Fantasy Football Week 2 Start 'Em & Sit 'Em: Quarterbacks

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Editor's note: Welcome to Week 2! We're handling Jamey Eisenberg's Start 'Em & Sit 'Em column a bit differently this season. You're still getting the same in-depth analysis as always, we're just presenting a bit differently, in an effort to get it out to you earlier in the day. This column takes a long time to write, and in the past, we've usually gotten it out to you in the evening. This year, we're going to publish it position-by-position, to get it into your hands quicker. Here's Jamey's take on quarterbacks for this week. 

Don't worry: If you want the classic Start 'Em & Sit 'Em, we'll still be publishing that at the end of the day with every position included. For now, here's quarterback. 


Note: Projections are provided by  

Start 'Em
19.2 projected points
Philip Rivers Los Angeles Chargers QB
I don't typically love Rivers going to the East Coast for a 1 p.m. start, but I'll make the exception here against the Bills. He faced this defense at home last year and passed for 251 yards and two touchdowns, and he could have similar success in the rematch. Buffalo just allowed Joe Flacco to pass for 236 yards and three touchdowns in Week 1, and the Chargers should do what they want to in this matchup, including Rivers having a big outing on the road.
22.6 projected points
Alex Smith Washington Redskins QB
Washington's offense was impressive in Week 1 at Arizona, including Smith with 255 passing yards and two touchdowns. He added eight carries for 14 yards and scored 23 Fantasy points, and he should score 20-plus points for the second game in a row this week against the Colts. I was surprised Andy Dalton only scored 19 Fantasy points against Indianapolis last week, but I expect Smith to have more success in his first home game in Washington. He's a top 10 quarterback in Week 2.
20.0 projected points
Kirk Cousins Minnesota Vikings QB
Stefon Diggs has scored in three games in a row against the Packers, and Adam Thielen has 23 catches for 322 yards and two touchdowns in his past three against Green Bay. If those two guys continue their recent track record against this defense, along with Kyle Rudolph always being a threat to score, Cousins should post quality stats by default. This game could also turn into a shootout if Aaron Rodgers (knee) is healthy, and I expect Cousins to build off his first game with the Vikings in Week 1 when he had 244 passing yards and two touchdowns. He's a safe No. 1 quarterback in this matchup.
19.8 projected points
Jimmy Garoppolo San Francisco 49ers QB
It would be nice if Garoppolo had a healthy Marquise Goodwin (thigh) this week, but that might not be the case, even if Goodwin plays. Still, look for Garoppolo to lean on George Kittle, Pierre Garcon and Dante Pettis if Goodwin is out or limited, and this Detroit defense looked bad against the Jets in Week 1. Garoppolo also struggled last week against the Vikings on the road, but in two home games last season against the Titans and Jaguars, he had at least 22 Fantasy points in each outing. He's worth trusting as a low-end No. 1 Fantasy quarterback this week.
19.8 projected points
Patrick Mahomes Kansas City Chiefs QB
I'm hoping this game becomes a shootout and that Roethlisberger and Mahomes go back and forth in putting up plenty of points. Mahomes had a solid first game in Week 1 at the Chargers with 256 passing yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions, as well as 21 rushing yards, and he did that with Kareem Hunt, Travis Kelce and Sammy Watkins all having mediocre performances. When those guys start playing at a high level along with Tyreek Hill, this offense should be fun to watch, with Mahomes leading the way. Given the potential of this high-scoring affair, consider Mahomes a low-end starting option this week.


