Week 2 Fantasy Football Advice

Wednesday, Sep 13, 2017 at 12:00 pm ET

This is the Fantasy Football Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for Week 2 of the 2017 NFL season. Decisions are based upon the FFN rankings and matchup analysis. Given the known conditions, these matchups are the ones to watch and/or avoid.

Please Note: This list does not generally include the elite players that you are going to start regardless of matchup. You don't need us to tell you to start Aaron Rodgers, Rob Gronkowski, or Antonio Brown. Instead, we take a look at other players on your team that we believe either have great matchups or should be avoided for multiple reasons. Factors like opposing defense, performance trending, and peer comparisons may influence our decisions.

Start 'em Jameis Winston (TB, QB)
We expect Winston and the Bucs to come out big in their season opener (delayed due to Hurricane Irma) against the Bears. Matt Ryan put up 308 yards through the air last week against Chicago racking up fantasy 17.94 points in the process. Winston is ranked 8th this week with a projected total of 18.50 fantasy points.
Start 'em Philip Rivers (LAC, QB)
Philip Rivers comes into this week's rankings at #11 making him a QB1 in 12-team leagues. He only put up 192 yards against Denver's tough secondary, but he found the endzone three times. His matchup this week will be a bit easier against the Dolphins who last year gave up an average of 18 fantasy points per game to opposing signal callers.
Start 'em Kareem Hunt (KC, RB)
Let's go back to last Wednesday - the day before the season kicked off. Imagine if we had recommended that you start Kareem Hunt over David Johnson or Le'Veon Bell. You would have considered us insane, yet Hunt turned in a performance for the ages. He's ranked 7th this week on FFN and should be every bit of the RB1 that you're expecting.
Start 'em Ty Montgomery (GB, RB)
Ty Montgomery looked OK in his start last week at Lambeau Field. His 2.8 YPC was nothing to write home about, but he looked good against Seattle as a pass-catching back hauling in 4 for 39 yards. He's a borderline RB1 this week against Atlanta who just let Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen do whatever they wanted in the passing game. Double digit production in both standard and PPR formats is easily expected.
Start 'em Larry Fitzgerald (ARI, WR)
Like a fine wine, Fitz just keeps getting better with age. He'll face a Colts secondary that allowed 310 yards through the air last week (3rd-worst secondary) and gave Sammy Watkins 5 receptions. Fitzgerald was targeted 13 times last week so we're confident in his volume. He should finish as a Top 12 WR this week against Indy.
Start 'em Stefon Diggs (MIN, WR)
Stefon Diggs and Sam Bradford were certainly on the same page Monday night connecting 7 times for 93 yards and 2 scores. That's not going to happen this week when he lines up against Joe Haden and the Steelers secondary, but he still has solid upside. Corey Coleman managed double digit production against the Steelers last week and Diggs is much more talented. Diggs is ranked 19th this week making him a nice WR3/Flex play.
Start 'em Coby Fleener (NO, TE)
I guarantee that Coby Fleener was salivating at the game film from last week's season opener. Nobody gave up more yards through the air last week than New England, and is there anyone who doesn't think that a Pats/Saints game isn't going to be a shootout? Fleener was the only Saint to find the endzone last week. He's ranked 11th among all tight ends on FFN for Week 2.
Start 'em Jared Cook (OAK, TE)
If you are streaming tight ends, you could do worse than Jared Cook who comes into the rankings this week at #13. The Oakland passing game is firing on all cylinders, and the Jets were soft on tight ends last week giving up double-digit fantasy production to Charles Clay in both standard and PPR formats.
Start 'em Arizona Cardinals (ARI, DEF)
This is an easy decision as the Cardinals are facing the Colts who are a shell of themselves without Andrew Luck under center. The Rams defense put up 25+ fantasy points against Indy last week and Arizona is arguably a more-talented defense. They are the top-ranked defense on FFN this week.
Start 'em Blair Walsh (SEA, K)
There was a good chance that Blair Walsh was on your waiver wire this week. He's coming off a nice 3-FG game against Green Bay and could see double-digits against a San Francisco team that surrendered 11 points to Graham Gano last week.
Sit 'em Carson Wentz (PHI, QB)
