Fantasy Football: Start ‘Em/Sit ‘Em Week 2

Wondering who to start or sit this week for your fantasy football team? Here are a few players to look at.
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Hopefully, you got off to a hot start in your Week 1 fantasy matchup. But if you are still regretting that flex play you second-guessed last week, you have come to the right place. We have got you covered with who you should have in your lineup for Week 2 - and who you shouldn’t. We had some great plays in last week’s article. Starts of the week at quarterback and tight end, Jalen Hurts and Dallas Goedert, both ended up having huge games in Atlanta. The four wide receiver starts we had shined as Antonio Brown, Robby Anderson, Tee Higgins, and Marvin Jones all found the endzone. We have some room for improvement on the sits; however, as some of them had great Week 1 performances such as Dak Prescott and D’Andre Swift. Week 1 is always hard to gauge, so let’s hope we can nail some more sits in Week 2 now after seeing every team play a real game.

Quarterback

Auto Starts: Patrick Mahomes, Kyler Murray, Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Dak Prescott

Start of the Week: Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers vs Dallas Cowboys Herbert

 was our sit of the week in Week 1, but he has a much more favorable matchup this week as he takes on the porous Dallas defense. Tom Brady went off for 379 yards and four touchdown passes against this defense last week. It certainly looks like the Cowboys still have many of the concerns they had last year on defense, especially in the secondary. Although Herbert did not have a great Week 1 fantasy game, he still threw for 337 yards against a stingy Washington defense. This game against Dallas is anticipated to be a back and forth, high scoring affair. Herbert will be throwing the ball all day, and it would not be surprising at all if he has a huge game against this Dallas secondary. Expect Herbert to return to top 10 fantasy quarterback form this week. Make sure he is in your lineup.

Strong Starts

Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles vs San Francisco 49ers

Last week’s start of the week shined in his 2021 season debut, putting up nearly 30 fantasy points in Atlanta. Hurts projects to have another nice performance in Week 2 as he faces a very banged up 49ers secondary. San Francisco lost their best cornerback, Jason Verrett, to a season-ending ACL injury last week, and they are still likely to be without starting corner Emmanuel Moseley this week too. If Jared Goff was able to explode for 338 yards and three scores against this defense last week, it makes sense to be extremely bullish about what Hurts can do this week. The San Francisco defense is even thinner than it was last week, as they will likely be starting multiple backup corners. Bank on Hurts to carry over his success from Week 1. He is a very solid fantasy option this week against a depleted secondary.

Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams @ Indianapolis Colts

We finally got to see what Matthew Stafford can do outside of Detroit and boy was he remarkable in his Rams debut. Stafford tossed for 321 yards and three touchdowns this past Sunday night against a tough Chicago Bears defense. Stafford and the Rams travel to Indy this week where they will take on a Colts defense that gave up 254 yards and four touchdowns to Russell Wilson in Week 1. Stafford looks like he can be an MVP candidate in this explosive Rams offense, and he should be expected to have another impressive week through the air against the Colts. You should feel very comfortable starting him this week if you do not own a top 8 to 10 quarterback.

Sleeper of the Week: Teddy Bridgewater, Denver Broncos @ Jacksonville Jaguars Bridgewater showed everyone why he won the starting job over Drew Lock with a terrific Week 1 showing against the New York Giants. Bridgewater threw for two scores and notch 20 fantasy points in a win against a talented Giants secondary. Bridgewater has an ideal matchup in Week 2 against the Jaguars - a defensive unit that allowed Tyrod Taylor, who has not started a game in a year, to throw for nearly 300 yards and gain 24 fantasy points. Bridgewater may very well have another game this week where he throws for multiple scores and can move the ball at will. He presents as a great streaming option in Week 2 against a lousy team.

Sit of the Week: Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns vs. Houston Texans 

Some may look at this matchup with Houston as a favorable one for Baker Mayfield. While that may be very true in real life, this is fantasy football. Fantasy is all about stats, and it is tough to see Mayfield putting up the numbers to serve as a starting quarterback in fantasy this week. Nobody in the NFL likes to run the ball more than Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski. With Cleveland playing a team they should beat very easily on Sunday, do not expect many passing attempts from Mayfield. If Mayfield puts up starting fantasy quarterback numbers this week, he will likely have to throw for a couple of early scores. Given the way the Browns came out last week running the ball down the throats of the Kansas City Chiefs, you should not count on that happening. Do not fall for the trap here. Leave Mayfield on your bench in Week 2.

