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Fantasy Football Start/Sit Week 2: Should You Start Jordan Love, Rachaad White, Raheem Mostert, Drake London?

Jeremy breaks down all of Week 2’s toughest start/sit decisions for fantasy footballl.

What a great first week of the 2023 season. We had some great games including a thrilling Dolphins/Chargers game and a great opener from the Lions/Chiefs game. We also had some blowouts, like the Sunday night game between the Cowboys/Giants, but it did not matter because football was back. Unfortunately, the season started and ended with two big injuries. First Travis Kelce missed the Thursday night opener, and just four plays into Monday night football Aaron Rodgers tore his Achilles, ending his first season in New York. Hopefully, your fantasy teams were able to avoid the Week 1 injury bug and got a much-needed victory. Now that Week 1 is in the books we can turn the page to Week 2 and look at who to start and sit this week. 

Keep in mind before I get into my starts and sits this week that certain players should always be in your starting lineup. Please don’t try to get cute and sit the likes of Justin Jefferson, Christian McCaffrey or Patrick Mahomes. They are in your lineup regardless of matchups. The decisions I am here to help you with are for the players drafted in the middle to late rounds of your draft. These players could be an RB2, a flex play, or might end up on the waiver wire eventually. So, let’s get started with Week 2 starts and sits.

For more help setting your lineups, check out our Weekly Fantasy Football Rankings, updated daily by Chris Kennedy, one of FantasyPros’ Top 15 Football Rankers!

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Week 2 Quarterback Starts

Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Minnesota Vikings

Hurts has my top quarterback matchup of Week 2. The Viking defense made Baker Mayfield look like a top-tier quarterback last week. The Vikings let Mayfield throw for 173 yards and two touchdowns. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but the Buccaneers were not trying to throw much and the Vikings still could not stop them. Hurts did not have a great Week 1, throwing for 170 yards and one touchdown with nine carries and 37 yards. He was facing a tough Patriots defense last week, so this week should be a nice bounce-back game against a bad Vikings defense. 

Jordan Love, Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons

Love had a great Week 1 against the Chicago Bears, throwing for 245 yards and three touchdowns. This week, he gets an Atlanta Falcons defense that held rookie quarterback Bryce Young in check last week, but Young also made some rookie mistakes and missed some open receivers. I do expect Love to make some of those same mistakes this week.  However, I believe Love will pick up where he left off last week and he could be even better if Christan Watson is able to return this week from his hamstring injury. 

Week 2 Quarterback Sits

Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles

Cousins struggles mightily during prime-time games, and this game is on the road in Philadelphia on Thursday night. Cousins is 10-19 all-time in games that start after 7:00 p.m. EST. These two teams met last year in Philadelphia on a Monday night and Cousins’ 51.1 passer rating and 2.3 adjusted yards per attempt were both the worst primetime numbers of his career. The Eagles’ defense is solid, and Cousins playing at night makes this a matchup I am avoiding if I can. 

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Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks at Detroit Lions

Smith struggled horribly last week against an L.A. Rams defense that was supposed to be a bottom-ten unit this year. He threw for just 112 yards and one touchdown. This week, he goes on the road to face a Detroit Lions defense that held Patrick Mahomes in check last Thursday night. They only let Mahomes throw for 226 yards and two touchdowns. I am avoiding Smith in this matchup as the Lions will put pressure on him all day long, especially if one or both of Seattle’s tackles are ruled out.

Week 2 Running Back Starts

Rhamondre Stevenson, New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins

Stevenson has a great matchup this week against a Dolphins defense that just gave up 234 rushing yards to the LA Chargers. Stevenson was battling a stomach bug late last week, but he still managed six catches on six targets for 89 total yards against a stout Eagles defense. I am expecting a big game from Stevenson as the Dolphins’ defense has trouble stopping the run. 

Rachaad White, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Chicago Bears

The good news is White had 19 total touches and played 79% of the Bucs’ offensive snaps in week 1. The bad news is he only gained 39 yards on 17 carries and had just two receptions for 10 yards. So you are probably wondering why I have him as a start this week. The answer is he is going to see the same workload this week, and he is playing a Bears defense that just let Aaron Jones go for 127 total yards and two touchdowns last week. Head Coach Todd Bowles wants to run the football, and White is going to get the majority of the touches again this week. I am expecting a big bounceback from White this week. 

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Week 2 Running Back Sits

Cam Akers, LA Rams vs San Fransico 49ers

Where do I start here with Cam Akers? He got 22 carries in Week 1, but for only 29 yards, and he did not receive one target. That is an average of 1.3 yards per carry. He did manage to score a touchdown late in the game, which helped salvage his fantasy day. What was more concerning for me is the fact that backup Kyren Williams got 15 carries for 52 yards and scored two touchdowns. I do not like that Head Coach Sean McVay is going to more of a backfield committee approach this year. Add in the fact that the 49ers’ defense is a tough matchup, and I will sit Akers this week. 

Raheem Mostert, Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots 

Mostert was a popular start last week against the LA Chargers. He did not perform like most thought he would, as he ended up with only 50 total yards and one touchdown on the day. This week, he is facing a Patriots defense that held the Eagles to 97 total rushing yards last week. I believe the Dolphins will be a pass-heavy team this week, just like they were last week, and that won’t leave a lot of production for Mostert. 

