Week 2 of the NFL Season if officially upon us, and it’s finally time to start focusing on what’s going on ON THE FIELD. Week 1 featured some great games, and surprises when it comes to fantasy (Allen Hurns, anyone?). You should obviously always start your top picks, but we’re here to help you figure out who else is going to be a stud, and who is going to be a dud heading into the weekend’s games. We hope you enjoy our Fantasy Football Start/Sit Week 2 addition!
Colin Kaepernick vs Bears
The Bears defense is not what it once was, and the 49ers receiving corps is much improved. Kaepernick gets the Bears in a primetime Sunday night matchup, in what should provide a flashback to his explosion onto the scene against the Bears in his first career start back in 2012. Oh yeah, and it’s also the first game to be played in the new Levi’s Stadium. Think the crowd will be pumped up?
Tom Brady @ Vikings
It’s no secret that the Patriots had a rough outing in Week 1. However, history has proved time and time again that you shouldn’t bet against Tom Brady. I fully expect him to rebound this week and have a great game, He should continue to improve his chemistry with monster TE Rob Gronkowski, and having a receiving weapon like Shane Vereen in the backfield will allow the Pats to move the ball downfield, even if they aren’t terribly effective running the ball.
Matt Stafford @ Panthers
Did you see how great Stafford looked in last week’s drubbing of the Giants? I know the Carolina defense is good, especially against the pass – but with weapons like Megatron, Golden Tate, Joique Bell, and Reggie Bush, I fully expect Stafford to be a must-start every week of the season.
Nick Foles @ Colts
Despite getting off to a rough start against the underrated Jaguars defense last week, Foles was able to rebound and pull out the win. This week, he faces a weak Colts pass defense in a game in which he’ll have to keep up with Andrew Luck (also a great play) and the explosive Colts offense. Expect Foles to throw for over 300 yards and a couple of touchdowns.
Robert Griffin III vs Jaguars
RG3 just hasn’t looked like himself since his injury at the end of his rookie season. Combine that with the fact that he’s playing an underrated Jaguars defense, and his Offensive Coordinator refuses to let him use his strengths (legs) to move the offense – he should be considered more QB2 than QB1 this week.
Eli Manning vs Cardinals
Did you watch last weeks game against the Lions? Do you know the Cardinals have one of the best defensive secondaries in the league? I don’t think this needs much more of an explanation than that – SIT ELI!
Jay Cutler @ 49ers
Throughout the offseason, we kept hearing about how we’d see an improved Jay Cutler because of his familiarity with Marc Trestman’s offense, and the fact he has one of the best receiving duo’s in the league. Jump to week two, and Cutler is coming off of a terrible loss against the Bills, and his receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey are both listed as questionable heading into a primetime matchup against the 49ers defense in their new stadium. Expect a few picks from Cutler, and likely under 250 yards passing.
Knowshon Moreno @ Bills
After just one game, Moreno has officially taken the reigns as the starting RB for the Dolphins this season. The well-rounded runner will face an atrocious Bills run defense this weekend, and is a lock for top ten RB numbers this year. You can start him with the confidence of a high-upside RB2.
Frank Gore vs Bears
With rookie Carlos Hyde nipping at his heels for more touches, it’s imperative that Gore plays well against a depleted Bears run defense this week. As long as he isn’t vultured by Hyde at the goal line, he should be a lock for 10+ points.
Toby Gerhart @ Redskins
Gerhart’s tenure as the Jaguars starting RB didn’t get off to the best start. Despite the fact he was slightly injured by a horse collar tackle in week 1, he’s a lock to handle the majority of the touches against the pitiful Redskins defense on Sunday. Combine that with the fact that the redskins will struggle to maintain drives, he should get enough carries to function as an RB2 this week.
Arian Foster @ Raiders
With game manager Ryan Fitzpatrick running the offense, the Texans will have to rely on the run this season. Luckily for them, they get to play the Raiders this week. Much like Gerhart against the Redskins, Foster should benefit from his defense being able to dominate the Raiders offense and rookie quarterback Derek Carr. Expect a flashback game to when Foster was a top three fantasy RB.
Reggie Bush @ Carolina Panthers
If last week was any indication, it appears Joique Bell is the back to own for fantasy purposes in Detroit. Bush faces a ferocious Carolina front seven this week, and is coming off of an injury he sustained in week 1. While he gets a boost in PPR leagues, we expect the Lions offense to spread the wealth to their receivers outside the hashes to attack the Carolina defense.
Trent Richardson vs Eagles
It appears Richardson will be nothing more than a mere between the tackles plodder in the NFL. Combine that with the fact that Ahmad Bradshaw looked much more explosive in Week 1 and is going to command a large share of the carries, and it’s hard to trust Richardson as anything more than a dicey flex play.
Ryan Matthews vs Seahawks
It’s hard to trust anyone on the Chargers offense this week. While I like Matthews as a solid RB2 this season, he has a tough matchup against the legion of boom. The fact that he’s playing at home in San Diego certainly helps, but you should manage your expectations this week. I expect more RB3/Flex numbers, rather than RB2 numbers as most people drafted him.
