Sports | Analysis
September 11, 2018 at 2:39 PM
Each week Des Bieler ranks the top players at each position to help fantasy football owners decide on their best possible starting lineup.
Week 1 of the NFL season featured no shortage of intrigue for fantasy owners. Saints running back Alvin Kamara staked his early claim to be the most valuable fantasy player of the season, while a top-tier tight end was a no-show in a big win by the Kansas City Chiefs. And what to make of Big Ben Roethlisberger coming up (very) small in the Pittsburgh Steelers tie with the Cleveland Browns?
Here's how we're setting the board for Week 2.
Ben Roethlisberger is back at home, meaning that, weather permitting, he should play well. … Patrick Mahomes, fresh off looking terrific against the Chargers, will square off with the Steelers QB in what should be a shootout (get used to hearing that about games involving the Chiefs). … Aaron Rodgers has an injured leg and a rough matchup, but for now (Tuesday afternoon) he won’t go lower than seventh. Monitor the injury closely though. … Tyrod Taylor can do damage against a suddenly very questionable Saints defense. … Russell Wilson’s ranking might actually be optimistic, given his receiving options and a road date with an angry Bears squad. … Deshaun Watson has some proving to do after a flat performance against the Patriots. … Week 1 revelation Ryan Fitzpatrick needs to show that he and the Buccaneers can stay hot versus the imposing Eagles.
Alvin Kamara takes the top spot in PPR formats, and could well remain there until Mark Ingram returns in four weeks. … The Cowboys’ inability to move the ball is a major concern for Ezekiel Elliott, but a home game and volume keep him in the top four. … Similar worries about the Cardinals’ offense have me dropping David Johnson at the Rams. … Dalvin Cook’s usage last week was very encouraging for his owners. … Adrian Peterson should get fed carries in a game the Redskins are favored to win. … Leonard Fournette’s health bears close monitoring after leaving Week 1 with a reported hamstring injury. … Alfred Morris is worth an RB2 play in a game in which the 49ers should be able to hold a lead over the reeling Lions. … The Packers' Jamaal Williams did little in Week 1, and it’s hard to like him against the Vikings. … Phillip Lindsay is suddenly a very interesting figure in the Denver Broncos backfield.
I can't quite bring myself to move Kansas City's Tyreek Hill into the uber-elite top five -- yet. ... Jarvis Landry may be trading some efficiency for deeper downfield looks with the Browns, while still getting peppered as often as in the past. ... I'm keeping Adam Thielen's volume appeal below Stefon Diggs's big-play appeal with the Vikings for the time being. ... Similarly, it feels a little too soon to push Emmanuel Sanders ahead of Demaryius Thomas in Denver. ... Kenny Stills deserves solid WR2 recognition in Miami, at least until DeVante Parker returns. ... Amari Cooper's disastrous debut belied Jon Gruden's offseason hype in Oakland. ... One of the few bright spots in the Lions' dismal opener, Kenny Golladay appears to be a legitimate problem for Marvin Jones. ... Brandon Marshall zooms up from the nether regions, as he is by far the Seahawks receiver most likely to get in the end zone.
Travis Kelce gets a mulligan but needs to show that he and Mahomes have some rapport. ... George Kittle could have had a much bigger day, and moves into top five until we get more clarity on the TE middle class, which had a brutal Week 1. ... I prefer to look at Jack Doyle's glass as half-full (10 targets, a healthy Andrew Luck) instead of half-empty (extremely costly fumble, Eric Ebron competition). ... Jared Cook gets placed conservatively at No. 11 but could well be a top-five guy this season. ... Jonnu Smith might just do a pretty good Delanie Walker impersonation.
It's tempting to put any team playing the Bills at No. 1, but the Chargers looked just leaky enough to settle for the second spot. ... As noted earlier, the Bears are waiting impatiently to unload their frustrations onto the Seahawks' beleaguered offensive line. ... If Leonard Fournette isn't at 100 percent, the Jags may not have many other ways to threaten the Patriots. ... The Eagles are well-prepared to give Ryan Fitzpatrick a heat check. ... Even against the Browns, the Saints get demoted to the prove-it zone. ... The Lions' debacle against the Jets wasn't by any means all the fault of their defense, but it didn't help much, either.