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Richard Sherman shares his love for Seahawks despite fan resentment – Seattle Seahawks Blog

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The Seattle Seahawks‘ decision to release Richard Sherman and the cornerback’s subsequent decision to sign with the San Francisco 49ers have triggered an array of feelings in the Pacific Northwest. Those include sorrow over the departure of a franchise icon and disappointment in the decision to part with a player who, even if coming off an injury, could still help the team.

Sherman has taken notice of another one — apparent indignation among some over his joining the rival team. Sherman addressed that, among many other aspects of what’s been a life- and career-altering week and a half, in a recent piece for The Players’ Tribune.

The cornerback said he gets why some Seahawks fans aren’t happy that he’s now with the 49ers, but he offered the obvious reminder that it was the Seahawks who moved on, not the other way around.

“So yes, I understand why some fans don’t like the idea of me in a 49ers uniform. But I still spent seven incredible years in Seattle — the Pro Bowls, the Super Bowls, the L.O.B. … all that stuff still happened, right? It’s just amazing to me how quickly people forget,” Sherman wrote. “I’m very appreciative of — and humbled by — all the 12s who have shown me support over the last couple of weeks. Throughout my time in Seattle, you guys have been nothing short of amazing. I’ll always have love for the 12s.

“But this whole process has definitely made me more aware of the hate and hypocrisy that’s out there. You got fans calling me a traitor and burning my jersey when they probably know that if they got fired from their job tomorrow, and a competitor offered them more money, they’d take it in a heartbeat.”

Sherman wrote that the Seattle area will still be a home base of sorts and that he’ll “always be proud to call Seattle home.” He owns a house there that he and his fiancée don’t plan on selling. Their children will still be schooled in the area. He also plans to continue his charitable work in the community.

While Sherman wrote in the piece that he didn’t realize it at the time, his Seahawks career effectively ended when he ruptured his Achilles in a November game against the Arizona Cardinals.

“But I hope Seahawks fans remember that image,” Sherman wrote before noting the injuries he played through during his time with Seattle. Among them were a hyperextended elbow he suffered on Jan. 18, 2015, in the NFC Championship Game against the Green Bay Packers and an MCL sprain during the second half of the 2016 season. His Achilles had also been bothering him for several weeks before it ruptured.

Sherman has expressed appreciation for how the Seahawks handled his release, specifically that they did it before free agency, which gave him the best opportunity to catch on with a new team. But The Players’ Tribune piece makes clear that he’s still rankled by the decision to release him in the first place even if he understands the motivation behind it.

“Seven years and I didn’t miss a game until my Achilles finally went. And this is what I get. At the first sign of adversity … they let me go,” Sherman wrote. “But I understand. This is a business. And the Seahawks decided that that best thing for their franchise was to show me the door. Well, I disagree.”

Sherman added: “I have no regrets about my time in Seattle — only great memories of incredible fans, and of teammates who will be my brothers for life. I know I wasn’t always perfect, but whatever mistakes I may have made, I made because I was trying to be the best player and the best teammate I could possibly be — and because, more than anything, I wanted to win. I worked with some incredible people in Seattle. My relationship with [coach Pete Carroll] goes all the way back to when he recruited me in high school, and I’ll always be grateful to [general manager] John Schneider and everyone in the Seahawks organization for taking a chance on a kid that most people had overlooked.”

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Fantasy football intel for all 32 NFL teams ahead of Week 3

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The Fantasy 32 analyzes the NFL from a fantasy perspective, with at least one mention of each of the league’s 32 teams. Though efficiency will be discussed plenty, the column will lean heavily on usage data, as volume is king (by far) in fantasy football. Use these tidbits to make the best waiver-wire, trade and lineup decisions for the upcoming week and beyond. Be sure to check back each week of the season for a new version of the Fantasy 32.

Note that data from Monday Night Football may not immediately be reflected in charts.

Opportunity Alert

Throughout the below team-by-team rundowns, I’ll be referencing “OFP” and “OTD”. OFP stands for opportunity-adjusted fantasy points. Imagine a league in which players are created equal. OFP is a statistic that weighs every pass/carry/target and converts the data into one number that indicates a player’s opportunity to score fantasy points, or his “expected” fantasy point total. For example, if a player has an OFP of 14.5, it means that a league average player who saw the same workload in the same location on the field would have scored 14.5 fantasy points. FORP is the difference between a player’s actual fantasy point total and his OFP. OTD works the same way, except instead of fantasy points, it’s touchdowns. Volume is king in fantasy football, so this is not information you want to overlook.

That said, here is the post-Week 2 OFP Leaderboard:

*Complete OTD and OFP positional leaderboards will be posted at ESPN+ this week

Next, here are the players who exceeded their OFP by the largest margin this past week and are thus candidates to see a dip in fantasy production moving forward, assuming they see a similar workload:

And these players who fell short of their OFP by the largest margin last week and thus you shouldn’t be too quick to overreact to their performance when making lineup, trade or waiver decisions:

Team-by-team rundowns

Arizona Cardinals Kyler Murray appears to be well on his way to a breakout season. The 2019 first-overall pick impressed with 230 pass yards, 91 rush yards and a pair of TDs against a good 49ers defense in Week 1. He followed that up with 286 pass yards, 67 rush yards and three scores against Washington in Week 2. Murray is fantasy’s No. 4 scoring quarterback thus far, and his combination of passing and rushing production locks him in as a top-five weekly fantasy play. He’s an elite option this week against a Detroit defense that struggled against Mitchell Trubisky and Aaron Rodgers.

Atlanta Falcons Atlanta’s high-volume pass offense made slot man Russell Gage an intriguing deep sleeper during the offseason. So far, he’s been even better than expected. Gage has been targeted at least nine times in three consecutive games tracing back to last season. The 2018 sixth-round pick posted a 9-114-0 receiving line on 12 targets in Week 1 and a 6-46-1 line on nine targets in Week 2. Gage has been on the field for 73% of Atlanta’s offense snaps and sits 11th among wide receivers in fantasy points (believe it or not, Atlanta has two top-11 fantasy receivers and one is not Julio Jones). Gage’s OFP ranks fifth among wide receivers and suggests that his production has matched his opportunity. Still, we know Jones, Calvin Ridley and Hayden Hurst will remain focal points of the offense, so Gage figures to settle in as more of a flex option. Atlanta faces a much tougher Chicago defense this week, so while Gage should be on rosters, he’s not yet a must start.

Baltimore Ravens One week after pacing the Baltimore RB room in snaps, J.K. Dobbins tied Gus Edwards (20 each) behind Mark Ingram II (27) in Week 2. Dobbins led the group with a 40% snap share in the opener and Ingram played 42% on Sunday, which speaks to the fact that the Ravens are, in fact, utilizing a full-on committee. The plan has worked well for Baltimore — the trio combined for 182 yards on 21 carries on Sunday — but not in fantasy. Ingram (21 touches for the season) sits 36th in fantasy points, with Dobbins (10) 28th and Edwards (14) 58th. None of these players are recommended starts right now, though Ingram is your best bet.

