14 players to start or sit in fantasy football for Week 2

David Richard/AP ImagesKareem Hunt.
  • Week 2 of the NFL season is here.
  • Here are 14 players – 4 quarterbacks, 4 running backs, 4 wide receivers, 2 tight ends – to start or sit in fantasy football this week.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Week 2 of the NFL season begins Thursday, and it’s time to start setting lineups.

Once again, we’re doing a weekly start/sit column, highlighting non-obvious players that fantasy managers might have a tough time deciding on. For the most part, we’ll avoid obvious choices (i.e. yes, you should start Christian McCaffrey).

Here are our choices for who to start and who to sit for Week 2.

START: Josh Allen, QB

Brett Carlsen/AP ImagesJosh Allen.

Team: Buffalo Bills

Opponent: at Miami Dolphins

Why you should start him: Allen has probably earned his way into lineups pretty consistently, but he’s got a great matchup in Week 2. In two games against the Dolphins last year, Allen completed 62% of his passes for 458 yards, 5 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions, and added 88 rushing yards and a rushing TD. While volume may be an issue in this one since the Bills could lead comfortably, Allen’s got the chance to put up some solid numbers.

SIT: Carson Wentz, QB

Daniel Kucin Jr./AP ImagesCarson Wentz.

Team: Philadelphia Eagles

Opponent: vs. Los Angeles Rams

Why you should sit him: Wentz had a disappointing Week 1 against the Washington Football Team, getting sacked 8 times and throwing 2 interceptions. While offensive tackle Lane Johnson might be back this week, the Eagles’ offensive line looks shaky. That’s not good for a matchup against Aaron Donald and the Rams, who just rushed Dak Prescott and the Cowboys into short passes. Plus, with running back Miles Sanders expected to be back, the Eagles may lean a little more on their run game after Wentz threw 42 passes last week.

START: Tom Brady, QB

Tyler Kaufman/AP ImagesTom Brady.

Team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Opponent: vs. Carolina Panthers

Why you should start him: Don’t give up on Brady yet. He had a disappointing Week 1, but bet on the Bucs turning things around offensively after their lacklustre showing against the Saints. They’re back home and get the Panthers, a weak defensive team that just allowed 34 points to the Las Vegas Raiders. The Bucs weapons (perhaps besides running back Josh Jacobs) are better than the Raiders, so there’s a chance Brady tosses multiple touchdowns in this one.

SIT: Daniel Jones, QB

Adam Hunger/AP ImagesDaniel Jones.

Team: New York Giants

Opponent: at Chicago Bears

Why you should sit him: Jones had some very good and some very bad plays against the Steelers in Week 1; we might be talking about him differently if he hadn’t thrown a terrible interception to end an 18-play, 93-yard drive in the second quarter. Still, the Giants’ offensive line looks like a concern after Saquon Barkley rushed for just 6 yards against Pittsburgh. While the Bears defence might not be what it was in 2018, they did just force Matthew Stafford into a 24-of-42, 1-touchdown, 1-interception day last week.

START: Kareem Hunt, RB

David Richard/AP ImagesKareem Hunt.

Team: Cleveland Browns

Opponent: vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Why you should start him: Hunt and Nick Chubb had almost a 50-50 time-share on the field last week, but Hunt ended up with more carries and catches than Chubb. That may have been a function of the Browns trailing the Ravens by multiple touchdowns, as Hunt can be used as a receiver, but he nonetheless looks poised for a big work-load. Given that the Bengals just gave up 144 combined yards and a touchdown to Austin Ekeler and Joshua Kelley of the Chargers in a low-scoring game, both Hunt and Chubb should post solid numbers.

SIT: Sony Michel, RB

Ron Schwane/APSony Michel.

Team: New England Patriots

Opponent: vs. Seattle Seahawks

Why you should sit him: As has been the case through much of his career, Michel wasn’t terribly efficient with the ball in Week 1, mustering 37 yards on 10 carries. A touchdown saved his fantasy day. However, with the Seahawks visiting in Week 2, the Patriots may have to throw the ball more – Michel received no targets in Week 1. Seattle also did a decent job against the run in Week 1, holding the Falcons to just 72 rushing yards on 4.0 yards per carry.

START: Ronald Jones II, RB

Chris O’Meara/AP ImagesRonald Jones II.

