Fantasy Football Week 2: Top Plays at Every Position
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
After all, he just shredded the defending Super Bowl champions with seven touchdown passes.
Now, he gets a suspect Giants secondary and a marquee matchup against his brother in Manning Bowl III. It is almost too storybook. Expect Sunday afternoon fireworks in the Meadowlands.
We break down all of the top plays position by position every Friday of the season with complete rankings and analysis. Don't miss this must-read slideshow.
Quarterbacks: Mannings Headed for Legendary Shootout
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
And you thought there wasn't a plethora of starting fantasy quarterback options on draft day? Heck, about two-thirds of the league had a passer score 20-plus points in a standard league.
The points came from an NFL record 63 touchdown passes in one week, seven by Peyton Manning and four by Eli Manning. That is five more than any previous week in history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
While that seemingly gives the position more depth, it should make you start those guys you drafted to be your starter even more. You want your highest ceiling in your lineup.
Week 2 bonanza: DEN at NYG
It isn't tough to see the potential fireworks when two Mannings are facing off. It just happens to be when the brothers are 1-2 in the NFL in touchdown passes.
Both quarterbacks have an undeniably great set of receivers and defenses that didn't have great performances in Week 1, too. Eli Manning was drafted as a backup in most leagues, but he is one of the players you can move up into the starting category, especially as long as Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz stay healthy and running back David Wilson stays in the doghouse.
Wilson is facing a Broncos run defense that held the Ray Rice-led Ravens to a mere 58 rushing yards. The ball is going to be in Eli's hands as he tries to match wits with this brother. The highest Vegas total of the week (55, per Vegas Insider) is legit.
Unfavorable matchup to watch: SF at SEA
Save for the Seattle Seahawks and Pittsburgh Steelers, there weren't any secondaries that had a Week 1 that really made you wary of starting a quarterback against it. The matchups for the fantasy quarterback elite figure to be even more favorable this week, with the Seahawks again as a lone exception.
Yes, you have to start Colin Kaepernick in all leagues. Not only did he look every bit as good as his postseason form, but you drafted him early to be a staple in your lineup. You have to run him out there against that Seahawks defense that held even earlier draft pick Cam Newton to a mere 14 points in Week 1.
Sure, Kaepernick was held to just 244 yards passing, one touchdown and 31 yards rushing at Seattle last Dec. 23, but his weapons just look far more potent than Newton's. You tempted fate by drafting a guy we labeled as a bust at his draft position, and he rewarded you handsomely in Week 1. Don't give up on him already.
If you are going to sit someone in this matchup, it should be Russell Wilson. Despite 320 yards, he wasn't great in Week 1, and the 49ers are considerably tougher than the Carolina Panthers, even if the Seahawks are at home. Wilson has a sketchy receiving corps right now with questionable health of Sidney Rice (knee), too.
Week 2 sleepers
Save for Eli Manning, who we already said is in the starting class now, you can consider Week 1 surprises Michael Vick and Philip Rivers candidates for the top 12. They just happen to be facing each other in Philly this week, too.
While Chip Kelly's offensive tempo seemingly does more for the running game, the production will get Vick more red-zone opportunities. He just needs to develop some trustworthy targets there. Brent Celek was one in Week 1. DeSean Jackson is more of a field-stretcher.
Philip Rivers threw for four touchdowns against a Texans defense that is much better than the Eagles'. The pace of this game should help him have a decent second half like Robert Griffin III did last Monday night.
Here are the quarterbacks in my rankings below I like more than other analysts:
- Colin Kaepernick +2
- Robert Griffin +4
- Eli Manning +3
- Philip Rivers +9
- Josh Freeman +3
Week 2 duds
We already outlined Wilson as a potential sit because of the matchup, but the health of the Falcons receivers has to have you questioning Matt Ryan as a full-go fantasy starter right now. Roddy White has a high-ankle sprain he says has him playing at less than 100 percent, and Julio Jones was limited in practice this week with a knee issue.
That should just mean more targets for Harry Douglas and Tony Gonzalez, not to mention more use out of Steven Jackson in his Atlanta home debut.
