Fantasy Football Week 2 Previews
Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons 1 p.m. EST
The Jordan Love Era started out about as well as anyone could have expected. He threw for 245 yards and three touchdowns with two of those going to WR Romeo Doubs. RB Aaron Jones was also a shining star, with over 125 yards of total offense and two touchdowns. Unfortunately, he injured his hamstring and his availability this week is in question as he has not practiced. WR Christian Watson, who missed Week 1, is also yet to practice. I would be hard-pressed to see the Packers coming out of Atlanta with a win if both are not able to play. The most glaring potential absence is Jones, as he is their best player and the downgrade to RB A.J. Dillon is noticeable. WR Romeo Doubs is a player to keep your eye on as I had him pegged to be the Packers’ shining star before the season and he did not disappoint in Week 1. It’s difficult to gauge how good the Packers’ offense will be going forward as I suspect their Week 1 opponent, the Bears’ defense, to be near the bottom of the league. Atlanta’s defense is a bit underrated and can give Love fits. TE Luke Musgrave is a player of interest as I think he gets more work and is a sneaky play in DFS.
As for the Atlanta Falcons, they are dependent on the one-two punch of running backs Bijan Robinson and Tyler Allgeier. Is it too early to call them the best running-back combo in football? Robinson should catch a minimum of five passes in this one as QB Desmond Ridder has a reluctance to throw downfield and is more apt to check down. Look for the Packers’ defense to pinch up after looking at last week’s game film as it was clearly evident that the passing game was a major weakness for the Falcons. If the Falcons want to win, they have to get TE Kyle Pitts more involved as he only caught two passes last week. WR Drake London also did not catch a pass, and he has a tough matchup vs. a Packers secondary that features CB Jaire Alexander, who is one of the best in the league. Robinson and Allgeier are the only Atlanta players I will use in this matchup.
Las Vegas Raiders at Buffalo Bills 1 p.m. EST
The Raiders’ offense got an outstanding effort from newly acquired WR Jakobi Meyers, who had nine catches for 81 yards and two touchdowns. This was an offense that only got consistent volume from RB Josh Jacobs and WR Davante Adams a year ago, so the added weapon was much needed. This week, though, Meyers is out with a concussion and they take a step up in competition vs. a Bills team that should be hungry. It may be tough sledding for an offense led by QB Jimmy Garoppolo as I think the passing offense may suffer. They will need a huge game from Jacobs, and he may do it as the Bills gave up some big runs to Jets RB Breece Hall.
The Bills have to be wondering what could have been as they let a 10-point lead slip away as QB Josh Allen was a turnover machine. I am expecting a big bounceback for the Bills’ offense and would be surprised if they don’t score 30+ here. All pieces of the offense are in play here, including WR Stefon Diggs and even RB James Cook, but the player I am focusing on is WR Gabe Davis. Don’t be shocked if he has a big game; he is one of my DFS sneaky plays. A Bills stack will also definitely be on my radar.
Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals 1 p.m. EST
The Ravens got by the Houston Texans relatively easily in Week 1 as they were able to pressure rookie QB C.J. Stroud and took advantage of their red zone opportunities. But their offense was really uninspiring except for WR Zay Flowers, who really jumps off the page. He looks quicker and more elusive than their other weapons on offense. TE Mark Andrews is expected back this week, and I have to wonder if he will cut into Flowers’ production. I am calling for a big game from QB Lamar Jackson as he was held in check last week but I don’t blame him. The offense was bogged down with penalty after penalty, creating many third and long situations and the Texans were able to apply enough pressure to be disruptive and had four sacks. Unfortunately, the Ravens’ running game suffered a major blow as RB J.K. Dobbins will miss the rest of the season with a torn Achilles. Running backs Justice Hill and Gus Edwards should split carries, with Hill looking like the goal-line back as he scored two touchdowns in the opener. Neither are guys I am playing this week unless I am desperate at the position.
The Bengals’ offense was a complete mess last week as they couldn’t get anything going against a stingy Brown defense. Their offensive line must be better this week as I am predicting this game to be a bit of a shootout. If Burrow gets protection, he can carve up the Ravens’ secondary as Stroud was able to throw for 242 yards and he doesn’t have the weapons Burrow has. This does figure to be a pass-first game as the Ravens are good against the run. Don’t be scared to play a Bengal stack in DFS with WR Ja’Marr Chase and WR Tee Higgins as pieces. I think both teams get well into the 20s on Sunday.
