Fantasy Football Week 2: Matt Camp's Fantasy Big Board
The opening week of the fantasy season confirmed some beliefs and shattered other narratives.
Todd Gurley is still at the top of his game after a dominant 2018 debut against the Oakland Raiders. He should be on his way to another huge outing when he faces the Arizona Cardinals in Week 2. No team gave up more fantasy points to running backs in Week 1.
The New Orleans Saints were 10-point favorites in their home opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They finished with the No. 2 quarterback (Drew Brees), No. 1 running back (Alvin Kamara) and No. 1 wide receiver (Michael Thomas) but still took a 48-40 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the No. 1 fantasy quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick, thanks a terrible defensive performance.
Barring injury, you shouldn't be making sweeping changes to your rankings or expectations entering Week 2. Some players will come back to earth after great performances, and others will rebound after disappointing in Week 1. The first re-evaluation of the league shouldn't come until Week 4.
Here's the first look at points-per-reception rankings for Week 2. These will change throughout the week and up to Sunday's action as we get more information about injuries and limitations, so make sure to bookmark this page for my full rankings for all scoring formats.
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I present my top 100 players (minus quarterbacks) for the week as a way to help determine your flex spots. You may favor a certain position or player over another based on his role and/or your scoring rules.
As an additional tiebreaker, here are the teams I like this week based on their matchups:
- Los Angeles Chargers (at Buffalo Bills)
- New Orleans Saints (vs. Cleveland Browns)
- Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. Kansas City Chiefs)
- Washington Redskins (vs. Indianapolis Colts)
- Los Angeles Rams (vs. Arizona Cardinals)
- Denver Broncos (vs. Oakland Raiders)
- Chicago Bears (vs. Seattle Seahawks)
Week 2 Top 100 PPR Rankings
Better Than Usual
Alex Smith, WAS (vs. IND)
Alex Smith was solid and didn't need to be spectacular in Washington's 24-6 win over Arizona in Week 1. He completed 21 of 30 passes for 255 yards and a pair of touchdowns with 14 rushing yards to finish as the No. 11 fantasy quarterback with 19.6 points.
Look for Smith to take to the air a bit more with a good matchup against the beatable Indianapolis Colts secondary. The Redskins were mostly carried by Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson in Week 1, and while both players are solid options this week, Jamison Crowder should get more involved. Plus, Jordan Reed has a good chance to build on a promising start to the season.
Aaron Rodgers, GB (vs. MIN)
Aaron Rodgers had an unforgettable performance in Week 1, but the elephant in the room is the knee injury that knocked him out of the first half of the Green Bay Packers' victory over the Chicago Bears.
Rodgers deserves a lot of credit for completing 20 of 30 passes for 286 yards and three touchdowns in the comeback victory, yet the unsung heroes of that game were his offensive line and Jamaal Williams, as they did a masterful job protecting Rodgers in the second half.
According to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com, when head coach Mike McCarthy was asked about Rodgers' status for Week 2 on Monday, he said: "We're still collecting all the information on his specific situation. I know Aaron wants to play and is always driven to play, but that's all I have right now."
In addition to the knee injury, Rodgers would face a great Minnesota Vikings defense that picked off Jimmy Garoppolo three times and held the San Francisco 49ers to just 16 points. Don't be surprised if Rodgers' status isn't determined until later in the week.
Derek Carr, OAK (at DEN)
The Jon Gruden 2.0 era in Oakland got off to a terrible start Monday night. Derek Carr threw for 303 yards with three interceptions on 29-of-40 passing without a touchdown. He looked lost in the second half of the loss to the Los Angeles Rams, and despite taking just one sack, he crumbled under pressure that wasn't always there. A trip to Denver in Week 2 means facing a Broncos defense that sacked Russell Wilson six times in an opening-week win. Steer clear of Carr.
Mitchell Trubisky, CHI (vs. SEA)
Mitchell Trubisky didn't light up the Packers defense, but the Bears showed signs of life and innovation in a new scheme with head coach Matt Nagy calling the shots. Trubisky had just 171 yards on 23-of-35 passing but added 32 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Allen Robinson II looked healthy with four receptions for 61 yards on seven targets, so it was a step forward, even in a loss.
The second-year quarterback gets another home game and a winnable matchup in Week 2 with the visiting Seattle Seahawks. Even though they picked off Case Keenum three times in Week 1, Keenum still completed 25 of his 39 passes for 329 yards and three scores. The Seahawks defense is far from the Super Bowl-caliber groups of the past and should be targeted this season, which makes Trubisky a viable streamer.
