2021 Season: Week 2 Sunday Storylines

(Photo credit: PFF)

Malcolm McMillan (@McLateralFF)
The Lateral Editor

Well, Week 2 was certainly just as wild as Week 1.

First, injuries may be a problem. There was already a slew of preseason injuries (Travis Etienne, the entire Baltimore Ravens backfield). Then in Week 1, significant players continued to go down. Denver Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy's breakout season is on hold for another year after a high ankle sprain, and San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert may struggle to restart his career after a season-ending knee injury. Now after Week 2, multiple starting quarterbacks may be missing time. Houston Texans quarterback Tyrod Taylor is already expected to miss Week 3 with a hamstring injury, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz seems questionable with an ankle injury, and Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa's bad injury luck continues with a rib injury. While not fantasy football starters, their absence could have an effect on other pieces fantasy football managers rely on.

But it is not all doom and gloom. The day ended on an absolutely electric note, with the Baltimore Ravens bouncing back from a crushing Week 1 loss to remind everyone they are still a contender. Granted, the game could not have started worse, but to come back and win against the defending conference champions is always a major win. Baltimore still has some red flags, but this is definitely still a team to watch.

Well, it looks like I may have snuck a couple storylines in there for you. But hey, who does not like free content, right? Anyway, keep reading for more of Sunday's top fantasy football storylines.

Week 2 Sunday Storylines

Cooper Kupp: 2021's Top Fantasy Football Wide Receiver?

After Week 2, here is the list of players with more fantasy football points in PPR formats than Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp:

        Quarterback Kyler Murray (Arizona Cardinals)

That is it. That is the list. Sure, it has only been two weeks, so the sample size is incredibly small. However, there are two key areas where Kupp has been consistent. First, Kupp has led the Rams in targets both weeks this season. Second, the number of targets has been very consistent. 10 targets in Week 1 and 11 targets on Sunday in Week 2. This consistency is a big reason why Kupp has been a top-10 wide receiver each week so far this season, and it indicates this will not be the last week he finishes in that range.

We May Have Overreacted to Week 1

More than a few storylines from Week 1 got completely turned on their head in Week 2. The New Orleans Saints, who looked like an NFC Championship contender in Week 1, looked like a team whose starting quarterback is Jamies Winston and whose top wide receiver is Marquez Callaway. Winston looked very much like pre-LASIK Winston against the Carolina Panthers, with two interceptions and zero touchdowns. Callaway is either not good enough to be a relevant fantasy football wide receiver, or not getting enough quality targets to be a relevant fantasy football wide receiver. Or worse, both. Either way, he seems unplayable at this point.

In other news, the elite Arizona Cardinals defense lasted all of one week. They looked bad against a Minnesota Vikings offensive line that could not handle the Cincinnati Bengals, and Week 1 hero Chandler Jones did not even manage a tackle. Luckily, the offense seems to still be really good. 

Finally, the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins gave us another (clearly unneeded) reminder that we need to not overreact to Week 1. The Bills had everyone panicking after their loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Dolphins had heads turning with a road win against the New England Patriots. Nobody is panicking about the Bills now. They went into Miami and annihilated the Dolphins in a 35-0 shutout.

Well, almost nobody. Bills quarterback Josh Allen still has not recorded a top-12 performance this season. Fantasy football managers are definitely panicking about that. Especially since it is hurting Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs. Still, given the reality check that was Week 2, maybe they just need one more week to get back to their elite performances from 2020.

A Moment of Mourning for Ezekiel Elliott, Bell-Cow Running Back

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott finished Week 2 as RB8 in PPR fantasy football leagues. Talk about a bounceback performance from last week's RB45 finish. More unnecessary panic from Week 1, right?

Well, not exactly. His backup, Tony Pollard, finished as RB3. In fact, Pollard may no longer be Elliott's backup.

Full disclosure, I am not saying that Elliott is now Pollard's backup. Seriously, I am not saying that. However, given Pollard's usage yesterday, Dallas may officially be using a running back by committee (gasp). This is unfortunate given most fantasy football managers drafted Elliott to be one of the last bell-cow running backs left in the NFL. Unfortunately, Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman may have said it best. The days of the bell-cow running back? Those days are over, really.

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