- Full fantasy football rankings for every position in Week 2.
Each week, above our full fantasy rankings, SI.com fantasy writer Michael Beller and 4for4 writer John Paulsen will have a brief debate about some players they view differently. Scroll down for our full rankings at every position.
Michael Beller: That was quite a Week 1, huh John? Four teams put up at least 40 points, three more scored at least 33, and none of those were named the Patriots, Packers, Chargers, Steelers, Falcons or Texans. Given the rule changes of the last five years or so and the high-level widespread proficiency at the quarterback position, I think we're in for plenty more weeks like that this season.
Let's start at the quarterback position for our Week 2 rankings discussion, where you're much higher on Russell Wilson than I am. Wilson is incredible and it doesn't seem to matter who's around him in Seattle's offense, but I think this could be a tough week for him. The Seahawks go on the road to take on a Chicago team that stymied Aaron Rodgers for the better part of a half before he, as is his custom, stole the team's soul in the second half. Still, the Bears defense played well in a tough spot, especially when you consider that neither Khalil Mack nor Roquan Smith had a training camp. Wilson is a magician, but I'm worried about him without Doug Baldwin. I've got him as the QB18 this week, and you've got him at QB11. Why do you think he'll remain in the QB1 class?
Also, I'm quite a bit higher on Carlos Hyde and Devin Funchess than you are this week. I have Hyde as RB17, while you have him at RB26. In general, that means I'm playing his as an RB2, while you think of him more as a flex option. The efficiency wasn't great last week, but I'm not too worried about that. The track in Cleveland was sloppy by time that game ended, and Pittsburgh figures to have one of the better run defenses in the league. What excites me is that Hyde got 22 carries and all the goal-line work, while rookie Nick Chubb got just three totes. If Hyde is going to dominate the carry workload so thoroughly, he's going to volume his way to more good fantasy weeks than bad.
As for Funchess, he may have caught just three passes for 41 yards against the Cowboys in Week 1, but with Greg Olsen out he is so clearly the No. 1 downfield option for Cam Newton. Funchess played two games last year after Kelvin Benjamin was traded to Buffalo and before Olsen returned from his foot injury. He racked up 13 targets in those games, catching 10 of them for 178 yards and two touchdowns. Rookie D.J. Moore was a non-factor in Week 1, getting exactly zero targets. Jarius Wright and Torrey Smith, who clearly aren't in Funchess's class, combined for seven. Olsen's injury opens the door for him to be a weekly WR2, and that's where I've got him this week, ranking him 23rd at his position. So why do you have him all the way down at WR34?
John Paulsen: I agree that Wilson is playing with a bad hand—no Baldwin, a bad offensive line and facing a tough Bears defense—but he was in a similar situation last week against the Broncos and still threw for 298 yards and three touchdowns (20.4 fantasy points), and that was without adding much of anything in the running game. I think Tyler Lockett is underrated and Brandon Marshall should be able to do his best Doug Baldwin impression for at least a week. Wilson is normally a top-five option, so I think QB11 is reasonable given the draw. Besides, one has to wonder about the mental state of the Bears organization after what happened in the second half against the Packers on Sunday night. I think there’s at least a 25% chance that the franchise rescinds its charter in the NFL by game time.
Hyde is an interesting case this week. He got the volume against the Steelers last week, but wasn’t very involved in the passing game and there’s a strong possibility that the Browns fall behind early—after all, they’re big underdogs. If that happens, Hyde’s touches will likely go to Duke Johnson. On the plus side, if the Browns are able to keep it close, the Saints have historically been a very good matchup for opposing running backs.
As for Funchess, I would normally rank him in the high 30s/40s, so did upgrade his outlook this week with Greg Olsen out. That said, I think you’re right that I should move him up a bit more. There were really five games last year post-Benjamin trade where Olsen was either out or not very involved (seeing four or fewer targets). In those games, Funchess posted catches-yards-touchdowns numbers of 5-86-0, 5-92-2, 7-108-0, 4-60-1 and 3-59-1 for an average of 4.8 catches for 81 yards and 0.80 touchdowns (on 7.8 targets per game). I should note that the lowest scoring game of the bunch (5-86-0) was against the Falcons, so let’s not get too excited about his prospects. Atlanta presents a very tough matchup for the Carolina passing game. In his last four games against the Falcons, Cam Newton has only thrown three total touchdowns and failed to clear 200 yards passing in any contest (averaging a paltry 170.0 passing yards per game), so the passing game pie doesn’t figure to be very big in Week 2.
Beller: You make some good points, John, especially about Wilson. I admit, he’s one of the scariest guys in the league to fade, but I just can’t shake the feeling that Jimmy Garoppolo, Jared Goff, Matt Ryan and Matthew Stafford are all better plays this week, among some of the obvious others. We shall see which one of us ends up being right. Enjoy the games this week.
Paulsen: You too, Beller.