Week 2 Quarterback Rankings
|1||Drew Brees (NO)|
|2||Ben Roethlisberger (PIT)|
|3||Cam Newton (CAR)|
|4||Philip Rivers (LAC)|
|5||Alex Smith (WAS)|
|6||Aaron Rodgers (GB)|
|7||Deshaun Watson (HOU)|
|8||Patrick Mahomes (KC)|
|9||Jimmy Garoppolo (SF)|
|10||Kirk Cousins (MIN)|
|11||Tom Brady (NE)|
|12||Russell Wilson (SEA)|
|13||Jared Goff (LAR)|
|14||Andrew Luck (IND)|
|15||Case Keenum (DEN)|
|16||Mitch Trubisky (CHI)|
|17||Matthew Stafford (DET)|
|18||Eli Manning (NYG)|
|19||Matt Ryan (ATL)|
|20||Tyrod Taylor (CLE)|
|21||Dak Prescott (DAL)|
|22||Blake Bortles (JAC)|
|23||Nick Foles (PHI)|
|24||Derek Carr (OAK)|
|25||Ryan Fitzpatrick (TB)|
|26||Marcus Mariota (TEN)|
|27||Andy Dalton (CIN)|
|28||Joe Flacco (BAL)|
|29||Ryan Tannehill (MIA)|
|30||Sam Darnold (NYJ)|
|31||Sam Bradford (ARI)|
|32||Josh Allen (BUF)|
Better Than Usual
Jordan Howard, CHI (vs. SEA)
Jordan Howard has always been a good runner, yet his ceiling hasn't been as high as other fantasy running backs because of his struggles as a receiver. His efforts to improve in that area were on display in Week 1, when he caught all five of his targets for 25 yards and added 82 yards on 15 carries. Coupling that all-around production with an improved Bears offense increases Howard's upside.
He'll get a good chance to show off that potential when Seattle visits Chicago in Week 2. The Hawks struggled to handle the Broncos' rookie tandem of Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay last week, as they combined for 142 yards on 30 carries while Lindsay added two receptions for 31 yards and a score. Howard has a chance to get to RB1 status in this matchup.
Leonard Fournette, JAC (vs. NE)
Leonard Fournette left the Jacksonville Jaguars' opening week win over the New York Giants in the second quarter with a hamstring injury after a strong start of nine carries for 41 yards and three receptions for 14 yards on his only three targets.
When head coach Doug Marrone was asked about Fournette's status Monday, he said, per Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com: "Doc said it's a minor hamstring injury, so we're just going to treat it during the week. ... If he's ready to go, we'll ease him back in there and see how he feels."
Fournette is a must-start any time he plays, but there's no guarantee he'll be out there for the AFC Championship Game rematch with the New England Patriots. T.J. Yeldon would fill Fournette's role.
Kerryon Johnson and Theo Riddick, DET (at SF)
A blowout loss to the New York Jets provided little chance for the Detroit Lions to get anything out of their backfield. Theo Riddick led the way with four carries for 20 yards and five receptions for 15 yards on seven targets. Kerryon Johnson had three receptions for 20 yards and five carries for 17 yards. LeGarrette Blount was the worst of the bunch with four carries for minus-three yards before he exited with a knee injury.
Even if Blount is unable to play, it's hard to consider Johnson or Riddick a viable fantasy option until further notice. Detroit has issues to deal with after an embarrassing primetime performance.
James White, NE (at JAC)
Using any Patriots running back comes with the risk of trusting Bill Belichick to actually feature that player. His somewhat unpredictable nature can be figured out if you consider the matchup.
The Jaguars have an excellent defense with a great secondary that could be a lot of trouble for Tom Brady and receivers Chris Hogan and Phillip Dorsett. A good way to counteract that is by featuring James White as a receiver out of the backfield.
In Week 1, he turned nine targets into four receptions for 38 yards and a touchdown in addition to five carries for 18 yards. The Patriots lost Jeremy Hill (torn ACL) for the season and didn't have Sony Michel (knee) active for the opener. When you consider the tough matchup for the wideouts and a lack of healthy bodies in the backfield, New England should make White a focal part of its game plan in Jacksonville.
Week 2 Running Back PPR Rankings
Better Than Usual
Nelson Agholor, PHI (at TB)
There was good and bad to take from Nelson Agholor's Week 1 performance against the Atlanta Falcons. He tied Zach Ertz for a team-high 10 targets, and no Philadelphia Eagle had more than his eight receptions. But he had just 33 yards. His longest reception was 10 yards, so he was more PPR-friendly than an overall fantasy producer in the victory.
With Alshon Jeffery (shoulder) likely sidelined for Week 2, Agholor remains the top receiver heading into a juicy matchup with the Buccaneers. Cornerback Brent Grimes (groin) had to sit out Week 1 and isn't a lock to play this week. Tampa Bay's other starting corner, Vernon Hargreaves, has a shoulder injury that may end his season, according to Adam Schefter and John Keim of ESPN.com.
