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Booms and Busts for Week 2 Lineups

Just as fast as it took for us to get to the beginning of the 2021 NFL season, Week 1 has come and gone in the fantasy football world. And it was a whirlwind of a week at that. Whether it be dealing with injuries like Raheem Mostert or navigating through player news that affected decisions like Trey Sermon or D'Andre Swift, fantasy managers were treated to a wild first week of the season. Player performances were all over the board last week with the likes of Derek Carr, Jared Goff, and Sterling Shepard all finishing near the top of their respective positions. Some of this was due to positive game scripts leading to success in production. But most often than not, it's identifying plus matchups that lead to setting the most optimal lineups for managers. Setting your starting lineups blindly based on draft capital or name recognition can always lead to failure in fantasy and is something that a savvy manager stays away from.

Now that we are a week into the season, there is actual statistical data that is recent that we can rely on. That makes all the difference as we analyze the matchups for Week 2. It's no longer a guessing game as looking through the data proves to be a breaking point when you are making tough calls for those final spots in your starting lineups. Heading into this week there are several games to attack from an upside standpoint if you have a prototypical starter that you are wavering on with a difficult game ahead of them. Those elite-level players are the ones that you will be playing regardless based on workload and a potential volume, even in a tough matchup. It's just those fringe players that can tend to be a hassle as they can leave you scratching your head. This can blend itself into more of a discussion point to replace the player for another with a better matchup. That is how you win in fantasy. Using all the tools at your disposal that will help you make the tough calls and set the best possible lineup for the win.

That is the purpose here as I give you some players that you should be considering in your lineups that may go against the grain. These players that I "Woo" are the ones that are not weekly starters per se, but with plus matchups ahead of them, they should be in your lineups due to upside. While the players that I "Boo" are ones that you may insert into the lineup without a second thought. But if you dig deeper into the matchups, expectations should be tempered, making them a candidate for the bench.

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Week 2 Woos - The Good

Joe Burrow @ Chicago Bears

After a very strong outing last week, Burrow should have dispelled all the rumors on where he stood after the knee injury he sustained in 2020. His 261 passing yards and two scores (18.6 FP) left him with a modest QB18 finish for the week, but still, the signs were encouraging. He was top 10 in both air yards per attempt (9.3) and money throws (4) showing an eagerness to get down the field. As he knocks the rust off, the numbers should only improve. Expect that to be the case this week as he will be going against a Bears secondary that was just torched by Matt Stafford and the Rams. The 24.3 FP allowed put this defense in the bottom third in the league and should be exploitable yet again. Look for Burrow to return low-end QB1 numbers in this game. Making him a capable starter if you are streaming at the position.

Javonte Williams @ Jacksonville Jaguars

As big as I was of a Javonte Williams supporter heading into the NFL Draft, the worry coming out was the landing spot. Knowing that he would be splitting time with Melvin Gordon could only stunt his growth and that came to fruition to a degree in Week 1. The snaps were split at 50% each, not allowing either back to get into a rhythm leading to Williams's poor performance (5.1 FP). That should quickly change in Week 2 as the Broncos will be facing a Jaguars team coming off of an embarrassing loss to the Texans a week ago. Giving up 32.4 FP to the Texans backfield landed this defense near the bottom of the league. Look for the Broncos to attack this team on the ground with both Gordon and Williams. Playing ahead in this game should allow for plenty of opportunities for both backs and I expect to see Williams thrive in this matchup. Yardage and scoring could be plentiful leading to a finish as a low-end RB2/Flex play in Week 2.

Jarvis Landry vs. Houston Texans

Landry performed admirably in Week 1 against the Chiefs with the absence of Odell Beckham. He caught all five targets (71 yards) and even got into the end-zone with a rushing score. His 19.4 FP led to a WR17 finish which was not bad for a team that struggled to throw the ball during most of the game. Baker Mayfield and the passing attack should get healthy this week as they face a soft Texans secondary. The Browns offense as a whole should find success in this game, but with Beckham out yet again, the chance is there for Landry to put a big number on the board. Although I would not be shocked to see him finish Week 2 in the WR1 area, a finish as a WR2 is more realistic. Making him a player you should find a way to get into your lineups.

