Did you get everyone you wanted on waivers last night? Good. Now comes the hard part: Actually figuring out whether to start your new additions.
Later on today, I'll send over Jamey Eisenberg's Start 'Em & Sit 'Em columns to help you out with those decisions, and on Thursday morning, we'll have a bunch more Week 2 preview content from Dave Richard to provide yet another perspective. Whether you started 0-1 or 1-0, you want to get a win, and we want to help you get there.
And, in case you missed it yesterday, check out my rankings below with a whole bunch of comments on why I like or dislike certain players this week that I compiled while going through the process of ranking them:
Hopefully that helps you get an understanding of what to expect for this week. Here's what the rest of today's newsletter has in store to help you get ready for Week 2:
- 📈Week 2 Stock Watch📉
- 🔍Week 2 Position Previews
- 🚑Injuries, News, and Notes
Looking to make a trade? This could be the perfect time to try, with everyone primed to overreact following Week 1. Make sure you stay grounded with the help of Dave Richard's Trade Values Chart, and here are five players whose stock I'm buying and three I'm selling after Week 1.
Five to buy
Here are five big performers from Week 1 I'm buying into moving forward. Things are only going to get better from here.
- Jalen Hurts -- Much will be made of Hurts apparent improvements as a passer after Week 1, and I don't want to take credit away from him for that. But the Eagles have also put him in a much better position to succeed with the addition of Devonta Smith and Jalen Reagor, Zach Ertz, and Dallas Goedert healthy. They're also putting him in more advantageous situations; Hurts' passes had the lowest expected completion percentage in 2020, but it was the eighth highest in Week 8. Hurts' natural progression combined with the improvements around him make him a very dangerous Fantasy option. I'm buying him as a top-12 QB.
- D'Andre Swift -- If you were to draw up a perfect game plan for Swift's Fantasy value, it would look a lot like what the Lions had in Week 1. Swift played on 65.6% of the team's snaps against the 49ers, and while he split carries pretty evenly with Jamaal Williams, he ended up running a route on 65.1% of the team's passing plays and led in targets with 11. He won't get that much passing work every week, but we envisioned Swift in an Austin Ekeler-like role, and that was what we got. And, remember, that was coming off an injury. I'm buying him as a borderline No. 1 RB, especially in PPR.
- Ja'Marr Chase -- So much for the Bengals working Chase in slowly. He led their receivers in snaps, routes run, and targets, in addition to actual production. Maybe the drop issues will resurface and cause them to lose confidence, however, if that didn't happen after what was, by all accounts, a pretty rough training camp, why should I be concerned about that happening now? I'm buying him as a top-24 WR.
- DJ Chark -- I was pretty skeptical about Chark coming into the season, but I was very pleased with what I saw from him. He left some points on the board on catchable passes -- and Trevor Lawrence left even more points on the board, including one target that should have been a big gain, if not a touchdown -- but I'm less concerned about execution than I am in usage. And his usage was incredibly encouraging; he ran a route on nearly every pass play and led the team in targets with 12, and with a very aggressive 16.6 average depth of target. He was third in the NFL behind Tyreek Hill and Darren Waller in air yards, and could be very productive if that role remains. He's back in the WR3-with-upside tier.
- Tyler Higbee -- The breakout might be happening for real for Higbee, who played every single snap for the Rams in Week 1 and ran a route on all but two pass plays. There aren't many tight ends with that kind of role, and Higbee has been pretty productive in the past on a per-target basis. If he's Matthew Stafford's No. 3 option, he could have a big year. I'm buying him as a top-10 TE.
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Three to sell
- Running backs are the most prized commodities on the trade market without fail, and I wouldn't mind trying to move any of these four after their big Week 1 performances.
- Jamaal Williams -- There was a lot to like about Williams' performance, but it seems like it was more a product of the game script than Swift's even. Of Williams' nine targets, six came after the Lions had already fallen behind by 21 at halftime. He played 35% of the snaps and ran a similar rate of routes, and in a more normal game script -- where the Lions don't play 84 snaps and pass 57 times -- I'm not sure he's going to be much more than a flex play.
- Darrell Henderson -- Speaking of players who benefited from game script, Henderson had just four carries in the first half and just seven total by the end of the third quarter before he carried the ball 10 times and picked up 58 of his 70 yards in the fourth quarter. While it was promising to see him play all but just three snaps in this one, I'm still not convinced the Rams view Henderson as the kind of back they can truly rely on heavily. He's clearly the lead back right now, and another game of dominating snaps like that would go a long way in convincing me, but I think there's also a chance this might be the peak of Henderson's perceived value. He would probably still rank around 25 in my rest-of-season rankings right now.
- Melvin Gordon -- We expected Gordon and Javonte Williams to split playing time pretty evenly, and they did exactly that in Week 1 -- literally, with both playing 33 snaps. Gordon was the better player for Fantasy thanks to a 70-yard touchdown to ice the game, but his next-longest run of the day was just 7 yards. It's not like Williams fared much better, but the fact that the rookie was already working in an even split with Gordon in his first game means this may be the high water mark of Gordon's season. He's a fringe RB2 for Week 2, and if I could move him for that kind of value right now, I'd be happy to do it.
