Welcome to Week 2’s start/sit column. Each week throughout the regular season, I will go over a few players at each major position and tell you whether you should make room in your lineup for them or pull them out of a starting spot. Players labeled “starts” are non-obvious options that either have a good matchup or are trending in the right direction, ranking higher for me than consensus this week. Players labeled “sits” are ones I have concerns about leading into the week but are in a significant amount starting lineups. This article is most helpful for those in full- or half-point PPR leagues.
As always, you should make the final call on all of your lineup decisions. This column is intended to be a piece of your research puzzle and/or a resource to highlight some specific names that may have been overlooked in my weekly rankings. Without further ado, here is Start/Sit for Week 2:
START: Aaron Rodgers (QB - GB)
Only starting in about one-third of lineups at the time of writing, there’s no reason to believe Rodgers is going to be a one-hit wonder this season. While I still have questions about his secondary pass-catchers despite the big games from Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Allen Lazard in Week 1, I have even more questions about the Lions secondary. We’ll see if top-three pick Jeff Okudah makes his NFL debut this week, but regardless, Rodgers is a top-six play. In his last three games against the Lions (excluding the game he left with a concussion after five passes) he’s averaging 349.3 passing yards and 2.3 touchdowns per game, including 606 yards, four touchdowns, and two interceptions in two games last season. There will be tougher tests ahead, just not this week.
START: Tom Brady (QB - TB)
Brady just missed out on QB1 territory in his Buccaneers debut, but I expect him to come back this week with a vengeance. Tampa Bay returns home and takes on a Carolina Panthers defense that just allowed 34 points to an inferior Raiders offense in Carolina. Some extra time for wide receiver Mike Evans to get healthy plus a highly-motivated Brady equals a long, long day for the Panthers secondary. Chris Godwin possibly missing this game hurts, but I believe Scotty Miller can fill in admirably for one week if needed. The last time Brady lost in Week 1, he responded with a 447-yard, three-touchdown performance (against the Saints). The Panthers don’t have the personnel to match up with Brady’s weapons, so I expect a similar result this week. Brady is a top-10 QB option for Week 2.
SIT: Matthew Stafford (QB - DET)
While many will be tempted to throw Stafford right back into their starting lineups after a meh opening week performance against the Bears, I do not have the Lions quarterback ranked in my top 15 this week. While Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins had some fantasy success late in the game against the Packers in Week 1 once things got out of hand, Green Bay has kept Stafford relatively in check lately. Over his last three starts against the Packers, Stafford is averaging 238 passing yards and 1.33 touchdowns per game. Last year, he had the worst fantasy game of his half-season in Week 6 against the Packers—he completed 18-of-32 passes for 265 yards and no touchdowns. I don’t expect a bad game from Stafford—fun fact, the Packers haven’t intercepted him since 2016—but I don’t expect a great one either, especially if Kenny Golladay is still banged up. You likely have a better option in single-QB leagues.
START: Kareem Hunt (RB - CLE)
In what was somewhat of a surprise, Hunt out-carried Nick Chubb in the 2020 opener 13-10. What wasn’t a surprise was the 6-to-1 target advantage he had. I’m not saying you should start Hunt over Chubb, but both are top-20 options this week facing off against a poor Bengals defense on the road on a short week. If the Browns don’t put up points in this game, they are going to get absolutely hammered in the 10 days between Thursday Night Football and Week 3. Hunt only averaged 10.7 PPR fantasy points per game in the two meetings last season, but given his usage last week in the running game out of the shotgun coupled with his pass-catching prowess, I think he’s got a very good shot at getting into the end zone this week.
START: David Montgomery (RB - CHI)
Lost in the shuffle of Mitchell Trubisky’s furious fourth-quarter comeback victory over the Lions was a very solid performance by a still-not-100% Montgomery. He averaged nearly five yards per carry on his 13 attempts and got three targets out of the backfield. He’ll get to face a Giants defense that’s traveling on a short week after giving up nearly six yards per carry to Benny Snell on Monday Night Football. I expect the Bears to be a bit more balanced throughout the game than they were in Week 1 and Montgomery to get even more work as he gets further removed from his preseason groin injury. He’s a low-end RB2 this week.
