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Start Redskins Adrian Peterson and Everyone Else Against the Colts’ Defense

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George Kurtz September 13, 2018 10:14AM EST
Ranking the Fantasy Football defensive matchups for Week 2

It’s Week 2 of the Fantasy Football season. Patience, folks. I know in this society we are not a big fan of patience and yes, the Fantasy Football season comes and goes so quickly, but let’s not make any rash judgments. This goes for more than just your DSTs. Yes, the Saints and Chargers were lit up last week, but that doesn’t mean they won’t rebound. Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t move on from those two DSTs—especially if a team like the Bears is available—just make sure you’re not making any decisions now that you will regret later. As usual, the teams at the top are the teams you want to start players against; at the bottom are the defenses you want to start (and maybe avoid with other players).

  1. Buffalo Bills (against Los Angeles Chargers): Everyone goes here for the Chargers, including Antonio Gates, who is a nice replacement for those that lost Greg Olsen and/or Delanie Walker. As for Austin Ekeler, he’s still just a backup to Melvin Gordon, but if this game ends up being a blowout (which is completely plausible), he will get more work than expected in the second half. Still, I hope you can do better on your roster.
  2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (against Philadelphia Eagles): For all the talk about the Bucs’ offense and Ryan Fitzpatrick, let’s not forget that the defense was roasted by Drew Brees, and they may be down their top two CBs this week. I still can’t start Nick Foles however; he just looks like payment has come due on his soul.
  3. Oakland Raiders (against Denver Broncos): Phillip Lindsay is going to be a popular waiver wire addition this week, but be careful about automatically inserting him into your lineup or taking Royce Freeman out. Freeman is still the top back for Denver, but Lindsay has at least carved out a third-down role. Case Keenum could be a sneaky play as well if, for example, Aaron Rodgers were to miss the game due to his knee injury and you need an emergency backup.
  4. Kansas City Chiefs (against Pittsburgh Steelers): If there were any doubts about starting James Conner, he erased them all with a huge performance against the Browns last week. Ben Roethlisberger has a banged-up elbow but is likely to start for Pittsburgh, and he should start for your Fantasy team.
  5. Green Bay Packers (against Minnesota Vikings): The Vikings will be playing a beat-up Packers team Sunday but that really doesn’t change much. Either way, you’re starting all of your normal offensive players here. Latavius Murray is the one exception; he should be on your bench.
  6. Cleveland Browns (against New Orleans Saints): If the Saints’ defense is taking a major step back, then last Sunday won’t be the last shootout they are involved in. The only question marks here are about starting anyone other than Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas and Drew Brees. I’d lean towards no, with the possible exception of Ben Watson, who could be someone you turn to at TE due to injuries.
  7. San Francisco 49ers (against Detroit Lions): The run game for the Lions didn’t look all that improved Monday. You’re certainly not starting LeGarrette Blount, as you can’t rely on a rushing touchdown for him. Kerryon Johnson didn’t show much Monday but then again, the Lions trailed for most of the game, which forced them to throw the ball much more often than not. If that Detroit defense doesn’t improve, the run game won’t matter anyway. Kenny Golladay looked to be a favorite target of Matthew Stafford, at least when he wasn’t throwing passes to the Jets. Golladay is in my lineup and so are Golden Tate and Marvin Jones, as I once again expect Detroit to be trailing in this one.
  8. Indianapolis Colts (against Washington Redskins): Adrian Peterson proved in Week 1 that he still has some gas left in the tank, and he is pretty close to a must start here. Really, if you have a Washington player on your team and aren’t starting him, why is he on your team? This may be the best matchup they have all season.