Seattle Seahawks at Detroit Lions 1 p.m. EST
How disappointing was Seattle last week? They were able to move the ball up and down the field during the first half only to fizzle in the second. Part of the reason is they only had the ball for 20 minutes as the Rams controlled the time of possession. I know many are expecting a shootout this week as Seattle beat the Lions 48-45 in Detroit a season ago, but this is not the same Lions team. For that matter, I don’t know if this is the same Geno Smith and Seattle passing offense from a year ago either. The fact that they struggled against the Rams raises some red flags. Geno was under pressure, and the Lions will bring more pressure. He is going to have to get the ball out quickly, and one of the beneficiaries may be WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Detroit hasn’t been good against the slot and Kansas City had players open in the middle of the field, but they couldn’t catch the ball. WR Tyler Lockett also figures in here as he can work any Detroit defender. As for the running game, RB Kenneth Walker looks explosive still, and I don’t think he is in under any threat to lose volume to RB Zach Charbonnet. A good game by him can alleviate the pass rush and can control the clock to keep the Lions’ offense off the field. He could be a sneaky DFS play, as I think he goes overlooked. I would expect a breakout game from him in the near future.
The Lions’ offense had its struggles last week against Kansas City, but I am expecting a much better performance this week. QB Jared Goff could be in for a big week as Matthew Stafford carved up a depleted Seattle secondary a week ago. Even though Seattle’s rookie CB Devon Witherspoon and S Jamal Adams are expected back this week, I think the Lions still move the ball effectively because of the lack of pass rush. Stafford had all day to throw the ball and Detroit’s offensive line is one of the best in the game. WR Amon-Ra St. Brown will be the heavy target and could have a huge game. WR Josh Reynolds is coming off a four-catch 80-yard performance and could be sneaky in DFS. RB David Montgomery got most of the workload last week, but RB Jahmyr Gibbs looks more explosive and I am calling for the rookie’s first NFL touchdown this week. TE Sam LaPorta will be targeted as well and is another player I may have a few shares of.
Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans 1 p.m. EST
QB Anthony Richardson was solid in his NFL debut as he both ran and threw for a touchdown. He should be a shining fantasy star and will have games where he has huge fantasy production. All that said, I think he is a player I will fade this week as the Texans’ defense is better than anyone thinks. They held Lamar Jackson in check last week with a very good pass rush and have underrated corners who can match up with the Colt receivers. Still, it was encouraging that WR Michael Pittman was able to have a good game, he should have solid fantasy production going forward. The running game for the Colts isn’t very good and should be avoided.
I was really encouraged by the Texans’ offense last week even though they only scored nine points vs. the Ravens. QB C.J. Stroud was accurate enough and able to throw the ball downfield and find the open receivers. Their downfall was penalties forcing bad situations that led to a heavy Ravens’ pass rush. I think they can really get it going against the Colts. WR Nico Collins could be in line for a big game, and did you see that WR Robert Woods was found? He looked very good and could be that underneath option. I expect a much better game from RB Dameon Pierce as I think he has a chance to go off. Yes, I will call for a 100-yard performance and a TD, making him my stud DFS back this week.
Chicago Bears at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1 p.m. EST
All the promise, all the hope to beat the Green Bay Packers at home ended abruptly and swiftly. It was just a gut-punch performance to any Bear fan. Many are blaming QB Justin Fields, but I have to give the guy a break. He had what I think is a terrible game plan and an offensive line that looked like it regressed instead of improved as they had hoped. I know the Packer defense is stout, but they will get no breaks here against the Tampa front. The running game should be avoided, leaving only two, maybe three fantasy options. Fields is always an option as he can always run for 100 yards and a touchdown giving him 16 fantasy points there alone. If he can get another 200 yards passing and throw for a score then he is up to 28 fantasy points, but that is highly unlikely. Receivers D.J. Moore and Darnell Moony figure to be the top options as WR Chase Claypool is nowhere to be found. I think this is a long day for the Bears and I probably will just play Fields in one DFS lineup naked hoping for a low-owned surprise. Meanwhile, the Buccaneer defense tops my list as a DFS option.
