Week 2 Start'em/Sit'em

Sep 17, 2020 at 12:06 pm ET

This is the Fantasy Football Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for Week 2 of the 2020 NFL season. Analysis is aggregated from multiple sources including FFN. FFN rankings are based upon PPR (point per reception) scoring. Given the known conditions, these matchups are the ones to watch and/or avoid.

Please Note: This list does not generally include the elite players that you are going to start regardless of matchup. You don't need us to tell you to start Christian McCaffrey, Travis Kelce, or Michael Thomas. Instead, we take a look at other players on your team that we believe either have great matchups or should be avoided for multiple reasons. Factors like opposing defense, performance trending, and peer comparisons may influence our decisions.


What a start to the season! Did you start Aaron Rodgers over Lamar Jackson? What? You didn't? Well then surely you started Darius Slayton over Tyreek Hill and Michael Thomas, right? Wait - what? You didn't? What were you thinking?

Of course, predicting what will happen each week in the NFL is difficult, but Week 1 is historically the most difficult because the sample size of current season games is essentially nil. We make decisions based upon the best information that we have at the time. Speaking of which, let's look at Week 2.

Start 'em Aaron Rodgers (GB, QB)
We had Rodgers on our Sit list last week, and boy were we wrong. The future HOFer lit up the Vikings and turned in an impressive 30 point fantasy day - second only to Russell Wilson in Week 1. This week Aaron has a Lions defense that just gave up 24 fantasy points to Mitch Trubisky. Logic would seem to dictate that Rodgers should do even better.
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9th Most Pts to QB
Start 'em Cam Newton (NE, QB)
Cam Newton's debut for New England could not have gone any better. By all accounts, it looks like Superman has returned. 75 rushing yards and 2 rushing touchdowns made us fondly recall the Cam of old. Seattle was very susceptible to QB rushers last season giving up the 4th-most yards to them.
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11th Most Pts to QB
Start 'em Josh Allen (BUF, QB)
We can't put Cam Newton on here without putting Josh Allen. This week Allen will face the same Miami defense that allowed Cam to score two rushing touchdowns in Week 1. It would not be surprising at all to see Allen in the endzone or at least match Newton's rushing total.
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14th Most Pts to QB
Start 'em Jonathan Taylor (IND, RB)
With Marlon Mack sidelined with a torn Achilles, the Colts have announced that rookie Jonathan Taylor will be their starting RB. He will continue to share touches with Nyheim Hines. The Vikings defense is not as unstoppable as many thought they'd be. Aaron Jones racked up almost 18 fantasy points last week against them. Look for the rookie to start solidifying that Indy backfield.
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15th Most Pts to RB
Start 'em Ronald Jones (TB, RB)
There's always inherent risk with the Tampa Bay backfield and RoJo in particular, but you can't deny that this matchup has potential. Josh Jacobs just turned in a 35.9 point performance (PPR) last week against the Panthers. Jones was more involved with the offense last week than Leonard Fournette, and his #17 ranking on FFN this week suggests that he can still play a low-end RB2 / Flex option for your team in Week 2.
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6th Most Pts to RB
Start 'em Todd Gurley (ATL, RB)
Keep Todd Gurley firmly locked into your lineup. Facing a Dallas defense that couldn't stop Malcolm Brown from scoring 26 fantasy points last week, Gurley should be able to produce double-digit production given that he's not sharing backfield duties in the same way that the Rams are. Gurley is ranked 18th this week on FFN.
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10th Most Pts to RB
Start 'em Marquise Brown (BAL, WR)
Hollywood! Hollywood! Marquise Brown looked great in the team's opener hauling in 5 catches for 101 yards. It's a great matchup for him as well. The Texans surrendered 37 fantasy points last week to the combo of Sammy Watkins and Tyreek Hill. Brown was the most targeted wide receiver for the Ravens last week and will likely be again in Week 2.
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13th Most Pts to WR
Start 'em Emmanuel Sanders (NO, WR)
First, it's a decent matchup. The Raiders gave up 23.5 fantasy points to Robby Anderson last week. Second, it's very likely that we don't see Michael Thomas suit up. As tough as Thomas is and as much as he would like to play, it's a safe bet that the Saints will err on the side of caution and not play him. Those absent targets could very well end up with Emmanuel Sanders who played a lot in the slot last week going 3-for-5 for 15 yards and a touchdown.
