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Jeremy Hill Struggles, DeAngelo Williams Excels and Other Week 2 Fantasy Observations

DeAngelo Williams

DeAngelo Williams

With one game left to play in Week 2, we are starting to see more of what to expect from certain teams. The New York Giants, for example, have a hard time keeping a lead. The New England Patriots have a high-powered offense that is seemingly unstoppable, but they also have a very leaky defense that will let up plenty of points.

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Last week, one of the burning questions asked was if Tyler Eifert is a TE1 or if fantasy owners should just start their tight ends against Oakland. This week, the answer is kind of both. Eifert finished Week 2 with four receptions for 49 yards and a touchdown, which will place him squarely in TE1 territory. However, against Oakland, Crockett Gillmore caught five passes for 88 yards and two touchdowns. (Note: Cleveland plays Oakland in Week 3. Gary Barnidge has four receptions all year, but may be a sneaky option for Week 3, especially in DFS leagues).

Let's get into Week 2's questions.

What's going on with the Cincinnati running backs?

Jeremy Hill was drafted as a RB1 in most leagues. In Week 1, he had 19 carries for 63 yards and two touchdowns against Oakland. While the 3.3 yards per carry wasn't stellar, the two touchdowns saved his fantasy day and owners weren't worried, although the presence of Giovani Bernard did raise a few eyebrows. In Week 2, Hill had 10 carries for 39 yards. Instead of two touchdowns, he had two fumbles.

After fumbling the ball for the second time, Bernard took over. He had 23 carries for 120 yards in the Bengals' win over the Chargers. Bernard added three receptions for 16 yards. He was playing before Hill's second fumble, but he took over for the rest of the game after that turnover.

Cincinnati takes on Baltimore in Week 3, and Hill should have the starting role, although he may no longer be a lead back. Bernard has looked explosive, while Hill struggled. Baltimore's run defense is decent, but they can be run on. If Hill struggles again, look for this to become a timeshare. At this point, Hill is a very shaky RB1 and Bernard is a RB3 with upside. If he is not owned for some reason (83 percent owned on Yahoo!), be sure to pick him up off waivers this week.

What's going to happen with Pittsburgh's offense?

Pittsburgh seems to have the opposite problem of Dallas. They have a high-powered offense and that's already without its No. 2 receiver and No. 1 running back. Martavis Bryant is serving a four-game suspension and Le'Veon Bell just wrapped up his two-game suspension. Without these two players, Ben Roethlisberger threw for 351 and 369 yards in the first two games respectively, along with a total of four touchdowns.

Also, DeAngelo Williams rushed for 127 yards in Week 1 and 77 yards in Week 2. He found the end zone three times as well. While Le'Veon Bell is the lead back, Williams may have earned himself some additional playing time or looks at the goal line. Even if you aren't a Bell owner, hang on to Williams until it is clear what the offense looks like with both backs.

No receiver has truly stepped up in Bryant's absence, which is good for fantasy owners that have been holding onto him. Markus Wheaton and Darrius Heyward-Bey have both caught passes, but both will be off the fantasy radar once Bryant is back. Keep Roethlisberger as a QB1 as long as Antonio Brown is healthy.

Which rookie quarterback is better?

After Week 1, Marcus Mariota looked like the rookie quarterback to own while Jameis Winston struggled. In Week 2, Winston led his team to victory, while Mariota struggled against Cleveland. It appears that both rookies will have good games and they will struggle, and neither, at least at this point, is a sure-fire start for fantasy purposes.

Mariota, after throwing four touchdowns in Week 1, came back down to earth in Week 2. He did attempt 37 passes in Week 2, connecting on 21 of them. He totaled 257 yards and two touchdowns. He hasn't thrown an interception, but he did fumble twice in Week 2. In Week 1, he only threw 16 passes (and connected on 13 of them). Will he struggle the more he is forced to throw the ball? The Titans face Indianapolis in Week 3 before a bye in Week 4.

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In Week 1, Winston attempted 33 passes, connecting on 16 of them for 210 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He added 18 rushing yards. In Week 2, Winston went 14-for-21 with 207 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. He did lose a fumble, but he also ran for a touchdown himself. He looked more composed in Week 2 than he did in Week 1. However, the mystery was why he didn't utilize Mike Evans (three targets, zero catches) more. It is possible Evans wasn't really 100 percent, so hopefully better days are ahead for both.

At the end of the day, the jury is still out on which rookie is the better one to own for fantasy purposes. Both will have good days, both will struggle. Both will give fantasy owners some rushing yards, but both will also turn the ball over. For now, both can be stashed, but not started unless you have to.

More burning questions

Is there anyone that can stop Rob Gronkowski?

Which running back will Bill Belichick use in Week 3: Dion Lewis or LeGarrette Blount?

Is James Jones going to lead the league in touchdown receptions?

Adrian Peterson owners, do you regret taking him No. 1 overall (if that's where you drafted him)?

Does Drew Brees just miss Jimmy Graham or is there a bigger problem in New Orleans?

Will Mike Evans show up next week?

Is it time to give up on: Eddie Royal, Devin Funchess and Brian Quick?

Should we be downgrading expectations for C.J. Anderson, Brandin Cooks, and DeMarco Murray?

Are the Eagles really as terrible as they looked in Week 2?

Are the referees not allowed to say "buttocks"?

— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. She also writes for among other sites. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.