrow. Boyd's score featured some fancy footwork on a garbage time grab at the back of the end zone. Boyd's lone missed connection was a dropped touchdown. With A.J. Green seemingly still shaking off the cobwebs, Boyd is going to be needed for more for the time being. The Eagles are an exploitable Week 3 matchup, but Burrow's protection issues make it difficult to trust any of his wideouts as more than a mid-range WR3.
Added 12:19 am (EST)