Our fantasy football start and sit is now live for Week 2 of the NFL season. Fake football owners must be going through it right now, not exactly knowing how unproven players and defenses on the other side are going to perform early in the 2023 NFL season.
Meanwhile, injuries have now played a major role in the fantasy football process, including Aaron Rodgers and J.K. Dobbins going down with season-ending torn Achilles‘.
Last week saw our fantasy football start and sit recommendations met with mixed results. Justin Herbert and Bijan Robinson did their thing. As for who we recommended to sit, New York Jets running back Breece Hall proved everyone wrong.
Without further ado, here’s our fantasy football start and sit for Week 2 of the 2023 NFL season.
Fantasy football week 2 starts: Quarterbacks
Mac Jones, New England Patriots
Last week saw Jones put up 316 yards with three touchdowns and one interception while completing 35 passes against a vaunted Philadelphia Eagles defense. He finished Week 1 as the No. 2 fantasy football quarterback behind Tua Tagovailoa. The impact of Bill O’Brien calling the plays was felt immediately.
Week 2 will see New England go up against a Miami Dolphins defense that was torched by the Chargers last week despite winning in the final moments. Wide receivers hauled in 14-of-19 targets against Miami, meaning that Jones should be able to make more sweet music with Kendrick Bourne (two touchdowns last week).
Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
Fair or not, the onus is going to be on Cousins to have a huge statistical season for Minnesota in 2023. Week 1 was a prime example of this with the quarterback completing 33-of-44 passes in a loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Vikings running backs tallied just 34 yards on 14 rushing attempts with the absence of Dalvin Cook being felt big time.
Heading into Week 2, Cousins has a surprisingly plus-level matchup against the Eagles. As we mentioned in the Mac Jones blurb, this unit was torched through the air in the opener. Philadelphia is also likely going to be without star cornerback James Bradberry (concussion protocol). With Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addision doing their thing, we’re expecting a huge fantasy performance from Cousins.
Related: Week 2 fantasy football rankings
Fantasy football week 2 starts: Running backs
James Cook, Buffalo Bills
Cook didn’t even finish as a FLEX option last week against the Jets. He gained 63 yards in 16 attempts without scoring a touchdown. But it must be noted that New York boasts one of the best defenses in the league. Josh Allen (3 interceptions, lost fumble) found that out in the opener.
Buffalo now has the pleasure of a Week 2 matchup against a Las Vegas Raiders squad that gave up 134 total yards to Broncos running backs Javonte Williams and Samaje Perine last week. That included 93 rushing yards on 21 attempts.
Fantasy football week 2 starts: Tight ends
T.J. Hockenson, Minnesota Vikings
As noted above, Minnesota is going to have to pass the ball to win this season. Recently signed a huge extension, Hockenson will be a major component in this. He caught 8-of-9 targets from Cousins last week. While they amounted to just 35 yards, the scoring in PPR-centric formats was there.
Last week saw a lesser tight end in New England’s Hunter Henry catch 5-of-6 targets for 56 yards and a touchdown against New England. You can do the math from here.
Sam LaPorta, Detroit Lions
Rave preseason reviews regarding this rookie second-round pick gave into a stellar regular-season debut, with LaPorta nabbing five catches on five targets from quarterback Jared Goff. It came against a Chiefs defense that was set up to succeed defending tight ends with linebacker Nick Bolton and safety Bryan Cook.
Heading into this week’s action, LaPorta has yet another plus-level matchup against a Seahawks team that yielded 79 receptions for 1,115 yards and the most fantasy points to tight ends last season. This unit also allowed Tyler Higbee to catch all three of his targets for 49 yards in a loss to the Rams last week.
Related: Week 2 NFL injury report
Fantasy football Week 2 starts: Wide receivers
Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers
In five games catching passes from Brock Purdy last season, Aiyuk recorded 22 receptions for 317 yards while hauling in 71% of his targets. Overall, 49ers quarterbacks posted an absurd 115.9 QB rating when targeting him. That was taken to a whole new level against a good Steelers defense during San Francisco’s blowout Week 1 win. Aiyuk caught all eight of his targets for 129 yards and two touchdowns, finishing as the second-best fantasy receiver.
Sure, the Rams’ defense surprised the masses last week against Seattle. We’re just not seeing this unit being able to duplicate that against the 49ers’ attack come Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles. Aiyuk caught all 10 of his targets against the Rams last season, and should eat in this one.
Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Preseason trade rumors gave into the record-breaking Evans doing his thing for Baker Mayfield in Week 1. He caught six passes for 66 yards and a touchdown, good enough to finish as a WR1 in 12-team leagues. Regardless of who tosses Evans the rock, he just continues to produce. That includes nine consecutive 1,000-yard seasons to open his career.
