Los Angeles Rams @ Philadelphia Eagles
Rams RBs: Malcolm Brown should lead this backfield once again. Peyton Barber wasn’t able to get anything going with his 17 carries against the Eagles last week… but Barber usually can’t get anything going against any team. Sean McVay’s outside zone run schemes along with the screen game should keep Brown viable as a RB2 this week. It’s possible Cam Akers starts to mix in more, but Brown looked a lot better than Akers did last week, and a lot would have to happen in practice this week for Akers to take a sizable leap in snaps. It’s also very likely that Brown keeps his goal line role for the foreseeable future. It’s a tough matchup, but Brown should still be in play because of the role he plays on a good offense.
Rams WRs: Robert Woods is a WR1, and he’s been one since his 2019 Week 9 bye. Locked and loaded, even with a shadow by Darius Slay. Woods is going to moved around the rotation, and will avoid Slay enough due to McVay scheming him away from him. Cooper Kupp gets an upgrade because of Slay potentially on Woods on most plays, so he should be upgraded to a WR2 with more upside than usual… adding the fact that the Rams will likely attack through the air instead of against a tough run defense. Steven Sims caught 3 of his 3 targets from the slot last week for 50 yards, so Kupp should be able to do some damage with a little bit of volume.
Rams TE: Tyler Higbee has the same role he had late last year, and now Gerald Everett is also banged up with a back injury. Higbee is a low-end TE1 this week; Washington’s Logan Thomas was able to score on a wide open red zone TD last week, so the hope is that Higbee can get open at some point as well.
Rams QB: Jared Goff is a decent streaming option this week if you need one. He didn’t need to throw a TD last week because of the success in the running game, but it was a great matchup for him regardless. He’s a low-end QB1.
Eagles RBs: Miles Sanders should be back this week, hoping he can get a couple of full practices in. Since he’ll be involved enough in the pass game, he’s a solid RB1 despite the offensive line issues.
Eagles WRs: DeSean Jackson had a disappointing stat line after catching only 2 of his 7 targets for 46 yards. He had the most air yards of any WR with less than 50 receiving yards in Week 1, and he did all this with only a 54% snap share. The Eagles need to get their offensive line fixed before Jackson can have a big game, but he should still be treated as a high-upside WR3. He was a high-upside WR2 for me last week, but if he’s not going to see a full complement of snaps, and he’s not going to get a ton of catchable balls like last week, it’s tough to count on him as much.
Jalen Reagor should be rostered, as he is working his way back into some target share after being out of practice for a while.
By the way, Jalen Ramsey will likely not shadow either of these guys, as Jackson is too fast for him, and Reagor hasn’t proven himself just yet. They both will get their opportunities away from Ramsey’s coverage.
Eagles TE: Zach Ertz is still the guy, but Dallas Goedert is also very much the other guy. Goedert’s huge game last week is why you continue to play him as a solid TE1 this week. Blake Jarwin got hurt early last week, so there isn’t much of a sample on this year’s Rams defense when it comes to covering tight ends. Either way, the Rams will have to pick their poison with these two. Both top-8 options this week.
Eagles QB: Carson Wentz couldn’t get anything going after starting off the game nicely because of all the pressure that was getting to him. Washington sacked him 8 times last week, and the Rams will be applying a lot of pressure as well. I would stay off of Wentz until this offensive line gets better, or they play a team that doesn’t have much of a pass rush.
Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Panthers RBs: You’re starting CMC. Let’s hope his target volume goes back up a bit. Not that he needs it to be a high-end RB1, but that’s what made him THE RB1. The targets were very distributed under the Panthers new coaching regime, and CMC will likely need to get a lot of work in the passing game or score to come through for you in fantasy in what is a very tough matchup for RBs.
Panthers WRs: DJ Moore had a disappointing result, but he still led the team in targets and air yards. He’s a low-end WR1 this week against a team who limited Michael Thomas to 3 catches for 17 yards on 5 targets. Remember, Thomas hurt his ankle at the very end of the game, so this was just good defense by Carlton Davis, who shadowed Thomas. Davis might be the new corner we are weary of when starting our WR1s; he played very well against Julio Jones a couple of times, and shut down DeAndre Hopkins last year in a matchup as well.
This can boost Robby Anderson a bit, whose usage was very interesting; he wasn’t just targeted deep, but he was targeted on all types of routes while being treated as the #2 WR with 1 less target than Moore. He played almost every snap with Moore, as well, and lined up all over the field just like Moore did. while Moore is busy with Davis, Robby will see a lot of Jamel Dean, who allowed almost half a fantasy point per route run against him last week.
