By: Jamy Bechler @WinningDFS101
Start/Sit – 2018 Fantasy Football – Week 2
Unless you loaded up at a position during your recent draft and are extremely deep, you will be playing your studs. That is, you’ll be playing your top-ranked players. Week 1 is the easiest week of the year but Week 2 is not far off. You have more information now but you will still play your top guys. You drafted your players where you did for a reason. For example, Davante Adams is a scary matchup going up against an all-world Minnesota secondary this week. If Aaron Rodgers doesn’t play then Adams will really be at a disadvantage but you still have to play him. Your top players are must plays regardless of matchup and circumstances (barring injury) early in the season.
When it comes to season-long fantasy football, you play your studs. You play your RB1 or WR1 unless they are hurt. Don’t overthink it. You are playing head-to-head against one opponent each week. You just have to beat that opponent (who also probably has weaknesses in their lineup). Unless you are a huge underdog that week, don’t get cute.
This article is to provide some additional information as you set your lineups this week. If you have a player that we list in the “sit” category, you shouldn’t automatically sit him because you might be replacing him with a much worse player. Think of Start/Sit rather in terms of “Confident/Cautious.” These are players that we seem to be getting a lot of questions about. We offer our take on whether you should be confident or cautious in playing them this week.
Start – Alex Smith vs. Colts
Alex Smith looked good against the Cardinals in Week 1. He completed 21/30 passes for 2 touchdowns. He wasn’t asked to carry the Redskins offense with Adrian Peterson playing so well. This week, he gets to go against the terrible Colts defense. The Bengals and Andy Dalton just carved up the Colts in Week 1. The Colts seem to have a practice squad on defense. The only thing that could keep Smith from having a big week is if Adrian Peterson has another good game and the Redskins get ahead big and turn to the ground. Obviously if you have a stud QB on your roster, you play him. But if you have a couple of mid-tier QBs, then Alex Smith is a good option to consider starting over someone like a Matthew Stafford, Jimmy Garoppolo, Andrew Luck, or Jared Goff this week.
Notables – Case Keenum vs. Raiders, Tyrod Taylor @ Saints, Deshaun Watson @ Titans
Sit – Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. Eagles
Hope that you listened to me last week when I cautioned you against Big Ben on the road against the Browns. Maybe you did something strange and brilliant at the same time by picking up Ryan Fitzpatrick instead. “Fitzmagic” was amazing this past week in New Orleans. The performance was surprising, especially if you were high on the Saints like so many were in Survivor pools (including yours truly). The temptation will be to play him this week. Be very cautious. The last time Fitzpatrick was the full-time starter and passed for 300+ yards (week 2 of 2016 season), he came back with 188 yards, 6 interceptions, and an 18 passer rating. This week, he plays the Eagles. Yes, the Saints were supposed to be a good defense but we know that the Eagles are a good defense. DeSean Jackson is in concussion protocol and Mike Evans is known to be inconsistent throughout his career so I wouldn’t bet on this receiving corp and the lifetime QB backup having another career day.
Notables – Andy Dalton vs. Ravens, Derek Carr @ Broncos, Marcus Mariota vs. Texans
Start – T.J. Yeldon vs. Patriots
T.J. Yeldon is talented. Jacksonville wants to run the ball. They are also willing to pass the ball to their running backs as an extension of the run game. Leonard Fournette left Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury and Yeldon is the unquestioned handcuff who now becomes the focal point of this offense. I am assuming that they will protect Fournette and not play him but check the injury report on Sunday. Yeldon had 14 carries and was targeted 7 times out of the backfield against the Giants. The Patriots have a good defense but they tend to give up lots of yards. Yeldon is the type of player that can turn a dump down pass into an exciting 30+ yard touchdown.
Notables – Carlos Hyde @ Saints, James White @ Jaguars, Adrian Peterson vs. Colts
Sit – Jamaal Williams vs. Vikings
The Minnesota Vikings have an imposing defense. The modern day “Purple People Eaters” just stymied the 49ers run game and held them to under 100 yards total rushing. Now the Vikings get the Packers and starter Jamaal Williams. I like Williams and think that he could be a Top-12 running back if he was the full-time starter all year long. However, for this one game, I am going to sit him. The Vikings are too tough and they are going to be even more aggressive considering Aaron Rodgers’ injury. If Rodgers plays, they’ll be coming after him. If Kizer is at quarterback then they will be really coming after him by stacking the box and daring him to throw against their all-world secondary. Either there will be nowhere for Williams to run because of 7+ men in the box or Green Bay will continue to try and pass making Williams an extra man in pass protection. After his underwhelming 15 carry, 47-yard performance Sunday night combined with the Vikings defensive prowess, I suggest fading Williams and looking elsewhere for your RB2 or Flex play.
