Overreaction — it’s a Week 2 staple in the fantasy football world. “Tom Brady is washed up!” “Joshua Kelley is gonna take Austin Ekeler’s job!” “Noah Fant is a top-five tight end!” Are any of those things true? Maybe, maybe not. There’s still a lot of season left, and one week does not a season make. Thankfully, we’re here to bring some levity into your start ’em, sit ’em decisions with cool, calm, and collected lineup advice. OK, maybe we’re prone to a little overreacting, too, but we’re doing our best to look at the stats, trends, and matchups when figuring out who to start and who to sit this week (including in DFS contests).
As always, injuries will have a big impact on some of this week’s start ’em, sit ’em decisions. Kenny Golladay (hamstring), James Conner (ankle), Miles Sanders (hamstring), Phillip Lindsay (toe), Courtland Sutton (shoulder), Le’Veon Bell (hamstring), Chris Godwin (head), Michael Thomas (ankle), and George Kittle (knee) are the biggest worries right now, but there will likely be more “questionable” players popping up as we get closer to the kickoff.
Fantasy Football Week 2 Who To Start: Quarterbacks
Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs (at LAC), Lamar Jackson, Ravens (at HOU), Dak Prescott, Cowboys (vs. ATL), Russell Wilson, Seahawks (vs. NE), Deshaun Watson, Texans (vs. BAL), Josh Allen, Bills (at MIA), Kyer Murray, Cardinals (vs. WAS), Drew Brees, Saints (at LV), Matt Ryan, Falcons (at DAL)
Aaron Rodgers, Packers (vs. DET). A-Rod stays hot rod in Lambeau against a disappointing pass defense with two cornerbacks hurting.
Cam Newton, Patriots (at SEA). He will keep on running, but he’ll do more throwing looking for points on the other side of Wilson.
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers (vs. DEN). They will pass a little more with their array of weapons going forward, and the Broncos’ secondary has issues away from Justin Simmons.
Tom Brady, Buccaneers (vs. CAR). The Panthers’ defense will be picked apart everywhere by him on short-to-deep throws.
Matthew Stafford, Lions (at GB). The Packers’ defense was nothing special in garbage time against the Vikings, and Stafford will chuck in catchup mode vs. Rodgers.
Kirk Cousins, Vikings (at IND). The Vikings’ defensive issues will prompt him to throw more again, and he’s been very efficient in pushing the ball downfield off the run.
Philip Rivers, Colts (vs. MIN). He had an ugly debut, but there was still volume. The Vikings just proved they are extremely weak on the back end when the running game is nicely setting up deep passing.
Daniel Jones, Giants (at CHI, $ 5,800 on DraftKings, $ 6,900 on FanDuel). The Bears’ defense has plenty of holes to exploit even if Jones gets good pressure again from Khalil Mack and others. His weapons are well suited to do so, even on the road.
Mitchell Trubisky, Bears (vs. NYG, $ 5,500 on DraftKings, $ 7,200 on FanDuel). On the other side of Jones, Trubisky steps into another primo matchup at home.
Ryan Tannehill, Titans (vs. JAX), Joe Burrow, Bengals (at CLE)
Fantasy Football Week 2 Who to Sit: Quarterbacks
Carson Wentz, Eagles (vs. LAR). His protection and receivers are becoming major concerns going forward, and the Rams managed to limit Dak Prescott.
Jared Goff, Rams (at PHI). Goff was caretaker deluxe against Dallas, and this doesn’t feel comfortable on the road at all opposite Wentz.
Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers (at NYJ). The Niners should stay rather grounded with their passing game issues, limiting his volume and effectiveness.
Gardner Minshew, Jaguars (at TEN). Minshew Mania came alive against the Colts, but this is on the road against a tougher defense.
Tyrod Taylor, Chargers (vs. KC). He looked shaky in the opener, and they didn’t even think about running him enough to make him worth it yet.
