The best fantasy football gamble of Week 2

Every week, at least one player becomes my fascination of whether he’s worthy of a fantasy football start or bench. The decision can be a mental wrestling match, but for the purpose of brevity, only one player can be chosen as the fantasy football gamble of the week.

The best fantasy football gamble for Week 2

Tracking my predictions: 0-1-0

Win: Player produces ≥ 75% of projected fantasy points

Loss: Player produces >75% of projected fantasy points

Tie: Player is ejected or leaves with an injury

Week 1 summary: Barf.

The case for San Francisco 49ers running back Trey Sermon was laid out rather convincingly, if I do say so myself … until it all crumbled down upon me in a Kyle Shanahan-induced, Jenga-like heap of gameday inactives. Sermon being a healthy scratch was one of the most shocking gameday personnel decision I’ve see in the NFL in some years.

Not at all bitter. Nope. Nuh uh. Not one bit.

I stand by the decision with steely commitment. My logic was sound … how was anyone to know Shanny would play games with not only Sermon but WR Brandon Aiyuk.

My reasoning proved true after RB Raheem Mostert (knee) exited early (c’mon, everyone should have seen that coming!) and paved the way for backup rookie Elijah Mitchell to run roughshod over the lowly Detroit defense. All told, a pair of San Francisco backups totaled 24.2 PPR points. My Sermon projection was 22.5. It’s not a win, nor even a push.

I’ll take the “L” and move on to Week 2, but first, I will apologize if my advice led to Sermon being stuck into someone’s lineup given how close we were to kickoff before anyone had a clue he’d be inactive. Being wrong isn’t what bothers me the most … costing someone else a win gnaws at me.

TE Jared Cook, Los Angeles Chargers vs. Dallas Cowboys

Last week, Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski was good for 90 yards and a pair of scores on his five grabs, illustrating Tom Brady isn’t the only one with indecent pictures of Father Time.

Cook is no Gronk, and the way the latter stuck it to the ‘Boys is not even the basis for the well-traveled veteran being the focus of this article. I’m not going to pretend like it doesn’t help my argument, but the real driving factor here is what Dallas is doing at linebacker in passing situations. Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith — superior players against the run — come off the field in favor of Micah Parsons and Keanu Neal.

There is no question the Neal-Parsons combo provides more athleticism in coverage, but this duo is about as inexperienced as it gets in the NFL playing coverage linebacker. Neal, a former safety under current Dallas defensive coordinator Dan Quinn in Atlanta, transitioned to the position just this offseason. And Parsons, for as ridiculously talented as he is, remains a rookie with one whole NFL game under his belt, regardless of position.

[lawrence-related id=460345]

These two guys are dynamic and rangy, covering territory far faster than their run-stuffing counterparts, but the NFL is such a mentally quick game that even a pro moving from a similar position — in the box safety — is bound to have hiccups at first, let alone for a rookie.

This game is on the road once again for the Cowboys, and defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence (foot) won’t be available to apply pressure on Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert. The second-year Oregon product is unflappable and showed a nearly seamless transition between a collegiate offense to the pros in 2020 and now to yet another new system in ’21.

The Bolts have two strong receivers, especially with Keenan Allen, for Dallas to be preoccupied with stopping. Mike Williams is coming off his most catches ever in a game last week. The Chargers really don’t have a bona fide WR3 at the moment, and running back Austin Ekeler wasn’t even targeted in the passing game, much to the dismay of his PPR owners.

That leaves Cook. The veteran came over from New Orleans in the offseason, following Joe Lombardi, LA’s new offensive coordinator. The system concepts are more than familiar for the 34-year-old tight end. Maybe Cook isn’t quite as athletic as he once was in his prime, but there is wisdom that comes with experience, and he understands nuance better than at any point in his career. He also has seen a serious scoring uptick in the past few seasons. One of my favorite value buys this draft season, here’s what I wrote about him entering the year:

He scored 25 total touchdowns in 117 appearances prior to his two-year stint with the Saints, a 29-game stretch in which he registered 16 TD grabs.

While Cook didn’t find the end zone in Week 1, he landed five of his eight targets for 56 yards. Williams isn’t going to see 12 looks every game, and some of those extra plays will go Cook’s direction. Unless Ekeler gets a major boost in receiving work this weekend, Cook is a strong bet to outperform last week’s 10.6 PPR points.

… That is, so long as he isn’t a surprise healthy scratch prior to kickoff!

