Week 2 of the NFL season is upon us and fantasy football questions like who to start in your lineup and who to sit on the bench become quite important. A 2-0 start in your league could be the great boost needed to make a long playoff run, while a 0-2 campaign could prove to end your season before you have a chance to save it. Weeks 1 and 2 of fantasy football could be seen as the most imperative to any league. One wrong play could be costly and thus end a team’s chance of winning. Here are my picks for the best starts and sits in fantasy football leagues across the country.
Josh Allen played decently against the New York Jets in their season opener. The Jets boast an above-average defense and secondary, and Allen handled it well for a second-year QB. Two fumbles and two interceptions were the major reasons why Allen did not have a huge fantasy day. However, he still ran for a touchdown alongside rushing 38 yards, and he threw for 254 yds and a TD. He takes on the Giants this week who were lit up by Dak Prescott and his team of receivers in Dallas. Allen is a nice start in 10 and 12 team leagues.
You might be thinking: isn’t Tom Brady a must-start in every league? Well, he should be, but before the season and in many fantasy drafts, some experts had Brady as their QB 20, after a not-so-fantastic 2018 fantasy year. With the signing of Antonio Brown and the matchup versus the Miami Dolphins, a team that imploded to the Baltimore Ravens by the score of 59-10, Brady is a must-start officially in every league this week and maybe for the rest of the season. A lot of people saw New England running the ball more than they did against the Pittsburgh Steelers; however, it was the passing game that torched Steel City, and therefore I am all aboard the Brady bandwagon in 2019.
Gardner Minshew came in for Nick Foles after the veteran broke his collarbone in Week 1 against the Chiefs. Minshew looked comfortable and had great success with almost a perfect completion day (22/25) and two touchdowns. The only problem was that he came into the game when the Kansas City Chiefs were already up by a sufficient amount of points to play more conservatively on defense, and KC’s secondary is not really special at all. Yes, Houston’s secondary did not look great versus the Saints, but I feel that Minshew having to play on the road where JJ Watt and the boys are running at him left and right is just a recipe for disaster Minshew.
I have to admit I was very worried about Mark Ingram in Baltimore and did not believe he could be as effective for the Ravens as he was all of those years in New Orleans. The former Heisman Trophy winner is now headlining my start list for running backs against the Arizona Cardinals, and it is not because I think that Arizona is weak on the defensive line (as they held Kerryon Johnson to a pretty quiet day on the ground in Week 1). I just think that Ingram and the Ravens themselves are dedicated to the run, and will most likely be running the ball a lot in this matchup. Ingram averaged 7.6 yards per carry on 14 attempts for a total of 107 yards and two TDs for a great fantasy start. Look for him to produce more of the same in Week 2 in Baltimore’s home opener.
Marlon Mack was given 25 carries for 174 yards in the Indianapolis Colts Week 1 game against the Los Angeles Chargers — a game in which the Colts trailed the Bolts for most of the game. For Mack fantasy owners, this stat line is exciting. Although the volume and production most likely will not remain as high, Mack will continue to be fed quite a lot, and fantasy owners should have no reason to worry. The Titans do impose a solid run defense, and they held Nick Chubb in check pretty well in Week 1. However, I do think that this game will be a close, divisional matchup between two teams that are going to be fighting for the AFC South division crown, and mistakes will need to be held to a minimum. There is no mistake in handing the ball off to a guy who averaged 7 yards per carry. Start Mack with confidence in any league.
David Montgomery was one of the RBs that had a lot of hype to his name before the season started. The Chicago Bears halfback only had six carries for 18 yards and had one nice catch for 27 yards. I just do not believe in the Bears offense this year — especially the run game in which Montgomery was barely a part of. The Denver Broncos did give up a solid fantasy day for rookie Josh Jacobs in Oakland during Week 1; however, Montgomery and the Bears obviously are not as dedicated to the run as Jacobs and Gruden. Therefore I see a small volume day for Montgomery.
I wholeheartedly believe Todd Gurley is a very talented football player and running back. However, I also think that he is still not 100% himself health-wise. Coach McVay told the media that Gurley would not have a pitch count and would run as much as needed. This was certainly not the case in Week 1, though. Malcolm Brown, the listed backup, had 11 carries but more importantly both rushing touchdowns. If Gurley is not the “goal to go” back for the Rams, and he has to sacrifice ten or more carries to another running back, his value diminishes immensely. Until I see Gurley run the ball and be given more chances to score, he is a sit for me. This is surprising to say, as Gurley was not too long ago the best fantasy option among all positions and a consensus No. 1 overall pick.
Allen Robinson was the clear No. 1 and most reliable asset on offense for the Chicago Bears. In a game where they only scored three points, he had 17.2 PPRs (points per reception) as he had seven catches for 102 yards. I believe Mitchell Trubisky will improve at least a little bit to be competitive in the NFC North for the second year in a row. I believe Robinson will be a consistent player in Chicago and produce solid numbers in Week 2 against Denver.
John Ross Ⅲ
Andy Dalton and John Ross looked surprisingly good in the Bengal Week 1 game at Seattle. Ross had seven receptions for 158 yards and two touchdowns against the Seahawks. Although that could very well be his ceiling performance for the rest of the season, he still is going to be dangerous. Tyler Boyd is the No. 1 option in Cincinnati; however, Ross stole the show for the Bengals receiving core in Week 1. And I see more of the same in Week 2 against San Francisco.
I liked Josh Gordon as a WR2 in most fantasy leagues. However, with the signing of Antonio Brown, Gordon will not be targeted enough to be successful in fantasy. A matchup against the porous (or porpoise) Dolphins seems enticing, but in my opinion, it’s a trap. Once New England is up by a good margin, I think they are going to depend on their running game to chew up the clock and coincidentally give their running backs more work than in Week 1. Sony Michel, Rex Burkhead, and James White should have more carries than they did last week, and I think that takes away from Josh Gordon’s fantasy value.
I have been big on Waller for a while. The man is a beast at 6’6’’, and his athleticism is unbelievable. The man ran a 4.46 40 yard dash as a tight end! Waller had a nice Week 1, with seven receptions and 70 yards. I think we see more of the same with Waller for the rest of the season, and I see him finishing in the top five for fantasy tight ends when the season is all said and done. Play Waller with confidence.
Rudolph did not see one target in the Vikings Week 1 game against the Falcons. Minnesota showed that they are going to run the ball a lot more with a healthy Dalvin Cook than they did last year Although Kirk Cousins will likely attempt more passes in the future than in Week 1, I still believe that the only playable pass catchers in Minnesota are Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. I would sit — or even release — Kyle Rudolph for the rest of the season and especially in Week 2.