Derek Carr, Raiders (vs. NO). The Raiders are clearly a run-first team and won’t suddenly get flashy and force a shootout against the Saints.
Teddy Bridgewater, Panthers (at TB). The Bucs’ pass rush will be revved up at home, and their secondary is better than you think.
Baker Mayfield, Browns (vs. CIN), Drew Lock, Broncos (at PIT)
Fantasy Football Week 2 Who to Start: Running backs
Christian McCaffrey, Panthers (at TB), Saquon Barkley, Giants (at CHI), Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys (vs. ATL), Dalvin Cook, Vikings (at IND), Derrick Henry, Titans (vs. JAX), Alvin Kamara, Saints (at LV), Nick Chubb, Browns (vs. CIN), Joe Mixon, Bengals (at CLE), Josh Jacobs, Raiders (vs. NO), Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Chiefs (at LAC), Austin Ekeler, Chargers (vs. KC), Aaron Jones, Packers (vs. DET), Kenyan Drake, Cardinals (vs. WAS), Todd Gurley, Falcons (at DAL), Chris Carson, Seahawks (vs. NE), Raheem Mostert, 49ers (at NYJ), David Johnson, Texans (vs. BAL), Miles Sanders (vs. LAR, if he plays)
Jonathan Taylor, Colts (vs. MIN). He’s the clear starter replacing an injured Marlon Mack (Achilles’), and the Vikings were mauled on the ground last week.
Kareem Hunt, Browns (vs. CIN). Hunt formed a dynamic duo with Chubb in Week 1, and the Browns are bound to be even backfield-heavier to get a win in Week 2.
Zack Moss and Devin Singletary, Bills (at MIA). The Dolphins stink in the front seven, and the Bills should want to run all over them with Allen and their two young backs, a la the Patriots with Cam Newton.
JK Dobbins and Mark Ingram, Ravens (at HOU). The Texans stink in the front, and even with limited balanced snaps, these guys can go off together with Ingram getting a little worthy love, too.
David Montgomery, Bears (vs. NYG). The Giants’ run defense got pounded by the Steelers, and Montgomery and his blockers looked great in Detroit.
Malcolm Brown, Rams (at PHI). He’s the starter for now over a rookie and another young back, so enjoy those kinds of touches against an overrated run defense.
Adrian Peterson, Lions (vs. GB). He’s the starter for now over a rookie and another young back, so enjoy those kinds of touches against an overrated run defense.
James Robinson, Jaguars (at TEN). Here’s to you, Mr. Robinson, the bona fide lead back in Jacksonville ticketed for nice volume every week, even in a tough matchup.
Ronald Jones, Buccaneers (vs. CAR, $ 5,200 on DraftKings, $ 5,900 on FanDuel). He looked rather good living up to Bruce Arians’ praise and will keep the job for at least one more week against a putrid defense.
Benny Snell Jr., Steelers (vs. DEN, $ 4,500 on DraftKings, $ 4,600 on FanDuel). He should be replacing an injured James Conner (ankle) again with a heavy workload, and the Broncos wilted against Henry. Take the free space.
Fantasy Football Week 2 Who to Sit: Running backs
Melvin Gordon, Broncos (at PIT). The Steelers destroyed Saquon. He is no Saquon. No go for Gordon, even with Phillip Lindsay (turf toe) hobbled.
Sony Michel and James White, Patriots (at SEA). This committee isn’t all that inspiring yet, and you’re holding out for a TD.
Antonio Gibson and Peyton Barber, Washington (at ARI). Barber punched in two scores last week, but that’s hard to rely upon against an improved Cardinals’ defense.
Joshua Kelley, Chargers (vs. KC). The matchup is good, but the game script is likely to keep the rookie from seeing key work in the second half.
Leonard Fournette, Buccaneers (vs. CAR). For now, they will stick with RoJo until Fournette can show his old pop.
Nyheim Hines, Colts (vs. MIN). His two TDs were fluky and game script can favor Taylor a little more.
