Week 2 of the NFL Season brings us two teams playing their first game of the season, an NFC Championship rematch, and the Saints being involved in a "revenge" game for the second week in a row. I am changing up my strategy a bit from last week where I may be willing to take QB a littler earlier in deeper leagues and RBs aren't as "must-have" as they were a week ago. However, I still think you will want to address RB by the end of the 4th round in 6 and 10 team leagues.
If you're new to DRAFT, it is a .5 PPR scoring system with 4 point Passing Touchdowns. Everything else is pretty standard: 1 point for every 25 yards passing, and 10 yards rushing/receiving. Each roster consists of 1 QB, 2 RB, and 2 WR/TE.
H2H or 3-Person Contests
I almost hope I get the second pick in H2H formats this week, as I think there are three top options. Am I concerned with Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell playing the Vikings? Slightly. But this game is in Pittsburgh and we have seen the Steelers do just fine at home against solid defenses in the past. Julio Jones is my top WR, as he went bonkers in the NFC Championship against Green Bay: 9 catches, 180 yards, and two scores. I'm hoping to get Julio and Bell at 2 and 3, but would be fine starting Jones/Brown if Bell goes first. I don't really see anyone else to take first overall in three-man games. If you don't get Julio or Bell, Devonta Freeman should be in a good spot against Green Bay as well. He didn't get many yards in either meeting last year but scored three touchdowns in the two games vs Green Bay. He would be my second running back option.
After that, it may be based on your preference. I think a case can be made for Jordy Nelson in the expected shootout in Atlanta. Ezekiel Elliott has a tough matchup in Denver, but assuming nothing changes from the courts, he still should see enough touches (had five catches a week ago) to be taken here. Melvin Gordon also will see plenty of work catching passes as the main cog in the Chargers offense. Doug Baldwin should get back on track against the 49ers, who didn't look all that impressive last week. Finally, if you like the revenge game narrative, Brandin Cooks returns to New Orleans to face his former team, who is on a short week and got torn apart by Stefon Diggs.
In either format, I am waiting until the 5th round for Quarterback. Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, and Drew Brees are all in the highest projected games of the day. There has already been some players jumping the gun and taking one of these QBs early. I would be fine with any of them, and my personal ranks are as you see above. Fantistics has Ryan and Brady as the Top 2, but I can't argue any of them in what should be two high scoring games.
4 and 6 Person Games
With quarterbacks here, I still like any of the four I mentioned above. I don't even mind taking them in the late 3rd or early 4th round. However, you're not in deep trouble if you wait. Russell Wilson is ranked third in our projections this week. Last year, he averaged 250 and one touchdown against the 49ers. He's a safe option this week. Ben Roethlisberger is at home: he averages over 2 touchdowns at home. Even against a tough Viking defense, I could take him. Finally, Derek Carr wins the weekly prize of facing the Jets defense. The only concern is will he have to throw in the second half?
At running back, there are injury concerns and rookies that need to be considered. Jordan Howard was limited Wednesday with a shoulder injury. Jay Ajayi is coming off a back injury. If both are healthy and not limited, I think both have relatively high floors. LeSean McCoy is the Buffalo offense and can be used in a tough matchup against Carolina: just lower expectations a bit. I think the four rookie RBs of Dalvin Cook, Kareem Hunt, Christian McCaffrey, and Leonard Fournette are all in play. I may hold off on McCaffery, despite a good matchup, due to Jonathan Stewart being involved. The final running back I will consider in this range is Todd Gurley against Washington. You can draft them early, but you can wait until Round 4 for your second running back, if needed.
My next favorite receiving option here is a tight end. New Orleans is generous to all pass catchers, and for the Patriots, Rob Gronkowski is healthy and could tear apart this Saints pass defense. Opposite Gronk in this game is Michael Thomas, who may see a lot of targets if the Saints have to throw early and often. Mike Evans should see a lot of targets, but I do have some concerns about how sharp Tampa Bay will be after being off last week. We saw how rusty a lot of good offenses were, and the Bears did a good job on limiting Julio. If you are waiting on WR, I do like Tyreek Hill. Kansas City is finding ways to get him the ball every week, and the Eagles secondary is still not very good. Though not sustainable, he does have five straight regular season games with a 60-yard or longer touchdown.
10 Person Leagues
I may take a QB in the fourth round this week, because I think you may be digging a bit after this. But, if you get stuck, there are options. Kirk Cousins didn't play great last week but I expect a better performance and it's not like Washington has much of a running game. Cam Newton returns home to face the Bills. He's a bit risky with Buffalo struggling against the run, but Cam also has upside to play well. Jameis Winston faces the Bears who struggle against the pass. But, with all the injuries they have had, will Winston have to throw in the second half? Carson Palmer is interesting, as he gets a weak Colts defense. The concerns are his arm and how does the offense do with out David Johnson?
At running back, it's going to be tough to fill in this deep. Ty Montgomery should see touches in a high scoring game, but I'm not sure Green Bay will run much. If you have a feeling on what Patriot running back will succeed, take them. I will take James White, but are you surprised if it's Gillislee or Burkhead? Jonathan Stewart gets a Bills run defense that was awful a year ago. Carlos Hyde should see a lot of touches, but the game in Seattle is not an ideal spot. I will probably take both of my RBs by the 4th round for this reason.
At wide receiver, I like the idea of getting Davante Adams or Randall Cobb later in drafts, as they aren't ranked high in the DRAFT rankings. Larry Fitzgerald has a great matchup against the Colts, so he can be used. Chris Hogan should bounce back in a game I see the Patriots scoring at least 30 in. Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree are usable, but the concern is will they have many chances after halftime? I'm fading Odell Beckham Jr. since we probably won't know until Monday night what his status is. If you want to take a chance on Beckham, be ready to adjust on Monday night to someone from the Giants or Lions. I would rank the replacements as follows: Golden Tate, Kenny Golladay, and Brandon Marshall if you go this route.
As best as you can, try to get some exposure to the Patriots, Packers, and Falcons this week. Let everyone take QB early: build up the other positions and wait until Round 5 for QBs in 2-4 player leagues. Finally, Fantistics will post games on Saturdays. To see them, follow FantisticsRadio and you will see the $10, 10-man games appear in the lobby on Saturday. I will jump in a couple of them throughout the day (skeeter1114). Good luck with all of your week tw0 NFL contests, and let's hope we see some better football than we did last week.!