🔍Week 2 Position Previews
Every Tuesday, Heath Cummings previews each position, providing injury insights, key stats to know, the best waiver-wire adds, DFS targets, and more for quarterback, running back, wide receiver, and tight end. Here's a brief rundown of each position, along with some key details you need to know about and our expert consensus top-12 rankings before you go read Heath's full breakdowns:
If you were expecting QB production to go down in Week 1 from 2020's lofty highs -- like I was -- Week 1 did not go according to plan. Twelve players scored at least 26 points, with nine reaching 30. That dozen included some surprising names -- Jameis Winston, Jared Goff, Derek Carr, and Tyrod Taylor -- but it also featured most of the top QBs on Draft Day. If that continues, it's going to be harder than ever to stream and win. Something to keep an eye on.
- Number to know: 20 -- "Pass attempts in Week 1 for Jameis Winston. I don't believe that's any more predictive than his five passing touchdowns, but I do worry about the Saints being run-heavy in Week 2 against Carolina. I want to add Winston, but not start him."
- Matchup that matters: Baker Mayfield vs. HOU
- Top streamer: "Ben Roethlisberger. Yes, the Steelers offense was miserable in Week 1. That was also on the road against a very good Bills defense. The Raiders are on a short week, coming off an emotional overtime win, traveling across the country to face the Steelers. This is the perfect get-right spot for this offense. If they don't deliver this week, we can hit the panic button. "
- Stash: "Nothing that happened Week 1 against the Patriots dissuades me from believing in Tua Tagovailoa's potential upside, but I don't think the Bills defense is the one you want to take that leap of faith against. "
Consensus Expert Top 12
- Patrick Mahomes
- Josh Allen
- Lamar Jackson
- Tom Brady
- Kyler Murray
- Russell Wilson
- Dak Prescott
- Aaron Rodgers
- Justin Herbert
- Jalen Hurts
- Ryan Tannehill
- Matthew Stafford
Week 1 is always especially important at running back, because opportunity is so closely tied to playing time and it's our first chance to get real evidence of how teams will use their backs. That included plenty of surprises, but the important thing is, of the top-20 in ADP at the position, only one (James Robinson) looks like he may be significantly less valuable than expected. Given how much attrition defines this position, that's a win.
- Number to know: 100% - "Najee Harris played all of the snaps for the Steelers offense. Now we just need to work on that efficiency."
- Matchup that matters: Saquon Barkley vs. WAS
- Stash: "If you have IR spots in your league, Darrynton Evans is even easier to stash. He should be available early in the year and I still like him as the most likely beneficiary if Derrick Henry suffers an injury."
- Top DFS play: Elijah Mitchell -- "Mitchell should top point-per-dollar rankings on just about every site this week. It's a tougher call in tournaments where roster rate matters, but I'd have Mitchell in 100% of my cash game lineups."
Consensus Expert Top 12
- Christian McCaffrey
- Dalvin Cook
- Alvin Kamara
- Derrick Henry
- Aaron Jones
- Antonio Gibson
- Jonathan Taylor
- Austin Ekeler
- Nick Chubb
- Joe Mixon
- Najee Harris
- Chris Carson
You shouldn't be at all concerned about slow starts by Davante Adams, Calvin Ridley, Allen Robinson, or Mike Evans. But Terry McLaurin, Julio Jones, and Brandon Aiyuk gave us seemingly legitimate reasons to be at least a little worried after Week 1. Hopefully they'll quiet those concerns quickly.
- Number to know: 54.6% -- "The Falcons passed on 54.6% of their offensive plays despite a blowout loss. Last year Atlanta passed at a 64% rate in losses. If Arthur Smith stays run-heavy against Tampa Bay, it could be another disaster for the Falcons offense."
- Matchup that matters: D.J. Chark vs. DEN
- Stash: "I wouldn't expect Elijah Moore to break out against the Patriots, or the Broncos next week for that matter. But he gets the Titans in Week 4 and the Falcons in Week 5. I'd like to hold him through those games if possible."
- Top DFS play: "Keenan Allen. Did you see the Cowboys defense last Thursday? Allen has averaged more than 12 targets per game in 12 non-injury games with Justin Herbert. He should see at least that many in maybe the highest scoring game of the weekend."
Consensus Expert Top 12
- Davante Adams
- Tyreek Hill
- Stefon Diggs
- DeAndre Hopkins
- Calvin Ridley
- Keenan Allen
- A.J. Brown
- DK Metcalf
- Justin Jefferson
- Amari Cooper
- Cooper Kupp
- CeeDee Lamb
Did we see anything that should make us think tight end may be better than we expected in Week 1? Not exactly, though it'll be worth watching Tyler Higbee, Rob Gronkowski, and Jared Cook to see if they might not be strong starters -- and we'll be keeping an eye on Juwan Johnson, James O'Shaughnessy, and David Njoku to see if their solid Week 1 performances might be the start of something bigger.
