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Fantasy Football Start/Sit: Week 2

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Week 1’s major real football disappointments can be your biggest opportunities for fantasy wins in Week 2. The Bills embarrassed the Super Bowl champion Rams Thursday, but Matthew Stafford and company faces a much easier test in the Falcons this week. Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon fumbled away chances for Russell Wilson to win his return to Seattle, but they face a run-promoting Texans team. And Trevor Lawrence and Christian Kirk return home to Jacksonville with a chance to turn their strong initial chemistry into a touchdown connection against the division-rival Colts. I’ll cover those and many others in my start and sit column for Week 2.

 

Here and every week all NFL season long, I’ll be looking at some of the key fantasy names of the week and identifying the main starts and sits. Start your lineup-building process here.

  • Players are labeled as starts if I rank them better than the consensus and sits if I rank them worse than the consensus, but consider your specific league contexts to make your start and sit decisions.
  • The positional rankings and fantasy point totals rely on half PPR scoring.
  • The consensus rankings refer to the FantasyPros expert consensus.
  • You can find my weekly rankings and those of other FTN writers here.

Quarterback

Starts

Matthew Stafford, Rams vs. Falcons (Dome)

Week 2 Positional Ranking: 10th, +2 versus consensus (12th)

+ Opponent: The Falcons increased expected passing touchdowns by 0.30 per game in 2021, second most in football (compared to last week’s Bills opponent that decreased expected passing touchdowns by 0.64 per game in 2021, the most in football).

Trevor Lawrence, Jaguars vs. Colts (79 degrees and partly cloudy)

Week 2 Positional Ranking: 15th, +6 versus consensus (21st)

<img src="https://d2y4ihze0bzr5g.cloudfront.net/source/2020/Trevor_Lawrence.jpg" alt="

+ Efficiency: Trevor Lawrence threw just 1 touchdown but had 2.60 expected passing touchdowns (opportunity-adjusted touchdowns) in Week 1, and that 1.60-touchdown shortfall should regress positively the rest of the season.
+ Efficiency: Lawrence threw just 12 touchdowns but had 22.0 expected passing touchdowns in 2021, and that position-leading 10.0-touchdown shortfall should regress positively this season.
+ Efficiency: Lawrence ranked sixth lowest at the position with -1.4 net stolen touchdowns in 2021 and will likely see his passing touchdown rate rise with more passing in the red zone.
+ Opponent: The Colts increased expected passing touchdowns by 0.22 per game in 2021, tied for sixth most in football.

Matt Ryan, Colts at Jaguars (79 degrees and partly cloudy)

Week 2 Positional Ranking: 17th, +1 versus consensus (18th)

+ Efficiency: Matt Ryan threw just 1 touchdown but had 2.63 expected passing touchdowns in Week 1, and that 1.63-touchdown shortfall should regress positively the rest of the season.
+ Opponent: The Jaguars increased expected passing touchdowns by 0.18 in Week 1, 14th most in football.

Sits

Tom Brady, Bucs at Saints (Dome)

Week 2 Positional Ranking: 12th, -2 versus consensus (10th)

– Opponent: Tom Brady has completed just 60.0% of his passes, averaged 247 passing yards per game, and thrown just 8 touchdowns against 8 interceptions in five games against the Saints (including the playoffs) since joining the Bucs.
– Opponent: The Saints decreased expected passing touchdowns by 0.44 per game in 2021, second most in football.

Kirk Cousins, Vikings at Eagles (81 degrees and partly cloudy)

Week 2 Positional Ranking: 13th, -2 versus consensus (11th)

<img src="https://d2y4ihze0bzr5g.cloudfront.net/source/2020/Kirk_Cousins.jpg" alt="

– Venue: Kirk Cousins has averaged 1.3 more fantasy points per game at home than on the road the last two-plus season.
– Opponent: The Eagles decreased expected passing touchdowns by 0.05 per game in 2021, 13th most in football (their 0.59 expected passing touchdown promotion in Week 1 was likely a small-sample anomaly).

