Week two fantasy football matchups of the 2023 NFL season took place this past weekend, in which some owners found themselves kicking themselves for dropping/benching players after a week one dud in a knee jerk move while others got big time pay dirt from both likely and unlikely suspects.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the winners and losers both from the Denver Broncos and the rest of the league from week two.
WR Brandon Johnson
Let’s be honest, unless you’re in a very deep league, it’s likely if not probable that not many reading this even rostered Brandon Johnson, let alone start him. Yet, the second-year wide out from Central Florida is someone owners may need to be reaching the add button for, as he put up two catches for 66 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Yes, the second touchdown was a bit fluky as he caught the ultra-rare successful Hail Mary attempt, but he was on the field quite a bit, and Russell Wilson seems to like him near the red zone. He shouldn’t be considered a WR1 or WR2 option, yet, but he may be worth adding to a bench to monitor his progress.
WR Marvin Mims, Jr.
The explosive rookie wide receiver made his presence known this past Sunday, catching both of his targets, one for 60 yards (and a touchdown) and another for 53 yards. For those in leagues that reward big plays, enjoy the bonus points. Like Johnson, though, it’s unlikely Mims was used as a starter in most leagues. Unlike Johnson, though, it’s possible many viewed the young rookie as a sleeper due to his speed and big-play ability and took him in the later rounds. Moving forward, those owners may continue to reap those benefits, but Sean Payton is going to have to get him more targets. If that happens, he can be a difference maker this year.
QB Russell Wilson
He’s the signal caller for an 0-2 team to start the season, but while he has Broncos fans groaning, he had fantasy owners who took a chance on him skipping. While one big, fluky Hail Mary got him more points than he probably should’ve had, he still surpassed 300 yards and had two touchdowns, finishing among the top five in fantasy QBs in week two. He did have an interception and lost fumble as well, so he has to play cleaner, but his first half was as efficient as it’s been since his Seattle days. If he can start putting together full games, he will once again emerge as a QB1 in most leagues.
RB Javonte Williams
This is going to sound a bit hypocritical, as his stat line was nearly identical to his week one stat line, but recall that he was listed as a winner there due to the fact he showed he is 100% ready to go and bound for big games moving forward. Yet, he didn’t take that step in week two, and for those who started him hoping he’d build off the week one effort and do something special came away disappointed. He carried 12 times for 44 yards and caught a pair of passes for 14 yards. More than the stat line that should have Williams owners concerned, though, is that rookie Jaleel McLaughlin scored a rushing touchdown and showed incredible burst. If that was more than a flash-in-the pan moment, he could be in line to steal touches. At this point, Williams should be no more than a flex option.
WR Jerry Jeudy
Granted, he’s returning from injury, but most though the rested up WR1 would make more noise on Sunday. While he was targeted a team-high five times, he only ended up with three catches for 25 yards and seemed to have trouble with the Washington secondary some times while not being in sync with Wilson at others. There’s no need to give up on him just yet, and this could be a bit of rust and nothing more, but his first appearance of the season was a dud.
The good news is the Broncos put up 33 points and showed off some offensive weapons that may have not been well known previously like Johnson, Mims, and McLaughlin, but some of the bigger names didn’t deliver. Rest assured that Sean Payton is going to put up points, but which players will most benefit outside of Russell Wilson is still anyone’s guess at this point. Start Broncos players with caution.
Best of the Rest - Week One Winners from Around the League
WAS RB Brian Robinson, Jr.
A touch pill to swallow for Broncos Country, but the second-year Alabama product diced up the Broncos defense, mainly in the second half, finishing the game with 87 yards on the ground with two touchdowns. He also reeled in a pair of passes for 42 yards. Through the first two weeks of the season, he is playing like a guy worthy of RB1 consideration in all leagues.
MIA RB Raheem Mostert
We go from a RB who just shredded the Broncos to one who is aiming to do the same thing in week three. Raheem Mostert took the shine away from the Dolphins passing game Sunday night, rushing for 121 yards and two touchdowns en route to a victory over the New England Patriots. He got 18 carries throughout the game as well, showing that Mike McDaniel isn’t afraid to run the ball. With the Tua-Tyreek connection being the focus of most defensive coordinators, Mostert may continue to sneak in big games.
CIN WR Tee Higgins
Is there a WR controversy (if that can be a thing) in Cincinnati? It was only one game, but wide receiver Tee Higgins had Joe Burrow looking his way all game in a loss to the Baltimore Ravens. He received a team-high 12 targets and pulled in two touchdown passes on eight receptions. Ja’Marr Chase figured to be the team’s number one wideout and fantasy option, but the play of Higgins on Sunday, and the attention paid to him by Burrow, should have owners thinking.
Just the Worst - Week One Losers from Around the League
CIN WR Ja’Marr Chase
For the second straight week, Chase did very little in the Bengals passing offense. Week one was a complete disaster for the offense all around, but at least Joe Burrow got to open it up a little more this past weekend. Chase did receive eight looks from Burrow but only pulled in five catches for a measly 31 yards. What hurt worst, though, was that Burrow seemed more comfortable targeting Wiggins. For many who used a first-round pick on Chase, that is a disappointing development.
CLE RB Nick Chubb
From a fantasy perspective, the loss of a first-round pick is disappointing, but my goodness, that was the last thing anyone was thinking of if they could stomach to watch that injury. This was a young man who appeared built to dominate the gridiron and fantasy landscape for years to come, but such a brutal injury like that means any kind of return to form is anything but guaranteed. And that’s if he can return at all. Yes, this portion is less about fantasy than the others, as it seems warranted to mention Chubb and wish him nothing but the best on his way to recovery.