Here are the top quarterbacks we like less than other analysts:
Week 2 quarterback rankings
|1||Peyton Manning||Den||at NYG||2||+1|
|2||Aaron Rodgers||GB||vs. Was||1||-1|
|3||Drew Brees||NO||at TB||3||0|
|4||Cam Newton||Car||at Buf||5||+1|
|5||Tom Brady||NE||vs. NYJ||7||+2|
|6||Robert Griffin||Was||at GB||10||+4|
|7||Colin Kaepernick||SF||at Sea||9||+2|
|8||Matt Ryan||Atl||vs. StL||4||-4|
|9||Eli Manning||NYG||vs. Den||12||+3|
|10||Matthew Stafford||Det||at Ari||8||-2|
|11||Andrew Luck||Ind||vs. Mia||11||0|
|12||Tony Romo||Dal||at KC||13||+1|
|13||Michael Vick||Phi||vs. SD||6||-7|
|14||Philip Rivers||SD||at Phi||23||+9|
|15||Russell Wilson||Sea||vs. SF||14||-1|
|16||Josh Freeman||TB||vs. NO||19||+3|
|17||Carson Palmer||Ari||vs. Det||16||-1|
|18||Jay Cutler||Chi||vs. Min||17||-1|
|19||Terrelle Pryor||Oak||vs. Jac||15||-4|
|20||Andy Dalton||Cin||vs. Pit||22||+2|
|21||Matt Schaub||Hou||vs. Ten||18||-3|
|22||Alex Smith||KC||vs. Dal||24||+2|
|23||Ben Roethlisberger||Pit||at Cin||25||+2|
|24||Joe Flacco||Bal||vs. Cle||21||-3|
|25||Geno Smith||NYJ||at NE||31||+6|
|26||EJ Manuel||Buf||vs. Car||27||+1|
|27||Ryan Tannehill||Mia||at Ind||26||-1|
|28||Sam Bradford||StL||at Atl||20||-8|
|29||Chad Henne||Jac||at Oak||29||0|
|30||Brandon Weeden||Cle||at Bal||28||-2|
|31||Christian Ponder||Min||at Chi||30||-1|
|32||Jake Locker||Ten||at Hou||32||0|
Running Backs: Expect a Better Week from Your Aces
Rich Schultz/Getty Images
Update (Sept. 13 at 2 p.m. ET): I wrote Donald Brown gets an upgrade with Vick Ballard (knee) out for the season. Brown is now No. 35 in the rankings below.
Outside of Adrian Peterson and LeSean McCoy, your elite running backs let you down in Week 1. Don't worry, they will pay you back.
While he had a modest Thursday night performance against an underrated Jets run defense, Stevan Ridley gives us hope there is life after the doghouse.
Week 2 star
Remember how much the Jets run defense was picked on a year ago? It did a decent job on Doug Martin and Stevan Ridley through two weeks. That won't be the same case for the New Orleans Saints.
The Bucs are going to get Martin rolling, particularly with Josh Freeman on notice. The Saints were the worst run defense in the NFL last season, and the Bucs certainly learned something from their 41-0 loss to the Saints in their previous meeting (Dec. 16). Martin had only nine rushing attempts.
A.D. attention deficit disorder
We made the mistake of not listing Adrian Peterson No. 1 here a week ago before he went off against the Lions. We will tempt fate again as he faces the Bears run defense. Martin's matchup is just too juicy, and the Bears aren't going to let Peterson beat them.
We are not getting cute this week, though: Peterson is still No. 2.
Week 2 sleepers
The Chiefs had a great game at Jacksonville last week, but the weakness of the Jags quarterback play and the score of the game took their opponent out of running mode. That won't happen to the Cowboys, who are more committed to the run this year and still have DeMarco Murray healthy. Murray rates as one of the backs we like more than others.
Here are the top five:
- DeMarco Murray +5
- Ryan Mathews +11
- Eddie Lacy +3
- Ben Tate +4
- Daniel Thomas +12
Week 2 duds
Trent Richardson was a bust in Week 1 as an underrated Dolphins run defense held him to a mere 47 yards rushing on 13 attempts. Even if the Browns vow to get Richardson the ball more, it won't be easy against a Ravens run defense that is a lot better than people think.
Sure, the Broncos backs look like a fantasy wasteland, but the score was out of hand and the Ravens still limited their opponent to 65 yards on the ground.
We should expect another quiet week from the first-round pick we called a bust this summer. Richardson rates as one of the backs we like less than others.
