“Sits” and “starts” are all relative, so consider these suggestions more “fliers” and “fades” (note that some are targeted for DFS).
Good luck with your Week 2 lineups.
Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans
Start: Deon Cain, A.J. Brown
With Devin Funchess on IR, the intriguing Cain is now the No. 2 receiver in a Colts system that should remain productive post-Andrew Luck if Week 1 was any indication. He’s turned heads throughout summer (after missing his rookie year with ACL surgery) and now gets an expanded opportunity, so he’s a flier in deeper leagues (T.Y. Hilton should also eat in a plus matchup against Malcolm Butler and is a DFS option at $22 this week).
Brown might have already surpassed Corey Davis on Tennessee’s depth chart, as the rookie stood out in his debut and projects to see a lot of rookie corner Rock Ya-Sin, whose first NFL impression wasn’t as similarly successful last week.
Los Angeles Chargers @ Detroit Lions
Start in DFS: Keenan Allen ($24)
Sit: Danny Amendola
The Chargers will be missing Hunter Henry while Mike Williams (knee) will be playing compromised, if at all, and they will be facing a pass funnel Detroit defense that’s defended the run well since trading for Damon Harrison last season. Allen should mostly avoid Darius Slay out of the slot, and he’s set to see even more volume than usual Sunday (although Philip Rivers should be downgraded outside the QB1 tier this week).
Amendola is coming off a big Week 1 when he saw 13 targets, but he will be locked up against one of the league’s best slot corners in Desmond King on Sunday. Both teams have two of the slower paces in the league as well, so plays will be limited.
Buffalo Bills @ New York Giants
Start: John Brown
Start in DFS: Evan Engram ($22)
Brown is finally getting the opportunity to be a No. 1, seeing 10 targets last week and continuing to show good rapport with Josh Allen. Brown is slated to see a lot of rookie corner DeAndre Baker, who was torched and allowed the most fantasy points per pass route during his debut last week. I have Brown as a top-15 WR and a must-start in Week 2 … Devin Singletary, who had more than twice as many snaps as Frank Gore and T.J. Yeldon combined last week, is also a sleeper flex option this week.
Cody Latimore is an interesting stash with so few alternatives in New York and after ranking top-20 in WOPR in Week 1, but he’s questionable to play (in a tough matchup) and might join Sterling Shepard (concussion) on the sidelines, so Engram is looking at double-digit targets yet again Sunday. Buffalo actually allowed the fewest fantasy points to tight ends last season, but volume wins out here.
Arizona Cardinals @ Baltimore Ravens
Sit: Kyler Murray
Start: Gus Edwards
While Arizona’s offense looked worrisome for most of Week 1, the early returns are highly encouraging as far as the expected breakneck pace, which made Chip Kelly’s Eagles seem slow in comparison. But this week presents a tough challenge in Baltimore (although its secondary will be missing Jimmy Smith), where the Cardinals are near two-touchdown road dogs and have an overmatched offensive line up against a front seven that blitzed more than any team last week, so there are more preferable QB options this week.
Mark Andrews is set up for another big game facing a Cardinals defense that was lit up by the tight end position last week, but if you’re looking for a flex option in deeper formats, Edwards is a possible flier. He led Baltimore’s backfield in carries (17) last week, could face a similar game script this week as big favorites (and with Mark Ingram banged up), and is facing an Arizona front seven that was gashed for the most fantasy points by running backs last season.
New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins
Start in DFS: Sony Michel ($25)
Sit: All Dolphins
Michel flopped last week but reportedly looked terrific (and healthy) all summer and should bounce back with New England being massive favorites against the tanking Dolphins. The Patriots enter with a major advantage up front, and Michel benefits greatly from positive game script, as his YPC jumped to 5.0 while he scored all of his touchdowns during Patriots wins last season (he got 3.4 YPC during the five losses). Tom Brady has historically struggled in Miami, so New England may turn to its back more than usual, and the prediction here is he hits pay dirt twice, finishing as a top-five fantasy back in Week 2.
The Dolphins are an impressive 18.5-point home underdogs, and while Ryan Fitzpatrick could put up garbage stats, he’s also a candidate to be benched like last week. Moreover, DeVante Parker will be locked up against Stephon Gilmore, Albert Wilson has been ruled out, and Kenyan Drake continued to struggle mightily in pass protection last week, making it harder to demand more snaps for the otherwise talented back.
Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins
Start: Randall Cobb, Chris Thompson
With slot corner Fabian Moreau doubtful, Cobb gets an upgrade and is a viable option in deeper PPR formats (Josh Norman sticks to the outside).
Terry McLaurin deserved aggressive FAAB bidding as Washington’s apparent clear No. 1 WR, but he gets Byron Jones this week, and as near-TD underdogs, expect Thompson to be similarly as active as last week (10 targets). Dallas ceded the fifth-most receptions to running backs last year.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans
Start: Dede Westbrook, Carlos Hyde
Westbrook disappointed with a modest 30 yards in Week 1 (after a bunch of preseason hype and in what was perceived as a highly favorable matchup), but he did score, and new quarterback Gardner Minshew possesses not only a sweet Magnum PI mustache but also a profile (smart, accurate, but lacking arm strength) that suggests he’ll target the slot an awful lot. Houston is a pass-funnel defense that stops the run but is quietly a mess in the secondary, so I have Westbrook as a borderline top-20 WR this week (his ECR is WR38).
