Week 2 Start'em/Sit'em

Wednesday, Sep 15, 2021 at 9:42 pm ET

This is the Fantasy Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for Week 2 of the 2021 NFL season. Analysis is aggregated from multiple sources including FN. Rankings are based upon PPR (point per reception) scoring. 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 Alvin Kamara, Travis Kelce, or Davante Adams. 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 Baker Mayfield (CLE, QB)
Ranked 10th this week on FN is Baker Mayfield who failed to do much in Week 1 but should bounce back nicely in Week 2. He'll face a Houston secondary that gave up 19 fantasy points to rookie Trevor Lawrence last week. No word yet on Beckham's status, but Mayfield is in play as a low-end QB1 this week.
12th Most Pts to QB
Start 'em Matthew Stafford (LAR, QB)
Well, we got to see what Stafford could do with a talented receiving corp and he did not disappoint. We expect more of the same when he hits the road to face the Colts this weekend. Indy was torched last week by Russell Wilson who put up 27 fantasy points against them.
7th Most Pts to QB
Start 'em Tom Brady (TB, QB)
Tom Brady hasn't lost a step. In the season opener, he completely owned the Cowboys to the tune of 4 touchdowns and 379 passing yards (27 fantasy points). This week he'll face an Atlanta secondary that was owned by Jalen Hurts last week (29 fantasy points). Brady remains a must-start.
6th Most Pts to QB
Start 'em Damien Harris (NE, RB)
You may not have noticed, but Damien Harris quietly racked up 100 yards on the ground last week against a good Miami defense. The Jets are a better matchup after Christian McCaffrey tallied 98 yards on the ground and 89 yards receiving against them. Harris isn't CMC, but the matchup is good enough to make Harris a low-end RB2 or a high-end flex play.
10th Most Pts to RB
Start 'em Melvin Gordon (DEN, RB)
The workload was evenly split last week between Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams, but Gordon had the better fantasy day due to a 70-yard touchdown. Both RBs are solid flex plays this week against a Denver defense that just gave up 14.5 points to Mark Ingram last week.
3rd Most Pts to RB
Start 'em Elijah Mitchell (SF, RB)
The hottest name on the waiver wire this week was Elijah Mitchell. If you managed to pick him up off waivers after his 104 yards and a TD performance, you're probably wondering whether he's startable now that Raheem Mostert is lost for the season. Ultimately, it depends upon your team. Eli Mitchell is probably not an RB1 or RB2 this week, but if your expectation is to use him in the flex spot, he's certainly worth plugging in. It will be interesting to see what role Trey Sermon will play here.
11th Fewest Pts to RB
Start 'em Antonio Brown (TB, WR)
Who would have guessed that Antonio Brown would have had a more productive day than Godwin or Evans in the season opener? We expect his production to continue this week with a fantastic matchup against the Falcons who allowed double-digit production to both Jalen Reagor and DeVonta Smith last week. Brown is ranked 19th this week on Fantasy Nerds making him a low-end WR2 for fantasy.
16th Fewest Pts to WR
Start 'em Jarvis Landry (CLE, WR)
It has already been confirmed that Odell Beckham will miss Week 2. That should keep the targets coming for Landry and company. He's ranked 24th this week facing a Texans secondary that surrendered 14 points last week to both DJ Chark and Marvin Jones.
7th Most Pts to WR
Start 'em Ja'Marr Chase (CIN, WR)
Ranked 29th this week on Fantasy Nerds is a new name for our Start list: Ja'Marr Chase. The rapport is obviously still there with Joe Burrow as he turned in a fantastic day going 5 for 101 yards and a score. Matthew Stafford just shredded the Bears' secondary, and while Burrow isn't going to be as familiar lining up against Chicago as Stafford, that's a secondary that can be exploited.
4th Most Pts to WR
Start 'em Logan Thomas (WAS, TE)
The loss of Ryan Fitzpatrick may be a blessing in disguise for Logan Thomas. Every QB looks to their TE as a safety blanket (Mahomes/Kelce, Carr/Waller, Jackson/Andrews, and even old-school Romo/Witten). It would be reasonable to expect Taylor Heineke to find Thomas for short, quick passes to keep the ball moving as he gains confidence.
5th Most Pts to TE
Start 'em Dallas Goedert (PHI, TE)
At the end of the preseason, there was legitimate concern that Zach Ertz would re-emerge as a viable fantasy option opposite Goedert. Those fears were overblown last week as Goedert was targeted 3 times in the endzone including hauling in a great low touchdown catch. He outplayed Ertz and we expect that to continue against a Niners defense that just surrendered 17 fantasy points to T.J. Hockenson last week.
3rd Most Pts to TE
Start 'em Washington Football Team (WAS, DEF)
The Washington Football Team is a must-start this week facing Daniel Jones and the Giants. The Broncos allowed them to put just 13 points on the scoreboard, kept the run game in check, and managed to rattle Jones often. Washington's defense is much better and should stifle the Giants all day.
9th Most Pts to DEF
Start 'em Mason Crosby (GB, K)
The Packers were a shell of themselves last week, but we expect a nice bounce back on Monday night against division rival Detroit. Crosby is ranked inside our Top 10 after the Lions gave up 13 fantasy points to Robbie Gould last week.