Here are the top five
- Matt Forte -5
- Trent Richardson -8
- Maurice Jones-Drew -4
- Stevan Ridley -4 (already played Thursday night)
- Chris Johnson -3
Week 2 running back rankings
|Rank||Running Backs||Team||Opponent||ECR||vs. ECR|
|1||Doug Martin||TB||vs. NO||3||+2|
|2||Adrian Peterson||Min||at Chi||1||-1|
|3||LeSean McCoy||Phi||vs. SD||2||-1|
|4||Jamaal Charles||KC||vs. Dal||4||0|
|5||C.J. Spiller||Buf||vs. Car||6||+1|
|6||Arian Foster||Hou||vs. Ten||8||+2|
|7||Ray Rice||Bal||vs. Cle||5||-2|
|8||Steven Jackson||Atl||vs. StL||10||+2|
|9||Reggie Bush||Det||at Ari||11||+2|
|10||Alfred Morris||Was||at GB||12||+2|
|11||DeMarco Murray||Dal||at KC||15||+4|
|12||Matt Forte||Chi||vs. Min||7||-5|
|13||Marshawn Lynch||Sea||vs. SF||13||0|
|14||Ryan Mathews||SD||at Phi||25||+11|
|15||Eddie Lacy||GB||vs. Was||18||+3|
|16||Darren McFadden||Oak||vs. Jac||17||+1|
|17||Trent Richardson||Cle||at Bal||9||-8|
|18||Maurice Jones-Drew||Jac||at Oak||14||-4|
|19||Stevan Ridley||NE||vs. NYJ||16||-3|
|20||Frank Gore||SF||at Sea||20||0|
|21||Darren Sproles||NO||at TB||21||0|
|22||Chris Johnson||Ten||at Hou||19||-3|
|23||DeAngelo Williams||Car||at Buf||23||0|
|24||Ben Tate||Hou||vs. Ten||29||+5|
|25||Lamar Miller||Mia||at Ind||26||+1|
|26||Rashard Mendenhall||Ari||vs. Det||27||+1|
|27||Joique Bell||Det||at Ari||30||+3|
|28||David Wilson||NYG||vs. Den||22||-6|
|29||Daryl Richardson||StL||at Atl||24||-5|
|30||Daniel Thomas||Mia||at Ind||44||+14|
|31||Ahmad Bradshaw||Ind||vs. Mia||28||-3|
|32||Knowshon Moreno||Den||at NYG||33||+1|
|33||Da'Rel Scott||NYG||vs. Den||48||+15|
|34||Fred Jackson||Buf||vs. Car||35||+1|
|35||Donald Brown||Ind||vs. Mia||59||+24|
|36||Montee Ball||Den||at NYG||39||+3|
|37||Jacquizz Rodgers||Atl||vs. StL||57||+20|
|38||Bernard Pierce||Bal||vs. Cle||43||+5|
|39||Bryce Brown||Phi||vs. SD||42||+3|
|40||Benjarvus Green-Ellis||Cin||vs. Pit||31||-9|
|41||Bilal Powell||NYJ||at NE||36||-5|
|42||Kendall Hunter||SF||at Sea||64||+22|
|43||Pierre Thomas||NO||at TB||40||-3|
|44||Jonathan Dwyer||Pit||at Cin||53||+9|
|45||Giovani Bernard||Cin||vs. Pit||32||-13|
|46||Chris Ivory||NYJ||at NE||37||-9|
|47||Mark Ingram||NO||at TB||41||-6|
|48||Isaac Redman||Pit||at Cin||38||-10|
|49||Danny Woodhead||SD||at Phi||46||-3|
|50||LaGarrette Blount||NE||vs. NYJ||50||0|
Wide Receivers: Megatron vs. Fitzgerald Storms the Desert
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
For those of you who drafted a receiver first on draft day, you learned a painful lesson in Week 1 how receiving success is contingent on others. The Lions featured two of the top four running backs, mostly because of their use in the passing game, and Calvin Johnson owners were left to suffer to the tune of a mere four catches for 37 yards.
Expect him to have your back against a Cardinals defense that made Jared Cook look like the most talented receiver in the NFL last week.
