As you get ready to finalize your fantasy football lineups for Week 2, understand one of the keys to your success is going to be a short memory.
Whether a player had a strong performance or posted a terrible one, you need to look at their upcoming game with fresh eyes. Football is all about matchups, and one week’s success or failure is, oftentimes, irrelevant to the next. Your job as a fantasy manager is to continually look forward and worry less about what has already happened.
Obviously, there are some situations in which the previous week will have an impact on your player’s upcoming opportunity, thus affecting his performance. Brandon Aiyuk’s hamstring issues, some apparent attitude problems and the health of Deebo Samuel and George Kittle are dramatically affecting his snap count. The fewer the snaps, the less opportunity you have to make an impact. But there are some Week 1 heroes who will continue to have opportunity, but simply won’t produce the same results.
Mark Ingram should not be in your Week 2 lineups. Yes, he looked like he spent the offseason drinking from the Fountain of Youth, as he rushed for 85 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries against the Jaguars in Week 1, but whether he is considered the leader of this backfield or not, he won’t come close to those numbers against Cleveland.
The Browns are going to respond to their Week 1 loss to the Chiefs with a painful wake-up call for the Texans. Their front seven will close down all the running lanes, their offense will take advantage of a shaky defense, and Texans coach David Culley will be forced to abandon the run early. Ingram will be lucky to see double-digit carries, let alone decent yardage totals.
You may also want to pull back on the Detroit ground game this week. Both Jamaal Williams and D’Andre Swift posted strong totals for fantasy last week, despite the team’s loss. But was it the Lions’ offensive prowess we were witnessing or was it the 49ers’ defense taking their foot off the gas while up 28 points?
The Green Bay Packers are looking to put their Week 1 debacle behind them, and to do so they will take all their angst out on the Lions. There will be no revenge game for Williams, and though Swift will likely see a number of checkdowns, his running room will be cut down dramatically.
It is easy to think a player can carry momentum from one week to another, but this isn’t baseball or basketball. The team must work together, which is why the matchups are so critical. Don’t fall for a good week from a mediocre player. Momentum won’t carry you to victory. Understanding matchups will.
Howard Bender is the VP of operations and head of content at FantasyAlarm.com. Follow him on Twitter @rotobuzzguy and catch him on the award-winning “Fantasy Alarm Radio Show” on the SiriusXM fantasy sports channel weekdays from 6-8 p.m. Go to FantasyAlarm.com for all your fantasy football advice.