The Biggest Start/Sit Decisions for Week 2 (Fantasy Football)
“I’d rather have a second-best decision diligently pursued than a first-best decision lackadaisically pursued.”
– Tom Landry
Bonjour, Footclan! Welcome to Week 2 of this series where we’ll identify and discuss your most commonly asked “who should I start?” questions for the week.
The projections between any two players on your roster may appear similar, but this “simple” choice could be the difference between your team’s victory or defeat. Luckily, the Fantasy Footballers have created the Start/Sit tool to easily compare any two (or more) players with insight from the Ballers themselves, and trust me — it’s an extremely valuable asset that will help you make these crucial lineup decisions that could ultimately lead you to your #FootClanTitle.
So without further adieu, let’s kick things off with the most popular Start/Sit questions for Week 2:
The 2021 NFL season started off with a BANG when the Cowboys and Buccaneers engaged in a shootout, rewarding nearly every relevant fantasy player on both sides of the ball (sorry Ezekiel Elliott and Mike Evans managers). One of the most satisfying hits was Mr. Big Chest himself, Antonio Brown, who rewarded savvy GMs with a strong 5-121-1 (receptions-yards-TDs) performance that left him as the week’s WR9. He gets a juicy matchup this week against a laughable Falcons defense that he previously destroyed in their prior two meetings last year. In DFS, Brown is a fantastic FanDuel Cash and DraftKings GPP pick. Sure, the WR room is crowded with fellow elite wideouts Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, both of whom seen higher snaps last week with the latter commanding twice the target share, but Brown is too talented to be ignored and should have a safe WR2 floor with WR1 upside if he can find the endzone.[/ffb_table]
But guess which other overlooked fantasy draft pick had an even better day? None other than Deebo Samuel, who puffed up his bigger chest and totaled 9-189-1 to finish as Week 1’s WR3. His monstrous yardage was the second-most among all receivers, coming just eight short of speedster Tyreek Hill. Samuel dominated against the Lions with a salivating 48% target share, benefitting from Brandon Aiyuk’s mysterious lack of usage. Although Samuel appears to be the new king in San Francisco, there’s a good chance that Aiyuk will begin to ramp up his workload against the Eagles while TE George Kittle remains BFFs with QB Jimmy Garoppolo. Nevertheless, Deebo is a man among boys and is always a surefire bet to produce so long as he remains healthy, making him a great play this week and a recommended FanDuel GPP play.
Deebo was MOVIN' in the Motor City.
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) September 14, 2021
Both guys are great options in Week 2, with all three Ballers leaning towards Samuel. However, I’d personally choose Brown simply to avoid any heartbreak from Kyle Shanahan-igans.
|Andy Rank||RB #26||RB #24|
|Mike Rank||RB #24||RB #26|
|Jason Rank||RB #22||RB #23|
Speaking of Shanahan-igans, sixth-round rookie RB Elijah Mitchell was the talk of the town as he seized the reins of the coveted 49ers backfield after Raheem Mostert fell victim to another tragic injury and usurped the role over sixth-round rookie Trey Sermon, who was a surprise healthy scratch. If you were smart/lucky enough to already roster “the Missile” or spent an exorbitant FAAB amount to snatch him in waivers, then you’re probably unsure whether it’s safe enough to play him this week. After all, Mitchell is by far one of Week 2’s most searched players in the Start/Sit tool. Mitchell was incredibly efficient albeit against a weak Lions defensive line, racking 6.1 FPOE (fantasy points over expected), the most among all rookie RBs thus far. While the jury is still out on who the alpha is, Mitchell should see enough touches to produce a healthy floor under one of the best run games in the league, regardless of Sermon’s eventual involvement.