  9. Carolina Panthers (against Atlanta Falcons): Matt Ryan was great between the 20s in Week 1, but horrible in the red zone. He missed several passes to open receivers in the end zone; it wasn’t all on the offensive coordinator, as some people were saying. Ryan is a high end QB2 this week. Devonta Freeman should be good to go in this game and he starts for you, but so does Tevin Coleman. Mohamed Sanu is a much better play than Calvin Ridley.
  10. Pittsburgh Steelers (against Kansas City Chiefs): Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill were extremely impressive last week and are must starts here. Travis Kelce wasn’t, and I understand the worry about a new QB not using the TE as much. I can’t argue with that line of thinking, but I also chalk last week up as “just one of those games.”
  11. Arizona Cardinals (against Los Angeles Rams): Patrick Peterson will give whichever receiver lines up against him a tough game, but he doesn’t travel across the field so there isn’t any WR that you should avoid here; they all start. Jared Goff also sneaks into my Top 12 QBs this week.
  12. Miami Dolphins (against New York Jets): Despite throwing his first pass for a pick six, Sam Darnold was impressive in his debut. He’s not a QB1, however. Quincy Enunwa is a WR3, especially in PPR leagues, as he looks to be Darnold’s BFF. Bilal Powell and Isaiah Crowell are both startable as well, as the Jets’ offense seems to be better than expected.
  13. Cincinnati Bengals (against Baltimore Ravens): Each of the newly acquired WRs for the Ravens scored in Week 1. While I doubt that continues, it does show that this Ravens’ offense may not be what is used to be. Joe Flacco is still not a start, but Michael Crabtree has to be in your lineup and John Brown could also be a flex play. Alex Collins was a huge disappointment last week but should get more touches this week, as Kenneth Dixon is out several weeks due to injury.
  14. Detroit Lions (against San Francisco 49ers): I didn’t want to start Jimmy Garoppolo last week—nor really the entire WR corps—because of the matchup against the Vikings’ defense. That is not the case this week, but watch the status of Marquise Goodwin, as he is dealing with a calf injury. Alfred Morris and Matt Breida weren’t all that impressive last Sunday, but they will both get better.
  15. Seattle Seahawks (against Chicago Bears): Jordan Howard is going to have a great Fantasy season if the Bears keep throwing him passes. I’m not shying away from Tarik Cohen, however, as there should be enough balls to keep both happy.
  16. Dallas Cowboys (against Jacksonville Jaguars): It’s all about the offensive line for the Giants. It didn’t hold up Week 1 against Jacksonville, as it seemed like Eli Manning was either harassed or the line was taking a penalty to negate a positive play every down. The Cowboys’ defensive front is good, but it’s not Jacksonville. Life should be better this week for secondary players like Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard.
  17. Atlanta Falcons (against Carolina Panthers): Greg Olsen wasn’t placed on injured reserve, but he’s out of the lineup for at least several weeks with a fracture in his foot once again. Who will replace Olsen as Cam Newton’s favorite target? My bet is on Devin Funchess, and he may be the only WR you should trust on the Panthers.
  18. Philadelphia Eagles (against Tampa Bay Buccaneers): Maybe Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht knew what was going to happen when he stated during preseason that Jameis Winston wouldn’t necessarily be the starting QB for the team when he returns from suspension in Week 4. Ryan Fitzpatrick was fantastic against the Saints. You’re still not starting him here, however. You would like to start DeSean Jackson, but he is in concussion protocol and may not be ready to play Sunday. If he is unavailable, Chris Godwin becomes a sneaky flex play. Fitzpatrick also seems to prefer throwing to O.J. Howard over Cameron Brate.
  19. New England Patriots (against Jacksonville Jaguars): You’re starting Leonard Fournette if he’s healthy enough to play. But if he’s inactive, feel comfortable starting T.J. Yeldon. The WR corps is going to be close to a guessing game each week. Dede Westbrook still looks like the splash play, while Keenan Cole may provide more consistency, but you shouldn’t be going out of your way to get either one in your lineup.
  20. New York Jets (against Miami Dolphins): It shouldn’t matter much to Fantasy owners whether or not DeVante Parker plays; he’s a wait-and-see at best. Kenny Stills is a big play WR; if Ryan Tannehill makes the connection, he will pay off. If not, oh well. Frank Gore is going to eat into the touches of Kenyan Drake, but you’re still starting Drake.
