The second week of the 2019 NFL season kicked off with a Thursday night showdown between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Carolina Panthers. As one might have expected, the game delivered some fantasy football studs and duds.
What was surprising was that usual fantasy star Christian McCaffrey was among the duds. The Panthers running back had just 53 total yards and two receptions on the evening.
Perhaps it shouldn't have been a surprise, though. Matchups mean a lot in fantasy, and McCaffrey's matchup wasn't exactly favorable.
The Buccaneers defense, which has been revamped under new coordinator Todd Bowles, has a lot of talent in the front seven. A front four featuring the likes of Vita Vea, Ndamukong Suh and Carl Nassib isn't easy to run on, as the Buccaneers proved in Week 1.
In the opener, Tampa allowed 98 yards rushing but just 3.1 yards per carry. Starting McCaffrey was the right call for most fantasy managers—you're not sitting him unless you're extremely deep at running back—but it was fair to expect an average performance.
So, with matchups in mind, who can we expect to excel in the rest of Week 2? Let's take a look at the weekly player rankings.
Rankings are based on points-per-reception (PPR) scoring.
1. Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
2. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens vs. Arizona Cardinals
3. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders
4. Tom Brady, New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins
5. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons
6. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons vs. Philadelphia Eagles
7. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Rams
8. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Seattle Seahawks
9. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins
10. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills at New York Giants
Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson didn't do much running against the Miami Dolphins in Week 1. He actually had more touchdown passes (five) than carries (three).
Expect the Ravens to mix things up a bit this week against the Arizona Cardinals, who have their own dual-threat quarterback in Kyler Murray. Jackson's running ability is a weapon, and Baltimore should use it more than three times in their home opener.
However, Jackson will still likely do most of his damage through the air, and he has a favorable matchup for it. With star cornerback Patrick Peterson on suspension, the Arizona secondary is suspect. Last week, it allowed 361 yards passing and an average of 7.5 yards per pass play.
Another five-touchdown performance is unrealistic, but Jackson will have a good chance to top the 300-yard mark for the second time in 2019.
1. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Rams
2. Le'Veon Bell, New York Jets vs. Cleveland Browns
3. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins
4. Saquon Barkley, New York Giants vs. Buffalo Bills
5. James Conner, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Seattle Seahawks
6. Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers at Detroit Lions
7. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns at New York Jets
8. Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers
9. David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals at Baltimore Ravens
10. Josh Jacobs, Oakland Raiders vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Le'Veon Bell, New York Jets
The bad news for the New York Jets is that quarterback Sam Darnold is expected to miss time with mononucleosis. The good news is that running back Le'Veon Bell, who dealt with a shoulder injury this week, appears good to go.
The Jets starting Trevor Siemian instead of Darnold is great for Bell's fantasy value, as New York is likely to lean heavily on him Monday night.
"Having Le'Veon really helps us, because [of] his experience. He's been through a lot of different situations," head coach Adam Gase said, per Zach Braziller of the New York Post. "He's been through situations where Ben [Roethlisberger] got hurt in Pittsburgh and he had to carry the load a little bit more."
While Darnold's absence does mean the Cleveland Browns defense will focus on stopping Bell, this is still a solid matchup. Derrick Henry gashed the Browns for 159 combined rushing and receiving yards and an average of 4.4 yards per carry in Week 1.
1. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons vs. Philadelphia Eagles
2. DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
3. Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Rams
4. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Seattle Seahawks
5. Odell Beckham Jr., Cleveland Browns at New York Jets
6. Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers at Detroit Lions
7. Robert Woods, Los Angeles Rams vs. New Orleans Saints
8. Sammy Watkins, Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders
9. Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins
10. Julian Edelman, New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins
Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons
Cornerback continues to be the one glaring weakness of the Philadelphia Eagles. While guys like Ronald Darby and Sidney Jones are capable of playing well for stretches, there isn't a true shutdown corner on the roster.
Against the Washington Redskins in Week 1, the Eagles allowed 370 yards passing. Wideout Terry McLaurin racked up 125 yards and a touchdown on five receptions.
If you have Atlanta Falcons receiver Julio Jones on your roster, you're starting him regardless of the matchup. He just happens to have one of the best matchups of the week against Philadelphia.
Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz will likely throw a fair amount of double coverage at Jones on Sunday night, but the six-time Pro Bowler will still find ways to get open. Jones should produce more than the six catches, 31 yards and a touchdown he had in Week 1.
1. George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers at Cincinnati Bengals
2. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders
3. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons
4. Darren Waller, Oakland Raiders vs. Kansas City Chiefs
5. Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens vs. Arizona Cardinals
6. Evan Engram, New York Giants vs. Buffalo Bills
7. Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans vs. Indianapolis Colts
8. T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions vs. Los Angeles Chargers
9. Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons vs. Philadelphia Eagles
10. Jared Cook, New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Rams
Darren Waller, Oakland Raiders
After his breakout seven-catch, 70-yard performance in Week 1, Oakland Raiders tight end Darren Waller is no longer a sleeper. He's a legitimate fantasy starter, and he's in position to have a strong Week 2.
The Kansas City Chiefs defense is undergoing a transition under new coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. Despite the change, pass defense is still a problem for Kansas City.
In Week 1, the Chiefs allowed 347 yards passing and 10.2 yards per pass play. Jacksonville Jaguars tight ends James O'Shaughnessy and Geoff Swaim combined for eight receptions and 49 yards.
Waller should see something in the eight-catch range against the Chiefs by himself.
1. Stephen Gostkowski, New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins
2. Harrison Butker, Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders
3. Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens vs. Arizona Cardinals
4. Wil Lutz, New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Rams
5. Greg Zuerlein, Los Angeles Rams vs. New Orleans Saints
6. Jake Elliott, Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons
7. Ka'imi Fairbairn, Houston Texans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
8. Brett Maher, Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins
9. Robbie Gould, San Francisco 49ers at Cincinnati Bengals
10. Matt Bryant, Atlanta Falcons vs. Philadelphia Eagles
1. New England Patriots
2. Baltimore Ravens
3. Chicago Bears
4. Buffalo Bills
5. Dallas Cowboys
6. Cleveland Browns
7. Denver Broncos
8. Houston Texans
9. Tennessee Titans
10. Green Bay Packers
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