Week 1 of the NFL season has come and gone, and it’s always so easy to overreact to what we saw in the first week of real action. However, it’s important to remember the small sample size of just one game; don’t tilt too hard on players who underperformed, don’t change expectations too heavily for players who overperformed. That being said, some of Week 1’s action will be prescriptive of the future. How do we break that all down? Well, start by taking a look a my Week 2 rankings as I hope to navigate all of the craziness of Week 1.
NFL Week 2 Quarterback Rankings
We saw some massive performances from the usual suspects at the quarterback position. Kyler Murray, Patrick Mahomes, Jared Goff, Tom Brady. Wait, Jared Goff? The Lions’ passer finished with just under 30 fantasy points in one of the more surprising performances of the week as he almost led Detroit to an absurd comeback win from a 28-point deficit. Lots of that was in garbage time, so don’t over-react too much. Jameis Winston threw for 5 touchdowns on 20 passing attempts in his first game as the starter for the Saints, and while that certainly won’t happen every week, he should be viewed as a low-end QB1, high-end QB2 option moving forward. Jalen Hurts is here to stay as one of the top fantasy options at quarterback and he lit up the Falcons in Week 1. Dak Prescott’s return from injury went swimmingly and he’s a locked-and-loaded top ten QB moving forward. Kirk Cousins had a solid game like I predicted and should be a decent streaming option moving forward. He’s worth a look against the Cardinals, although Arizona did just limit Ryan Tannehill severely. Tannehill, Matt Ryan, and Aaron Rodgers should all be capable of bounce-back performances this week. The typical suspects are back at the top of my quarterback rankings this week and I see Kyler Murray as the top option moving forward, as I did before the season.
NFL Week 2 Running Back Rankings
Christian McCaffrey returned to his rightful spot atop the running back fantasy scorers despite not even scoring a touchdown. While he faces a tough Saints defense this week, it’s hard to envision him not being my RB1 overall in my rankings every week this season. Dalvin Cook was a bit disappointing against the Bengals, although he still finished with 20.4 points. Alvin Kamara just sneaked into the top ten with 18.1 points. Both Cook and Kamara are elite options moving forward. D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams both finished in the top five at the running back position as much of the Lions passing offense stemmed through the backfield. They won’t be top five guys every week, but both players are very viable fantasy options. Joe Mixon had a massive workload and is here to stay as a top ten guy. Derrick Henry, Najee Harris, Aaron Jones, Ezekiel Elliott, and Saquon Barkley are all players I expect to bounce back from poor Week 1 efforts. Henry, in particular, was uncharacteristically unproductive in Week 1 and should be just fine against Seattle this week. I’m very high on both Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt this week as they play the Texans, one of the worst run defenses in the NFL. I also loved what I saw out of David Montgomery against a tough Rams defense in Week 1 and am very high on him moving forward. I’m lower than most on Jonathan Taylor and higher than most on Nyheim Hines as I believe Hines is a much better pass-catcher and even possibly a better runner.
NFL Week 2 Wide Receiver Rankings
So much for Adam Thielen being due for touchdown regression and a bust candidate this season – I’ll graciously accept the L on that one. Thielen finished as the WR4 in Week 1 and is a locked-and-loaded top 20 guy (at least) moving forward. Amari Cooper scared me in drafts due to his offseason ankle injury, but he and CeeDee Lamb look to both be in for massive seasons. Tyreek Hill was unsurprisingly excellent in Week 1 with 37.1 fantasy points. Deebo Samuel had a massive game against the Lions and is in for a big season if he’s able to stay healthy. Corey Davis had a big Week 1 but I have concerns over his ability to produce against the Patriots this week. Cooper Kupp looks to have awesome chemistry with new quarterback Matthew Stafford, and I’m higher on Kupp than Woods for the rest of the season. Both should be viable plays against the Colts who got torched by Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf in Week 1. Those two Seattle receivers should be great again this week against Tennessee. Ja’Marr Chase finished inside the top 15 wide receivers in his professional debut while DeVonta Smith wasn’t far behind with a big performance against the Falcons. Both rookies are very viable fantasy starters moving forward. Allen Robinson should be able to bounce back after a disappointing game against the Rams, but I’m very concerned about Julio Jones – he just didn’t look like the same player he used to be. Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Antonio Brown all have top-five upside on any given week catching passes from Tom Brady, but it’s going to be hard to predict when each has a big game this season.
NFL Week 2 Tight End Rankings
This feels like the first time in a while that there are a handful of viable tight ends for fantasy football, but the elites at the position still represent a major advantage. Travis Kelce showed out in his first game with two touchdowns against the Browns. Rob Gronkowski also reached the end zone twice against the Cowboys and is firmly on the fantasy radar. Darren Waller was peppered with targets against the Ravens and finished as the TE2 on the week. T.J. Hockenson had an awesome game and is going to be the focal point of the Detroit offense. Dallas Goedert, Noah Fant, Logan Thomas, and Tyler Higbee were some of the most popular mid-round tight end draft targets and all four played very well in Week 1 to finish inside the top 10 at the position. George Kittle wasn’t as good as Kelce and Waller who joined him as early-round picks at the position, but he has some big games ahead of him this season. Gerald Everett and Jonnu Smith were two of my favorite late-round targets at tight end and both look like weekly plays moving forward after strong Week 1 games. Jared Cook surprised me and is back on the radar as a starter, as is Cole Kmet after strong involvement in Week 1. Kyle Pitts and Robert Tonyan disappointed last week, but both should be fine starters moving forward.