Week 2 of the NFL season involves some of the toughest start/sit decisions of the season for fantasy football managers. There still isn't much to draw from outside of 2021 statistics, training camp reports, gut feelings and one week worth of stats. Seeking out favorable matchups and positive game scripts go a long way in a making crucial roster decisions.
With that in mind, here are The Duel's Week 2 start 'em, sit 'em picks for fantasy football.
Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 1 Quarterbacks
Start Matthew Stafford, QB, Los Angeles Rams (vs ATL): Matthew Stafford has a chance to redeem himself after a rough QB29 performance in Week 1 against the Buffalo Bills. Don't get it twisted. The Bills may have the best defense in football and took away every fantasy performance from a Rams' playmaker outside of Cooper Kupp. But, Sean McVay's play calling gave Stafford every opportunity for a strong performance. The veteran QB put up 41 passing attempts, and had he not thrown three interceptions or been sacked seven times, it would have been a respectable fantasy performance. The Falcons defense is not intimidating, in any sense of the word. They gave up 234 passing yards, 2 TDs and 0 INTs to Jameis Winston. They also allowed seventh-most QB fantasy points and rank a below-average 18th in Football Outsiders' pass-defense DVOA metric. Expect Stafford and this high-flying offense to rebound in Week 2.
Sit Matt Ryan, QB, Indianapolis Colts (at JAX): Matt Ryan racked up a whopping 50 pass attempts in Week 1, yet only finished as the No. 19 QB in fantasy football because he threw just 1 touchdown to go along with 1 interception. That has to be concerning as Ryan may never again get as much leeway as he did versus the Houston Texans. Taylor rushed for 161 yards and 1 touchdown on 31 carries, proving he is still the focal point of this offense. If the Colts can get out to an early lead on the Jaguars, they are going to run the ball on every drive. Ryan is nothing more than a backup QB option in fantasy football.
Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 1 Running Backs
Start Chase Edmonds, RB, Miami Dolphins (at BAL): There was a lot to like about the role Chase Edmonds played on Miami's offense in Week 1. His snap count percentage of 63% greatly outweighed Raheem Mostert's snap count percentage of 42%, as did his workload. Edmonds saw 12 carries and hauled in 4 receptions for a total of 65 yards. His chemistry with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in the passing attack should come in handy against a Baltimore defense that gave up the seventh-most receiving yards to opposing RBs in 2021 (743). The Ravens also allowed 5.2 yards per carry against New York Jets' RBs in Week 1. Start Edmonds with confidence on Sunday.
Sit Travis Etienne, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs IND): Fantasy managers that were wondering how the snap count would differ between Travis Etienne and James Robinson got their answer in Week 1. Etienne played in 51% of the offensive snaps and Robinson played in 49% of the offensive snaps. While this certainly doesn't mean that it is going to be a backfield by committee in Jacksonville for the rest of the season, it makes it hard to trust Etienne in Week 2. After all, the Colts gave up only 36 yards on 5 receptions to RBs in Week 1. That limits Etienne's upside in this game and makes him a FLEX option at best.
Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 1 Wide Receivers
Start Drake London, WR, Atlanta Falcons (at LAR): The Falcons almost took down the New Orleans Saints in Week 1 thanks to 201 rushing yards. It's going to be much harder to run the football against a Rams defense that posted the fifth-best rush defense DVOA rating in 2021, though. Atlanta will have to pass the ball more often, which gives rookie wideout Drake London a ton of upside. London hauled in 5 of his 7 targets on Sunday for 74 yards and played in 72% of the Falcons' offensive snaps. He has a chance to score in Week 2 as well after the Rams gave up a pair of touchdowns to opposing WRs in Week 1.
Sit Joshua Palmer, WR, Los Angeles Chargers (at KC): The injury to starting wide receiver Keenan Allen opens the door for someone on the Chargers offense to see more targets. However, trusting Joshua Palmer to be that guy is risky. Palmer played in 75% of the offensive snaps in Week 1, yet only posted 5 yards on 3 receptions (5 targets). His routes stayed short as Mike Williams and DeAndre Carter took over the middle of the field, instead. The Chiefs gave up just 205 passing yards in Week 1 and held Palmer to only 15 yards on 1 catch across two matchups in 2021. Expect more of the same in Week 2.
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Adam Taylor McKillop is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Adam Taylor also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username atmckillop. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.