I have been doing a lot of thinking about week 1 and what we can trust and what we should throw away. It’s a tough thing to not trust your eyes for future projections. I guess that’s what makes sports gambling so difficult. New casinos don’t pop up from everybody winning. How does one pick who to double down on off of a blah performance? The same goes for breakout performances. How do we know it wasn’t a one-off occurrence? Instincts plays a big role. When you’ve been playing fantasy football for over a decade you pick up on trends and apply it to new situations. Another thing, I’m really excited to be writing the start/sit column every week. Yes, the title alone brings a lot of eyes, but also I want to challenge myself to put personal biases aside to try and help build lineups for you, the reader. I had a BIG whiff last week on Ben Roethlisberger. That was a failure on my part to not weigh the matchup heavier than the overall narrative that I have for him in 2020.
The results from last week weren’t bad at all outside of that misstep. Shout out to Will Fuller! Nobody outside of him really popped. Taylor, Garappolo, and Ronald Jones were fine, I suppose. Desean Jackson didn’t do diddly squat, but that’s on his QB. Everyone outside of Roethlisberger that I suggested sitting did absolutely nothing. We’re on to week 2.
Two years ago I would have been laughed out of the industry for writing the words, “start Aaron Rodgers.” Aaron Rodgers knows that he was doubted by the general public and the Packers’ organization and went out and had a hell of a week 1 against the Vikings. The Vikings might have a very questionable and inexperienced defense but Detroit just allowed Mitch Trubisky to throw 3 second half touchdowns against them. From what I saw, ol’ Mitchy still misses a ton of throws. Last season, Rodgers averaged 303 YPG and 2 TDs/game against the Lions. The Lions also don’t have Darius Slay anymore. Rodgers should have his 2nd straight field day and Davante Adams is unquestionably the WR1 in week 2 according to my expectations.
Speaking of the Vikings, that’s who the Colts will be hosting in week 2. Jonathan Taylor is confirmed to be starting in week 2. If the Vikings stack the box to take away Taylor, like they did effectively against Aaron Jones, that’s Taylor’s problem and not necessarily Hines’. Hines is the change of pace guy who will see a lot of opportunities in the passing game and maybe some bonus goal line work like last week. Hines caught all 8 of his targets in week 1. Phil loves him.
It was tough sledding in week 1 against the Jets in week 1, but look for Singletary to get things going against the Dolphins. In 2019 the Dolphins gave up 135 rushing yards per game which is not great. In week 1 against the Pats, they gave up 37 more yards on the ground than any other team. A lot of that was Cam, sure, but it’s clear on a larger sample size that you can run on the Dolphins.
Get back on that horse! We didn’t draft him in 584 leagues to sit him after week 1. Terry has a juicy matchup in week 2 against Arizona. Arizona was 31st in the league in 2019 in yards given up through the air. I’m not sure how much credit to give to Arizona for beating the 49ers last week. Outside of a decent fantasy day, Jimmy G was terrible. Washington is going to have to air it out to keep up with Kyler in this one. I don’t care how improved Washington’s defense is.
I mean, you could go Michael Gallup or Ceedee Lamb here and probably be fine either way. The reasons that I’m rolling with Gallup here are A. larger NFL sample size and B. I think Gallup has the better chance to burn the secondary for a 60 yard touchdown. Atlanta’s defense looked God awful against Russ & co., and I doubt Dak is going to be any easier on them. Look for a pissed off Gallup after a touchy game-shifting offensive pass interference call last week to make big things happen against ATL.
Losing MT for the time being should be huge for Jared Cook, and he should especially clean up in the red zone. With George Kittle dealing with a sprained knee, I moved Cook up to TE4 this week as the “best of the rest” guy behind Ertz, Andrews, and Kelce. Losing Thomas isn’t going to stop New Orleans from being the same type of offense and Las Vegas has a secondary that can get exposed on any given week.
I wouldn’t expect much more this week out of Wentz than he gave you in week 1. It could have been home cooking but Los Angeles held Dak to 1 touchdown and Dallas has a much more potent offense. The Rams also got to Dak 3 times for sacks which can be drive killers. Los Angeles should dominate time of possession in this one.
Melvin Gordon III
Pittsburgh’s vicious defensive line held Saquon Barkley to 6 yards on 15 carries in week 1. This is going to be a defense that you’re going to want to avoid starting your RBs against. Drew Lock doesn’t instill much fear so Pittsburgh should be able to sell out to stop the run. Gordon got off to a slow start in week 1 outside of a nice drive in the 4th quarter, this is an easy pass, even without Phillip Lindsay.
If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. I’m going back to the well and yelling, “AVOID!” down into it. Beckham saw 10 targets in week 1 and caught *checks notes* 3 of them for 22 yards. Beckham also looked visibly irritated at times. It might get to the point where he’s yelling “come get me” to the Bengals’ sideline.
I wouldn’t be fooled by TJ Hockenson’s production against the Bears and think that the Chicago defense is a tight end production hub. Detroit didn’t have much of a choice but to make him a primary target that week. Engram only caught 2 of his 7 targets for 9 yards in week 1. I expect the Giants to feed Saquon heavily in this one and I wouldn’t be surprised if neither team gets out of the teens on the scoreboard.