Fantasy football sit-and-start advice should always be relative and league-dependent. Note that some players are targeted for DFS. Good luck with your Week 2 lineups!
Start: Luke Musgrave, Tyler Allgeier
Musgrave led all Packers in routes run in Week 1, when he could’ve led all fantasy tight ends in scoring had Jordan Love not overthrown him downfield, or if he hadn’t fallen after a long catch right before the end zone. He still finished with the second-most YPRR among tight ends, and Christian Watson remains limited by a hamstring injury. Jordan Love looked great, and the Packers get a Falcons defense that allowed the third-most fantasy points to tight ends last season.
Allgeier is going to have some down fantasy weeks when game scripts don’t cooperate, but he gets another favorable matchup Sunday with the Falcons home favorites. Allgeier saw 100% of Atlanta’s carries inside the five in Week 1, and he gets a run-funnel Green Bay defense Sunday. The Falcons have easily the lowest pass rate over expectation (-12.5%) in the league, so expect another run-heavy approach.
Start in DFS: Josh Jacobs ($27), James Cook ($21)
Jacobs once again acted as the Raiders’ workhorse in Week 1, getting the second-most usage in the league. He’ll be relied on heavily once again this week with Jakobi Meyers out with a concussion. Buffalo struggled against the run throughout the preseason and allowed the second-most EPA/rush in Week 1. Game script likely won’t be favorable, but Jacobs is set for another heavy workload on a slate with few standouts at running back.
Cook didn’t have a huge box score in Week 1 but saw encouraging usage like he did in the preseason. The Jets’ defense is one of the best in the league, and almost all of Cook’s yardage came after contact. He had a healthy route share and saw six targets — a number Devin Singletary reached just five times across 37 games with Buffalo.
Cook also led all running backs in average depth of target, so the only concern is goal-line work. The Bills are at home coming off an extremely disappointing loss and among the biggest favorites on the board this week. The Raiders ceded the fifth-most fantasy points to running backs last season, so the setup is nice for Cook.
Dalton Kincaid is also worth starting this week.
Sit: Baltimore Running Backs
Start: Tee Higgins
Justice Hill and Gus Edwards split work evenly last week after J.K. Dobbins went down. And Melvin Gordon joins them Sunday against a Bengals defense that ceded the seventh-fewest fantasy points to running backs last season. Hill took first-team snaps at practice and has the best chance to emerge from the group, but it’s safest to expect a three-headed committee in a tough matchup this week.
Weather was a major factor during Higgins’ goose egg in Week 1. Joe Burrow had the worst game of his career coming off a calf injury that prevented him from practicing much of the preseason. Higgins’ usage, however, was completely fine, as he ran a route during every Burrow dropback with a 25% share. Burrow has a career 8.4 YPA at home (6.9 on the road), and the Ravens are a funnel defense that had the fourth-most pass attempts against them last season.
Start: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Jared Goff
Smith-Njigba had a quiet debut but immediately led Seattle in targets per route run (finishing with five). It was a weird game that saw the Seahawks run only 14 offensive plays and get just one first down (via penalty) in the second half after losing multiple linemen. It was the fewest second-half yardage output since 2008. O-line remains an issue for Seattle, but this weekend’s matchup should feature a much different game script.
Seattle and Detroit are both fast-paced, and the matchup is indoors against a Lions team that averaged the most combined points (51.8) during their games last season. Detroit yielded the third-most fantasy points to wide receivers last season, so JSN is a sneaky play in deeper leagues.
Goff averaged 275 passing yards and posted a 23:3 TD:INT ratio at home last season. The Seahawks might get some reinforcements back in their secondary, but they were just torched by the Rams despite Cooper Kupp being out. The Lions have the fourth-highest implied team total this week.
Start: Anthony Richardson, Nico Collins
Richardson was a top-five fantasy QB during his pro debut last week. The Colts called 45 dropbacks, and the rookie also led all quarterbacks in designed runs. It’s a recipe for fantasy success while also playing indoors at a lightning pace on a team with strong coaching and receivers but no running backs. AR can be a top-five fantasy QB his rookie season.