My projection: 6 receptions, 64 yards, 1 TD (18.4 PPR points)

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Sabalenka returns with win over Tomljanovic at Kremlin Cup

MOSCOW (AP) — Aryna Sabalenka played a match for the first time since reaching the U.S. Open semifinals and subsequently testing positive for the coronavirus, beating Ajla Tomljanovic 7-6 (2), ... Read more »

Highlight block shows versatility of Bengals WR Chase

CINCINNATI (AP) — On fourth-and-short just inside the Lions 40 yard line, Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow rolled right and dumped a short pass to Joe Mixon out of the backfield. ... Read more »

Hasaranga, Nissanka, Theekshana down Ireland to seal Sri Lanka's Super 12s spot

© AFP/Getty Images The Sri Lanka players celebrate the wicket of Kevin O’Brien © AFP/Getty Images Sri Lanka 171 for 7 (Hasaranga 71, Nissanka 61, Little 4-23) beat Ireland 101 ... Read more »

Sainz on Ferrari F1 life: Signing contract in his pyjamas, nervous fans and his breakthrough

But for Carlos Sainz, who is the Prancing Horse’s most recent hire, that point in time stands out for being just a little bit unusual. © Ferrari Carlos Sainz Jr., ... Read more »

Governor seeks $11M as water crisis rages in predominately Black community

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer visited Benton Harbor as a crisis of toxic lead poisoning the city’s drinking water has stoked mounting frustration and fury. The governor issued a new call ... Read more »

Araújo, Driussi top-paid to join MLS during season

WASHINGTON (AP) — Brazilian winger Luiz Araújo has a US$3.6 million base salary after joining Atlanta from Lille and has total compensation of $3,941,667, the highest among players to join ... Read more »

Gerhard Struber looks forward to 2022 trophy run with NY Red Bulls

New York Red Bulls head coach Gerhard Struber is confident his side can still qualify for the MLS playoffs, but declares “next year we want to go on the offensive ... Read more »

Golden State and Los Angeles meet for conference battle

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Golden State Warriors San Francisco; Thursday, 10 p.m. EDT LINE: Warriors -3; over/under is 225.5 BOTTOM LINE: Golden State plays Los Angeles in a matchup of ... Read more »

Report: Trump golf club under new criminal probe over taxes

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump’s company is under criminal investigation by a district attorney in a New York City suburb into whether it misled officials to cut taxes for ... Read more »

Alberta country stars band together on song opposing Rockies coal mining

Alberta country singer Corb Lund has banded together with a few musical friends to re-release a 12-year-old song with a new focus on the possibility of open-pit coal mining in ... Read more »

8 Cozy New Fall Fragrances

Saying goodbye to carefree summer days is bittersweet, but there’s joy to be found in thick knits, hot beverages and crisp breezes. Above all, fall is the perfect time to ... Read more »

Rutgers: High hopes after ending NCAA Tournament drought

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) — After ending a 30-year NCAA Tournament drought last year, Steve Pikiell and Rutgers have a good shot at making it back to March Madness. Despite having ... Read more »

Rolovich lawyer calls coach's firing 'unjust and unlawful'

Former Washington State coach Nick Rolovich’s termination for refusing to get a COVID-19 vaccination was unlawful and an attack on his Catholic faith, his attorney said Wednesday. Attorney Brian Fahling ... Read more »

Random Abandoned Cars Could Be Yours at Pittsburgh Airport's Annual Auction

© Joe R. Pyle Auctions Why do people park at the airport and never come back? Who knows, but it might lead to a bargain for you. The auction happens ... Read more »

Jessica Simpson Says She's ‘Already Hurting' As She Gets Back In The Gym: ‘I Am Determined Not To Let Myself Down'

Jessica Simpson is back in the gym. © Paul Zimmerman/Shutterstock Jessica Simpson. The star, who is mom to Maxwell Drew, 9, Ace Knute, 8, and Birdie Mae, 2, shared a ... Read more »

DWCS: Armen Petrosyan still awestruck after brutal leg kick KO (Video)

© Provided by Fansided Armen Petrosyan was still awestruck after brutal leg kick KO during Week 8 of Dana White’s Contender Series. UFC president Dana White has been vocal that ... Read more »

Hasaranga dominates Ireland with bat and ball as Sri Lanka confirm Super 12 spot

© AFP/Getty Images The Sri Lanka players celebrate the wicket of Kevin O’Brien © AFP/Getty Images For the second game in a row, Sri Lanka survived an early scare to ... Read more »

Tom Brady jokes about Aaron Rodgers 'owning' Bears, takes shot at Jets

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady likes it when other quarterbacks claim ownership over another NFL franchise, but he’s going to stay humble … unless it involves the New York ... Read more »

Antonio Brown out of practice with sprained ankle

© Provided by NBC Sports Wide receiver Antonio Brown wasn’t on the field at Buccaneers practice on Wednesday. Bucs head coach Bruce Arians said that Brown was held out of ... Read more »

Quenton Nelson returns to practice for Colts

© Provided by NBC Sports Colts left guard Quenton Nelson‘s journey back to the lineup took a step forward on Wednesday. Nelson has missed the last three games while on ... Read more »