Buffalo Bills Granted he was beating up on weak Dolphins and Jets defenses, but Josh Allen is on a roll. The third-year QB has completed 57 of 81 passes for 729 yards, 6 TDs and 0 INTs. He also has 75 yards and a score on 18 carries. At least through two weeks, Allen has drastically increased his efficiency compared to years past (70% completion percentage, 9.0 YPA) and sits second among quarterbacks in fantasy points. The good news is that Buffalo is operating the league’s pass-heaviest offense (seriously), and the team’s schedule isn’t very intimidating in the coming weeks, which makes Allen a strong QB1 option. The bad news is that Allen may not be your best play come playoff time. Buffalo exits its Week 11 bye with games against the Chargers, 49ers, Steelers, Broncos and Patriots. It doesn’t get much tougher than that.

Carolina Panthers Christian McCaffrey went down with an injury after playing 64% of the Panthers’ snaps on Sunday. In his place, Mike Davis out-snapped Trenton Cannon 23-to-0. Davis carried the ball only once but caught all eight of his targets for 74 yards. Curtis Samuel was involved in the backfield, as well, matching a career high with four carries. McCaffrey is expected to miss four to six weeks, so it’s worth noting that Davis has the size to handle the bulk of the carries, and we obviously saw his passing-game chops on Sunday. Davis should be considered a flex option against the Chargers in Week 3.

Chicago BearsTed Ginn Jr. was a healthy scratch on Sunday, which opened the door for fifth-round pick Darnell Mooney to step into No. 2 duties opposite Allen Robinson. Robinson, of course, led the unit with 52 snaps played (81%), but Mooney (39) worked ahead of Javon Wims (28) and Anthony Miller (26). The rookie was targeted only three times but did his job with a 3-36-1 receiving line. Mooney is a long shot for consistent production in a low-volume, low-scoring pass game that spread its targets around to 12 different players on Sunday. Mooney is worth rostering only in deep and/or dynasty leagues.

Cincinnati Bengals A.J. Green‘s return to the lineup hasn’t gone as planned, with the veteran receiver totaling eight catches for 80 yards through two weeks. The lack of production is a bit of a concern, but the good news is that Green has received a ton of volume. He played 66% of the team’s snaps in Week 1 and handled nine targets. On Thursday, he played 61% of the snaps and was targeted 13 times. Green is Joe Burrow‘s favorite target, and it’s not particularly close. He sits 61st among wide receivers in fantasy points but second in OFP. Volume is king in fantasy football, and you can expect it to convert into production over time. Green isn’t a bad player to target in trades this week.

Cleveland Browns Austin Hooper hasn’t seen much action in the Cleveland passing game during the first two weeks of the season. Hooper has played a hefty 108 (or 86.4%) of a possible 125 snaps but has only four catches for 37 yards to show for it. Hooper’s playing time will lead to better days, but he appears to be a long shot for consistent fantasy production in a Browns run-first offense that leans heavily on its running backs and top two wide receivers. Hooper does not need to be on rosters in most formats.

Dallas Cowboys Blake Jarwin was a popular tight end sleeper during the summer, but if Sunday is any indication, his season-ending injury will instead lead to a breakout for teammate Dalton Schultz. The 2018 fourth-round pick exploded for a 9-88-1 receiving line on a team-high 10 targets during the comeback win against Atlanta. Schultz played 70% of the snaps, and his heavy usage vaulted him to seventh among tight ends in OFP and 13th in fantasy points this season. Schultz figures to settle in as a TE2 in what is developing into a fairly deep tight end position.

Denver Broncos Noah Fant appears well on his way to a breakout second season. The 2019 first-round pick followed up a 5-81-1 receiving line in Week 1 with a 4-57-1 showing against Pittsburgh on Sunday. Fant has been on the field for 98 (or 75%) of Denver’s 130 offensive snaps this season and sits third at tight end in fantasy points. Drew Lock‘s injury is an obvious concern, but Fant did most of his damage with Jeff Driskel under center against a tough Steelers’ defense on Sunday. If there’s one concern, it’s that we need to see more targets (he has 10 in two games). Consider Fant a fringe TE1 against Tampa Bay this week.

Detroit Lions– It may not seem like it, but rookie D’Andre Swift has led the Lions’ backfield in snaps during each of his first two NFL games. Of course, that’s not really saying a ton, considering he played 30 of 72 snaps (42%) in Week 1 and 20 of 58 (35%) in Week 2. The usage hasn’t allowed much rushing production (eight carries, 20 yards, 1 TD), but it has helped him to decent receiving numbers (10 targets, 8 receptions, 75 yards). The latter includes a 5-60-0 receiving line on Sunday. Swift needs more work to become a weekly fantasy starter and, while that may happen later this season, it doesn’t appear imminent. He should be on benches. Kerryon Johnson (18 snaps on Sunday) and Adrian Peterson (15) also shouldn’t be close to lineups.

Green Bay Packers No surprise here, but Allen Lazard has settled in as the No. 2 wide receiver behind Davante Adams. Lazard was on the field for 87% of the offensive snaps in Week 1 and played 83% in Week 2. Despite the generous playing time, Lazard has been limited to exactly four targets in both games (that despite Adams missing half of Week 2 with an injury). Lazard’s receiving lines (4-63-1, 3-45-0) are clearly not enough to make him worthy of flex consideration, but the young receiver will be in for better days when Green Bay has to throw more often. He’s a fine bench/depth option.

Houston Texans One week after producing eight catches for 112 yards on 10 targets, Will Fuller V was not targeted against Baltimore in Week 2 (he totaled one carry for zero yards). The dud is obviously disappointing, though a down game was expected against one of the league’s best cornerback rooms. Fuller played 36 snaps in the game (63%), which was below his 79% rate in Week 1, but also not enough to panic. Fuller’s schedule gets much lighter after this week’s showdown with Pittsburgh, so consider trying to trade for Deshaun Watson‘s top target over the next week or so.

Indianapolis Colts Jonathan Taylor emerged as the Colts’ clear lead back in the team’s first full game without Marlon Mack on Sunday. Taylor racked up 26 carries for 101 yards and one TD while playing 44 (66%) of the offensive snaps. Taylor was targeted only twice, however, with Jordan Wilkins (17 snaps) and Nyheim Hines (eight) also involved in the comfortable win over Minnesota. Surprisingly, Hines was targeted only once and had zero carries in the game. Underrated Wilkins was effective as usual with 40 yards on nine carries. Taylor is a fringe RB1, Hines a bench player in PPR leagues and Wilkins is Taylor’s insurance.

