Week 2 of the NFL kicks off on Thursday night with the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals, and that means fantasy football owners everywhere will be scrambling to get their lineups in order.
We went through all 16 games slated for Week 2 and picked out players we think could have big weeks, based on matchups, usage, and opportunity.
While some choices may be obvious based on a player’s status or when they were picked, others are deeper sleepers who could have big weeks.
Take a look at potential breakout fantasy football players for each game this week:
1. Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals — Michael Crabtree, WR, Ravens
Week 1 stats: 6 targets, 3 catches, 38 yards, 1 TD
Consensus ranking: 30.6 among WRs
Why he could break out: Crabtree was tied with three other Baltimore receivers for most targets from Joe Flacco. But in beating the Bills 47-3, the game script did not call for much passing, and Crabtree sat in the second half. He may get more defensive attention from the Bengals this week, but his opportunity to be the Ravens’ No. 1 receiver could be much bigger, too.
2. Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers — Kareem Hunt, RB, Chiefs
Week 1 stats: 16 carries, 49 yards, 0 TDs
Consensus ranking: 7.3 among RBs
Why he could break out: Hunt, a common first-round pick, was a letdown in his first game. However, the Chiefs kept making big plays via the pass or on special teams, minimising the amount Hunt was needed. It was also the first time in his career that he was held without a catch. He should fare better against a Steelers defence that has struggled against the run.
3. Miami Dolphins at New York Jets — Bilal Powell, RB, Jets
Week 1 stats: 12 carries, 1 catch, 65 total yards, 0 TDs
Consensus ranking: 33.6 among RBs
Why he could break out: Isaiah Crowell was the star running back for the Jets in Week 1, but it could have gone the other way. Crowell’s numbers were inflated by a 62-yard touchdown run. Without it, he would have had 9 carries for 40 yards. Meanwhile, Powell averaged 5 yards per carry, and this Dolphins team just gave up 110 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown to Dion Lewis in Week 1. Crowell got the red-zone carries for the Jets in Week 1, but Powell has a good opportunity to take the lead this week.
4. Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Nelson Agholor, WR, Eagles
Week 1 stats: 10 targets, 8 catches, 33 yards, 0 TDs
Consensus ranking: 22.6 among WRs
Why he could break out: Nick Foles struggled to move the ball against the Falcons in Week 1. But this Bucs defence just gave up 292 receiving yards combined to Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara last week. If Foles can get it going, Agholor should have more space to operate. It also helps that Alshon Jeffery is still out, so Agholor will continue to have a bigger role.
5. Cleveland Browns at New Orleans Saints — Josh Gordon, WR, Browns
Week 1 stats: 3 targets, 1 catch, 17 yards, 1 TD
Consensus ranking: 21.6 among WRs
Why he could break out: Gordon wasn’t a starter in Week 1, but still played most of the snaps. Officially listed as a starter for Week 2, Gordon has the chance to see more targets against a Saints defence that just got lit up by the Bucs in Week 1.
6. Indianapolis Colts at Washington Redskins — Chris Thompson, RB, Redskins
Week 1 stats: 5 carries, 6 catches, 128 total yards, 1 TD
Consensus ranking: 26 among RBs
Why he could break out: An underrated fantasy player, Thompson has either topped 65 total yards or had a touchdown in nine of his last 11 games, dating back to last season. He has a high floor and high ceiling and should feast against a weak Colts defence that gave up 149 total yards to Joe Mixon in Week 1.
7. Los Angeles Chargers at Buffalo Bills — Austin Ekeler, RB, Chargers
Week 1 stats: 5 catches, 5 carries, 126 total yards, 1 TD
Consensus ranking: 44.3 among RBs
Why he could break out: A popular waiver wire pickup, Ekeler may be in line for another big week. It’s a risky pick, but if this game goes anything like the Bills’ Week 1 game, the Chargers should have a big lead by the second half. That could allow them to rest Melvin Gordon, giving Ekeler a big role in the running and passing game.
8. Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers — Jimmy Graham, TE, Packers
Week 1 stats: 4 targets, 2 catches, 8 yards, 0 TDs
Consensus ranking: 8.3 among TEs
Why he could break out: Graham had a disappointing Week 1, and there’s a chance that the trend of Aaron Rodgers overlooking tight ends continues. But this Vikings defence also allowed 49ers tight end George Kittle to grab 5 catches for 90 yards (plus a dropped touchdown) in Week 1. Graham might have similar success if the Vikings take away the Packers’ top receivers. Graham could also act as something of a safety valve for DeShone Kizer if Rodgers is out this week.
9. Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons — Tevin Coleman, RB, Falcons
Week 1 stats: 9 carries, 1 catch, 45 total yards, 1 TD
Consensus ranking: 30 among RBs
Why he could break out: Devonta Freeman hurt his knee in Week 1 and is questionable for Sunday’s game. Even if he plays, he’ll likely be limited. Coleman has always been explosive when given the opportunity, and he averaged nearly 20 touches per game last season when Freeman missed time. The Panthers are a tough matchup, but Coleman should have the workload to make him a worthwhile play.
10. Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans —Will Fuller, WR, Texans
Week 1 stats: none – didn’t play
Consensus ranking: 48.6 among WRs
Why he could break out: Fuller is questionable, so make sure he’s playing before considering giving him a shot. The Titans just gave up 100 yards and two touchdowns to the Dolphins’ deep threat, Kenny Stills, in Week 1. But when Fuller has played, he’s been a touchdown machine. Even though his touchdown rate is likely to regress slightly – even still, the Texans badly need his down-field speed.
11. Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams —Cooper Kupp, WR, Rams
Week 1 stats: 5 catches, 2 carries, 68 total yards, 1 TD
Consensus ranking: 28.6 among WRs
Why he could break out: Kupp saw the most targets of any Rams receiver in Week 1 but had a few drops. Alex Smith had success going underneath and over the middle against the Cardinals in Week 1, and Jared Goff could have the same success with Kupp this week. Brandin Cooks is a threat for big plays, but Kupp might be the safer bet.
12, Detroit Lions at San Francisco 49ers — Alfred Morris, RB, 49ers
Week 1 stats: 12 carries, 38 yards, 0 TDs
Consensus ranking: 34 among RBs
Why he could break out: Morris got the bulk of the work early for the 49ers in Week 1, but (unsurprisingly) had trouble against the Vikings’ defence. This week, he gets the Lions, who just allowed 102 yards to Isaiah Crowell (including a red-zone run, where Morris got stood up last week).
13. Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos — Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Broncos
Week 1 stats: 10 catches, 135 yards, 1 TD
Consensus ranking: 15 among WRs
Why he could break out: Sanders racked up big numbers against the Seahawks in Week 1. Against a Raiders team with defensive issues, he could be one of the higher-scoring wide receivers, particularly with the way Case Keenum seems to favour him.
14. New England Patriots at Jacksonville Jaguars — Jaguars RBs
Week 1 stats: Leonard Fournette – 9 carries, 3 catches, 55 total yards, 0 TDs; T.J. Yeldon – 14 carries, 3 catches, 69 total yards, 1 TD
Consensus ranking: Fournette: 15.5 among RBs, Yeldon: 35 among RBs
Why he could break out: Fournette is questionable with a hamstring issue, making it unclear who might be the lead back in this one. But either player could be in line for a big game if they have the lead role. The Patriots ranked 31st in run defence last year and in Week 1 gave up 98 rushing yards to Lamar Miller and 36 yards on 5 carries (7 ypc) to Alfred Blue. With a strong offensive line, Fournette or Yeldon could have a big week.
15. New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys — Sterling Shepard, WR, Giants
Week 1 stats: 7 targets, 5 catches, 48 yards, 0 TDs
Consensus ranking: 38.6 among WRs
Why he could break out: Shepard is firmly behind Odell Beckham Jr. and Saquon Barkley in the offence’s pecking order, but he gets a good matchup in the slot this week against the Cowboys. Dallas held most of the Panthers’ best options in check in Week 1, but Shepard could benefit from having the best matchup in a game the Giants will be desperate to win.
16. Seattle Seahawks at Chicago Bears — Allen Robinson, WR, Bears
Week 1 stats: 7 targets, 4 catches, 61 yards, 0 TDs
Consensus ranking: 19 among WRs
Why he could break out: Robinson had a few impressive catches early in Week 1 while Mitchell Trubisky came out slinging the ball for the Bears. Though the Bears got more conservative in the second half, Robinson still led the team in targets in his first regular-season game since tearing his ACL last year. As he and Trubisky get more comfortable, Robinson has an obvious role as the No. 1 receiver on the Bears. This week, he gets a Seahawks defence that gave up 198 combined yards to Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas last week.
Now, take a look at who’s on top heading into Week 2…
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