Start ‘Em/Sit ‘Em Week 2

Graphic by: Charlie Zitta

As week one has passed, fantasy managers now have an idea of which players will be pivotal pieces moving forward in the season. While there were many that did not live up to expectations, there were some sneaky players that rose to the challenge. With this week bringing more potential excitement, we give you our week two picks to give you the edge in your league.

Austin –
Two players you should start this week:
Browns Defense – The best streaming option for week two will definitely be Cleveland’s defense, while they played the Chiefs week one in a tough matchup, they get to bounce back week two against the Texans. As the Browns focused on their defense this offseason, we will get to see them battle tested in week one and how they respond to that aftermath in week two where they will shine against perhaps the weakest team in the NFL. Not to mention they held Kansas City to 10 points in the first half of week one.
Najee Harris – Harris has been a solid lead back and helped push the Steelers offense into a better position. Harris also has pass catching abilities which allows him to stay on the field longer with more touches. Playing against the Raiders will not be an easy task as Las Vegas added more depth and talent defensively, however Harris will still lead the Steelers to a win.

Two players you should sit this week:
Kyle Pitts – Yes, I know Dallas torched the Bucs cornerbacks, however the Falcons will not do this. Calvin Ridley will probably have a good game if Tampa doesn’t fix their coverage issues, but I feel the Bucs linebackers will not only cover Pitts but also take him out of the game.
Jonathan Taylor – The Rams will boost their chances to win this game by stacking the box knowing the colt’s best offensive weapon is Taylor. I foresee the Rams attacking Taylor to make Wentz beat them with his arm and receivers which will lead to multiple turnovers and the Rams defense ultimately winning this game for them.

One sleeper you could stream this week:
Elijah Mitchell – As the 49ers lost Raheem Mostert, San Francisco looked to their sixth-round pick to pick up the reins and he did not disappoint. I say he would be a 50-50 ball even for a sleeper because it all depends on if Mostert is healthy and if Trey Sermon becomes active. If both these backs cannot go Mitchell will be in for another big day against a weak Philadelphia defense that is arguably worse than Detroit’s all around.

Two players you should start this week:
Mike Williams – Many fantasy owners likely avoided the fourth-year veteran due to injury concerns, but a healthy Williams is always a big play threat. After an 8 catch, 82 yard performance against a tough Washington secondary, there is a lot of upside for Williams considering the Chargers’ upcoming schedule. With a young, developing Cowboys secondary coming to town after being torched for almost 400 passing yards by Tampa Bay, Williams’ Week 2 outlook rises even higher considering his size mismatch with Dallas’ smaller cornerbacks.
Damien Harris – While a fumble did hurt his stock late in Sunday’s game versus Miami, there is no question Harris is the Patriots’ “bell cow” moving forward. Number 37 was used greatly in all sorts of offensive schemes, including both heavy or light formations. Although three other running backs got touches in the contest, James White’s pass catching ability is the only thing standing in the way of Harris consistently getting 20 touches per game moving forward. The Patriots will be facing a historically bad Jets defense that surrendered 98 yards rushing in the opener against Carolina, giving Harris a statistical green light for a Week 2 start.

Two players you should sit this week:
Joe Burrow – Yep, I did it. I put one of America’s newly liked football players on the sit list. Why? Soldier Field. The home of the Chicago Bears has a notorious history of hosting old-style football. There is a reason they call it the “Windy City”: it is hard to throw the football near Lake Michigan. Quarterbacks over the last three seasons have averaged only 212 yards passing per game, with at least one interception and being sacked over three times. This translates to a 64.07 average QBR and only 9.83 fantasy points per game. While it may be tempting to keep starting the next potential superstar, the venue and Chicago’s secondary brings concern into his Week 2 projection.
Mike Gesicki – The favorited breakout prospect of the 2021 season didn’t perform up to expectations in Sunday’s opener against the Patriots. With zero catches on two targets, the former Penn State grad failed to reach his top-13 ranking status according to ESPN. With the Bills coming into Hard Rock Stadium, there is concern about Gesicki’s ability to break free of Buffalo’s stingy defense. After seeing Steelers’ tight ends Pat Freiermuth and Eric Ebron held to just two catches combined in Week 1, it is reasonable to expect a low number for Gesicki in Week 2.
One sleeper you could stream this week:
Teddy Bridgewater – Though the former Saint has a lower ceiling than other quarterbacks likely available in your league, many cannot match Bridgewater’s fantasy consistency. Against the league’s bottom tier defenses in 2020, Teddy scored an average of 24.93 fantasy points per game and never scored lower than 16. The Broncos offense looked great in the 2021 opener against an improving Giants defense, with Bridgewater throwing for over 260 yards and 2 touchdowns. With a struggling Jaguars defense on deck for Denver, “Teddy H2O” is a valuable streaming option on the waiver wire.