Jacksonville Jaguars After completing 95% of his passes and tossing three touchdowns in Week 1, Gardner Minshew II threw for 339 yards and three more scores in Week 2. Minshew, who also has 39 yards on nine carries, sits 11th in fantasy points. Minshew appears to be the real deal, and his rushing ability only adds to his fantasy appeal. He shouldn’t yet be considered a must-start, but he’ll be on the weekly streaming radar moving forward. That includes this week, as the second-year quarterback should be in lineups in a plus matchup against Miami.

Kansas City Chiefs Clyde Edwards-Helaire played 67% of the offensive snaps and carried the ball 25 times but was targeted only twice in the Chiefs’ season opener. On Sunday, he carried the ball 10 times and saw eight targets while playing 63% of the snaps. The rookie wasn’t quite as effective this week (70 yards on 16 touches), but the combination of the strong snap share and increase in targets suggests he’ll remain a weekly RB1 option. As for his insurance, note that Darwin Thompson (15 snaps) appears to have leapt Darrel Williams (eight) on the depth chart.

Las Vegas RaidersReaction coming Tuesday.

Los Angeles Chargers Austin Ekeler might be the lead back in Los Angeles, but it’s become evident that rookie Joshua Kelley won’t be too far behind in usage. Or, in Sunday’s case, ahead in usage. Kelley (41 snaps) was three behind Ekeler (44) in playing time but handled 23 carries and three targets (113 total yards). That’s compared to 16 carries and four targets for Ekeler (148 yards). Ekeler is still in the weekly RB1 discussion, and Kelley, who ranks fifth in the NFL with 35 carries, is in the flex conversation in a light matchup against Carolina in Week 3.

Los Angeles RamsCam Akers went down with an injury on his third snap during Sunday’s win. Both Malcolm Brown (36 snaps) and Darrell Henderson Jr. (28) were busy in his place, with Henderson enjoying what very well could be his breakout game. The second-year back exploded for 81 yards and a score on 12 carries, adding 40 additional yards on three targets. Brown took a step back from his big Week 1 performance, producing 47 yards on 11 carries (he wasn’t targeted). The Rams appear committed to a “hot hand” committee attack, so it’s going to be hard to recommend any of these backs as weekly starts. Of course, Brown and Henderson will be more appealing flex fliers if Akers misses time.

Miami Dolphins Despite playing only 57% of the offensive snaps, Mike Gesicki exploded for an 8-130-1 receiving line on a team-high 11 targets. Tracing back to last season, Gesicki has now been targeted at least five times in four of his past five and six of his past eight games. Even in tight end-unfriendly Chan Gailey’s offense, Gesicki appears to be secure as one of Ryan Fitzpatrick‘s top targets. He’ll be on the TE1 radar weekly, and that’s especially the case this weekend against a Jaguars’ defense that allowed a 4-84-2 receiving line to Titans’ TE Jonnu Smith in Week 2.

Minnesota Vikings Irv Smith Jr.’s second season is off to a very slow start, as the 2019 second-round pick has managed only two catches for 14 yards on five targets through two games. Smith has played 61% of the offensive snaps, which is barely above his 60% rookie-season rate. That’s compared to 65% of the snaps for Kyle Rudolph. Smith may break out at some point this season, but he certainly doesn’t need to be rostered except in leagues that start multiple tight ends.

New England Patriots I think it’s fair to say Cam Newton is healthy. The former league MVP is on fire out of the gate this season, especially after a Sunday Night Football effort in which he threw for 397 yards, ran for 47 yards and put three touchdowns on the board. Newton is off to a career-best start as a passer, but he’s also on his way to one of his most-productive rushing seasons. He currently leads all quarterbacks in carries (26), rushing touchdowns (four) and carries inside the 5-yard line (five). In fact, Newton’s 4.6 OTD is easily the highest in the entire NFL. Newton sits third at the position in fantasy points and second in OFP. He’s worked his way right back into the every-week QB1 mix and should obviously be lineups against Las Vegas in Week 3.

New Orleans SaintsReaction coming Tuesday.

New York Giants Saquon Barkley went down with a torn ACL on his eighth snap during Sunday’s loss. Dion Lewis was the clear next man up, playing 54 (87%) snaps and producing 56 yards and one touchdown on 14 touches. Lewis played so much because No. 3 RB Wayne Gallman was a healthy scratch. Both Lewis and Gallman are worth adding to your bench until this backfield sorts itself out, but it’s very possible neither emerges as a reliable RB2 (the team could also sign a free agent like Devonta Freeman). At least for now, Lewis is the better receiver and the preferred add. Consider him a shaky flex against a beat up 49ers’ defense in Week 3.

New York Jets With Le’Veon Bell sidelined on Sunday, it was Frank Gore who unsurprisingly (but still kind of surprisingly, right?) handled the bulk of the backfield workload for the Jets. The 37-year-old played 58% of the snaps and inexplicably carried the ball 21 times for 63 yards in a 31-13 loss. Rookie La’Mical Perine played eight snaps in his NFL debut, with Kalen Ballage (seven snaps) and Josh Adams (five) also involved. The trio of backups combined for 34 yards on seven touches. Gore is obviously the best fantasy play here, but “best” is a relative term, as he should be nowhere close to lineups. Perine has the most upside of the group but is worth stashing only in deeper leagues with Bell due back in a few weeks.

Philadelphia Eagles Indications were that Miles Sanders would be a feature back this season and that was, in fact, the case in Week 2. Sanders was on the field for 53 offensive snaps (77%) and converted 20 carries and seven targets into 131 yards and one touchdown. That snap share was the fifth highest of Sanders’ young career and was well ahead of Boston Scott (19%) and Corey Clement (4%) on Sunday. Sanders was fantasy’s No. 3 running back once he took on a feature back role down the stretch last season, and it seems clear he’ll have the touches to produce consistent RB1 numbers throughout 2020.

Pittsburgh Steelers James Conner returned from injury on Sunday, and there was zero question that he was the team’s featured back. Conner played 49 (or 77%) of the offensive snaps, compared to 10 for Benny Snell Jr. and five for Jaylen Samuels. Granted, most of it game on a late 59-yard run, but Conner’s numbers were solid with 106 yards and one score on 16 carries and 15 yards on a pair of targets. Conner will be a weekly RB2 (at worst) as long as he’s playing such a significant role in a good Steelers offense. He should be locked into lineups this week against a Houston defense that has already been gashed by both Clyde Edwards-Helaire and the Ravens’ backfield committee.

San Francisco 49ers Brandon Aiyuk and Mohamed Sanu Sr. made their 49ers’ debuts on Sunday. Aiyuk played 42 (or 71%) of 59 snaps, whereas Sanu was on the field for 13 plays. Kendrick Bourne (43 snaps), Trent Taylor (27) and Dante Pettis (10) were also in the mix. Though the generous playing time suggests better days ahead for Aiyuk, he was limited to only 21 yards on three targets in the game. In fact, Bourne was the only 49ers’ receiver to clear 21 yards in a game that saw Jimmy Garoppolo go down with an injury at the midway point. George Kittle is expected back in Week 3 and Deebo Samuel in Week 4, so while Aiyuk figures to hit for the occasional big play this season, he’s unlikely to provide consistent fantasy production in the 49ers’ run-first scheme.