All Dolphins (vs. BUF). Myles Gaskin just made Matt Breida and Jordan Howard managers blow a gasket. It doesn’t help that the Bills run defense is tough.
All Jets (vs. SF). Frank Gore or Josh Adams? Do we care who gets the ball without Le’Veon Bell in this tough matchup? No.
Fantasy Football Week 2 Who to Start: Wide receivers
Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley, Falcons (at DAL), Davante Adams, Packers (vs. DET), Tyreek Hill Chiefs (at LAC), Chris Godwin and Mike Evans, Buccaneers (vs. CAR), DeAndre Hopkins, Cardinals (vs. WAS), Kenny Golladay, Lions (if he returns, at GB), Allen Robinson, Bears (vs. NYG), JuJu Smith-Schuster, Steelers (vs. DEN), A.J. Brown, Titans (vs. JAX), D.J. Moore, Panthers (at TB), Adam Thielen, Vikings (at IND), Amari Cooper, Cowboys (vs. ATL), Odell Beckham Jr., Browns (vs. CIN), Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods, Rams (at PHI), Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf, Seahawks (vs. NE), Courtland Sutton, Broncos (if he plays, at PIT), DJ Chark, Jaguars (at TEN), Terry McLaurin, Washington (at ARI), Keenan Allen, Chargers (vs. KC), Stefon Diggs, Bills (at MIA), Julian Edelman, Patriots (at SEA), Jarvis Landry, Browns (vs. CIN)
T.Y. Hilton, Colts (vs. MIN). He was quiet with Rivers at first, but the Vikings’ secondary is ripe for the picking apart downfield.
Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb, Cowboys (vs. ATL). They didn’t quite break through against the Rams, but the Falcons’ secondary was burned all over the field by the Seahawks.
A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd, Bengals (at CLE). This matchup is much better than the Chargers’ nasty secondary, and Burrow should be throwing often at some point in the second half.
Marquise Brown, Ravens (at HOU). He can hit another home run here after a strong all-around Week 1 against the Browns.
Marvin Jones Jr., Lions (at GB). We’ll see about Kenny Golladay (hamstring) returning to occupy Jaire Alexander, but the history in this matchup says green light in Green Bay.
Emmanuel Sanders, Saints (at LV). With Michael Thomas having the high ankle sprain, Sanders should be busy against the Raiders’ weak secondary, a throwback to his Broncos days.
Sterling Shepard, Giants (at CHI). He was solid but not spectacular in the opener, but he finds the end zone in Week 2.
Diontae Johnson, Steelers (vs. DEN). With JuJu dominating, Johnson is still their best second wideout, and the Broncos’ cornerbacks aren’t that scary.
Anthony Miller, Bears (vs. NYG, $ 5,200 on DraftKings, $ 5,700 on FanDuel). Miller had an solid Week 1 and draws a secondary that has issues away from James Bradberry.
Robby Anderson, Panthers (at TB, $ 5,200 on DraftKings, $ 5,900 on FanDuel). Anderson made a nice splash in Week 1 and should get a shot at a garbage deep TD.
Darius Slayton, Giants (at CHI, $ 5,000 on DraftKings, $ 5,300 on FanDuel). The youngster is on fire, and the Bears can be burned with their shaky secondary away from Shepard, too. He’s an even better play if Golden Tate (hamstring) would need to miss another game.
Mike Williams, Chargers (vs. KC), Allen Lazard, Packers (vs. DET), Kendrick Bourne, 49ers (at NYJ)
Fantasy Football Week 2 Who to Sit: Wide receivers
DeVante Parker (even if he plays, vs. BUF). Parker looks iffy with a hamstring aggravation, and regardless he would get Tre’Davious White. Preston Williams isn’t a good fill-in this week, either.
Will Fuller and Brandin Cooks, Texans (vs. BAL). This secondary is a lot tougher than you think.
John Brown, Bills (at MIA). Between Xavien Howard and Byron Jones, the Bills should be more grounded than forcing it downfield.
