The first week of the NFL season is officially in the books, and there were certainly some surprises on the gridiron. Players like Kareem Hunt, Tarik Cohen and Stefon Diggs dazzled their way to Week 1 success. On the other hand, disappointment was far from scarce, as Leveon Bell, Julio Jones and Rob Gronkowski all scored less than ten fantasy points this past weekend. Like every week since the dawn of football, the NFL has proved to be impossible to predict. However, if you wish to get as close as possible to foreseeing the fantasy football future, you are definitely in the right place. Here are the Week 2 Starters and Sitters:
Ted Ginn Jr. – Everyone knows that the Saints love to throw the ball. Sure, they added Adrian Peterson and Alvin Kamara this offseason to help with their ground game, but we all know Drew Brees is going to go out on the field and sling it. Willie Snead is still serving his suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, which thrusts Ted Ginn into a bigger role in the electrifying offense. The Saints head back to the Superdome this week to face the Patriots, who let the Chiefs go up and down the field on them in week 1. Big numbers in store for Ted Ginn Jr.
James White – On the other sideline in New Orleans are the Patriots, who have made the trip down from Boston. Let’s be real. For as great as the Saints’ offense is, their defense is probably the worst in the league. Nobody knows why, but every single year they think that it’s alright to try and arm-tackle NFL running backs. In case you missed the Super Bowl last year or last week’s Thursday night affair with Kansas City, I’ll sum up White’s past two games for you: he is absolutely an elite NFL running back. His volume may not be strong, but his abilities and opposition puts James White in a great situation this week.
Keenan Allen – Against the No Fly Zone in Denver last week, Keenan Allen caught 5 passes for 35 yards and a touchdown. These are impressive numbers against the Broncos. Perhaps more impressive than his performance is that Keenan Allen made it through an entire game and both of his knees are still in tact. Allen also had 10 targets, proving that he is still the top option over in Los Angeles. The Chargers play the Dolphins this week, which should be a cake walk compared to Denver’s secondary. As long as Keenan Allen is playing healthy, he should be in your lineup.
Cooper Kupp – Sometimes, there are players that the professional analysts completely predict as sleepers. ESPN’s Matthew Berry could not have possibly hyped up Cooper Kupp as a sleeper any more throughout the entire month of August. Kupp answered the expectations with 4 catches for 76 yards and a touchdown last week, which is exactly what his fantasy owners wanted to see. The Rams take on the Washington Redskins this week, and Josh Norman will likely shadow Sammy Watkins, giving Kupp some good looks. He is also only owned in 30.8% of ESPN leagues, so he could be available for the taking. I like him as a starter this upcoming week.
Kerwynn Williams – Last week, at least one team in every fantasy league lost its best player when David Johnson went on the dreaded IR with a wrist injury. Now everybody is scrambling to find his replacement, whether it’s Chris Johnson, Andre Ellington, or Kerwynn Williams. However, the truth of the matter is that — between the three running backs — the volume will not be strong enough to provide fantasy relevance. Until the Cardinals find one, which they most likely will not, there is no replacement for David Johnson.
Donte Moncrief – No Andrew Luck, no problem, right? Wrong! The Colts took a lashing last week to say the least, and that was against the Rams’ defense (your welcome for telling you to start them last week), where Moncrief was held to only one catch. Yes, it was for fifty yards, but that’s besides the point. The point is that the Colts’ QB situation after Andrew Luck is beyond atrocious, whether it’s Scott Tolzien or Jacoby Brissett under center. The LA Rams were supposed to go 3-13 this season, yet managed to beat this team 46-9 on Sunday. This week, the Colts host a legitimate defense in the Arizona Cardinals. Expect another embarrassing performance from Indianapolis without Luck at the helm, so sit Donte Moncrief once again.
Eric Decker – In his debut with the Titans, Decker disappointed with 3 catches for a measly 10 yards against the Raiders. I still believe Decker will have a great year, but until you see a performance worthy of being in your starting lineup, leave him on bench, especially against the tough Jacksonville secondary this week.
Brandon Marshall – As I said earlier, sometimes the professional analysts are spot-on. However, they sometimes are astronomically off. This was the case with Brandon Marshall last week. The situation was perfect: a poor secondary, Odell Beckham was out, and Marshall was shaping up as a WR1 last week. Like the Colts, the Giants were also embarrassed, only there were high expectations for Big Blue last week. Offensively, New York couldn’t move the ball with Odell sidelined, and all of the high projections for Brandon Marshall went out the window, as he caught 1 ball for a grand total of 10 yards. Until the Giants’ offense (including Brandon Marshall) proves to be functional, leave Marshall on the bench.
I wish you the best of luck in Week 2!