Strong Sits

Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints @ Carolina Panthers

Do not buy into the fantasy hype surrounding Jameis Winston. At least not yet. While he was phenomenal in his five-touchdown performance against Green Bay last week, the Packers did not look prepared to play that football game. It would make sense that Carolina will have much more of a game plan in place to stop Winston from beating them deep as he did with Green Bay last week. Expect New Orleans to lean heavily on the run as they did against the Packers. Winston only threw 20 passes in Week 1 for 148 yards. If you take out two or three of those touchdown passes, his fantasy numbers look a lot different. It is all but a guarantee that Winston will not replicate that five touchdown performance this week. Leave Jameis on the bench until we see him string together multiple strong fantasy performances.

Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals @ Chicago Bears

Burrow posted a respectable 18 fantasy points against the Vikings last week, but this matchup against the Bears is anticipated to be slightly different. Burrow will have a much more difficult opponent this week against a tough Bears defense in a hostile Soldier Field. The subpar Cincinnati offensive line will have their hands full dealing with Khalil Mack all day. Burrow is likely to face a lot of pressure on Sunday, which may focus the Bengals offense more towards Joe Mixon and the run game. Burrow’s numbers were also inflated last week due to his game going on for nearly ten extra minutes in overtime. Leave him on your bench this week against the Bears.

Running Back

Auto Starts: Christian McCaffrey, Dalvin Cook, Alvin Kamara, Derrick Henry, Nick Chubb, Aaron Jones, Joe Mixon, Najee Harris, Antonio Gibson, Jonathan Taylor, Ezekiel Elliott, Chris Carson, Austin Ekeler, David Montgomery, D’Andre Swift

Start of the Week: Darrell Henderson, Los Angeles Rams @ Indianapolis Colts Darrell Henderson appears to be the clear-cut number one running back on one of the league’s best offenses. Out-touching Sony Michel 17 to one, Henderson found the endzone in a goal-line situation in addition to gaining 70 yards on the ground last week against a tough Chicago defense. We saw Chris Carson averaged 5.7 yards per carry against the Colts in Week 1. The Rams offensive front is light years better than that of Seattle. Expect the Rams to have a lead once again and for Henderson to be leaned on heavily. He should be able to string together a big game in Indy on Sunday, and expect him to have goal-line opportunities again here. Henderson is a must-start for Week 2 and is looking like he can be a savior for many fantasy teams this season.

Strong Starts

Melvin Gordon, Denver Broncos @ Jacksonville Jaguars

A very exploitable matchup here for Gordon in Week 2. The Jaguars looked like the worst team in football last weekend, getting demolished by the Tyrod Taylor-led Texans. The Houston offense was scoring and moving the ball at will. Expect Denver to do the same this week. Gordon was given 14 touches last week and ripped off an exciting 70-yard touchdown run late in the game as well. That run should increase Gordon’s workload against Javonte Williams in the near future. Gordon is likely to be leaned on heavily this Sunday, and he has a great shot at finding the endzone again. Gordon is a back-end RB2 this week against the awful Jaguars and is a fantastic flex play.

Damien Harris, New England Patriots @ New York Jets

It is clear who the number one back is in New England this season. Damien Harris got a ton of work in Week 1, which is likely to be carried over into Week 2. Harris carried 23 times for 100 yards against Miami in Week 1. With New England being favored in this contest against the Jets, you must assume that Harris will be fed 20 plus carries again. Harris has a much better chance to find the endzone this week as well. Even if he does not, Harris will see a ton of volume anyway and is a reliable RB2 or flex play this Sunday against the Jets.

Sleeper of the Week: Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts vs. Los Angeles Rams 

Nyheim Hines is one of the most overlooked players in fantasy after Week 1. Hines will be a focal point of the Colts’ passing attack, as he reeled in six receptions on eight targets last week. Hines also saw nine carries on the ground. Indianapolis was behind for most of last week’s game, which led to Hines’ big day in the receiving game. The Colts are expected to be trailing for the majority of this game, which could mean a lot more receptions for Hines. If you are in a PPR league, Hines has the potential to put up a lot of points this week. He presents as a solid streaming option in deeper leagues.

Sit of the Week: James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Denver Broncos 

Our hearts go out to everyone who spent an early draft pick on James Robinson. After the Travis Etienne injury, Robinson became the assumed bell-cow back in Jacksonville. But to the shock of many, Carlos Hyde out-touched Robinson 11 to eight in Week 1. Hyde played for Jacksonville head coach Urban Meyer at Ohio State, and it appears that he will be a massive thorn in the side of James Robinson’s owners this year. Given that Saquon Barkley averaged 2.6 yards per carry against the Denver defense last week, this is a terrible matchup for the Jacksonville backs. Jacksonville is also likely to be losing for most of this one, which would focus more on the passing game. In Week 2, James Robinson must be on your bench and should not be trusted until we know more about the Hyde situation.