Carson Wentz, Commanders at Lions (Dome)

Week 2 Positional Ranking: 16th, -1 versus consensus (15th)

– Venue: Carson Wentz has averaged 4.0 more fantasy points per game at home than on the road the last two-plus seasons (split among now three different home stadiums).
– Efficiency: Wentz threw 4 touchdowns but had just 1.33 expected passing touchdowns in Week 1, and that position-leading 2.67-touchdown surplus should regress negatively the rest of the season.
– Efficiency: Wentz ranked fourth highest with 0.55 net stolen touchdowns in Week 1 and will likely see his passing touchdown rate fall the rest of the season with more balance in the red zone.

+ Opponent: The Lions increased expected passing touchdowns by 0.28 per game in 2021, third most in football.

 

Running Back 

Starts

Antonio Gibson, Commanders at Lions (Dome)

Week 2 Positional Ranking: 13th, +2 versus consensus (15th)

+ Volume: I am projecting Antonio Gibson for 21.7 carries + targets this week, eighth at his position (he played 49 snaps and saw 22 carries + targets vs. 31 and 6 for J.D. McKissic in Week 1).
+ Efficiency: Gibson ranked second lowest at his position with -0.54 net stolen touchdowns in Week 1 and will likely see his rushing touchdown rate rise with more balance in the red zone. 
+ Opponent: The Lions increased expected rushing touchdowns by 2.14 in Week 1, the most in football.
+ Opponent: The Lions increased expected rushing touchdowns by 0.21 per game in 2021, sixth most in football.

Josh Jacobs, Raiders vs. Cardinals (Dome)

Week 2 Positional Ranking: 17th, +1 versus consensus (18th)

+ Volume: I am projecting Josh Jacobs for 19.1 carries + targets this week, 12th at his position (he played 35 snaps and saw 11 carries + targets vs. 0 and 0 for Zamir White and 16 and 5 for Brandon Bolden — who has missed some practice this week with a hamstring injury — in Week 1).
+ Opponent: The Cardinals increased expected rushing touchdowns by 1.40 in Week 1, second most in football.

Chase Edmonds, Dolphins at Ravens (79 degrees and sunny)

Week 2 Positional Ranking: 23rd, +4 versus consensus (27th)

+ Volume: I am projecting Chase Edmonds for 19.6 carries + targets this week, 11th most at his position (he played 38 snaps and saw 16 carries + targets vs. 25 and 6 for Raheem Mostert in Week 1).

– Opponent: The Ravens decreased expected rushing touchdowns by 0.55 in Week 1, fourth most in football.

Michael Carter, Jets at Browns (81 degrees and sunny)

Week 2 Positional Ranking: 29th, +4 versus consensus (33rd)

<img src="https://d2y4ihze0bzr5g.cloudfront.net/source/2020/Michael_Carter_%281%29.jpg" alt="

+ Volume: I am projecting Michael Carter for 15.7 carries + targets this week, 26th most at his position (he played 50 snaps and saw 19 carries + targets vs. 38 and 15 for Breece Hall in Week 1).

– Opponent: The Browns decreased expected rushing touchdowns by 0.17 in 2021, third most in football.

Melvin Gordon, Broncos vs. Texans (83 degrees and sunny)

Week 2 Positional Ranking: 32nd, +3 versus consensus (35th)

+ Efficiency: Melvin Gordon did not score but had 0.90 expected rushing touchdowns in Week 1, and that third highest 0.90-touchdown shortfall should regress positively the rest of the season.
+ Opponent: The Texans increased expected rushing touchdowns by 0.38 per game in 2021, second most in football.

Rex Burkhead, Texans at Broncos (83 degrees and sunny)

Week 2 Positional Ranking: 36th, +5 versus consensus (41st)

+ Volume: I am projecting Rex Burkhead for 17.1 carries + targets this week, 20th at his position (he played 50 snaps and saw 22 carries + targets vs. 20 and 12 for Dameon Pierce in Week 1).

