Fantasy Football Week 2: Rankings, Projections and Waiver-Wire Tips

Thomas Duffy@@TJDhoopsFeatured ColumnistSeptember 12, 2016

NEW ORLEANS, LA - SEPTEMBER 11:  Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints congratulates Derek Carr #4 of the Oakland Raiders after the Raiders defeated the Saints 35-34 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on September 11, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Relax.

Whether you’re stressing over losing your Week 1 fantasy matchup or you’re on top of the world following a win—or your week is coming down to Monday night’s games—take a deep breath.

You can’t win or lose your season in the opening week.

It’s time to focus on Week 2.

     

Rankings and Projections

Quarterbacks

RankPlayerTeamOpponentProjected statsProjected points
1Drew BreesSaints@ Giants400 yards, four TDs32
2Eli ManningGiantsvs. Saints400 yards, four TDs, one INT30
3Aaron RodgersPackers@ Vikings250 yards, four TDs, three carries, 20 yards28
4Cam NewtonPanthersvs. 49ers220 yards, two TDs, five carries, 50 yards, one rushing TD27.8
5Derek CarrRaidersvs. Falcons400 yards, two TDs24
6Matthew StaffordLionsvs. Titans300 yards, three TDs24
7Carson PalmerCardinalsBuccaneers300 yards, three TDs, one INT22
8Blake BortlesJaguars@ Chargers350 yards, two TDs, three carries, 25 yards22
9Russell WilsonSeahawks@ Rams280 yards, two TDs, three carries, 25 yards21.7
10Ben RoethlisbergerSteelersvs. Bengals200 yards, three TDs, two carries, 10 yards21
Author's projections

Notes:

  • Did you watch the Saints-Raiders game? Here’s a summary: New Orleans gives up points, and it puts up points. Drew Brees chucked four touchdowns and 423 yards in Week 1. He appears poised to be a top-five QB on a weekly basis.
  • Just to reiterate: The Saints give up points. Now that cornerback Delvin Breaux is injured, per NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, nobody stands in the way of Odell Beckham Jr. and Eli Manning catching fire in Week 2.
  • Cam Newton gets a defense that’s not all-world this week. Book a big game from the reigning MVP.

        

Running Backs 

RankPlayerTeamOpponentProjected statsProjected points
1David JohnsonCardinalsvs. Buccaneers15 carries, 90 rushing yards, TD, five catches, 60 yards 21
2C.J. AndersonBroncosvs. Colts23 carries, 110 yards, four catches, 30 yards, TD 20
3LeSean McCoyBills@ Jets14 carries, 70 yards, six catches, 40 yards, TD17
4Devonta FreemanFalcons@ Raiders10 carries, 45 yards, TD, six catches, 60 yards 16.5
5Todd GurleyRamsvs. Seahawks20 carries, 100 yards, TD 16
6Spencer WareChiefs@ Texans14 carries, 90 yards, TD 15
7Ezekiel Elliott Cowboys@ Redskins17 carries, 85 yards, TD14.5
8Doug MartinBuccaneers@ Cardinals12 carries, 50 yards, two catches, 25 yards, TD 13.5
9Adrian PetersonVikingsvs. Packers20 carries, 120 yards 12
10Latavius MurrayRaidersvs. Falcons17 carries, 60 yards, TD 12
Author's projections

Notes:

  • C.J. Who K? The Cardinals fed David Johnson 13 touches in the first half alone, and 20 on the game Sunday night. His backup had one carry. That's it. The workhorse is clear.
  • If Jamaal Charles is out, or even limited, Spencer Ware is an elite option. He rewarded owners with 25.9 points in Week 1.
  • Don’t bet on two straight poor showings from Adrian Peterson. The greats don't string together duds.

     

Wide Receivers

RankPlayerTeamOpponentProjected statsProjected points
1Antonio BrownSteelersvs. BengalsEight catches, 90 yards, two TDs21
2Odell Beckham Jr.Giantsvs. Saints10 catches, 140 yards, TD20
3Mike EvansBuccaneers@ CardinalsSeven catches, 80 yards, two TDs20
4A.J. GreenBengals@ SteelersSeven catches, 115 yards, TD17.5
5Brandin CooksSaints@ GiantsFive catches, 110 yards, TD17
6Sammy WatkinsBillsvs. JetsFour catches, 100 yards, TD16
7Julio JonesFalcons@ RaidersEight catches, 90 yards, TD15
8Brandon MarshallJets@ BillsNine catches, 85 yards, TD14.5
9Amari CooperRaidersvs. Falcons10 catches, 120 yards 12
10Doug BaldwinSeahawks@ RamsSix catches, 95 yards9.5
Author's projections

Notes:

  • As mentioned above, New Orleans has nobody who can stick OBJ. Multiple scores are possible.
  • Giants-Saints should be a shootout reminiscent of Raiders-Saints. That’s good news for Cooks, who’s a human blur. Here's his 98-yard touchdown against Oakland.
  • Keep an eye on Russell Wilson’s health (ankle) throughout the week. If he’s out or severely limited, Doug Baldwin’s stock drops.
  • Healthy as ever, Amari Cooper looked the part of a stud wideout in Week 1. That’s unlikely to change in Week 2.

