Fantasy Football Week 2: Experts rankings show how to handle Week 1 breakouts, injuries

Week 2 of the NFL season is so much fun. Sure, Week 1 is when we finally take the wrapper off and get our first taste of the action, but Week 2 is when we get our first taste of the takes. That guy you spent all offseason hyping went off? Of course he did. You're a genius, and the signs were there all along to anyone smart enough to see them. 

Of course, if your favorite player could barely find the field, that's okay, too: The coach made a mistake. Obviously. He'll learn from it in Week 2, and anyway, that player is so good he'll force his hand one way or the other. Plus, it's just a small-sample size. Everyone knows Week 1 doesn't really matter. 

As for me? Well, I finished 11th out of 1,200 industry analysts and fans in the first week of the Scott Fish Bowl, so obviously, Week 1 matters very much. Obviously. 

What actually mattered in Week 1? And what does it mean for Week 2 and beyond? That's what our Fantasy analysts are trying to figure out. Waivers are running tonight, and we've got the top options from Jamey Eisenberg right here to help bolster your lineup. And, whether you need to fill a hole or found yourself with some unexpected depth you want to take advantage of, Dave Richard's trade values chart can help you find the right deal.

Plus, our rankings are ready for you whenever you want to tweak your lineup. Here's how our Fantasy experts are handling Week 2's biggest rankings questions: 

1. If you needed a starter for Week 2, who would be your top waiver wire target?

  • Jamey Eisenberg: John Brown. I liked him all preseason, he played great in Week 1 against the Jets and has a fantastic matchup in Week 2 against the Giants.
  • Dave Richard: If you need a running back, Giovani Bernard is who you should go after with Joe Mixon nursing an ankle injury. If you're good there and need help at receiver, I'd get John Brown. Loaded at those spots? Might I suggest Darren Waller at tight end? He looked pretty good against the Broncos on Monday.
  • Heath Cummings: Really depends on what position I need a starter at. Andy Dalton is my favorite streaming quarterback and Darren Waller is my favorite tight end. If we find out Joe Mixon is out, it's Giovani Bernard at running back. John Brown is the best choice at wide receiver and flex for Week 2.

2. If you are looking for the most upside possible, who would be your top waiver wire target?

  • Jamey: See No. 1.
  • Dave: That would be Marquise Brown of the Ravens. The rookie shattered the Dolphins defense with his incomparable speed and figures to be matchup proof provided he stays healthy, gets more playing time and Lamar Jackson continues to find him with good throws. Those three factors aren't guarantees, of course, but stashing him is warranted and potentially starting him in Week 2 shouldn't be off the table.
  • Heath: If John Brown is done I'll go with Marquise Brown. He barely played in Week 1 and still put up monster numbers. I can only assume the first round pick will see his snaps steadily increase as the season progresses.

3. Who improved their ranking the most in Week 1 and why?

  • Jamey: Taking out any of the guys who are getting a boost because of injuries, I'll go with Terry McLaurin since I didn't have him ranked in Week 1. He looks like the best receiver for a Washington team that needs receivers to step up.
  • Dave: Sammy Watkins proved he can still be a dangerous receiver, which is great because for at least the next few weeks (if not months), he'll be counted on as the Chiefs' No. 1 threat downfield with Tyreek Hill sidelined. T.J. Hockenson also did some amazing things and is an immediate must-start tight end.
  • Heath: Marquise Brown. I wasn't even sure he was the best rookie in Baltimore. His speed combined with the Ravens run game could be a problem for the whole league.

4. Who hurt their ranking the most in Week 1?

  • Jamey: Jameis Winston. That was a bad performance at home against San Francisco, and now he has to face a good defense in Carolina on the road on a short week.
  • Dave: It's either Damien Williams or Sony Michel, both of whom saw other running backs outperform them on the ground. Michel couldn't get going against the Steelers and watched Rex Burkhead look good. And with runs of 13, 19 and 31 yards, LeSean McCoy made Williams look stationary. While I suspect we'll see an annoying timeshare in Kansas City, Michel's already begun digging a tough hole for himself to get out of as the Patriots seemingly have as many as four capable runners and perhaps the league's most dominant passing game with Antonio Brown joining the party in Week 2.
  • Heath: Probably Kenyan Drake, though I'm not sure how much is his fault. I'd really underestimated just how good the Dolphins were going to be at tanking.

5. Which slow-starting early-round pick will turn it around in Week 2?

  • Jamey: Nick Chubb. If C.J. Mosley (groin) and Quinnen Williams (ankle) are out then Chubb could go off against the Jets on Monday night.
  • Dave: If the Jets' front seven can't get healthy in time for Monday night, Nick Chubb should have a much better game. Ditto for James Conner, whose team should put more work on his plate and less on Roethlisberger's after last week's debacle at New England.
  • Heath: Chubb, He dominated running back touches for the Browns and I still expect this offense will be very good. 

6. Which slow starting early-rounder are you concerned won't turn it around in Week 2?

  • Jamey: Damien Williams. LeSean McCoy looked better than him in Week 1, and Williams could be relegated to a pass-catching running back soon. 
  • Dave: Mike Evans had as many targets as Dare Ogunbowale (and fewer catches and yards). Now he and his inconsistent quarterback head on the road on a short week against division-rival Carolina. He'll get a lot of attention from the Panthers' improving secondary and hasn't scored in four straight against them. We could be talking about buying low on Evans after Thursday night.
  • Heath: Mike Evans. I just don't know how fast Jameis Winston is going to pick up this offense and don't like Chris Godwin getting more targets than him. I'm probably still starting Evans, but I'm nervous.

So who should you sit and start this week? And which surprising quarterback could lead you to victory? Visit SportsLine now to get Week 2 Fantasy football rankings for every position, plus see which QB is going to come out of nowhere to crack the top 10, all from the model that out-performed experts big time last season.

Fantasy Writer

Though he can be found covering three different sports depending on the time of year, there is one unifying theme in how Chris Towers approaches sports; "Where's the evidence?" It doesn't matter how outlandish... Full Bio

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