It’s time to agonize over your week two fantasy football lineups. Who should you start? Who should you sit? I’ll give out some answers and hold myself accountable by pitting two lineups against each other.
It’s time for “Starts vs Sits.”
QB – Alex Smith
Smith is already comfortable throwing to Jordan Reed and Chris Thompson, who caught both of his touchdown throws last week. Let’s congratulate Reed and Thompson for still being healthy so far into the season and take advantage of a great match-up against the Indianapolis Colts defense.
RB – T.J. Yeldon
Leonard Fournette hasn’t been ruled out just yet, but he’s missed a lot of practice with his hamstring troubles and will most likely not be at 100% against the Patriots. Even if Fournette suits up, Yeldon will get significant snaps and be heavily involved in the passing game. He was actually Blake Bortles’ most targeted pass-catcher against the Giants and will be beneficial to fantasy players in PPR leagues.
RB – Matt Breida
The Detroit Lions had a completely toothless run defense Monday night, giving up 169 yards and two touchdowns to the New York Jets backfield. Breida is in a tricky, timeshare situation with Alfred Morris, but Morris fumbled twice and could see less red-zone opportunities because of those miscues. I’m cautious because of Kyle Shanahan’s attachment to Morris from their days with the Washington Redskins, but Breida looks like the better back.
WR – Nelson Agholor
Alshon Jeffery continues to work his way back from shoulder surgery and Agholor continues to not drop every pass thrown his way. This is very helpful in PPR leagues after Nick Foles targeted him 10 times in week one. He only had 33 yards on eight catches in that game, but the yards should come against Tampa Bay.
WR – Amari Cooper
It’s not over. I know anyone who has Cooper is probably taking a wait-and-see approach, but Jon Gruden is already trying to rekindle the romance between Derek Carr and his best receiver. Gruden pointed out missed opportunities that have probably been the subject of film study and practice sessions this week. The Denver Broncos are a lot more vulnerable in the secondary than they have been in the past, following the departure of Aquib Talib. A return to form could be coming for Cooper.
WR – Dante Pettis
The rookie wide receiver only had two catches against the Vikings, but they were memorable ones of over twenty yards each and included a touchdown. Marquise Goodwin is out with a quadriceps injury and Pierre Garcon should occupy the attention of the Lions’ Darius Slay. Pettis is in line for more big-play opportunities this week.
TE – David Njoku
Tyrod Taylor had 40 passing attempts against the Steelers last Sunday, a number he might meet again if Cleveland hopes to keep pace with the New Orleans Saints. Njoku was second only to Jarvis Landry in targets last week and will be a top option with Josh Gordon no longer with the team. He’s a great red-zone option, probably Cleveland’s best while Landry does his work between the 20’s.
FLEX – Tyler Lockett
I know Aaron Rodgers was throwing, but the Chicago Bears secondary was murdered by three different wide receivers in that second half last Sunday night. And while Russell Wilson will probably be running for his life this Monday, he’ll also make a few big plays on the run. Even by boom-or-bust standards, Lockett is very unpredictable player. However, with Doug Baldwin out, I predict a boom and a solid FLEX night for Lockett just for the sheer volume of snaps he’ll get.
DEF – New York Jets
They had a great night last Monday, picking off Matthew Stafford four times. More interceptions should be coming their way this week against Ryan Tannehill.
QB – Cam Newton
I don’t like the way Newton played without Greg Olson against the Cowboys last week. His opponents on the other side of the ball aren’t getting any easier this week on the road in Atlanta. You might see a lot of check-downs to Christian McCaffrey but you’ll also see a lot of unfinished drives and field goals.
RB – Rex Burkhead
He’s expected to play after travelling with the team to Jacksonville, but his production should be as negligible as it was last week against Houston. Even though he dominated in carries, they results were not impressive and James White is clearly the more useful passing option. With Sony Michel possibly making his debut, Burkhead is the least talented running back in New England’s arsenal. That’ll become apparent in his snap count soon.
RB – Royce Freeman
This is because of Phillip Lindsay. Out of nowhere, these two backs were splitting carries and Freeman had virtually no involvement in the passing game. If you drafted Freeman I hope you got two running backs before him because he might be an RB2 on his own team.
WR – Larry Fitzgerald
Fitzgerald will face either Marcus Peters or Aquib Talib this week and is in no condition to do so with Sam Bradford under center for the Cardinals. David Johnson and Ricky Seals-Jones might be more productive pass-catchers but it’ll be a slow day for Arizona’s offense regardless.
WR – Chris Hogan
Rob Gronkowski might draw the attention of Jalen Ramsey, but the Jaguars have another shutdown corner in A.J. Bouye to deal with Hogan. It’s not a good match-up to start him, especially after he was only fourth in targets last week. Hogan is primarily a deep threat and his utility will probably measured in pass interference calls while the receptions go Gronk and James White.
WR – Corey Davis
If Marcus Mariota is unable to play, I’m not assuming that Davis will be very well off with Blaine Gabbert. Between those two quarterbacks, Davis did get 13 targets but he’s up against a Houston defense that will force check-down throws all day. Between health problems and inconsistent play, the Titans offense is not a great place for productivity unless you have Dion Lewis.
TE – Evan Engram
Eli Manning had 37 passing attempts and targeted Engram only five times, leaving the tight end behind Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shephard, and Saquon Barkley in that category. Engram will face a tough Cowboys defense that held the Panthers in check last week. It should be a low-scoring game, featuring a battle between Barkley and Ezekiel Elliott. Engram won’t make much of an impression.
FLEX – Peyton Barber
He’s a good player to stash after getting 19 carries against the Saints, but he wasn’t able to do much with those opportunities. Even if he did, there will probably be less room to run against the Eagles defense. The Bucs offense as a whole will come back down to earth, but Barber will be particularly ineffective.
DEF – Jacksonville Jaguars
If any defense is capable of a good day against Tom Brady, it’s this one. But a good day against Brady is not necessarily a good day in fantasy football. I expect the Jaguars to hold the Patriots to a modest scoring number, but there will be zero turnovers and therefore very low fantasy production.
I’ll compare the Starts against the Sits next week. Call me out @ThisFromAndrew.