SIT: Devin Singletary (RB - BUF)
Singletary out-snapped rookie Zack Moss 57% to 45% in Week 1, but they were 50-50 in carries. When it came to carries inside the five-yard line, however, Moss was king. Per Mike Tagliere of Fantasy Pros, Moss received three carries from inside the five-yard line in Week 1. Singletary has received two carries from inside the five-yard line in his 13 games in the NFL combined. Quarterback Josh Allen is essentially Buffalo’s goal-line back, but when it’s not him it’s going to be Moss. Without a decent probability of scoring a touchdown, Singletary just isn’t a consistent enough RB2/flex play before bye weeks start. He’s my RB30 this week.
START: D.J. Chark (WR - JAX)
Minshew Mania made it another week and Chark found the end zone in Week 1. I’m expecting that hot start to continue, recommending him as a WR2 this week against the Titans. While the late Monday Night Football game was painful on the eyes, Drew Lock was able to find plenty of early success despite being without two of his top three wide receivers. The Titans allowed the ninth-most passing yards in the NFL last season and will be without top corner Adoree’ Jackson for this game. I expect a slightly less conservative offense from Jacksonville this week, which means there’s potential for more big plays by Chark. He caught all three of his targets last week, but needs more looks overall to really pop. I think he gets it this week.
START: Marquise Brown (WR - BAL)
In an about-face from last week, Brown is a “start” for me in Week 2 after getting six targets in Week 1, catching five for 101 yards. Brown looked healthy and abused a banged-up Browns secondary for his second consecutive huge Week 1 performance. The football gods continue to punish the Texans secondary by making them face Lamar Jackson 10 days after playing Patrick Mahomes. Brown looked healthy and I think he’ll abuse this Texans secondary enough to finish as a WR2 this week. He’s always a boom-or-bust candidate, but I expect the Baltimore train to keep on rolling and Brown to be a “boom” this week.
SIT: D.J. Moore (WR - CAR)
The fantasy community will soon catch up to the fact the Buccaneers’ defense is actually a bad matchup for fantasy players. After a brutal start to last season, Tampa Bay played much better defense in the secondary after the release of Vernon Hargreaves III—and those young DBs balled out in Week 1. Carlton Davis shut down all-world wide receiver Michael Thomas and I’m not optimistic about Moore’s fate against this secondary in Week 2. The Buccaneers had the No. 1 rush defense last season—and controlled Christian McCaffrey twice—and continued their strong play into this season. Pressure will be in Teddy Bridgewater’s face all game as Carolina plays one-dimensional catchup and all of the Panthers’ playmakers will suffer as a result. Moore in my WR30 this week after catching four of nine targets in Week 1.
START: Dallas Goedert (TE - PHI)
As unconventional as it seems to rank two tight ends from the same team in TE1 territory, the duo of Goedert and Zach Ertz deserves it. Both finished as top-10 tight ends in total fantasy points last season and they were the two most targeted pass-catchers for Carson Wentz in Week 1. While the Rams aren’t a great matchup, they aren’t terrible either. And as long as Alshon Jeffery is sidelined and Philadelphia’s offensive line is banged up, Wentz is going to need options to throw to quickly with mostly speed receivers as his other weapons. Goedert should continue to get plenty of looks and is a weekly TE1 moving forward.
SIT: Mike Gesicki (TE - MIA)
Starting a tight end in fantasy against Buffalo was a disastrous decision in 2019 and I wouldn’t test the Bills early in 2020, either. Ryan Fitzpatrick left a lot to be desired in his three-interception performance in Week 1 and I predict more struggles against another strong defensive divisional foe. Gesicki averaged fewer than seven fantasy points per game against Buffalo last season. I know Chris Herndon caught six passes against them in Week 1, but it was for a grand total of 37 yards. After being the second-stingiest defense against fantasy tight ends last season, I don’t like Gesicki’s chances of besting his 2019 averages on Sunday.