NFL Fantasy Football Start/Sit – Week 2
If week 1 was any indication of the year we are in for, then I don’t ever want it to end. Shootout after shootout, heartbreak, after heartbreak, and tight games seemed to be the theme all day on Sunday. We can forget those awful Monday Night Football games existed, unless of course you want to think about Kevin Harlan’s amazingly humorous call of a fan running on the field.
QB’S TO START
Marcus Marriota – Tennessee Titans vs Detroit Lions
Mariotta made some big mistakes in week 1 which likely cost his team a shot at a win, and those growing pains will continue over the weeks. However, when you get a matchup against a really bad defense, it’s hard to not think about the reward more so than the risk. Mariotta will look to throw it to his WR’s and TE’s quite often this week, and should also find some running room. Start him with confidence unless you have a stud you simply cannot afford to sit.
Jay Cutler – Chicago Bears vs Philadelphia Eagles
There is some risk involved here but I don’t believe the Eagles are very good. I expect the Bears to bounce back after gift wrapping a victory to the Texans last Sunday. Cutler will likely make a mistake or two, but you can live with it if he throws for 200 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Joe Flacco – Baltimore Ravens vs Cleveland Browns
Flacco is definitely a risk on a team with very limited talent at the wr position, but he gets a great matchup this week. The Browns defense allowed a rookie qb in his first ever start to torch them for 278 yards and 2 touchdowns. Flacco may not hit 278, but he should also be good for 2 scores making him a good play this week.
QB’S TO SIT:
Phillip Rivers – San Diego Chargers vs Jacksonville Jaguars
Aside from the fact that Rivers lost his top target Keenan Allen in week one, the Jaguars defense also scares me a little bit. Though they lost last week, the Packers consistently settled for field goals once entering the red zone. Aaron Rodgers finally did some damage late, but comparing Rodgers to Rivers is preposterous. Look for Rivers to slump this week and find yourself a better option.
Brock Osweiller – Houston Texans vs Kansas City Chiefs
The Texans showed us in week 1 they want to establish and maintain the run game. Lamar Miller carried the ball 28 times in week 1. Combine that with a Chiefs defense that showed how dominant it can be in the second half last week vs the Chargers, and you have a recipe for disaster.
Carson Wentz – Philadelphia Eagles vs Chicago Bears
Wentz is America’s sweetheart and a hot commodity off of the waiver wire after his week 1 performance, but keep in mind it was against a very bad Browns team. The Bears are better, and Wentz after all, is still a rookie. I expect many more mistakes this week in a high pressure MNF game in front of the world.
RB’S TO START
Melvin Gordon – San Diego Chargers vs Jacksonville Jaguars
Gordon had a great debut in week 1 scoring twice, but this week we should see him add some yardage to his totals. Eddie Lacy averaged almost 4.5 yards per carry when the Packers gave him the ball, and I would expect the Chargers to run it more often than the Packers.
C.J. Anderson – Denver Bronco vs Indianapolis Colts
The Broncos passing game proved it isn’t terrible, but their solid run game kept them in their week 1 matchup with the Carolina Panthers. The Colts can’t stop anybody or anything and while every Broncos player is a good start this week, I specifically like Anderson because the Broncos defense has the potential to shut down Luck and company and grind the clock out on the ground.
Arian Foster – Miami Dolphins vs New England Patriots
Foster had a quietly nice game in week 1. Yes, I understand his 38 yards rushing were far from stellar, but he was facing the NFL’s best defense. He added 3 receptions for 62 yards and was a focal point in the offense all game long. The Patriots had a difficult time containing David Johnson last week, and I suspect Foster is ready to start running wild again.
RB’S TO SIT:
Todd Gurley – St. Louis Rams vs Seattle Seahawks
I am a Todd Gurley owner and his week 1 performance did not worry me, and odds are he was your top pick meaning it’s hard to sit him down. Trust me, I get it. In this case though the Rams don’t have a quarterback (Jeff Fischer is sticking with Case Keenum.) and the Seahawks defense is relentless. When you combine those factors, it doesn’t make for an appealing option. I’m starting Melvin Gordon over Todd Gurley this week.