Tampa Bay is now set to take on a Chicago Bears defense that was torched by Jordan Love and the Packers a week ago. Love put up 245 passing yards on a mere 15 completions. He did so without No. 1 receiver Christian Watson in the mix. Again, you can do the math here.
Related: 2023 fantasy football rankings
Fantasy football Week 2 sits: Quarterbacks
Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals
The NFL’s highest-paid player is coming off one of the worst statistical performances we’ve seen from a quarterback in some time (Daniel Jones doesn’t count). After missing all of training camp and the preseason to a calf injury, Burrow tallied 67 net passing yards on 31 attempts against a fierce Cleveland Browns defense.
We’re here to say sit Burrow once again Week 2 against the Baltimore Ravens. This defense did not allow a single touchdown against the Houston Texans in the opener. It has dogs at all tiers of the defense. Remember, this is the same unit that yielded 20 passing touchdowns compared to 14 interceptions last season.
Jimmy Garoppolo, Las Vegas Raiders
Garoppolo may very well lead Vegas to a second consecutive road upset to open the season. But we’re not expecting fantasy gold from the newly-signed signal caller. Let’s put this into perspective from a historical perspective. Garoppolo has never finished better than a top-end QB2 during his career.
It’s going to be especially difficult heading into Western New York against an angry Bills team on Sunday. Last week might not have been a fair marker for Buffalo in that Aaron Rodgers went down four snaps in. But back in 2022, the Bills yielded the third-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks. GQ is an obvious sit this week.
Fantasy football Week 2 sits: Running backs
Kyren Williams, Los Angeles Rams
Much like the rest of his Rams team, Williams was a feel-good story in a win over Seattle last week. The second-year player from Notre Dame tallied 52 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. It has led to him being a valuable commodity on the waiver wire heading into NFL Week 2.
About that? Don’t come close to starting the youngster against a vaunted San Francisco 49ers defense. Steelers running back Najee Harris went for a mere 31 yards last week. Back in 2022, the NFL’s best defense gave up the fewest fantasy points to running backs. Yeah, this one is going to be on Matthew Stafford and the Rams’ passing game.
Raheem Mostert, Miami Dolphins
We went all in with recommending you to start Mostert last week. He did finish as the 17th-best fantasy running back despite putting up just 37 yards on 10 runs. That’s primarily due to the fact that Mostert recorded a touchdown on the ground.
In reality, it just makes no sense to start a running back in Miami given Tua Tagovailoa’s prowess through the air (466 yards, 3 TD last week) and Tyreek Hill’s dominance (11 receptions, 215 yards, 2 TD). Miami is also taking on a Patriots defense that held Eagles running backs to 60 rushing yards last week.
Fantasy football week 2 sits: Tight ends
George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers
Kittle had a ton of success with Brock Purdy tossing him the rock last season. In the five games that Purdy started, this star tight end caught seven touchdown passes. This has led fantasy owners to stream the two early in the 2023 campaign.
We’re not buying it in Week 2. Purdy has been more focused on wide receivers Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel recently. He’s also not dumping the ball off like we saw from Jimmy Garoppolo when Kittle was more of a fantasy-relevant option. It also doesn’t help that San Francisco is taking on a Rams defense that held Seahawks tight ends to three catches for 25 yards in Week 1.
Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams
Remaining in the NFC West for this Sunday afternoon matchup, we’re not coming close to buying Higbee as a fantasy option despite his popularity. Steelers tight ends caught 3-of-8 targets for 22 yards against San Francisco last week.
The 49ers have an elite pair of defenders in that of All-Pro’s Fred Warner and Talanoa Hufanga to take on the tight end position. This was evidenced back in 2022 with San Francisco giving up just 5.5 fantasy points per game to tight ends.
Fantasy football week 2 sits: Wide receivers
CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys
The Sauce Gardner equation. Any time a receiver is set to go up against the reigning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, it just makes sense to sit him for a better matchup. Gardner yielded just 46 receptions in 17 games a season ago, with opposing signal callers posting a 62.7 QB rating when targeting him.
We fully expect Dallas to play the matchups once Sunday comes calling. That is to say, going in the direction of Brandin Cooks and Michael Gallup more. We also wouldn’t be surprised if running back Tony Pollard saw more targets from Dak Prescott in the passing game. Lamb is hard pass this week.
Garrett Wilson, New York Jets
Speaking of hard passes, Wilson will undoubtedly be impacted by the season-ending injury Aaron Rodgers suffered in Week 1. It’s a brutal blow for the Jets. But it’s also a brutal blow for those who own Wilson in fantasy football. Simply put, he’s not the same type of option with Zach Wilson tossing the young receiver the rock. That’s the harsh reality here.
In particular, we’re not liking Wilson’s matchup in fantasy football Week 2. He’ll be lined up against ball-hawking Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs who has recorded 17 interceptions in 46 career games. Expect the Jets’ new QB1 to be gunshy in targeting Diggs.