Seattle Seahawks DK Metcalf‘s second NFL season is off to a hot start. Fantasy’s No. 7 scoring wide receiver has posted receiving lines of 4-95-1 and 4-92-1 while playing all but one of the team’s offensive snaps. Metcalf is unlikely to put up consistently high target numbers (he has 14 in two games), but that is mostly offset by his vertical role (his 14.8 aDOT ranks seventh among wide receivers targeted more than 10 times this season) and Seattle’s high-scoring and suddenly pass-heavy offense. Metcalf is a borderline top-10 play against Dallas in Week 3.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Coach Bruce Arians claimed Ronald Jones II would remain the team’s lead back even after the addition of Leonard Fournette. Well, that lasted a week. Fournette played 25 snaps (44%) on Sunday, compared to 20 for Jones and 10 for LeSean McCoy. Fournette produced 12 carries for 103 yards and a pair of TDs, as well as 13 yards on five targets. Jones stumbled to 27 yards and one score on nine touches. McCoy was targeted seven times and hauled in five for 26 yards. Jones’ days as a featured back appear numbered, and it would be an upset if Fournette isn’t the main man moving forward. Consider Fournette a strong flex play against Denver this week, with Jones best left on benches.

Tennessee Titans Jonnu Smith exploded for 84 yards and a pair of touchdowns on five targets against Jacksonville on Sunday. Smith was on the field for 88% of the team’s offensive snaps, which is actually higher than his 74% rate during a Week 1 game in which he was targeted seven times and scored a touchdown. Smith sits second among tight ends in fantasy points, and his OFP ranks 10th. Granted A.J. Brown was out on Sunday, but it’s clear Smith is going to remain one of Ryan Tannehill‘s top targets. Smith is a borderline TE1.

Washington Football Team Logan Thomas has played 79% of the Football Team’s offensive snaps this season, racking up 17 targets during the span, which is tied with Terry McLaurin for most on the team. The heavy usage has helped Thomas to the second-highest OFP among tight ends, but hasn’t been met with good efficiency, as he’s been limited to receiving lines of 4-37-1 and 4-26-0. The volume is enticing, but Washington’s underwhelming offense may not lead to many big days. Consider Thomas a solid TE2.

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Rob Gronkowski’s ultimate Florida road trip

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We know Florida Man as a popular meme that mocks the bizarre, at times inconceivable behavior that seems to epitomize the state. But human beings are so much more complex than that. So what, exactly, is a Florida Man? We think a Florida Man is adventurous. Zany. Unencumbered.

We think a Florida Man is a 6-foot-6, 268-pound force of nature who vibes so hard.

We think a Florida Man is Rob Gronkowski — which is perfect, because Rob Gronkowski is now, well, a Florida man. The New York product, Arizona alum and former New England Patriots star has joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, giving the All-Pro tight end some new terrain to explore.

Sometimes it takes a while to find one’s ideal path, and Gronk — with two catches and one recovered onside kick through the Bucs’ first two games — has seemingly discovered his perfect state at the age of 31. To prove it, we hand-selected 10 Gronk-tastic things for him to do in Florida and asked the authority figures for each of these places to submit their pitches.

This — the continuation of a very serious public health crisis that requires considerable precaution — is not the time, of course. But eventually — one would think — civilization will return to normal, at which point Gronk can take a real tour through an eclectic state befitting his larger-than-life personality. His road map awaits.

Gronk And The Sea Cows

Location: Snorkeling with Manatees (Citrus County)
Distance from Raymond James Stadium: 70 miles N

The average manatee weighs up to 1,200 pounds. That’s 4 1/2 Gronks. Captain Parker has spent nearly two decades leading expeditions out to Crystal River and Homosassa Springs, one of few places where up-close interactions with these gigantic mammals are possible. Immediately people are blown away by their sheer size. Then they get into the water and are usually struck by fear. But then they notice that the manatees are gentle, playful, sometimes even a little shy. It’s an experience that has inspired many of today’s marine biologists and can at times feel life-changing.

“It’s the magic of interacting with a wild animal, and when that wild animal chooses to interact with you,” said Captain Parker, whose website notes that manatees are “the most enduring animal in the state of Florida.” Gronk, a 10th-year tight end returning from retirement, can relate.

The pitch for Gronk: “I’ve had people come out here that have gone through all walks of life. You’re a tough guy, you play a tough sport, and you’re up against some pretty big ol’ boys here, but wait ’til this ol’ animal comes up to you. I’ve had guys that have been in Desert Storm, that actually are dodging bullets, that when they get in the water and the manatee comes up and nudges them on the bum, all of a sudden they’re crawling back on the boat. And I’ve seen this. You spend a lot of time tackling these guys in the front line and running from the big guys, but wait ’til this manatee chases you down. This manatee will chase you at times back to the boat because it doesn’t want you to leave. Your other opponents want you to leave. Manatees don’t.” — Captain Parker, owner, Snorkeling with Manatees, LLC


Gronk Does Spring Break

Location: Beach Bash Music Fest (Panama City Beach)
Distance from Ray Jay: 350 miles NW

Shirtless Gronk on a parade float catching Bud Lights and trying to keep up with Ludacris lyrics is a sight to behold. And the fine people of Tampa shouldn’t require a Buccaneers championship in order to experience it. Introducing the Beach Bash Music Fest, which began 20-plus years ago with a lonesome DJ in the sand and has since morphed into an epic spring break party drawing some of music’s most popular acts and 15,000-plus college kids without a care in the world. MTV has staged spring break here. Steve Aoki, Kaskade, Pit Bull, Lil Wayne and Pauly D have all come through here. This is Gronk’s scene. And it takes place in March, giving him plenty of time to get over a massive hangover.

The pitch for Gronk: “You know what, man, he went down to Florida, and Florida is where spring break originated. A little fun fact — back in 1938 was the first spring break [he’s actually right about this]. This is American spring break. Warmer weather, which he’ll see now that he’s in Florida, feet in the sand, co-eds from across the country, good-looking people left and right, all ethnicities. Just a big party. Everybody’s having a good time. Nobody’s there to violate or anything. It’s a must-see experience. If you Google ‘spring break,’ that’s it — Beach Bash Music Fest [we got a 1983 movie starring two men named David Knell and Perry Lang].” — Arnie Jimenez, co-founder, StudentEscape (the exclusive tour operating partner for the festival)


‘Not All Treasure Is Silver And Gold, Mate’

Location: Gasparilla Pirate Festival (Tampa)
Distance from Ray Jay: 5 miles S

Almost every year since 1904, upward of 500,000 people from all over the world have descended upon Tampa to take part in this festival, which has grown to include more than 100 floats in celebration of a mythical pirate named Jose Gaspar. The event begins with a pirate “invasion.” Hundreds of dressed-up pirates aboard the Jose Gasparilla, considered the only fully rigged pirate ship in the world, capture the mayor and take the key to the city, igniting a massive party in the streets that might only be rivaled by Mardi Gras.