    

Tight Ends

RankPlayerTeamOpponentProjected statsProjected points
1Jordan ReedRedskinsvs. CowboysEight catches, 90 yards, two TDs 21
2Rob GronkowskiPatriotsvs. Dolphins10 catches, 100 yard, TD 16
3Julius ThomasJaguars@ ChargersSix catches, 50 yards, TD 11
4Gary BarnidgeBrownsvs. RavensFour catches, 40 yards, TD 10
5Greg OlsenPanthersvs. 49ersSeven catches, 90 yards9
6Jared CookPackers@ VikingsFour catches, 30 yards, TD 9
7Jason WittenCowboys@ RedskinsSeven catches, 80 yards 8
8Antonio GatesChargersvs. JaguarsSix catches, 75 yards 7.5
9Travis KelceChiefs@ TexansFive catches, 65 yards6.5
10Zach ErtzEagles@ BearsSeven catches, 60 yards 6
Author's projections

Notes:

  • Of course, make sure Rob Gronkowski is healthy throughout the week.
  • There were several duds in Week 1 (Gary Barnidge, Jared Cook), but don’t lose faith in them just yet. The Barnyard Dog is coming off a TE2 campaign, and Aaron Rodgers is known to have an affinity for using his tight end.
  • Larry Donnell and Will Tye will continue to limit each other’s value in New York. Manning hooked up with Donnell for a score against Dallas in Week 1, but that was his lone catch. Tye had three grabs for 16 yards. Steer clear unless one guy emerges.

    

D/ST

RankTeamOpponent
1Seahawks@ Rams
2Broncosvs. Colts
3Cardinalsvs. Buccaneers
4Panthersvs. 49ers
5Ravens@ Browns
6Packers@ Vikings
7Jets@ Bills
8Patriotsvs. Dolphins
9Raidersvs. Falcons
10Redskinsvs. Cowboys
Author's projections

Notes:

  • No byes yet, so it's still safe to stick with your draft pick.

    

Kickers

  • Same as D/ST. No need to freak out over your kicker. It's a fluky position.

     

Waiver-Wire Tips

Chris Hogan needs to be owned

ESPN ownership percentage: 40.2 percent

Sep 11, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Chris Hogan (15) scores a first quarter touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Forget about waiting until Week 5 when Tom Brady returns from suspension.

New England Patriots wide receiver Chris Hogan needs to be owned in all 12-team leagues immediately.

Hogan, who signed with the Pats this offseason after spending the first four years of his career with the Buffalo Bills, has never cracked 500 receiving yards in a single season.

That's probably going to change in 2016.

You remember Hogan, yes? The New Jersey native was famously nicknamed 7-Eleven by Reggie Bush during a 2012 training camp stint with the Miami Dolphins.

Get it? Because he’s always open.

Sep 1, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDanials looks on with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) and New England Patriots wide receiver Chris Hogan (15) in the second half at MetLife Stadium. T
William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports

Now with New England, Hogan was viewed by many as a stash pick (or pickup). The idea was that he’d be valuable come Week 5 when Brady returns.

And that’s still true. But Hogan was extremely valuable in Week 1, and he will be in the weeks to come.

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo hit Hogan with a 37-yard dime to jump-start the Patriots early in the first quarter of their 23-21 win over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.

While injury precaution might have been a factor, Hogan significantly outsnapped “starter” Danny Amendola early on, per ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss:

Hogan finished with a line of three catches, 60 yards and one score. Amendola also had three catches, but for 48 yards.

Hogan is clearly involved now, and there’s a chance he can get even better once Brady returns.

Don’t be afraid to make 7-Eleven your No. 1 claim, especially if you’re thin at wide receiver.

    

Watch who pops up on the market

Raiders RB Latavius Murray
Raiders RB Latavius MurrayJonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Remember all those sleeper running backs your buddies wouldn’t stop bragging about?

"DeAndre Washington is the truth, man. I saw him in college. He’ll have the starting job in no time."

Some of those players are about to get dropped this week.

Whether it’s Alfred Morris, Chris Johnson, Jerick McKinnon or another reserve, it’s probable some owners will forgo the long-term investment for a shorter-term move, for a variety of reasons.

Maybe they need a backup QB (Russell Wilson doesn’t appear fully healthy, for example). Maybe their tight end laid a goose egg and they want to take a shot on someone else, like Jesse James of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Maybe they're wheeling and dealing and simply need to make room.

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson
Seahawks QB Russell WilsonTroy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

So, don’t only scout the waiver wire.

Scout the drops, too.

Valuable players are going to become available thanks to adds and drops. You can count on that. Therefore, it’s silly to make a move simply for the sake of making one.

If you don’t want anyone and your league uses waivers, wait. Once the transactions go through, you’ll have a higher claim to scoop some of the players who others dropped.

Patience, friends. Patience.

    

Thanks to FantasyPros for providing Week 1 scoring statistics.

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