NFL Week 2 action is quickly approaching and it is time to set those fantasy football lineups with the best of hopes. Beyond the absolute no-brainer must-starts such as Antonio Brown and Todd Gurley, there are a mass of other players who make for solid starts this week.
Here we will focus on some particular players who have great matchups for Week 2. Outside of a favorable opponent, other players have already earned an increased workload. This bumps up their fantasy stock.
Which Detroit Lions wide receiver should we start this week? How about who is moving the ball better in Tennessee?
These questions will be answered as we discuss 10 must-start fantasy football players who belong in Week 2 lineups.
Tyler Lockett, wide receiver, Seattle Seahawks
Lockett should be locked into lineups everywhere now that Doug Baldwin (knee) is out for the foreseeable future. This is especially the case for Week 2 with Seattle playing the Chicago Bears. The Bears gave up a hefty 299 receiving yards and three touchdowns to Green Bay’s wideouts last week. In other words, Chicago just allowed the second-most fantasy points to the wide receiver position. Lockett should feast in a game that Russell Wilson will likely have to air it out.
Chris Thompson, running back, Washington Redskins
As long as he is healthy, Thompson looks to command touches from new Redskins quarterback Alex Smith. He is a poor man’s version of former Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt who Smith used to target a ton. Last week, Thompson touched the ball 11 times and recorded 128 total yards and one touchdown. Next up, Thompson faces a suspect Colts defense that just gave up 330 yards and 34 points last week. While he is sharing the backfield with Adrian Peterson, Thompson is a solid flex start with RB2 upside.
Case Keenum, quarterback, Denver Broncos
Some folks were hesitant to start Keenum fresh out of the gate with his new team last week. But he held his own, passing for 329 yards and three touchdowns as well as three picks. Looking past that, Keenum is a trusted start at home against the Oakland Raiders in Week 2. The Raiders have all sorts of issues and the Denver defense should dominate, giving Keenum plenty of opportunities in plus territory. Besides, having Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders on hand never hurts.
Dion Lewis, running back, Tennessee Titans
Fantasy owners of Derrick Henry should be kicking themselves for not selecting Lewis instead. But it is what it is. Lewis looks to be the back who will continue receiving more work moving forward. He recorded 21 total touches for a combined 110 yards and one touchdown last week, making him a serviceable start for Week 2. The Titans host a Houston Texans defense that gave up the 12th-most running back fantasy points in its season opener.
New York Jets Defense
Heading into Week 2, this defense is not ranked very highly on the fantasy football scale. But it should be after an electric Monday Night Football performance when it completely thrashed the Detroit Lions to pieces. The Jets’ defense collected five interceptions, including a pick six. That is why it is a sneaky play this week for those fantasy players who stream their defenses. The Jets also have a favorable matchup against the division rival Miami Dolphins. After watching all the havoc it created last week, the Jets defense is not just going to roll over and play dead in front of its home fans.
Jared Cook, tight end, Oakland Raiders
Cook never fails to burn his fantasy owners after showing up in some games then going invisible in other matchups. But for Week 2, Cook has another excellent opportunity to reward rather than disappoint. He will face a Broncos defense that just gave up huge points to Seattle Seahawks tight end Will Dissly. Dissly turned three catches into 105 yards and scored twice against the Broncos. With the Raiders wide receivers struggling, quarterback Derek Carr should heavily target Cook once again.
Josh Gordon, wide receiver, Cleveland Browns
Flash Gordon’s stock will be on the rise after he turned one 17-yard catch into a touchdown in Week 1. Therefore, head coach Hue Jackson said Gordon will receive more than the three targets he saw in his last game. This news bodes well for Gordon facing the New Orleans Saints in Week 2. The Saints’ defense looked lifeless, yielding 417 receiving yards and four receiving touchdowns last week to Tampa Bay. Gordon and the Browns are primed for a big game if all goes according to plan.
Jonnu Smith, tight end, Tennessee Titans
The Titans sadly must continue their season without tight end Delanie Walker, which is a huge blow on offense. But, the show must go on and second-year tight end Jonnu Smith is worth a start in Week 2. He will square off against a Texans defense that let New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski romp it for 123 yards and one touchdown last week. We are not promising that Smith is going to put up a Gronk-type of performance. But he is a player with tons of upside to start in a position that is often hard to fill in fantasy football.
Jay Ajayi, running back, Philadelphia Eagles
After scoring the first touchdown of the season, Ajayi has earned the right for more work. Head coach Doug Pederson has since said that Ajayi will be featured more. This means less Darren Sproles and Corey Clement eating into Ajayi’s fantasy points. No matter what team Ajayi is going to be facing, he is now a must-start. It just so happens to be that Ajayi has an ideal matchup against a Buccaneers defense that gave up the third-most fantasy points to running backs in Week 1.
Kenny Golladay, wide receiver, Detroit Lions
In assessing Golladay as well as fellow Lions wide receivers Marvin Jones and Golden Tate, it is Golladay who has the chance to stand out as the No. 1 guy in Week 2. He goes up against a San Francisco 49ers secondary in which cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Ahkello Witherspoon should be blanketing Jones and Tate. Quarterback Matthew Stafford will certainly be looking to redeem himself after throwing four picks last week. In doing so, the less-covered Golladay might just become Stafford’s go-to target.