Fantasy Football Week 2 Rankings: Latest Position-by-Position Rundown

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistSeptember 15, 2018

FILE - In this Sept. 9, 2018 file photo New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) passes in the first half of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in New Orleans. Brees sees a lot of himself in Browns rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield.
Butch Dill/Associated Press

Was Week 1 for fantasy football owners revelatory or random? We'll have a better idea after Week 2, when electric performances or frustrating flops are either put in the past or stretched into a streak.

What's more likely to repeat: Ryan Fitzpatrick's four touchdowns or Matthew Stafford's four interceptions? Are Buffalo and Arizona fantasy wastelands? Is there a Dallas Cowboy worth owning outside of Ezekiel Elliott?

Questions like these will take longer than two weeks to answer, but more hints will surface regarding what's ahead.

Don't be fooled by the size of the remaining schedule; this week is critical. Early-season success is the difference between building a safety net or spending the rest of the year trying to climb out of a hole.

                                 

QB Rankings

1. Drew Brees, NO (vs. CLE)

2. Cam Newton, CAR (at ATL)

3. Ben Roethlisberger, PIT (vs. KC)

4. Patrick Mahomes, KC (at PIT)

5. Alex Smith, WAS (vs. IND)

6. Andrew Luck, IND (at WAS)

7. Tom Brady, NE (at JAX)

8. Aaron Rogers, GB (vs. MIN)

9. Kirk Cousins, MIN (at GB)

10. Deshaun Watson, HOU (at TEN)

              

QB Boom: Drew Brees

Butch Dill/Associated Press

Anyone who tells you predictions must be bold is lying.

Granted, if you're rostering Brees, you're probably planning to start him every week. Still, you might not know just how promising the week looks for the star signal-caller.

"Since 2015, Drew Brees has 30.1 more points at home than any other QB. On Sunday, Drew Brees is at home," ESPN's Matthew Berry wrote. "He faces a Browns team that just gave up 313 passing yards...in a storm, to a quarterback who turned over the ball six times in that game."

This should be a monster day for Brees, who's perhaps threatened only by the possibility of sitting out some or all of the fourth with a massive lead.

                 

QB Bust: Ryan Fitzpatrick

Butch Dill/Associated Press

Wait, wasn't he Week 1's scoring leader? Sure was, but that defense (New Orleans) and the one he's got up next (Philadelphia) are not exactly equal.

Philly was the 11th-toughest defense on fantasy quarterbacks last season and looked like it will climb the ladder in Week 1. The Eagles held Matt Ryan to a sub-50 completion percentage (21-of-43) and zero touchdowns (with one interception) in the season opener way back on Sep. 6.

In other words, this defense should be both rested and relentless. Despite what Week 1 seemed to indicate, Fitzpatrick isn't built for this matchup. He saw meaningful action in five games last season and finished three of them with one or fewer touchdowns.

                   

RB Rankings

1. Todd Gurley, LAR (vs. ARI)

2. Alvin Kamara, NO (vs. CLE)

3. Ezekiel Elliott, DAL (vs. NYG)

4. Melvin Gordon, LAC (at BUF)

5. Saquon Barkley, NYG (at DAL)

6. David Johnson, ARI (at LAR)

7. Christian McCaffrey, CAR (at ATL)

8. James Conner, PIT (vs. KC)

9. Dalvin Cook, MIN (at GB)

10. Jordan Howard, CHI (vs. SEA)

                

RB Boom: James Conner

Jeff Haynes/Associated Press

Le'Veon who? OK, maybe Conner's debut didn't make Pittsburgh fans forget their three-time Pro Bowler is still missing in action, but the performance was mostly everything it needed to be.

Conner haunted Cleveland early and often, turning 31 carries and five receptions into 192 yards from scrimmage and two scores. And while he lost a fourth-quarter fumble, even that play had positive fantasy implications—Pittsburgh stayed with him, meaning the coaching staff trusts him.

Expect another heavy workload in what could be the highest-scoring game of the weekend. Kansas City's defense had the worst Week 1 showing against running backs, allowing both Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler to clear 100 scrimmage yards.

                 

RB Bust: LeSean McCoy

David Banks/Associated Press

The Chargers defense opened this season facing last year's leading rusher, Kareem Hunt. He finished with only 16 carries for 49 yards, no touchdowns and a longest scamper of 13 yards.

McCoy isn't Hunt. Despite having more carries last season, McCoy finished with fewer yards and touchdowns. He's also on the wrong side of 30, so he figures to be trending down.

Oh, and his club's QB situation might be the league's worst. Rookie Josh Allen is now the starter, but his abysmal 6-of-15, 74-yard debut leaves little optimism for improvement. And it's not like there's a reliable Plan B if Allen struggles. The freshman passer opened the year behind Nathan Peterman, who lost the gig in less than three quarters by going 5-of-18 for 24 yards and two interceptions.

Glass-half-full McCoy owners will say this all means the Bills will lean on him harder than ever. Maybe that's true. But when he's facing an overloaded defensive front every single snap, does that even matter?

                  

WR Rankings

1. Antonio Brown, PIT (vs. KC)

2. Julio Jones, ATL (vs. CAR)

3. Michael Thomas, NO (vs. CLE)

4. Odell Beckham Jr., NYG (at DAL)

5. DeAndre Hopkins, HOU (at TEN)

6. Tyreek Hill, KC (at PIT)

7. Mike Evans, TB (vs. PHI)

8. Keenan Allen, LAC (at BUF)

9. T.Y. Hilton, IND (at WAS)

10. Adam Thielen, MIN (at GB)

                   

WR Boom: Devin Funchess

Chuck Burton/Associated Press

Cam Newton is the second-highest-ranked QB, and he has to throw to someone, right? With Kelvin Benjamin in Buffalo and Greg Olsen back on the injury report with a refractured foot, Funchess is poised for a big game against a Falcons defense missing two Pro Bowlers (Keanu Neal and Deion Jones).

In two games against Atlanta last season, Funchess had 13 targets, 134 receiving yards and a score. In his last three games without Olsen, Funchess had 20 targets, 238 receiving yards and three touchdowns.

Funchess isn't the safest play week to week (three catches, 41 yards in the opener), but he has clear WR2 upside in this matchup.

                    

WR Bust: Chris Hogan

Steven Senne/Associated Press

Sitting a prominent Patriots weapon is never easy, and maybe this recommendation comes back to burn me.

But the matchup is awful. The Jaguars surrendered the fewest fantasy points to wide receivers last season, and they didn't allow a passing touchdown in their opener. They are particularly stingy on the outside, with Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye forming arguably the league's top cornerback tandem.

Plus, Hogan's 2018 season got off to an inauspicious start. While the Patriots scored 27 points and Tom Brady threw three touchdown passes in the opener, Hogan contributed just one catch (on five targets) for 11 yards. Maybe that means he's primed to bounce back, but he could need a better matchup to orchestrate his rebound performance.

                   

Statistics used courtesy of Yahoo Sports and NFL.com.

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