The Texans wideouts all have difficult matchups against Jacksonville’s secondary, and game script should be favorable with Houston as near double-digit home favorites. Moreover, while Duke Johnson remains the preferred fantasy property, Hyde looked undeniably great during his Texans debut and leads the NFL in YPC after contact and in elusive rating after one week. Expect a goal-line score Sunday.
Seattle Seahawks @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Start: DK Metcalf, Donte Moncrief
Metcalf entered with some uncertainty about how ready he was, coming in a bit raw and recovering from an injury, but he made an immediate impact during his NFL debut, and incredibly, finished No. 3 in WOPR in Week 1, revealing upside that may arrive sooner than anticipated. The rookie is a beast and should benefit from a possible high-scoring affair Sunday (Tyler Lockett is set up for a huge game as well against slot corner Mike Hilton and could be under-rostered in DFS coming off a disappointing Week 1 in which he saw a meager two targets).
Moncrief is coming off one of the worst games you’ll ever see from a wide receiver when he turned 10 targets into just seven yards during his first game with the Steelers. But the volume was encouraging, and he’s set to bounce back against Trey Flowers and a burnable Seattle secondary. Expect Pittsburgh’s offense to rebound with a big performance at home this week.
San Francisco 49ers @ Cincinnati Bengals
Start: Matt Breida, John Ross
With Tevin Coleman out, Breida is the new leader of San Francisco’s backfield, and his bigger concern has always been durability, not skill. He’s talented enough to take full advantage of the opportunity, especially against a Bengals front seven that allowed the second-most fantasy points to running backs last season.
Ross is a former top-10 pick who recorded the fastest 40-time in NFL history and burst onto the scene with a big game last week thanks to finally being healthy and a new coach that appears to have improved Cincinnati’s offensive system immeasurably. Ross saw 12 targets last week when he finished second only to DeAndre Hopkins in air yards (172), so this doesn’t seem like a fluke. He has a major speed advantage over Richard Sherman and should be considered a borderline top-25 WR this week.
Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers
Sit: Kirk Cousins, Aaron Rodgers
Cousins is going to be asked to throw more than the 10 times he did last week, but Minnesota will again feature its run game while outdoors and facing a much-improved Green Bay defense. At first glance, this may seem like a possible high-scoring affair, but in reality, this game features the second-lowest total (43) of the week.
Rodgers returns home with extra rest, but he goes from facing the league’s toughest defense to a Minnesota one that held quarterbacks to the second-fewest fantasy points last year, and there remains a learning curve with Green Bay’s entirely new offense. He’ll be a buy-low candidate soon, but Rodgers is once again more of a QB2 option in Week 2, given the matchup.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Oakland Raiders
Start: Mecole Hardman, Derek Carr
With Tyreek Hill out, Hardman is set for an expanded role in the NFL’s best offense, and although he didn’t record a catch during his debut last week, he saw a healthy 53 snaps. He looked dominant at times in the preseason, and the Chiefs have the second-highest implied total (30.5) this week.
Kansas City presents one of the most favorable setups for opposing quarterbacks, as even Jacksonville’s duo feasted last week. Carr got good protection and produced 10.0 YPA against Denver, and he’s home again Sunday and will be throwing a lot more as underdogs in this week’s highest- projected-scoring game. Carr should be considered a QB1 this week, while Tyrell Williams, who just finished fourth in WOPR and has seen his fantasy value increase as much as anyone’s recently, should be considered a top-15 WR this week.
New Orleans Saints @ Los Angeles Rams
Sit: Latavius Murray
Start in DFS: Jared Goff $35
Murray had a nice first game with New Orleans and possesses as much fantasy upside as any backup in the league, but this isn’t the week to use him as a rare underdog and against a stout Rams defense.
Goff is coming off a brutal Week 1, but he got 9.0 YPA and recorded a 22:3 TD:INT ratio at home last season, where he also averaged 342.1 passing yards (compared to 243.9 on the road), and he gets a Saints defense that was beaten for the second-most fantasy points by quarterbacks last season. Goff is a top-five QB start in Week 2.
Chicago Bears @ Denver Broncos
Sit: David Montgomery, Courtland Sutton
Future optimism shouldn’t be lost on Montgomery, but he was out-snapped by both Mike Davis and Tarik Cohen last week and now faces a Denver defense upset and returning home with a coach in Vic Fangio who will be well-versed in Chicago’s offense after being its D-coordinator from 2015-2018.
Sutton looked good last week, but he has a tougher matchup Sunday against Prince Amukamara and company and still has to overcome Joe Flacco throwing to him.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Atlanta Falcons
Start: Miles Sanders, Devonta Freeman
Sanders is a risk given his uncertain usage, but everyone involved in Philadelphia’s passing attack is an obvious start in this matchup, and Sanders did lead Philadelphia in carries last week (and had a TD called back by a penalty the NFL has since apologized for). He faces an Atlanta defense that yielded the fourth-most fantasy points to running backs last season.
People are down on Freeman after he split work nearly evenly with Ito Smith in Week 1, but that was a difficult task in Minnesota, and he returns home Sunday night in a game that should feature a bunch of scoring. Freeman will benefit.
Cleveland Browns @ New York Jets
Start: Browns defense
Sit: Robby Anderson
Cleveland already entered with one of the bigger DL vs. OL advantages of the week, and now they’ll be facing Trevor Siemian at quarterback. Fire up the Browns’ defense with confidence despite their lackluster Week 1 performance against a strong Tennessee O-line.
After facing a tough Buffalo secondary in Week 1, Anderson is scheduled to be shadowed by Denzel Ward on Monday night, which further buries the talented wideout among the ranks, as he also has to deal with primitive QB play now.