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Fantasy football week two: Start ‘em, Sit ‘em

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Here’s my advice to help you navigate week two of your fantasy football season.

Baltimore Ravens v Miami Dolphins Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The week two slate of NFL game kicks off tonight as the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers both look to nab their first win of the 2019 season. Looking at the week two matchups, here are my starts and sits for the week:

Quarterback

Start ‘Em:

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady versus Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins are horrendous, plain and simple. Lamar Jackson attempted 20 passes against them in week one, completing 17 of them for 324 yards and five touchdowns. Jackson had to be pulled so early in the contest because the Ravens managed to nearly put up a 60-burger on the Dolphins. It does not get any easier for the Dolphins this week as they face Tom Brady. Oh yeah, Brady is likely to get his new toy — WR Antonio Brown — in this one too.

Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson versus Arizona Cardinals

As mentioned above, Lamar Jackson looks wildly improved as a passer, and ultimately didn’t even need to rely on his legs to put forth an epic fantasy performance. Matthew Stafford torched the Cardinals for 385 yards and three touchdowns, proving the Cardinals’ secondary is as weak as we thought they were. Start Jackson with comfort.

Other potential starts: Deshaun Watson versus Jacksonville Jaguars, Dak Prescott versus Washington Redskins, Ben Roethlisberger versus Seattle Seahawks, Matt Ryan versus Philadelphia Eagles

Sit ‘Em:

Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray versus Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens — like always — are ferocious on defense. Watching Kyler Murray’s second half comeback versus the Detroit Lions excited everyone, though I’d proceed with caution on this one. The Ravens have one of the best secondaries in the league, holding the Dolphins’ duo of quarterbacks in week one to 190 yards, one touchdown, and one interception.

Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins versus Green Bay Packers

The Packers were the second best defense in yards per pass attempt allowed in week one. The newly improved unit looks potent, and that’d be enough for me to sit Kirk Cousins on my team. Cousins didn’t have much of a contest in week one against the Atlanta Falcons, attempting only 10 passes for 98 yards and one touchdown.

Other potential sits: Eli Manning versus Buffalo Bills, Jameis Winston versus Carolina Panthers

Running Back

Start ‘Em:

New England Patriots RB Sony Michel versus Miami Dolphins

For what seems to be becoming a theme, just start damn near everyone every week against the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins were torched on the ground in week one, allowing nearly 200 yards rushing to the Ravens as well as two touchdowns. The Patriots’ backfield is nearly impossible to predict, though I suspect Sony Michel getting some good work in this one.

Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley versus New Orleans Saints

I approached week one with caution on Todd Gurley, but boy did he ever look great. The issue here is the time split with Malcolm Brown obviously, particularly in the redzone as Brown received the bulk of the work there. Even with that being the case, I can see the Rams looking at this contest as sort of a “must-win” scenario. The Saints also got torched by Carlos Hyde on the ground in week one, and still won’t have DT Sheldon Rankins in this contest.

Other potential starts: Adrian Peterson versus Dallas Cowboys, Derrick Henry versus Indianapolis Colts, Austin Ekeler versus Detroit Lions, Mark Ingram versus Arizona Cardinals, Matt Brieda versus Cincinnati Bengals

Sit ‘Em:

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman versus Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles’ front-seven is as ferocious as they come, proving that by allowing only 28 rushing yards to a Washington Redskins team that scored 27 points. Derrius Guice — who I told you to sit in week one — averaged a paltry 1.8 yards-per-carry. Freeman could salvage his day with a touchdown, though I wouldn’t count on it.

Denver Broncos RB’s Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman versus Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears look to once again be a top-5 defense in the league, maybe even the best. That is enough for me to stay away from pretty much everyone on the Denver Broncos’ offense. Lindsay offers some PPR ability as a pass catcher, though every yard is a tough earned one against the Bears.

Other potential sits: Kenyan Drake, Kalen Ballage versus New England Patriots

Wide Receiver

Start ‘Em:

New England Patriots WR Josh Gordon versus Miami Dolphins

Yep, you get the jist here. Gordon looked great in week one, and even though I had to bounce back and forth between Gordon and Julian Edelman here, I’d feel solid about starting either.

