Fantasy football stars not living up to the hype

’22 Fantasy football picks leave much to be desired

Ross Litscher, Sports Editor

If we learned one thing from Week 2 of the 2022 NFL season, it’s that no lead is safe. The Ravens lead the Dolphins, 35-14, in the fourth quarter and ended up losing, 42-38. The Raiders lead the Cardinals, 20-0, at halftime before losing, 29-23, in overtime. The Browns lead the Jets, 30-17, with just under two minutes to play, only to allow two quick touchdowns that would lead to a 30-31 loss.  

The same could be said for fantasy football, as if someone in your game had Jalen Hurts or Stefon Diggs in their lineup, odds are they had a good chance at a late comeback because both of those players went off in the Monday Night Football doubleheader to cap off Week 2. 

The four teams that played on ESPN’s rare Monday Night football doubleheader all had their fair share of fantasy football stars, but not everyone lived up to the hype. 

Titans’ running back Derrick Henry had a rough game, mainly because Tennessee’s passing game struggled to balance out his runs without their top receiver from last year AJ Brown. 

Brown did play Monday night, but for his new team, the Eagles. Even though he got injured early and did not return, he is still expected to have a big year because of his quarterback Jalen Hurts. Hurts had a monster game against the Vikings, becoming the first Eagles quarterback  with 300 total yards in a half since Michael Vick 12 years ago. 

The Vikings struggled mainly because their fantasy standout Justin Jefferson was shut down by Eagles cornerback Darius Slay. Jefferson should bounce back this season, but something to look out for is teams with a great corner running man defense on him, as the Eagles and Slay learned from the Packers’ mistake of running zone against JJ last week.  

The Packers had a bounce back this week as running back Aaron Jones went off for 132 total yards and a pair of scores. Running back performances like this have been hard to come by so far this season because of either a lack of touches or a lot of teams using two running backs consistently, which is good for the real teams but not ideal for fantasy football teams because it takes away touches for the main back. 

Dalvin Cook, Austin Ekeler and Ezekiel Elliott, have all struggled to be consistent because they are sharing carries with other running backs. Backs like Jonathan Taylor of the Colts are doing well, but he is just not getting the ball enough because his team has fallen behind early in two straight weeks, which leads teams to throw the ball more instead of leaning on their running backs. 

I would expect most of these guys to start putting up numbers like their counter parts Christian McCaffrey, Saquon Barkley and D’Andre Swift have once offenses get more settled into this new season.  

Passing has been the story of this season so far, as unexpected great performances from Tua Tagovailoa and Kyler Murray make them great quarterback options going forward in an already stacked quarterback league. 

Great quarterback play means the wide receivers on the receiving end will have opportunities to make great plays. Diggs and Tyreek Hill had monster games Week 2 for the Bills and Dolphins and are solid options going forward. Another route to go is getting the second wide receiver on teams like that, where in later weeks the top guys may get more double teams. Gabe Davis and Jaylen Waddle have already had some big games this year playing alongside Diggs and Hill. 

Wide receivers in pass happy offenses, such as Amon-Ra St. Brown, Cooper Kupp, Keenan Allen and Ja’Marr Chase should be keys to many fantasy teams as the season goes on.