Tastiest Week 2 matchup: DET at ARI
We might have seen a return of Larry Fitzgerald to the Megatron class of fantasy receiver in Week 1. Fitzgerald had an instant connection with Carson Palmer in Bruce Arians' vertical passing game. Now, we will get to see the two receiving megastars play Can You Stop This in the dessert.
Expect both teams to air it out early and often. The volume of passes from both teams should help keep these two marked men from excessive coverage.
The fact Roddy White (ankle) and Julio Jones (knee) both missed practice time seems like bad news. We know what we are going to get out of them against a still-suspect Bucs secondary. White is going to be used to draft attention until he is 100 percent, and Jones will be the featured target on the outside.
The practice time opened up for Harry Douglas, and that is what is exciting here. He could be good for 100 yards and a touchdown.
If you're looking to be wary of a bad matchup, Anquan Boldin at Seattle is a viable one. He was just too good to sit in Week 1, though. The other tough pass defense, Pittsburgh, won't get you to sit A.J. Green in any leagues, especially on Monday Night Football.
Week 2 sleepers
Julian Edelman was the No. 1 waiver claim in fantasy, even over Julius Thomas, and he came through with 13 catches for 78 yards against a still-solid Jets pass defense. Like we said above, the Falcons' Douglas is the next-best injury-promotion play this week. We like Douglas 18 spots more than other fantasy analysts.
Here are the top five receivers we like more than five spots more:
Week 2 duds
The Megatron disappointment might have been a function of the Vikings' treatment of a premium target with their coverage. That won't be enough to get anyone to sit Brandon Marshall, but it could lead you to consider Jay Cutler's secondary targets Alshon Jeffery and Martellus Bennett.
Here are the five receivers we like less by more than five spots:
- Brandon Marshall -8
- Andre Johnson -8
- Vincent Jackson -9
- Cecil Shorts -9
- Roddy White -6
Week 2 wide receiver rankings
|Rank||Wide Receiver||Team||Opponent||ECR||vs. ECR|
|1||Calvin Johnson||Det||at Ari||1||0|
|2||Larry Fitzgerald||Ari||vs. Det||6||+4|
|3||Demaryius Thomas||Den||at NYG||3||0|
|4||Julio Jones||Atl||vs. StL||5||+1|
|5||Pierre Garcon||Was||at GB||16||+11|
|6||Dez Bryant||Dal||at KC||9||+3|
|7||A.J. Green||Cin||vs. Pit||4||-3|
|8||Victor Cruz||NYG||vs. Den||10||+2|
|9||Wes Welker||Den||at NYG||14||+5|
|10||Brandon Marshall||Chi||vs. Min||2||-8|
|11||Jordy Nelson||GB||vs. Was||13||+2|
|12||Dwayne Bowe||KC||vs. Dal||20||+8|
|13||Hakeem Nicks||NYG||vs. Den||18||+5|
|14||Randall Cobb||GB||vs. Was||11||-3|
|15||Andre Johnson||Hou||vs. Ten||7||-8|
|16||Reggie Wayne||Ind||vs. Mia||12||-4|
|17||Vincent Jackson||TB||vs. NO||8||-9|
|18||Marques Colston||NO||at TB||17||-1|
|19||DeSean Jackson||Phi||vs. SD||15||-4|
|20||Julian Edelman||NE||vs. NYJ||24||+4|
|21||Torrey Smith||Bal||vs. Cle||25||+4|
|22||Steve Johnson||Buf||vs. Car||30||+8|
|23||Anquan Boldin||SF||at Sea||21||-2|
|24||Steve Smith||Car||at Buf||19||-5|
|25||Mike Williams||TB||vs. NO||28||+3|
|26||Antonio Brown||Pit||at Cin||22||-4|
|27||Eric Decker||Den||at NYG||26||-1|
|28||Mike Wallace||Mia||at Ind||29||+1|
|29||James Jones||GB||vs. Was||32||+3|
|30||Vincent Brown||SD||at Phi||43||+13|
|31||Brian Hartline||Mia||at Ind||38||+7|
|32||Cecil Shorts||Jac||at Oak||23||-9|
|33||T.Y. Hilton||Ind||vs. Mia||33||0|
|34||Greg Jennings||Min||at Chi||39||+5|
|35||Kenbrell Thompkins||NE||vs. NYJ||34||-1|