The Buccaneers have a float in the parade, but active players don’t usually take part. Gronk can change that. This year’s event — if it’s safe enough to be held — is scheduled for Jan. 30, the weekend of the Pro Bowl. This is so much better than the Pro Bowl.

The pitch for Gronk: “What do we call our team here? We call ’em the Buccaneers for crying out loud. So clearly, if you wanna be a real guy from Tampa, you gotta put on that pirate outfit. The sun is out, the shirts are small, and everyone’s screaming and yelling for beads, and everyone’s got a cocktail. That’s a hard party to pass up.” — Peter Blackman, captain, Gasparilla Pirate Festival


Big Guy In A Little Bar

Location: Smallest Bar (Key West)
Distance from Ray Jay: 430 miles S

The Smallest Bar in Key West — probably not the most creative name but certainly a descriptive one — is a 72-square-foot dive bar connected to a quaint hotel and residing right in the thick of a bustling Duval Street. Gronk’s energy can fill a room. Here, his energy will quickly overflow it. Smallest Bar is laid back and great for people watching, the type of place where one can wear a flowered shirt and sip blended drinks from a coconut with no judgement — a Floridian’s dream, really.

We suggest Gronk make the trip out here in December for SantaCon, a jolly bar-hopping event throughout Key West. The patrons usually end up here and try to pack the place with as many people as possible, just for the visual. The record, by the way, is 43 1/2. They counted a small child as half a person. Maybe Gronk can count as two.

The pitch for Gronk: “Everybody says it’s on their little list when they come to Key West. You gotta go to the Smallest Bar and have a drink, try the key-lime pie shot that we’re famous for, and you just never know who you’re gonna meet in there. I mean we used to have Dale Earnhardt come in a lot because he liked the place, he thought it was fun. Good guy. They sit around sometimes, they buy people drinks, they have a good time. You just never know who you’re gonna meet. It’s just lighthearted in there.” — Josh Dix, owner, Smallest Bar in Key West


Catching Pelotas With A Cesta

Location: Casino Miami Jai-Alai (Miami)
Distance from Ray Jay: 280 miles SE

These days, Casino Miami stages Jai-Alai only to maintain its casino license. Its 4,000-seat arena doesn’t draw more than 100 people for most matches. But back in the ’70s and ’80s, Jai-Alai — basically a racquetball game with woven cestas instead of rackets and firmer balls that travel as fast as 186 mph — was it in Miami.

Casino Miami, which opened in 1926, had the high-end restaurants and the fancy bars and was the place to be. Its Jai-Alai matches took on the ambiance of a major heavyweight fight. Those days might be gone, but the game is still fun and exceedingly challenging. Gronk would get a kick out of it.

The pitch for Gronk: “It’s the fastest sport in the world. The ball, the pelotas they play with, move faster than anything else in sports. It’s hard. It’s not an easy game to play. I think it’d be a great challenge for him to strap on a cesta and give it a roll.” — Steve Rinaldi, marketing director, Casino Miami


Mer-Man Gronk

Location: Weeki Wachee Springs mermaid show (Spring Hill)
Distance from Ray Jay: 50 miles N

Before theme parks became so prominent throughout Florida, roadside attractions like the mermaid show at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park were the place to be. I mean, Elvis came here for goodness sake. In a normal year, the show still draws somewhere in the neighborhood of 400,000 people to its underwater, 400-seat auditorium. There, visitors watch half a dozen mermaids perform 30-minute shows in a first-magnitude spring with a 5 mph current in the middle of an open waterway, which means fish, turtles and manatees can always appear in one of their “Little Mermaid” renditions.

Every year, Weeki Wachee Springs hosts around 60 prospective mermaids for a three-part tryout. It begins with an endurance test that requires a timed, 400-yard swim. Two-thirds of them will usually drop out after that, which is why the current mermaids want nothing more than to challenge Gronk to an athletic competition. They just need to find a tail big enough.

The pitch for Gronk: “We’ve always had so many different people — celebrities, newscasters — try to see what it’s like to be a Weeki Wachee mermaid, and I think people would find that it’s a lot more difficult than they’re made to believe. So to Rob — come see what it’s like to be a Weeki Wachee mermaid and see if you’ve got what it takes to become one of us. And plus, to see a part of old Florida, especially now that you’re a Floridian — people wanna go see Disney, they wanna go see Universal. Those are great places to go and visit, don’t get me wrong, but you can’t visit Florida, even be a resident, and not come see a place like Weeki Wachee springs. It holds so much tradition, so much nostalgia. It’s definitely a place he has to visit.” — John Athanason, developmental rep, Weeki Wachee Springs State Park


The New Gator Boy

Location: Everglades Holiday Park (Fort Lauderdale)
Distance from Ray Jay: 250 miles SE

You can’t live in Florida and not make a trip out to the Everglades to see some gators. For Gronk, we thought the best place might be the one that employs the Gator Boys, who teamed up for a hit reality show on Animal Planet and are, as you might expect, pretty wild. He can start with an hour-long airboat ride — they’re open to letting Gronk drive the airboat — then take in a 20-minute alligator show and move on to a 45-minute animal encounter to get familiar with snakes, skunks, raccoons, possums, tortoises and all the other creatures that help make up the ecosystem of Gronk’s new home. We recommend lots of bug repellant.

The pitch for Gronk: “There really is nothing more Floridian than getting up close to the gators and venturing out deep into the everglades.” — Ashley Correa, director of sales and marketing, Everglades Holiday Park


Gronk Cruise Practice

Location: Shuffleboard Club (St. Petersburg)
Distance from Ray Jay: 20 miles SW

[Extreme Stephen A. Smith voice] Rob! You playin’ shuffleboard again?! Shuffleboard has deep roots in Florida, and the tired joke is that of course it does because Florida is America’s retirement community and the game is for old people. Well, it isn’t. At least not at St. Pete’s Shuffleboard Club, which was founded in 1924 (OK, ignore that part) and revived itself from near-extinction around 2005 by opening its doors to non-members on Friday nights and making the atmosphere more festive, with music, lights and BYOB. It helped start a national craze.

The Shuffleboard Club, which got air conditioning in its clubhouse two years ago, bills itself as the oldest and largest in the world and maintains most of its old look. But on the right day — with no pandemic, of course — it can be a happening place. Gronk needs to play here. You know, to get ready for the Gronk Cruise.