– Opponent: The Broncos decreased expected rushing touchdowns by 0.34 in Week 1, 11th most in football.
– Opponent: The Broncos decreased expected rushing touchdowns by 0.24 per game in 2021, the most in football.

Sit

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Chiefs vs. Chargers (81 degrees and cloudy)

Week 2 Positional Ranking: 22nd, -2 versus consensus (20th)

– Volume: I am projecting Clyde Edwards-Helaire for 12.6 carries + targets this week, 35th at his position (he played 27 snaps and saw 10 carries + targets vs. 27 and 8 for Jerick McKinnon and 16 and 12 for Isiah Pacheco in Week 1).
– Efficiency: Edwards-Helaire scored 2 touchdowns but had just 0.78 expected rushing and receiving touchdowns in Week 1, and that position-leading 1.22-touchdown surplus should regress negatively the rest of the season (Edwards-Helaire did not take a carry in the red zone vs. 3 for Isiah Pacheco).
– Opponent: The Chargers decreased expected rushing touchdowns by 0.32 in Week 1, 13th most in football (and made personnel improvements in edge rusher Khalil Mack and defensive tackles Sebastian Joseph-Day and Austin Johnson that could have plausibly improved their defense).
+ Opponent: The Chargers increased expected rushing touchdowns by 0.31 per game in 2021, third most in football.

Kareem Hunt, Browns vs. Jets (81 degrees and sunny)

Week 2 Positional Ranking: 25th, -4 versus consensus (21st)

<img src="https://d2y4ihze0bzr5g.cloudfront.net/source/2020/Kareem_Hunt.jpg" alt="

– Volume: I am projecting Kareem Hunt for 12.0 carries + targets this week, 37th at his position (he played 45 snaps and saw 15 carries + targets vs. 42 and 23 for Nick Chubb in Week 1).
– Efficiency: Hunt scored 2 touchdowns but had just 0.84 expected rushing and receiving touchdowns in Week 1, and that third highest 1.16-touchdown surplus at his position should regress negatively the rest of the season.
– Opponent: The Jets decreased expected rushing touchdowns by 0.76 in Week 1, third most in football (and made personnel improvements in cornerbacks D.J. Reed and Sauce Gardner and edge rushers Carl Lawson and Jermaine Johnson that could have plausibly improved their defense).

+ Opponent: The Jets increased expected rushing touchdowns by 0.56 per game in 2021, the most in football.

James Robinson, Jaguars vs. Colts (79 degrees and partly cloudy)

Week 2 Positional Ranking: 34th, -2 versus consensus (32nd)

– Volume: I am projecting James Robinson for 11.9 carries + targets this week, 38th at his position (he played 34 snaps and saw 13 carries + targets vs. 36 and 8 for Travis Etienne in Week 1)
– Efficiency: Robinson scored 2 touchdowns but had just 0.78 expected rushing and receiving touchdowns in Week 1, and that position-leading 1.22-touchdown surplus should regress negatively the rest of the season.
– Opponent: The Colts decreased expected rushing touchdowns by 0.87 in Week 1, the most in football.
– Opponent: The Colts decreased expected rushing touchdowns by 0.16 per game in 2021, fourth most in football.

Breece Hall, Jets at Browns (81 degrees and sunny)

Week 2 Positional Ranking: 38th, -4 versus consensus (34th)

– Volume: I am projecting Breece Hall for 11.8 carries + targets this week, 39th at his position (he played 38 snaps and saw 15 carries + targets vs. 50 and 19 for Michael Carter in Week 1).
– Opponent: The Browns decreased expected rushing touchdowns by 0.17 in 2021, third most in football.