Curtis Samuel stuck to the slot almost exclusively, so he and Robby Anderson will see some of Sean Murphy-Bunting, who allowed 4 catches on 5 targets along with a TD out of the slot last week. We’ll see if Samuel can maintain his target share, but it seems a bit unsustainable for each of these WRs to have 8+ targets per week. Anderson is the preferred play for me between the two because of his larger depth of target.
Panthers QB: Teddy Bridgewater will likely get to a point where he’s startable in 12-team leagues, but we want to see it happen first. He has the weapons, and he’ll be throwing the ball a lot this season.
Buccaneers RBs: Ronald Jones was the clear back in the Bucs backfield in Week 1, and Leonard Fournette didn’t show anything to suggest he will start taking some of that share away; Fournette only played on 13% of snaps. It was basically Jones on early downs and LeSean McCoy on passing downs. If this offense turns out to be good, Jones will have some value. He’s a solid RB2 this week based on his great matchup; the Panthers have allowed 27 rushing TDs last year, and then gave up another 3 to Josh Jacobs last week. I would try and find a way to get Jones in my lineup as they will likely be a) short handed in pass game without Chris Godwin and b) be in a positive to neutral game script throughout the game.
Side note: I don’t necessarily believe that Fournette will necessarily take over as long as Jones is doing well, so I would buy low on Jones while I can before this matchup.
Buccaneers WRs: Chris Godwin most likely will be out because of a concussion. He didn’t practice on Thursday in any capacity, and he had delayed onset symptoms; that means this could be a multi-week issue. Bruce Arians is “sad” that he didn’t plan to get the ball to Mike Evans more, but he was locked up, and that’s ok. This week, he’s not going to have that problem with James Bradberry out of town, so he’s a high-end WR1 play this week, regardless of whether Godwin is in the lineup.
Scotty Miller gets a boost if Godwin is out, and he showed to have a solid role last week when one of their two alpha WRs aren’t targeted. Preferred in PPR.
Buccaneers TEs: OJ Howard ended up out-targeting Gronk last week, and that can continue, but Gronk played more snaps and ran 2 more routes than Howard did. With Godwin out, both get a slight bump, but good luck picking the right guy. Neither are in my top-12 TEs for Week 2.
Buccaneers QB: The Panthers defense is pretty bad, so Tom Brady is still a low-end QB1 start despite him potentially not having Chris Godwin. He still has Evans and his TEs.
Denver Broncos @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Broncos RBs: Phillip Lindsay will most likely be out this week with a turf toe issue, but even if he plays, that injury should limit him to the point where Melvin Gordon gets near 20 touches. Despite the touch matchup, Gordon should be considered a RB2 because of his usage in the passing game and goal line role.
Broncos WRs: Jerry Jeudy led the Broncos with 8 targets out of the slot in Courtland Sutton’s absence. We’ll see if Sutton makes it back on a short week, but his limited practice on Wednesday was a good sign. This is a tough matchup all around for the Broncos WRs, but Jeudy’s matchup isn’t terribly bad. Sutton should be downgraded to high-end WR3 if he plays and Jeudy would be a PPR flex play this week. If no Sutton, Jeudy becomes a solid WR3 in PPR leagues. Update: Sutton is a game-time decision. If he plays, I would view him as an upside WR3 with him not 100%.
Broncos TEs: Noah Fant had a great game last week, and he should continue to be a favorite of Drew Lock’s, especially if he’s without Sutton in the lineup. Fant should be a considered as a low-end TE1 this week with upside.
Steelers RBs: James Conner is practicing in full, but I would be very hesitant to play Conner this week, even if he’s active. There’s a chance he aggravates again, and I just rather have a more reliable option. This isn’t a matchup that is worrisome, and I would view Conner as a risky but high-upside RB2. I want to play him for the upside, but I don’t want to get killed at my RB2 spot. It’s a tough decision.
Steelers WRs: Juju Smith-Schuster will have a big advantage against Denver’s secondary with AJ Bouye on IR, because Bryce Callahan will move outside and undrafted rookie Essang Bassey will man the nickel for the Broncos. Usual nickel corner Bryce Callahan and rookie 3rd rounder Michael Ojemudia will man the outside, so Diontae Johnson will have also have a plus matchup. View Juju as a low-end WR1 and Johnson as a solid WR3 with upside.
Steelers TEs: Eric Ebron hyped himself up a ton this offseason, but he only was targeted twice. He was on the field for 62% of snaps, so there is some promise here. He doesn’t need to be on the field a ton to have some value, as his real value is in the end zone. I’m not playing him, but still keeping an eye on him.
Steelers QB: Ben Roethlisberger got it together after the slow start, and you can’t blame him for the slow start after missing a year. He has enough weapons to keep him in the QB1 conversation. Low-end QB1 this week in a great matchup at home.
