Fantasy Football: Week 2 Rankings from Chris Meaney
Alright, Week 1 is in the books! Let’s move on to Week 2 where there are a lot of injuries to deal with already. Below are my Fantasy Football Week 2 Rankings. There will be constant updates in my standard and PPR rankings as we get practice reports and injury news leading up to kickoff each Sunday. As you’ll see below, I’ve highlighted some of the players I like and dislike more than others, using the Expert Consensus Rankings on FantasyPros. As we get into tougher matchups, this may help you decide if you have to start or sit a certain player. Feel free to hit me up with any questions @chrismeaney.
Key Week 2 Injury Watch
Aaron Rodgers (sprained knee) – hopes to practice some on Saturday
Ben Roethlisberger (elbow) – missed practice Thursday
Marcus Mariota (elbow) – expected to start Sunday
Leonard Fournette (hamstring) – game-time decision
Devonta Freeman (knee) – RULED OUT
Rex Burkhead (concussion) – limited Thursday
Sony Michel (knee) – limited Thursday
Darren Sproles (hamstring) – RULED OUT
Kenneth Dixon (knee) – placed on IR until at least Week 11
DeAndre Hopkins (foot) – limited Thursday
Doug Baldwin (sprained MCL) – week-to-week
Davante Adams (shoulder) – returned to practice Thursday
Corey Davis (hamstring) – limited Thursday
Marquise Goodwin (deep thigh bruise) – did not practice Friday
DeSean Jackson (concussion) – full practice in Friday
Will Fuller (hamstring) – expected to play Sunday
Jermaine Kearse (abdomen) – expected to play Sunday
Travis Benjamin (foot) – very unlikely to play Sunday
Greg Olsen (broken foot) – ‘out a significant chunk of time’
Delanie Walker (ankle) – placed on season-ending IR
Joey Bosa (foot) – week-to-week
Taylor Lewan (concussion) – RULED OUT
Aaron Rodgers vs. MIN & Tom Brady @ JAC
It doesn’t get any harder for Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady this week as they both have the toughest possible matchups. The two best quarterbacks in the game against two of the best defensive units in the NFL. We don’t even know the status of Rodgers’ knee as his Packers are set to face the Vikings. The same team in which Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone against last season. The Packers’ QB showed why he’s one of the best last Sunday night, orchestrating a fantastic comeback against the Bears, but this is a much different defense in Minny. Rodgers has thrown fewer than 213 yards in four of his last six games against the Vikings and he couldn’t even plant on his leg last week. I’m concerned.
As for Brady, this game is in Jacksonville against a defense that will no doubt be fired up and finished second in points allowed last season (behind Minnesota). They were number one though in passing yards against (169.9 per game). Brady was just fine in last year’s AFC Championship game against Jacksonville, throwing for 290 yards with two touchdowns. That game, however, was in New England.
I’m a supporter of playing your studs, but when it comes to the QB position, there are replacements out there. Realistically, you shouldn’t have a backup quarterback if you drafted Rodgers and Brady. It may be wise to get one for Rodgers, though. I have no problem rolling out Brady, but I have some concerns when it comes to Rodgers. He may play, and if he does… there’s a decent chance he doesn’t finish the game. There are plenty of waiver wire QB’s who have much better matchups and are healthy at the moment. You need to start preparing. The question marks surrounding Rodgers has me doubting Davante Adams as well.
Case Keenum vs. OAK
Case Keenum is a perfect replacement for Aaron Rodgers this week, should he not go or you feel uncomfortable playing him. Keenum tossed three interceptions and still finished with the sixth most fantasy points last week. In his first game with the Broncos, Keenum made great use out of his two best weapons in Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas. Reminding us just how good they were, because we forget. Let’s be real. Sanders and Thomas both scored a touchdown in Week 1 which didn’t happen at all last season.
Alex Smith vs. IND
Another great matchup for a QB who looked good in his first game with a new offense. Both Keeneum and Alex Smith were draft day steals despite solid 2017 seasons. There was some uncertainty with both for sure and after the first few QBs come off the draft board, you’re splitting hairs between the few who are left over. Make no mistake, Smith can help out fantasy teams, especially in the right matchup. At home against the Colts checks the box. His weapons may not seem as flashy in Washington as they did in KC, but he has two great weapons in Chris Thompson and Jordan Reed. Both are healthy and looking like players to start 2018. The Colts allowed the fifth most passing yards and third most yards overall in 2017. The Bengals were the seventh lowest scoring team in the league last year and almost put up 40 on them.
James Conner vs KC
If you had any doubts, you shouldn’t now. Pittsburgh gave James Conner a Le’Veon Bell-like usage and he finished with the most touches in Week 1. Amazing, isn’t it? If you have Conner, ride this out. If you’re fine at the running back position and find yourself benching a stud, see what you can get for Conner. His value will never be higher. Conner led Week 1 with 31 rushing attempts, 36 touches, 135 rushing yards and 192 total yards. That’s 48 more yards than he had in 14 games last season as a rookie.
Leonard Fournette vs. NE
It’s pretty hard to trust Leonard Fournette at the moment. He hasn’t practiced as of Thursday, which would leave a big opportunity for T.J. Yeldon. A hot pick up on the waiver wire, Yeldon won’t be as productive as Fournette if he has to fill in for him full-time, but take his 14 carries and 17 touches in Week 1 into consideration. This team wants to run the football and you can’t ignore volume.
*Fournette called himself a game-time decision. He’ll likely drop outside the top 20 as we get closer to Sunday. If he doesn’t play, dial up Yeldon as an RB2 who will likely touch the ball 15 plus times.
James White @ JAC
With the news that Rex Burkhead is in concussion protocol, my RB29 ranking of James White in standard leagues won’t seem off anymore after people adjust. In fact, my ranking of him was seven spots higher compared to his FantasyPros’ Expert Consensus Ranking. I was surprised with the Burkhead’s usage in Week 1, but this was going to be a tough spot for him. This is more of a White game and it may just end up being more of a White season with all the injuries in the Patriots’ backfield. If Burkhead suits up, I’ll keep White flex range even in standard leagues, but if Burkhead is out, White becomes a solid RB2. Value again with him in DFS as well this week.
Jamaal Williams vs. MIN
Jamaal Williams had 15 carries last week but managed only 47 yards. If you thought that was bad, wait until you see him up against the a stingy Vikings defense. Minnesota allowed the second fewest rushing yards last season and only 3.7 per carry. This is an awful spot for Williams and I just don’t like the Packers in general this week. A lot of that of course has to do with Rodgers’ health. If Burkhead sits, I would play White over Williams. No questions.
Pierre Garcon vs. DET
Pierre Garcon only had two grabs for 21 yards last week, but it was a tough matchup in Minnesota. This is a much better spot for Garcon at home against a Lions defense that got picked apart by rookie Sam Darnold. Garcon should see an uptick in usage as well with Marquise Goodwin likely sidelined. This is only Garcon’s second game with Jimmy Garoppolo and he put up decent numbers last season with mediocre QB play.
Quincy Enunwa vs. MIA
Quincy Enunwa led the Jets with 10 targets, six catches and 63 yards while adding a touchdown last week. It was his first game since suffering a neck injury during training camp last season, which forced him to miss all of 2017. In 2016, Enunwa was a red zone threat receiving 15 targets with Brandon Marshall hogging 21. Jermaine Kearse (abdomen) is expected to return but it shouldn’t matter as it looks like Enunwa has the inside track to slot work and already has a connection with Sam Darnold. Enunwa had three red zone targets last week and a 47.6% target share.
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