Indianapolis Colts vs. Washington Redskins:
Start: Jack Doyle, Washington Defense
We saw Eric Ebron score in Week 1, but Doyle played twice as many snaps as Ebron and was given a whopping 10 targets. He seems like an ideal fit for Andrew Luck’s new game.
Looks like the Colts are really easing Andrew Luck in. Not only did he only have 5 attempts that traveled more than 15 air yards, but look at how concentrated his attempts were in the short middle of the field. Avoided outside the numbers throws. pic.twitter.com/eeAD5Acvo5
— Keegan Abdoo (@KeeganAbdoo) September 10, 2018
Washington’s defense faces a Colts team that allowed Andrew Luck little time to throw last week. The Redskins and their much-improved defensive line gets that same offense at home. This game sets up nicely for a bunch of pass attempts by a trailing Indy. Also start Chris Thompson, Adrian Peterson and Alex Smith with confidence this week.
Carolina Panthers vs. Atlanta Falcons:
Start: Christian McCaffrey in DFS, Tevin Coleman
McCaffrey disappointed with just 10 carries last week but benefited greatly when Greg Olsen was out last season. He gets a Falcons defense that allowed the most receptions to running backs in 2017 and will be missing Keanu Neal and Deion Jones on Sunday.
Despite a tough matchup, Coleman will be an RB1 with Devonta Freeman sidelined with his knee injury. Atlanta is six-point favorites at home, and Coleman is explosive and capable of handling 20-25 touches.
Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers:
Start: Vikings Defense
Sit: Jamaal Williams
The vaunted Vikings D would normally be a sit in Green Bay, but this time get to face either an extremely compromised Aaron Rodgers or DeShone Kizer at quarterback. The SuperContest pegged the Vikings as seven-point favorites, so there’s real speculation Rodgers sits out Sunday. If that happens, things could get ugly with Kizer (who’s committed 29 turnovers over 16 career games) against that ferocious D.
Williams, who is nothing special outside of blocking, will face an uphill battle with injured teammates (Davante Adams is also banged up along with Rodgers) and a Minnesota defense that yielded the fewest fantasy points to running backs last season. Jimmy Graham, who got an ugly 0.21 yards per route run last week (only Ryan Griffin was worse among tight ends) faces strong Minnesota safeties, making him another fade.
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Buffalo Bills:
Start: Keenan Allen in DFS
Sit: Kelvin Benjamin
The Bills have a standout corner in Tre’Davious White, but he doesn’t usually face off against the slot where Allen frequents, and the rest of Buffalo’s secondary is struggling mightily right now.
Benjamin, who’s reportedly still learning the playbook, will likely be shadowed by Casey Hayward and will have a rookie QB making his first start not because he’s ready, but thanks to Buffalo’s gross alternative.
Houston Texans vs. Tennessee Titans:
Start: Deshaun Watson
Sit: Marcus Mariota
Watson is set to bounce back after returning from his ACL surgery to an unpleasant result last week: a rough season debut against a legit New England defense last week. He gets a more favorable matchup Sunday and hopefully Will Fuller back at his disposal.
Mariota will have to play through a sore throwing elbow and without Delanie Walker against a Houston defense that could bring constant pressure.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Pittsburgh Steelers:
Start: Patrick Mahomes, Antonio Brown in DFS
Mahomes is fresh off a four-TD performance in which he got 9.5 YPA on the road against a tough Chargers secondary. The Chiefs are banged up on defense, the Steelers play much better at home, and this total (53 points) is about as high as you’ll see in the NFL, so expect Mahomes to benefit from a shootout.
Antonio Brown w/ and w/out Le'Veon Bell (2015-2018) pic.twitter.com/OxHSp023dw
— Scott Barrett (@ScottBarrettDFB) September 9, 2018
Brown is worth paying up for in a high-scoring matchup against KC’s vulnerable outside corners (JuJu Smith-Schuster should be mostly locked up with Kendall Fuller) and will get a big boost with Le’Veon Bell out.
Miami Dolphins vs. New York Jets:
Start: Quincy Enunwa
Sit: Kenny Stills
Enunwa, who saw 10 targets (to Robby Anderson’s one) and scored in Week 1, remains a start even with Jermaine Kearse’s impending return Sunday. Enunwa clearly has a strong rapport with rookie QB Sam Darnold, and his 3.15 yards per route run last week ranked top-10 among wide receivers.
Stills is coming off a huge two-TD game despite finishing third on his team in targets, and the Dolphins get DeVante Parker back this week. The Jets defense looked much-improved Week 1, and the matchup with left cornerback Trumaine Johnson is a challenging one.
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
Start: Nelson Agholor
Sit: Ryan Fitzpatrick
Agholor saw 10 targets with Alshon Jeffery out in Week 1. He faces a Tampa Bay defense that allowed the most fantasy points to wide receivers last season and enters Sunday especially banged up and vulnerable against the slot.
Fitzpatrick, who was fantasy football’s No. 1 scorer last week, gets a much tougher challenge despite returning home. The Eagles allowed 6.5 YPA last season, just made people question whether Matt Ryan was playing injured, and have had 10 days to prepare for this matchup. Fitzpatrick saw pressure on just 17.6% of plays in Week 1 (when the Eagles pressured Ryan 38.8% of the time), so expect an extreme crash back to earth.