Week 2 Wide Receiver Starts

DeAndre Hopkins, Tennessee Titans vs. LA Chargers

Hopkins had a 38% target share from quarterback Ryan Tannehill in Week 1. Hopkins finished with seven receptions on 13 targets for 65 yards. Tannehill looked for him early and often in Week 1, and I expect that to remain the same this week against the Chargers. The Chargers defense just gave up 536 total yards to the Miami Dolphins last week, so I expect the Titans to be able to move the ball better than they did last week against the New Orleans Saints. Hopkins should have a nice game this week if he sees the same target share as last week.

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Brandon Aiyuk, San Fransico 49ers at LA Rams

Aiyuk put on a show in Pittsburgh last week. He had a 27.6% target share and caught all eight of his targets for 129 yards and two touchdowns. I believe he is slowly overtaking Deebo Samuel as the top wide receiver in the 49ers’ offense. He draws a favorable matchup this week against a young and inexperienced Rams secondary. He should be a must-start moving forward in most leagues.

Week 2 Wide Receiver Sits

Drake London, Atlanta Falcons vs. Green Bay Packers

London had just one target last week against the Carolina Panthers as Jaycee Horn, the Panthers’ top cornerback, shut him down all game. It did not help that the Falcons are a run-first team and the Panthers’ defense had trouble stopping both Tyler Allgeier and Bijan Robinson last week. Unfortunately for London, he will be facing the Packers’ top cornerback this week in Jaire Alexander, so I am expecting more of the same stat-wise from him. An interesting stat I read this week is that London averages just 37.4 receiving yards in games in which Kyle Pitts also plays, but he averages 70.3 receiving yards in games when Pitts does not play.

Christian Kirk, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Kirk has been relegated to a slot-only role to start the season. He ran a route on just 60% of the Jaguars’ pass plays in Week 1, while Calvin Ridley was at 94% and Zay Jones was at 82%. Kirk played just one snap in two-WR, two-TE formations (12-personnel), which means Ridley and Jones were the starting wide receivers in that formation. The low usage led Kirk to finish Week 1 with one reception on three targets for nine receiving yards. That usage in Week 1 is alarming, and I will sit Kirk until I see his usage increase. 

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Week 2 Tight End Starts

Sam LaPorta, Detroit Lions vs. Seattle Seahawks

LaPorta had an 83% snap share in Week 1. He caught all five of his targets for 39 yards. The Lions want to get him involved, and he should see his targets increase as he gets more comfortable in the offense. The Lions play the Seahawks at home this week, and I can see him being a solid tight end one in this favorable matchup. 

Luke Musgrave, Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons

The rookie Musgrave had a nice game in his NFL debut last week. He caught three of his four targets for 50 yards. Quarterback Jordan Love also just missed Musgrave for another big play, so his day could have been even bigger. He gets to face a Falcons defense that just gave up five receptions on seven targets for 41 yards and a touchdown to Hayden Hurst, and I am expecting a similar stat line for Musgrave this week. 

Week 2 Tight End Sits
Tyler Higbee, LA Rams vs. San Fransico 49ers

Higbee was a must-start last week in a favorable matchup against the Seattle Seahawks, but quarterback Matthew Stafford did not rely on him like most people thought he would with Cooper Kupp out. Higbee finished the game with three receptions for 49 yards. This week, he has to face the tough 49ers defense, so I will sit Higbee if a better option is available. 

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Hayden Hurst, Carolina Panthers vs. New Orleans Saints

Hurst had a solid game last week against the Atlanta Falcons, with five receptions on seven targets for 41 yards and a touchdown. Unfortunately, I do not see that trend continuing this week against the Saints’ defense, which shut down the Tennessee Titans’ offense last week and held their tight ends to zero receptions on two targets. I would sit Hurst this week if a better option is available. 

Week 2 Defense Starts

Philadelphia Eagles Defense vs. Minnesota Vikings

The Eagles’ defense is a talented group led by cornerback Darius Slay and get to play Kirk Cousins on Thursday night in prime time; enough said, sign me up for a turnover fest. The Philadelphia defense should get plenty of sacks and turnovers in this game. 

Dallas Cowboys Defense vs. New York Jets

This should be a low-scoring defensive matchup since the Jets lost Aaron Rodgers for the rest of the season Monday night. The Cowboys should be able to pressure quarterback Zach Wilson all afternoon and force him into making mistakes. I do not see the Jets’ offense moving the ball much this week. Last week, the Cowboys’ defense gave up 171 total yards and shut out the New York Giants; they could perform similarly against the other New York team in Week 2. 

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Week 2 Defense Sits

Minnesota Vikings Defense at Philadelphia Eagles

The Vikings’ defense had trouble slowing down Baker Mayfield and the Tampa Bay Bucs offense last week, so I do not believe they will be able to slow down the Eagles’ high-powered offense on Thursday night. 

Jacksonville Jaguars Defense vs. Kansas City Chiefs

The Jaguars have a solid defense, but with Travis Kelce due back this week, I believe the Chiefs offense is going to want to show everyone that Thursday night was just a bad outing for them. I think Patrick Mahomes and company will come out to prove a point, and I do not see the Jaguars being able to stop the passing attack. 

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