Atlanta Falcons @ Dallas Cowboys
Falcons RBs: Todd Gurley was on the field for less than 50% of snaps last week, but his 19 opportunities while he was on the field was a good sign. He has the goal line work, and the 5 targets can keep him afloat as a RB2, especially in PPR leagues. He’s a solid RB2 in PPR leagues this week against a Cowboys defense that allowed Malcolm Brown to consistently create against them.
Falcons WRs: You’re starting Julio Jones as a WR1, and Calvin Ridley as a high-end WR2. The Cowboys’ secondary outside of their slot corner isn’t there yet, so these two have a lot of upside this week in what can be the highest scoring game of the week.
Falcons TEs: Hayden Hurst had a disappointing Week 1 with his 5 targets, but was top-8 in routes/QB dropback, and given how many dropbacks Matt Ryan had in Week 1, Hurst was first in routes run among TEs. Russell Gage will probably see a lesser target share in Week 2, so some of that opportunity can go Hurst’s way. Don’t give up on him, but he remains a low-end TE1 this week. Keep in mind that the Cowboys limited Tyler Higbee to 3 catches in Week 1.
Falcons QB: Matt Ryan is a top-5 play this week in what can be a shootout. Vegas views this as the highest scoring game of the week with an over/under of 52.5.
Cowboys RBs: Start Zeke, he looked great in Week 1; he played on 88% of snaps.
Cowboys WRs: Three Cowboys WRs are startable this week; we saw the Seahawks take advantage of the Falcons secondary with their WRs, and Dallas can do the same this week. Amari Cooper is a low-end WR1, Michael Gallup is a low-end WR2, and CeeDee Lamb is a solid WR3 in PPR leagues. Atlanta allowed the 6th most fantasy points to WRs last week against the Seahawks.
Cowboys QB: Start Dak Prescott as a high-end QB1 despite his poor fantasy output in Week 1, for the same reasons as Matt Ryan.
San Francisco 49ers @ NY Jets
49ers RBs: Raheem Mostert led the 49ers backfield as expected to start the year and saw 15 carries… but the real damage was done in the passing game – he caught 4 of 5 targets for 95 yards, including a 76 yard catch and run for a TD. If he continues to rack up targets, that will be exactly what Mostert would need to make him a reliable fantasy asset on a weekly basis. He already had the upside, but his floor wasn’t guaranteed. He’s a solid RB2 this week against the Jets, despite the tough matchup. Great scheme and positive/neutral game script vs tough rushing matchup…. I bet on Kyle Shanahan.
Jerick McKinnon is a deep PPR flex if needed. He showed some promise in his first game back in almost 3 years. He only had 6 touches, but did see 5 targets, and had the most red zone use (5 opportunities in red zone compared to 1 for Mostert), and he did catch a TD while in the red zone. Mostert dominated snaps though, with 37, but McKinnon was 2nd with 19, and Coleman came in 3rd with 6. He’s a hold on benches if you’re not starting him, especially in PPR leagues.
49ers WRs: Deebo Samuel is on IR, but Brandon Aiyuk practiced in full on Wednesday. I don’t want to start him just yet, but he does have a great matchup against the Jets. If he’s on your waiver wire, I would stash him before that game in case he blows up.
49ers TEs: Hopefully George Kittle plays, but he’ll likely be out of practice this week. With him out of practice completely, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of him missing this week, especially since the 49ers are playing the hot mess that is the Jets. If Kittle misses, Jordan Reed is a legit borderline top-15 option at TE.
49ers QB: Jimmy G has a good matchup, but there are likely 14 other QBs I rather start over him this week. Not enough weapons for me to be confident in him.
Jets RBs: No Le’Veon Bell means no go near this backfield. That wasn’t a typo.
Jets WRs: Jamison Crowder has been ruled out this week with a hamstring injury. That basically leaves Breshad Perriman, who will likely see volume. Perriman is a desperate heave in your flex for some upside.
Jets TE: Chris Herndon will likely be the biggest beneficiary if Crowder is out of the lineup, but Herndon will still likely get 5+ targets either way. Herndon is a top-8 option if Crowder misses, and remains a low-end TE1 even if Crowder doesn’t.
Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins
Bills RBs: Here was the breakdown between Moss and Singletary last week:
Zack Moss: 9 rush, 4 targets, 43% of snaps, 10 red zone opportunities (rush + targets)
Devin Singletary: 9 rush, 7 targets, 57% of snaps, 3 red zone opportunities (rush + targets)
I expected Zack Moss to have a slightly higher overall share, but there was no point of the Bills just battering into the Jets solid run defense. The fact that Moss had this much of the share along, along with seeing 4 targets, and along with the red zone usage he saw (multiple end zone targets on top of the 3 rushing attempts inside the 5), makes his fantasy future very bright.
