Our analysts reveal the fantasy football takes they have the most conviction for heading into Week 2 to help you feel more confident about the lineup decisions ahead. For more sit-start advice, check out our rankings hub.
James Cook in smash spot
Cook is coming off a consolidation-of-power week in which he dominated backfield touches for the Bills. He played 59% of the offensive snaps, handling the ball 16 times. Meanwhile, Damien Harris and Latavius Murray combined for only six touches. Cook may not have had an impactful week for fantasy purposes in the opener, but we saw everything we wanted to see in terms of workload. He has no challengers in Buffalo.
This week, in a get-right game for the Bills, Cook faces a Vegas defense that allowed the most receiving yards to running backs last season and the seventh-most fantasy points. He’s a must-start. Enjoy the 20-plus PPR points. — Andy Behrens
We’re frustrated by the state of the Atlanta passing game, but let’s focus on the good stuff, the running game. Most NFL teams can support two backs for fantasy purposes, and although Bijan Robinson is the most talented player in the Falcons backfield, Allgeier is going to be fantasy playable on a weekly basis. Allgeier had more carries, touches, and goal-line work in the opener, and perhaps the team will rely on Allgeier for the short touchdowns, preferring to keep that pounding off Robinson’s plate. Allgeier landed at Yahoo ADP 126 in the summer, but he’s going to smash that in 2023. — Scott Pianowski
Nacua burst onto the scene last week, recording an NFL-high 15 targets and finishing among the leaders in air yards. It was the third-most targets by a rookie in their first game in NFL history. He was also and was second behind only Tyreek Hill in . Nacua nearly had a much bigger game and also getting .
Nacua somehow lasted until the fifth round of the 2023 NFL Draft despite having the second-best yards per route run career mark . Sean McVay will utilize him in the Cooper Kupp role, which . Matthew Stafford and finally healthy in Week 1. The Rams get a pass-funnel 49ers defense that yielded the fewest fantasy points to RBs but the sixth-most to WRs last season, so I’m ranking Nacua as a top-20 WR this week. — Dalton Del Don
Pierce absolutely didn’t get off to the start that fantasy managers who started inching him up draft boards after great preseason usage would have hoped for. However, this was always going to be a bad spot. A bad game was easy to see coming, as I wrote in my Week 1 Binge/Stream/Skip preview, a road game as big underdogs to a good defense for a team with a rookie quarterback is a rough recipe for a run game. I’m not going to put too much stock into his playing time, as this was not a normal game script.
Pierce still looked good with a 50% success rate on zone scheme runs (per Fantasy Points Data) and 2.91 yards after contact per rush. He should find much better lanes against the Colts. Indy lost folks at every level of the defense in the offseason and it showed in Week 1. They were wrecked by Calvin Rildey in the secondary but also gave up a big run or two to Travis Etienne. The fact that C.J. Stroud looked like he could hold his own in a brutal spot in Week 1 actually gave me more long-term confidence in Pierce. I think he’s a top-10 back this week. — Matt Harmon
White saw elite usage in Week 1. He was the clear three-down back, playing 79% of the snaps and earning 19 touches. Only two running backs saw a higher snap rate in 2022.
White was inefficient to start the season. He averaged just 2.6 yards per touch. This is slightly concerning as White struggled with efficiency as a rookie. But his efficiency did improve as the season went on. He earned 34% more yards per touch over his final eight games. If White can just be average with his efficiency, he’s going to dominate. That’s how good his role is.
White saw 100% of the red-zone snaps and 100% of the 2-minute offense work. This combination typically leads to elite fantasy production. He’s a 2.5-point favorite at home against the Bears this week. In similar spots, starting RBs with this type of usage average over 14 fantasy points. — Sal Vetri
Did you miss out on Nacua on waivers? Have no fear, 2022 UDFA Rashid Shaheed is here! You know, that guy that finished just two spots behind Nacua in fantasy scoring in Week 1? Yeah, him!
Though Shaheed ranked fourth on the team in routes run in Week 1, he was targeted on a whopping 24% of those routes, including three targets of 20-plus air yards as Derek Carr’s favorite deep threat. Shaheed’s efficiency on those opportunities was off the charts, averaging 3.56 yards per route run (third among WRs), 17.8 yards per reception (11th) and a literal perfect passer rating when targeted (158.3). This week, the Saints face the Panthers, who went relatively untested in Week 1 after the Falcons targeted wide receivers just five times in their season opener. In 2022, however, this unit ranked fourth in fantasy points allowed to opposing receivers. If you’re in need, roll with Shaheed! — Kate Magdziuk
So fantasy managers watched as Kelley shined for 16 carries, 91 yards and a touchdown. It’s the type of performance that our guy Austin Ekeler has been calling for, a backfield Robin to his Batman. Then many of those same fantasy managers made successful FAB or waiver claims for Kelley with Ekeler batting an ankle injury. What’s next?
Well, faithful fantasy manager, Kelley is a SIT this week. A road matchup in Tennessee pits the Chargers against that stonewall Titans defense that allowed the fewest rushing yards last season. After Saquon Barkley went for 164 yards in the 2022 opener, no other running back surpassed 66 yards. This front seven is ferocious, so wait a week before playing Kelley. Though don’t think of sitting Ekeler, if he’s able to play. His passing-game work will get him loose against a secondary that was 32nd in passing yards allowed. — Jorge Martin