Baker Mayfield out Thursday with torn labrum, could return Week 8 vs. Steelers

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield vowed Tuesday to play in Thursday’s prime-time game against the Denver Broncos despite the fact he re-injured his left (non-throwing) shoulder versus the Arizona Cardinals ... Read more »

Sport Kort: FIFA belegt topoverleg in december over toekomst van het voetbal

Blijf zo altijd op de hoogte van al het sportnieuws. Voor het voetbal-, tennis-, schaats-, autosport-, wieler- en dartnieuws hebben we op onze website speciale pagina’s ingericht, waarop de belangrijkste ... Read more »

Stats - From 8 for 3 to 171 for 7, the Sri Lanka recovery in numbers

© AFP/Getty Images Pathum Nissanka and Wanindu Hasaranga set – and broke – a few records during their partnership © AFP/Getty Images 0 – Number of times a team has ... Read more »

'I don't like it': Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone reacts after refusing to shake Jurgen Klopp's hand

© Provided by WION Clearing the air, Diego Simeone explained the reason for not shaking Jurgen Klopp’s hands after Liverpool defeated Atletico Madrid 3-2 in a ferocious Champions League clash ... Read more »

Online shopping bummer: Out-of-stock products surged 172% from pre-pandemic levels

If you were shopping online in the late summer, chances are you may have been hit with an unfortunate message: The product you’re looking for is out-of-stock. © Patrick T. ... Read more »

Denis Villeneuve on the Canadian collaborators who helped build the world of 'Dune'

TORONTO — As he took on the colossal task of building “Dune” for the big screen, filmmaker Denis Villeneuve turned to close Canadian collaborators, including fellow Montrealer and production designer ... Read more »

Don't use ivermectin for COVID-19, Health Canada warns as poison control calls increase

Health Canada is warning Canadians against using ivermectin to treat or prevent COVID-19, saying that calls to poison control centres about the drug have increased over the summer. © Raphaël ... Read more »

Giada De Laurentiis' Baked Gnocchi Alla Romana Is The Ultimate Italian Comfort Food

© Hoo-Me.com/MediaPunch/MediaPunch/IPx. I grew up eating boxed tri-color rotini with a jar of Ragu on a regular basis, so it’s safe to say that my knowledge of Italian cuisine didn’t ... Read more »

Russell Westbrook: Lakers star's shaky debut shines light on team's biggest obstacles

Welcome to “One Play!” Throughout the 2021-22 NBA season, our Sporting News staff will break down certain possessions from certain games and peel back the curtains to reveal its bigger meaning. Today, Lakers guard ... Read more »

The Chicago Blackhawks are in a world of hurt

It was built up to be something of a renaissance season for the Chicago Blackhawks. © Provided by Yahoo Sports Canada Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury has fallen short of his ... Read more »

Toronto Arrows acquire veteran Canadian forward Kyle Baillie in trade with NOLA Gold

TORONTO — The Toronto Arrows have acquired veteran Canadian international forward Kyle Baillie from the NOLA Gold in exchange for a second-round selection in the 2022 Major League Rugby collegiate ... Read more »

Fifa's Infantino signals willingness to abandon biennial World Cup plan

The president of Fifa, Gianni Infantino, has signalled he is willing to step away from the divisive plan to launch a men’s World Cup every two years. © Provided by ... Read more »

Lazio suspends eagle trainer after fascist salute at stadium

ROME (AP) — Lazio suspended eagle trainer Juan Bernabè on Wednesday after he was filmed making a fascist salute in front of fans. Bernabè has been the falconer and the ... Read more »

Pitt rebooting again as Jeff Capel enters fourth season

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Jeff Capel is entering his fourth season at Pittsburgh. It still sort of feels like the first. The Panthers have yet to post a winning record under ... Read more »

'Fenway Baby' steals the show during Red Sox-Astros ALCS Game 4

A 5-month-old dressed in a sweatsuit, stocking cap and headphones became an overnight sensation Tuesday night during Game 4 of the American League Championship Series between the Boston Red Sox ... Read more »

Team sprinters start chasing fourth world title with fastest time in qualifying

In qualifying it is not yet about position, but about the fastest times. The eight countries with the fastest times qualify for the next round in which they compete against ... Read more »

Liz Cheney: Liz Cheney: Bannon refusal to cooperate suggests Trump was 'personally involved' in planning January 6

Republican Rep. Liz Cheney blasted former President Donald Trump’s ally Steve Bannon for refusing to cooperate with the House committee investigating the January 6 riot, saying that his claim of ... Read more »

Ashwin makes a big impact against Australia

© Provided by Hindustan Times India’s Ravichandran Ashwin bowls as Australia’s Marcus Stoinis, left, watches during the Cricket Twenty20 World Cup warm-up match between India and Australia in Dubai, UAE, ... Read more »