Similarly, last week’s hot topic was UDFA Ty’Son Williams, who made the most of his opportunity under the national spotlight by nearly totalling 100 all-purpose (AP) yards and finishing as the week’s RB9. However, like Mitchell, Williams will see his role threatened as oldtimers Latavius Murray, Devonta Freeman, and possibly Le’Veon Bell join the field to siphon touches. Both Williams and Mitchell are clouded with uncertainty, making both risky fringe-RB2 plays this week. Even the gang is torn between the two underdogs, with Andy preferring Williams while Mike and Jason favor Mitchell. If you can, I’d avoid both while the dust settles. But if you have to choose, I’d gamble with Mitchell, but monitor the news for any last-second personnel changes.
|Andy Rank||RB #22||RB #21|
|Mike Rank||RB #25||RB #22|
|Jason Rank||RB #25||RB #20|
The rumors of Melvin Gordon’s death were greatly exaggerated. MGIII showed he’s still got it when he outperformed rookie Javonte Williams (despite seeing a dead-even split in snaps), notching 118 AP yards and a score against a tough Giants front. Admittedly, it was a pedestrian outing until he broke free for a 70-yard score late in the fourth quarter, but he still exhibited the versatility and speed that makes him a decent start any given week. In fact, this TD run was the fastest speed of the week per Next Gen Stats:
Broncos running back Melvin Gordon is responsible for the fastest speed of the week by a ball carrier, reaching a top speed of 21.52 MPH on this 70-yard TD run in the 4th quarter against the Giants.
— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) September 13, 2021
This Sunday, he’ll get a salivating matchup against a Jaguars defense that has more holes than a QAnon conspiracy theory, which is why Gordon is Andy’s RB Start of the Week.
Not so fortunate was Myles Gaskin, who predictably struggled to get anything going against a stout Patriots defense en route to an RB26 finish. He gets another tough matchup against the Bills this week who just shut out hyped Steelers rookie Najee Harris. Like Gordon, Gaskin did not see workhorse volume, but his involvement and efficiency in the passing game (caught all five targets for 27 yards) was encouraging to see and makes him a comfortable start in your RB2 or FLEX spot. The crew unanimously prefer “the Gasman” over Gordon, although I’d advocate for the latter as the matchup is simply too juicy to ignore.
Looking fresh in his sixth (!) team, the twelfth-year journeyman TE Jared Cook had a promising start against Washington, seeing eight targets and securing five for 56 yards. Not a great final statline, but the glimmer of hope is in his usage and secures a safe floor for the 34-year-old. He now gets to face a leaky Cowboys coverage that allowed Rob Gronkowski to Gronk-Smash his was to the top of the rankings. His projected workload and soft matchup should award him with enough upside, making “Cyook” an underrated DFS play and Jason’s TE Start of the Week.
The Packers, conversely, looked like complete garbage in a shockingly lopsided loss to the Saints. The whole team failed to show any signs of life on both sides of the ball. But how did 2020’s waiver hero, TE Robert Tonyan, do? Not great, Bob! Tonyan was another low point among many, reeling in just two of his four targets for a depressing eight yards. But Aaron Rodgers and company will have the perfect opportunity for redemption in LambeauField on MNF against a vulnerable Lions defense that just allowed the 49ers to have their way with them. Tonyan is a good bet to score another TD as one of Rodgers’ favorite red zone targets, which is why the Ballers all agree that he’s the TE to start over Cook.
|Andy Rank||QB #13||QB #18|
|Mike Rank||QB #13||QB #18|
|Jason Rank||QB #13||QB #14|
So… what the fart happened in Tennessee? The formerly prolific offense catastrophically collapsed under new OC Todd Downing, leaving QB Ryan Tannehill battered after Cardinals DE Chandler Jones crushed him with five devastating sacks. It was an embarrassing showing for the entire Titans team, and while it was expected for the defense, it was shocking to see for the offense. Tannehill will have a get-right opportunity in a possible firefight in Seattle and should produce QB1 numbers, but if the O-line remains a turnstile, then it’ll be another rough night for fantasy managers.[/ffb_table]
On the flip side, QB Jameis Winston managed to eat a surprise win with an absurd five TD showcase against the normally formidable Packers. He may not have had to do much thanks to his teams’ stellar defense, tossing the ball only 20 times for 14 completions and 148 yards, but points are points and he was able to convert enough TDs to be the overall QB4 on the week. This week will reveal the truth as he faces an underrated Panthers defense that just ravished the Jets, stymying the development of rookie QB Zach Wilson. Not to mention, the Saints just had a COVID outbreak causing eight members to test positive. Regardless, one thing is certain; Winston will be prepared:
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) September 13, 2021
While the momentum is on Winston’s side, the gang favors Tannehill to turn the tide. Don’t be surprised if we see a bounceback showcase in Seattle this week.