By: Jonathan Goad
Need some last minute advice on who to start this week on your fantasy team? Look no further because you have found the place. By the time you’re reading this, it’s Saturday or even Sunday morning. Either way, it’s time to make the decision on your fantasy lineup for Week 2.
Now, personally, I’ll have mine finished by Saturday night at the latest and likely a few days prior. I don’t believe in tinkering with your lineup Sunday morning except for injuries. It cost me a championship a few years ago and…well I don’t want to talk about it.
For those of you who are new to fantasy football, if I’m advising to start a player, that means get them in your lineup. If I say to bench a player, I don’t think that they will have a very good week in fantasy. If I advise to flex a player, that means I think they are worthy of starting but maybe don’t expect a huge performance. A flex position can usually be a wide receiver, running back, or tight end. These players usually aren’t the studs on an NFL roster–if you’re starting a stud in your flex, I’d love to see your draft results or trade moves.
Let’s get started…pun intended.
Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Denver Broncos
Sanders found great chemistry last week with new Broncos quarterback, Case Keenum; great as in catching ten of his eleven targets for 135 yards and a touchdown. Sanders has another nice match-up this week against the Oakland Raiders. Sanders plays the slot and the Raiders gave up five catches for 52 yards and a score to Rams slot man, Cooper Kupp in Week 1. Kupp also saw nine targets. I would expect double-digit targets again for Sanders. Chances are you drafted Sanders as your WR2 maybe WR3. He should give you plenty of value at that spot this week. Start him.
Corey Davis, WR, Tennessee Titans
Davis had 13 targets last week. That alone puts him on the map. He only ended up with six catches for 62 yards, but it’s obvious that the Titans want to get him the football. His match-up against Houston is a little tough, but the Texans did give up seven catches (on seven targets) for 66 yards and a touchdown to Phillip Dorsett of New England. I think Davis is capable of similar numbers this week, and that’s great value for your WR3, where Davis is probably slotted in at. Start him.
Adrian Peterson, RB, Washington Redskins
It’s a little weird that Adrian Peterson isn’t a weekly start no matter the opponent, but he’s 33 years old. At some point, “Father Time” will catch up with him. However, it won’t this week. Peterson had a very nice game last week. He racked up 96 yards on 26 carries and scored a touchdown. He also caught two of his three targets for 70 yards. I don’t think the receiving yards will continue, but he will continue to be a workhorse for the Redskins. I’ll take 28 total touches all day. Peterson also plays the Colts this week who gave up 95 yards and a score on 17 rushes to Joe Mixon. Get AD in your lineup this week.
Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Most weeks, Fournette is a must start. This isn’t most weeks. Fournette is battling a hamstring injury and for those of us who have had one, we know how long it can take to recover. Fournette is optimistic but called himself a “game-time decision.” I’m not starting him even if he plays. He won’t be 100%, and I expect him to be limited. He does have a decent matchup against the Patriots who gave up 98 yards on 20 rushes to Lamar Miller, but I’m not convinced that Fournette will duplicate those numbers. Bench him.
Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders
Will Amari Cooper ever be want fantasy owners expect him to be? It’s not looking good. Cooper only caught one of his three targets last week and it went for nine yards. Not nearly what owners were hoping after taking Cooper as a WR2 in hopes of a bounce-back season. Cooper has a tough match-up with the Denver Broncos. For me, the match-up doesn’t really matter. Cooper just isn’t performing. Bench him please.
Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans
This one hurts me to write. I thought this would be Henry’s breakout year, but then they went and signed Dion Lewis. I’ve been a Derrick Henry believer since he came into the league. However, I try not to let my emotions dictate my decisions when it comes to fantasy football. Henry only played 20 snaps last week. He had ten carries for 26 yards. Dion Lewis, on the other hand, played 47 snaps. It mostly comes down to if Tennessee has the lead or are in a close game. Against Houston, I’m not so sure. I think Lewis out snaps and out touches Henry again this week. Bench him.
Jared Cook, TE, Oakland Raiders
Jared Cook saw the most targets and had the most receptions among tight ends in Week 1. You may want to reread that just because it’s that hard to believe. I’m still questioning its validity. He caught nine of twelve targets for 180 yards. No one expected that. He faces Denver this week who gave up three catches for 105 yards and score to Will Dissly (I’ve never heard of him either). The reason I say “flex” Cook and not “start” him is because of his history. I don’t completely trust him yet. He had Aaron Rodgers as his QB and didn’t produce like we expected, so I’m a little hesitant. But you can’t argue with twelve targets in Week 1. Start him with caution. I don’t think he duplicates his Week 1 performance, but he should get some opportunities.
Jalen Richard, RB, Oakland Raiders
Yep. Another Raider. Richard is only worth flexing in PPR leagues. If you play in a standard league, ignore the next few sentences. Richard had eleven targets in Week 1. That was the third most among RBs; more than David Johnson, James White, Christian McCaffrey, and some guy named Le’veon Bell…Richard turned those targets into nine receptions for 55 yards (he also had five rushes for 24 yards). A lot of the reasoning behind Richard’s high targets was the game flow. Oakland was getting creamed by the Rams. Well, Oakland plays Denver this week. It could get ugly again. Richard is worth considering in your flex spot; just don’t expect him to run the ball much. There is some potential, though.
Royce Freeman/Phillip Lindsay, RB, Denver Broncos
What do you do with these guys? Well, hopefully, you don’t have both of them. If I had either, I’d consider flexing him. Both ran the ball 15 times for 71 yards last week against Seattle. The exception was that Lindsay had two catches on three targets for 31 yards and a score to Freeman’s zero targets. The matchup with the Raiders is nice for both players. I give a slight edge to Lindsay because he appears to be the passing down back, although, either is worthy of a flex play this week.
There you have it, my Start, Bench, and Flex players for Week 2. Now go out and dominate your match-up, unless you’re facing me this week, then please lose.