Brett Duke/Associated Press
Week 2 of the NFL season is here, and it’s time to get to work on your fantasy football rosters. After managers drafted their team (or teams), they likely played the top players they selected and expected to have a strong debut based on their picks’ 2019 showings. Now, there are 2020 stats to evaluate, and it may be time to scour the waiver wire to make some adjustments.
Perhaps you lost a player to a significant injury, such as Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack or Dallas Cowboys tight end Blake Jarwin. Or there was a player whose performance leaves you concerned moving forward, such as Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner’s quiet Monday night showing. Perhaps there are some players available who should be targeted, maybe to even consider spending a decent-sized portion of your free-agent budget on.
And even if you won your Week 1 matchup and are feeling good entering Week 2, it can never hurt to add some depth and potentially keep your opponents from adding a talented player who was sitting on the waiver wire.
It’s also time to start looking ahead to the Week 2 matchups and considering who could have big performances. Here are the rankings for each position for Week 2.
1. Lamar Jackson, BAL (at HOU)
2. Tom Brady, TB (vs. CAR)
3. Patrick Mahomes, KC (at LAC)
4. Dak Prescott, DAL (vs. ATL)
5. Kyler Murray, ARI (vs. WAS)
6. Deshaun Watson, HOU (vs. BAL)
7. Drew Brees, NO (at LV)
8. Matt Ryan, ATL (at DAL)
9. Matthew Stafford, DET (at GB)
10. Josh Allen, BUF (at MIA)
11. Russell Wilson, SEA (vs. NE)
12. Carson Wentz, PHI (vs. LAR)
Tom Brady and Dak Prescott didn’t have big Week 1 showings, but it’s not time to consider replacing either, especially with these Week 2 matchups.
Brady is still getting comfortable in Tampa Bay’s offense, and it didn’t help that Mike Evans was still recovering from a hamstring injury. The 43-year-old had 239 yards and two touchdowns through the air while also running in a score, but he also threw two interceptions. Brady could have a much bigger performance against Carolina, which allowed 372 yards of total offense in its Week 1 loss to Las Vegas.
Prescott passed for 266 yards and a touchdown in the Cowboys’ season-opening loss to the Rams. However, he should put up much bigger numbers against the Falcons, who allowed Seahawks quarterback to pass for 322 yards and four touchdowns in Week 1.
Kyler Murray showed in Week 1 that he could be a fantasy star this season. The second-year Cardinals quarterback lived up to expectations with 230 yards and a touchdown through the air and 91 yards and a score on the ground in Arizona’s upset win at San Francisco. If Murray did that against the 49ers’ defense, he should have another strong week in the Cardinals’ home opener against Washington.
Carson Wentz could be a risky play in Week 2. Philadelphia’s offensive line allowed eight sacks in its season-opening loss at Washington, and it now faces a Los Angeles defense led by All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald. It could help Wentz if running back Miles Sanders is in the lineup, but managers with Wentz may want to consider another quarterback if there’s one with a good matchup available or on their bench.
1. Christian McCaffrey, CAR (at TB)
2. Derrick Henry, TEN (vs. JAX)
3. Ezekiel Elliott, DAL (vs. ATL)
4. Saquon Barkley, NYG (at CHI)
5. Alvin Kamara, NO (at LV)
6. Dalvin Cook, MIN (at IND)
7. Aaron Jones, GB (vs. DET)
8. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, KC (at LAC)
9. Kenyan Drake, ARI (vs. WAS)
10. Josh Jacobs, LV (vs. NO)
11. David Johnson, HOU (vs. BAL)
12. Jonathan Taylor, IND (vs. JAX)
13. Miles Sanders, PHI (vs. LAR)
14. Joe Mixon, CIN (at CLE)
15. Raheem Mostert, SF (at NYJ)
16. Nick Chubb, CLE (vs. CIN)
17. James Conner, PIT (vs. DEN)
18. Austin Ekeler, LAC (vs. KC)
19. Todd Gurley II, ATL (at DAL)
20. Chris Carson, SEA (vs. NE)
21. Ronald Jones II, TB (vs. CAR)
22. Kareem Hunt, CLE (vs. CIN)
23. David Montgomery, CHI (vs. NYG)
24. Devin Singletary, BUF (at MIA)
Was Saquon Barkley’s quiet Monday night a sign of things to come? Probably not. But it may have been a good indicator that running backs playing against the Steelers shouldn’t be in your lineup unless it’s a top-tier back.
Barkley had 15 carries for six yards against Pittsburgh, although he still was a bit of a factor in the passing game with six receptions for 60 yards. Don’t expect this to continue, and Barkley should have a better showing in Week 2 against Chicago.
Broncos running back Melvin Gordon is not among the top backs in the rankings this week, and that’s partially because he’ll be going up against the Steelers. He had a solid debut for Denver on Monday night, rushing for 78 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries. But this may be a week to put him on your bench and wait to bring him back for a better matchup (Weeks 3 and 4 against the Buccaneers and Jets).
The Browns have a complicated backfield situation with both Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, and neither put up huge numbers in Week 1. However, Cleveland was playing from behind for most of its loss at Baltimore, so Chubb and Hunt should both have better showings in its home opener against Cincinnati on Thursday night. Both are likely worthy of starts for that matchup.
One running back who needs to be in lineups is Jonathan Taylor, who is now the clear top back for the Colts. The rookie had a fairly quiet NFL debut against the Jaguars (nine carries for 22 yards, six receptions for 67 yards), but with Mack done for the season, he’ll be getting more touches. And he should bounce back against Minnesota, which allowed 158 rushing yards in its Week 1 loss to Green Bay.