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11th Most Pts to WR
Start 'em T.Y. Hilton (IND, WR)
T.Y. Hilton was tied with Parris Campbell last week for targets, and it was nice to see the veteran on the field and involved with the offense once again. Philip Rivers threw it a lot, and should be forced to do the same this week against a Vikings defense that allowed WR Davante Adams to have a career day hauling in a league-leading 41.6 fantasy points last week.
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5th Most Pts to WR
Start 'em Jared Cook (NO, TE)
On paper this looks like a bad matchup for Cook, but can you really compare Jared Cook to either Chris Manhertz or Ian Thomas? Of course not. While neither Manhertz or Thomas were able to do anything of note against the Raiders last week, they aren't as involved in the offense as we saw Cook last week who caught 5 balls for 80 yards.
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4th Fewest Pts to TE
Start 'em Hunter Henry (LAC, TE)
In the season opener, the Chiefs allowed Texans TE Jordan Akins to put up almost 12 fantasy points. Given that Hunter Henry is more of a focal point in the Chargers' offense boosts his potential. Henry was second only to Keenan Allen last week in snaps and was productive with his five catches for 73 yards.
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10th Most Pts to TE
Start 'em San Francisco 49ers (SF, DEF)
The Jets didn't look particularly great last week, and they'll be without RB Le'Veon Bell in Week 2. The Niners already had a solid defensive unit, and even with Richard Sherman on IR, they should still be able to disrupt and stifle a Jets offense that surrendered 13 fantasy points last week.
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10th Most Pts to DEF
Start 'em Robbie Gould (SF, K)
Robbie Gould is ranked inside our Top 5 this week with a fantastic matchup against the Jets. Buffalo's rookie kicker Tyler Bass put up nine fantasy points against them last week. Gould could very well see double-digit production.
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14th Most Pts to K
Sit 'em Carson Wentz (PHI, QB)
After running for his life last week, is it realistic to think that Carson Wentz is going to have time in the pocket with Aaron Donald providing pressure all day long? While he looked great in the first quarter, the Washington front owned Philly the rest of the game. A matchup with the Rams isn't going to get any easier. Dak Prescott was limited to just one touchdown pass against the Rams last week. If the Eagles front line can't provide some breathing room, Wentz is going to struggle.
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12th Fewest Pts to QB
Sit 'em Daniel Jones (NYG, QB)
Ranked 26th this week among all QBs on FFN is Daniel Jones coming off a mediocre game on Monday night where he managed 279 yards and 2 scores, but also 2 interceptions. There were a few bright spots, but largely Dannny Dimes looked pressured and rusty. It may take a while for Jones to get into a decent rhythm. A matchup with the Bears is probably not helpful in that regard.
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11th Fewest Pts to QB
Sit 'em Matthew Stafford (DET, QB)
Kirk Cousins had a productive fantasy day against Green Bay last week, but most of that came in garbage time catch-up. For the first half of the game, the Packers largely kept him bottled up. For Stafford to be productive, he'll need to come out fast or hope for garbage time production as well. The Pack allowed just 13 fantasy points to opposing signal callers last year, including keeping Stafford to just 11 points in Week 6 (265 yards 0 TD).
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14th Most Pts to QB
Sit 'em D'Andre Swift (DET, RB)
There was so much hype for D'Andre Swift leading up to Week 1. What we saw was a guy who played second fiddle to Adrian Peterson and couldn't come down with a game-winning touchdown. Add Kerryon Johnson to the mix and this is a backfield committee that is going to largely frustrate fantasy owners all season. Swift is ranked 50th among all RBs this week on FFN.
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8th Most Pts to RB
Sit 'em Jordan Howard (MIA, RB)
0.9 yards. That's what Jordan Howard averaged last week per rush against a tough New England front (10th-fewest fantasy points allowed). His task becomes arguably more difficult against the Bills this week (8th-fewest fantasy points allowed). The Jets runners were held in check by the Bills, and whether it's Howard or Myles Gaskin, neither should be in your starting lineup.
