Fantasy Football Week 2: Starts, sits, sleepers and risks for every game on the NFL schedule
Who are the non-obvious players you need the scoop on before finalizing your Week 2 lineup? Dave Richard reveals what his research told him to help you optimize lineup decisions.
Need Fantasy Football lineup advice? Talk to CBS Sports on your Google Assistant to get insights on the best sleepers and to help decide between players. Just start with, "Hey Google, talk to CBS Sports."
Looking for some lineup advice? You've come to the right place. First, go through every game on the schedule right here to find out who Dave is starting and sitting for all 32 teams, and then use his Cheat Sheets —, and — to lock in the right players.
Ravens at Bengals
What's more worrisome: That Eifert played only 40 percent of all snaps or that none of them came in the red zone?
Does that answer even matter considering a good Ravens pass defense that should rattle Andy Dalton quite a bit. If Eifert was playing a full allotment of snaps, he'd be an easy start since Dalton would lean on him when the blitz gets too close for comfort. But until we see that happen, there's just too much risk in trusting Eifert. The Ravens allowed two touchdowns to Tyler Kroft in Week 17 last year, but that was without both starting safeties and against guys who won't see the field for Baltimore in Week 2 (one was traded).
Panthers at Falcons
The injuries to Atlanta's defense won't necessarily help Funchess, but the lack of Greg Olsen playing opens the door for more targets from Cam Newton. Funchess did well without Olsen last year, including an 86-yard game versus the Falcons. He later scored on Atlanta while sharing the field with Olsen on the road, marking two games with at least eight Fantasy points (12-plus in PPR). Rookie Ian Thomas is a deep, deep sleeper based on the matchup, but Funchess should out-target him and should serve as at least a good flex.
Devonta Freeman's right knee problem will keep him out of the game, which means Coleman has a big opportunity. The matchup is also interesting: The Panthers have allowed a touchdown to a Falcons running back in each of their last five meetings (two to Coleman, one of which came through the air). There was some concern as to how the Falcons might use Coleman before Freeman was ruled out, but now there's no question; Coleman is a borderline No. 1 RB this week.
Colts at Redskins
Washington built an early lead and was able to lean on Peterson in the second half when he had 95 of his total yards. The same kind of game script should happen here as the Redskins stick with a cautious offensive approach. The Colts run defense was manhandled by Joe Mixon in Week 1 and still projects to be among the worst in the NFL. If you have Peterson on your team, use him, then consider selling high on him since he has some tough matchups along with a Week 4 bye in his near future.
The Colts' tight end duo should prove to be troublesome to opposing defenses and above-average for Fantasy owners. Ebron figures to see his targets increase, particularly with the Redskins outside cornerbacks a strength; Doyle already is ticketed for a bunch of looks from Andrew Luck. Indy's run game is weak, making Luck's passing the only real way this team will move the chains. The story is the same from last week: Ebron's better in non-PPR, Doyle safer in full PPR. Both are good starting options.
Texans at Titans
The matchup is tailor-made for Lewis, whose Titans debut last week finished with stat lines of 16-75-1 on the ground and 5-35-0 through the air. His speed and ability to make plays in space will give him an edge against the Texans' linebackers, namely Zach Cunningham and Whitney Mercilus. Look for him to be an integral part of the Tennessee game plan (again), particularly in the wake of the Patriots' rushing backs going for 71 receiving yards on 10 catches with a score of their own.
If you're starting Henry, you're hoping he finds the end zone. He did it late last year against the Texans when Houston's offense couldn't put up points and its defense was without Mercilus and J.J. Watt. A similar situation played out in late 2016 when he scored with Watt and Jadeveon Clowney out of the picture. But that's Henry's only sensible way to finding 10-plus Fantasy points in this matchup. The Texans' front seven is considered good against the run and healthy to boot. If the Titans didn't give Henry even 30 percent of the snaps last week against Miami, what makes you think they'll load up the carries against Houston this week?
Eagles at Buccaneers
Agholor was a risk who didn't pay off for people in non-PPR leagues, but this week's matchup is just too good to avoid. Tampa Bay's secondary is thin with rookies Carlton Davis and M.J Stewart teaming with slot cornerback Ryan Smith while Brent Grimes and Vernon Hargreaves sit out. This defense allowed a ridiculous 88.5 percent catch rate last week. Fine, that was to Drew Brees and the Saints, but it should still mean in the neighborhood of 70 percent for Nick Foles. Agholor's track record with Foles is not good (one touchdown in their last seven games together), but the matchup is just too juicy to ignore. Besides, it's pretty clear Foles won't ignore Agholor, who lined up across the formation last week and should have a chance at some explosive plays this week.