|36||Harry Douglas||Atl||vs. StL||54||+18|
|37||Roddy White||Atl||vs. StL||31||-6|
|38||Marlon Brown||Bal||vs. Cle||49||+11|
|39||Miles Austin||Dal||at KC||27||-12|
|40||Lance Moore||NO||at TB||35||-5|
|41||Sidney Rice||Sea||vs. SF||52||+11|
|42||Golden Tate||Sea||vs. SF||40||-2|
|43||Chris Givens||StL||at Atl||37||-6|
|44||Andre Roberts||Ari||vs. Det||44||0|
|45||Emmanuel Sanders||Pit||at Cin||42||-3|
|46||DeAndre Hopkins||Hou||vs. Ten||51||+5|
|47||Kenny Britt||Ten||at Hou||47||0|
|48||Rueben Randle||NYG||vs. Den||45||-3|
|49||Denarius Moore||Oak||vs. Jac||48||-1|
|50||Greg Little||Cle||at Bal||57||+7|
|51||Michael Floyd||Ari||vs. Det||36||-15|
|52||Kenny Stills||NO||at TB||63||+11|
|53||Alshon Jeffery||Chi||vs. Min||46||-7|
|54||Tavon Austin||StL||at Atl||41||-13|
|55||Darrius Heyward-Bey||Ind||vs. Mia||58||+3|
|56||Brandon LaFell||Car||at Buf||76||+20|
|57||Santonio Holmes||NYJ||at NE||75||+18|
|58||Keenan Allen||SD||at Phi||97||+39|
|59||Jerome Simpson||Min||at Chi||61||+2|
|60||Mohamed Sanu||Cin||vs. Pit||68||+8|
Tight Ends: Starting Options Are Everywhere Now
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
If you didn't pay attention this summer to the multiple warnings of the depths of the tight end position, you were left cursing the fact you got beat by the likes of Jared Cook, Julius Thomas and Jordan Cameron. You might even have owned Jimmy Graham.
So much for that huge advantage you thought you had at the tight end position.
There are just so many tight ends that can perform like a fantasy starter this season, which is to suggest we are going to get another set of Cook-Thomas-Cameron breakthroughs in Week 2.
Week 2 monster
The shaky health of the Falcons wide receivers should make Tony Gonzalez a huge part of the game plan this week. Gonzalez was kept in relative check against the Bucs a year ago—five catches for 62 yards and five catches for 41 yards—but that was a season everyone was attacking the Bucs with outside receivers.
That just won't be the same for the Falcons with Roddy White (ankle) and Julio Jones (knee) less than 100 percent. Expect Gonzalez to have one of his best games of the year.
Week 2 fair warning
The Ravens made Julius Thomas look like a Hall of Famer, but they were the No. 1 team in fantasy against tight ends a year ago. Sure, that might have been attributable to the past presence of Ed Reed, but the Ravens are still a proud defense that certainly watched a lot of video of their mistakes picking up the tight end in coverage.
This makes Cameron a potential risk. You have to play him considering the preseason and debut he had, but the Ravens are sure to make schemes to take away the Browns' No. 1 weapon. We will see just how good Cameron is this week.
Week 2 sleepers
Speaking of good defenses that take away a team's primary target, the Texans made Antonio Gates look like waiver fodder. He isn't. The Eagles secondary was exposed in the second half, and the Chargers should get some points as Chip Kelly's pace gives them ample time of possession.
Gates leads the tight ends we like more than the masses. Here are the top five we have higher than one spot more than others:
- Antonio Gates +6
- Dallas Clark +2
- Jermaine Gresham +2
- Tyler Eifert +5
- Zach Ertz +13
Week 2 duds
With the record number of passing touchdowns and so many tight ends finding the end zone, Greg Olsen's five catches for 56 yards rated him as a fantasy backup last week. He gets a far better matchup against Bills, but they did shut down the Pats' tight ends in Week 1.