Mark Ingram – New Orleans Saints vs New York Giants
When you play Ingram you understand Brees will hurt his value and this week should be no exception. The Cowboys lead by rookie Dak Prescott actually moved the ball quite easily through the air. Ezekial Elliott struggled to find any holes on the ground however. Ingram could score a cheap touchdown in the red zone, but I suspect Brees will do msot of the damage through the air. I’d steer clear and seek other options.
Frank Gore- Indianapolis Colts vs Denver Broncos
Gore is not the same elite player he once was, but he can still be effective in the right matchup. This week is not that matchup. The Colts are brutal up front, and the Broncos defense should manhandle their line and do whatever it wants. That does not equate to good things for Gore. Factor in that Josh Ferguson will continue to steal touches and you have a player who should be stashed away on your bench.
WR’S TO START:
Tajae Sharpe- Tennessee Titans vs Detroit Lions
Sharpe has the potential to become a must start option at some point this year. For now, you can plug him in and play him as needed. This is one of those weeks. As stated above, the Lions are bad, and Sharpe had 11 targets last week leading to 7 receptions for 76 yards. I expect slightly higher yardage and at least 1 score out of him this week. I view him as a must start even if it is simply at a WR3 or Flex position.
Randall Cobb – Green Bay Packers vs Minnesota Vikings
Cobb had a productive game last week and seemed to get more looks with Jordy Nelson’s health no longer being an issue. He failed to score, and the Vikings struggled against the 2nd option for the Titans last week (Taj Sharpe) leading me to believe Cobb should have similar success this week with a score sprinkled in.
Kelvin Benjamin – Carolina Panthers vs San Francisco 49ers
I don’t know how much we learned about the 49ers defense in week 1 but I highly doubt they pitch back to back shutouts. I expect Newton to test the secondary and come out hungry after a week 1 loss. Benjamin saw a majority of the targets against the Broncos and that should continue moving forward.
WR’S TO SIT:
Dez Bryant – Dallas Cowboys vs Washington Redskins
Bryant, much like Gurley is tough to sit especially if you took him with a high pick, but with Prescott leading the way you simply can’t trust him right now. I’d take a wait and see approach moving forward with Dez and try to play the matchups. I won’t blame you for putting him out there this week, but I wouldn’t encourage it either.
Will Fuller- Houston Texans vs Kansas City Chiefs
Fuller was a great player to draft late at a bargain price, but he is not an every week starting wr, yet. His 11 targets are encouraging, but he also still plays alongside Deandre Hopkins. The Texans want to run the ball and Fuller is likely to see less targets and smaller stats vs a good Chiefs defense.
Vincent Jackson – Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals defense settled down last week and played better as the night moved along. I expect them to force Jameis Winston to make some mistakes this week Combine that with the fact Jackson only had 2 receptions on 7 targets in week 1 and you have a wr I’d avoid in week 2.
TE’s TO START:
Jason Witten – Dallas Cowboys vs Washington Redskins
Witten has been one of the most productive tight ends for years and now he is a security blanket for a rookie quarterback. His 9 receptions in week 1 lead all tight ends and should be a trend that continues in week 2.
TE’S TO SIT
Austin Seferian Jenkins – Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Arizona Cardinals
Jenkins has so much potential, but this team can’t seem to figure out who they want to use. He caught a beautiful touchdown in week 1, but it was his only catch of the game. You can’t trust him yet and there are several better options out there.
Jimmy Graham Seattle Seahawks vs St. Louis Rams
Graham is not back to full speed yet and Russell Wilson is now battling an injury as well. The Seahawks will emphasize the run this week and Graham is not ready to be trusted just yet.
DEFENSES TO START:
Chicago Bears vs Philadelphia Eagles
The Bears should force Wentz to make a lot of mistakes as I stated earlier. They also need to bounce back after a week 1 loss to the Texans. Those factors combined with the game being in Chicago leads me to believe they will score you some points this week. I’d even bet on a defensive touchdown in this game.
DEFENSE TO SIT:
Minnesota Viking vs Green Bay Packers
The Vikings defense scored twice last week which is a trend likely to end. Aaron Rodgers never turns the ball over and while the score may not get completely out of hand, the lack of turnovers won’t help you gain any points. Find other options this week and sit the Vikings
I’m going to offer a value tier and a top tier for both slates.