I would be trying to offload Singletary if possible while trading for Moss. I would value Moss as a flex right now with future RB2 value. Moss is another example of a RB in a backfield where he will be seeing valuable opportunities on top of the even number of rushing attempts – targets and the goal line work.
Moss came into the league with the highest yards per attempt for any RB of the 2020 draft class, so I would not assume that Singletary will be the only back getting targets out of the backfield.
The Bills see the Dolphins in Week 2, and they didn’t necessarily shut down the Patriots RBs, so it’s possible Moss will be tougher to obtain after this week.
I’m playing Moss this week over Singletary as an upside flex option.
Bills WRs: Last week, Stefon Diggs and John Brown combined for 19 targets – Brown had 10, Diggs had 9, and both came through for fantasy. Will their two RBs only combine for 18 carries most weeks? Probably not; the Jets play very well against the run. This week, Diggs and Brown both have tougher matchups against Byron Jones, and we’re not sure whether Xavien Howard will make his season debut or not (he was limited in practice on Wednesday). Between the two, Brown will have the tougher matchup – he lined up on Jones’ side on 62% of his routes last week, while Diggs will line up on Howard or his backup’s side. Diggs is a low-end WR2 this week, while Brown is an upside flex option in what should be a more run-heavy week for the Bills.
Bills QB: Josh Allen should continue to be started as a top-8 QB option. He lost multiple fumbles last week, but still ended up killing it for fantasy.
Dolphins RBs: Jordan Howard was limited in Week 1 due to a hamstring tweak, but he did return to the game. Between Howard and Matt Breida, it was actually Myles Gaskin who led the backfield in snaps and touches – 9 carries and 4 targets, which is decent usage considering they were playing against the Patriots. Gaskin should be on people’s radars to see if he continues to lead the backfield in carries and targets, but he’s not a start this week because of the unknown opportunity and the tough Bills defense.
Dolphins WRs: It’s possible DeVante Parker misses this week against the Bills, and if he does, expect Tre’Davious White to shadow Preston Williams. If Parker plays, I don’t want to play him because of another potential aggravation during the game. Williams gets bumped to an upside flex if Parker misses, but the tough matchup will likely have me stay away.
Minnesota Vikings @ Indianapolis Colts
Vikings RBs: Dalvin Cook didn’t get a ton of touches (13 or 14 opportunities) or play on a ton of snaps (58%), while Alexander Mattison chipped in 10 touches on 37% of snaps. Hopefully that’s not a sign of things to come, but it’s worth noting that the Vikings were down the entire game to the Packers. Cook is still a RB1 play this week against the Colts.
Vikings WRs: Adam Thielen or bust. He had 8 targets, and the next highest on the team was 4. He’s a WR1 play. Thielen plays a majority of his snaps on the right side of the formation, and the Colts gave up the 5th most fantasy points to WRs on that side last week.
Vikings TEs: I wish they played in a scheme that used these guys in the passing, and I wish they didn’t take away from each other. Am I wishing for too much?
Vikings QB: Kirk Cousins doesn’t have enough weapons to be considered a streamer for me at this point. He got it done last week, but his 2 TDs were to Thielen, and that’s not going to happen every week.
Colts RBs: Jonathan Taylor should be a viewed as a RB1 after the unfortunate Marlon Mack injury. Nyheim Hines and Mack were the only guys in the rotation before Mack got hurt, so Hines will continue to play a big role. A lot of comparisons have been made to Gordon/Ekeler, but I view Hines more as a Darren Sproles/Danny Woodhead type in this offense. What that means is he will rack up a 5-8 receptions per game on all downs and give you a high floor in PPR leagues. View Hines as a PPR RB2 this week; Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams combined for 8 receptions last week, but give credit to the Vikings as they held them in check for the most part.
Colts WRs: It was a given that Davante Adams was going to destroy the Vikings secondary, but the Packers’ other WRs chipped in with big games as well.
Both TY Hilton and Parris Campbell had 9 targets in Week 1, and both ran an almost equal number of routes on an almost equal number of snaps. Zack Pascal and Michael Pittman shared the WR3 role.
This week, Hilton should be treated as a WR2, while Campbell a solid WR3 with upside out of the slot.
Colts TE: Jack Doyle is out this week.
Colts QB: Phillip Rivers is a solid streamer this week considering he has weapons and he’s going up against a terrible Vikings secondary that Aaron Rodgers destroyed in Week 1.
