Week 1 is in the books. If you did well, great. If you didn’t, well, the season is young.
I’m a big proponent of not putting too much weight on the season opener. Just because your star player had a quiet week doesn’t mean that will happen again this weekend.
I had a quiet week when it came to my season-opening prognostications on sleeper candidates, but I did fairly well on my list of fringe starters. So we’re on to Week 2.
We’ve combed the far reaches of the Internet and culled only the choicest fantasy tips and advice. Below you’ll find easily digestible nuggets addressing some of the critical situations fantasy owners will face from week to week.
Dig in. And dominate.
Randall Cobb, WR, Cowboys: This is mostly about the Cowboys’ matchup and what we saw in Week 1. As expected, Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup received the most targets for Dallas. Cobb was third with five targets, hauling in four receptions for 69 yards and a touchdown. The Redskins, Sunday’s opponent, were carved up by Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz in a huge second-half comeback. It’s hard to envision Washington slowing down the Dallas offense, especially since the Redskins can expect a bigger dose of Ezekiel Elliott after he was limited to 14 touches in the season opener. Cobb is owned in just 11 percent of ESPN leagues, but if you find yourself in a pinch, he could prove to be a nice play.
Chris Thompson, RB, Redskins: There’s been a lot of chatter about new starter Adrian Peterson in fantasy football circles this week, but Thompson has just as much of a chance of being fantasy relevant in Washington’s Week 2 matchup. While Peterson should be claimed following the knee injury to running back Derrius Guice, who could miss up to eight weeks, I’m not sure the veteran would be a lineup recommendation this weekend. Thompson should offer upside, particularly in points-per-reception leagues. Let’s not forget that Washington is still without its best offensive lineman (Trent Williams), that the team’s wide receivers are young and that Cowboys QB Dak Prescott is coming off a huge game. Translation? It could mean the Redskins will be trying to keep pace or playing catch-up, and if that’s the case, Thompson could flourish. After midweek pickups, Thompson is still owned in just 38 percent of ESPN leagues.
Marquise Brown, WR, Ravens: Brown was owned in just 25 percent of ESPN leagues entering Week 1, and virtually no one started him. Following waiver wire pickups this week, Brown is now owned in more than 64 percent of ESPN leagues. So what do you do now? First, it should be noted Brown only played 14 snaps. Second, he was a limited participant in Wednesday’s practice with a hip injury. The injury doesn’t appear to be serious, which means owners should consider starting him. Baltimore is at home against Arizona. The Cardinals’ secondary is banged up, and Brown only needs one play to make a fantasy impact. For owners, that’s hard to pass up. As I said above, sometimes you don’t want to put much stock in the first week of the season. It’s a bit early to label Brown a clear WR2, but he’s certainly worth considering at flex.
Aaron Jones, RB, Packers: No one is going to get too caught up in Jones’s quiet game in the opener against the tough defense of the Chicago Bears. The Green Bay tailback faces another talented defensive unit in Week 2 when Minnesota pays a visit to Lambeau Field. It’s difficult to consider benching him for the week, but that’s what most pundits would recommend. Given where he was drafted, that may not be an option for owners who lack depth at running back. And there are those who think Jones can turn in a productive outing.
Ronald Jones, RB, Buccaneers: Tampa Bay’s second-round pick in the 2018 draft didn’t provide much in his rookie season. And he didn’t garner much attention entering this season as he shares time in the Bucs’ backfield with Peyton Barber. In the season opener, however, Jones looked sharp, with 75 yards rushing and one reception for 18 yards. While Coach Bruce Arians said Barber would be the starter in Thursday night’s game at Carolina, Jones is going to get his share of touches. If he produces in a similar fashion to Week 1, it should be only a matter of time until he supplants Barber completely. For now, he’s a tough recommendation for Week 2, so hold off putting him in the lineup unless you’re in dire need. The Panthers allowed the Rams to rush for 166 yards last week, but I’m not sure Tampa Bay can pull off the same feat.
Devin Singletary, RB, Bills: Singletary looked sensational on just nine touches in Buffalo’s comeback win last weekend. Now the Bills travel to New York to play the Giants. While Frank Gore did have more carries than the rookie (11 to four), Singletary played far more snaps than the veteran, and that shouldn’t change in Week 2. As a Singletary owner in one league, I’m hardly alone in being excited about adding him to my lineup.
Le’Veon Bell, RB, Jets: Bell was dealing with an ailing shoulder but is in no danger of not being on the field for New York in Week 2. He played all 71 snaps in the season opener, and with QB Sam Darnold out, the offense will probably lean on him. His opponents, the Cleveland Browns, were torched by Titans RB Derrick Henry in Week 1, so there’s reason to be optimistic.
Tevin Coleman, RB, 49ers: An ankle injury is going to sideline Coleman at least a few weeks. Coleman’s bad news is probably good news for Matt Breida. Breida has been a bit brittle himself during his short career, but he should see an increase in touches in a road game against Cincinnati. The Bengals didn’t give up a lot on the ground in Week 1, but Seattle tailback Chris Carson did manage to find the end zone twice. Breida is a borderline RB2 but is certainly a consideration at flex.
James Conner, RB, Steelers: Conner was limited in practice Wednesday with an illness, but that shouldn’t be an issue in Week 2. Update: Conner returned to practice in full Thursday and is all set for this weekend.
Derrius Guice, RB, Redskins: Washington will turn to Adrian Peterson to handle the rushing duties in Week 2. Chris Thompson (see above) will be a big part of the passing game. Guice was placed on injured reserve on Friday.
Hunter Henry, TE, Chargers: San Diego will be without Henry’s services for several weeks after he suffered a tibia plateau fracture to his left knee. Owners counting on Henry must hope they drafted another tight end or explore the reasonable options on the waiver wire.
Tyreek Hill, WR, Chiefs: Hill exited early in Kansas City’s season opener with a sternoclavicular joint injury. The team is not putting Hill on injured reserve because that would mean he would miss a minimum of eight weeks. The Chiefs hope it’s no longer than six weeks until Hill can return to action.
Tyler Lockett, WR, Seahawks: Lockett is dealing with a back injury, one that kept him from practicing Wednesday. Update: Lockett was a limited participant in Thursday’s practice, so he appears fine to use this weekend.
Joe Mixon, RB, Bengals: Mixon injured an ankle while delivering an underwhelming performance in Week 1. He seems to be feeling better and is confident he will be ready for the team’s home opener in Week 2 against the 49ers. If Mixon does sit, Giovani Bernard will handle backfield duties for Cincinnati. Update: Mixon took part in Friday’s walkthrough and is expected to play.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Steelers: Schuster was limited in practice Wednesday as he deals with a banged-up toe. As with teammate Conner, it doesn’t appear he’s in any danger of not suiting up this weekend. Update: Smith-Schuster is not listed on Friday’s injury report.
Mike Williams, WR, Chargers: San Diego signed a wide receiver this week with Williams missing practice with a knee injury. He’s looking questionable for Sunday. Update: Williams will be a game-time decision Sunday. It’s best to seek an alternative.