You have to be at least a bit cold on Olsen as an every-week starter at this deep position. Here are the five tight ends we aren't high on this week:
- Greg Olsen -2
- Jordan Cameron -5
- Brandon Pettigrew -2
- Fred Davis -6
- Dwayne Allen NR
Week 2 tight end rankings
|Rank||Tight End||Team||Opponent||ECR||vs. ECR|
|1||Jimmy Graham||NO||at TB||1||0|
|2||Tony Gonzalez||Atl||vs. StL||3||+1|
|3||Jason Witten||Dal||at KC||2||-1|
|4||Vernon Davis||SF||at Sea||4||0|
|5||Jared Cook||StL||at Atl||5||0|
|6||Antonio Gates||SD||at Phi||12||+6|
|7||Julius Thomas||Den||at NYG||7||0|
|8||Jermichael Finley||GB||vs. Was||9||+1|
|9||Owen Daniels||Hou||vs. Ten||10||+1|
|10||Greg Olsen||Car||at Buf||8||-2|
|11||Jordan Cameron||Cle||at Bal||6||-5|
|12||Brandon Myers||NYG||vs. Den||11||-1|
|13||Martellus Bennett||Chi||vs. Min||13||0|
|14||Brent Celek||Phi||vs. SD||15||+1|
|15||Kyle Rudolph||Min||at Chi||14||-1|
|16||Kellen Winslow||NYJ||at NE||17||+1|
|17||Dallas Clark||Bal||vs. Cle||19||+2|
|18||Jermaine Gresham||Cin||vs. Pit||20||+2|
|19||Tyler Eifert||Cin||vs. Pit||24||+5|
|20||Brandon Pettigrew||Det||at Ari||18||-2|
|21||Zach Sudfeld||NE||vs. NYJ||21||0|
|22||Fred Davis||Was||at GB||16||-6|
|23||Zach Ertz||Phi||vs. SD||36||+13|
|24||Coby Fleener||Ind||vs. Mia||23||-1|
|25||Charles Clay||Mia||at Ind||34||+9|
Defense/Special Teams: A Weak Week for Streaming Options
Scott Halleran/Getty Images
Usually we get a few good fringe defensive units playing the sloppy offensive teams. This week we lose a couple of tasty matchups as the Jaguars are at the Raiders.
Don't you dare trust either of those porous defenses, no matter how little you think of the Raiders and Jaguars offenses.
The lack of streaming options will force you to trust some defenses against teams you wouldn't ordinarily trust them against. Heck, even the best two defenses are facing each other as San Francisco is at Seattle.
Week 2 mismatch
The Patriots forced four turnovers from Geno Smith and the Jets on Thursday night, but the Texans figure to have an even better time exposing Jake Locker.
The Titans' No. 1 weapon, Chris Johnson, is going to find the running tough against Brian Cushing and Co. Then, J.J. Watt and the pass rush should be able to pin their ears back against a Titans offense that didn't muster much against the Steelers pass defense. The Texans defense is already a must-start unit in most weeks, but this stands to be one of its best.
Week 2 sleepers
Fantasy owners love to follow the name guys, so Luke Kuechly should at least raise the awareness of a Panthers defense that slowed Marshawn Lynch and surrendered a modest point total to Russell Wilson. Also, the Bills are starting a rookie quarterback, EJ Manuel, that might not crack 200 yards passing.
Here are the top five units we like more than a spot better than others:
- Denver Broncos +4
- Carolina Panthers +4
- Cleveland Browns +2
- Kansas City Chiefs +2
- Detroit Lions +2
Week 2 duds
The Packers turned Colin Kaepernick into a legend in the postseason and Week 1, so you cannot like them against Robert Griffin III, especially with the Redskins coming off an embarrassing Monday Night Football loss at home to a division rival. In fact, we don't even rank the Packers in the top 20.