Detroit Lions @ Green Bay Packers
Lions RBs: D’Andre Swift played the most snaps of any Lions RB in Week 1, but his role was mostly confined to the passing game. It’s encouraging that he’s playing this big of a role after just coming back from an injury without much practice time, but we’ll have to wait for more work before we can put him in our lineup. If you’re in a deep PPR league, he’s a flex.
Adrian Peterson is the main early down back, and he looked good. He took 14 carries for 93 yards last week against Chicago, and added a few catches as well. He’s a legit flex start this week with the upside of a goal line TD to add to his work on the ground.
You can drop Kerryon Johnson at this point.
Lions WRs: Kenny Golladay didn’t practice on Thursday with that hamstring injury, so it’s possible he doesn’t play this week. If he gets in a full practice on Friday, put him in your lineup, but if he doesn’t, I would be hard pressed to. Marvin Jones would get an upgrade once again if Golladay is out or if he’s limited. Jones didn’t come through last week, but he saw legit opportunity and is still in the fringe WR2 conversation. Quintez Cephus led the Lions with 10 targets in Week 1 without Golladay, but it’ll be tough to trust him after he only caught 3 of those 10. He’s a cheap DFS flier in tournaments.
Lions TE: TJ Hockenson caught all 5 of his targets for 56 yards and a TD last week, and he’s in the TE1 conversation this week once again if Kenny Golladay misses. Hockenson can be on the verge of a breakout either way, so don’t necessarily depend on Golladay to have Hock in your lineup.
Lions QB: Matt Stafford threw the ball 42 times last week, and this will likely be an every-week type of thing. If Golladay plays, I would have Stafford as a solid QB1, but if not, I’d leave him on the bench or waiver wire.
Packers RBs: Start Aaron Jones as a high upside RB2. Jones and Williams were splitting work while their game was competitive with the Vikings last week; hopefully Jones sees 15+ touches, but his 6 targets in Week 1 was a great sign.
Packers WRs: Davante Adams is the WR1, he’s in. While Allen Lazard only saw 4 targets, he was the only other Packers WR who played a full complement of snaps. Marquez Valdes-Scantling played on about half the sanps, but he caught 4 of 6 targets for 96 yards and a TD. MVS is more boom/bust, and Lazard is the better play if you’re looking for a better shot at solid production. Both are desperate upside flex options this week, but they have both great matchups against a banged up Lions secondary.
Packers QB: Aaron Rodgers is going up against a Lions secondary where three of their CBs have hamstring injuries. He has a chance to light it up once again, so he’s a top-10 option this week.
New York Giant @ Chicago Bears
Giants RBs: Saquon had a rough week in his season debut, but the Steelers front-seven is no joke. He’ll have better weeks coming, and that can start this week. Adrian Peterson gained 93 yards on 14 carries, and added 20 yards on 3 catches. We’re talking Adrian Peterson here, so if he can do it, Barkley should be in line for a big day. He’s an elite RB1 play, despite not being able to get going in the run game last week.
Giants WRs: It’ll be pretty hard to bench Darius Slayton after his Week 1 performance against the Steelers; he caught 6 of 9 targets for 102 yards and a TD. He should be in your lineups, but as an upside WR3. There is still a possibility that Evan Engram, Sterling Shepard, and Saquon Barkley get more targets in front of Slayton, but with Golden Tate potentially out again, it’ll be Slayton in on all offensive snaps with Shepard. If he’s on the field, Daniel Jones is going to look his way. It’s worth nothing that the Bears allowed 5+ passing plays of 20 yards last week to the Lions, so Slayton will have opportunities for big plays. Shepard is a PPR flex play this week until he shows that he will get more volume.
Giants TE: Evan Engram had a disappointing Week 1 against the Steelers, only catching 2 of his 7 targets for 9 yards. The 7 targets was encouraging, and Chicago gave up a catch on all 5 of Hockenson’s targets and a TD as well. It’ll be hard to trust Engram, but he’s a fringe TE1 this week.
Giants QB: Daniel Jones will have some rushing yards to pad his stat sheet every week, and he’s likely going to be throwing the ball a lot considering the Giants defense isn’t great. He has some weapons, so he’ll be in the QB1 fringe for now until we puts some games together. Last week’s performance wasn’t bad, but we might have to depend on garbage time more often than not with Jones. If you’re looking for an upside play at QB, though, Jones has the ceiling on a weekly basis.
Bears RBs: David Montgomery looked good last week, and didn’t seem to be limited at all after the scary-looking groin injury he suffered late in camp. Like Tarik Cohen said, it’s almost like it never happened. Montgomery will be TD dependent, and he’s also dependent on game flow and Matt Nagy’s mercy of giving him carries. I view Montgomery as a high-end flex option who you’re hoping can convert on a goal line carry. The hope is that Montgomery can carve up the Giants run defense like Benny Snell was able to do in Week 1.
