Must Starts and Sits | NFL Week 2

by Aditya Fuldeore · Matchups Start/Sit
Start Sit Week 2

We Have Data

Every week of the NFL season, fantasy gamers juggle players to insert into lineups at each position. Are you questioning which players face easy matchups and which players face tougher paths to production? You are in the right place! We now have one week’s worth of data to use as input for our start/sit decisions. For seasonal leagues, DFS, and more, our must start and must sit picks give you some guidance to win your week.


Start: Kirk Cousins

In Week 1, Kirk Cousins threw for 344 passing yards and two touchdowns. However, he also committed three crucial turnovers en route to a loss. For Week 2, Cousins gets the Philadelphia Eagles on a short week. The Eagles yielded 316 passing yards and three passing touchdowns to Mac Jones despite Philadelphia winning the matchup. Philly’s defense enters the Thursday Night game banged up, including CB James Bradberry. Bradberry will miss Week 2 with a concussion, providing an advantage for Justin Jefferson and the Vikings’ receiving corps. Minnesota is a pass-first team and will have plenty of passing volume against the Eagles. Fire up Cousins against a banged-up Eagles D this week.

Sit: Russell Wilson

Against the Raiders in Week 1, Russell Wilson had a pedestrian – albeit efficient – 177 yards passing. He threw 34 passes, many of them shallow, and Denver scored only 16 points in the loss. Wilson’s days of flashy dual-threat playmaking look like they are close to over. His performance in Week 1 was fine, but nothing to propel him into top-12 QB conversations. He faces the Commanders in Week 2, who have a menacing defensive line. Washington was middle-of-the-pack against QBs last season and held Joshua Dobbs and a bad Cardinals offense to 132 passing yards in Week 1. Dobbs was held to less than five Yards Per Attempt, and Wilson’s Yards Per Attempt number was not any better. Expect another meh start from Wilson with low volume and increased turnover chances against a solid Washington defense. Wilson is a sit this week.

Running Back

Start: James Conner

The Cardinals are not a very good team this season, but James Conner is one of the team’s best offensive players. He saw 14 of the Cardinals’ 19 running back carries and churned out 4.4 yards per carry.

Meanwhile the Giants, who the Cardinals face this week, were torched in Week 1. They gave up 40 points, including two rushing touchdowns to Tony Pollard. Last season, New York allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing RBs on the ground, and that has not yet changed one week into this season. Conner also added five receptions, second on the team last week. With Dobbs starting again next week, Conner projects to see similar volume. The Giants will look to rebound, but Conner will see usage as one of Arizona’s only offensive weapons, making him a start against a so-so Giants run defense.

Sit: Dameon Pierce

Dameon Pierce is the Texans’ lead back, but didn’t completely dominate the backfield touches. Devin Singletary was close in carries, with seven to Pierce’s 11, while Mike Boone had one more reception than Pierce (3-2). While you can expect Pierce to continue to be the leader in touches, Houston’s backfield splits will be tighter than last season, especially with a rookie QB under center. In Week 2, the Texans face the Colts, who have a solid run defense. Indianapolis yielded an average rushing performance to Travis Etienne last week but allowed only the 24th-most fantasy points on the ground to RBs last season. This game will be a matchup between two rookie QBs, so neither offense will be particularly efficient. Pierce has an uphill climb with a bottom-tier offense and facing a solid run defense this week.

Wide Receiver

Start: DeAndre Hopkins

With 13 targets in Week 1, DeAndre Hopkins established himself as the Titans’ Alpha Receiver. In Tennessee’s run-first offense, Hopkins saw over a third of Ryan Tannehill‘s targets, but compiled just 65 receiving yards. The Titans go against a Chargers defense, however, that just yielded 466 passing yards to the Dolphins, including 215 receiving yards and two touchdowns to Tyreek Hill. Last season, the Los Angeles secondary struggled, too, allowing the sixth-most fantasy points to WRs. While the Titans will continue to use the run game and short-yardage passing, the Chargers defense is more susceptible to explosive plays and high scoring opportunities. Hopkins will continue to get looks, along the lines of the 43.5-percent (No. 2) Air Yards Share he saw last season. Even with low pass-volume, the Chargers secondary is too delectable a matchup to not start Hopkins.

Sit: Drake London

Although he possesses all the makings of an Alpha Wide Receiver, Drake London received just one target in Week 1, and it resulted in zero catches. He now gets a Packer secondary featuring PlayerProfiler’s No. 2 ranked CB, Jaire Alexander. It feels like low-hanging fruit to go with London as a sit this week, especially after a complete zero last week, but he has been considered a borderline-WR2 the whole offseason. Deeper league fantasy gamers will debate firing London up again, but Week 1 confirmed that fears about the Falcons’ low-volume passing offense were legit. A second straight zero-catch day is unlikely, but Arthur Smith loves to run the ball. London will need a touchdown to have any semblance of fantasy relevance against a Packers defense that held the Bears to 216 passing yards on 37 pass attempts. Receivers like Michael Thomas and Elijah Moore are better bets this week.

Tight End

Start: Hunter Henry

Entering year three as a Patriot, Hunter Henry caught five passes for 56 yards and a touchdown in Week 1. Those numbers seem pedestrian, but he led all tight ends in fantasy scoring with 16.6 PPR points.

Henry’s matchup for this week is the Miami Dolphins, who were just in an offensive shootout with the Chargers last week. The Dolphins allowed five receptions and a touchdown between Donald Parham and Gerald Everett, while giving up 34 points on defense. Henry is getting the meaty end of a TE split with Mike Gesicki in New England and his Week 1 usage shows he is on Mac Jones‘ radar. With the tight end position hapless as ever and multiple top tight ends’ statuses in doubt, Henry should be of fantasy radars in a plus matchup.

Sit: Pat Freiermuth

A touchdown in Week 1 elevated Pat Freiermuth to top-10 TE status. That’s all it takes in a dire TE landscape – that was the only catch he had. The Steelers offense was held to just those seven points in Week 1, with Kenny Pickett attempting 46 passes and throwing two interceptions. Pittsburgh did not look like a fantasy-viable offense, with veteran Allen Robinson leading the team in receiving yards. The Browns face the Steelers in Week 2 with a Monday Night rivalry matchup on the agenda. Cleveland’s defense locked down Joe Burrow and the Bengals in Week 1, allowing less than 20 receiving yards to Cincy TE Irv Smith. With the struggles the Steelers offense faced in Week 1, Freiermuth is best on benches in a negative matchup against the Browns.

Embrace the Chaos

After a chaotic Week 1, we are ready for Week 2. Make sure you sift through the injuries, waiver wire claims, and fire off some trade offers to optimize your lineup for the week. With these sure starts and sits, we’re off and running to embrace one more week of chaos characteristic of the NFL. Good luck!

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