Tampa Bay got torched for 23 receptions, 268 yards and two touchdowns by New Orleans receivers in Week 1. Agholor may not go off, but he's in prime position for a strong performance.
Chris Hogan, NE (at JAC)
The Patriots won in Week 1 despite just one catch for 11 yards on five targets out of Chris Hogan against the Houston Texans. Expecting a bounce-back performance is asking a lot in a brutal matchup with the Jaguars. Their secondary is strong, and Hogan could see a lot of top cornerback Jalen Ramsey. If you play Hogan, he's nothing more than a WR3/flex.
Sammy Watkins, KC (at PIT)
The Kansas City Chiefs got all they needed from Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill in their Week 1 win over the Los Angeles Chargers, and lost in that was a quiet debut by Sammy Watkins. He caught three of five targets for 21 yards. Watkins has to face a Pittsburgh Steelers defense that limited the Cleveland Browns receivers to just nine receptions for 161 yards and a touchdown in Week 1. Watkins has too much to prove before you can use him with confidence.
Tyler Lockett, SEA (at CHI)
According to Brady Henderson of ESPN.com, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said Doug Baldwin is likely out "a couple weeks" following a right knee injury he suffered in Week 1 (he entered the season with an injury to his left knee). That leaves Seattle scrambling to fill Baldwin's role, and while that's likely impossible to do with one player, Tyler Lockett could be the biggest beneficiary from a fantasy standpoint.
Even though he had just four targets in Week 1, he turned those into three receptions for 59 yards, including a 51-yard touchdown. Of the Seahawks receiving corps, Lockett is the only player with multiple years of experience with Russell Wilson, which gives Wilson reason to look his way more in Baldwin's absence. This week should test that theory against the Bears.
Last week, Chicago fell apart in the second half, giving up fourth-quarter touchdowns to Green Bay receivers Geronimo Allison (39 yards), Davante Adams (12 yards) and Randall Cobb (75 yards). Seattle would be wise to test that secondary with Lockett, so consider him for one of the last spots in your lineup.
Week 2 Wide Receiver PPR Rankings
Better Than Usual
George Kittle, SF (vs. DET)
George Kittle assuaged any concerns about the shoulder injury that cost him all but the first preseason game with a strong regular-season debut. His five receptions for 90 yards on nine targets made him San Francisco's leading receiver and the No. 6 fantasy tight end of the week with 14 points.
Marquise Goodwin had to leave that game with a bruised thigh and is day-to-day, head coach Kyle Shanaha said, per Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com, so he's not a lock to return to action in Week 2. Kittle's role looked like an important one coming into the season, but he'll be even more valuable to Garoppolo if Goodwin can't play. The Detroit secondary looked lost at times against the New York Jets in Week 1, so the matchup is a winnable one for Kittle. He has top-five potential in Week 2.
Eric Ebron, IND (at WAS)
Even though Eric Ebron came through with four receptions for 51 yards and a touchdown on five targets in Week 1, he did so on just 45.1 percent of the team's offensive snaps, per Pro Football Reference. Compare that to Jack Doyle's seven receptions on 10 targets for 60 yards on a 93.9 percent snap share, and you get a feel for Ebron's small margin for error. At this rate, Ebron will be more touchdown-reliant than Doyle.
Last week, the Redskins held Ricky Seals-Jones to just three receptions for 19 yards on six targets. Even though he's on the fantasy radar, be careful letting expectations get too high for Ebron.
O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate, TB (vs. PHI)
The Buccaneers scored 48 points against the Saints, but O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate combined for four targets, two receptions and 54 yards. Those receptions went to Howard, so Brate ended up with a goose egg. While Howard has more upside, neither player can be trusted for fantasy at this point in the season, especially since Chris Godwin is in the mix after posting three receptions for 41 yards and a touchdown on four targets. Find your tight end elsewhere.
Ricky Seals-Jones, ARI (at LAR)
As noted above, Seals-Jones recorded three receptions for 19 yards on six targets in Week 1. In defense of Seals-Jones, Sam Bradford played a poor game, and the Cardinals never put up much of a fight in a 24-6 loss.
The good news is Seals-Jones was on the field for 92.5 percent of the snaps, so the team trusts him enough to be its top tight end. That's important when you consider this week's matchup with the Los Angeles Rams. The cornerback pair of Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib helped limit Oakland Raiders receivers to just five receptions for 43 yards on nine targets. However, tight end Jared Cook went off for nine receptions and 180 yards on 12 targets.
Expectations shouldn't be as high for Seals-Jones, but it would make sense for Bradford to look his way if he doesn't have Peters or Talib covering him. He's a sneaky-good play, especially if you're hurting at tight end coming out of Week 1.