Team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Opponent: vs. Carolina Panthers

Why you should start him: Jones wasn’t super efficient in Week 1, but he did get 17 carries and 3 targets, easily beating Leonard Fournette’s 5 carries. The Bucs may slowly integrate Fournette, so don’t expect a huge leap from Week 1 to Week 2. As mentioned, the Panthers just got gashed on the ground by Josh Jacobs and the Raiders. Jones should be able to top last week’s numbers, especially if the Bucs take the lead.

SIT: Jordan Howard, RB

Lynne Sladky/AP ImagesJordan Howard.

Team: Miami Dolphins

Opponent: vs. Buffalo Bills

Why you should sit him: Some saw Howard as a fantasy sleeper as a goal-line back that could get around 50% of the touches in a “meh” offence. Instead, Howard got out-snapped by Myles Gaskin and Matt Breida while getting just eight carries for 7 yards in Week 1. He did turn one of those into a touchdown, saving his fantasy value, but that makes him a touchdown-dependent player in a game the Dolphins figure to trail.

START: Amari Cooper, WR

Roger Steinman/AP ImagesAmari Cooper.

Team: Dallas Cowboys

Opponent: vs. Atlanta Falcons

Why you should start him: The preseason concern about Cooper was if he could get enough targets in the crowded Cowboys offence – he got 14 in Week 1. He produced only 81 yards on his 10 catches, but the Cowboys’ offence was rushed by Aaron Donald and the Rams pressure. This week, Dallas gets the Falcons in what will likely be a shootout. Cooper has the chance the put up big numbers.

SIT: DeSean Jackson, WR

Chris Szagola/APDeSean Jackson.

Team: Philadelphia Eagles

Opponent: vs. Los Angeles Rams

Why you should sit him: As we mentioned with Wentz, the Rams pass rush figures to get after the Eagles in Week 2. That may impact DeSean Jackson, who lines up on the outside and runs deep routes. He had just two catches on seven targets in Week 1, but he still went for 46 yards; he’s always just a play away from a huge day. However, the Rams brought a ton of pressure on the Cowboys, forcing them to dink and dunk. Of all of the weeks for Jackson to have a big game, this one feels low in probability.

START: Parris Campbell, WR

Gary McCullough/AP ImagesParris Campbell.

Team: Indianapolis Colts

Opponent: vs. Minnesota Vikings

Why you should start him: Campbell led the Colts in targets in Week 1, finishing with a 6-71-0 line. He now gets a Vikings defence that was shredded by the Packers from the slot, where Campbell ran 95% of his routes against the Colts. It’s a bit of a gamble since we don’t have a ton of history with Campbell, but it could pay off, especially if he can find the end zone against a team that gave up 5 touchdowns in Week 1.

SIT: Courtland Sutton, WR

Marcio Jose Sanchez/APCourtland Sutton.

Team: Denver Broncos

Opponent: at Pittsburgh Steelers

Why you should sit him: Sutton missed last week with a shoulder injury, so it’s wise to exercise some caution. If he does play, he gets the vicious Steelers defence. The Giants’ Darius Slayton did break free for 6 catches, 102 yards, and 2 touchdowns against Pittsburgh, but no other Giants receiver had more than 50 yards. Denver’s passing game was sluggish against the Titans and may suffer if the Steelers are also able to shut down Melvin Gordon in the run game. It’s understandable to play Sutton, but don’t automatically assume he’ll pick up where he left off last year.

START: Jared Cook, TE

Brian Blanco/AP ImagesJared Cook.

Team: New Orleans Saints

Opponent: at Las Vegas Raiders

Why you should start him: Over his last eight games, Cook now has 28 catches, 537 yards, and 7 touchdowns. Some thought his big numbers down the stretch of last season were fluky, but he had 5 catches and 80 yards to open up 2020. He’s clearly a part of the offence, and if Michael Thomas misses time, Cook should see even more targets. The Raiders allowed big games to tight ends last year, and Cook has a chance to go off against his former team.

SIT: Eric Ebron, TE

Adam Hunger/AP ImagesEric Ebron.

Team: Pittsburgh Steelers

Opponent: vs. Denver Broncos

Why you should sit him: Ebron has had productive fantasy seasons, but in Week 1, he had just 1 catch for 18 yards. It’s fair to be concerned about the Steelers’ usage of tight ends after many predicted Vance McDonald to be a breakout player last year before he finished as TE35. The Broncos did give up a touchdown to Jonnu Smith of the Titans last week, but Smith still only had 4 catches for 36 yards, so it wasn’t a monster performance. There are better options than Ebron.

Now, see where all 32 teams stand going into Week 2…

Danny Karnik/AP Images

NFL POWER RANKINGS: Where every team stands heading into Week 2 >

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