Week 2 Flex Rankings for Fantasy Football
Week 2 is usually one of the trickier weeks to navigate for fantasy managers. Now that we have finally gotten our first taste of regular-season action, we have a bit more intel on how certain teams will operate. More information usually helps us make better decisions, so that is generally a good thing. However, it also serves as a reminder of how fleeting fantasy value can be. In many cases, we spent months feeling a certain way about a particular player or team, only for our belief system to be turned upside down over three hours. With my Week 2 Flex rankings, I hope to be able to sift through the noise and find the balance between what is actionable and what is not. These rankings are based on half-PPR scoring.
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Running Back Notes
The most impactful news coming out of Week 1 was the 1-2 punch of Kyle Shanahan deeming Trey Sermon a healthy scratch which was immediately followed by a season-ending knee injury to Raheem Mostert. Fantasy managers drafted Elijah Mitchell outside the top 60 running backs and rostered him in about 30 percent of leagues as of last week. Following his 104-yard rushing day along with the issues surrounding San Francisco’s other backs, Mitchell was the most popular add heading into Week 2. Mitchell is now rostered in over 75 percent of Fantrax leagues. I have Mitchell well within the Flex range this week, but I am probably going to be a bit lower on him than most. The Eagles have a solid defense, and this is still Kyle Shanahan we’re talking about. Sermon or JaMycal Hasty could just as easily lead the 49ers backfield this week.
Speaking of healthy scratches, Zack Moss was inactive for Buffalo’s Week 1 outing against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Devin Singletary was the lead back for the Bills but fumbled twice. Singletary’s lack of ball security may enable Moss to be on the field on Sunday. However, I would still not advise starting the second-year running back until circumstances change. Buffalo faces the Miami Dolphins this week. Despite allowing 100 rushing yards to Damien Harris last week, the Dolphins are a solid defensive unit. We have no way of knowing how or even if Moss will be involved. I have Singletary just outside the typical starting range for Flex players. He checks in at number 70 overall in my Week 2 Flex rankings.
At the risk of making the mistake of believing what an NFL coach says, I am in on Ronald Jones this week. Jones posted negative fantasy points after fumbling away the football and totaling just 14 rushing yards last week. Coach Bruce Arians sent Jones into timeout for the rest of the night to think about his actions. Arians has announced that Jones will be Tampa Bay’s starting running back in Week 2. Jones may also once again squander this opportunity. But the matchup is too enticing for me to ignore. The Falcons are a mess, and this is a game the Bucs should win with relative ease. This is a prime chance for Tampa Bay to get their running game going and instill confidence in both Jones and Leonard Fournette. I would not mind using either Bucs back this week depending on your other options.
Just for the record, I would not panic on any of the early draft picks who failed to produce in Week 1. Derrick Henry, Ezekiel Elliott, Aaron Jones, and Najee Harris will be just fine. I have all four inside my Top 20 overall this week. If any should fail to meet expectations for a second consecutive week, I would advise buying low barring injury.
Wide Receiver Notes
Of course, the Shanahan shenanigans (Shanahanigans?) were not limited to the running back position. Brandon Aiyuk, who I had as my WR20 last week, did not start and was not targeted in the 49ers victory in Detroit. Trent Sherfield (that would be former undrafted free agent with 28 career NFL receptions over three years as an Arizona Cardinal Trent Sherfield) split time with Aiyuk and recorded two catches. Rumors have circulated that Aiyuk’s lack of involvement may be a maturity issue, and could also have to do with his return from a recent hamstring injury. Whatever the case, we cannot start Aiyuk with any confidence this week. He is a sit until further notice. Meanwhile, Deebo Samuel went ballistic with 189 receiving yards and a touchdown. He is the only receiver in San Francisco I would trust at the moment.
As I suspected last week, Ja’Marr Chase proved he could indeed catch a football. Condolences to those who thought he was broken following a poor showing in the preseason. The next test for the rookie will be to exhibit consistent weekly productivity. Even though he has already flashed a high ceiling, I have Chase ranked the lowest among the three Bengals wide receivers this week. That is mostly the byproduct of the projected individual matchups they will encounter with the cornerbacks on the Chicago Bears. Slot corner Marqui Christian was exposed as the weak link last week, and I would expect the Bengals to go after him quite a bit in this matchup. Chase manned the slot on just 10 percent of his snaps in Week 1. He is still a Flex play with upside, but I would not expect another 100-plus yard performance.
Tight End Notes
I would not panic on the likes of Mark Andrews or Kyle Pitts. No player is going to rack up top-10 finishes every week. They are both well within the top-12 at the tight end position and will remain there barring anything unforeseen. If you have the luxury of playing either in the Flex spot, go for it. I gave a bump to Jared Cook in this week’s Flex rankings. The veteran had a solid showing in Week 1, with five catches for 56 yards on eight targets. He will be an important part of the Chargers’ passing attack and has a very good Week 2 matchup on tap against the Dallas Cowboys. Rob Gronkowski torched Dallas for 90 yards and two scores last week.
Though wins and losses in fantasy are based on results, be careful about putting too much stock into unsustainable results. Case in point – the tight ends on the New Orleans Saints. Juwan Johnson scored two touchdowns last week. As a result, he was added in 28 percent of leagues and is now rostered in 46 percent. I don’t necessarily mind a speculative add, but do not expect this type of production going forward. Johnson was targeted just three times and was on the field for just 19 percent of offensive snaps. 28 tight ends were targeted at least four times last week. I would much rather prefer Adam Trautman (82 percent of offensive snaps, six targets) than Johnson. We have already likely seen Johnson’s most effective fantasy performance of 2021.
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Week 2 Flex Rankings
|97||Michael Pittman Jr.||IND||WR51||LAR|
|189||Amon-Ra St. Brown||DET||WR94||@GB|
If you liked Mick’s Week 2 Flex Rankings, be sure to check out the rest of our Week 2 Rankings and Analysis!
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