That Week 1 was pretty fun, am I right? We’ve got 15 more weeks of that in terms of fantasy football, so the best is yet to come. The key after Week 1 is not to completely overreact, but you still need to read the signs. Real games have been played, so true rolls are defined. We no longer deciphering preseason data to decide what’s legit and what’s not. Tajae Sharp can play. Devonta Freeman isn’t going to get the same workload as last year. The Saints still can’t play defense. Now that we’ve got that covered, let’s move on to Week 2.
Below is a list of guys I’m focused on for one reason or another this week. They’re especially important in daily fantasy sports (DFS) leagues like DraftKings. If you’re curious about guys you don’t see listed here, you can always find me on Twitter (@MrT_BroBible) to ask questions, but remember to mention league specifics like PPR. You can always ask about trades as well.
You Know Who You Should Start?
Kirk Cousins (QB – Washington)
People are going to be cutting Cousins after last week’s performance and claiming that last year was an aberration. While I’m not that high on Cousins this year, let’s calm down a little bit. Cousins still threw for 329 yards and his team certainly can’t run the ball. The Cowboys gave up three passing touchdowns to the Giants last week, so there’s plenty of touchdown opportunity for Cousins this week. With a projected team total of 24 points this week, Cousins is set to rebound.
Rashad Jennings (RB – N.Y. Giants)
Jennings gave the typical gave that you’d expect from him last week. He got 19 touches for 78 yards, averaging just over 4.0 yards per touch. That’s a solid start to his season, but his arrow is pointing upwards. While the Saints are known for having an awful pass defense, they’re also pretty terrible on the ground. They gave up 200 total yards and three touchdowns to Oakland’s collection of running backs last week. The Giants will score in bunches this weekend and there will plenty to go around and Jennings seems locked for a nice collection of yards and possibly multiple scores.
Jeremy Langford (RB – Chicago)
While the Eagles did win easily in game one, they didn’t do a great job of stopping Cleveland’s running game. They gave up 5.6 yards per carry and a touchdown, mostly to Isaiah Crowell. Langford sees total volume in the Bears backfield and should be able to take advantage of this on Monday night football. It’s a nice bonus that he’s a home favorite and could see some positive game flow.
Desean Jackson (WR – Washington)
We like Jackson again this week, which shouldn’t be alarming because we like Cousins. I’m definitely not a Redskins fan, so don’t think that’s the reason he’s ending up here. He produced well in Week 1 even if he didn’t find the end zone and Dallas’ secondary allows for Jackson to thrive again.
Vincent Jackson (WR – Tampa Bay)
The Cardinals feel incredibly good about their ability to coach guys up, but starting a former college running back as a rookie defensive back is a bit pig-headed. Sure Brandon Williams played one year of cornerback at Texas A&M before graduating, but have you seen how they throw the ball in the SEC? LSU hasn’t had a reputable quarterback for years and they’re considered a top program! Williams looked inept last week as he got beat over and over again by Patriots receivers. Jackson should do some serious work on him in this match-up even if Jackson is only a year or two away from retirement.
Gary Barnridge (TE – Cleveland)
The happiest guy to see Josh McCown back is Barnidge. Barnidge did most of his 2015 damage with McCown as quarterback. McCown’s passing game is a shorter and more precise game than RG3’s scramble and heave philosophy. Now Barnidge can see more than two targets every week and it starts right here against Baltimore.
Other guys you should start: Eli Manning (QB – N.Y. Giants), Derek Carr (QB – Oakland), Joe Flacco (QB – Baltimore), Jimmy Garoppolo (QB – New England), Brock Osweiler (QB – Denver), Josh McCown (QB – Cleveland), T.J. Yeldon (RB – Jacksonville), Ryan Mathews (RB – Philadelphia), Danny Woodhead (RB – San Diego), Duke Johnson (RB – Cleveland), Randall Cobb (WR – Green Bay), Michael Crabtree (WR – Oakland), Jarvis Landry (WR – Miami), Jordan Matthews (WR – Philadelphia), Sterling Shepard (WR – N.Y. Giants), Eli Rodgers (WR – Pitstburgh), Travis Benjamin (WR – San Diego), Tajae Sharpe (WR – Tennessee), Coby Fleener (TE – New Orleans), Julius Thomas (TE – Jacksonville), Dennis Pitta (TE – Baltimore), Kyle Rudolph (TE – Minnesota)
You Know Who You Should Sit?