Notables – Kerryon Johnson @ 49ers, Duke Johnson, Jr. @ Saints, Peyton Barber vs. Eagles
Start – Jarvis Landry @ Saints
This game has the 5th highest projected scoring total of the weekend. The Browns are 9-point underdogs so they should be playing from behind. Landry was targeted 15 times Sunday, catching 7 of them for 106 yards. Some people don’t expect Landry to keep up this high volume with Josh Gordon expected to be at close to full strength in Week 2. However, this is why the Browns paid Landry a lot of money in the off-season. He is a target monster and is an extension of the run game. Even with Gordon at full-strength, in this up-tempo game, there should be enough volume to go around. New Orleans’ defense is not as bad as it looked against Tampa Bay in Week 1 but they still gave up 21 catches, 417 yards, and 4 touchdowns. Two of the Bucs receivers went over 140 yards receiving each. Fire up Landry as a confident WR2 this week.
Notables – Quincy Enunwa vs. Dolphins, Kenny Golladay @ 49ers, Nelson Agholor @ Bucs
Sit – Robby Anderson vs. Dolphins
Anderson gets a promotion this week. Last week, he was listed in the “sit-notables”. This week, he’s the main guy. When I look at my fantasy football options, I value opportunity and reliability. Robby Anderson is a big play type guy that doesn’t get too many targets. He also has a history of questionable off-field issues so I don’t really trust him. Yes, he caught a 41-yard touchdown Monday night against the Lions but that was his only target. With Quincy Enunwa back healthy, Anderson doesn’t look to be the Jets #1 receiver anymore. By the way, grab Enunwa off the waiver wire if he is still available. He should be a target monster and security blanket for Sam Darnold going forward. He had 10 targets, which was 7 more than the next receiver. Did I mention that it was 9 more than Robby Anderson had.
Notables – Kenny Stills @ Jets, Jordy Nelson @ Broncos, DeSean Jackson vs. Eagles
Start – Jack Doyle @ Redskins
Andrew Luck is a big fan of Jack Doyle. Time and time again, Luck heaps praise upon Doyle. I like that when considering opportunity in fantasy football. Never underestimate a quarterback’s security blanket. Doyle is reliable. Last year, Doyle was the 9th-ranked TE in fantasy football. This year, he has picked up where he left off playing on 94% of the Colts’ snaps and ran an astounding 55 pass routes in Week 1. He saw 10 targets and hauled in 7 of them for 60 yards. However, he failed to get into the end zone. It is hard to predict events, like touchdowns, in football. But you can reasonably predict opportunity and volume. Doyle will be targeted a lot week in and week out.
Notables – Trey Burton vs. Seahawks, George Kittle vs. Lions, Ben Watson vs. Browns
Sit – Eric Ebron @ Redskins
I know, I know Eric Ebron scored a touchdown for the Colts and twitter was abuzz with excitement. Ebron caught 4 of his 5 targets for 51 yards. Let me caution you a minute as we step into the way-back machine and go back to 2016. In Ebron’s first game, he caught all 5 of his targets for 46 yards and a touchdown. Yeah, he started the year with a touchdown. That high draft pick the Lions spent on him was finally going to be justified. He proceeded to score as many touchdowns as you and I put together in the remaining 12 games that he would play that year. Then in 2017, he scored only 4 touchdowns. I simply do not trust Eric Ebron yet. We’ve seen this episode before. It will take more than an exciting touchdown in an opening game or high measurables at the NFL combine to convince me that he is reliable in fantasy football. I will take Jack Doyle all day long.
Notables – Tyler Eifert vs. Ravens, Charles Clay vs. Chargers
Unless you have one of the top 4-5 defenses that are probably an automatic start each week, then you might want to consider streaming your defense each week with the team with the best matchup that is at home. Remember, low scoring games is not the only factor for a good defense. You can’t predict fantasy defensive scoring but you can predict opportunity. You want defenses that are aggressive and get pressure on the quarterback. This pressure can lead to turnovers. It is also a decent gamble to target defenses going against rookie or inexperienced quarterbacks.
Start Notables – Redskins DST vs. Colts, Jets DST vs. Miami, Bears DST vs. Seahawks
Sit Notables – Steelers DST vs. Chiefs, Cowboys DST vs. Giants, Cardinals DST @ Rams
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About the Author-
Jamy Bechler is a fantasy contributor for CouchPotatoGM and FantasyPros. His DFS twitter is @WinningDFS101 and his website is FantasyFocusFootball.com. When he is not playing fantasy sports, Jamy is an author, host of the “Success is a Choice” podcast, and is a leadership trainer, working with businesses and teams across the country (including the NBA). You can also follow his personal twitter account @CoachBechler. Even though he offers his advice on players and contests, after additional information and consideration, he may end up using different players and strategies than what he recommends.