  • Tyrod Taylor (at NO): The Saints just allowed Ryan Fitzpatrick to score 49 Fantasy points, and Taylor had 24 points against Pittsburgh, mostly with 77 rushing yards and a touchdown. In a situation where the Browns could be chasing points on the road, I like Taylor as a great streaming option this week.
  • Case Keenum (vs. OAK): Keenum had a solid Fantasy debut with the Broncos in Week 1 against Seattle with 25 Fantasy points, and he should build on that performance this week against the Raiders. Oakland has to travel on a short week after playing on Monday night, and Jared Goff just had 21 Fantasy points against this defense. There's a lot to like about Keenum this week.
  • Nick Foles (at TB): Before you start laughing, consider just how bad this secondary could be with Brent Grimes (groin) hurt. While Drew Brees beat them up for 439 passing yards and three touchdowns, we could see Foles come away with decent production in what could be his final start if Carson Wentz (knee) is healthy next week. In two-quarterback leagues, Foles is a Hail Mary play if you need help at quarterback.
Sit 'Em
18.4 projected points
Cam Newton Carolina Panthers QB
Newton is always a potential starter because of his rushing prowess, and that again saved him in Week 1 against Dallas. He only passed for 161 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions, but he added 58 rushing yards and a touchdown, which gave him 17 Fantasy points. For this week, it could be hard to trust Newton with his offensive line falling apart, Greg Olsen (foot) out, and he has a bad track record playing in Atlanta. In his past three trips to Atlanta, Newton has scored fewer than 17 Fantasy points in each outing, and he's averaging just 14.0 Fantasy points over that span. While the Falcons defense is hurting with Keanu Neal (knee) and Deion Jones (foot), this pass rush should still harass Newton. He's a low-end starting option at best in Week 2.
13.4 projected points
Joe Flacco Baltimore Ravens QB
Flacco is like Roethlisberger where he's better at home than on the road. And in his past five trips to Cincinnati, Flacco has two touchdowns and seven interceptions, and he's averaging just 161.8 passing yards over that span. He looked great in Week 1 against Buffalo at home with 27 Fantasy points, and I'm excited about his outlook with a rebuilt receiving corps. But on a short week on the road, he's just a No. 2 Fantasy quarterback at best.
16.2 projected points
Ryan Fitzpatrick Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB
Fitzpatrick was the star of Week 1 when he led the Buccaneers into New Orleans and scored 49 Fantasy points. He had 417 passing yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions, and he ran for 36 yards and a touchdown. It was exceptional and a huge surprise, but he should turn back into a pumpkin this week. The Eagles defense, which should be fresh after last playing on Thursday night in Week 1, won't be surprised by Fitzpatrick, and Philadelphia's pass rush should make him uncomfortable. It was great if anyone bought into Fitzpatrick in Week 1, but you're chasing points if you plan on starting him in Week 2.
12.6 projected points
Andy Dalton Cincinnati Bengals QB
In six career games on Thursday night, Dalton has five touchdowns, six interceptions and he's averaged just 217.5 passing yards per game. He's 3-3 in those outings, but he's 5-13 overall in prime-time games. And he has a bad track record against the Ravens with one touchdown or less in three of his past five meetings with Baltimore. Dalton was OK in Week 1 at the Colts with 19 Fantasy points, and he could finish in that range this week. But on a short week, even at home, it's easy to avoid Dalton when he's playing in prime time.
16.6 projected points
Dak Prescott Dallas Cowboys QB
Prescott was a disaster in Week 1 against Carolina when he passed for just 170 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions, and he only had 19 rushing yards. He was sacked six times, and it's clear he missed center Travis Frederick (illness), who remains out. The Cowboys receiving corps is terrible, and Prescott has a bad track record against the Giants. In four career meetings with New York, Prescott has one game with more than 20 Fantasy points, and he's averaging just 17.0 Fantasy points over that span. He's only worth using in two-quarterback leagues.

Bust Alert

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Tom Brady NE • QB • 12
Week 2 projection17.0 Fantasy points

I know, you're likely not sitting Brady in the majority of leagues, even in this tough matchup. And he just faced this defense in the AFC Championship Game last year and passed for 290 yards and two touchdowns. But Jacksonville's pass rush will test this revamped offensive line, even more than Houston did last week when he passed for 277 yards, three touchdowns and one interception and was sacked just twice. He's on the road, and the Jaguars believe they should have won that game last year to advance to the Super Bowl. This will be a fun matchup to watch, but Brady should struggle to have a dominant performance. If you can afford to sit him, it might be the right move to make.

So who should you sit and start this week? And where does every player stack up? Visit SportsLine now to get Week 2 Fantasy football rankings for every single position, and see which shocking QB is going to finish in the top 5 this week, all from the model that out-performed experts big time last season.

Senior Fantasy Writer

Jamey Eisenberg has been a Senior Fantasy Writer for CBS Sports since 2006 with a focus on Fantasy Football. A University of Florida grad (class of '98), Jamey got his start in the newspaper business and... Full Bio

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