The 2019 NFL season kicked off in grand style when there were surprises hiding around practically every corner.
Week 2 will be no different. The New England Patriots have a shiny new receiver who will make his debut. And, one AFC North franchise has a brilliant second-year quarterback coming into his own.
Let’s take a peek at some players destined to shine in Week 2 and at some who would be better off at home hiding under the covers come game day.
Stud: Lamar Jackson, quarterback, Baltimore Ravens
Was it a fluke that Jackson absolutely annihilated the Miami Dolphins with a five-touchdown performance to launch off Week 1? It may have been. However, Jackson has an excellent chance to pile up some big numbers again when the Arizona Cardinals come to town. The Cardinals had no answers for stopping Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, who threw for three touchdowns and 385 yards. Jackson is primed for success while the Ravens offense looks to once again dominate.
Dud: Antonio Brown, wide receiver, New England Patriots
Breaking the internet on nearly a daily basis, Brown will suit up in Week 2. Some assume he will become a Patriots fantasy stud right out of the gate. Not so fast. Brown will need more time than just mere days to learn the Patriots playbook. Even against those lowly Miami Dolphins in Week 2, Brown should not be expected to rack up triple-digit yardage as he did with his former Steelers. Plus, quarterback Tom Brady loves to spread the ball around. We will see how well this game plan sits with Brown soon enough.
Stud: Kerryon Johnson, running back, Detroit Lions
Johnson’s Week 1 performance left little to be desired for those who thought the running back would return with electricity. Never mind that. In Week 2, Johnson receives a savory matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers. The Chargers just allowed Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack 6.96 yards per rush for a total of 174 yards. Whew! If the Lions want to heavily feature Johnson against this terrible Chargers’ run defense, their running back should thrive.
Dud: Phillip Lindsay, running back, Denver Broncos
In keeping with the topic of running backs, Lindsay will face a horrible matchup in Week 2. The Broncos will welcome the Chicago Bears, who feature a defense that last gave up only 47 total rushing yards to Green Bay. This is not a good thing for Lindsay, who is surely hoping to sweep his opening night performance under the rug. Furthermore, Royce Freeman will look to cramp Lindsay’s style. He gained 5.6 yards per tote compared to Lindsay’s 3.9 yards. This situation is far from ideal for Lindsay’s fantasy owners.
Stud: Odell Beckham Jr., wide receiver, Cleveland Browns
Forget that the Browns looked like a mess, racking up penalties while Baker Mayfield was enjoying throwing interceptions in the season opener. Now, relish in the thought that OBJ will face a flimsy Jets’ secondary that gave up the farm to the Buffalo Bills last week. In particular, John Brown destroyed his coverage and turned seven catches into 123 yards and one touchdown. Just envision the destruction that Beckham will cause next.
Dud: Kirk Cousins, quarterback, Minnesota Vikings
Sure, the Vikings struck dominated with a big win in Week 1. But Cousins barely lifted a finger in that victory. He attempted only 10 passes for a total of 98 yards and one touchdown. So, there is much reason to be hesitant that Cousins rebounds with a gigantic performance in Week 2. He will travel to Green Bay to meet a defense that gave up a 57.8 completion rate to Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky. Cousins can hardly be trusted in this road game.
Stud: JuJu Smith-Schuster, wide receiver, Pittsburg Steelers
Smith-Schuster was pretty heavily blanketed in coverage when he played the Patriots in Week 1 and was capped to just 78 yards. This looks to change immensely when the Steelers host the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks secondary ceded a whopping 418 passing yards last week to the Cincinnati Bengals, and John Ross looked like a rock star. He turned seven grabs into 158 yards and scored twice. Imagine what is in store for speedster Smith-Schuster?
Dud: Jalen Ramsey, cornerback, Jacksonville Jaguars
Ramsey looked like a snowflake when Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins torched him in Week 1. The young cornerback failed to defend a single pass. Now Ramsey will have his hands full again when the Jags head to take on DeAndre Hopkins and the Houston Texans. Hopkins proved to be in mid-season form after recording 111 yards and two scores in Week 1. Ramsey could easily be on the losing end of the bargain facing Hopkins and the elusive Will Fuller.
Stud: Josh Allen, quarterback, Buffalo Bills
Allen stands to post a big stat line when the Bills play the very generous New York Giants on Sunday. The Giants defense allowed Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott a perfect passer rating in his debut. We are not suggesting the same happens for Allen, but the yards and touchdowns should be flowing for him in Week 2. Just sit back and watch.
Dud: David Johnson, running back, Arizona Cardinals
Johnson was decently effective when the Cardinals wound up in an overtime tie against the Lions last week. He combined for 137 yards and one touchdown. But, next on the agenda for Johnson is a scary matchup against the Baltimore Ravens. Baltimore’s defense is legit and will prove troublesome for a rookie quarterback-led Cardinals offense. Johnson’s efforts on the ground may be clouded with the team employing a pass-heavy attack to keep up.