The deck is stacked against Barber having a big game against Philadelphia. Including last week's Tevin Coleman touchdown scamper, the Eagles have given up just eight rushing touchdowns to running backs over their past 20 games. That's going to be Barber's best path to any semblance of Fantasy success, particularly since he was set up for clock-killing work in the fourth quarter last week and disappointed with just 13 yards on seven carries in the final period (12-56-0 before then). The Buccaneers' offensive line is suspect, especially on the right side, fueling more skepticism.
Chiefs at Steelers
The Steelers and Chiefs have played five times in four years, and the Steelers are 4-1 in those matchups. In fact, Pittsburgh has silenced the Chiefs offense in those games, holding Alex Smith to one score or fewer in four of the five. But last week's breakout game proved Mahomes isn't Alex Smith! The combination of Mahomes' deep-ball threats mixed with Kansas City's speedsters making plays in short range practically makes this offense matchup-proof. The Steelers defense had a hard time corralling Tyrod Taylor and Jarvis Landry last week, and was very inconsistent covering the deep ball, so who knows how it will fare here, especially if it's without cornerback Joe Haden.
Dolphins at Jets
Who knew starting a Jets running back would be so popular? Crowell's numbers were inflated by his 62-yard runaway touchdown, but he dominated red-zone snaps (seven for him, zero for Powell) and was the first back to hit the bench once the game was a blowout. Those two tell-tale signs suggest he has the better role for Fantasy purposes. It's true that Powell is the better pass catcher, but he's gone 11 straight games with three or fewer targets (and thus three or fewer receptions). Look, it's not going to be pretty all season long between these guys, but when it comes to flex plays, they're both good (not great). I like Crowell's chances to score better.
Start Him in PPR
Enunwa's first game in a year brought impressive numbers, but the real key to his success will be volume. That goes double this week as he'll contend with Dolphins slot cornerback Minkah Fitzpatrick for much of the game. Fitzpatrick was awesome in his debut, shutting down Corey Davis on a number of occasions including on a fourth-and-goal where he sniffed out a rub route and stopped Davis from scoring. No doubt, Enunwa will be a favorite of Sam Darnold, but don't expect him to make another sensational catch-and-run play. He's safer in PPR than non-PPR leagues.
Anderson's track record against the Dolphins is amazing: A touchdown with at least 35 yards in each of his past three games. There's no way he'll go another game with just one target as he did last week, but Miami's pass defense is improved. Cornerback Xavien Howard held Anderson catchless over four targets last season and should man one side of the field. The other side will be covered by Bobby McCain, and that's an exploitable area. The wild card in this is Darnold, who hit Anderson for the long bomb last week but threw it late and attempted only three other passes of 15-plus yards. Because he's still developing as a passer, and because the Dolphins pass defense figures to be good in this matchup, Anderson is a very risky play and a legit sit in PPR (Enunwa is safer).
Chargers at Bills
The Chargers blew out the Bills last year, hanging 54 points on them thanks in part to Nathan Peterman's five-interception first half. Josh Allen shouldn't toss more than two. Anyway, Ekeler scored and had just over 50 total yards, gaining a bunch of playing time because of the blowout. Ekeler was great last week but only played about a quarter of the game because the Chargers were chasing the scoreboard. That shouldn't be the case come Sunday. As for Williams, the big-bodied target should be able to post up on a Bills defense that allowed red-zone scores to three Ravens receivers last week. Williams finished second among Chargers receivers and tight ends in targets last week with six, and should continue to see a lot of playing time.
Vikings at Packers
A notorious touchdown-or-bust tight end, Rudolph has gone three straight games against the Packers without a score and five in a row with nine Fantasy points or less. That includes three games where he had at least eight targets. Green Bay allowed just four touchdowns to tight ends last season and held Trey Burton to one grab in Week 1. It sure doesn't help that Kirk Cousins targeted Rudolph two measly times against the 49ers.
The last time a Packers running back totaled 60-plus yards against the Vikings was in November of 2015. The last time a Packers running back scored a rushing touchdown on the Vikings was in November of 2014. As badly as Green Bay would love to give Aaron Rodgers a run game to help take pressure off his shoulders, it's just not going to happen. Williams had a handful of nice runs last week, but ultimately was eaten up by the Bears before the Packers offense abandoned him. It wouldn't be surprising in the least to see something similar happen this week.
