Outside the Huddle: Week 2

Fantasy football suggestions for when you face the person in your league who takes every offensive player on the Jets because it’s their team.

Okay, I’m going to begin by addressing the elephant in the room. Who the hell turned Mitch Trubisky into John Elway? Honestly, I made a good pick until the Detroit Lions decided to lie down on the field and die in the fourth quarter. I’m almost certain somebody had money on the game, but it is what it is. Like my friend used to say, “Sometimes, even the sun shines on a dog’s ass.”  

The real work begins now. These are the days where you plant those old, dried out seeds collecting dust in the corner of your garage into your opponent’s psyche so they’ll never grow into that thick, luscious lawn. Aaron Rodgers was playing angry and Davante Adams was the sole beneficiary. Josh Jacobs turned in a top performance alongside Christian McCaffrey, DeAndre Hopkins, Lamar Jackson, and Zeke, who all put up their usual high numbers. These are players you don’t want to see on your opponent’s roster, but here are a few picks that can be persuaded in week 2 lineups.

Rob Gronkowski, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs Carolina)

The Tom Brady Tampa Bay experiment got off to a rocky start with a mediocre performance in the loss to the Saints. But football’s a team sport, and it takes time for a quarterback to integrate with a new cast. Brady must have been shocked to actually have an open wide receiver. But he’s the GOAT for a reason, and he’ll figure it out over the next couple of weeks. Gronk, however, looked like he’d done too many shooters at a virtual wine tasting party. Wait, that was me. Sorry, I’ve digressed. Gronk was rarely open and didn’t have that explosion off the line that we were accustomed to seeing in those post-Super Bowl dance-offs. Despite being the 67th pick on average inall ESPN leagues, he found out there’s a big difference between dodging metal folding chairs in the ring and elite linebackers on the field. Expect Gronk to struggle, but unlike Brady, his numbers won’t recover.

Your angle: A Hall of Fame duo trying to prove it wasn’t Bill Belichick’s system

Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles and DeSeanJackson, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

(vs Rams)

This is a two-for-one package deal courtesy of the offensive line that allowed the most sacks in week 1 to a football team that has no name. Jackson, the 33-year-old burner, told Twitter fans he was healthy despite playing 54% of the offensive plays. The problems here are two-fold: The Eagles offensive line is now without two Pro Bowlers on the right side and leaning heavily on Jason Peters, a future HOFer in his 38th year of age. And Wentz refuses to get rid of the ball. He’ll never have enough time to throw deep to Jackson, and I can’t even begin to imagine what will happen when Aaron Donald bursts through that line and meets Wentz in the backfield. Did everyone see how Donald tossed Zeke with one arm last week?

Your angle: They only need to connect once for a major points haul.

Las Vegas Raiders, D/ST (vs New Orleans Saints)

In the 90s, this kid in my middle school, Jordy, wore the puffy Oakland Raiders stadium jacket and acted like the toughest motherfucker around. He was the type who’d fake punch you in the hallway if you glared at him wrong and laugh with his buddies when you almost dropped your books. Then Jordy called out a nerdy kid in my neighborhood after school behind the library and got his ass beaten. That sort of altered my fear of the Raiders ever since. John Gruden coaches differently since winning the Super Bowl. One of the first moves he made after returning to the Raiders was release Khalil Mack. The Raiders gave up 30 points against the Carolina Panthers in week 1 and had one sack, earning -1 points. Imagine Drew Brees playing against a defense that already gives points? So whatever you have to do to convince your opponent that the Raiders are still Jordy from my middle school—face paint, spiked collar, scary masks—you get it done.

Your angle: It’s Raider Nation, baby

Greg Oldfield’s stories have appeared in Hobart, Carve, Barrelhouse, and Maudlin House, among others. He also writes about soccer for the Florida Cup and the Brotherly Game and often rambles about soccer on Twitter. 

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