The pitch for Gronk: “He should come out on a Friday night. There’ll be 250 people playing shuffleboard — the music, the twinkly lights, and really, I can’t stress this enough, it is pure magic. Because of our history in St. Pete, and shuffleboard in general, playing shuffleboard at the St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club is the quintessential St. Petersburg, Florida, thing to do. I understand he’s a big guy. We’d have to work with him to not fling the disc down at full strength, but I also know he can be a very elegant player — that’s what a friend told me — and so he’d really appreciate the little nuances of the sport.” — Christine Page, executive director, St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club


Goofy With Your Omelette

Location: Disney character breakfast (Orlando)
Distance from Ray Jay: 75 miles NE

Where did Gronk spend Valentine’s Day? At Disney World, of course. He rode all the rides — surely that included “It’s A Small World” — but did he eat waffles with Mickey Mouse? Gronk needs a character dining experience. There are usually several of them sprinkled throughout Disney World, but the only one functioning at the moment is Topolino’s Terrace at Disney’s Riviera Resort. They’re staging “Breakfast a la Art,” which features Mickey as a painter, Minnie Mouse as a poet, Donald Duck as a sculptor and Daisy Duck as a dancer, which means Gronk can also take in some culture. Kids love this stuff, as you might expect. But the adults have been found to be just as passionate about dressing up and engaging with the characters.

The pitch for Gronk: “There’s nothing like our character dining restaurants. They’re fun, they’re vibrant, they’re colorful. They’re alive with energy. Just walking by one, you feel that energy coming from these restaurants, and it’s mostly coming from our characters. They’re a great source of creativity and energy and just being alive and having fun.” — Robert Gilbert, culinary director, Magic Kingdom


Chillax, Bro

Location: Ichetucknee Springs lazy river (Fort White)
Distance from Ray Jay: 165 miles N

Back in the glory days at the University of Arizona, Gronk and his buddies installed a Slip ‘N Slide at his college residence that became a staple of his epic parties. Now Gronk is a little older, maybe a little wiser, so perhaps he might want to slow it down a notch and float around the lazy river at Ichetucknee Springs — a pristine waterway that stretches more than three miles and attracts people from the Northeast, Europe, the Carolinas, Georgia and, most noticeably, nearby college campuses of the University of Florida and Florida State University.

The park manager, Bob Soderholm, stresses that this is a quiet, family environment, and not a place for alcohol or loud music. But he has had a hard time corralling the party scene. Gronk would up the ante tremendously.

The pitch for Gronk: “This park is 50 years old, under the management of the division of recreational parks. It’s been around a lot longer than that. We have a local resident around here that’s also a member of our citizen support organization. His dad brought him down to the spring to take him swimming when he was just a little tyke. He’s in his 80s now, and he still comes down and swims. People have been doing this, swimming in the river — we know this for a fact — for over 80 years.” — Bob Soderholm, park manager, Ichetucknee Springs State Park



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NFL

Week 3 NFL Power Rankings

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Just like fantasy owners around the country, the NFL Power Rankings crew is concerned about the rash of injuries to skill players around the league. So while we did our usual job of ranking every team, we went a step further and asked the NFL Nation writers to pick out an under-the-radar fantasy player on the teams they cover for fans and owners to pay attention to.

These players run the gamut. Some are highly drafted athletes who are even more important now to feature in a lineup. Others are current fantasy bench players who could be starters, and still others are guys who you should try to pick up on the waiver wire. How we rank in our Power Rankings: Our power panel — a group of more than 80 writers, editors and TV personalities — evaluates how teams stack up throughout the season.

Previous rankings: 2 | Preseason

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Jump to:
ARI | ATL | BAL | BUF | CAR | CHI | CIN
CLE | DAL | DEN | DET | GB | HOU | IND
JAX | KC | LV | LAC | LAR | MIA | MIN
NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SF
SEA | TB | TEN | WSH

Week 2 ranking: 1

Under-the-radar fantasy standout: TE Travis Kelce

The Chiefs don’t have anyone appropriate for this category, given they have a well-known QB, an experienced group of receivers and a rookie running back who has received a lot of hype. But Kelce, with two touchdowns in two games, is on pace to exceed his career best in scoring. His highest tally is 10 TDs in 2018. — Adam Teicher


Week 2 ranking: 2

Under-the-radar fantasy standout: RB Gus Edwards

All of the fantasy focus on the Ravens’ backfield has centered on Mark Ingram II and J.K. Dobbins. But Edwards has outgained them in the first two games, producing 90 yards rushing and averaging 6.4 yards per carry. What limits Edwards as a consistent fantasy option is his lack of touches in the red zone. — Jamison Hensley


Week 2 ranking: 4

Under-the-radar fantasy standout: RB Chris Carson

The surprise isn’t that Carson has put up strong fantasy numbers. It’s that he has done so more as a receiver than a runner. Over the previous two seasons, he ranked 36th among NFL running backs with 69 targets, an average of 2.4 per game. He has nine targets through two games (tied for eighth) as the Seahawks have started showing more of a willingness to throw to their running backs. Carson has made his chances count, catching all nine of those throws for 81 yards and three touchdowns. He has yet to score a rushing TD, but his PPR value has grown. — Brady Henderson


Week 2 ranking: 5

Under-the-radar fantasy standout: RB Jamaal Williams

In Week 1, Davante Adams went off against the Vikings, so the Lions tried to shut him down in Week 2. That’s when Aaron Jones ran wild. So if teams somehow try to slow down both Adams and Jones, then it could be Williams’ turn. He had sneaky production over the first two weeks, averaging 5.6 yards per carry on 18 attempts. We heard Aaron Rodgers rave about Williams during training camp; and at some point, the Packers are going to start calling No. 30 more often, especially if they need someone to get tough yards near the goal line. — Rob Demovsky


Week 2 ranking: 3

Under-the-radar fantasy standout: WR Tre’Quan Smith

The third-year pro has been inconsistent so far — but part of that was because of a Week 2 ankle injury last year that nagged him for the rest of the season. He has flashed potential with two 100-yard games and two five-TD campaigns. And he showed Monday night that he’ll get more opportunities while Michael Thomas is sidelined. — Mike Triplett


Week 2 ranking: 7

Under-the-radar fantasy standout: WR Cole Beasley

He is a known commodity in the NFL, but Beasley was somewhat of an afterthought entering the season. However, he has seen at least six targets in each of his first two games, turning them into 128 yards on nine catches. Beasley’s involvement in the passing game shouldn’t be a surprise, considering he is picking up where he left off in 2019 — when he saw at least six targets in 11 of the 15 games he played. He might not have many explosive outings, but he is clearly a factor in a surprisingly fertile Buffalo passing attack (league-leading 359.5 yards per game) and worth rostering in PPR leagues. — Marcel Louis-Jacques


Week 2 ranking: 10

Under-the-radar fantasy standout: TE Tyler Higbee

Higbee finished 2019 on a hot streak, accumulating 522 receiving yards over the final five games, though he wasn’t necessarily a go-to, end-zone target for Jared Goff, catching only two touchdown passes in that span. But after the Rams dominated the Eagles thanks to three touchdown receptions by Higbee — equaling his total touchdowns from the entire 2019 season — look for Goff to find the 6-foot-6, 255-pound tight end near the goal line more often. — Lindsey Thiry


