Every week, I will mention several players at each position who fantasy owners should absolutely lock and load in their fantasy starting lineups. Whether you are playing a season-long league or participating in daily fantasy sports, these are the players to target in Week 2.
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
Is there a better start this week than Patrick Mahomes against the Raiders? Without a doubt he should have 300-plus yards passing and at least 2-to-3 TDs. While he may struggle a bit without Tyreek Hill, the Chiefs still have too many weapons for him to struggle overall.
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
Big Ben could not have played any worse than he did on Sunday night against the Patriots. But that was a road game and now the Steelers are back at home, and we all know that Roethlisberger plays much better at Heinz Field. Don't let recency bias scare you from starting the Steelers’ signal caller. I think he has a big game as the Seahawks don't normally play as well on the road. I think Roethlisberger will have over 300 yards passing and at least 2 touchdowns.
Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles
We did not see how bad the Falcons’ secondary was last week because Kirk Cousins only attempted 10 passes. That won't happen this week as Carson Wentz will challenge the Falcons all game long. Wentz is an excellent quarterback and the Eagles have a ton of offensive weapons. Expect a top-five performance from Wentz at the quarterback position in Week 2.
Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns
Mayfield Is too competitive to have another bad game. I expect him to show everybody how good he really is on Monday Night Football. The Jets are decimated by injury. Don't be afraid to start him this week. You will be glad you did.
Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders
One of my favorite things to do is to look for the highest-scoring game of the week and then choose the quarterback on the underdog. In this case, it's Carr. The Chiefs-Raiders game has a very high point total and I think the Raiders will have to play well to keep the game close. That means that Carr will have to have a better game than expected.
James Conner, Pittsburgh Steelers
For the same reason that I like Big Ben this week, I also like Conner in Week 2. I think the Steelers have a big rebound performance at home and I expect Connor to perform very well—perhaps over 100 yards rushing and a touchdown.
Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers
With no Hunter Henry and no Mike Williams, you would have to think that Ekeler will have a sensational week. He should get at least 20 touches, and in PPR formats, he could be one of the best plays of the week. Lock him into your lineups visionary style!
Matt Breida, San Francisco 49ers
With Tevin Coleman out for a long period of time, Breida should slide into the starting running back position. Although Kyle Shanahan likes to have a committee approach with his running backs, expect Breida to get 15-to-20 touches in this game. If he does, he will get about 100 total yards from scrimmage.
Sony Michel, New England Patriots
Michel had a horrible performance on Sunday night, only rushing for 14 yards. That won't happen again this week against Miami. I think he goes for two rushing touchdowns and he is a must-start in any standard league.
Mark Ingram, Baltimore Ravens
Ingram was sensational in his first game as a Raven last week. I think Lamar Jackson's ability to move out of the pocket creates running lanes for Ingram. He should see a ton of running lanes against the Cardinals this weekend and he is a must-start in any format. (Note: Ingram popped up on the injury report but is expected to play at full strength.)
Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers
Jones was terrible last week against the Bears and I know that the Vikings are a tough matchup in Week 2. That said, I am always searching for a contrarian play and I think Jones fits that bill perfectly. No one will want to use him which should keep his ownership way down. Jones is the perfect tournament play in DFS contests.
Gio Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals
Bernard is someone that I am looking to start this week, especially if Joe Mixon is out with an injured ankle. If Mixon plays, I don't love this start as much, so watch this closely on Sunday morning.
Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks
I am going all-in on the Seahawks and Steelers being a very high-scoring affair this week. Lockett only saw 2 targets last week, and although he caught one pass for a touchdown, I think he needs to be targeted more this week. The Steelers’ secondary is not as good as people think and Lockett should see more action than he did in Week 1.
Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers
Allen is a must-start with Mike Williams and Hunter Henry injured. Philip Rivers might target him 15 times this week. I know that Lions’ DB Darius Slay is a good cornerback, but it makes no difference because I think Allen is a superstar.
Cooper Kupp, New Orleans Saints
The Saints’ pass defense is pretty good with CBs Marshon Lattimore and Eli Apple but I'm not sure who covers Cooper Kupp. Kupp has his way of always getting open when Jared Goff needs him, and I think that he can slip behind the Saints’ secondary this week and do a lot of damage.
Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers
Once again, Adams is a recency bias play. He was often triple covered against the Bears and he really struggled in that game. It's hard to see him struggle for another week when he's that good of a player. I think there's going to be low ownership on him and I'm going to be on that low ownership in DFS.
Antonio Brown, New England Patriots
There is no doubt in my mind that if Brown plays in this game against Miami that he will score a touchdown. Tom Brady is going to want to get him involved in the offense and you know that Brown wants to stick it to everybody in the league. Lock him in for a touchdown on Sunday—assuming he plays.
Tyrell Williams, Oakland Raiders
Williams is the new number one receiver for the Oakland Raiders and someone who needs to be owned and played this week against Kansas City. D.J. Chark and Chris Conley put up huge numbers against the Chiefs’ secondary in Week 1 and Williams is a far better receiver. Look for him to have a big day and keep the Raiders close.
Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals
John Ross was last week’s breakout player, but I think that Boyd will fly under the radar and produce exceptional fantasy statistics this week. Look for a game of double-digit targets from him and about 18-to-20 fantasy points.
Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs
The Raiders will be playing without safety Johnathan Abram this week (and perhaps all season) as he’s out with a torn labrum. Abram is a bone-crunching tackler, who makes it hard for pass-catchers to run across the middle of the field. With Abram out, and of course with Tyreek Hill out, Kelce should own the middle of the field and be a dominant force on Sunday. He is a must-start in both seasonal and DFS formats.
Jared Cook, New Orleans Saints
Cook has the revenge narrative here (which you know that I love), plus I love the fact that he underperformed in Week 1. Brees does not usually play as well (or take as many chances on the road), so I can see him using Cook as an outlet on many obvious passing downs.
Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans
Walker is not flashy, but he has the trust of Titans’ QB Marcus Mariota. Fantasy owners always tend to overlook him when setting their lineups, but he should be a good source of points in PPR formats this week.
Darren Waller, Oakland Raiders
Waller is the new “it” player this season. Raiders’ head coach Jon Gruden has talked Waller up all preseason (and on Hard Knocks), and Waller responded with a sensational first game where he played 100% of the snaps. For the Raiders to compete this week against the Chiefs, they are going to need to take advantage of Waller’s size and speed and use him as a first option on many passing routes. I think he can put up 14-to-16 fantasy points easily in Week 2 and he is a great bargain as well in DFS.
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