J.T. Barrett (Ohio State) vs. Bowling Green – $6,700 (Early)
I don’t mind using either Mayfield or Ward, as I do think that matchup will be relatively high scoring. I think the price here on Barrett is just way too cheap for the upside he possess in this contest, and now he is the unquestioned, central focus of this offense. If you can think back to 2014, you’ll remember that Barrett was a monster, and I think we will see that again this year, as this offense tries to rebuild. Bowling Green’s defense is going to be completely outclasses, and Barrett should see ample opportunity to put up big numbers.
Patrick Mahomes (Texas Tech) vs. Stephen F. Austin – $10,100 (Late)
Mahomes is honestly my dark horse Heisman contender this year, and I think that Texas Tech could end up being far better than many are giving them credit for. I will say – these types of games should not be included on slates, as they are one sided and kind of skew how to make lineups. Nonetheless, I think Mahomes should see ample action, and I fully expect him to put up a huge game this weekend. I think it’s very likely to see him run a few in, as well as passing for a few as well.
Trevor Knight (Texas A&M) vs. UCLA – $4,000 (Early)
I will admit that I have a bit of a bias toward Trevor Knight – I played him across the board the ONE game he had in 2014 where he was an absolute monster and it won me a ton of money. Still, this price is an absolute joke, as it is well below the average amount you can spend on a player, and it lets you load up everywhere else. This offense has some better pieces than it is given credit for, and I think Knight is in a really good spot to make his first effort at A&M a good one.
Kenny Hill (TCU) vs. South Dakota State – $4,000 (Late)
I do think that Hill is somewhat overrated – I think those expecting him to duplicate Trevone Boykin’s previous two campaigns need to bring their hopes down. This matchup is too good for Hill to be priced at only $4,000. This team is going to go through some growing pains, but I don’t expect it to happen this week. Hill should have a performance similar to his first star for Texas A&M in 2014, and is a pretty easy choice in our value section.
Nick Chubb (Georgia) vs. North Carolina – $7,400 (Early)
Chubb is coming off a very bad injury suffered in the fifth game of the 2015 season, but this is an excellent way to bounce back. North Carolina improved immensely on defense in 2015, but just against the pass. Against the run, they were still amongst the worst in all of college football. I know that there may be some concern because of his injury in terms of how long Chubb might play, but the coaching staff has indicated that he won’t be on a “pitch count”. His upside is huge in this game, and I love him at this price point.
Mike Warren (Iowa State) vs. Northern Iowa – $5,600 (Late)
There aren’t really any top tier options on the late slate, and I guess Demario Richards could be considered as one of the top plays, but I really like Mike Warren. I remember using him at minimum price last year and really ending up with one of my best lineups all year. He is going to be a very good running back, and while the Iowa State offense doesn’t seem overly sexy, it’s got some good pieces. I think Warren could be one of the better plays overall this weekend.
Barry Sanders Jr. (Oklahoma State) vs. Southeastern Louisiana – $3,400 (Early)
This is definitely a chance play, because we have not seen enough of Sanders to really know what he is. This Oklahoma State offense really was a running back away from seriously contesting for the college football playoffs last year, which is part of the reason you see Sanders here. I think the matchup is as good as it is going to get for him this year, and the price is really laughable. He’s a guy I’ll use in many of my lineups so I can stack elsewhere.
Kyle Hicks (TCU) vs. South Dakota State – $3,800 (Late)
There seems to be something seriously wrong with the pricing for TCU players on this slate. Hicks is the unquestioned running back in the TCU offense, and I think you could certainly have both he and Hill in your lineups tonight and do fine. You probably did fine if you had Mike White and Anthony Wales last night. This game should see TCU putting a ton of points on the board, and I like Hicks to be a low cost way at doing so.
Isaiah Ford (Virginia Tech) vs. Liberty – $6,600 (Early)
Ford should be in store for a big year in 2016, and is a PPR monster as he should see tons of targets go his way. Liberty is going to be completely and totally outclassed here, and I like Ford to break away for a few long gains, and in the process, a touchdown or two. He is my top wide receiver play on the early slate, and there is easily enough value on the board to fit him in to your lineups. With this being a full point PPR site, there is no question he’s in play.