- Number to know: 100% -- For the first time in his career, Tyler Higbee played 100% of the Rams snaps.
- Matchup that matters: Noah Fant @DEN
- Streamer: "Week 1 continued a trend from the end of last year for Cole Kmet. He now has seen at least seven targets in four of his past six games. Now he just needs to get into the end zone. Justin Fields should help with that in a couple of weeks."
- Top DFS play: "Noah Fant had eight targets in Week 1 and now gets a matchup against arguably the worst defense in football. Courtland Sutton doesn't look quite right still, and without Jerry Jeudy, Fant's target share could actually go up in Week 2. HIs price does not reflect that reality."
Consensus Expert Top 12
- Travis Kelce
- George Kittle
- Darren Waller
- Mark Andrews
- Kyle Pitts
- T.J. Hockenson
- Logan Thomas
- Noah Fant
- Tyler Higbee
- Dallas Goedert
- Jonnu Smith
- Rob Gronkowski
🚑Injuries, news and notes
- Raheem Mostert (knee) will have season-ending knee surgery -- This tough news for Mostert, who just hasn't been able to stay healthy amid flashes of real upside. Hopefully he can come back and make an impact in 2022, but he'll be 32 by then and the 49ers have two rookie running backs (and, eventually, Jeff Wilson) who will get a chance to prove themselves in his absence. Expect Elijah Mitchell to be the lead back in Week 2, but Trey Sermon should be active and could very quickly work his way into a significant role.
- Ronald Jones will start for the Buccaneers against the Falcons -- That's according to Bruce Arians, and he would know. But that doesn't mean you can trust Jones. It's certainly possible Jones could go off for a big game against the Falcons, but the expectation should be that he'll split carries with Leonard Fournette. And, as we've seen over and over again, Jones has no margin for error when it comes to mistakes; Arians doesn't give him a second chance during games. He's a risky start.
- Antonio Gibson (shoulder) was a full participant in Tuesday's practice -- Gibson had sat out Monday's practice with the injury he suffered in Week 1, but it doesn't look like it'll be an issue for Thursday's game against the Giants. Washington's offense is in a tough place having to rely on Taylor Heinicke in the aftermath of Ryan Fitzpatrick's injury, but Gibson should be in line for a ton of carries and remains in the RB1 discussion as long as he's healthy.
- Jerry Jeudy (ankle) was placed on IR -- Jeudy will miss at least three weeks and probably closer to four to six as a result of the high-ankle sprain he suffered in Week 1. Tim Patrick and KJ Hamler will start alongside Courtland Sutton for the time being, and all could be Fantasy starters as long as Jeudy is out.
- Evan Engram (calf) has a chance to play Thursday against Washington -- I wouldn't expect much of a role if Engram does play -- he hasn't actually practiced this week -- but it's nice to know he's getting closer to a return. Engram will be in the TE15 range whenever he's healthy.
- D'Wayne Eskridge is in the concussion protocol -- The Seahawks made Eskridge part of the game plan in Week 1 and they like the second-rounder's skills, but he played just 12 snaps before the injury, and he'll need to get healthy and carve out a more consistent role before becoming Fantasy relevant.
- Zach Ertz has a hamstring injury -- He left Sunday's game with the issue, and it'll be something to monitor when the Eagles begin prepping for Week 2 against the 49ers with Wednesday's practice. If Ertz is sidelined by the injury, Dallas Goedert would be an easy top-12 TE.
- Jamison Crowder (COVID) is hoping to be cleared for Week 2 -- It doesn't appear as if that's happened quite yet, but assuming Crowder can get cleared, he should be back in the fold as the team's primary slot option. Don't expect that to cost Elijah Moore much playing time, though; Moore logged just 10 of his 56 snaps out of the slot in Week 1. Moore and Corey Davis should remain the starters on the outsides.
- The Ravens released Trenton Cannon -- Cannon played just nine snaps on offense in Week 1, so this doesn't matter much. Latavius Murray and Ty'Son Williams figure to be the primary options for the Ravens -- and I think Murray is likely to get more touches based on how his role grew as Monday's game went on -- but Cannon's release could result in one of Le'Veon Bell or Devonta Freeman being elevated from the practice squad for Week 2.
- Josh Gordon has been recommended for reinstatement by the NFLPA -- Now it's up to Roger Goodell to decide if the now 30-year-old will be reinstated. Gordon remains one of the most tantalizing what-if's in recent NFL history, but at this point he remains a very, very long shot to make an impact. He would need to prove he still can before it is worth buying in for Fantasy at any level.
- Tyrell Williams is in the concussion protocol -- Williams played just 42% of the Lions snaps in Week 1, and this could explain why. He doesn't have any relevance in Fantasy leagues at this point.