2nd Most Pts to K
Sit 'em Matt Ryan (ATL, QB)
Here's where context matters in the numbers. Technically, the Bucs are giving up the 7th-most fantasy points to QBs, but they've only faced Dak Prescott who threw 58 times in the season opener. Comparing him to Matt Ryan isn't fair. Based upon last week's performance against an average Philly D, it's not realistic to think that Matty Ice will be able to produce similar numbers against a much better, overall defense.
8th Most Pts to QB
Sit 'em Jameis Winston (NO, QB)
Winston looked great against a hapless Packers defense. He didn't put up a lot yards, but fantasy owners rejoiced in his 5 touchdowns. We're expecting some regression here. It will be difficult to repeat that same performance against the Panthers. Any increased role for Taysom Hill (particularly near the goal line) hurts his value as well.
15th Most Pts to QB
Sit 'em Carson Wentz (IND, QB)
There will be better days ahead for Carson Wentz, but this will not be one of them. Given that last month we weren't even sure he would suit up, he had a respectable performance in Week 1. His matchup for Week 2 is awful. The Rams held Andy Dalton to just 5 fantasy points last week.
3rd Fewest Pts to QB
Sit 'em Saquon Barkley (NYG, RB)
We had Saquon on our Sit list last week and for good reason. He averaged just 2.6 yards per carry, pulled in just one of his three targets, and left fantasy owners disappointed with only 3 points. He's bound to get more touches, but will that be this week? Even so, Washington has a tough run defense. Austin Ekeler managed 11 fantasy points against them last week, but the Charger offensive line is much better than the Giants'. Start Saquon with extreme caution.
16th Fewest Pts to RB
Sit 'em David Johnson (HOU, RB)
There were a lot of question marks surrounding the Houston backfield coming into the season. Would it be Johnson, Mark Ingram, Phillip Lindsay, or Rex Burkhead getting the lion's share of the work. Early odds were on DJ, but Ingram got the work last week. Regardless of which Houston back you have, this is not going to be a good week to start any of them as the Browns have one of the toughest run defenses.
5th Fewest Pts to RB
Sit 'em Mike Davis (ATL, RB)
While Mike Davis out-snapped Cordarrelle Patterson last week, he did so with poor efficiency (3.2 ypc). He managed just 49 yards on the ground and could only pull in 3 of his 6 targets. His matchup this week is tough. The Bucs have a Top-10 run defense and held Zeke Elliott to less than 4 fantasy points - a combination of tough D and the Cowboys' lack of usage.
8th Fewest Pts to RB
Sit 'em Julio Jones (TEN, WR)
Let's just say that Julio probably envisioned a much better debut with the Titans than what we saw. In addition to what Mike Vrabel called a "dumb s*** penalty" by Jones, it was clear that the former Falcons' star has a lot of work ahead of him to get in rhythm with Ryan Tannehill. He managed just 5 fantasy points last week. A matchup with the Seahawks isn't great. Although Zach Pascal found the endzone, Parris Campbell and Michael Pittman each had less than 3 fantasy points.
14th Fewest Pts to WR
Sit 'em Will Fuller (MIA, WR)
If you drafted Will Fuller, this is the first opportunity that you'll get to plug him into your lineup. Our advice: wait. He's ranked 54th this week among all wide receivers. He's on a new team, playing for the first time since November of last year, and facing a Buffalo secondary that kept Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, and JuJu Smith-Schuster to single-digit production last week.
13th Fewest Pts to WR
Sit 'em Laviska Shenault (JAC, WR)
There's a lot of mouths to feed in Jacksonville, and based upon last week's performance, Shenault seems to be at the end of the pecking order. Jones and Chark were far away better options, and that's likely to continue against a Denver secondary that kept the Giants in check.
10th Most Pts to WR
Sit 'em Anthony Firkser (TEN, TE)
The Titans offense was not firing on all cylinders last week and Firkser's 19-yard performance was indicative of that. He may struggle again this week facing a Seattle defense that ranks in the Top 10 least favorable for tight ends. Jack Doyle managed just 2.1 points last week.
9th Fewest Pts to TE
Sit 'em Cole Kmet (CHI, TE)
One of the hottest TE sleepers this offseason may struggle to put up points this week. Cole Kmet is the favorite to outperform Jimmy Graham in Chicago, but the Bengals have a pretty stout defense keeping opposing tight ends to single digits. Kmet will likely break out this season, but it will have to wait until after Week 2.
12th Fewest Pts to TE
Sit 'em Indianapolis Colts (IND, DEF)
Russell Wilson torched Indy last week throwing all over the field. It's not going to get any easier for the Colts when they face Matthew Stafford and the Rams. Indianapolis is ranked 16th this week on Fantasy Nerds, so if you're streaming defenses, this is a good week to continue that practice.
2nd Fewest Pts to DEF
Sit 'em Rodrigo Blankenship (IND, K)
Just like the defense above, Rodrigo Blankenship's matchup with the Rams is not great for fantasy. The Rams give up the 4th-fewest fantasy points to kickers and kept Cairo Santos to just two points last week.
4th Fewest Pts to K