Bears WRs: Allen Robinson is in the midst of a contract dispute with the Bears, but it seems like he doesn’t want to let that affect his work on the field. Expect him to play, and expect him to get targeted a ton. He saw 9 targets last week, caught 5 for 74, which is basically his floor. Diontae Johnson was able to have a decent game on the outside last week, and Robinson should be able to do his thing, regardless of whether he gets shadowed by James Bradberry.
Anthony Miller is an upside flex option this week; he would be higher, but unfortunately Miller was rotating with Tedd Ginn for whatever reason. Miller played on 42% of snaps, Ginn on 43% of snaps, and ARob on 82% of snaps. Miller needs to be on the field more before I trust him in my lineups, but he’ll have boom weeks regardless.
Bears TE: Jimmy Graham had 4 targets in the red zone last week, and the one he caught for a TD was an end zone target. He’s a TD dependent TE who has a better shot to score out of most TE2s.
Bears QB: I don’t want to start Mitch Trubisky ever, but he has always presents fantasy upside. He has weapons, but he’s hard to trust. He’s a high-upside QB2 if you need to shoot for it.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans
Jaguars RBs: James Robinson can potentially get some volume in this game if it stays close. Chris Thompson is still their passing down RB, but Robinson can potentially rack up 15+ touches in this game. He’s an upside flex this week against a Titans rush defense that shouldn’t scare you away. I wouldn’t start Thompson this week, since this matchup doesn’t scream negative game script for the Jaguars… although the Jaguars are 9 point underdogs this week.
Jaguars WRs: Despite only seeing 3 targets last week, DJ Chark was the Jags clear #1 WR. He played on 84% of snaps, compared to Keelan Cole’s 66% and Laviska Shenault’s 62%. He ran 26 routes, compared to Cole’s 22 and Shenault’s 18. Gardner Minshew only threw 20 passes for 173 yards, so all these numbers will go up heavily moving forward. Chark will see Malcolm Butler and dinosaur Johnathan Joseph while Adoree Jackson is still on IR. Chark might go HAM this week; he’s a solid WR2 with WR1 upside in this matchup.
Jaguars QB: Gardner Minshew is a safe play; he has weapons, he a scheme that will help him, and he will likely be in negative game scripts. His receivers have good matchups this week, so he’s a fringe QB1 with a rushing floor to help.
Titans RBs: Start Derrick Henry. He’s going to get a ton of volume in this game.
Titans WRs: Corey Davis will be the WR1 for the Titans this week with AJ Brown most likely out with a bone bruise in his knee. We’ve seen Davis disappear and re-appear over the course of his career, but he’s an upside flex option at best because of his history of disappearing. It’s likely the Titans go run heavy and lean on Derrick Henry, on Jonnu Smith in the pass game, and then have the rest of the targets distributed between Davis and Adam Humphries. Humphries is a deep league PPR flex after catching 6 balls on 7 targets last week. As far as matchup goes, not one you need to stay away from.
Titans TE: Jonnu Smith gets a bump this week with AJ Brown potentially missing this game. All Smith needs is opportunity to shine; he’s a top-10 option at TE this week.
Titans QB: Without AJ Brown, I don’t want to start Tannehill, even in a good matchup.
Washington Football Team @ Arizona Cardinals
Washington RBs: Washington will likely try to get Peyton Barber some volume again, but if the Cardinals go up, he won’t see much of the field. This backfield was a three-way split last week between Barber, JD McKissic, and Antonio Gibson. Gibson is the most valuable fantasy asset, but he’s not necessarily startable just yet. He could break out at some point, and this can be the week, but we aren’t guaranteed a decent workload from him. I would stay away this week, and if you need some TD upside, Barber can get that if Washington get near the goal line. He’s a low-floor, TD-dependent flex option, while I’m waiting and seeing on Gibson.
Washington WRs: Terry McLaurin had a tough matchup against Darius Slay last week, but still had a solid box score. This week, there is no one on the Cardinals that will be able to guard him, including Patrick Peterson. He’s a solid WR2 this week.
Washington TE: Logan Thomas led Washington with 8 targets last week, led the team in air yards (2nd highest percentage of team’s air yards of all TEs in Week 1), played on almost 75% of snaps, and ran a route on all but 6 pass plays. This basically means that Thomas is extremely involved in Washington’s passing offense, so he should be picked up. If you’re strapped at TE, he’s not a bad start, especially against a Cardinals defense known for giving up points to TEs over the last couple of seasons.
