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Week 2 - Puff, Puff, Pass

Welcome to Week 2! My name is Josh ‘Smokey-Hell’ Nelson (@TNFF_Smokey) and this is “Puff Puff Pass,” my weekly start/sit article where I advise you on which players you should start and "puff" up the points in your starting line-up, or who you should sit and “pass” on down to your bench. Follow along every week to boost your knowledge and to gain an edge on your opponents.


Jimmy Garoppolo (San Francisco 49ers)

Starting things off in week 2, we've got Jimmy G up against the helpless Jets defense. Last week, New York allowed Bills QB Josh Allen to throw for over 300 yards for the first time in his career. Are we under the assumption that Jimmy G, fresh off a Super Bowl appearance, is a worse QB than Josh Allen? I've got Jimmy G as a top 5 quarterback play this week in what should be a blowout game.

Verdict - PUFF

Joe Burrow (Cincinnati Bengals)

The Cincinnati Kid, Joe Burrow, didn't look too bad last week in his first NFL outing. There were definitely some rookie mistakes including the fact that he can't make a dump off pass to save his life. Thankfully, this week he goes up against the Cleveland Browns who let the Baltimore Ravens run roughshod on them in Week 1. The Burrow/A.J. Green connection is real, and would have resulted in a game-winning TD had Green not committed offensive pass interference. Burrow will put up three passing TDs in a statement division-win over the Browns.

Verdict - PUFF

Drew Lock (Denver Broncos)

Last week we saw the Pittsburgh Steelers defense absolutely decimate the New York Giants and I don't see the injury plagued Broncos coming away with any better of a result. With Courtland Sutton and Phillip Lindsay battling injuries, Lock is missing some of his most familiar weapons. I think Pittsburgh will absolutely shut Jerry Jeudy down and the Broncos will have to rely on Melvin Gordon for offense. I cannot foresee MGIII doing any better than Saquon Barkley did last week - and that was not very well. Although, if you read this column last week you would have known to stay away from Saquon!

Verdict - PASS

Running Backs

Jonathon Taylor (Indianapolis Colts)

What were the two biggest question marks coming into this season for college phenom Jonathan Taylor? His passing game involvement, coupled with the fact that he was behind a very talented RB in Marlon Mack. Now with Mack gone down for the season with an Achilles tear, JT finds himself with a golden opportunity and has shown last week that he can capably handle himself in the passing game (catching 6 passes for 67 yards). Now we’re going to see if he can get some major involvement in the ground game.

Verdict - PUFF

Alvin Kamara (New Orleans Saints) *WEEKLY WINNER*

Kamara might seem like a pretty easy pick but this is why I think he will be the best running back this week and my choice for your ‘Weekly Winner.’ With Michael Thomas going down with a bad high ankle sprain, there are going to be a lot of targets available on the Saints and I believe Kamara will be the number one recipient of those. Emmanuel Sanders is not a WR1 at this point in his career and Brees has a built-in rapport with Kamara in the passing game. Kamara is a lock for at least 81 receptions a year, having done it in each of his first three seasons, but this year, he might just break that high mark. Especially if Thomas is out for an extended stretch.

Verdict - PUFF

Melvin Gordon III (Denver Broncos)

I've already mentioned how the Broncos are a major fade for me this week and MGIII is no different. You can basically read what I wrote about Saquon Barkley last week, deduct a good chunk of individual skill, dye the uniform orange and apply that to Gordon this week. Fade so hard that Kid ’n Play's barber is going to come knocking.

Verdict - PASS

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Wide Receivers

CeeDee Lamb (Dallas Cowboys)

Cedarian Lamb, whose skill set had him compared out of college to no less than Jerry Rice on playerprofiler.com, is a name you will likely see on here more than once this season. Lamb is tied to a pass-happy offense with two other amazing receivers who draw coverage, leaving Lamb to feast in the slot. With Blake Jarwin going down for the season, more targets have opened up, which Lamb should be able to take a sizable chunk of. The icing on the cake would be to put up a monster game against the team that made the mistake of letting Lamb fall to the Cowboys - the Atlanta Falcons. We saw how Atlanta got carved up by the Seahawks the same day as Lamb was putting up a cool 11.8 yards per reception against a much better defense in the L.A. Rams.

Verdict – PUFF

Marquez Valdes-Scantling (Green Bay Packers)

Divorce yourself from last year’s disappointments. This is 2020, and if I asked you who was tied for third in Red Zone targets Week 1, would you have said MVS? Probably not, but he was! MVS doesn’t have much burst, but he runs a sub 4.4 40 yard dash and is proving to be a trusted target of a famously stingy QB in Aaron Rodgers. Davante Adams is a smash set-it-and-forget-it player, but the number two receiver position is always in question in Green Bay. Marquez Valdes-Scantling is the answer this year and he should put up some great flex numbers against the Detroit Lions this week.

Verdict - PUFF

Jerry Jeudy (Denver Broncos)

A consensus top two WR in this year’s draft class, Jeudy had some spectacular plays (to no one’s surprise) last week in his NFL debut. However, now the offense is going to be down Courtland Sutton and likely Phillip Lindsay. The Steelers defense will be able to focus coverage on Jeudy and make Denver try to win on the ground. There’s a definite theme this week of fading the Broncos offense. In my bloodshot eyes, the Steelers defense this year is that 2019 Patriots-type of defense who you just do not want to face in fantasy.

Verdict - PASS

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Tight Ends

O.J. Howard (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

Were we just a year too early on Howard? The look of pure “ABOUT F&%$ING TIME” on his face when he spiked that TD in Week 1 was palpable - love to see it. Tom Brady brings his TE loving ways to Florida. Howard is extremely talented, but has been improperly used thus far in his NFL career. He is the most talented TE on this roster and I won’t hear any Gronk about it. This is 2020, and Rob Gronkowski received half the work Howard did last week. It is finally time to board that Howard train folks. The year 4 breakout is upon us. Howard has the potential to be a top 10 (or better) TE in this league and it continues this week against the Carolina Panthers.

Verdict - PUFF

Dawson Knox (Buffalo Bills)

Miami is still in rebuild mode and can be taken advantage of, as the New England Patriots showed last week. Knox saw two valuable Red Zone targets in Week 1, and for a 6’4”, 250 pounds plus TE with good contested catch ability, those will start translating to TDs sooner than later. Does he get one this week? Who’s to say, but if you’re in the TE streaming business, you could do worse this week than Dawson Knox.

Verdict - PUFF

Evan Engram (New York Giants)

Engram is healthy to the start the season, which is usually a good thing. However, he looked like hot trash on a July day last week against the Steelers. The Giants look like they’re going to take some time getting in rhythm and used to the new system that Joe Judge and Jason “I got the clap” Garrett have brought in. T.J. Hockenson had quite a day last week against the Chicago Bears defense, and normally I would say Engram is more talented and should do just as well, if not better as he is healthy. I’m not sure who was wearing #88 for the Giants last week, but it didn’t look like Engram. Maybe Garrett snuck Jason Witten in without anyone noticing. Regardless, fade Engram this week.

Verdict - PASS

Thank you for reading my week 2 "Puff, Puff, Pass" article. Do you agree or disagree with any of my starts and sits? Please leave a comment or let me know @TNFF_Smokey

Editor: Joe Simonetti (@joesimonetti77)

Graphic work: Dan Made Graphics (@DanMadeGraphics)