Jehu Chesson (Michigan) vs. Hawaii – $5,900 (Early)
Chesson kind of came out of nowhere last year, and when he did, he made some of his owners very happy, as he put up a few weeks of absolutely monster stat lines. Hawaii is going to be one of the worst defenses this year, and that is why we want to target Chesson here. His price is very nice, as it is barely above the average amount you get per player. I am interested to see how the Michigan offense comes together, but this shouldn’t be a test for them.
Gabe Marks (Washington State) vs. Eastern Washington – $8,100 (Late)
Marks was an absolute stud in 2015, coming off an injury that cost him all of the 2014 season. I expect things to continue to be good for him this year. I think this Washington State team is going to continue to be one of the top passing offenses in all of college football, and as a result, Marks should see a ton of action weekly. This game should be high scoring and one sided, and I like Marks to hit the end zone at least once.
Isaiah Jones (East Carolina) vs. Western Carolina – $7,000 (Late)
Jones makes a great play on Fanpicks because of the one point per catch scoring. Jones will catch a lot of passes in this offense, and it is almost like getting free points. He should be able to put up a monster game this week against a far, far inferior team in Western Carolina. Again, there is so much value on this slate that it will not be difficult to fit him in your lineups.
Chance Allen (Houston) vs. Oklahoma – $4,800 (Early)
This is probably the game I am looking forward to most this week, as I think it is going to be filled with a ton of offense. Demarcus Ayers has departed for the NFL, which leaves a sizable hole that needs filled this year. I think there is a very good chance that Allen can step up and fill that void, which is what makes his price on this slate even more attractive. He’s definitely someone I am looking at to use in all formats.
Dede Westbrook (Oklahoma) vs. Houston – $4,700 (Early)
Truth be told, I think that Oklahoma is going to have better success through the air in this game, as the Houston pass defense wasn’t as good as everyone thinks it was, and they lose their top corner and playmaker William Jackson to the NFL. With Sterling Shepard gone, I expect Westbrook to step in and handle a lot of his dirty work, which should mean some pretty nice fantasy outings. I think the first one will come this weekend.
Reginald Davis (Texas Tech) vs. Stephen F. Austin – $4,700 (Late)
One of the biggest questions for this Texas Tech team is who will replace Jakeem Grant. There are a number of receiving threats on this offense, but the one that I am looking at in this matchup is Reginald Davis. He’s a talented receiver and I expect Mahomes to look his way a number of times in this opening game. He is way too cheap, and makes a nice play in tournaments this week.
Braxton Berrios (Miami) vs. Florida A&M – $2,500 (Late)
Berrios is unquestionably one of the most intriguing picks in this breakdown. A lot of the talking heads are expecting Brad Kaaya to emerge this year as a top quarterback in college football. Miami is always fun when trying to determine which receiver is going to do what, but I’ll roll the dice with Berrios here. It certainly helps that he is Kaaya’s roommate, but I’ll save the narratives. I think he’ll get into the end zone this weekend and make it worth your while to take the risk
Bucky Hodges (Virginia Tech) vs. Liberty – $4,800 (Early)
Hodges has been a force in this Hokies offense for the last few years, and I think 2016 could be the icing on the cake for him. This is a very good matchup for the big tight end, and I expect him to come through in a big way. The cheap options at tight end aren’t really that exciting, so I don’t mind paying up on the slate to get a reliable option.
Billy Freeman (San Jose State) vs. Tulsa – $5,200 (Late)
Kenny Potter would have been by value quarterback on the late slate had Kenny Hill not been free. Freeman should be his top receiving option with Tyler Winston set to miss the season. Yes, the cost is up there, but as I’ve said repeatedly, there is so much value that you can make it work. I love the upside on this play and he will be in most of my late lineups.
Scott Orndorff (Pittsburgh) vs. Villanova – $3,700 (Early)
There aren’t a lot of value tight ends on the early slate, but Orndorff sticks out as a guy who could be a touchdown waiting to happen. This team lost a lot when Tyler Boyd left for the NFL, so it is quite possible that Orndorff could assume some of those targets. The price is cheap, and you could do a lot worse at the tight end position.
O.J. Howard (Alabama) vs. USC – $3,600 (Late)
I expect O.J. Howard to be very heavily owned, as many will recall his outburst in the National Championship game. I’m not buying into that, as it was the first touchdown he scored since his freshman year two years earlier. Still, there is certainly the potential that he could end up having a pretty good game by tight end standards, and is priced fairly.