I'd be lying if I told you I did well with these picks last week. Jameis Winston had an okay game, but it was nothing to write home about. Sony Michel carried the ball seven times but only managed 12 yards. Jakobi Meyers fell victim to an anemic Patriots office. And AJ Green managed two catches for 13 yards in a rough showing against Kansas City.
So, why should you trust me? Because I'm playing these guys myself. I'm not just throwing caution to the wind here. If I ruin your weekend three times in a row, sure you can be mad. Or you can go to someone else as a source of truth and come to me for absurdity. Whatever you want. But for now, let's get into the who and the why of Week 2 sleepers.
Can a Home Game Kick Start Trey Lance?
Soldier field was an absolute hot mess in week one. With the change in sod and the monsoon conditions, it made for a difficult football game. Which didn't help Kyle Shanahan's decision to go with second year quarterback Trey Lance as his number one starter ahead of Jimmy Garoppolo. The 49ers fell short and lost to the Bears, with Lance barely making a Quarterback Rating of 50, completing fewer than 50 percent of his passes, and tossing zero touchdowns and one interception.
So I look at this as Lance shaking the rust off. He's going to be at home, with the San Francisco (Santa Clara) faithful behind him. He's hosting a Seahawks team that is coming off "beating Russell Wilson", aka actually just beating Nathaniel Hackett's stupidity. Seattle is putting their faith in Geno Smith, which is absurd. This gives the 49ers some added incentive this week. A home game with the future of their franchise under center and a Deebo Samuel hungry to grab a win? I'll take Lance and the 49ers to bounce back from getting drowned out in week one.
Travis Etienne Deserves to Move Up the Depth Chart
Last year, in a keeper league I'm now entering the fourth season of, I drafted Travis Etienne in the 15th round. Sure, I knew he was going to be out for the season. I slid him onto IR, picked up a free agent to fill out my team, and proceeded to have a terrible year in which I traded away so many picks that I only had 13 this year in a 15 round draft. Needless to say, I'm putting a lot a faith in him.
However this isn't unwarranted. I still stand by that pick not being absurd. In week one he was targeted in the end zone three times, generally proving my point. Do I think Trevor Lawrence is overrated? Yes, I do. Sorry, Clemson fans, I do. But if they do this right he could be a system QB that helps provide for the skill players on the squad. When he finds a way to connect with Etienne, James Robinson is going to find his way down to the RB2 slot and Travis will thrive.
The Indianapolis defense is solid enough, but it could be a week in which Duval County shows up and the Jags roll from there. Etienne's breakout week is on the horizon. If it doesn't happen this week, it won't happen until the Texans visit Jacksonville on October 9th. Expect the kid to break out this week. He'll get some yardage on the ground and catch at least one touchdown. Book it.
Fly, DeVonta, Fly
DeVonta Smith is ready to catch bombs. This kid showed up in Philadelphia with a heavy weight on his shoulders. The Eagles have not been a particularly great team for some years, but they continue to have something just shy of the correct number of pieces. Smith's start in Philly last season did more than just give my buddy Elmer's the ability to finally have his last name on an Eagles shirt. It gave them a legitimate multi-faceted threat.
It won't be easy for Philly as they host the Vikings. But there's only so much Kirk Cousins can do. Jalen Hurts is starting to come into his own as a playmaker. We're in an age of mobile quarterbacks who can also heave the ball. Think Michael Vick running 20 yards east to west then throwing a bullet to a back for a first down. Hurts has that ability, however he also has the vision to not only extend the play, but find someone open downfield for a big play. Smith is going to be a Pro Bowler, and this game is a perfect coming out party.
Hayden Hurst Ready To Take It To Dallas
Hayden Hurst is the most senior member of this sleeper group. He should get plenty of attention from Bengals QB Joe Burrow. Week one was a tough one for Cincy, as the Bengals couldn't figure out how to get past an otherwise stale Steelers team. But the defending AFC Champions won't be dormant for long.
There are so many weapons on this squad that it's easy to look past the work being done on the seams. The Cowboys are trash. Okay, actually their defense is pretty good when it's on. But they're leaning on a practice squad QB to lead the team for the next few weeks. If Burrow can spread the ball around, expect Hurst to come off some blocks and be the check-down option enough times to catch fire.
Khalil Herbert Is My Final Flex
Khalil Herbert proved in week one that he may just be more of a fantasy RB1.5 and not an RB2. He ran for 45 yards and a touchdown in what was otherwise a sloppy game at Soldier Field against SF. The Packers didn't show up against Minnesota last week, but doesn't mean they won't show at Lambeau against their division rival.
However even with that, I think Herbert has an opportunity to get another 10 touches on the ground, a few through the air, and maybe even dance into the end zone once or twice. I'm not in the overreaction camp of him taking over David Montgomery as RB1 of the Bears, but the kid is certainly going to put up a fight to have the chance.