Cleveland Browns vs. New Orleans Saints:
Start: Tyrod Taylor, Ben Watson
Taylor’s rushing gives him a high floor like last week, and there’s upside for more Sunday against a New Orleans defense that allowed Ryan Fitzpatrick to throw for 417 yards (14.9 YPA) with a 4:0 TD:INT ratio, and zero sacks. Taylor attempted an NFL-high 10 deep passes (20+ yards) in Week 1, possibly making Josh Gordon a much bigger factor Sunday.
Watson gets a Browns defense perennially weak against tight ends (with Sunday’s matchup against Jabrill Peppers no exception). The Saints receiving corps is a bit shaky after Michael Thomas with Ted Ginn banged up (and Cameron Meredith and Tre’Quan Smith not looking ready to contribute yet).
Arizona Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Rams:
Start: Ricky Seals-Jones, Jared Goff
Seals-Jones disappointed in Week 1 but saw six targets and encouragingly played 92 percent of the team’s snaps. He gets a Rams team this week that’s loaded with strong corners yet, just last week, allowed the fourth-most receiving yards in a game to a tight end in NFL history.
Goff may not attempt a ton of passes as Sunday’s biggest favorite, but he’s at home and the Rams have a massive implied team total (29.0 points). You have to love Sean McVay, who remained aggressive throwing deep despite being up big late in Week 1 (and what a crazy memory he has):
Rams HC Sean McVay literally remembers every play of his coaching career 😲 pic.twitter.com/r9gC2mcajM
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 13, 2018
Detroit Lions vs. San Francisco 49ers:
Start: Kenny Golladay, Alfred Morris
Golladay saw 12 targets last week and looks like Detroit’s best wide receiver. The Lions have arguably the league’s worst defense and can’t run the ball, so they should have to throw a ton.
Morris, lost a fumble at the goal-line last week and will split snaps with Matt Breida but should bounce back at home in a plus matchup as a near TD favorite. Detroit allowed an NFC-high 18 rushing touchdowns last season.
George Kittle might just be a league-winner.
Coming off a shoulder injury, Kittle played on 80% of #49ers snaps, led team in targets (9), and his 13.1 average depth of target in Week 1 nearly matched Gronk's (13.4). Look at the vertical element on his routes, per #NextGenStats: pic.twitter.com/dPFBDD4GVa
— Graham Barfield (@GrahamBarfield) September 10, 2018
George Kittle should be treated as a top-five fantasy tight end as long as he’s healthy, and Dante Pettis is a sleeper with Marquise Goodwin hurt. Pettis got the third-most yards per route run out of the slot in Week 1, and the rookie has upside.
New England Patriots vs. Jacksonville Jaguars:
Sit: Tom Brady, Leonard Fournette
TB12 squares off against a Jaguars defense that ceded an NFL-low 68.5 Passer Rating last season, and the Pats are planning on winning more through an improved defense than an explosive offense this year. It’s easier to “sit your stud” in this case when there are at least a dozen better QB options.
Fournette is looking like a gametime decision during Sunday’s late slate, and it’s unlikely he’d be close to 100 percent if he does suit up. New England’s front seven is also a tough matchup.
Oakland Raiders vs. Denver Broncos:
Start: Jared Cook, Royce Freeman
I think it’s probably way more of the latter but we prob won’t know for sure with Cook up against:
Week 2: DEN — 4th most PPR/G to TEs in 2017
Week 3: MIA — 1st most PPR/G to TEs in 2017
Week 4: CLV — 3rd most PPR/G to TEs in 2017
— Scott Barrett (@ScottBarrettDFB) September 11, 2018
Cook’s schedule sets up nicely to open the year, and he should once again see a big target share with Denver’s strong corners blanketing Amari Cooper and Jordy Nelson. Safety Will Parks is a weak spot in the Broncos’ pass coverage.
Freeman frustratingly split snaps with Phillip Lindsay in Week 1 but should see a more favorable game script with the Broncos as a six-point favorite at home against a Raiders defense that badly misses Khalil Mack.
New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys:
Start: Sterling Shepard
Sit: Dak Prescott
Shepherd has an advantageous matchup versus slot corner Anthony Brown in Sunday night’s showdown.
Prescott didn’t attempt a single pass targeted 20 yards downfield Week 1. The Dallas offense appears to be in major trouble.
Seattle Seahawks vs. Chicago Bears:
Start: Tyler Lockett, Trey Burton
Lockett pulled down a 51-yard TD last week against a tough Denver secondary and is looking at increased targets with Doug Baldwin out.
Burton busted in Week 1 but at least saw six targets despite the Bears going into a shell trying to protect their lead as big underdogs. Let’s just hope Mitchell Trubisky can be somewhat competent:
On a third down from the Packers' three-yard line, this play went for -minus five yards. Bonus points if you spot the open player…. pic.twitter.com/sLrsDmvK04
— dan durkin (@djdurkin) September 11, 2018