The first slate of NFL games gave us plenty of highs and lows as we head into Week 2. The key for this week is reacting to a limited sample size of data to make the best lineup decisions. My Week 2 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em helps you make the best possible fantasy choices by making sense of what we saw last weekend.
As a reminder, just because someone is worth picking up on your waiver wire does not mean they should be immediately started in your lineup this week. There are quite a few intriguing rookie wide receivers that are available in most leagues, but I would like to stash them on my bench until they show consistent production. Be sure to check out my waiver wire column outlining this week’s top pickups.
Until further notice, you should also continue starting your studs even if they had a lackluster performance. Players like Mike Evans and James Conner need to be in your Week 2 lineup even though they disappointed fantasy owners last weekend.
The Ravens May Not Play the Dolphins Every Week, But Baltimore’s Offense Looks for Real
The Ravens will not have the good fortune of playing the Dolphins every week, but here are a few reasons to buy-in to the Baltimore offense. The Ravens spent much of the offseason surrounding Lamar Jackson with weapons. As The Ringer’s Bill Simmons pointed out, Jackson inherited an offense built around Joe Flacco, and now has a system that plays to his strengths. They picked up veteran running back Mark Ingram who is a perfect fit in Baltimore and added speedster Justice Hill as insurance via the draft.
They also selected speedy wide receivers in Marquise Brown and Miles Boykin who contributed immediately in Week 1. If Brown can stay on the field, the Ravens may have found their star receiver. This is an offense that you want to add as many available pieces as possible.
Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @JonDAdams with your lineup or general fantasy football questions. Here is a look at my top Week 2 Starts and Sits.
Start Ravens QB Lamar Jackson vs. Cardinals & Sit Bengals QB Andy Dalton vs. 49ers
We’re going to continue riding Jackson until the Ravens offense proves untrustworthy. Jackson was a player we recommended starting last week, and also was in our best DFS lineup picks. All Jackson did was throw for 324 passing yards and five touchdowns while having the highest possible passer rating.
That’s the good news, and the only bad news is that the Ravens do not face the Dolphins defense again this week. Fans should temper their expectations a bit given Jackson’s fantasy numbers are unlikely to be this high every week.
However, it is worth noting that Jackson only had six rushing yards and zero touchdowns on the ground. The Ravens quarterback will likely add more rushing yards as the season goes forward. Nothing about the Cardinals defense scares us from starting Jackson this week.
Andy Dalton did work against a challenging Seattle defense on the road, but it is unlikely this is repeatable this week. Dalton faces a 49ers defense that gave Jameis Winston fits, and the Bengals quarterback is best left on your bench.
QB Starts for Week 2: Tom Brady is an obvious start against the Dolphins which looks to be the worst team in the NFL. Brady gets even more of a boost if Antonio Brown plays this week. Look for Josh Allen to be in the top-12 conversation this week against a Giants defense that is still giving up touchdowns as we speak.
It is hard to call Matt Ryan a “start” this week after his Week 1 performance, but I do think he bounces back at home. If Ryan is your only quarterback, you should feel comfortable putting him in your lineup.
QB Sits for Week 2: Things don’t get any easier for Mitch Trubisky, and I want no part of the Bears quarterback against a solid Denver defensive front seven. Kirk Cousins had a great Week 1 against the Falcons, but I have my doubts this week on the road against a much-improved Packers defense.
Start Niners RB Matt Breida vs. Bengals & Sit Packers RB Aaron Jones vs. Vikings
Matt Breida got off to a rocky start to the season, but he should see plenty of touches with Tevin Coleman sidelined. Kyle Shanahan wants to utilize his running backs, and Breida proved fantasy relevant when given opportunities last season. The Bengals did a solid job against the Seahawks, but Chris Carson managed to still have a solid outing. You can expect the same from Breida in Week 2, and I would put him in the RB2 category against Cincinnati.
There is a chance Aaron Jones bounces back from a challenging Week 1, but you should be concerned. Jones faces a Vikings defense that stifled the Falcons running backs. For where you drafted Jones, you may not be able to sit him, but if you have other reasonable options you should put them in your lineup.
RB Starts for Week 2: The Bucs are still using a running back by committee, but it looks like only a matter of time before Ronald Jones wins the majority of carries. If you need a flex or a low-end RB2 then Jones is a solid option against the Panthers. Austin Ekeler will continue his hot streak as the Chargers take on the Lions. Both Marlon Mack and Derrick Henry are must-starts as their teams square off against each other in Week 2.
RB Sits for Week 2: The running back landscape is looking scarce and right now there are a number of teams that do not have a rusher you want to start in fantasy. Teams that should be completely avoided unless you are in a deep league include the Chiefs, Bears, Eagles, Dolphins and Bills. It is still unclear how these teams are going to divide touches on a weekly basis, and you should go with safer options if you have them on your roster.
Start Raiders WR Tyrell Williams vs. Chiefs & Sit WR DeSean Jackson vs. Falcons
Tyrell Williams showed why he is the chief beneficiary of Antonio Brown leaving town. Williams had six receptions for 105 yards and a touchdown against the Broncos. The receiver looks to be the Raiders new WR1 moving forward and Derek Carr was solid on Monday Night Football. The Chiefs’ defense just allowed multiple receivers to have great fantasy outings so expect another big game for Williams.
DeSean Jackson showed why many people were optimistic about the wide receiver returning to Philly. What we know about Jackson is that he is boom-or-bust from week to week. Jackson could be a WR3 flyer this week, but fans should expect his targets to vary weekly in a crowded Eagles wide receiver group.
WR Starts for Week 2: If Brown is active against the Dolphins, you are putting him in your lineup. Even if Brown does not play all the snaps, he only needs a few big plays against a bad Dolphins defense to be worth a start. Allen Robinson looks to be the clear WR1 in Chicago and was the lone bright spot for the Bears offense in Week 1.
Courtland Sutton had a breakout performance against the Raiders. He is in the WR3 and flex conversation in Week 2 against the Bears. John Brown is the early favorite to be the WR1 in Buffalo and has a nice matchup against the Giants.
With Sterling Shepard’s status in doubt, Cody Latimer could eat up all the targets for the Giants that Evan Engram does not see. Expect Sam Darnold to continue looking Jamison Crowder’s way, and you should feel comfortable starting him for the second straight week.
WR Sits for Week 2: There are a lot of available waiver wire wide receivers who went off in Week 1. You should exercise some caution in putting these players directly in your lineup until they put together multiple good games in a row. This is especially true for the rookie wideouts who could struggle with consistency in their first NFL season.
With AJ Green out in Cincinnati, John Ross had an amazing Week 1, but I would like to see another big game from him before I put him in my lineup. You may not be able to sit Stefon Diggs, but the Vikings wide receiver could struggle again against a solid Packers defense.