In seasonal Fantasy Football, matchups often boil down to which owner makes the right start/sit decisions. That’s why we provide this Week 2 Start ‘Em article! You can’t hold allegiances to projections or name recognition; you simply have to play the guys you think will wind up with the most Fantasy points.
QB Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers vs. DET
In shallow leagues that feature multiple quarterbacks on each roster, many owners may consider benching Jimmy Garoppolo after his relatively quiet Week 1 performance. Don’t do it. There is a huge gap in talent between the Vikings and Lions defenses, plus Detroit’s players have seemingly already begun to resist new HC Matt Patricia. The Lions ranked 28th in DVOA defense last year and were shredded by a rookie QB at home last Monday. Jimmy G nearly had a big day against one of the best secondaries in football, but a couple of near misses with emerging TE George Kittle hurt his box score. He’s a good bet for 20-plus FPs in this matchup.
RB Carlos Hyde, Cleveland Browns @ NO
This game has a 50-point Over/Under despite the perceived reputation of the Browns offense. Cleveland is going to be much better on that side of the ball than a Week 1 tie with Pittsburgh would suggest, and Carlos Hyde is clearly going to carry the mail. He handled 22 carries against the Steelers while Nick Chubb and Duke Johnson Jr. combined for eight, so volume won’t be an issue against a Saints team that ranked 23rd in DVOA rush defense last season.
RB Chris Thompson, Washington Redskins vs. IND
While Adrian Peterson grabbed headlines with a vintage performance in Week 1, Chris Thompson also shined with 128 yards and a TD on 11 touches. His workload should increase moving forward when the Redskins get into close games, and Andrew Luck presents a stiffer challenge for Washington than the ultra-timid Sam Bradford. Washington is shorthanded on the perimeter, and new QB Alex Smith prefers targeting his backs and tight ends with safe throws anyways. Thompson should quickly become a favorite for Smith, and he’s set up for a big game against a Colts team that ranked 31st in DVOA pass defense against opposing RBs last season.
WR Dede Westbrook, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. NE
The Patriots tend to hone in on the opposition’s top receiver and shut that weapon down, but the Jaguars have no official pecking order. If anything, new signee Donte Moncrief is listed as Jacksonville’s top WR, even though second-year men Dede Westbrook and Keelan Cole showed a superior rapport with Blake Bortles in Week 1. Westbrook is a good bet for steady production all season and should see increased production against a Patriots team that allowed the third-most passing YPG (251.4) while facing the third-most attempts (590) last year. The potential absence of Leonard Fournette (hamstring) would also force Jacksonville into more of a pass-heavy approach.
WR Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks @ CHI
The Bears defense is much improved, but still vulnerable against slot receivers, as evidenced by Randall Cobb’s huge 75-yard TD last Sunday night. Tyler Lockett is slated to see increased targets with Doug Baldwin (knee) out multiple weeks, and he’s a better fit for Baldwin’s versatile role than slow veteran Brandon Marshall. Chicago has big, physical corners capable of handling Marshall in the red zone, which may lead to more looks for Lockett in scoring position.
TE Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts @ WAS
While new addition Eric Ebron caught a TD in Week 1, he played just 37 offensive snaps (45%), and Jack Doyle played on 94 percent of the Colts 82 offensive snaps. Doyle caught of 7-of-10 targets from Andrew Luck, who seems to lack the arm strength to push the ball downfield. That should continue to force more short and intermediate throws to Doyle, and the steady TE is a trustworthy target despite fumbling late in a loss to Cincinnati. Washington often plays zone coverage, and that’s partially why the Redskins gave up the fifth-most receiving YPG (60.4) to opposing TEs last season.