Jamison Crowder, Jets (vs. SF). He dominated in Week 1 out of the slot as their most reliable wideout, but the Niners will make sure to focus coverage on him.
DeSean Jackson, Eagles (vs. LAR). He hardly played in Week 1 and likely will see Jalen Ramsey more than a few times in Week 2.
Henry Ruggs III, Raiders (vs. NO). The rookie faces a tough secondary matchup here, and Carr keeps spreading the ball around for a run-heavy team.
Christian Kirk, Cardinals (vs. WAS). You can’t trust any wideout in the desert not named ‘Nuk.
Sammy Watkins, Chiefs (at LAC). The Chargers’ secondary is very good from outside to the slot, so don’t stretch beyond Hill, who will have it difficult himself.
Jerry Jeudy, Broncos (at PIT). Whether Courtland Sutton plays or not, he’s hard to trust after the drops vs. the Titans with the Steelers secondary looming.
Fantasy Football Week 2 Who to Start: Tight ends
Travis Kelce, Chiefs (at LAC), George Kittle, 49ers (if he plays, at NYJ), Mark Andrews, Ravens (at HOU), Zach Ertz, Eagles (vs. LAR), Darren Waller, Raiders (vs. NO)
Tyler Higbee, Rams (at PHI). The Eagles couldn’t handle Washington at the position in the red zone, so he’s a good bet to score with a good overall day.
Hunter Henry, Chargers (vs. KC). Henry started well, and the Chiefs had trouble with Jordan Akins.
Hayden Hurst, Falcons (vs. DAL). Hurst should be more involved against a Cowboys’ defense that still struggles against the position.
Evan Engram, Giants (at CHI). Engram ran into a tricky spot with the Steelers, but the Bears really struggled against the Lions at the position.
Jared Cook, Saints (at LV). Cook, like Emmanuel Sanders, will be busier for Drew Brees with Michael Thomas (ankle) hurting. Plus, “revenge” game.
Dallas Goedert, Eagles (vs. LAR). Goedert looked a lot better than Zach Ertz, and the Rams looked vulnerable to tight ends last week.
Eric Ebron, Steelers (vs. DEN, $ 4,300 on DraftKings, $ 4,900 on FanDuel). Here’s dumpster diving for someone who could pop into the end zone after the Broncos gave up two tight end scores in Week 1.
Fantasy Football Week 2 Who to Sit: Tight ends
Jonnu Smith, Titans (vs. JAX). The Jaguars are better than you think at linebacker and safety.
Noah Fant, Broncos (at PIT). The Steelers will shut him down, a la the similar Engram.
T.J. Hockenson, Lions (at GB). He’ll cool off, especially if Kenny Golladay (hamstring) returns.
Rob Gronkowski, Buccaneers (vs. CAR). He was literally slow out of the gate, so take more of a wait-and-see again approach.
Austin Hooper, Browns (vs. CIN). David Njoku (knee) is out, but you still can’t trust him yet in his new offense.
Mike Gesicki, Dolphins (vs. BUF). He needs help from his QB to get going, and this isn’t the place to do it.
Fantasy Football Week 2 Who to Start: Defenses
Steelers (vs. DEN), 49ers (at NYJ), Bills (at MIA), Chiefs (at LAC), Titans (vs. JAX), Ravens (at HOU), Buccaneers (vs. CAR), Seahawks (vs. NE), Cardinals (vs. WAS)
Rams (at PHI, $ 4,500 on DraftKings, $ 4,800 on FanDuel). The Eagles’ offensive line is reeling with injuries, and Aaron Donald will lead the strong pass-rush charge in Philly. Jalen Ramsey is bound to have a key takeaway with Carson Wentz forcing the ball downfield.
Fantasy Football Week 2 Who to Sit: Defenses
Bears (vs. NYG), Colts (vs. MIN), Vikings (at IND), Eagles (vs. LAR), Saints (at LV), Patriots (at SEA), Washington (at ARI), Browns (vs. CIN)
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