When it comes to the elite quarterbacks, I'm mostly just ignoring their Week 1 struggles. I presume Aaron Rodgers and the entire Packers offense will get right in primetime against the lowly Lions. I expect Lamar Jackson to play much better at home against the Chiefs in a far less hostile environment. And while Josh Allen has a more difficult matchup, at Miami, he's still in my top five as well.
The one exception to this rule is Ryan Tannehill, and it's probably not fair.
Tannehill has been a must-start quarterback ever since he wrestled the starting job away from Marcus Mariota. While he has done so with unbelievable efficiency, I hoped that the addition of Julio Jones would give Tannehill the ability to maintain that efficiency, or something close. In Week 1, it looked like the Titans should have traded for an offensive lineman instead.
Chandler Jones and J.J. Watt terrorized Tannehill, and his response was lackluster. He was sacked six times and threw for just 212 yards on 35 attempts. This was just the second time in Tannehill's Titans tenure that he'd been sacked six times, and the first since 2019. If you want a reason for optimism, he threw for 391 yards and three touchdowns the week after the last time this happened.
It's not just the offensive line that has me worried. It was also their first game without Arthur Smith. While Smith didn't exactly look like an offensive genius in his debut with the Falcons, it is certainly possible the Titans won't be as good without him.
All that's to say, I don't view Tannehill as a must start quarterback in Week 2. He's not a must-sit either, but I would start Ben Roethlisberger and Teddy Bridgewater over him.
Let's get to the rest of the preview:
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Week 2 QB Preview
Numbers 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.
- 57 -- Pass attempts for Jared Goff in Week 1; only Dak Prescott threw more.
- 46 -- Taylor Heinicke ran for 46 yards and a touchdown against Tampa Bay in the playoffs last year. His mobility could make him a startable QB2.
- 156.1 -- Matthew Stafford's quarterback rating in his first game with the Rams. No quarterback was better in Week 1.
- 5,852 -- Dak Prescott has thrown for 5,852 yards in his last 17 complete games.
- 194 -- Trevor Lawrence threw for 194 yards and two of his three touchdowns after the Texans had built a 34-7 lead against his Jaguars.
Matchups that matter
TB Tampa Bay • #17
Age: 27 • Experience: 6 yrs.
GB Green Bay • #12
Age: 39 • Experience: 19 yrs.
JAC Jacksonville • #16
Age: 23 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Waiver Wire Targets
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 the Steelers don't deliver this week, we can hit the panic button.
Did you see what Tyrod Taylor just did to this defense? Even without Jerry Jeudy, Bridgewater has plenty of weapons to expose what looks like the worst defense in the NFL. There's a small risk that the Broncos score all their touchdowns on the ground, but Bridgewater should be good for a floor of 20 Fantasy points, with upside beyond that.
MIA Miami • #1
Age: 25 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Nothing that happened Week 1 against the Patriots dissuades me from believing in Tagovailoa's potential upside, but I don't think the Bills defense is the one you want to take that leap of faith against.
Herbert is at home, with one of the highest implied totals on the slate, against the defense that just surrendered 35 Fantasy points to Tom Brady. And he's not one of the most expensive quarterbacks on either site. That makes him my favorite cash game quarterback. Stack him up with some combination of Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Austin Ekeler, or Jared Cook.
I don't imagine anyone will be on Roethlisberger after last week's debacle. I still believe he has 300-yard, three-touchdown upside against this defense. The contrarian stack will involve anyone but Diontae Johnson, but I'm not sure you have to get that cute. Hitting on Roethlisberger as one of the top quarterbacks should be enough to distinguish your lineup by itself.