Cardinals RBs: Kenyan Drake saw 16 carries and the goal line TD, but only saw 2 targets. Chase Edmonds saw 11 opportunities to Drake’s 18 last week, so there was a bit of a committee in this backfield. Edmonds looked good, so if you can somehow get him in your team, he’s a good stash. Anyway, Drake is a RB1 start, and will likely be very involved to counter Washington’s pass rush. Washington is just a year removed from allowing the 2nd most rushing yards in the NFL.
Cardinals WRs: DeAndre Hopkins’ target share was absolutely ridiculous. Keep him in your lineup as a high-end WR1. No other WR showed to be involved enough to warrant a start, although keep an eye on Christian Kirk, who actually ended up leading the team in air yards last week on only 5 targets. Good matchup against the Cardinals.
Cardinals QB: Kyler Murray played extremely well last week, and ran for 91 yards on top of his 230 passing yards. He’s a top-5 option this week against the Redskins.
Baltimore Ravens @ Houston Texans
Ravens RBs: It’s going to be hard to decide whether you put in Mark Ingram and JK Dobbins in your lineup, but most of the time, the answer is yes. It’s going to be tough to decide, but the chance of scoring on a goal line opportunity is there for both of these guys. Dobbins got the goal line carries last week, but it could very well be Ingram this week. If Dobbins gets them again this week, we can assume a trend is coming, but it seems like OC Greg Roman wants to mix things up. Both Ingram and Dobbins are TD-dependent flexes, and that TD upside is very real with both. Dobbins presents a bit more upside because of his ability to break one one of his carries off. As far as the matchup, it doesn’t necessarily matter with these two; the TDs is where the separation is, because neither will likely get enough volume for that to be the difference maker.
Ravens WRs: Marquise Brown can very well be a WR1 option, but we can’t get too ahead of ourselves just yet. He’s a high upside WR2 until he can string together some games that prove that his target share and production will be there consistently. Expect a shadow from Bradley Roby, who did a decent job on Tyreek Hill last week; not a matchup I stay away from.
Ravens TE: Mark Andrews is on the field more, running more routes, and surprise: he’s still producing. Top-3 TE option this week.
Ravens QB: You starting Lamar this week? I am.
Texans RBs: Duke Johnson has been limited in practice this week, so David Johnson is likely going to play bell-cow level snaps once again in Week 2. It’s a tough matchup, but the hope is that he’s more involved in the receiving game to give him value. He is a solid PPR RB2 this week despite the matchup.
Texans WRs: Brandin Cooks has still been limited in practice, but he should play, and can potentially play more snaps. I feel hard pressed to start Cooks while he’s not 100% against this Ravens pass defense. As far as Will Fuller, he showed that he’s Deshaun Watson’s guy even in a not as tough, but still tough matchup last week against the Chiefs. Would downgrade Fuller a bit to a high-end WR3 with upside.
Texans QB: Deshaun Watson can do his thing in tough matchups, but the upside might not be there this week. He couldn’t get much going against the Chiefs last week, and I’m hard pressed to think he’ll do well this week against a better defense. He still had a good fantasy output because of his rushing TD last week, and while that’s possible this week, I don’t want to bet on it. I’m trying to find an upside streaming option if possible.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Los Angeles Chargers
Chiefs RBs: Start Clyde Edwards-Helaire at a RB1. The Chiefs will likely attempt to go run heavy again rather than attack the Chargers pass defense. They will have no problem doing so if they have to, though… they have Patrick Mahomes.
Chiefs WRs: Starting Tyreek Hill as a high-end WR1 despite the tough matchup against Casey Hayward and his slow Week 1 start. In 8 matchups against the Chargers in his career, he’s scored 5 times.
Chiefs TE: Travis Kelce is the top TE play of the week.
Chiefs QB: Patrick Mahomes is automatic. Wow, 4 automatic starts for the Chiefs at every position.
Chargers RBs: Austin Ekeler’s 1 target last week isn’t going to do it. He ran a route on close to 70% of Tyrod Taylor’s dropbacks, so he’s being used properly… he just needs to get the targets. The encouraging things from Week 1 was his 19 rushes and 68% snap count… let’s just hope the targets come. View him as an RB2 this week with RB1 upside in a great matchup. David Johnson took 11 of his carries for 77 yards last week… David Johnson did that.
Chargers WRs: Tyrod Taylor did not look good last week, but Keenan Allen did see 8 targets. He had a good matchup last week and didn’t come through, but he does have another good matchup this week out of the slot. The perimeter is where it’s tough against the Chiefs, so Mike Williams has the tougher matchup. Williams’ usage last week was go-up-and-get-it on 9 targets, so he can do that against any of these corners. Williams is an upside flex option with a low floor this week, while Allen is a WR3 with PPR upside (high reception total).
