Disclaimer: Fantasy football advice is not an exact science. I cannot promise a victory, a championship, or that you will win money in your office pick em’ pool. This is just my opinion, and players can always surprise you.
Let’s start by thanking the fantasy gods that I managed a clean sweep in all three of my leagues this week (this is likely to be a rare occurrence), and then dive right into the good stuff. Week Two is here, and we all survived Week One without smashing our phones when ESPN Fantasy decided to crash for 8 hours.
The first week of fantasy football is always a sort of guessing game, as we watch offseason changes play out in real time. This week, we have a better idea of what’s going on and where things are headed. But, and I cannot stress this enough, this is not the time to panic. Don’t give up on your top picks because they had a bad week, and don’t start some trendy waiver addition over your stars.
Texans’ Fantasy Player of the Week
The last time the Texans met the Chiefs, it was a public and humiliating shutout at the hands of Travis Kelce and company. This week will not be like that. Houston has a better QB, more firepower on offense, and is free of the walking curse that is Brian Hoyer. That being said, the Chiefs have a solid defense (especially pass defense) and will present a more significant challenge for the Texans than the Bears did last week. Lamar Miller is my Texans’ start of the week again, because he’s going to make plays no matter what. He gets plenty of carries and gets himself into the end zone.
Side Note: I’ve been worried about DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller swapping big weeks (a/k/a Fuller lighting it up one week, Hopkins the next) and turning the Texans’ WR corps into a guessing game for fantasy purposes. I hope these two can continue to share the limelight (and the end zone), or there could be trouble in fantasy land.
Start ‘Em/Sit ‘Em Across the League
Demarco Murray (RB/TEN) - Working against a Lions defense that is full of holes, Murray is poised for a big week. He appears to be getting the bulk of carries over rookie RB Derrick Henry (at least for now) and has also been working as a dual-threat, adding five receptions for 35 yards last week (making him an even better option in PPR leagues).
Derek Carr & Amari Cooper (QB & RB/OAK) - The tandem of Carr and Cooper has been a wonderful one for fantasy owners. Cooper went a round higher than his ranking in every draft I participated in this year, and for good reason. Cooper is far and away the best receiving weapon for the Raiders, and Carr is developing into an exceptional young QB. This duo gets a lackluster Falcons defense to tear apart in Week Two, making them both must-starts.
Eli Manning (QB/NYG) - Manning has one of the nastiest receiving corps in all of football right now. Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz, and rookie Sterling Shepard are a trio of wideouts that most QBs would kill for, and this week, they get the weak Saints defense to pick apart. Go ahead and start Shepard and OBJ too, but that should be obvious.
John Brown (WR/ARI) - I am praying that Brown’s half-point performance last week was a result of lingering injury issues and not because he’s going to be utterly useless all season. Either way, Brown looks like he has fallen as a receiving option in Arizona, behind Larry Fitzgerald, Malcolm Floyd, and RB David Johnson. Until he sees more action, Brown should stay on your bench.
Frank Gore (RB/IND) - I’m not sure why you would be starting Gore anyway, but a matchup at Denver makes him even less appealing. Get yourself a RB facing a less stout defensive front.
Ryan Tannehilll (QB/MIA) - Tannehill heads to the Patriots’ home turf this week, a hugely unfavorable matchup for fantasy purposes. The QB had a mediocre performance last week, and will likely struggle in New England as well. If you have a better option, roll with it.
Waiver Wire Watch
Will Fuller (WR/HOU) - Last week, I said I wasn’t sure how the Texans’ rookie wideout would perform. Well, 100+ yards and a TD was quite a welcome to the NFL and to fantasy owners. But let’s not forget that those numbers could have been TWO TDs, if Fuller could hang onto the football a little bit better. Overall, an unusually sub-par game for DeAndre Hopkins and a decent outing for Fuller mean that he is definitely worth a waiver addition.
ESPN: 68% owned, Yahoo: 72% owned
Tajae Sharpe (WR/TEN) - I have said this before, and I will say it all season until this kid is owned in all leagues: pick him up! The rookie wideout had nearly twice the receptions and twice the yardage of anyone else on the Titans’ roster (7 receptions, 76 yards). Give him time to develop a rapport with Marcus Mariota, and he could be a steal this season. Sharpe stands alone as a viable WR target in Tennessee (no hate to Andre Johnson), and no amount of inexperience can devalue that.
ESPN: 48% owned, Yahoo: 55% owned
Tevin Coleman (RB/ATL): It looks like Devonta Freeman will be splitting everything from catches to carries with Coleman this year. That means that Coleman is a necessary pickup if you own Freeman, and an attractive addition even if you don’t.
ESPN: 57% owned, Yahoo: 53% owned
Tyrell Williams (WR/SD): A season-ending injury to Keenan Allen means a Chargers WR addition, and Williams appears to be that guy. He may not be a fantasy starter right away, but he’s definitely worth stashing at this point.
ESPN: 22% owned, Yahoo: 30% owned
Week One is behind us, so win or lose, it’s on to Week Two. Make use of the comments section to ask questions, make predictions, and give advice to your fellow fantasy owners. You can even post your team and ask for help if you’d like to.
Happy roster-setting to you all!