Wide Receiver

Start

Christian Kirk, Jaguars vs. Colts (79 degrees and partly cloudy)

Week 2 Positional Ranking: 24th, +2 versus consensus (26th)

+ Volume: I am projecting Christian Kirk for 9.5 targets this week, eighth at his position (he had 12 targets in Week 1 and has averaged 9.2 targets per game over his last six games).
+ Efficiency: Kirk did not catch a touchdown but had 0.76 expected receiving touchdowns in Week 1, and that fourth highest 0.76-touchdown shortfall at his position should regress positively the rest of the season.
+ Opponent: The Colts increased expected passing touchdowns by 0.22 per game in 2021, tied for sixth most in football.

Allen Robinson, Rams vs. Falcons (Dome)

Week 2 Positional Ranking: 27th, +2 versus consensus (29th)

+ Efficiency: Allen Robinson had a 75.0% success rate vs. man coverage in 2021, 12th among charted receivers per Reception Perception (i.e. I don’t think he’s washed).
+ Opponent: The Falcons increased expected passing touchdowns by 0.30 per game in 2021, second most in football (compared to last week’s Bills opponent that decreased expected passing touchdowns by 0.64 per game in 2021, the most in football).

Julio Jones, Bucs at Saints (Dome)

Week 2 Positional Ranking: 34th, +3 versus consensus (37th)

+ Volume: I am projecting Julio Jones for 7.5 targets this week, tied for 24th at his position (he played 32 snaps and had 5 targets in Week 1, and Chris Godwin is likely to miss Week 2 after aggravating his knee injury).

– Opponent: Tom Brady has completed just 60.0% of his passes, averaged 247 passing yards per game, and thrown just 8 touchdowns against 8 interceptions in five games against the Saints (including the playoffs) since joining the Bucs.
– Opponent: The Saints decreased expected passing touchdowns by 0.44 per game in 2021, second most in football.

Joshua Palmer, Chargers at Chiefs (81 degrees and cloudy)

Week 2 Positional Ranking: 37th, +14 versus consensus (51st)

<img src="https://d2y4ihze0bzr5g.cloudfront.net/source/2020/Joshua_Palmer.jpg" alt="

+ Volume: I am projecting Joshua Palmer for 7.2 targets this week, tied for 31st at his position (he played 50 snaps and saw 4 targets in Week 1 but will likely be the No. 2 target this week with Keenan Allen out injured).
+ Opponent: The Chiefs increased expected passing touchdowns by 0.26 per game in 2021, fourth most in football.

Robbie Anderson, Panthers at Giants (81 degrees and sunny)

Week 2 Positional Ranking: 45th, +5 versus consensus (50th)

+ Volume: I am projecting Robbie Anderson for 7.3 targets this week, tied for 29th at his position (he played 53 snaps and saw 8 targets vs. 0 and 0 for both Terrace Marshall and Laviska Shenault in Week 1).

Sit

Gabe Davis, Bills vs. Titans (65 degrees and partly cloudy)

Week 2 Positional Ranking: 20th, -6 versus consensus (14th)

– Volume: I am projecting Gabe Davis for 6.8 targets this week, tied for 36th at his position (he saw 5 targets in Week 1).
– Efficiency: Davis caught a touchdown but had just 0.14 expected receiving touchdowns in Week 1, and that 0.86-touchdown surplus should regress negatively the rest of the season.

Drake London, Falcons at Rams (Dome)

Week 2 Positional Ranking: 38th, -5 versus consensus (33rd)

– Opponent: Drake London could see some coverage from Jalen Ramsey, who limited his covered receivers to just 0.15 targets per route in 2021.
– Opponent: The Rams decreased expected passing touchdowns by 0.23 per game in 2021, tied for fifth most in football.