There were plenty of happy Carson Wentz owners last week when the Philly QB threw for 307 yards and 2 scores. Reality will come crashing in this week as we find Wentz ranked 23rd among all QB's on FFN as he prepares to face the Chiefs who completely dominated Tom Brady in the season opener allowing the GOAT just 10.68 fantasy points.
Sit 'em Alex Smith (KC, QB)
Alex Smith was on fire against the Patriots in Week 1 throwing for a monstrous 368 yards and 4 scores. He was likely the top QB option on your waiver wire this week. If you put in a claim for him, don't rush to plug him into your lineups against Philadelphia. The Eagles brought Kirk Cousins back to reality last week and kept him to just 10.6 fantasy points. Smith is ranked 17th this week on FFN.
Sit 'em Tarik Cohen (CHI, RB)
Only in the shallowest of leagues is Tarik Cohen still available after a monster showing last week where he averaged 13.2 yards per carry and hauled in 8 receptions. That doesn't mean he's startable as anything more than a flex play this week in standard leagues (Low-end RB2 in PPR). Tampa Bay is well suited to shut down pass-catching backs like Cohen allowing the 5th-fewest yards and receptions to them last year.
Sit 'em Frank Gore (IND, RB)
Frank Gore comes into this week's rankings at #31 which is a rough spot for a starting running back. It has less to do with his ability or matchup and more to do with the terrible quarterback situation that we saw last week. There is absolutely no reason for Arizona to respect the passing game in Indy meaning that they'll have every opportunity to stack the box against Gore this week.
Sit 'em T.Y. Hilton (IND, WR)
Perhaps no other player is going to suffer as much without Andrew Luck as T.Y. Hilton. He was targeted 7 times but managed just 3 catches for 57 yards last week. A matchup with Arizona who let the Lions throw all over them should be so sweet, but Scott Tolzien (or Jacoby Brissett) is no Matt Stafford. Hilton is ranked 26th this week making him a high-end WR3 or flex play.
Sit 'em Jason Witten (DAL, TE)
Jason Witten looked great on Sunday night serving as Dak's security blanket. His matchup this week will be much more difficult as he'll face a Broncos defense that only allowed 185 yards through the air last week and only allowed Antonio Gates 2 catches for 17 yards and completely shut out Hunter Henry (0 targets). This is a tough matchup which is why Witten is ranked 17th this week.
Sit 'em Julius Thomas (MIA, TE)
We'll see Jay Cutler take the helm of the Dolphins in his first regular season start under center for them. The Chargers have a capable secondary and linebacker corp that will likely keep Thomas in check. We don't anticipate many targets for Thomas making his value much more touchdown-dependent than what we'd like to see. He's ranked 21st this week - well outside starting TE range.
Sit 'em Green Bay Packers (GB, DEF)
The Packers defense looked unstoppable last week against what is normally a tough Seattle offense. Russell Wilson ran more yards in reverse than he did forward and the Seahawks didn't have a running game to speak of. The green and gold will have their work cut out for them in Atlanta against Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and the talented RB-duo of Freeman and Coleman. The Packers are ranked 31st out of 32 teams this week with some projections into the negative. They are not a spot start this week.
Sit 'em Adam Vinatieri (IND, K)
Adam Vinatieri has been a staple of fantasy kickers for years, but the sputtering Indianapolis offense kept him out of scoring range last week against the Rams. What should we expect when he visits a more talented defense like Arizona - certainly not fantasy points.

Join the Discussion

Just Win Baby Fantasy Football CommentedSep 14, 2017 11:00 am

I think Cohen may have another good week.

Nerd CommentedSep 14, 2017 11:00 am

It will be interesting to see what he does. I have to remind myself that he still plays behind Jordan Howard. Still a low-end RB2 in PPR and/or flex play.

RaiderLuv4LIFE CommentedSep 17, 2017 11:00 am

A. Smith or D. Prescott?

Nerd CommentedSep 17, 2017 11:00 am

I actually like Smith over Prescott in this one.

RaiderLuv4LIFE CommentedSep 17, 2017 11:00 am

Thank you!!

Miss. Ko Jones CommentedSep 21, 2017 11:00 am

Would you drop Greg Olsen if you had him in your team?

Nerd CommentedSep 21, 2017 11:00 am

If you have a roster spot to stash Olsen, you certainly could, but I did drop him in the one league that I have because I didn't have room. The concern is that someone will pick him up off waivers, but in my case, nobody has.

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