Through the first two weeks of the season, DeAngelo Williams is the highest scoring position player (non-QB) in fantasy football. While most expected Williams to be in the RB1 conversation early on with Le'Veon Bell suspended the first three games, no one saw this coming. Is this the end of the road, though? Bell comes back next week against Kansas City, and it will be interesting to see what Mike Tomlin does if Williams has another big game this week against Philadelphia. Could we be looking at something close to a 50-50 split?
Getty ImagesJoe Sargent
Who will step in for Jonathan Stewart?
Fozzy Whittaker carried the ball 16 times for 100 yards after Jonathan Stewart injured his hamstring, so you'd naturally assume he'd take over starting duties and get the majority of the work, right? Maybe not. Last season when Stewart went down, it was Cameron Artis-Payne who finished two of the last three regular season games with 14 carries. Artis-Payne hasn't been active yet this year because he doesn't contribute on special teams, but with Stewart sidelined, he quietly may be the best bet for production. Whittaker and Mike Tolbert will all be involved as well, though, and we know Cam Newton can score at the goalline. Wait and see with this backfield.
Getty ImagesGrant Halverson
Which big name receiver will miss this week?
Some usual suspects are on the injury report this week, with Julio Jones (calf), Brandon Marshall (knee) and Alshon Jeffery (knee) all missing practice on Thursday. While it's possible that all three could suit up, Friday looms as a big day for three WR1 candidates. If they can't get at least some practice time in, all three will be considered very questionable for Sunday.
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY SportsDale Zanine
How will the Patriots survive?
No Tom Brady. No Jimmy G. Probably no Rob Gronkowski, but that's still up in the air. Can the Patriots really survive with a rookie third-string quarterback on a short week against one of the league's best defenses in Houston? We've talked about downgrading the Patriots in the past and how it's dangerous to overreact, but the odds may be too much to overcome this week.
Getty ImagesTom Pennington
Are the Giants the next great fantasy defense?
Yes, it's early, but the Giants defensive unit has looked great through the first two weeks. It appears that all the money spent this offseason to address that side of the ball has paid off, as the Giants are coming off a game where they held an explosive Saints offense completely down. With a matchup against the Redskins and a struggling Kirk Cousins, the Giants are a great streaming play and could have long-term success, as Minnesota, Baltimore and Los Angeles are on tap in three of the next four weeks.
Getty ImagesJim McIsaac
Who takes over for Adrian Peterson?
With Adrian Peterson out 3-4 months after knee surgery and almost certainly out for the rest of this season, the Vikings have some big shoes to fill. While Matt Asiata got the majority of the work once Peterson went down last Sunday night, it's Jerrick McKinnon who offers the most upside for fantasy owners. He'll get the first crack at the starting job, he's averaged nearly 5 yards per carry on his career, and he's an explosive athlete. The Vikings might not miss Peterson as much as you'd think.
Can Melvin Gordon shoulder the load?
Keenan Allen is out for the year, Danny Woodhead is out for the season and Antonio Gates is questionable for Sunday. With Philip Rivers's weapons dropping like flies, Gordon could finally become the workhorse back the fantasy world has been waiting for. Through the first two weeks, Gordon is averaging 20 touches a game, and there's no reason to think he can't sustain that moving forward. He's in the RB1 conversation (for real this time).
Which waiver wire pickup will explode?
The action on the waiver wire this week was crazy, as everyone is scrambling to secure the next big thing at running back. While Jerick McKinnon was the main prize if he was available, don't sleep on another NFC North running back who could be stepping into a big role. Lions rookie RB Dwayne Washington will be taking over the for the injured Ameer Abdullah (foot, IR) and had shown in the first two weeks that he's the goalline back of choice. It seems highly unlikely that the Lions will give Theo Riddick 15+ carries every week, as he's a smaller satellite type back who does most of his work through the air. Standard league players should snap up Washington right away, as he should have an early down role. He has the size (233 pounds) and speed (4.4 40-yard dash) to become a fantasy star, especially if Riddick goes down.
Can Drew Brees and company get back on track?
The Saints looked unstoppable in Week 1 against Oakland, and then very normal in Week 2 against the Giants. Week 3 offers up a Monday night shootout with the Falcons, and for what it's worth, Vegas seems to think the Saints will get right back on track. The Saints are -3.5 favorite in a game with a projected point total of 53.5, the highest of the week. The Falcons defense shouldn't be able to put up much of a fight, which means it's time to keep rolling with all of your Saints.
Does Bruce Arians fully trust David Johnson?
It didn't garner a lot of attention given all the injuries in Week 2, but the Cardinals turned to Chris Johnson for 16 carries in the blowout against the Bucs. This may have been a little more than just garbage time duty, though, as head coach Bruce Arians was critical of Johnson after the game for making too many mistakes. David Johnson is still a top-5 RB without a doubt, but it's a situation worth monitoring.