Chargers TE: Hunter Henry saw two end zone targets last week, but couldn’t come down with either… but it’s good to know that he’s who Tyrod is looking at in the end zone. His 8 targets is also a good sign, and lines up with previous usage of TEs with Taylor. Henry is a top-10 option at TE this week.
New England Patriots @ Seattle Seahawks
Patriots RBs: There was an even 3-way split in the Patriots backfield last week, and then they added a 4th RB for the remaining 10% of snaps just for good measure. I wouldn’t go near this backfield right now, including James White after seeing only 8 opportunities in Week 1. This is Cam Newton-based rushing team.
Patriots WRs: Julian Edelman isn’t a full-time WR anymore. He comes in on 3 WR sets, which ended up being on only 58% of snaps. He got his targets, and was fine in PPR, but the upside will be limited. He’s a PPR WR3, and a flex in standard or half point leagues.
Patriots QB: Cam Newton’s rushing upside and TD potential will always be there, but I’m not sure he’ll be getting into the end zone multiple times every week. He doesn’t have a lot of weapons, but it doesn’t seem to matter. He’s a top-10 option every week because of that rushing floor and TD ceiling as long as he’s healthy.
Seahawks RBs: Chris Carson was sharing snaps with Carlos Hyde and Travis Homer, which resulted in being limited to about 45% of total offensive snaps in Week 1. He still came through with his 6 targets and 2 TDs, but the volume not being there is concerning. It’s great for the entire offense, but might not be ideal for Carson. One-game sample size, though, so keep him in your lineup as a solid RB2 with upside despite the tough matchup; the Seahawks are one team that can overcome that.
Seahawks WRs: Tyler Lockett is likely the free man against the Patriots, and probably won’t see shadow coverage. DK Metcalf, on the other hand, will likely see Stephon Gilmore all game long. Downgrade Metcalf to an upside WR3, and upgrade Lockett to a low-end WR1 since I would expect extra looks to go his way despite an overall tough matchup for him too. Lockett will be key in the Seahawks game plan to overcome a tough matchup.
Seahawks TE: Greg Olsen caught all 4 of his targets and a TD last week, but I’m not sure he’s start worthy just yet. He led the TEs in snaps with 41; Will Dissly had 24 and Jacob Hollister had 11. Olsen is a deep league dart throw, and not a bad one since he’s tied to Russell Wilson.
Seahawks QB: After the Seahawks showed that they’re finally willing to give Russell Wilson the reigns and go pass-first, he’s a must-start against the Patriots despite the tough matchup.
New Orleans Saints @ Las Vegas Raiders
Saints RBs: Alvin Kamara had a tough matchup last week, and couldn’t get much going, but his 2 TDs saved his fantasy day. He has a much better matchup this week, and gets his target share guaranteed with Michael Thomas most likely missing this game. He’s a high-end RB1.
Saints WRs: With Michael Thomas most likely out this week, Emmanuel Sanders will likely step into the WR1 role, as he is the one who is most able to mimic Thomas’ role. He should be upgraded to a WR3 with upside this week, and I’m hesitant to put him higher because he’s not guaranteed a huge role. As far as Tre’Quan Smith, he definitely has upside, and Brees has more reason to try and create big plays without Thomas in the lineup. Smith is an upside flex play if you want to shoot for it. Both WRs have great matchups against the Raiders.
Saints TEs: Jared Cook gets a big bump with Thomas’ potential absence. He already totaled 80 yards on 5 of 7 targets in Week 1 with Thomas on the field, and now gets an even bigger boost. Cook is in the top-5 TE discussion for Week 2.
Saints QB: Drew Brees has a good matchup this week despite potentially not having Michael Thomas. Brees shouldn’t be downgraded too much, and he’s still a QB1 given that he has some weapons left.
Raiders RBs: Josh Jacobs’ usage last week was very encouraging, especially his work in the passing game. None of that work came on 3rd downs, but as long as the Raiders keep games competitive, Jacobs won’t leave the field much. He has a tough matchup this week, but he’s still a RB1 start.
Raiders WRs: Henry Ruggs has a knee injury and didn’t practice on Friday, but monitor practice reports on Saturday to see if it’s concerning. If he goes, he’s an upside WR3 start, as it seems as though he was very involved out of the gate. If he didn’t get hurt, he probably would’ve been targeted even more last week. If he doesn’t go, Bryan Edwards is a desperation flex start, but it can easily be Hunter Renfrow getting more volume than him. I would stay away.
Raiders TE: Darren Waller is a top-6 TE play this week, and if Ruggs misses, he should get upgraded a bit. He led the Raiders in targets last week, and was 2nd among all Week 1 TEs in targets.