Fantasy football: Sound alarm on Peyton Manning, Andre Johnson, Devonta Freeman - Metro US

Fantasy football: Sound alarm on Peyton Manning, Andre Johnson, Devonta Freeman

Andre Johnson looks like he's cooked.
Getty Images

The draft is the most important part of your fantasy football season. But not far behind are the decisions you make in the first two weeks.

That’s because everything we thought we knew coming into the season now needs to be evaluated. We have actual games and data to examine – and even though it’s a tiny sample size – it can be more relevant than our offseason takes. For example, owners that gave up on Justin Hunter or went after Justin Forsett hard early last year turned a major profit. Owners that sold low on Eddie Lacy took it on the chin. Some Week 1 notes to act on:


We can see how the Broncos are going to win games this year. They’re going to be dominant defensively, slow the pace of the game and run the football. They won’t be throwing when they’re up 21 points in the fourth quarter like they used to. It’s a major issue for Peyton Manning’s box score and a serious issue for Demaryius Thomas as well. Far less volume and a little less efficiency spells trouble.

RELATED: More Adam Levitan fantasy football advice


Some will say it was just an elite Buffalo defense that shut down Andre Johnson in Week 1. I’d say it’s more than that. The Texans moved on from Johnson this past offseason despite having little depth at wideout, a sure sign they thought he was done. That’s not a very far-fetched take on a guy who is 34-years-old and was never a great redzone player anyway. The Donte Moncrief waiver-wire add takes on even greater importance if we look at it through a lens of Johnson’s role being vulnerable.


The gap between Falcons rookie Tevin Coleman and second-year man Devonta Freeman continues to widen. In Week 1, Coleman started and played 45 snaps (20 carries) while Freeman came off the bench for 28 snaps (10 carries). Tevin was far more effective, showing the burst we know he had but also impressively grinding through first contact. That was the biggest knock on him coming out of Indiana. With a featured role in a fast-paced offense and explosive big-play ability, Coleman is going to have some huge games.


1. Donte Moncrief, WR, Colts – T.Y. Hilton has a knee injury and Moncrief is way ahead of Phillip Dorsett right now.

2. James Jones, WR, Packers – Jones isn’t good enough for OAK or NYG, but he’s Aaron Rodgers’ preferred red-zone target.

3. David Johnson, RB, Cardinals – This is a stash play as David will start off behind Chris Johnson while Andre Ellington (knee) rehabs again.

NFL Matchups

Fire up these borderline wideouts in Week 2:

1. Terrance Williams at PHL – Dez Bryant is out, leaving Williams with at least seven targets against an inept Eagles secondary.

2. Steve Smith Sr. at OAK – Shake off the dud against an elite Broncos defense and pick on the poor Raiders corners.

3. Charles Johnson vs. DET – The best way to beat the Lions is by avoiding their stout run defense and attacking through the air.


We used to know exactly where Richard Sherman would be on every play. He’d line up wide on the left side and shut down whoever came into his area. That changed in Week 1, as Sherman moved all over the formation – including a team-high 13 snaps in the slot. It’s bad news for our projection ability and bad news for Packers slot man Randall Cobb in Week 2.

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