The Hard Bargain: Support
“The Hard Bargain” is a year-round column by Dave Stewart offering parenting advice and weekly fantasy football advice for deeper (16+ team) leagues. Dave brings over a year of experience writing this column to NFL Week 2 and will be here to help provide lineup recommendations throughout the fantasy football season.
A Weekend to Remember
It was a big weekend. For NFL and fantasy football fans, it was because the NFL season got underway in earnest. We got to track fantasy scores and pump our fists in celebration or clench them in panic (or maybe a bit of both), depending on the performance of our teams.
Whether you’re riding high off of a win or reeling a bit from a loss in Week 1, it was the moment we have all been waiting for. Week 1 delivered so much excitement that I can hardly wait for NFL Week 2.
For my family, however, it was a big weekend beyond the NFL action. Saturday was a full day of attending two separate events that both took place in local parks. While these events were not “my things,” I went along obligingly because they were important to my family. As usual, I made some observations, and I learned something along the way.
Supporting Our Children
I have mentioned previously that my twin daughters, “the Sneaky Girls,” began participating in taekwondo. Saturday was the open house picnic and demonstration for the taekwondo school. While only one of my daughters continued to study at the school, they were both eager to attend.
From the festivities to the food, the event did not disappoint. The girls were thrilled by face painting and a bounce house. As a family, we all enjoyed the spectacular display the school’s demonstration team put on. In terms of food, any parent knows that you can lead a child to it, but you cannot make them eat. Thankfully, this event had lots of food, including pizza, that the girls would eat. That was a win in my book.
During the event, I also managed to feed my football appetite. When I could, I was able to follow along with and even watch some of the near-upset by the University of Texas.
Ultimately, I had a good time and enjoyed being able to support my daughter in her endeavors.
Supporting Our Partners
Later in the evening, we attended a retirement celebration for my wife’s boss. My wife manages a pair of veterinary clinics, and the doctor who owns them is selling.
The doctor, who is not much for public speaking, gave the obligatory retirement oration filled with the usual cliches and overall positive tone. During the speech, though, he shared a few heartfelt words about my wife, who has been his manager throughout his ownership of the vet clinics.
He praised her leadership and ability to find and retain quality staff members in a hectic environment. Notably, he thanked her for always supporting him and the clinic. I have felt proud parent moments with my children frequently. At that moment, though, I was thankful and uniquely proud to be able to witness my wife being recognized publicly for her years of dependability and leadership.
Our spouses and partners go about their daily responsibilities in a realm of their life that is often separate from our own. As such, I felt fortunate to get a brief glimpse during this event into how much this group of people I hardly knew valued my wife and her efforts. I was glad to be there to support her.
Supporting Our People
Being there for the people that matter in our lives is something we can all do with relative ease. Despite this, it is sometimes hard for me to step outside of my selfish bubble. Without these events on Saturday, I likely would have stayed home and watched college football and felt good about it. However, being there to support my family during these events meant a lot to them. It also helped me realize that I need to be more intentional in looking for opportunities like this to be there and support them in their endeavors.
In a world where the speed of life sometimes feels like a blur, it grounds me to be present in a moment and not worry about what will or should happen next. Supporting others helps me do this. It also gives me an interesting perspective into their lives I don’t often have a chance to experience.
NFL Week 2 Deep League Picks to Support Your Fantasy Lineups
Supporting fantasy players does not always work out so well. My Week 1 picks were, in a word, “crappy.” I certainly let you down with the Dameon Pierce advice. Who would have foreseen that usage?
My favorite part of looking ahead to NFL Week 2 is having recent data. This is something I did not have last week. So, with that data in hand, let’s see if we can find some players more worthy of our support in deeper leagues (16+ team leagues).
Carson Wentz (QB, Washington Commanders)
Carson Wentz is not exactly the quarterback I envisioned writing about for the NFL Week 2 slate, but here we are. He put up solid fantasy numbers in Week 1 against Jacksonville. Wentz had four passing touchdowns and threw for 313 yards, spreading the ball around to seven different receivers. He showed flashes of his 2019 form when he played at an MVP level.
In Week 2, Wentz faces a Detroit Lions’ defense that allowed 7.5 Yards Per Attempt (YPA) against the Eagles. Wentz put the ball in the air 41 times in the season opener. While you cannot count on four touchdowns weekly, look for high volume from him again. Start him with reasonable confidence if you do not have a top-16 option.
Nyheim Hines (RB, Indianapolis Colts)
In an awkward tie with the Houston Texans, Nyheim Hines had minimal impact as a ball carrier but got involved in the passing game. With Jonathan Taylor shouldering the majority of carries most weeks, Hines’ fantasy value will come largely through the air. In Week 1, Quarterback Matt Ryan targeted Hines six times. Hines, in turn, caught each of those targets for 50 receiving yards. He lined up in the slot for 18.2 percent of his snaps.
In Week 2, the Colts face Jacksonville, who was obliterated by pass-catching running backs when they squared off with the Washington Commanders this past Sunday. During the season opener, the Jaguars allowed 10 catches for 92 yards on 11 targets to RBs. Hines should be able to exploit this apparent weakness. If you are looking for a running back fill-in, Hines should score you serviceable fantasy points.
Drake London (WR, Atlanta Falcons)
Unlike the rookie I recommended last week, I benefit from seeing Drake London play an NFL football game. In London’s case, I came away impressed. In Week 1, London shared the team lead in targets with seven. Marcus Mariota looked for him several times on first down, and London caught five passes for 74 yards. It was a confidence-building debut for the young receiver.
In Week 1, the Los Angeles Rams gave up 292 passing yards. They allowed 9.4 YPA, an 83.9 percent completion rate and three passing touchdowns to the Buffalo Bills. I am not suggesting that Marcus Mariota will play like Josh Allen, but he will target London as his top wide receiver. If you do not have two top-32 receivers or need to find a replacement for Chris Godwin, you should feel comfortable slotting in London.
Evan Engram (TE, Jacksonville Jaguars)
Evan Engram caught all four of his Week 1 targets against the Washington Commanders, ending his day with 28 receiving yards. Engram had a 77.8 percent route participation rate despite the low yardage total. This ranked in the top 10 among tight ends on Sunday.
On the flip side of the NFL Week 2 schedule I discussed earlier, the Colts also provide a positive matchup for Jacksonville. Indianapolis allowed four receptions for 60 yards and two touchdowns to tight ends in their season kickoff. Engram should be able to use his athleticism to exploit this advantage to make explosive plays the way Houston Texans’ O.J. Howard did on his two touchdowns. Engram is a decent option beyond the top-16 tight ends where all you can hope for is a touchdown in a game where the Jaguars figure to be trailing.