Fantasy Football Locks and Stayaways for Week 2: Marshawn Lynch vs. Alshon Jeffery

by Conor O'Brien ·

We get you ready for week 2 with a handful of solid starts and must sits based on advanced stats, metrics, and analytics-based player profiles. Off we go!


QB: Jameis Winston vs. Chicago Bears

After their week one game was postponed, the Buccaneers will look to QB Jameis Winston to power them over the visiting Bears. Last week against Atlanta, the Bears showed they’re susceptible to the deep ball, as evident with Austin Hooper’s 88 yard TD. Fortunately for Tampa Bay, Winston loves to sling it deep, as his 86 deep ball attempts last year were 3rd among all QB’s. Look for Winston to stretch this defense vertically, early and often.

RB: Marshawn Lynch vs. New York Jets

After a year long hiatus, Beast mode showed signs that he’s still a productive player with his 4.2 yards per carry outing against the Titans. Up comes the New York Jets who were gashed by LeSean McCoy to the tune of 110 yards. Oakland will likely be in front for almost the entire game, which will cause them to lean on the run more in the second half. Marshawn Lynch should have a 100 yard outing against this down trodden squad.

RB: Mike Gillislee vs. New Orleans Saints

In a shocking take, I am once again recommending that you start a player facing the Saints defense. However, this pick has more to do with how poorly the Patriots defense played last Thursday. After being torched for almost 400 yards by Alex Smith, even Bill Belichick must feel a little nervous about facing a future hall of fame QB on the road. The Patriots will probably come out with a run first approach to keep Drew Brees & Co. on the sidelines for as long as possible. Gillislee might not be able to replicate his 3 TD performance, but he will almost certainly put up better yardage against a defense that is routinely shredded by opposing running backs.

WR: Jarvis Landry vs. Los Angeles Chargers

Landry is another player making his debut this week after a week one postponement. He faces a chargers defense that showed it is vulnerable to slot WR last week after getting beat for two TD’s by Bennie Fowler. With speedster Kenny Stills and big bodied Devante Parker expected to work on the outside, Landry should see a lot of work on the outside. Landry was a reception machine in 2016 with 94 on the year. Look for Jay Cutler to target him often this game to try and avoid a tough Los Angeles pass rush.

WR: Larry Fitzgerald vs. Indianapolis Colts

Week one couldn’t have gone worse for the Arizona Cardinals. The passing game looked dysfunctional, and they lost their workhorse David Johnson for the year. But facing this Colts team is a gift from the football gods. Last week, the Colts defense was exposed in the slot, allowing rookie Cooper Kupp to pick up 4 Rec for 76 yards. Fitzgerald played 51-percent of his snaps last week out of the slot. The Cardinals will rely on their aging star more than ever to carry the load now that David Johnson is out.

TE: Kyle Rudolph vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Rudolph was an efficient fantasy player last week, managing to finish with a TD despite only 3 targets the entire game. His target volume should increase in week two against a defense that allowed +1.37 fantasy points above the mean to opposing tight ends. The Steelers looked susceptible to tight ends in their week one win over the Browns, and a pro bowl player such as Rudolph could truly expose a potential weakness for their defense.

Kyle Rudolph Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile


QB: Kirk Cousins vs. Los Angeles Rams

Last week, Cousins struggled against an Eagles secondary devoid of playmakers. Up next comes the LA Rams, whose defense looked inspired last week. Perhaps that was more a function of playing Scott Tolzien, but with Robert Quinn showing shades of his 2013 campaign and all-world defensive lineman Aaron Donald set to return, the Rams defense appears ready to make a leap. Facing a cross-country trip, Cousins is a hard fade in week 2.

WR: Alshon Jeffery vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Jeffery struggled when matched up against Josh Norman last week, posting an uninspiring 42.9-percent catch rate. This week doesn’t get any easier for Jeffery, as he goes against the play making Marcus Peters. After not allowing a TD reception to the Patriots last week, the Chiefs look primed to continue their air defense against a struggling Jeffery.


Alshon Jeffery Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

WR: Golden Tate vs. New York Giants

Tate impressed last week, posting a 10 catch, 107 yard outing while covered by Patrick Peterson for large chunks of the game. Up next comes a stingy Giants defense that just held Dez Bryant to two receptions on nine targets. Tate will also be guarded by two capable defenders this time, as the CB duo of Janoris Jenkins and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie remain arguably the best in the league. Expect Tate’s production to slow down in week two.

RB: LeSean McCoy vs. Carolina Panthers

In week one, the Panthers defense reminded people of the dominant 2015 squad that won the NFC. Luke Kuechly & the front seven absolutely smothered the San Francisco ground attack. This week they go up against a Buffalo offense whose only real threat is their RB1. Carolina will stack the box without fear against an uninspiring Buffalo receiver corps. Shady is running behind the 22nd ranked offensive line from 2016, so expect them to struggle to open holes against this strong Carolina front.

Check out LeSean McCoy on the Updated PlayerProfiler Seasonal & Weekly Rankings:

RB: Eddie Lacy vs San Francisco 49ers

One of the few things that San Fran did right in week one was stop the run. Holding Jonathan Stewart and Christian McCaffrey to under 4.0 YPC off of 31 carries. Lacy will not see enough volume in Seattle’s RBBC approach to be productive. Coupled with the fact that Seattle’s offensive line looked awful once again against Green Bay. If Lacy comes even close to 50 rushing yards, consider it a successful day for him.

TE: Jason Witten vs Denver Broncos

The Broncos defense absolutely dominated Tight Ends in week one, holding the duo of Antonio Gates and Hunter Henry to only 2 catches off three targets for 17 yards. The Cowboys like to get Witten the ball, as his 23.7-percent target share ranked 3rd among all tight ends after week one. However, this Denver defense will be too stingy to allow the veteran to have a productive day.