Week 2 ranking: 8

Under-the-radar fantasy standout: TE Jonnu Smith

Smith is correctly not considered to be one of the top fantasy tight ends, but he has racked up three touchdowns in two games, as half of Ryan Tannehill‘s scoring passes have gone to Smith. Tannehill seems to look for Smith a lot in the red zone, which is where all three TD connections happened. It’s clear that their offseason throwing sessions are paying off. So far Smith has been targeted 12 times by Tannehill and has eight receptions. Those catches plus his three touchdowns represent impressive production from 12 targets. — Turron Davenport


Week 2 ranking: 6

Under-the-radar fantasy standout: RB Jerick McKinnon

McKinnon was a deep sleeper before the season, as he was returning following two years away because of a knee injury. Now? He could be in line for a whole lot more work. With fellow backs Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman battling knee injuries, McKinnon is the healthiest back on the team, which could result in the big numbers the Niners expected when they signed McKinnon in 2018. That doesn’t mean McKinnon will carry the freight, but he has the big-play potential and pass-catching acumen to be a key part of the offense for at least the next few weeks. — Nick Wagoner

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Stephen A. Smith argues that Cam Newton’s performance stood out more than Russell Wilson’s despite the Patriots’ loss.

Week 2 ranking: 9

Under-the-radar fantasy standout: QB Cam Newton

ESPN’s fantasy football experts had Newton as QB13 entering the season, which explains why he would fall on this type of list. Newton has been the best thing the Patriots’ offense has going — both throwing (45-of-63 for 552 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT) and rushing (26 carries, 122 yards, 4 TDs). There were questions entering the season about Newton’s health and how quickly he could acclimate to the Patriots’ system, yet those have been answered with authority through two games. — Mike Reiss


Week 2 ranking: 11

Under-the-radar fantasy standout: WR Diontae Johnson

It’s hard to call Johnson under the radar when he was a trendy sleeper pick before the season. He is inconsistent and has started games slowly; but he has eight receptions on 13 targets, and he led the Steelers with 92 receiving yards against the Broncos. If Johnson becomes a bona fide WR1 in fantasy, keep an eye on Chase Claypool to develop into the next under-the-radar asset. Claypool has been targeted five times and has five catches — including the 84-yard touchdown against the Broncos. — Brooke Pryor


Week 2 ranking: 15

Under-the-radar fantasy standout: WR Andy Isabella

The second-year wideout won’t get a ton of looks this season because of the cache of talent ahead of him on the depth chart. But when he makes a play in 2020, it’ll probably be a big-splash one — like the 54-yard catch he had Sunday against Washington. Isabella averaged 21 yards per catch as a rookie in 2019, but of his 11 career catches, three have gone for 50 yards or longer. — Josh Weinfuss


Week 2 ranking: 17

Under-the-radar fantasy standout: RB Jalen Richard

Under the radar, for a guy whose primary role is to catch passes out of the backfield and who had 60 receptions in 2018? Well, yeah. You see, with running back Josh Jacobs adding the pass-catching game to his repertoire, teams might forget about Richard — and that’s where he could be awakened by Jon Gruden and Derek Carr. Especially if and when teams start putting spies on Jacobs in the flat. Reintroducing Richard, then. — Paul Gutierrez


Week 2 ranking: 12

Under-the-radar fantasy standout: TE Dalton Schultz

Schultz caught nine passes for 88 yards and a touchdown against the Falcons. He had 14 career receptions entering the game. Dak Prescott wasn’t afraid to look his way, even in key situations, including on his 10-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Schultz will benefit from the attention Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, CeeDee Lamb and Ezekiel Elliott receive, but he should not be viewed as another Jason Witten. If Schultz can be steady — he had a fumble versus the Falcons after two drops against the Rams — he can be an asset, but more as an outlet option than main target. — Todd Archer


Week 2 ranking: 13

Under-the-radar fantasy standout: The Bucs’ defense

Through two weeks, Tampa Bay is tied for the eighth-most fantasy points on defense, which included a five-sack, four-takeaway performance against the Panthers in Week 2. The Bucs’ opponent this week, the Broncos, have allowed the eighth-most points to opposing defenses. Tampa Bay’s two following opponents are the Chargers, who have given up the 24th-most such points (so there might be better options elsewhere), and the Bears. who are tied for giving up the 11th most. — Jenna Laine


Week 2 ranking: 18

Under-the-radar fantasy standout: TE Mo Alie-Cox

Alie-Cox had a career game in catching five passes for 111 yards in Sunday’s game against Minnesota. The Colts will likely continue to lean on him while Jack Doyle (ankle/knee) and Trey Burton are out. What made Alie-Cox’s performance even more impressive was that the former college basketball player overcame a dropped pass that was intercepted in the red zone on the Colts’ opening drive. — Mike Wells


Week 2 ranking: 20

Under-the-radar fantasy standout: WR Darnell Mooney

In Week 2, Mooney finished with three receptions on three targets for 36 yards and a touchdown. He played 39 snaps against the Giants, more than veteran wideouts Javon Wims (29), Anthony Miller (26) and Ted Ginn Jr. (healthy inactive). The Bears are clearly high on Mooney, a rookie fifth-round pick out of Tulane who ran the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds at the NFL combine. Don’t be surprised to see Mooney play a substantial role every week, especially since Miller, who is supposed to be Chicago’s No. 2 wideout after Allen Robinson II, is still struggling in the consistency department. — Jeff Dickerson

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1:55

Rex Ryan and Dan Orlovsky clash over Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn’s decision to punt on fourth-and-1 from their own 34 in overtime against the Chiefs.

Week 2 ranking: 22

Under-the-radar fantasy standout: RB Austin Ekeler

Ekeler was targeted just once against Cincinnati a week ago. Coach Anthony Lynn realized Ekeler needed to be more involved against the Chiefs, and he was electric. Ekeler had four catches for 55 yards and ran the ball 16 times for 93 yards. He got the extra yard where none was expected. The undrafted and little known, 5-foot-10 back out of Western Colorado figures to be important down the road. He should, as he signed a four-year $24.5 million contract extension in March. — Shelley Smith


Week 2 ranking: 14

Under-the-radar fantasy standout: RB Alexander Mattison

The Vikings’ offense doesn’t look great right now, and poor time of possession has hindered the number of chances this unit has had. However, backup running back Mattison is going to be an important asset for Minnesota, particularly in the passing game, if and when the Vikings are able to turn things around. Mattison caught four passes in the season opener, and he is a nice outlet for Kirk Cousins in the short-to-intermediate game. If the Vikings can get Dalvin Cook going, that means more opportunities down the line for Mattison as an RB2. — Courtney Cronin


