Lamar Jackson won the Heisman Trophy in 2016. Tua Tagovailoa came second in the 2018 Heisman voting, having won the national championship the year before.
Why bring up these colleges now? Because the game between Miami and Baltimore on Sunday looked like one of those college pinball games, not an NFL game. The first team under 40 wins. The defense is condemned.
Incredibly, it was the away Dolphins who stole the decision in Week 2, throwing four touchdowns in the final quarter to record a snappy 42-38 classic win, closing a 21-point gap. Tagovailoa threw all six touchdowns in Miami, completing the pass for 469 yards. Miami had some early ball handling efficiency, but when the game got out of control, he had to throw out that part of the tutorial. Tua’s team traveled by air.
Tagovailoa knows exactly where his bread is buttered. He sent 32 of his 50 pass attempts to two of his dynamic receivers, Tyreke Hill (11-190-2, 13 targets) and Jaylen Waddle (11-171-2, 19 targets). I guess we should also celebrate tight end Mike Gesicki (4-41-1) resurfacing after a lost summer and a quiet open, but the Dolphins will go as far as Tagovailoa, Hill and Waddle can take them. Huge market share is a big deal in fantasy football.
Hill and Waddle were not cheap in fight season, but could still be considered a bargain. Usually Hill was picked in the second round, but he would have been picked in the first if we started again. Waddle usually gets into the 3rd round, but it could increase the number of rounds if we re-draft tomorrow.
Jackson’s game is a mixture of shooting and running, and he did well on both tasks on Sunday. He certainly isn’t the reason Baltimore lost. Jackson completed 21 passes of 29 for 318 yards and three touchdowns, and added a 79-yard run. In total, the Ravens had 473 attacking yards, and 437 of those yards were trashed by their franchise quarterback. Like Tagovailoa, Jackson knew where to put the ball – Rashod Bateman (4-108-1) and Mark Andrews (9-104-1) hit nearly two-thirds of the targets and were open all day.
Let’s also be straightforward on one thing – not a single defense here has covered itself with glory. The Miami defense registered neither a sack nor a clearance. Baltimore passed two passes and took one sack, but that’s little consolation to win on a day when you allow 27 first downs and 547 offensive yards.
If you squint a bit, you’ll find some fantasy fallers in this game. Chase Edmonds excelled in six touches (5-33-0, 1-8-0), but Raheem Mostert handled the ball 14 times (79 yards total). It’s available in 57 percent of Sportzshala leagues if you’re interested, but it could be a messy committee. Baltimore gave some early work to Kenyan Drake (6-8-0) and Mike Davis (5-4-0), predictably getting nowhere. Once JK Dobbins is ready to go, the Ravens may not need Drake or Davis.
Miami returns home next week for the Buffalo showdown, one of the signature games on the list. Baltimore is rekindling its longtime rivalry with the Patriots, who pulled off an effective victory over Pittsburgh on Sunday.
Fantastic Carnival Detroit Lions is beautiful
For most of the early window, I imagined the Detroit Lions in the lead. Baltimore and Miami have caused changes at the top, but that doesn’t detract from the messy Lions. Detroit is exactly what we need in fantasy: an offense that scores and a defense that almost stops nothing.
This is a full blown fantasy carnival.
Detroit took the lead with three touchdowns in the first half and then withstood a furious comeback from Washington. But in the end, fantasy managers win. Jared Goff (four touchdowns) was enough, and Carson Wentz heated up in the second half (three touchdowns) after a shaky start.
I’m almost ready to pick any USC receiver for my fantasy list without even seeing the eyes. Amon-Ra Saint Brown continues to be a slot machine, throwing 9-116-2 to Washington’s defense. St. Brown can run the entire leg of the route, beat the net, and even had two long creative touch runs covering 58 and 10 yards. The Sun God will be chosen in the second or third round if we shuffle the cards tomorrow; you found him much cheaper on draft day.
Another thing about Detroit is that this team was an ATM in the betting window. Despite a record of 4-15 over the last 19 games, the Lions are 13-6 in that time. Straight money bro.
Great teams win, legendary teams cover.
Wentz isn’t the easiest watch at times, but he does work with some fun receivers. Curtis Samuel comeback real and spectacular (eight touches, 99 yards, touchdown). Jahan Dotson scores for the second week in a row, and Terry McLaurin had a steady, though unimpressive, record of 4-75-0 on eight looks. Even the hard end Logan Thomas (3-37-1) found a scoring area; he has a chance to return to the top 12 at that position if he can prove he’s healthy.
Antonio Gibson need a landing deodorant to make up for a sluggish day – 14-28 on the ground, 2-13 in the air. At least he threw a touchdown. JD McKissick did his usual business, seven catches for a modest amount in yards (54 yards).
Detroit will visit Minnesota next week and Washington will play Philadelphia. Sit back and get your popcorn ready as the attackers will once again dominate.
• Chicago stole the Opening Day win and possibly tricked them into thinking they could win games despite hiding their quarterback. I believe in Darnell Mooney as well as Cole Kmetbut until the Bears let go of the second-year quarterback reins Justin Fieldsthis passing game is on a submarine.
• I understand why NFL teams have abandoned preseason use – no one wants a star player to get hurt in a practice game. But I don’t think it’s right to give first stringers zero shots in a show month. Denver did not use Russell Wilson in the preseason, and the Broncos were extremely sluggish for two games.
Cincinnati didn’t have much choice after Joe Burrow appendectomy, but they were also in disarray for two weeks. Cincinnati has already given up 13 sacks, partly on the offensive line and partly on Barrow itself.
• I still don’t know what to do with Jets quarterbacks, but between Garrett Wilson, Elijah Mooreas well as Corey Davis, it’s a hell of a wide reception room. It’s a pity Davis can’t be traded to one of the league’s clubs in need of recruits – his old Tennessee team could have used him, and the same with the Colts.
Wilson quickly grounds his role as the alpha in New York. He has an absurd grip radius and plays with palpable confidence and swagger. In Cleveland, he hit a whopping 14 targets.
• ashamed to see Trey Lance The season ends before it really starts, the third year in a row he’s faced this reality. We still don’t know if he can actually play or not. But the Nines are one of the few teams that doesn’t crash immediately when the backup is due to play. Jimmy Garoppolo was 1-2 games away from a second Super Bowl start last year.
• Saints held Tampa Bay to 13 first downs and 4.0 yards per game but failed to win, possibly because Jamis Winston plays with broken bones in his back. bench press Tom Brady was the right move today and will probably be the right move when those teams get their revenge in December. I don’t see Winston as a long term solution in New Orleans.
• I missed the opportunity to pounce on exceptional Damian Harris summer value; he is still in charge in New England, with Ramondra Stevenson secondary option. Both players performed well in Pittsburgh, but Harris had 17 touches to Stevenson’s 10. I also underestimated Bill Belichick’s ability to keep his club focused and at a high level after a nasty defeat. Unfortunately, there is very little consistency in the passing game in New England except for Jacob Meyers being a reasonable WR4 for PPR-based managers.
• Drake London turned out to be convenient for the Sokolov, but Kyle Pitts continues to drive us crazy most of the time. I still think the Pitts issue is more to do with Arthur Smith and Marcus Mariotabut the infrastructure won’t change anytime soon.
• AJ Dillon good player but Aaron Jones better. Credit Matt LaFleur; he admitted his usage error in the first week and installed Jones after Sunday night’s jump. Jones’ ADP in the second round will most likely pay off at the end of the season.