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8th Fewest Pts to RB
Sit 'em Leonard Fournette (TB, RB)
It's a great matchup, but the question comes down to usage here. Fournette in his first game as a Buccaneer rushed just 5 times for 5 yards. His 9 snaps were far lower than Ronald Jones (33) and LeSean McCoy (25). Until he's able to establish himself with a reliable floor each week, Fournette probably belongs on your bench.
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6th Most Pts to RB
Sit 'em Sammy Watkins (KC, WR)
How many fantasy owners grabbed Sammy Watkins off the waiver wire this week? Watkins is a boom-or-bust type player, and he certainly boomed in the season opener hauling in 7 of his 9 targets and finding his way into the endzone, but he's going to face a much more difficult task to repeat against the Chargers. Not only did LA keep all of the Bengals receivers in check last week, Watkins has never delivered double-digit points against them before.
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4th Fewest Pts to WR
Sit 'em John Brown (BUF, WR)
John Brown looked good is his season debut catching 6 of his 10 targets for 70 yards and a score with a missed second score opportunity. He always has that big-play ability, but the combination of missing practice with a foot injury this week and a tough matchup means that he's a risky flex option.
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2nd Fewest Pts to WR
Sit 'em Brandin Cooks (HOU, WR)
Well we certainly didn't see the target magnet that we were all expecting in the NFL season opener. Cooks came away with just 2 catches for 20 yards. Cooks is still dealing with a quadriceps issue and remains questionable for this game. Even if he plays, he's too risky to plug in against a Ravens secondary that kept the Browns' receivers locked up last week.
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3rd Fewest Pts to WR
Sit 'em Mike Gesicki (MIA, TE)
Mike Gesicki will be a productive fantasy TE this year, but after a disappointing Week 1, we're expecting his productive season to wait. Gesicki is ranked 14th among all TE's on FFN this week after catching three passes for 30 yards last week. The Bills defense was brutal against tight ends last season giving up the 2nd-fewest fantasy points to them and kept Chris Herndon to just 7.7 points last week.
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2nd Fewest Pts to TE
Sit 'em Rob Gronkowski (TB, TE)
We had Gronk listed as a Sit last week, and after catching just 2 balls for 11 yards, he largely lived up to that billing. The concern here is that O.J. Howard was the better fantasy tight end even though he saw fewer snaps than Gronk. Obviously Gronkowski can be a redzone magnet, but he'll likely have to see the endzone before he'll be able to provide value for fantasy owners.
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12th Fewest Pts to TE
Sit 'em New England Patriots (NE, DEF)
The Patriots had one of the best, most-consistently reliable fantasy defenses in 2019, and they'll have one of the best in 2020 as well, but the matchup this week is not pretty. Seattle gave up just three fantasy points last week.
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5th Fewest Pts to DEF
Sit 'em Stephen Gostkowski (TEN, K)
Well last week wasn't the Stephen Gostkowski that fantasy owners remember, was it? Long a fantasy staple in New England, Gostkowski missed three field goals and an extra point for the Titans in Week 1. Now, we don't anticipate that kind of performance every week from the veteran, but we'd wait until we can see signs of reliability before plugging him into our lineups.
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13th Fewest Pts to K

Join the Discussion

jamisdiablo CommentedSep 18, 2020 11:52 am

Thanks for another great season of fantasy help! love the nerd! Now... For defenses... I grabbed Seattle off waivers over the likes of TB and some others based on their matchup. I'm curious why you think TB is a top 5 defense this week after getting shredded by Kamara last week and now going up against an equal back in McCaffrey. I think Cam is going to return to his normal self this week against a decent Seattle D. Thoughts? (And home/away doesn't mean anything at this point does it? weather aside...) Thanks again! Cheers!

Nerd CommentedSep 18, 2020 8:14 pm

I'm with you. I reviewed the numbers, and the projections that were aggregated have TB at #7. It will be interesting to see if they bounce back this week.

jamisdiablo CommentedSep 20, 2020 6:40 am

Two quickies... take Johnu Smith over Logan Thomas? Week2 vs ROS? And would you play Snell over eSanders? Lastly, should I drop JJeudy for Mike Williams? Thanks!


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