Fantasy Football Week 2 Quarterback Preview: A Cam Newton bounceback, streamers to replace Jameis Winston and Sam Darnold, and more
Heath Cummings gives you everything you need to know about quarterback in Week 2 including his expectations for Cam Newton and Jameis Winston on Thursday night as well as replacement options for Sam Darnold.
You'd be hard-pressed to find two bigger disappointments at quarterback in Week 1 than Cam Newton and Jameis Winston. In Week 2 they'll face off against each other on Thursday night and I have wildly different expectations for them.
I expect Newton to carve up a Buccaneers secondary that I still don't believe is very good. He's my No. 1 quarterback in all formats and a must-start option. Winston falls outside my top-12 and there are three streaming options I'd start over him.
Why the big difference? Newton was ranked higher to start the year and has a better matchup, which explains a lot of it. But also, the Buccaneers just didn't look like they'd fully adjusted to the new offense in Week 1 and I'm not sure three days is enough to change that. I still expect Winston will have a stretch as a top-10 quarterback later this season, but it doesn't start on Thursday night.
I've got your streaming options to replace him and Sam Darnold below. Hopefully you weren't counting on Darnold in anything other than a two-quarterback league in which case your options may be limited to Gardner Minshew and Trevor Siemian.
Week 2 QB Preview
Numbers to know
- 10 - Kirk Cousins pass attempts in Week 1. That will probably be the low mark for the year, but it is a good reminder of what head coach Mike Zimmer wants his offense to do.
- 38 - Josh Allen's rush yards in Week 1, the most of any quarterback on Sunday. The Bills and Allen talked about cutting back on his rush attempts but that didn't seem to matter once there was something on the line.
- 3 - Interceptions for the 49ers in Week 1, more than they had all of 2018. Was that just the Jameis Winston effect? We may find out in Week 2 when they play Andy Dalton.
- 2.3 - Sam Darnold's average completed air yards. He completed almost nothing down the field, which probably explains why Jamison Crowder was so great and Robby Anderson wasn't. This is giving me flashbacks to Miami, and I can't imagine it improves with Siemian under center.
- 158.3 - Lamar Jackson's passer rating in Week 1. We at least need to acknowledge it, right?
- 10.8 - Patrick Mahomes' yards per attempt when targeting Tyreek Hill in 2018. He was "only" at 8.5 to everyone else. It's possible the loss of Hill brings Mahomes back to the pack a little bit.
- 418 - The number of passing yards the Seahawks allowed to Andy Dalton. And that was in their building. Now they have to travel across the country to Pittsburgh. This should absolutely be a bounce back week for Ben Roethlisberger. If it's not, I'll start to worry.
- 4 - Combined touchdowns lost by Jimmy Garoppolo and Winston in Week 1 due to penalties. All four went to tight ends. The point? The offenses weren't quite as terrible as the numbers show and the defenses weren't quite as good. I can't recommend starting these quarterbacks this week but I imagine that changes again soon.
- 19.1 - Drew Brees Fantasy points per game on the road last year. What's worse is that includes four rushing touchdowns in eight games. The Saints just did not attack through the air the same way on the road. I can't start him against the Rams.
Matchups that matter
Kyler Murray QB
ARI Arizona • #1
Age: 22 • Experience: Rookie
Were you encouraged by the Cardinals' late comeback against Detroit? As skeptical as I've been I have to admit I was. I'm very interested to find out if it was more a light coming on or more game script dependent. Unfortunately, I'm not sure we'll learn much in Week 2. Murray and the Cardinals have to travel to face a very good Ravens defense and there's no way I'm starting the rookie in Week 2.
Yeah, we'll keep this quick. Worried Jackson's success had more to do with the Dolphins defense? That's okay, because Jackson may not face a good defense the first six weeks of the season. He certainly doesn't in Week 2. Matthew Stafford threw for 361 yards against the Cardinals and averaged 8.6 yards per attempt.
This Chiefs defense just made Gardner Minshew look like a star. Carr is at least as good as him. I'm starting Carr in two-quarterback leagues and considering him as a streamer as well. He's definitely in play in DFS. This matchup should be much easier than the Week 1 tilt against the Broncos.
Waiver Wire Targets
Carr has been a top-five Fantasy quarterback in his last two home games against the Chiefs and as we discussed, this defense didn't look improved against Gardner Minshew. The Raiders should be more pass-happy in a high-scoring game and Carr has legitimate top-five upside once again.
Andy Dalton QB
CIN Cincinnati • #14
Age: 31 • Experience: 9 yrs.
A lot of this was discussed above. Dalton was very good against Seattle and I'm not sold the 49ers actually have a good defense. I'm even less sold on them playing their second road game to start the season. They didn't even go back home after their game in Tampa. Dalton will still be without A.J. Green but he has Tyler Boyd, and John Ross looked like he made serious improvements over the offseason.
Josh Allen QB
BUF Buffalo • #17
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
As long as Allen keeps running he's going to have Fantasy appeal, especially against a Giants defense that was carved up by the Cowboys in Week 1. Allen is a better streamer in leagues that only reward four points per pass touchdown.
IND Indianapolis • #7
Age: 26 • Experience: 4 yrs.
I was impressed with Brissett's performance against the Chargers. Going on the road against that defense and not embarrassing yourself is a good first step. I wasn't impressed enough to start him against a Titans defense that just pantsed Baker Mayfield, but better times are ahead. In Weeks 3 through 5, Brissett draws the Falcons, Raiders and Chiefs. If you're trying to get ahead of the streaming game he's the guy to target.
Jackson's price soared after his Week 1 performance and he's now the second most expensive quarterback on DraftKings and the third highest-priced on FanDuel. I still can't fade him against a Cardinals defense that just got lit up by Stafford and the Lions. While he's not my No. 1 value on the slate like he was last week he is my No. 1 value priced above $7,000 on FanDuel. I just can't make a good argument to fade him in cash games.
CHI Chicago • #10
Age: 25 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Yes, Trubisky was awful in Week 1, but that's not enough for me to take him off my board, especially with the price drop he saw on FanDuel. He's the only quarterback on this slate I project for better than three times value based on his price. While I wouldn't call a matchup in Denver a good one I do like that the Bears have 10 days to prepare while the Broncos are coming off a short week. With the upside he showed last year, Trubisky is always in play for tournament lineups.
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