Week 1 is in the books. Some people may already think they have the best team after fluke performances. Others might be completely aggravated and are starting to realize their team isn’t as good as expected after last week and last night. (Is anyone else relying on C.J. Anderson?) Still, all hope is not lost. Fantasy league championships are not won in the draft or Week 1 of the regular season. They are won in the moves made throughout the season. Here are some picks for your lineup for Week 2.
Start: Colin Kaepernick (SF)
The 49ers play the Pittsburgh Steelers this week, and Kaepernick and the rest of the San Francisco offense should be excited about that. This is not the Dick LeBeau-led defense filled with studs that I grew up on. This is the Steeler defense that let Tom Brady get the most passing yards in week one. Kaepernick could have one of his best games of the year this week against a defense that may have forgotten how to tackle.
Carson Palmer (ARZ)
Palmer was the second ranked QB in Week 1, only behind Tom Brady, and he looked like he was back to his pre-injury form. He has led the Cardinals to a 17-6 record over the last three injury-plagued years, and could definitely lead them to the playoffs this year if he stays healthy. He goes against the Chicago Bears this week, whose defense looks lost without a true leader such as Charles Tillman or Lance Briggs (both are no longer with the team).
Sit: Marcus Mariota (TEN)
I know he looked dominant in the first half of his first ever game, but do not let a good performance against one of the league’s worst teams fool you. One game does not warrant a start over the first quarterback you selected. The Titans face the Browns this week, who were last in rushing yards allowed last year but 8th in passing defense. Expect Joe Haden to dominate unproven Tennessee receivers and for the Titans to run the ball much more.
Start: Ameer Abdullah (DET)
I am not completely sold on Abdullah being a consistent starting running back option throughout the year, but this week he is a must start. The Vikings gave up an embarrassing 230 yards (a league worst so far this year) to Carlos Hyde and the San Francisco 49ers.
Bishop Sankey (TEN)
As I said earlier, the Titans should run the ball a decent amount if they want to win against the Browns. Sankey was an interesting player coming into this season after an underwhelming rookie campaign. In his first game of 2015, he managed to rush for a career high (74 yards) and got in the end zone twice (one rush, one reception) in limited time. His carries are likely to be doubled this week and the fantasy points should increase too.
Chris Ivory (NYJ)
Ivory is finally looking like a clear feature back for the Jets this season. He’s had to share carries over the years with Chris Johnson, Bilal Powell, Reggie Bush, Pierre Thomas, etc. Powell is still around, but Ivory has separated himself more than ever recently. The Jets should look to continue the success they had running the ball in Week 1 this week against the Colts.
Sit: Melvin Gordon (SD)
A fumble in Gordon’s debut seemingly ended his day last week and questions the coaching staff’s trust in him for now. They didn’t even trust him enough to allow him to punch the ball in from 1 yard instead of 5’8″ Danny Woodhead. Also, the running defense of the Chargers opponent, the Bengals, isn’t great, but did surprisingly well last week against the Raiders.
Start: Terrance Williams (DAL)
With Dez Bryant out, Williams assumes the number one receiver spot. While Jason Witten might get the most receptions, Romo will have to throw to other people eventually if the Eagles double- or triple-team Witten. Also, Philadelphia was second-to-last in passing defense in 2014 and didn’t look good in Week 1.
Jarvis Landry (MIA)
So far, Landry looks like the prototypical number one receiver for the Dolphins. He beat one-on-one coverage, didn’t make any notable mistakes, and was there when Tannehill needed him most. This week, he plays the Jaguars, who have been the worst passing defense in the NFL for years. With Devante Parker still battling an injury and Kenny Stills not seeing the field as much as expected, Landry is an obvious choice to start.
Sit: Brandon Marshall (NYJ)
This is a tough pick, as it will definitely be hard to bench such a successful receiver as Marshall. However, Sammy Watkins didn’t fail to register a catch against the Colts because he was hurt or wasn’t on the field enough. The main reason for this was number one corner Vontae Davis. Davis is known for doing great against stronger, more athletic wide receivers such as Marshall, and he keeps getting better. Also, the two have a history of bad blood as former teammates with the Dolphins. (Note: if you already read Matthew Berry’s love/hate for this week on ESPN.com, he may have stolen this gutsy pick from me).
Start: Jordan Reed (WAS)
With DeSean Jackson out with an injury, Reed becomes the number one target for the Redksins for now. The Rams did a solid job against Jimmy Graham last week, but they didn’t exactly hold him. He did score a touchdown and, as a team, the Seahawks caught 32 passes, the 4th most in Week 1. Reed is the main red zone target and is a must start, especially in PPR leagues.
Martellus Bennett (CHI)
Bennett and the Bears go against the Cardinals in their second game of the season. Even though the Cardinals have been a very successful defense overall, they have struggled to guard tight ends effectively. They gave up the fifth most fantasy points to tight ends last year, making Bennett a top 5 tight end for Week 2.