(Image credit: Zach Kruse/USA Today)
By: Jett Rosenstein
Welcome back to “The Playbook!” Week 1 has officially come and gone so it is time to preview everything fantasy football for Week 2 of the NFL season. In Week 1, we saw some players come out of nowhere while others fell short of expectations. To get week 2 underway, I will be looking at some of my favorite start/sits, defensive streams, a panic meter, and much more. Let’s get into it!
QB Aaron Rodgers vs DET
As the man himself once put it, everyone needs to R-E-L-A-X. Yes, the whole Green Bay Packers offense looked abysmal in Week 1, but they have a “get right” matchup against the Lions on primetime television. A lot of folks are saying that Rodgers just does not want to be out there. With the kind of person and player he is, I highly doubt that. Don’t take Rodgers out of your lineups just yet as he will put on a show on MNF.
RB Miles Sanders vs SF
Miles Sanders looked great against the Falcons in Week 1. I expect him to have another strong outing against the 49ers in Week 2. The 49ers gave up the most points to RBs in Week 1 allowing both Swift and Williams of the Lions to go wild. I get that Kenneth Gainwell is still going to have a role, but Sanders is the primary back who will get the volume both through the air and on the ground.
TE Tyler Higbee vs IND
Although he didn’t leave Week 1 with a touchdown, Tyler Higbee looked really good and received plenty of volume. It seems as if Matthew Stafford will continue the trend of looking at his TEs. Higbee never left the field in Week 1 and racked up 5 receptions on 6 targets. Higbee will have a solid floor and always have the potential to have a boom week in any matchup.
RB Mike Davis vs TB
This should be a no-brainer for most people unless you have no better option. Mike Davis is going up against a Tampa Bay defense that not only shut down Zeke Elliott in Week 1 but was known for stopping running backs throughout the 2020 campaign. He will get the volume, but I have concerns about whether he can turn that volume into production in this matchup.
RB James Robinson vs DEN
In Week 1, James Robinson was a huge disappointment in a game that was being played against one of the worst teams in football. Even though the Jaguars were trailing for a good portion of the game, it was not a great sign to see Carlos Hyde see a ton of work out of the backfield. Now Robinson faces a Denver defense that is really good and was able to shut down Saquon Barkley even though he was less than 100%
WR Michael Pittman Jr. vs LAR
Pittman was thought to be the WR1 in this Colts offense heading into the season, but it was clear the Colts had something else in mind for Week 1. The primary recipients in the passing offense were the Colts RBs. Not to say that will continue but it doesn’t help Pittman’s case going forward. He now has to face a Rams defense that may have Jalen Ramsey key in on him. Stay away!
*Note, these defenses are still available in at least 20% of leagues according to Yahoo!)
New Orleans Saints (vs. Carolina Panthers)
Whether it was the Packers going into self-destruct mode or the Saints shutting them down, the Saints are shaping up to be a very viable play here in Week 2. They are currently available in 45% of Yahoo leagues. They are going up against a Carolina offense that looked pretty good, but it was against the Jets. They have the potential to return a top 5 output this week.
Green Bay Packers (vs. Detroit Lions)
I may get a few eye rolls on this one due to the fact the Packers imploded on both sides of the ball against the Saints. Yes, now they are up against a Lions team that just put up 30+ points on the 49ers. However, I do not think that is going to continue. The Packers are currently available in 63% of Yahoo leagues and could be a nice addition if you are still in search of a defense.
Seattle Seahawks (vs. Tennessee Titans)
The Seahawks defense looked very serviceable against a Colts team that seemed unable to get anything going. While we may not get the same horrific performance from the Titans in this matchup, the Seahawks defense could be a nice stream. The game is in Seattle and we cannot expect the Titans to go guns a blazing after Week 1.
These were some of the guys who had a poor week 1 outing. Should we be worried going forward? This will be done on a scale from 1-10. 1 is no reason to panic. 10 is PANIC TIME!
QB Ryan Tannehill (TEN)
The whole Titans offense looked really bad in Week 1 against the Cardinals, but better days are ahead. Tannehill has as many weapons as ever and look for him to take full advantage of that in the coming weeks. You may want to start someone in the meantime, but he will be just fine.
PANIC LEVEL: 3
RB Saquon Barkley (NYG)
While we know Saquon was on a pitch count and wasn’t 100% in week 1, can we really expect him to get back to his elite level of play? It is very possible, but I am very concerned. Historically, RBs have had a difficult time returning to form after an ACL injury. There is not much you can do with him since you probably drafted him in the 1st round, but you just have to hope he shifts into another gear towards the end of the season.
PANIC LEVEL: 7
WR Davante Adams (GB)
Considering Adams was the first WR off the board in many leagues, his Week 1 performance was very discouraging. However, I fully expect this Packers to rebound this week and every week going forward. Adams and Rodgers have an undeniable amount of chemistry and they are going to take advantage of that in possibly their last year together.
PANIC LEVEL: 1
WAIVER WIRE STASHES
It can be very hard to scoop up the hot name on the waiver wire when everyone is in a bidding war. I cannot predict an injury, but here are a few names to stash on your bench so you can be one step ahead of your league mates.
RB Larry Rountree III (LAC)
Once again Austin Ekeler has been dealing with the injury bug. While he did play in Week 1, it remains to be seen whether this injury will linger throughout the season. If Ekeler were to miss any time, Rountree is next in line. He is a rookie, but when you are a part of a lethal offense such as the Chargers, he could prove very valuable to fantasy owners.
RB Kenneth Gainwell (PHI)
A popular name on waivers throughout the week, Gainwell looked really good in limited work in Week 1. While Miles Sanders is still the unquestionable leader of this backfield, in the event Sanders goes down to injury, Gainwell is now next in line with Boston Scott seemingly out of the picture. Gainwell also has some standalone value in deeper leagues for the time being.
WR K.J. Osborn (MIN)
This one is a deep league stash as he has not proved viable just yet. Osborn, who was drafted by the Vikings in the 5th round of the 2020 NFL Draft had himself a nice outing in Week 1. Osborn was T-2nd with Justin Jefferson in targets. It is probably going to take a big injury to either Thielen or Jefferson for Osborn to become fantasy-relevant, but he is a name to keep an eye on.