Week 2’s edition of Fantasy Football Sit ’em, Start ’em.
Eli Manning- Last week Derek Carr shredded the Saints’ defense for 319 yards and 22 fantasy points. If there was any thought that the Saints would be better against the pass this year, it was put to bed right from the get-go. The Giants’ pass heavy offense makes Eli a must start this week. It’s also worth mentioning that Eli threw for 350 yards and 6 touchdowns against the Saints last season.
Blake Bortles- Even though the Jaguars lost, Bortles shined against the Packers last week. He threw for 320 yards and a touchdown and nearly upset one of the top teams in the NFL. His matchup is much easier this week as he’ll face a bottom tier San Diego defense. A defense that allowed Alex Smith to throw for 330 yards last week. If Alex Smith can put up those numbers, just imagine what Bortles can do with his top-notch receiving weapons and pass first offense.
Jameis Winston- Winston was nothing short of spectacular last week, but that was against the Falcons. This week, he faces a much tougher opponent in the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals were the 8th ranked passing defense last season and have upgraded their personnel, with Tyrann Mathieu coming back from injury and their acquisition of Chandler Jones. Yeah, the Cardinals failed to take care of business against a depleted Patriots team last week, but I don’t expect lightning to strike twice in the same place. Winston will have a tough time going against one of the league’s top defenses on the road.
Jimmy Garoppolo- Another player who is coming off a good week, Jimmy G has a lot of hype going into Week 2. Although Garoppolo did play well against the Cardinals, he only scored 13 fantasy points. Sure, he’ll be facing a weaker opponent in the Dolphins, but the Dolphins did hold Russell Wilson to just 11 fantasy points in Week 1. My point being, you can find a better fantasy option than Garoppolo this week.
DeAngelo Williams- As good as the Steelers’ passing game is, they never neglect their ground attack. Last week, DeAngelo tallied 143 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries. This week, DeAngelo and the Steelers will face the Bengals, who allowed the fourth most rushing yards in Week 1 at the hands of Matt Forte and the Jets. Expect DeAngelo to put up RB1 numbers once again this week.
Rashad Jennings- Jennings got off to a slow start in last week’s contest against the Cowboys, but heated up as the game went on. He finished the day with a respectable 75 yards on 18 attempts. This week, he’ll have a much easier time finding running room against the Saints, who allowed the second most rushing yards last season.
Jeremy Langford- Against the Texans’ tough front seven, Langford put up 11 fantasy points and saw a majority of the teams carries; dispelling any thoughts that the Bears would use an RBBC. As the clear number one, Langford will play an Eagles’ defense that allowed 120 yards and 5.7 YPC against the Browns. To put that in perspective, Cleveland had the 22nd fewest rushing yards last season. Start Langford on Monday night as a high-end RB2.
DeMarco Murray- Although he salvaged his week by scoring two touchdowns, Murray was highly inefficient in Week 1. He ran for 42 yards on 13 attempts. Facing a Lions defense that allowed just 83 rushing yards last week, Murray will be touchdown dependent on having a good Week 3 performance.
Eddie Lacy- Lacy underperformed in Week 1 and I don’t expect things to get any easier for him. Minnesota held the Titans to just 64 yards on 22 attempts (2.9 YPC) last week. I’m a believer in the Lacy comeback, but I think that will start after this week. Lacy looks to be a mid RB2 with RB1 upside if he can find pay dirt.
Devonta Freeman- Freeman’s fantasy outlook for this season doesn’t look good. Not only did he severely underperform in Week 1 (11 carries for 20 yards), but he has Tevin Coleman breathing down his neck. Coleman was originally supposed to start ahead of Freeman last season, until he fractured his ribs. Freeman’s unexpected high level of play last season allowed him steal the job from Coleman, but now his struggles are allowing Coleman to win back the job. I expect this week for Coleman to further eat into Freeman’s workload, making him nothing more than a flex play for me.
Sterling Shepard- Shepard was an active contributor to the Giants’ offense in his first NFL game, and I expect him to reap in the benefits of Eli Manning’s success of Sunday.
Tajae Sharpe- Sharpe’s preseason hype was met on Sunday as he led all Titans’ receivers with seven receptions for 71 yards. I think Sharpe is just getting started. The Titans will benefit from an easier matchup against the Lions, who allowed 368 passing yards and four passing touchdowns last week. Because of a broken ground game, the Titans will revert to passing, thus increasing Sharpe’s production.
Mohamed Sanu- After flying under the radar in the preseason, Sanu exploded Week 1 for 80 yards and a touchdown off of five receptions. While I don’t think I’m going to hop on the Sanu bandwagon just yet, he faces a great matchup Week 2 against the Raiders. Last week, the Raiders allowed Drew Brees to throw for 419 yards and four touchdowns. This week, Sanu should be heavily involved in the offense and will be a solid flex play with WR2 upside.
Dez Bryant- Does any remember if Dez Bryant played on Sunday? Probably not, because he only had one reception for eight yards. Dez’s fantasy owners shouldn’t panic, but I think it will take another week until we see normal Dez numbers. After all the criticism the Redskins received this week because Josh Norman rarely covered Antonio Brown, I think Norman will be on Dez for a majority of this game. Last season, Dez had just two receptions for 26 yards against Norman.
T.Y. Hilton- Hilton was outperformed by fellow wide receivers Phillip Dorsett and Donte Moncrief last week. And that was when Andrew Luck threw for 368 yards. This week, he matches up against one of the toughest secondaries in the league. On the road in Denver, Hilton should be nothing more than a flex play for this week.
Tavon Austin- The Rams are a mess and they have one of the worst quarterback situations in the league. Regardless of matchup, Tavon Austin will be too inconsistent to be trusted. He has a lot of talent and potential, but no one to get him the ball right now.
Julius Thomas- Thomas was a favorite target of Bortles in Week 1, reeling in five catches for 64 yards and a touchdown. In a week where a vast majority of tight ends underperformed, Thomas shined and I expect that to continue this week against San Diego. Last week, the Chargers gave up the second most receiving yards to tight ends.
Kyle Rudolph- You know who allowed the most receiving yards to tight ends last week? The Packers with 112 yards. As of writing this, the Vikings haven’t announced their QB for Week 2, but I think both choices won’t hurt Rudolph. With Bradford or Hill, Rudolph will remain one of the team’s top red zone targets.
Jared Cook- Aaron Rodgers has never fully utilized his tight ends and that probably won’t change with Jared Cook. In Sunday’s game against the Jaguars, Cook had just one reception for seven yards. Going up against a stout Vikings’ defense, Cook should remain out of your starting lineup.
Austin Seferian Jenkins- ASJ scored all his fantasy points last week on one 30 yard touchdown reception. The Bucs face a difficult matchup, especially Seferian-Jenkins. Last week, the Cardinals held Martellus Bennett to just 14 yards. Don’t be fooled by his fifth tight end ranking, it’s only Week 2 and ASJ cannot be trusted yet.