  21. Tennessee Titans (against Houston Texans): Deshaun Watson may never be the player he was last season, but he will improve. However, this may not be the week he posts big numbers. I’ll sit Will Fuller even if he is available to play.
  22. New York Giants (against Dallas Cowboys): As expected, the Cowboys’ passing offense was non-existent in Week 1. It can’t get much worse, but isn’t likely to light up the scoreboard Sunday night, either. The Cowboys have to wonder if Dak Prescott is indeed a franchise QB. Ezekiel Elliott or bust here.
  23. Baltimore Ravens (against Cincinnati Bengals): Joe Mixon is a start either way, but some want to put him into the elite category after a big game versus a Colts’ defense that is undermanned, to say the least. The same won’t be true Thursday. John Ross only caught one pass Sunday, but it was a TD. Still, I’m sitting him here.
  24. Jacksonville Jaguars (against New England Patriots): Speaking of WRs with only one reception last week, I bring you Chris Hogan. He just wasn’t a part of the game plan in Week 1. Even if he is this week, he’s going to see a whole lot of Jalen Ramsey. I’m not all that interested in the WRs for the Pats here. Give me James White and Rex Burkhead.
  25. Chicago Bears (against Seattle Seahawks): It’s truly amazing what Russell Wilson can do with limited resources around him. He’s making do now without Doug Baldwin (knee) and with an aging Brendon Marshall. You’re likely starting Marshall, as his targets will certainly increase.
  26. Houston Texans (against Tennessee Titans): Marcus Mariota is dealing with an elbow injury but should start for Tennessee on Sunday. Mariota should not start for your Fantasy team and really, now that Delanie Walker is out of the season, you may not want to start any Titan receivers until we see some improvement in the passing game. I’m still starting Derrick Henry. True, Week 1 was a disappointment from him, but he did have a 62-yard TD run called back on a holding call.
  27. Washington Redskins (against Indianapolis Colts): Andrew Luck proved himself healthy in Week 1 and is back to being an every-week starter. Eric Ebron also had a solid debut with the Colts, but Jack Doyle is still the better TE and better start for you Fantasy team. Marlon Mack is still dealing with a hamstring injury and even if he does start for the Colts, I’d prefer to see him play first before starting him on my Fantasy team.
  28. New Orleans Saints (against Cleveland Browns): The Fantasy numbers for Tyrod Taylor were fine Sunday but NFL-wise, he was bad. True, the weather was awful and that is partly to blame, but still, we have seen this act before. I’m not starting him Sunday. While I do expect the Saints’ defense to rebound somewhat, it won’t be enough for me to keep Josh Gordon out of my lineup. Carlos Hyde starts here. As for Duke Johnson, he will be okay, but you should take a wait and see approach here and maybe sit him this week.
  29. Denver Broncos (against Oakland Raiders): The Raiders didn’t use their WRs against the Rams’ CBs on Monday. Why? Because those corners are some of the best in the game. The same situation may hold true Sunday. Yes, Jared Cook will be a popular pickup this week, and yes, you should start him once again Sunday.
  30. Minnesota Vikings (against Green Bay Packers): Aaron Rodgers and Devante Adams are both not practicing at the moment and one or both could miss this game. Best guess is they both start. This is an early start Sunday, so we will know beforehand. It may not be the worst thing for Fantasy owners, however, if they were to miss the game. This is an ugly matchup, but of course you’re starting them should they start for the Packers. That pair and Jimmy Graham are all that I start here, however.
  31. Los Angeles Chargers (against Buffalo Bills): The Bills have made the change to Josh Allen, but that doesn’t mean much for Fantasy owners. It’s just LeSean McCoy starting for me.
  32. Los Angeles Rams (against Arizona Cardinals): I’m not sure you can even think about starting anyone other than Larry Fitzgerald and David Johnson this season, let alone this game.

 

As always feel free to follow me on Twitter and ask any questions you, @georgekurtz.

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