It took some time for the Tampa Bay Buccaneer offense to get going as they were ambushed by a heavy Vikings blitz. But by midway through the second quarter, they got more comfortable and were able to move the ball more effectively. I know that QB Baker Mayfield didn’t have huge yardage numbers, but he took command of the offense and was the definite leader on the field. He was able to keep receivers Chris Godwin and Mike Evans included in the game, with Evans getting a nice pass for a TD. This effort should encourage fantasy players that the Buccaneer offense will be all right going forward. RB Rachaad White was a little disappointing and he was not as involved in the passing game as I had thought or liked. Still, there will be games in which he is more involved and should be able to have a day against a Bears defense that was shredded by Packer RB Aaron Jones.
Kansas City Chiefs at Jacksonville Jaguars 1 p.m. EST
The Chiefs’ offense looks to get back on track after a lackluster performance vs. Detroit. QB Patrick Mahomes was fine, but his receivers could not hang onto the football. It just seemed like somebody or someone in particular was missing. Oh yeah, TE Travis Kelce was out, but it looks like he will be ready for this one as he returns to practice. So we can just throw out what happened last week and just plan on the Chiefs’ offense getting back to normal. But back to Kelce, he has to be the number one TE option on DFS as he shredded the Jaguars in both the regular season and playoffs. He had 22 catches for 200 yards and three touchdowns in two games against them last season. As for the rest of the offense, I am sure another player or two will have a good game, but who? Nobody besides Kelce or Mahomes stands out. I keep going back to WR Kadarius Toney. I think he can get open and if he holds onto the football can get six catches for 60 yards and a touchdown. That’s it for me. Who knows what running backs will stand out as they are in a split-touches situation. WR Skyy Moore was an absolute non-factor, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling is hit or miss.
The Jaguars had to circle this game when the schedule came out. They lost to the Chiefs twice last year, including the playoff loss that ended their season. I expect QB Trevor Lawrence to air it out here with his plethora of weapons. WR Calvin Ridley looks like a top-five receiver and there are about three other players who can break out any given week. RB Travis Etienne is a man of interest, did you see the volume he got in Week 1? 23 touches, which included five catches. I think the Jaguars move the ball effectively and we could be looking at a 31-27 type of ball game. TE Evan Engram could also have a big week as the Chiefs will try and take Ridley away.
Los Angeles Chargers at Tennessee Titans 1 p.m. EST
The Chargers offense scored 34 points, but let me say there is something that is missing, and it’s not from the running game. QB Justin Herbert just might not be the special player everyone is hoping for. He doesn’t look to be seeing the players down the field. It’s very noticeable when you watch the games from the sky view. This isn’t new either, you could see it in games last season. Remember when Herbert had prime matchups for DFS last season and it just didn’t happen? He got the benefit of the doubt because of an injury he suffered earlier in the season. Now I’m thinking this is just who he is. He is still good, just not in that top-echelon class. He should have a good game this week vs. a bad Titan pass defense, and if that were to happen, I would trade him in Seasonal leagues while his value would be high. Look for WR Keenan Allen and WR Mike Williams to have a big game, with my lean towards Allen, especially in DFS. It wouldn’t shock me if they threw it 50 times vs. a stout Titan run defense. Pass protection will be key. As for the running game, it’s looking more and more like RB Austin Ekeler will miss this game, giving most of the volume to RB Joshua Kelley, who will not be viable here.
The Titans are dealing with a big injury themselves as WR DeAndre Hopkins is dealing with an injury. If he plays, he becomes an auto start, as he had a whopping 13 targets vs. the Saints in Week 1. TE Chigoziem Okonkwo should also see more action and may be a sleeper DFS option at extremely low ownership. We just need QB Ryan Tanneyhill to get it going instead of looking like an undrafted rookie. He threw a lot of bad passes last week, especially in double coverage, leading to three interceptions. He just has to get better. But the crown jewel for this offense is RB Derrick Henry, as he is in my top five in a game where he should run over the Chargers. Don’t be surprised if he scores 25+ fantasy points as I am looking for 150 total yards and two touchdowns vs. a very bad Charger defense.
New York Giants at Arizona Cardinals 4:05 p.m. EST
QB Daniel Jones is sure taking some heat this week, like the 40-0 loss to Dallas was his fault. How about getting him a weapon on the outside or a tight end without a lengthy injury history? He had zero chance against a defense that outmatched his offense in every facet. But he is coming back and will have 20+ fantasy points this week. I am expecting 50+ rushing yards and a rushing TD. He will be in many of my DFS and Seasonal lineups. RB Saquon Barkley is also going to score this week, and a Barkley/Jones stack and maybe TE Darren Waller will shine through against a poor Cardinal defense.