Collins saw the fifth-most targets, the third-most air yards and ranked top-10 in first-read target share in Week 1. He was one of only five receivers to post a 50% air yards share and a 25% target share. The Texans encouragingly had a pass rate above expectation during C.J. Stroud’s first NFL start (on the road), so there’s upside even in a lackluster offense. The Colts have a vulnerable secondary and run their offense at a super-fast pace, so Collins is a top-30 WR this week.
Sit: Kansas City wide receivers
Start in DFS: Calvin Ridley ($28) & Trevor Lawrence ($34)
It’s entirely possible one of the Chiefs’ WRs has a big game Sunday alongside a returning Travis Kelce. But good luck guessing which one, and the distribution figures to be spread out once again. Skyy Moore’s usage in Week 1 might’ve been even more discouraging than Kadarius Toney’s performance. It’s a rough fantasy situation right now.
Ridley carried his preseason hype into a big first half in Week 1, when he finished with elite target share numbers. He should be treated as a borderline top-five fantasy WR moving forward. This matchup has the highest over/under (51 points) of the week and should be targeted in DFS. We can stack Ridley with Lawrence, who was throwing darts in Week 1. Kansas City gets Chris Jones back, but the Chiefs allowed the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks last season.
Sit: Khalil Herbert
Start: Rachaad White
Herbert remains Chicago’s starter (92% of Roschon Johnson’s touches came in garbage time) and plenty capable of playing better than Week 1. But Tampa Bay is a tough matchup this week, and the Bears are road (slight) underdogs. There will be better weeks to start Herbert in the future.
On one hand, White recorded negative 38 rush yards over expectation last week after finishing last in the category as a rookie. On the other hand, he dominated the work, finishing fifth in RB snap percentage (including being one of only two backs to see 100% of his team’s red-zone snaps). White gets a highly favorable matchup this week at home as favorites against a depleted Chicago defense that was blasted for the second-most fantasy points by running backs last season (and ceded the third-most in Week 1).
Start: Joshua Kelley, Treylon Burks
This is a rough matchup against a Titans defense that’s yielded just 62.1 rushing yards per game since last season. But assuming Austin Ekeler sits with his ankle injury (he’s classified as “doubtful” right now), Kelley could be looking at a big workload. The Chargers had by far the lowest neutral pass rate in the league under new OC Kellen Moore in Week 1. Los Angeles running backs were first by a mile in expected fantasy points.
Kelley got 5.7 YPC, scored and looked good last week when the Chargers put up a historical EPA/rush performance. He’s looking at 20+ touches Sunday and could be a top-five fantasy back in future matchups should Ekeler miss additional time.
This might be a Derrick Henry game, but Burks should be looking at added targets with DeAndre Hopkins likely sidelined. Chargers’ opponents attempted the third-most passes last season, and LA allowed 466 yards through the air in Week 1. Tennessee is thin on pass catchers without DHop.
Start: Daniel Jones, Marquise Brown
Expect the entire Giants offense to bounce back after getting shutout in primetime in Week 1. Offensive line remains an issue, but Jones has put up big fantasy numbers outside his division throughout his career. He gets a favorable environment in Arizona, and the Giants have one of the higher implied team point totals. Jones rebounds this week with a top-12 QB finish.
Brown’s upside is a flex play in an Arizona passing offense that got just 4.4 YPA last week. But he should be healthier this week and continue to dominate targets among Cardinals WRs. Brown gets an especially favorable-looking matchup this week against a man-heavy Giants defense.
Start in DFS: Christian McCaffrey ($40)
Start: Tutu Atwell
McCaffrey had his longest run in Week 1 since joining San Francisco and finished with the most rushing yards (and rush yards over expected) in the league despite facing the highest percentage of eight-man fronts. CMC also didn’t lose nearly as many touches to Elijah Mitchell as he did at times last season, even staying in the game when the score was lopsided.
McCaffrey was also one of only two RBs who earned 100% of his team’s red-zone snaps. The 49ers have one of the highest implied team totals this week against a shaky Rams defense that benefitted from Seattle’s offensive line injuries in Week 1. CMC stands out at running back.