Kelvin Benjamin vs Lions
The Lions secondary is depleted heading into week 2. Couple that with the fact that Cam Newton returns to the lineup, and you have to be excited to see what Benjamin can do this week. I fully expect a minimum of 70 yards and a touchdown.
Mike Wallace @ Bills
Wallace got off to a hot start in week 1. His much improved chemistry with Ryan Tannehill should help him get behind the terrible Bills secondary for some big chunk plays.
Brandin Cooks @ Browns
The year of the rookie wide receiver continues with the speedy Cooks. While the Browns defense is pretty good, their best corner Joe Haden should be occupied with Marques Colston and Jimmy Graham throughout the game. Expect a nice game from Cooks as a third option for Drew Brees.
Reggie Wayne vs Eagles
Sorry T.Y Hilton owners, Andrew Luck’s favorite target is back in the lineup and looking great. Despite his age, the crafty veteran is in line for a ton of looks in Chuck Pagano’s high flying Colts aerial attack. Wayne could be looking at a 100-catch season. Expect Monday’s shootout with the Eagles to feature Wayne as a WR1.
Victor Cruz & Rueben Randle vs Cardinals
Until Eli shows he can play in the Giants new west coast offense, I would stay clear of any of the Giants receivers. Combine that with the fact that the Cardinals have one of the best secondaries in the NFL, and this one could get ugly quickly.
Dwayne Bowe @ Broncos
Alex Smith is a very smart quarterback. Unfortunately for Bowe owners, he will never be a gunslinger. Bowe will likely be shadowed by Aqib Talib throughout the game, which makes Bowe a tough play as anything more than a WR4.
Keenan Allen vs Seahawks
I love Keenan Allen’s talent, and think he will be a WR1 this season. However, a tough matchup against the legion of boom downgrades him to a shaky WR3 this week. If the Chargers o-line can give Rivers time to throw, Allen could turn out mediocre numbers – I just don’t expect them to be able to do that.
Zach Ertz @ Colts
It appears the breakout season for Ertz is officially in full swing. Touted as the next Jimmy Graham by some, he should find plenty of holes in a shootout against the Colts on Monday Night Football.
Travis Kelce @ Broncos
As stated earlier, Alex Smith’s limitations as a passer hurts the fantasy values of his wide receivers. Luckily for Kelce owners, there’s nothing Smith likes to do more than throw to his tight ends over the middle. Expect the underrated Kelce to have a decent game against a good Broncos’ defense.
Greg Olsen vs Lions
As stated earlier, the Lions defense isn’t great. As Cam Newton’s number two option in the passing game, expect a heavy workload for the sure-handed tight end.
Martellus Bennet @ 49ers
A lot of people are picking Martellus Bennet as a good sleeper this week… don’t count me among them. The stories of the Niners’ demise on defense was greatly exaggerated, and Bennet is going to be covered by Patrick Willis Sunday night. It’s hard for me to imagine him going for more than 40 yards, whether Alshon Jeffrey and Brandon Marshall play or not.
Brandon Pettigrew @ Panthers
Carolina has a great front seven. If the Lions are going to throw the ball, expect them to throw outside the hashes. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Pettigrew kept inside as a blocker to help keep Stafford upright to combat the Panthers nasty pass-rush.
Ladarius Green vs Seahawks
Green was a popular sleeper pick this offseason. If week 1 was any indication, Antonio Gates is still the tight end to own in San Diego. Green will only get a few of looks from Rivers this week against the legion of boom.
Defense / Special Teams
Texans @ Raiders
I’ll take J.J Watt and the rejuvenated Houston D against the Raiders offense and rookie QB Derek Carr any day of the week. Expect turnovers and three and outs all game long… lots of them!
Buccaneers vs Rams
The Rams offense is basically a dumpster fire this season. Coach Lovie Smith has to be salivating at the chance to unleash his superior athletes against Shaun Hill and the struggling Rams offense.
Titans vs Cowboys
If the Titans can slow down Demarco Murray like they did Jamaal Charles last week, expect Dallas to start chucking the ball around the field. This is a good thing for the Titans D from a fantasy perspective, as evidenced by the Cowboys multiple turnovers last week against the 49ers.
Vikings vs Patriots
Playing Tom Brady and co. without Adrian Peterson to control the time of possession is a tough task for the Vikings this week. Expect Minnesota’s defense to wear down late and for the Pats to run up the score and get their offense clicking.
Jets @ Packers
Rex Ryan is a great defensive coach. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have many capable corners on his team. Expect Aaron Rodgers to hit Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb all day long in another game that could get ugly.
Bears @ 49ers
If Kaepernick and Gore can have the games I am expecting them to, the Bears defense doesn’t stand a chance this Sunday. Expect the 49ers to jump out to an early lead and ride their Gore & Hyde-fueled power running game to victory.
That wraps it up for our NFL Week 2 Start/Sit column today. What do you think of our picks? Who is going to be the breakout star of this week? Let us know in the comments!
Written by Michael Gonzalez