Best of the Best: AFC Edition
Week 2 is officially in the books! The TE made a re-emergence, while the RB group decided to take the place of the garbage TE scores of week one. I’m looking at you Mr. 17 Yards James Conner. Granted his day was saved by a TD and multiple receptions, it was just a blah week for RBs this week. We did however see a shootout between the Chiefs and Steelers, good defensive battles, the dumpster fire of the Kickers, and another damn tie. Rules seriously need to change to get rid of the tie in the NFL. They don’t even have a tie in college football. Get it together NFL!!! But that’s neither here nor there. This isn’t an article regarding the stupid NFL rules, its time to highlight the best of the best in the AFC!
Quarterback - Patrick Mahomes
I hate to say I told you say...just kidding, I love it. I called it in my Crystal Ball article before the start of the season! Don't remember it? Well here’s my excerpt from that article. I called for Mahomes to be the best QB in the AFC west, arguably the entire NFL. Week 2 against the Steelers Mahomes posted a stat line of 326yds/6TD/0INT. Mahomes also added 18 rushing yards. Mahomes had TD passes to 5 different receivers, including 2 to Travis Kelce. Week 3 brings a matchup against Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers, followed by ANOTHER tough division match against the Broncos. Look for Mahomes to be a mainstay on the best of the week.
Running back – Melvin Gordon
Gordon followed up a solid Week 1 performance with an even better Week 2. Granted he only had 28 yards rushing and 38 yards receiving, he was able to net 3 touchdowns against a horrid Bills “defense.” Gordon may be in for some tough sledding this week against the Rams, who just held the anemic Cardinals run game to 54 total yards. Gordon is far and away the best RB in the AFC West, and his understudy Austin Ekeler is proving to be a solid option behind him. Is the Chargers offense this good where they can constantly count on their studs to provide fantasy points, or is this just a hot start that will fizzle out in the weeks to come? Only time will tell with Gordon to see if he can prove to be one of the best RB options in the league.
Running back - James Conner
Right?!?! Remember what I had said earlier about James Conner only netting 17 yards rushing in Week 2, and yet he was still able to finish as the RB2 in the AFC. In a week that had Madden like numbers with a finishing score of 42-37 that saw the Chiefs take the win, Conner was quite ineffective in the run game. With just over 2 yards a carry, Conner had an off game that saw the Steelers fall behind early, Conner was able to be effective in the passing game that saw him haul in 5 catches for 48 yards. A rushing TD also net him another 6 points, good enough to put him in the Best of the Best this week. A matchup against Tampa Bay Monday could turn into another shootout, so look for Conner to have another good game.
Wide Receiver - JuJu Smith-Schuster
Name a QB that has a better WR duo than Big Ben? I’ll wait...Possibly Jard Goff, but he isn’t near the level of Big Ben at this point in his career. JuJu was peppered with targets, tallying 19 total and able to convert 13 of them to catches for 121 yards and a TD. The crazy part is he didn’t even lead his team in yards. JuJus PIC, Antonio Brown, also received 17 targets. Like I stated earlier, this game was very Maddenesque. Do I see JuJu being Ben’s go to option on the Steelers? Not quite yet, but he is a very viable option. Going up against the Buccaneers Monday night, look for JuJu to be a go to for Big Bew that was very good potential to be another shootout, if FitzMagic and Big Ben have any similarities to their games in week 2.
Wide Receiver - A.J. Green
Normally Thursday night football is disappointing when it comes to fantasy football. AJ made sure that didn’t happen pulling an opposite Julio Jones, and found the endzone on 3 separate occasions. Pair that with 5 receptions for 69 yards and AJ was good enough to be the second best option in the AFC in week 2. With much of the attention centered around keeping AJ out of the endzone for a 4th time, Greens teammate, Tyler Boyd also had a very solid game. More on him later. AJ is still one of the best options in the AFC, and looking ahead with matchups against Carolina, Atlanta, and Miami, its’ likely that AJ will make at least one more appearance here in the coming weeks. AJ is an undervalued stud in my opinion, and look for him to remain consistent with over 1,000 yards again this season.
TE - Travis Kelce
Nice of Travis Kelce to show up to Week 2, after a 1 catch for 6 yards in week one. Kelce far surpassed that total, tallying 7 receptions for 109 yards and 2 TD. He was the only player to catch multiple TD from Patrick Mahomes, on a 6 TD day. Kelce avaraged 15.6 YPC, exploiting a great matchup against the Steelers. Going forward, The Chiefs have matchups against San Francisco and Denver, both matchups which can prove to be valuable for the TE position. Is Kelce going to overtake the top spot from Gronk? In week 2 Kelce had the edge, and has a good chance to remain there for the next couple weeks. One of our next honorable mentions had a chance to overtake him this week and it’s not who you think it would be...
Honorable Mention - Jesse James
Jesse James, who was lined up on the opposite side of the field of Kelce on Sunday. James outgained Kelce in yardage, gaining 138 yards through the air. In a week where the hype around Vance McDonald was high, James proved to be an asset to Big Ben, whom he has been with since 2015. Game script probably played a huge role into James big day, as the Steelers fell behind early. I don’t see James have this role frequently, with weapons like AB, JuJu, Conner, and Bell when he returns. It is a great week for James, but I don’t expect him here frequently.
Honorable Mention – Will Fuller
That Watson to Fuller connection looks to pick up where they left off last year. Hauling in 8 catches for 113 and a TD, Watson looked to Fuller often. With DeAndre Hopkins lining up opposite of Fuller, look for defenses to focus more on Hopkins than they do Fuller. That will be a great benefit to Watson, Fuller, and fantasy owners alike.
Players to watch - Keelan Cole and Tyler Boyd
What a day for Keelan Cole! In a week that we saw quite possibly the best game of Blake “The Snake” Bortles career, a victory against the New England Patriots, Cole was the primary beneficiary. Hauling in 7 of his 8 targets for 116 yards and a TD, it was one of Coles best games of his career. Look for the Bortles Cole connection to be great this year, especially if Leonard Fournette isn’t at 100% going forward.
Tyler Boyd looks to benefit on the WR lining up opposite of him, much like Will Fuller mentioned earlier. Lining up opposite of AJ Green, Boyd hauled in 6 targets for 91 yards, a team high, and a TD. With the preseason hype around John Ross, myself included, Boyd was an after thought to many fantasy owners, and he is making them pay. Look to Boyd to benefit on double coverage frequently on Green, and the absence of a running game with Mixon out for a couple week, the passing game should be heavy in Cincy.
That’s it. Those are your Players of the Week from the AFC. Will Mahomes reign supreme again in week 3? Will Gronk beat out Kelce for the top TE spot? Will we finally Nuke crack the top POTW? Week 3 will be fun to watch. See you guys same place, same time next week. Go Hawks!
Dynasty + Redraft specialist
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