The Packers may view Vikings rookie cornerback Mike Hughes as a favorable matchup in the slot, so don't be surprised to see Cobb get a lot of action, just as he did last week against the Bears. His 75-yard touchdown catch-and-run will be tough to replicate, but even if you throw out that play, Cobb had eight catches for 67 yards. That shouldn't be tough for Cobb to attain here. Why not more? Well, he's never had more than 70 yards in his career against Minnesota (11 games). Not surprisingly, he's never had more than nine Fantasy points in non-PPR (12 in PPR) in his life against the Vikes. He's a much easier player to roll with in PPR.
Browns at Saints
Despite seven targets, second-best on the Browns, Njoku disappointed with 13 yards on three catches last week. Not one target came in the red zone, but the Browns had just five plays inside the red zone all game (on over 90 offensive plays!). With one-on-one matchups against the likes of Demario Davis and Vonn Bell in his future, expect Njoku to continue seeing targets from Tyrod Taylor with some red-zone involvement along the way. Hue Jackson mentioned Njoku in his answer to a question about Josh Gordon getting more targets earlier in the week, a sign that the coach wants to get his mismatch tight end more involved. And that was before Gordon's release. Hopefully it happens.
Lions at 49ers
If Sam Darnold was able to finagle his way to two touchdowns against the Lions on Monday, Garoppolo should too. The real key here is that Detroit's pass rush is totally weak without Ezekiel Ansah (they're not so tough even with him). If Garoppolo gets an extra second or two in the pocket, he'll throw some dimes. Marquise Goodwin may be healthy, George Kittle has proven to be a staple in the offense and Pierre Garcon and Dante Pettis should contribute as well. It sets up for a beautiful homecoming for the Niners, who host the Lions after they played on Monday night. Garoppolo's an easy start over Cam Newton and a safer start over Aaron Rodgers.
Cardinals at Rams
The Rams racked up 32 and 33 points in their two games against the Cardinals last season. Jared Goff found the end zone twice in each game with modest yards and an interception. The Rams might not score 30-plus points, but Goff does a good job of taking what defenses give him, and chances are the Cardinals will give him a lot of zone coverage with plenty of easy underneath throws. That plays right into Kupp's hands -- he's pretty well defined as a middle-of-the-field, short-area security blankie for Goff. Arizona got eaten up by Alex Smith doing the same thing last week, and the same thing should go down this week, benefitting Goff. He's got a shot to out-target and out-produce Brandin Cooks for the second week in a row.
Patriots at Jaguars
Don't assume Hogan is going to line up along the outside and see Jalen Ramsey in his grill play after play. Expect the Patriots to try manufacturing matchups out of the slot against cornerback D.J. Hayden and their safeties. The most likely slot receiver? That would be Hogan, who lined up in the slot way more than any other Patriots receiver last week. As it turns out, Hogan caught all but one of his touchdowns in 2017 from the slot, and both of Brady's touchdowns against the Jaguars in the playoffs went to Danny Amendola, who worked out of the slot. Amendola's out of town and Edelman is still suspended, so unless the Jaguars do something unique and move Ramsey inside to cover Hogan exclusively, which they've never done with him before, don't be shocked to see Hogan play better than expected -- and better than he did last week.
Raiders at Broncos
Why might it be risky to start Cook? Because he has been a perennial underachiever in Fantasy Football. Cook's 180-yard game in Week 1 was not only a career-high but his seventh with over 100 yards over his 10-year career. By comparison, he has 52 career games with under 20 yards. Despite this, Cook has two things going for him: One, he appears to be a legit contributor to the Raiders offense. Two, he'll take on a Broncos defense that has struggled with tight ends, allowing 10 touchdowns to the position in its last 17 games including one to Will Dissly last week. I know it feels nasty, but Cook should remain a key figure in the Raiders game plan, particularly in a matchup in which they should play from behind.
Giants at Cowboys
By my count, Engram had three drops against the Jaguars, but he also had an incredible 34-yard reception on a jump ball that was called back by a penalty and showed his speed and explosiveness when he dove just short of the mark on a third-and-16. The Cowboys weren't really tested by tight ends last week but did hold Engram in check twice last year. No doubt about it, he's a total enigma and a wild card for Fantasy lineups at a thin position. If you can, keep Engram out of lineups this week since the Giants receivers face a much easier matchup and should pick up more targets.
Seahawks at Bears
Are we buying into the Bears defense as being strong against the run? Well, in seven games last year plus one this year they've held all but one running back to under 100 yards and given up just two rushing touchdowns (interestingly enough, all of those numbers went to Latavius Murray in Week 17 last season). So not only was the unit strong last season, but it should be stronger with Khalil Mack and Roquan Smith in the fold. This is a bad omen for Carson, who only had 10 touches last week and will continue to split his workload with Rashaad Penny. Try to sit him if you can.
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 five, all from the model that out-performed experts big time last season.
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