Strong Sits

Mike Davis, Atlanta Falcons @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Mike Davis winds up on the sit-list here with a very tough Week 2 opponent in Tampa Bay. It was no coincidence that seemingly everyone on the Cowboys’ offense went off last week against the Bucs, except for Ezekiel Elliott. Why is that? It is because the strength of the Tampa Bay defense is its front seven. If Zeke Elliott put up just 33 yards on 11 carries against this defense, you certainly cannot trust Mike Davis against it in Week 2. The Falcons will almost certainly be trailing early in this game too. Leave Davis on your bench this week unless you have to start him.

Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Jacobs was able to find the endzone twice this past Monday night, but you may want to find another option for Week 2. First of all, this is a very tough matchup for Jacobs going up against one of the best defensive lines in the league in Pittsburgh. Jacobs is also banged up with a toe/ankle injury. Coming off a short week, Las Vegas will likely lean immensely on Kenyan Drake this Sunday. Jacobs was only given ten carries last week and will probably be touchdown dependent again in Week 2. Find a better option if you are thinking about starting the hobbled Jacobs this week against a stout Steelers defense.

Wide Receiver

Auto Starts: Davante Adams, Tyreek Hill, DeAndre Hopkins, Stefon Diggs, D.K. Metcalf, Calvin Ridley, A.J. Brown, Justin Jefferson, Ceedee Lamb, Keenan Allen, Amari Cooper, Adam Thielen, Tyler Lockett, Chris Godwin, Cooper Kupp, Terry McLaurin, Mike Evans, Allen Robinson, D.J. Moore, Tee Higgins, Julio Jones, Deebo Samuel, Antonio Brown, Dionte Johnson, Robert Woods

Start of the Week: Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers vs. Dallas Cowboys 

Mike Williams owners have to be ecstatic after his Week 1 performance in Washington. Williams was targeted 12 times and was able to bring in eight of those for 82 yards and a score. It appears that the former top ten draft pick may finally be breaking out and be serving as a critical weapon for Justin Herbert. Williams has a terrific matchup against a lackluster Dallas secondary in Week 2. This is expected to be a game with many points scored, and you can expect a repeat performance in Week 2 for Williams. He is a strong WR3 or flex play.

Strong Starts

Ja’Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals @ Chicago Bears

Chase silenced all of the naysayers last week with a tremendous game. We saw some issues with drops in the preseason, but Chase went over 100 yards on five catches and reeled in a bomb for a touchdown in Week 1. Chase already appears to be ahead of Tyler Boyd on the depth chart, as well out-targeting him seven to four. If you watched Chase play at all in college, you know he is an exceptional talent. The Bears have a second-year, fifth-round draft pick starting at cornerback, and Chase should be able to exploit that matchup. Do not be surprised if Chase reels in another deep score. Chase has too much upside to be left on the bench after last week. He should be started in most, if not all, leagues.

Devonta Smith, Philadelphia Eagles vs. San Francisco 49ers

Another rookie who had a superb debut finds himself on the start list. Philadelphia lacks formidable receivers behind Smith - which explains why he was targeted eight times in Week 1. Smith brought in six of those targets for 71 yards and a touchdown. As mentioned before, Smith should have another strong performance in Week 2 as he goes up against a San Francisco defense that is extremely thin at cornerback. The volume is going to be there all year for Smith. Put him in your lineup if you own him in Week 2 for sure.

Sit of the Week

Robby Anderson, Carolina Panthers vs. New Orleans Saints

Robby Anderson is looking like he might be a boom or bust fantasy play week in and week out. Anderson only had one catch in Week 1, but it was a 57-yard bomb that went for a score. It appears that Anderson may have assumed the role as the deep threat in this offense, and it seems as if his weekly fantasy performance is going to depend on if he catches a long touchdown or not. Do not expect it to happen this week against a Saints defense that made Aaron Rodgers looks like he forgot how to play football. Leave Anderson on the bench in Week 2. You can’t count on him this week.

Strong Sits

Corey Davis, New York Jets vs. New England Patriots

In Week 1, Corey Davis had an excellent fantasy game, finding the endzone twice and gaining nearly 100 yards. However, Davis has a nightmarish matchup this week against the Patriots. Davis will likely be shadowed by standout cornerback J.C. Jackson all day. Given how heavily Davis was leaned on last week, you have to expect that Bill Bellichick will be focusing his defensive game plan around shutting him down. We have also seen Bellichick give rookie quarterbacks fits, which does not bode well for any Jets players fantasy-wise. Davis is looking like a great draft pick this year, but you should sit him out this week with him going up against the Pats.

Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals @ Chicago Bears

It was a rough Week 1 for Tyler Boyd owners, as he appears to be the third wheel in this Cincinnati passing attack. Tee Higgins is fantastic, and it is clear that Joe Burrow will be leaning heavily on his former college teammate Ja’Marr Chase this year. That is terrible news for Boyd. This week, Boyd does not have a great matchup going up against a stingy Bears defense looking to bounce back. Stay away from Tyler Boyd in fantasy for the time being. We need to see some more volume from him in the coming weeks before considering playing him.

Tight End

Auto Starts: Travis Kelce, Darren Waller, George Kittle, T.J. Hockenson, Mark Andrews

Start of the Week: Noah Fant, Denver Broncos @ Jacksonville Jaguars 

There is plenty to get excited about when it comes to Noah Fant following Week 1. Fant was targeted eight times last week, and he caught six of those for targets for 62 yards. Fant played a pivotal role in Denver’s offense last year, and it looks like we will see more of the same in 2021. Jerry Jeudy also went down for Denver last week, moving Fant up the pecking order of Broncos pass catchers for the time being. Fant has an optimal matchup in Week 2 against Jacksonville and should be in your lineup if you do not have a top-five tight end.

Strong Starts

Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The number four overall draft pick had a quiet fantasy performance as the Atlanta offense looked terrible in Week 1. However, Pitts was targeted eight times, although he could only reel in four of them, which is an excellent sign for fantasy owners. The matchup for Pitts this week could potentially be exploitable as well. Atlanta should be playing from behind in this game, giving Pitts plenty of opportunities for catches. We also saw Dallas have their way with the Tampa Bay defense through the air last week. Pitts’ target volume and this potentially favorable matchup make him a start in most fantasy leagues this week.

Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons

In Week 1, Gronk turned back the clock, reeling in all eight of his targets for 90 yards and two touchdowns. Gronkowski certainly looks like he may have an even more prominent role in the Tampa Bay passing attack than he did last year. This week, he has a solid matchup going up against an Atlanta defense that got torched through the air last week and allowed a touchdown to the opposing tight end. Gronkowski is a strong tight end play this week if you do not have a top tight end, and he is looking like he could be a great steal at the end of most drafts.

Sleeper of the Week: Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears vs. Cincinnati Bengals 

Cole Kmet seems to be the Bears’ new number one pass-catching threat at tight end, out targeting Jimmy Graham seven to two in Week 1. The Bears will be going up against a Cincinnati defense that allowed Kirk Cousins to pass for 351 yards last week. Kmet saw enough volume last week for fantasy owners to be comfortable with having him in a lineup. This week, he is a solid streaming option, and you should claim him if he is still available in your league.

Sit of the Week: Jonnu Smith, New England Patriots @ New York Jets 

We got what many of us expected in Week 1 with the Patriots’ tight end situation. Jonnu Smith out-targeted Hunter Henry, but not by much. With the way New England utilizes both tight ends in the passing game, it is tough to gauge which one will have the better fantasy performance. If either Smith or Henry gets injured this season, the other one instantly becomes a tight end 1 in fantasy. However, you should stay away from the Patriots’ tight ends while they are out on the field together. There are plenty of better options out there if you are thinking about starting Smith this week.

Strong Sits

Gerald Everett, Seattle Seahawks vs. Tennessee Titans

Everett did find the endzone last week, but he was only targeted twice. The Titans present a favorable matchup for pass catchers, but you should never bring yourself to start someone who saw such little volume in his debut with the team. D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett are the only two Seattle pass catchers who should be started in fantasy leagues. Keep Everett stashed on your bench until further notice.

Austin Hooper, Cleveland Browns vs. Houston Texans

We were wrong about Austin Hooper having upside last week after he was only targeted three times on Sunday. As mentioned earlier, Cleveland is committed to scoring points by grounding and pounding the football with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. It does not appear that Hooper will have much volume in this offense, making him a touchdown-dependent play for most weeks. This week is undoubtedly one of those, as Cleveland is likely to win comfortably and run the ball a ton. Leave Hooper out of your lineup this week - better yet - drop him.

That’s going to do it for Week 2, folks. Best of luck to everyone. Let’s hope that we can keep it rolling with these starts and get it right with some more of these sits. Enjoy this week of football, people.

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