DeVonta Smith, Eagles vs. Vikings (81 degrees and partly cloudy)

Week 2 Positional Ranking: 44th, -6 versus consensus (38th)

<img src="https://d2y4ihze0bzr5g.cloudfront.net/source/2020/DeVonta_Smith%281%29.jpg" alt="

– Volume: I am projecting DeVonta Smith for 5.5 targets this week, tied for 55th at his position (he saw 4 targets vs. 13 for new Eagles No. 1 receiver A.J. Brown in Week 1).
– Opponent: The Vikings decreased expected passing touchdowns by 0.79 in Week 1, third most in football (and made personnel improvements in edge rusher Za’Darius Smith, defensive tackle Harrison Phillips, and linebacker Jordan Hicks that could have plausibly improved their defense).

+ Opponent: The Vikings increased expected passing touchdowns by 0.11 per game in 2021, ninth most in football.

Jahan Dotson, Commanders at Lions (Dome)

Week 2 Positional Ranking: 48th, -4 versus consensus (44th)

– Volume: I am projecting Jahan Dotson for 5.0 targets this week, tied for 61st at his position (he saw 5 targets in Week 1).
– Efficiency: Dotson caught 2 touchdowns but had just 0.40 expected receiving touchdowns in Week 1, and that second highest 1.60-touchdown surplus at his position should regress negatively the rest of the season.

+ Opponent: The Lions increased expected passing touchdowns by 0.28 per game in 2021, third most in football.

 

Tight End

Start

Tyler Higbee, Rams vs. Falcons (Dome)

Week 2 Positional Ranking: 11th, +2 versus consensus (13th)

+ Volume: I am projecting Tyler Higbee for 6.0 targets this week, tied for seventh at his position (he had 11 targets in Week 1 and has averaged 7.0 targets per game over his last six games).
+ Opponent: The Falcons increased expected passing touchdowns by 0.30 per game in 2021, second most in football (compared to last week’s Bills opponent that decreased expected passing touchdowns by 0.64 per game in 2021, the most in football)

Hayden Hurst, Bengals at Cowboys (Dome)

Week 2 Positional Ranking: 17th, +1 versus consensus (18th)

+ Efficiency: Hayden Hurst did not score but had 0.83 expected receiving touchdowns in Week 1, and that position-leading 0.83-touchdown shortfall should regress positively the rest of the season.

– Opponent: The Cowboys decreased expected passing touchdowns by 0.41 in Week 1, 10th most in football.
– Opponent: The Cowboys decreased expected passing touchdowns by 0.23 per game in 2021, fifth most in football.

Logan Thomas, Commanders at Lions (Dome)

Week 2 Positional Ranking: 18th, +3 versus consensus (21st)

<img src="https://d2y4ihze0bzr5g.cloudfront.net/source/2020/Logan_Thomas.jpg" alt="

+ Volume: I am projecting Logan Thomas for 4.8 targets this week, tied for 12th at his position (he played 48 snaps and saw 6 targets in his return from his hamstring and knee injuries in Week 1).
+ Opponent: The Lions increased expected passing touchdowns by 0.28 per game in 2021, third most in football.

Sit

Dallas Goedert, Eagles vs. Vikings (81 degrees and partly cloudy)

Week 2 Positional Ranking: 9th, -4 versus consensus (5th)

– Volume: I am projecting Dallas Goedert for 5.1 targets this week, 11th at his position (he saw 4 targets vs. 13 for new Eagles No. 1 receiver A.J. Brown in Week 1).
– Opponent: The Vikings decreased expected passing touchdowns by 0.79 in Week 1, third most in football (and made personnel improvements in edge rusher Za’Darius Smith, defensive tackle Harrison Phillips, and linebacker Jordan Hicks that could have plausibly improved their defense).

+ Opponent: The Vikings increased expected passing touchdowns by 0.11 per game in 2021, ninth most in football.

David Njoku, Browns vs. Jets (81 degrees and sunny)

Week 2 Positional Ranking: 20th, -3 versus consensus (17th)

– Volume: I am projecting David Njoku for 4.0 targets this week, 23rd at his position (he saw 1 target in Week 1 and has averaged 3.2 targets over his last six games)

+ Opponent: The Jets increased expected passing touchdowns by 0.96 in Week 1, third most in football.

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