These players don’t have to be benched. Each individual team is different and league context matters. The matchups are more difficult than usual and if possible, seeking a better start is recommended.
QB Russell Wilson @CHI
It’s always difficult to fade Wilson in season long because he tends to find ways to produce good Fantasy stats. He did last week on the road in Denver and finished as a QB1, but he was sacked six times, threw two interceptions and doesn’t have many weapons to work with, especially with Doug Baldwin out with a knee injury. The Bears pass rush with Khalil Mack, Akiem Hicks and Leonard Floyd will cause problems and the over/under is one of the lowest of the week at 43.5. Alex Smith and Patrick Mahomes are better starts.
RB Jamaal Williams vs. MIN
Williams has a tough matchup against one of the best run defenses in the NFL. There’s a chance Aaron Rodgers sits due to injury, too. If Rodgers does play, he will be limited and likely play in the shotgun often, leading to quick passes and Ty Montgomery could play more. The Vikings held the 49ers 25 carries on 90 yards for 3.65 yards per carry. Williams had 15 carries for 47 yards and didn’t have a catch on two targets last week against the Bears.
RB Peyton Barber vs. PHI
The positive to Barber is volume, especially after Ronald Jones was inactive last week. He’s going to get most of the carries. The downside is the lack of involvement in the passing game for PPR formats and he needs to score a touchdown to come through and in a difficult matchup, the odds are diminished. The Eagles held the Falcons running backs to 3.7 yards per carry last week and were third in that category last season. Barber had 19 carries for 69 yards with no receptions last week in a game the Buccaneers scored 48 points. Barber could have a similar stat line in Week 2.
WR Amari Cooper @DEN
Cooper’s Week 1 was a flashback to last season. He had three targets and caught one for nine yards and had a nine-yard rush. Raiders coach Jon Gruden said Cooper was open deep several times and Derek Carr couldn’t get him the football. Cooper has struggled against the Broncos in six career games, has 17 catches on 37 targets for 160 yards and two touchdowns. Cooper ran from the slot 45 percent of the time last week and if he’s in the slot against the Broncos, he will have a tough matchup with Chris Harris.
WR Chris Hogan @JAX
Hogan was one of the biggest disappointments last week. He was expected to get heavy volume with Julian Edelman suspended for the first four games of the season and the receiving corps thin. He had one catch for 11 yards on five targets. James White, Rob Gronkowski and Phillip Dorsett had more targets than Hogan, who will likely see a lot of cornerbacks Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye. Hogan had two catches for 20 yards against the Jaguars last season in the AFC championship. Hogan will get better, but not in Week 2.
TE Kyle Rudolph @GB
Tight end got thin with the injuries to Delanie Walker and Greg Olsen, so most people can’t bench Rudolph. The concern with Rudolph was a lack of targets last week and he’s dependent on scoring. Rudolph ran 33 routes last week and was targeted twice. Fortunately, he caught one for an 11-yard touchdown.
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