I had Puka Nacua ranked as a top-20 WR this week before news of his oblique injury (though it seems he will suit up), so let’s shift to Atwell, who should see a bunch of targets with no Cooper Kupp (and a banged-up Nacua). The 49ers’ defense is awesome, but them shutting down opponents’ running games (and scoring a lot of points on offense) often dictates a bunch of passing against them (second most attempts last year), which can be helpful for fantasy. Sean McVay schemes receivers open, and Atwell easily led the league in pre-snap motion in Week 1. Matthew Stafford also looked terrific, so Atwell’s fantasy arrow is pointing up.
New York Jets @ Dallas Cowboys
Sit: Dalvin Cook
Start: Michael Gallup
Cook will likely remain the leader in the Jets’ backfield for now, but he’s a sit this week against a dominant Dallas defense. He managed just 2.5 YPC last week while Breece Hall got a mere 12.7, and the offense is in real trouble with Zach Wilson replacing Aaron Rodgers. The Jets are the biggest underdogs on the board this week.
New York has a tough secondary, and game script might not call for passing, but Gallup is a flex option for those in deeper leagues. This assumes Brandin Cooks is out after suffering a sprained MCL. Gallup has looked much healthier this season, and Dak Prescott has a career 8.0 YPA at home. You could do worse than the WR2 on a team with one of the higher implied point totals this week.
Washington Commanders @ Denver Broncos
Sit: Terry McLaurin
Start: Broncos D/ST
McLaurin may not be 100% while still feeling the lingering effects of turf toe, and he gets a tough matchup with Patrick Surtain possibly shadowing him this week. McLaurin’s a fine flex play but consider alternatives if available.
Denver remains arguably the best home-field advantage, and the Broncos get a favorable matchup on Sunday. The Commanders allowed six sacks and a defensive score at home to the Cardinals. Washington’s offensive line might be the worst in the league, and Sam Howell also holds onto the football far too long. The Broncos DEF could be a top fantasy play this week at a bottom DFS salary.
Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots
Sit: Raheem Mostert
Start: Hunter Henry
Mostert looks good to go after getting a veteran rest day during practice this week, but he has a poor matchup Sunday night. The Patriots have a strong defense that allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to running backs last season and held down the potent Eagles’ rushing attack last week. Mostert was given just 12 opportunities (in a game the Dolphins scored 36 points) as Miami’s lead back in Week 1, so he’s a shaky fantasy start Sunday night.
Henry went undrafted in most fantasy leagues despite clearly being New England’s TE1 throughout preseason. He was the No. 1 fantasy tight end after one week before T.J. Hockenson’s big game on TNF and should remain a big part of a Patriots offense that looks far improved with a new offensive coordinator. The Dolphins allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to tight ends last season and the third-most in Week 1.
New Orleans Saints @ Carolina Panthers
Start: Jamaal Williams
Sit: Hayden Hurst
Williams didn’t produce many fantasy points against a stout Titans run defense last week but dominated New Orleans’ backfield (20 touches) as expected. Alvin Kamara (and likely Kendre Miller) remains out, and Williams gets a much easier matchup as favorites Monday night.
Hurst is fantasy’s No. 3 tight end after Week 1 and should remain a primary option for Bryce Young moving forward. But he gets a tough matchup against a Saints defense that yielded the fewest fantasy points to tight ends last season and was also the toughest opponent when schedule adjusted.
Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Sit: Deshaun Watson
Start: Najee Harris
Watson saved his fantasy day with a TD run but otherwise struggled mightily again last week. He’s averaged 179.4 passing yards while getting an anemic 6.3 YPA since joining Cleveland. Watson gets a tough matchup in Pittsburgh on Monday night against a Steelers D that was one of two defenses not to allow a QB rushing score last season.
Harris is coming off a quiet game against a stout SF run defense but remained the clear lead back in Pittsburgh. He should get plenty of touches Monday night with Diontae Johnson out, George Pickens running wind sprints and Kenny Pickett coming off a shockingly bad start (after a flawless preseason). The Browns allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to running backs last season, so expect a bounce-back game from Harris on Monday night.