Welcome to Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Quarterbacks edition for Week 2 of the 2021 NFL season. In this week’s column, we take a look at Jameis Winston’s re-insertion into the fantasy spotlight. Plus, a few top scorers from last week that you may want to avoid.
* Reminder: Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em is intended to present you with the non-obvious choices for your fantasy lineup. We dig deep into player matchups, scoring trends, and other factors to best help you with your fantasy decisions. Superstars such as Patrick Mahomes will not be found in this column. If you’re looking for players of his caliber check out our weekly fantasy football quarterback rankings.
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QB: Start ‘Em
Justin Herbert vs. DAL
Herbert finished Week 1 as QB26 — and I couldn’t care less. His volume was mouth-watering, as his 47 attempts ranked seventh in the NFL. Those numbers will eventually convert to fantasy projection and chances are that will happen this week vs. Dallas. The Cowboys allowed 379 yards passing and four touchdowns on 50 attempts in their opener. They also allowed 33 passing touchdowns to quarterbacks a season ago, tied for fifth-most in football.
Jameis Winston at CAR
Winston will be the top waiver add this week — and deservingly so. His five touchdowns netted him a QB4 finish for Week 1. However, the attempts (20) and yards (148) were low vs. Green Bay. Expect those latter two numbers to change for the better in Week 2 against a Panthers defense that surrendered nearly 20 fantasy points to rookie Zach Wilson a week ago. Winston isn’t a top-five play, but if you’re looking for a low-end QB1, he’s worth a play, as Carolina has surrendered 36 touchdowns to quarterbacks over their last 17 games.
Ryan Tannehill vs. SEA
Tannehill struggled to get the Titans’ offense rolling in Week 1 — don’t expect that to spill over into Week 2. Tannehill has not finished a season lower than QB9 since taking over for Marcus Mariota in 2019. The Seahawks were one of just two teams to allow an average of 300-plus passing yards per game to opponents in 2020. They started off 2021 by allowing 18.34 points to Carson Wentz, who was throwing to the likes of Zach Pascal and Mike Strachan — not exactly AJ Brown and Julio Jones.
Baker Mayfield vs. HOU
Mayfield has actually averaged 302 passing yards over five of his last six games and compiled 18 touchdowns over his last 11 games. The Texans allowed the eighth-most yards (270.3 per game) and tied for the eighth-most passing touchdowns (30) surrendered last season.
Sleeper: Teddy Bridgewater at JAC
Bridgewater averaged 17.61 points per game over the 16-game fantasy season a year ago and has now scored at least 20 points in four of his last seven games thanks to his 20.46 point performance against the Giants in Denver’s 2021 opener. The Jaguars allowed a top-11 finish to Tyrod Taylor last week (23.64 points).
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QB: Sit ‘Em
Jalen Hurts vs. SF
The 49ers were lit up by Jared Goff last week. Yet, his 338 yards passing came on a whopping 57 attempts. Hurts, on the other hand, has averaged 33.6 attempts per game over his five career starts. Since the 49ers’ Week 11 bye last season, only two quarterbacks have eclipsed 18.14 points against them.
Sam Darnold vs. NO
If you’ve got room to stash him, Darnold has two extremely welcoming matchups on the horizon (Houston, Dallas, Philadelphia and Minnesota). However, this is not one of those weeks. The Saints allowed the sixth-fewest points to quarterbacks in 2020 and kicked off 2021 by limiting Aaron Rodgers to just 3.32 points.
Buyers Beware: Derek Carr at PIT
Carr turned back the clock to circa 2016 late in Monday night’s victory over Baltimore, looking like his former MVP caliber self. Not sure how long that will last, nor how many times we’ll see him attempt 56 passes in a game. Carr’s 517 attempts last season ranked just 14th in the NFL. Plus, the Steelers held Josh Allen to a bottom-10 point finish in Week 1 and allowed the second-fewest points to the position a season ago.