Week 2 Tight End PPR Rankings
|1||Rob Gronkowski (NE)|
|2||Zach Ertz (PHI)|
|3||Travis Kelce (KC)|
|4||Jordan Reed (WAS)|
|5||George Kittle (SF)|
|6||Trey Burton (CHI)|
|7||Jimmy Graham (GB)|
|8||Evan Engram (NYG)|
|9||Kyle Rudolph (MIN)|
|10||Jack Doyle (IND)|
|11||Tyler Eifert (CIN)|
|12||Jared Cook (OAK)|
|13||David Njoku (CLE)|
|14||Austin Seferian-Jenkins (JAC)|
|15||Eric Ebron (IND)|
|16||Ricky Seals-Jones (ARI)|
|17||Benjamin Watson (NO)|
|18||O.J. Howard (TB)|
|19||Jonnu Smith (TEN)|
|20||Jesse James (PIT)|
|21||Charles Clay (BUF)|
|22||Ian Thomas (CAR)|
|23||Austin Hooper (ATL)|
|24||Will Dissly (SEA)|
|25||Cameron Brate (TB)|
|26||Ryan Griffin (HOU)|
|27||Antonio Gates (LAC)|
|28||Jake Butt (DEN)|
|29||Dallas Goedert (PHI)|
|30||Geoff Swaim (DAL)|
|31||Nick Vannett (SEA)|
|32||Mike Gesicki (MIA)|
|33||Luke Willson (DET)|
|34||Mark Andrews (BAL)|
Best Streaming Option
Chicago Bears (vs. SEA)
Excitement about the Bears defense in the first half of Week 1 disappeared when Rodgers turned in one of the most memorable halves of football in recent history. But Chicago doesn't have to play Rodgers and Green Bay again this week. Instead, it faces a Seattle offense that will be without Baldwin, and that could spell trouble for Wilson.
In Week 1, Wilson was sacked six times by the Broncos and was forced into a pair of interceptions and two fumbles. The Bears racked up four sacks, an interception, a fumble recovery and a touchdown. Khalil Mack did most of that damage by accounting for a sack, forced fumble, fumble recovery and an interception for a score.
Don't let the Seahawks' reputation cloud your thinking. This is a team to attack in fantasy, so use the Bears defense.
Ownership percentage: ESPN, 39.8; Yahoo, 50.0
Week 2 Defense Rankings
|1||Los Angeles Chargers (at BUF)|
|2||Los Angeles Rams (vs. ARI)|
|3||Philadelphia Eagles (at TB)|
|4||Houston Texans (at TEN)|
|5||Chicago Bears (vs. SEA)|
|6||New Orleans Saints (vs. CLE)|
|7||Tennessee Titans (vs. HOU)|
|8||Baltimore Ravens (at CIN)|
|9||New York Jets (vs. MIA)|
|10||Cincinnati Bengals (vs. BAL)|
|11||Denver Broncos (vs. OAK)|
|12||New England Patriots (at JAC)|
|13||New York Giants (at DAL)|
|14||Washington Redskins (vs. IND)|
|15||Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. NE)|
|16||Atlanta Falcons (vs. CAR)|
|17||Seattle Seahawks (at CHI)|
|18||San Francisco 49ers (vs. DET)|
|19||Miami Dolphins (at NYJ)|
|20||Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. KC)|
Best Streaming Option
Caleb Sturgis, LAC (at BUF)
Caleb Sturgis had a positive debut with the Chargers, hitting two of three field goals to account for seven fantasy points in a loss to the Chiefs. Look for him to have more opportunities in Week 2 with the Chargers visiting the BuffaloBills. Los Angeles shouldn't have any problem controlling that game, which means a potentially busy and productive day for Sturgis.
Ownership percentages: ESPN, 3.0; Yahoo, 4.0
Week 2 Kicker Rankings
|1||Greg Zuerlein (LAR)|
|2||Wil Lutz (NO)|
|3||Justin Tucker (BAL)|
|4||Stephen Gostkowski (NE)|
|5||Chris Boswell (PIT)|
|6||Matt Bryant (ATL)|
|7||Jake Elliott (PHI)|
|8||Caleb Sturgis (LAC)|
|9||Matt Prater (DET)|
|10||Harrison Butker (KC)|
|11||Brandon McManus (DEN)|
|12||Cody Parkey (CHI)|
|13||Mason Crosby (GB)|
|14||Robbie Gould (SF)|
|15||Adam Vinatieri (IND)|
|16||Graham Gano (CAR)|
|17||Dustin Hopkins (WAS)|
|18||Daniel Carlson (MIN)|
|19||Josh Lambo (JAC)|
|20||Ryan Succop (TEN)|