Here are the other defenses we rate at least two spots lower than average:
- Green Bay Packers NR
- Chicago Bears -2
- St. Louis Rams -2
- Miami Dolphins -2
- Oakland Raiders NR
Week 2 rankings
|Rank||Defenses and Special Teams||Team||Opponent||ECR||vs. ECR|
|1||Houston Texans||Hou||vs. Ten||1||0|
|2||New England Patriots||NE||vs. NYJ||2||0|
|3||Cincinnati Bengals||Cin||vs. Pit||4||+1|
|4||Denver Broncos||Den||at NYG||8||+4|
|5||Chicago Bears||Chi||vs. Min||3||-2|
|6||Seattle Seahawks||Sea||vs. SF||5||-1|
|7||San Francisco 49ers||SF||at Sea||6||-1|
|8||Baltimore Ravens||Bal||vs. Cle||7||-1|
|9||Arizona Cardinals||Ari||vs. Det||9||0|
|10||Pittsburgh Steelers||Pit||at Cin||10||0|
|11||Carolina Panthers||Car||at Buf||15||+4|
|12||Dallas Cowboys||Dal||at KC||12||0|
|13||St. Louis Rams||StL||at Atl||11||-2|
|14||Cleveland Browns||Cle||at Bal||16||+2|
|15||Kansas City Chiefs||KC||vs. Dal||17||+2|
|16||Miami Dolphins||Mia||at Ind||14||-2|
|17||Detroit Lions||Det||at Ari||19||+2|
|18||San Diego Chargers||SD||at Phi||28||+10|
|19||Atlanta Falcons||Atl||vs. StL||22||+3|
|20||Philadelphia Eagles||Phi||vs. SD||23||+3|
Kickers: Just Follow the Quarterbacks
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images
You might get cute with your fantasy kicker and play matchups, but really all you should be doing is putting your money on the best offenses in the NFL. And, insider secret here, the best offenses are led by the best quarterbacks.
Swap your kicker out if you must, but don't trust kickers on the teams with subpar quarterbacks. And, definitely don't cut Matt Prater because all you think all he will get is extra points every week.
Week 2 leader
Stephen Gostkowski missed a field goal Thursday night, but it didn't cost his team—or his fantasy owners (yet). The masses like Matt Bryant to have a nice day, perhaps because of the weakened wide receivers corps for the Falcons (again). No one would be surprised if the Falcons win 28-9 and Bryant is limited to four fantasy points, but you still don't sit him.
Week 2 sleepers
We don't understand the distaste for Dan Bailey. He was one of the highest-scoring kickers in Week 1, and the Cowboys have an offense that scores points and a defensive that now gets turnovers. Consider Bailey a must-have kicker now.
Here are the top five we like more than most:
- Dan Bailey +3
- Mason Crosby +8
- Steven Hauschka +2
- Caleb Sturgis +7
- Adam Vinatieri +4
Week 2 duds
There is no such thing as a kicker dud, unless he is on a bye or facing an elite defense in what should be a defensive struggle. Phil Dawson was a favorite breakthrough kicker because of his leg strength and accuracy, but he shanked a kick in Week 1 and faces the Seahawks on the road. You might consider sitting him in those rare leagues you have two kickers on your roster.
Here are the other kickers we don't like as much as most others:
- Matt Bryant -2
- Phil Dawson -3
- David Akers -4
- Sebastian Janikowski -6
- Kai Forbath -2
Week 2 rankings
|1||Stephen Gostkowski||NE||vs. NYJ||2||+1|
|2||Matt Prater||Den||at NYG||3||+1|
|3||Matt Bryant||Atl||vs. StL||1||-2|
|4||Garrett Hartley||NO||at TB||5||+1|
|5||Justin Tucker||Bal||vs. Cle||4||-1|
|6||Greg Zuerlein||StL||at Atl||6||0|
|7||Dan Bailey||Dal||at KC||10||+3|
|8||Blair Walsh||Min||at Chi||7||-1|
|9||Mason Crosby||GB||vs. Was||17||+8|
|10||Randy Bullock||Hou||vs. Ten||9||-1|
|11||Phil Dawson||SF||at Sea||8||-3|
|12||Steven Hauschka||Sea||vs. SF||14||+2|
|13||Caleb Sturgis||Mia||at Ind||20||+7|
|14||Robbie Gould||Chi||vs. Min||15||+1|
|15||Adam Vinatieri||Ind||vs. Mia||19||+4|
|16||David Akers||Det||at Ari||12||-4|
|17||Sebastian Janikowski||Oak||vs. Jac||11||-6|
|18||Kai Forbath||Was||at GB||16||-2|
|19||Alex Henery||Phi||vs. SD||13||-6|
|20||Josh Brown||NYG||vs. Den||18||-2|
Eric Mack, one of the giants among fantasy writers, is the Fantasy Football Lead Writer for Bleacher Report this season. Follow him on Twitter, where you can ask him endless questions about your team, rip him for his content and even challenge him to a head-to-head fantasy game. You can also listen to him on his podcast that he deprecatingly dubbed the Fantasy FatCast.