Join the Discussion

If asking a sit/start question, be sure to provide your scoring format and contribute to answering questions from other FN members as well.

Geoguy CommentedSep 16, 2021 8:10 am

PPR.. pick 3... T. McLaurin, DJ Moore, C. Sutton, C. Davis, J. Landry, M. Williams

Nerd CommentedSep 16, 2021 8:54 am

McLaurin, Moore for sure. My personal pick of the next is Davis, but they're all pretty much interchangeable.

jamisdiablo CommentedSep 16, 2021 10:53 am

mclaurin tonight, Davis and landry. no OBJ, Landry is a PPR machine!

The Grinch CommentedSep 16, 2021 12:53 pm

M.Wiliams --T.Mclaurin -- Dj Moore

Geoguy CommentedSep 17, 2021 9:05 am

I had concerns on a Thur night play.. and Heinicke.. and wanted to see it first. And boy did I see it! So missed out on McLaurin, but feel good to use him every week now (learned the hard way)

So I tried for a floor play, with upside in WR3... Went with Moore, Landry, Williams...

Nerd CommentedSep 17, 2021 9:18 am

Thanks for the update. I'm always curious to see how folks take the advice but rarely get that kind of update. Good luck this week!

Sarge831 CommentedSep 17, 2021 8:40 pm

In a 10 team ppr I need a solid flex pay I have both ravens rb and c.sutton who should I start in my flex

Nerd CommentedSep 18, 2021 9:53 am

Courtland Sutton

drcharlie CommentedSep 18, 2021 11:51 am


jamisdiablo CommentedSep 19, 2021 9:01 am


kevin0328 CommentedSep 18, 2021 10:36 am

Julio or J’Mar in the flex. 14 team standard. McClaurin and Metcalf in my starting WR spots

drcharlie CommentedSep 18, 2021 11:52 am


Nerd CommentedSep 18, 2021 11:58 am

Seems crazy to even have to ask, but based upon Week 1, it's a legit question. I have the a similar dilemma with Julio in one of my leagues.

It depends upon your comfort level here. Ja'Marr Chase is the hot hand right now, but I'm giving Julio another week.

jamisdiablo CommentedSep 19, 2021 9:02 am


icecreamocon CommentedSep 18, 2021 12:41 pm

12 team ppr. Is the Mike Davis sit enough to warrant flexing Jaylen Waddle over him? Particularly now that Will Fuller is out for tomorrow?

Nerd CommentedSep 18, 2021 12:45 pm

I think so. Davis has a tough matchup against the Bucs. Waddle found the endzone last week and could very well find it again. No Fuller is the bump here.

jamisdiablo CommentedSep 19, 2021 9:02 am

Waddle yes.

jamisdiablo CommentedSep 19, 2021 8:43 am

Full point PPR, start Swift or Mitchell in the flex? Thanks!

Nerd CommentedSep 19, 2021 9:10 am

It's Swift for me

jamisdiablo CommentedSep 19, 2021 10:11 am

Sorry for the double post

jamisdiablo CommentedSep 19, 2021 8:43 am

Full point PPR, start Swift or Mitchell in the flex? Thanks!

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