Week 2 ranking: 19

Under-the-radar fantasy standout: TE Jordan Akins

After catching a Week 1 touchdown at Kansas City, Akins led Houston pass-catchers with seven receptions against the Ravens and was second to only Brandin Cooks in targets. Tight end Darren Fells, who scored the Texans’ lone touchdown in Week 2, also will be involved in the offense, especially in the red zone. But Akins is showing the potential to emerge as Houston’s No. 1 tight end as the season goes on. — Sarah Barshop


Week 2 ranking: 16

Under-the-radar fantasy standout: TE Dallas Goedert

Raise your hand if you thought Goedert would be leading the Eagles in targets (17), catches (12) and receiving yards (131) through two weeks? Yeah, me neither. His talent has long been evident, but given that he shares the field with one of the best tight ends in the league in Zach Ertz, it seemed like Goedert had a pretty well-defined ceiling. Well, he looks to be breaking through it. — Tim McManus

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1:45

Ryan Clark holds Falcons head coach Dan Quinn accountable for Atlanta blowing a 15-point lead against the Dallas Cowboys.

Week 2 ranking: 21

Under-the-radar fantasy standout: WR Russell Gage

Gage is certainly overlooked playing next to arguably the league’s best wide receiver in Julio Jones and touchdown-maker Calvin Ridley. But after two games, Gage has 15 catches for 160 yards and a touchdown on 21 targets, with 63 yards after the catch. Gage has a chemistry with quarterback Matt Ryan from spending extra time with him during the offseason. And Gage has a good understanding of coverages and where to sit down in the zone. Plus, he’ll benefit from the defensive coverage being drawn toward Jones and Ridley. — Vaughn McClure


Week 2 ranking: 26

Under-the-radar fantasy standout: RB Kareem Hunt

Despite backing up starter Nick Chubb, Hunt has been an integral part of the Browns’ offense. He is averaging 79 yards rushing per game at almost 7 yards per carry. Hunt also has been a threat as a receiver, including a TD grab on Thursday. That kind of steady production could be useful out of the flex. — Jake Trotter


Week 2 ranking: 23

Under-the-radar fantasy standout: TE Albert Okwuegbunam

Hey, you said under the radar, right? Broncos TE1 Noah Fant certainly isn’t under the radar — he is second on the team in targets — but the two-tight end look has been Denver’s best personnel grouping, and given the pass protection troubles, it’s going to have to use it more. Okwuegbunam hasn’t played yet because of a hip injury, but when he does, he figures to be a red zone factor, and he should enjoy the potential to have a very high percentage of his catches go for touchdowns. — Jeff Legwold


Week 2 ranking: 24

Under-the-radar fantasy standout: RB Antonio Gibson

Outside of Terry McLaurin, no one is really a strong fantasy play right now; but the one to watch remains Gibson. It’s about the future for the rookie, who has rushed for 91 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries in two games; as the season progresses, he’ll get more carries because this offense lacks playmakers. And Gibson has the potential to become one. He has shown flashes and has come close to breaking long runs; eventually, he will break one or two. The confusing part is that the former college wideout has only caught three passes. That should improve. — John Keim


Week 2 ranking: 27

Under-the-radar fantasy standout: WR Laviska Shenault Jr.

His touches went from five in the opener to eight on Sunday, and he will continue to rise as he gains more experience and coordinator Jay Gruden finds more ways to use him. So far, Shenault has lined up at wideout, running back and quarterback and has 119 yards and one TD of total offense. Shenault might not be someone you want in your lineup every week right now, but if he continues to progress, he certainly could be that guy by December. — Mike DiRocco


Week 2 ranking: 25

Under-the-radar fantasy standout: RB Adrian Peterson

It feels really strange putting a future first-ballot Hall of Famer in this category, but Peterson — acquired two weeks ago — leads the team in rushing yards and is averaging 6.4 yards per carry. He is going to get work every week — although it’ll often be in the form of a committee with Kerryon Johnson and D’Andre Swift — and still seems have the burst to break off the occasional big run, like he did Sunday with a 25-yard run to the outside. Is he an RB1? No. Is he intriguing as a flex play or an RB play in deeper leagues? Absolutely. — Michael Rothstein


Week 2 ranking: 28

Under-the-radar fantasy standout: RB Myles Gaskin

In two games this season for the Dolphins, the 2019 seventh-round pick out of the University of Washington has nearly half the number of carries (16) he had all of last season (36 in seven games played). There’s plenty of upside for Gaskin as his role continues to expand among the Dolphins’ backfield options with Matt Breida and Jordan Howard. For Thursday’s night game at Jacksonville, fantasy players in PPR leagues should keep an eye out for Gaskin as a pass-catcher because the 23-year-old has 11 targets and 10 catches through two weeks. — ESPN Staff

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Chris Mortensen breaks down players the Giants can use to replace Saquon Barkley, who will be out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL.

Week 2 ranking: 29

Under-the-radar fantasy standout: RB Dion Lewis

Get on that waiver wire and grab Lewis. ASAP. Even if the Giants do sign Devonta Freeman, Lewis is going to play a substantial role. Imagine a plus version of James White in New England with a slightly bigger workload. The Giants trust Lewis in pass protection, and he catches the ball well out of the backfield. They aren’t afraid to run Lewis on some early downs, either. He is the best bet to be the Giants’ top running back with Saquon Barkley out for the season. — Jordan Raanan


Week 2 ranking: 30

Under-the-radar fantasy standout: WR Robby Anderson

No player has benefited more from Joe Brady’s fast-paced offense than Anderson, who leads the team in receptions with 15 and is second in targets with 18. He has topped 100 yards receiving in both games — 109 on nine targets in Sunday’s loss to Tampa Bay and 114 yards and a touchdown in the opening loss to the Raiders. He has developed a solid chemistry with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. With the Panthers seemingly destined to play from behind, Anderson will continue to flourish and become more consistent, something that has kept him from being a top receiver in the past. — David Newton


Week 2 ranking: 31

Under-the-radar fantasy standout: TE Drew Sample

C.J. Uzomah was turning into a surprisingly viable fantasy target before he suffered a season-ending Achilles injury. Look for Sample to take Uzomah’s spot and take advantage of a more varied passing attack with rookie quarterback Joe Burrow. Last year, the Bengals didn’t have a player rank in the top 25 in average points per week in standard or PPR leagues. Uzomah was in the top 15 and averaging 11.4 points in PPR scoring through the first two weeks. — Ben Baby


Week 2 ranking: 32

Under-the-radar fantasy standout: RB La’Mical Perine

This is way under the radar, but the rookie running back is expected by team insiders to grow into a prominent role. Don’t be surprised if it happens soon. With Le’Veon Bell (hamstring) on IR for two more games, it’s Frank Gore and Perine — and we all know Gore isn’t the future. Perine has the explosiveness the Jets desperately need, and he should start to get more carries. — Rich Cimini

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