Week one of the fantasy football season is in the books. Some owners are basking in the glow of their victory, while others feast on the gloating of the aforementioned owners. Week Two is traditionally where a lot of rash decisions are made based on small sample sizes.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at some of the matchups for Week Two and project the best starts and who should be left riding the pine.
Fantasy Football Week Two Starts and Sits Featuring James Conner
James Conner – Running Back – Pittsburgh Steelers
Le’Veon Bell…who’s that? The Steelers rolled out second-year running back James Conner as the bell-cow running back against a fairly solid Cleveland Browns run defense. Conner did not disappoint. He totaled 135 rushing yards on 31 attempts and had two rushing scores. He finished with five receptions for 57 yards. It’s not all roses, as he did lose a costly fumble that altered the complexion of the game.
Conner and company square off against the 29th-ranked defense of the Kansas City Chiefs in Week Two. The Chiefs allowed over 160 total yards to Melvin Gordon in week one. Similar to the Los Angeles Chargers, the Steelers are deep enough at receiver to keep the run game viable. Conner is a locked-and-loaded RB1 for this matchup. He’s an automatic start in all formats.
Adrian Peterson – Running Back – Washington Redskins
In his debut with the Redskins, Adrian Peterson pummeled any doubters, and several linebackers, in week one. He totaled 96 rushing yards and 70 receiving yards with one score on a heavy workload. The 33-year-old future Hall of Famer made it look easy behind a solid line.
Heading into a week two matchup against the Indianapolis Colts, expect a similar workload and production. Peterson may lose some passing down work to Chris Thompson but should see enough volume against a defense that has a long way to go just to be bad. Fire him up in a juicy matchup.
Jimmy Garoppolo – Quarterback – San Francisco 49ers
There was a bit of disappointment for Jimmy Garoppolo‘s owners after last week’s three-interception performance. That’s understandable, but keep in mind that was against one of the league’s premier defenses. In week two, Jimmy G and company square off against a Detroit Lions defense that got walked on by a rookie making his debut.
The 49ers will be playing at home and Garoppolo will be looking for some redemption. We’re all hoping Marquise Goodwin will return to the lineup and that the running backs can rebound from a poor outing. This is the kind of matchup that could produce the type of fantasy numbers that Jimmy G owners were hoping for.
George Kittle – Tight End – San Francisco 49ers
George Kittle had a ride on the hype-train coming into the start of the season. He came out week one and led his team in targets, and should be the number-one waiver add at the position. Kittle offers a solid safety blanket over the middle for Garoppolo. He also flirted with routes from the slot. This was one of the positions that the Lions struggled to cover in week one. Kittle is shaping up to be a fringe every week starter at the position. He should be plugged in all formats, especially in points-per-reception (PPR) leagues.
Jared Cook – Tight End – Oakland Raiders
Jared Cook has a long and storied history of huge fantasy weeks often followed by disappointment. Enter the 2018 season where Cook took advantage of an obvious mismatch in week one. He exploited that mismatch for 180 yards on nine receptions.
Temper expectations as week-one could very easily be his ceiling for the season. The Raiders visit the Denver Broncos this week. The Broncos are weak to tight ends and allowed a rookie blocking tight end, Will Dissly to stomp all over them. Cook may not finish the season as a TE1, but this is a great week to roll the dice on him one more time.
Nelson Agholor – Wide Receiver – Philidelphia Eagles
Admittedly, Nelson Agholor struggled for total yards in week one. However, the counter to that is that he did see 10 targets and hauled in eight of them. Quarterback Nick Foles struggled to look comfortable in the pocket.
Agholor owners couldn’t ask for a better matchup in Week Two than the Tampa Bay Buccanneers. Expect Foles to look his way early and often in a great matchup. He’s a solid PPR start for week two.
Aaron Rodgers – Quarterback – Green Bay Packers
You read that correctly. The word sit, followed by Aaron Rodgers‘ name. While this may shock, appall, and cause mild seizures in some readers, stick with us for a moment.
Rodgers just played a half of a game on one leg. From that one leg, he hobbled in the pocket and threw for 286 yards and three touchdowns. Injury updates about his condition have been fairly vague. There has been some speculation that he may have suffered a grade-one MCL sprain.
While this injury may not prevent Rodgers from playing, it does limit his mobility. The Packers face the Minnesota Vikings and their stout defense. The Vikings are not afraid to pressure the quarterback. Knowledge of the injury is an invitation for more pressure.
There’s a possibility that Rodgers does not play, making this a moot point. However, if he suits up, temper expectations or have a backup plan in place.
Amari Cooper – Wide Receiver – Oakland Raiders
Every year there is speculation that Amari Cooper puts together an elite-level complete season, cementing his talent among the stars. And every year there are games, or stretches of them, where Cooper just disappears. In Week One, Cooper was nowhere to be found. One carry for nine yards, one reception for nine yards. Granted, it was against a tough secondary. The sledding doesn’t get any easier in week two against the Denver Broncos.
Cooper will likely draw top coverage from the Broncos. He could end up running more of a decoy type of playbook. Cooper has become matchup dependent. Leave him on benches until we see a volume increase.
Derrick Henry – Running Back – Tennessee Titans
There was a lot of speculation during the off-season about Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis. The Titans Week One matchup was distorted by poor weather, delays, and overall lack of rhythm. Add in a smidge of awful quarterback play from Marcus Mariota and it muddles the stats and what we can take from them.
However, Henry was outplayed by Lewis in every facet. Lewis had more rushing attempts, targets, and yards. Facing the Houston Texans in week two, expect Lewis to further run away with this job. Henry needs volume to be fantasy viable and has no PPR value. He’s a touchdown-dependent play this week, and no one is actually sure he’s the goal-line back. He’s better off left on fantasy benches.
Will Dissly – Tight End – Seattle Seahawks
Let’s be honest, even people that study fantasy football asked: “Who the heck is Will Dissly?”
Dissly is a rookie tight end, brought in to be an extra blocker for a porous offensive line. In the right game script, he walked into three receptions on five targets for 105 yards and a score. This has all the appearances of a flash-in-the-pan type of game and not an indication of future expectation.
Don’t fall for this trap. Dissly isn’t better left on benches; he’s better left on the waiver wire.