For the Cardinals, there is only one real player of interest, and that is RB James Conner. I am looking for 20+ touches, 100 total yards, and a touchdown from him. WR Hollywood Brown has an outside shot to have a good game and could be used as a flex option.
San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams 4:05 p.m. EST
The Niners’ offense had their way last week vs. what was thought to be a good Steelers defense. They should have their way again this week vs. a bad Rams defense. Don’t be fooled by that Rams score, they caught a regressing Geno Smith with pass protection problems. That won’t be the case in this matchup. All of the 49ers’ main offensive weapons should be in play, with the main focus on RB Christian McCaffrey and WR Brandon Aiyuk. WR Deebo Samuel will probably see less DFS ownership and be a player I lean toward in that format.
The Rams were able to do what they wanted vs. a Seahawk defense that was missing players in their secondary and had zero pass rush. Stafford had all day to throw and was able to throw for 334 yards, while WR TuTu Atwell and WR Puka Nacua both had 119 yards receiving, causing a waiver-wire frenzy for Nacua. I think it’s safe to say that we should lower expectations this week, but I do expect Nacua to be a thing for the rest of the season. He makes catches in traffic and looks like a poor man’s Cooper Kupp. Running backs Cam Akers and Kyren Williams both had a lot of usage, but should be avoided this week against a stout 49er front. Look for Williams to get more and more volume as the season moves on.
New York Jets at Dallas Cowboys 4:25 p.m. EST
Even though the Jets eeked out a win in overtime against the Bills, the air was let out of the balloon with QB Aaron Rodgers set to miss the remainder of the season with a torn Achilles. QB Zach Wilson was able to get the win, but there is no confidence in him going forward, especially against what appears to be a dominating Dallas Cowboys defense. The Jet’s offense will have to rely on running backs Breece Hall and Dalvin Cook, with Hall looking like the much better back. He has more explosiveness than Cook despite just coming back from a season-ending ACL injury. I now regret not drafting one share in any of my Seasonal leagues. WR Garrett Wilson owners are in a panic, myself included, but I am holding out hope that Zach Wilson can develop and get him into the 1,200-yard range. Play Hall and G. Wilson if you have them and look to the Cowboys in DFS.
The Cowboys’ offense didn’t have to work hard against the Giants as their defense and special teams dominated by getting them a shutout and adding two touchdowns of their own. They may hope for a repeat performance as the Jets’ defense is near the top themselves. RB Tony Pollard had no problems getting 70 yards and two touchdowns and will be a top fantasy back if he stays healthy. He will need to get fed the ball as the Jet’s secondary is excellent. Look for modest games from receivers CeeDee Lamb and Brandin Cooks, the second of whom is also dealing with a knee injury. TE Jake Ferguson did have seven targets in Week 1, and I could see him sneak in some big gains. He is definitely a punt play TE to consider in DFS.
Washington Commanders at Denver Broncos 4:25 p.m. EST
If Week 1 was any indication, it’s going to be an up-and-down offense for the Commanders going forward. I don’t have any confidence in QB Sam Howell to be the guy who elevates players like WR Jahan Dotson and WR Terry McLaurin to the next level. They may move the ball, but I think there will be a lack of scoring that really hampers their production. Denver’s defense is a bit stingy against both the pass and run, and considering they bottled up RB Josh Jacobs, I don’t think Washington’s running game will be effective. Dotson may be a player of interest but what about WR Curtis Samuel? He had five catches for 54 yards last week, and Denver will give them the underneath. If he can sneak his way into the end zone, then he could be sneaky in DFS; but, truth be told, I am benching all my Commander offensive players and looking at the Denver defense in all formats.
Similarly to Washington, I think the same can be said about the Bronco’s offense. I know it was only game one, but the thought that HC Sean Payton is going to turn QB Russell Wilson back into a contending QB again is far-fetched. Sometimes Father Time catches up with some players faster than others, and it looks like he has caught up with Wilson. He doesn’t have the mobility to run the football or even escape defenders anymore. What can help is that WR Jerry Jeudy is back to full practice and gives them an above-average receiving threat, but I will wait a week or two to see what transpires. RB Javonte Williams looks 95% of his healthy self from a season ago, and that is really encouraging. He was involved in the passing game with four catches for only five yards, but that will improve as Wilson often looks his way. All signs point towards a defensive game, so a game stack may be in order in a DFS lineup just to hope for the miracle.