1. Michael Thomas, NO (at LV)
2. Davante Adams, GB (vs. DET)
3. Julio Jones, ATL (at DAL)
4. Mike Evans, TB (vs. CAR)
5. DeAndre Hopkins, ARI (vs. WAS)
6. Chris Godwin, TB (vs. CAR)
7. Amari Cooper, DAL (vs. ATL)
8. Tyreek Hill, KC (at LAC)
9. Kenny Golladay, DET (at GB)
10. Allen Robinson II, CHI (vs. NYG)
11. Adam Thielen, MIN (at IND)
12. Terry McLaurin, WAS (at ARI)
13. DJ Moore, CAR (at TB)
14. Robert Woods, LAR (at PHI)
15. Tyler Lockett, SEA (vs. NE)
16. Calvin Ridley, ATL (at DAL)
17. Marvin Jones Jr., DET (at GB)
18. A.J. Brown, TEN (vs. JAX)
19. A.J. Green, CIN (at CLE)
20. Will Fuller V, HOU (vs. BAL)
21. Michael Gallup, DAL (vs. ATL)
22. JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT (vs. DEN)
23. DK Metcalf, SEA (vs. NE)
24. Cooper Kupp, LAR (at PHI)
Michael Thomas is clearly the top fantasy wide receiver, but he’ll need to be monitored closely this week because of a high ankle sprain he suffered in the Saints’ Week 1 win over the Buccaneers. And New Orleans doesn’t play until Monday night, when it takes on Las Vegas on the road, so it might be wise to have a Saints or Raiders receiver to potentially plug in should Thomas be a late decision.
According to ESPN’s Mike Triplett, the Saints expect Thomas to not play this week, but the receiver is “not convinced he will miss time.”
Mike Evans and Kenny Golladay have also been dealing with injuries. Evans played in the Buccaneers’ opener at New Orleans, but he was limited to a two-yard touchdown reception that came late in the game. Meanwhile, Golladay missed the Lions’ opener against the Bears.
Assuming both Evans and Golladay are in their teams’ lineups, each should put up big numbers. Evans has a favorable matchup against Carolina, while Golladay fared well against Green Bay last year, even in a matchup that Matthew Stafford missed.
The Bucs won’t be the only team putting up yards and points in Sunday’s game, as the Panthers could make it a high-scoring affair. That should lead to a bigger showing for DJ Moore, who had only four receptions for 54 yards in Week 1 against the Raiders.
1. Travis Kelce, KC (at LAC)
2. George Kittle, SF (at NYJ)
3. Mark Andrews, BAL (at HOU)
4. Darren Waller, LV (vs. NO)
5. Zach Ertz, PHI (vs. LAR)
6. Jared Cook, NO (at LV)
7. Hunter Henry, LAC (vs. KC)
8. Evan Engram, NYG (at CHI)
9. Dallas Goedert, PHI (vs. LAR)
10. Tyler Higbee, LAR (at PHI)
11. Rob Gronkowski, TB (vs. CAR)
12. Hayden Hurst, ATL (at DAL)
There are plenty of targets available for both Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert in Philadelphia’s offense, as evidenced by its season opener at Washington. Goedert led the team with eight receptions for 101 yards and a touchdown, while Ertz also found the end zone and hauled in three passes for 18 yards.
Combined, Goedert and Ertz had 16 total targets, showing that Wentz is going to continue to try to get the ball to both of them at a consistent rate, and both will be good tight ends to start against the Rams.
It was a quiet return for Rob Gronkowski in Week 1, as he had only two receptions for 11 yards at New Orleans. But once he shakes off the rust and gets back into a rhythm with Brady, he should have better fantasy value. And there’s a strong chance he starts to do that this week against Carolina.
1. San Francisco 49ers (at NYJ)
2. Buffalo Bills (at MIA)
3. Chicago Bears (vs. NYG)
4. Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. DEN)
5. Arizona Cardinals (vs. WAS)
6. Seattle Seahawks (vs. NE)
7. Kansas City Chiefs (at LAC)
8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. CAR)
9. Cleveland Browns (vs. CIN)
10. New Orleans Saints (at LV)
11. Baltimore Ravens (at HOU)
12. Indianapolis Colts (vs. MIN)
The 49ers and Bills have defenses that should almost always be in fantasy lineups. But this week, that’s especially the case as San Francisco travels to take on the Jets and Buffalo goes on the road to face Miami. Each of these matchups should lead to a lot of points for both.
In the AFC North, the Steelers and Browns could also both have big defensive weeks. Pittsburgh proved that its defense is going to be strong this year in the season opener, and it could have a big showing against Denver. Meanwhile, Cleveland’s defense will be looking to get back on track against Cincinnati as rookie quarterback Joe Burrow continues to adjust to the NFL level.
1. Harrison Butker, KC (at LAC)
2. Justin Tucker, BAL (at HOU)
3. Wil Lutz, NO (at LV)
4. Matt Prater, DET (at GB)
5. Chris Boswell, PIT (vs. DEN)
6. Mason Crosby, GB (vs. DET)
7. Josh Lambo, JAX (at TEN)
8. Samuel Sloman, LAR (at PHI)
9. Zane Gonzalez, ARI (vs. WAS)
10. Robbie Gould, SF (at NYJ)
11. Rodrigo Blankenship, IND (vs. MIN)
12. Greg Zuerlein, DAL (vs. ATL)
One kicker to potentially watch out for moving forward is Rodrigo Blankenship, a rookie who had mixed results in the Colts’ season-opening loss to the Jaguars.
Blankenship went 2-for-3 on field-goal attempts, as he missed on a 30-yard try in the second quarter. However, he made a 38-yard kick in the first and a 25-yard attempt in the third, as well as both of his extra-point attempts. If he can put that early miss behind him, he could be on his way to putting up solid fantasy numbers as he should have the opportunity to do so with Indianapolis.