Fantasy Football Week 2 Rankings: An Early Look Ahead

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistSeptember 9, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 12:  Tight end Vernon Davis #85 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates after a catch in the third quarter against the Green Bay Packers during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Candlestick Park on January 12, 2013 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Week 2 of the fantasy football season is approaching fast, and whether owners won or lost to start the year, everyone will be looking for a huge win this time around.

Before you set your lineups for Week 2, here are the rankings you will need to optimize your roster.

All projected points based on standard scoring leagues.



Quarterback to Watch: Terrelle Pryor, Oakland Raiders

The Jacksonville Jaguars look to be one of the worst teams in the league once again this season, and that will benefit Oakland Raiders starting quarterback Terrelle Pryor by making him one of the better fantasy options in Week 2.

While his 217 yards and one touchdown passing weren’t overly impressive (those numbers should continue to increase as the second-year player becomes accustomed to the game), his 112 yards rushing must have owners running to the waiver wire.

Jacksonville had a hard time stopping Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs' offensive unit in Week 1, and with running back Darren McFadden healthy and playing well, the pressure won’t be overwhelming for Pryor.

Expect better numbers through the air, similar numbers on the ground and possibly even a rushing touchdown or two.


Wide Receiver

Wide Receiver to Watch: Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions need wide receiver Calvin Johnson to be playing at a high level to be a success this season. While his four catches for 37 yards will have fantasy owners concerned, there is no reason to worry in Week 2.

Expect a monster, bounce-back game as Detroit squares off against the Arizona Cardinals.

Arizona has a tough secondary featuring Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu, but the fact that Johnson had missed most of the preseason and had two possible touchdowns taken away should ease the owners ready to hit the panic button.

Remain calm and keep Johnson started in all leagues.


Running Back

Running Back to Watch: DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys

The biggest question for the Dallas Cowboys was the health of running back DeMarco Murray and how much he could contribute to a team desperate for a consistent rushing attack.

Not only did Murray thrive between the tackles and around the edge (20 rushing attempts for 86 yards), but his eight receptions for 39 yards also proved that he was the all-around weapon that the Cowboys have lacked over the last two seasons.

While a tough matchup in Week 2 against the Kansas City Chiefs will make fantasy owners cringe, Murray will prove his worth to the Cowboys and the fans when he stays healthy all game and has a monster statistical day.


Tight End

Tight End to Watch: Jared Cook, St. Louis Rams

Last week, I told you to keep an eye on St. Louis Rams' new tight end Jared Cook. Seven catches for 141 yards and two touchdowns later, and Cook is the No. 1 tight end in fantasy football.

The big focus will be on whether Cook and the Rams can follow up that success with a big win in Week 2 against the Atlanta Falcons. While St. Louis may lose the game, the high-powered offense of the Falcons will ensure the Rams are throwing the ball all day.

If you have Cook stashed on your bench, start him over almost any tight end moving forward.



Kicker to Watch: Greg Zuerlein, St. Louis Rams

There has been no better kicker in the NFL over the last two seasons than Greg Zuerlein of the St. Louis Rams. With four field goals and an extra point Sunday, his status as the top player at his position is secured for another week.



Team Defense to Watch: Kansas City Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs held the Jacksonville Jaguars to just two points Sunday, but Week 2’s meeting with the Dallas Cowboys will be a much tougher test. How Andy Reid’s defensive unit holds up will be the focus of many fantasy owners.


Don't miss Bleacher Report fantasy football lead writer Eric Mack's Week 2 updates.