Jared Cook vs. Dallas Cowboys

Entering the twilight of his career and finding himself on yet another new team, Cook came out of the gates hot in his season debut. Targeted eight times and bringing in five catches for 56 yards (10.6 FP), he was certainly involved in the Chargers' passing attack. Another solid performance should be in store for Cook yet again as the Chargers will be playing a Cowboys defense that was just owned by Rob Gronkowski last week. Something that may go overlooked is the injury to Demarcus Lawrence for Dallas. This will free Cook up from blocking assignments, allowing him to run more routes in the passing game. And with this game expected to be a back and forth affair, Cook should award fantasy managers with a strong TE1 performance.

 

Week 2 Boos - The Bad

Lamar Jackson vs. Kansas City Chiefs

By no stretch of the imagination am I advocating for managers to bench Lamar Jackson this week in fantasy. But just to merely lower expectations to a degree. He struggled on Monday night against a less than stellar Raiders defense to the tune of 18 FP, placing him at QB20 on the week. Even with the 86 rushing yards, the lack of presence in the passing game (235 yards and a score) limited his upside. Next up is a Chiefs defense that severely limited the Browns through the air in Week 1 (13.6 FP). On top of that, Jackson has failed to top 22 FP in any game in his career against the defense. The upside is always there for Jackson in fantasy production to finish as a QB1, but with the concerns there, a finish as a QB2 again this week is not out of the realm of possibility.

Elijah Mitchell @ Philadelphia

The newfound gem of the waiver wire, Mitchell is a player that many managers will be excited to get into their lineups after an amazing performance last week (104 yards and a TD). We all know the successes of Kyle Shanahan and the running backs that he uses in his system. But the keyword is "backs". Shanahan always trots out multiple backs during games and that should be the case this week with Trey Sermon expected to be active and involved. Not to mention going on the road to play an Eagles defense that was very strong against the run last week (10.3 FP allowed). With the tough matchup ahead and workload being split, Mitchell may prove to be fool's gold this week after fantasy managers emptied the bank in waivers.

Julio Jones @ Seattle Seahawks

Plenty of excitement came from the fantasy community after the Titans made the trade for Julio Jones in the offseason. A lot of hype surrounded this passing attack and what they could accomplish with the weapons at hand. Well, that excitement quickly sputtered as the Titans struggled to even move the ball in the opener against the Cardinals. Jones himself had a poor game, turning six targets into just three receptions for 29 yards. Much of the blame could be pointed towards the offensive line that left Ryan Tannehill under pressure all day long. That could be the case yet again this week as the Titans go to Seattle and play a Seahawks defense that pressured Carson Wentz quite a bit in Week 1 (three sacks). If Tannehill struggles to get time again in this game, it will limit the opportunities for Jones to make an impact. Drafted as a potential WR2, Jones should be viewed as more of a WR3/Flex play in this game.

Kyle Pitts @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The much-ballyhooed rookie Pitts was a player that nearly everyone was excited to see play in the season opener. But after he turned eight targets into just four catches for 31, he fell pretty flat. Much of that could be shouldered on Matt Ryan's poor performance, as he showed yet again the inconsistencies that can plague him without Julio Jones. Don't look for a turnaround this week as the Falcons go on the road to play a stout Buccaneers defense. I expect to see the Falcons offense play poorly yet again in this game, limiting the upside for Pitts and making him a borderline TE1. There may be better opportunities for fantasy managers to grab and stream off the waiver wire this week.



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ROTOBALLER PLAYER NEWS

Ji-Man Choi2 hours ago

Isn't In Monday's Lineup
David Peralta2 hours ago

Not In Monday's Lineup
Jahan Dotson2 hours ago

To Miss 1-2 Weeks
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Strikes Out Four Against Astros On Sunday
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