After waiting months and months, the NFL finally made its return, which also means it’s time to overreact to what we saw on the field and how it related to fantasy football. With not all matchups being created equal, here are our top start ’em and sit ’em plays at WR for Week 2 of fantasy football.
Week 2 Start ‘Em | Wide receivers
Which WRs have favorable matchups in Week 2 and need to be started across the board in fantasy?
Start ‘Em | Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers
Holy volume, Batman! As we all know, talent has never been an obstacle for Mike Williams — it’s been staying on the field. He is a must-start when he is out there, as was showcased in Week 1 against Washington. Williams recorded 12 targets while playing on 75% of the snaps. He hauled in 8 receptions for 82 yards and a touchdown while leading the Chargers in air yards (120).
OC Joe Lombardi told us that Williams would fill the Michael Thomas role, and apparently, we should have listened. After a WR14 performance (22.2), Williams is a smash-start against a Dallas defense that was obliterated through the air last week. Start him as a WR2 with confidence.
Start ‘Em | Courtland Sutton, Tim Patrick, KJ Hamler, Denver Broncos
Is it cheating to list all three? Yeah, maybe. But that does not make it any less valid.
Following the injury to Jerry Jeudy and the subsequent move to the IR (ankle), the Broncos WRs have a massive opportunity. Courtland Sutton is primed to resume the WR1 role after tearing his ACL in Week 2 of the 2020 season. He has the chance to blow up as he did in 2019 when he recorded 72 receptions on 124 targets for 1,112 yards and 6 TDs. He is a low-end WR2/high-end WR3 in Week 2.
Tim Patrick was the breakout WR for the Broncos last season when Sutton went down, as they loved him going into the year. Patrick recorded 51 receptions on 79 targets for 742 yards and 6 TDs (WR44). At 6’5″, Patrick owns a massive frame that gives the Broncos a pass-catching room that looks more like an NBA backcourt.
Where Patrick will see the volume, KJ Hamler is the splash-play WR and nearly kicked the season off in a major way, dropping a wide-open 59-yard bomb from Teddy Bridgewater. He is a shifty playmaker that has massive upside when things connect.
In Week 2, the Broncos take on the Jacksonville Jaguars, who just allowed 291 yards passing to Tyrod Taylor. They conceded 13 receptions on 17 targets for 200 yards and 3 TDs to WRs. All three Denver WRs are viable fantasy options in Week 2.
Start ‘Em | Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears
Despite a rough Week 1 where the Bears struggled to do anything, better days are ahead for Darnell Mooney. While he only recorded 26 yards, he did so on 5 receptions with 7 targets.
The Rams are an elite defense. The Bengals, who the Bears take on in Week 2, are not. Minnesota just carved up Cincinnati to the tune of 22 receptions (29 targets) for 250 yards and 2 TDs in Week 1 as the No. 30 defense vs. WRs (59.44).
Mooney lines up all over the field and is in a plus matchup against any of the Cincinnati defenders. He is a flex play in Week 2 that could go ballistic should head coach Matt Nagy get out of his way.
Start ‘Em | Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Green Bay Packers
Grab your Men In Black neuralyzer, point it at yourself, and use it to forget Week 1 for the Packers ever existed. Did they play last week? I don’t even remember. See how easy it worked?
The Packers take on the Detroit Lions, who, if memory serves me, are not a good football team. They also just lost 2020 first-round pick Jeff Okudah after he, unfortunately, tore his Achilles in Week 1.
Against the 49ers, the Lions faced only 61 routes and 16 targets by 49ers’ WRs but somehow allowed 12 receptions for 219 yards and 2 touchdowns. That’s a whopping 2.74 fantasy points per target (fourth-highest of Week 1).
Marquez Valdes-Scantling not only led the Packers’ WRs in air yards (102), but he doubled Davante Adams’ total (51). He was the highest-targeted player for Green Bay, making MVS drafters giddy given where he was going in drafts. Aaron Rodgers is angry and gets a primetime game to take the Lions behind the woodshed.
“I’ll take Week 2 breakout WRs to start for $1,000, Aaron.”
Answer: Who is Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
Start ‘Em | Jarvis Landry, Cleveland Browns
With Odell Beckham Jr. ruled out for Week 2 (ACL), Jarvis Landry is a must-start against the Houston Texans. Landry is coming off a WR17 finish in Week 1 (19.4 points), where he caught all 5 targets for 71 yards and a touchdown. In his nine games without Beckham Jr. in the lineup, Landry has averaged 7.4 targets, 5.3 receptions, 61.9 yards, and 14.3 fantasy points. Last week, the Texans allowed 50.8 fantasy points to WRs against the Jaguars, which should tell you all you need to know about Landry in Week 2.
Week 2 Sit ‘Em | Wide receivers
After seeing the upside players at WR for Week 2, who should fantasy football managers think twice about plugging into their lineups as start ’em or sit ’em decisions?
Sit ‘Em | Robby Anderson, Carolina Panthers
Robby Anderson was not bad at all last week, recording 12.7 fantasy points. But that was only enough to come in 43rd amongst WRs. He had just 1 catch on 3 targets and was in a favorable matchup.
That will not be the case in Week 2 as the Panthers take on the New Orleans Saints, who not only shut down the Packers but have allowed just 6 touchdowns to WRs in their last 10 games. If he has another slow week, Anderson would be a solid buy-low target in Week 3.
Sit ‘Em | Will Fuller, Miami Dolphins
No question, Will Fuller has the chance to go off anytime he steps on the field. But we have never seen what he can do with Tua Tagovailoa as his QB. He is also coming off a six-game suspension and finds himself in a crowded WR room with Jaylen Waddle and DeVante Parker. Then, we need to add in the brutal matchup with the Buffalo Bills — who have allowed only 8 TDs to WRs in their last nine games — and a likely matchup with Tre’Davious White.
I would be fading Fuller if this was mid-season, let alone his first game since November 26, 2020, on a new team. I would take a hard look at other options when making start ’em or sit ’em decisions in Week 2.
Sit ‘Em | Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers
Never overreact to Week 1. That’s the best fantasy advice I can give. Yet, is this even an overreaction based on what we have seen and heard?
Not only did Brandon Aiyuk play in fewer snaps than Trent Sherfield last week, but he failed to see a single target. Aiyuk was a decoy as he came back from a hamstring injury. At the same time, you have the comments from head coach Kyle Shanahan stating, “If he wants to be out there every single play, he’s got to be a lot better than the guy behind him.” Well, that’s surely encouraging and uplifting.
I can’t blame anyone who starts Aiyuk in Week 2 against the Philadelphia Eagles. He’s a stud and should be a WR2 the rest of the season. But I do not have the intestinal fortitude to trust him in Week 2 for fantasy as he is a sit ’em candidate. Could it blow up in my face? Sure. But that just means I have a solid WR to start counting on again next week.
Sit Em’ | Michael Pittman Jr., Indianapolis Colts
Last week, Michael Pittman Jr. was on the start ’em portion of this article, and wow, did I miss on that one. At least I wasn’t the only one. He was the de facto WR1 taking on a Seattle Seahawks team that finished as the 29th-ranked defense against opposing WRs, allowing 43.2 points per game. Nevertheless, Pittman caught just 3 of 4 targets for 29 yards.
In Week 2, the Colts take on the Rams, who ranked No. 1 vs. WRs last year (28.8) and allowed only 125 yards on 18 receptions in Week 1 (30.3 fantasy points). Throw in facing Jalen Ramsey a sizeable portion of the game, and Pittman is off my radar for fantasy in Week 2.