New York Jets WR Jamison Crowder versus Cleveland Browns

Jamison Crowder is going to be one of the new “PPR-Gods” as I call them, pulling in 14 passes for 99 yards in week one. News just came out that QB Sam Darnold will miss the game with mono (what the heck), so proceed with EXTREME caution, though Crowder’s upside has more to do with his targets/receptions as opposed to big plays.

Other potential starts: Will Fuller versus Jacksonville Jaguars, Tyrell Williams versus Kansas City Chiefs, Travis Benjamin (if Mike Williams is inactive) versus Detroit Lions, Cooper Kupp versus New Orleans Saints, Tyler Lockett versus Pittsburgh Steelers

Sit ‘Em:

New York Giants WR Sterling Shepard versus Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills’ defense is vicious and Sterling Shepard still isn’t fully healthy. I wouldn’t trust the receivers or Eli Manning the slightest in this contest.

Cincinnati Bengals WR John Ross versus San Francisco 49ers

John Ross absolutely erupted in week one as he registered seven receptions for 158 yards and two touchdowns, and yet I’d still be cautious about this one. One of the long touchdowns happened to be sort of a hail mary in the last seconds of the first half, inflating Ross’ numbers by a decent amount. Ross still struggled with drops and now faces a 49ers defense that looks to be improved from 2018.

Other potential sits: Emmanuel Sanders/Courtland Sutton versus Chicago Bears, Christian Kirk versus Baltimore Ravens

Tight End

Start ‘Em:

Oakland Raiders TE Darren Waller versus Kansas City Chiefs

The hype is not just hype, Darren Waller already looks like one of the best tight ends in the NFL. Waller is an enormous option who looks like a receiver when running and catching, and his rapport with QB Derek Carr is evident. Waller registered seven receptions for 70 yards in week one and now gets to face a Chiefs defense that isn’t great, particularly at linebacker.

Baltimore Ravens TE Mark Andrews versus Arizona Cardinals

Mark Andrews destroyed week one, though it was against the lowly Dolphins. Still, I’d feel good about pairing the Jackson-Andrews duo as they have great chemistry and are both incredible playmakers. Not to mention, rookie T.J. Hockenson abused the Cardinals to the tune of six receptions for 131 receiving yards and one touchdown in week one.

Other potential starts: Vernon Davis versus Dallas Cowboys, T.J. Hockenson versus Los Angeles Chargers

Sit ‘Em:

Indianapolis Colts TE Eric Ebron versus Tennessee Titans

Eric Ebron caught one single pass for eight yards in week one, though he did nearly catch a touchdown that was ruled incomplete. The chemistry with QB Jacoby Brissett doesn’t seem to be there, which is exactly why Ebron’s been in my “sit” column for two weeks now.

Minnesota Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph versus Green Bay Packers

Kyle Rudolph didn’t register a single catch in week one, though his quarterback did only attempt 10 passes. I’d look elsewhere in week two as the Packers’ defense is very good, leaving you a lot of space for improvement.

Other potential sits: Jason Witten versus Washington Redskins

Defense

Start ‘Em:

New England Patriots versus Miami Dolphins

Does this need any explaining? The Dolphins’ offense is terrible and the Patriots’ defense just held the Steelers to three points on national television.

Chicago Bears versus Denver Broncos

Like the Dolphins, the Broncos didn’t look good on national television, and that was against the Oakland Raiders. The Chicago Bears possess a crazy talented defense. The Broncos will also be missing starting right tackle Ja’wuan James in this one, meaning it could be sacks-galore for the Monsters of the Midway.

Other potential starts: Baltimore Ravens versus Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills versus New York Giants, Cleveland Browns versus New York Jets

Sit ‘Em:

Jacksonville Jaguars versus Houston Texans

The Jaguars find their way into the sit column two weeks in a row, not due to their lack of talent, but due to their formidable opponent. The Texans will probably allow a bevy of sacks, though I wouldn’t want to play a defense that has to defend QB Deshaun Watson.

Washington Redskins versus Dallas Cowboys

I really like the Redskins defense, though not this week against what looks to be one of the best teams in the league in the Cowboys. The Redskins started out week one in strong fashion as they nearly pitched a shutout through halftime against the Philadelphia Eagles, until a deep touchdown from DeSean Jackson absolutely opened everything up.

Other potential sits: Los Angeles Rams versus New Orleans Saints, New Orleans Saints versus Los Angeles Rams