Tyrod Taylor (QB – Buffalo)
Most starting quarterbacks have good situations this week, so we’ll focus on Tyrod for a couple reasons. For starters, Thursday night games generally aren’t high scoring. Teams are coming off short weeks which hamper rest and preparation. Secondly, his value is very much tied to Sammy Watkins. With Watkins running at less than 100% and possibly not playing, Tyrod doesn’t have much quality in the receiving core around him.
Melvin Gordon (RB – San Diego)
Gordon’s owners were jumping for joy when the Wisconsin product scored a couple of touchdowns last week. The smart owners were singing a different tune by the end of the game. Where was Gordon as San Diego were running out the clock? Why did Woodhead have more than twice as many snaps as Melvin Gordon? Those are darn good questions, but we need to follow them when projecting Gordon this week and it doesn’t bode well. San Diego could get pulled into another shootout with Jacksonville. Last year Woodhead saw his production increase when Keenan Allen got hurt because the team needed another receiving outlet. Expect that to be the case again leaving Gordon on the sideline.
Frank Gore (RB – Indianapolis)
We are telling you to bench the running back going against the Broncos just like we did last week. Jonathan Stewart actually played alright last week, but he didn’t get a ton of usage because Carolina was staying away from being run heavy and Stewart also didn’t get much goal line work. The same can be expected from Gore this week as the Colts will spread things out and look to attack the Broncos secondary in the same way Carolina had success last week. With a pedestrian workload and a only so many touchdowns on offer, it’s best to stay away from Gore in this one.
T.Y. Hilton (WR – Indianapolis)
I guess it’s going to be a bad week for the Colts offense… Hilton’s a big play threat and can explode on a game at any time, but something interesting happened last week. Whether it be scheme or situation, Phillip Dorsett became a bigger factor in the passing offense and he has just as much big play ability as Hilton has. Denver struggled a bit last week with the height and athleticism of Kelvin Benjamin, but otherwise they handled Carolina’s passing game. Hilton certainly doesn’t have the height to be as big of a factor as Benjamin, so look for him to be shadowed by Chris Harris and not have much success.
Sammy Watkins (WR – Buffalo)
I really am piling on this week. It looks as if Watkins is going to try to suit up tonight as his issue is considered a pain tolerance thing. Foot injuries are always rough on wide receivers as Dez Bryant and Julian Edelman could tell you. Watkins needs his legs to make plays down the field and if he’s already dealing with foot problems in Week 2 then that doesn’t bode well. It’s much easier for a slower Darrell Revis to cover a wide receiver who’s hampered by a bum foot.
Antonio Gates (TE – San Diego)
The obvious narrative here is that Keenan Allen’s targets have to go somewhere and Gates is Philip Rivers’ safety blanket. I get that. I also get that Gates is old and Jacksonville does a solid job at defending the tight end. The Chargers are also banged up in the secondary, so the Chargers will likely use their receivers as their primary offensive weapons and not Gates. Gates could still put up a touchdown somehow, but I’m not expecting much else from him.
Other guys you should sit: Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB – N.Y. Jets), Andy Dalton (QB – Cincinnati), Derrick Henry (RB – Tennessee), Jeremy Hill (RB – Cincinnati), Isaiah Crowell (RB – Cleveland), Devonta Freeman (RB – Atlanta), Donte Moncrief (WR – Indianapolis), Allen Hurns (WR – Jacksonville), Corey Coleman (WR – Cleveland), Charles Clay (TE – Buffalo), Zach Miller (TE – Chicago), Jared Cook (TE – Green Bay)