Sit/Start Week 2: Reviewing All Fantasy Relevant Players In Every Single Game

Fantasy Football Sit or Start recommendations for every player in Week 2 of the NFL season.

Game Info

 

Kickoff: Sunday, September 18th at 1:00 PM ET

Location: Caesars Superdome, New Orleans, LA

Betting Odds: TB -3,  44 total via Oddsshark

Network: FOX

Writer: Bryan Sweet (@FantasyFreakTN on Twitter, @bsweet0us on Reddit)

 

INJURY UPDATES:  Holy cow is there a list of fantasy-relevant players who are questionable for this game!  Here is the latest info as of 9/16/22:

  • Mike Evans was a limited participant in practice Friday with a calf injury.  He is officially listed as questionable.  I think his chances of playing are at least 75% but it could hamper him all game.  I’d adjust his starting status to “WR3 with WR2 upside” for Week 2.
  • Leonard Fournette got in limited practices all week with a hamstring injury.  He is officially listed as questionable.  I don’t see any reason he won’t play his full allotment of snaps and there is no change to his RB1 projection.
  • Russell Gage got in limited practices on Thursday and Friday with a hamstring injury.  He is officially listed as questionable.  Like Fournette, I don’t see any signs of him being limited this week but still can’t recommend him.
  • Julio Jones got in a limited practice on Friday – his only practice time this week.  He is officially listed as questionable.  Reports seem to indicate Jones will play but two “DNP” designations this week has me at least a little concerned.  Like Evans, I think I’d downgrade Jones to “WR3/FLEX” given his lengthy injury history.
  • Chris Godwin did not practice at all this week and has been officially listed as “Out”.  This isn’t terribly surprising, but at least it’s official now.
  • Alvin Kamara practiced in a limited fashion on Wednesday but logged consecutive “DNPs” on Thursday and Friday with a rib injury.  He is officially listed as questionable.  Early reports indicated the injury wouldn’t hamper Kamara but Friday’s absence is concerning.  I think there is a real shot Kamara misses this week’s game, but even if he plays I don’t think you can trust him to be close to 100%.  I’d downgrade Kamara to “low-end RB2/FLEX” based on the most recent information.
  • Mark Ingram logged three limited practices this week and is listed as questionable, but I think he’s the healthier of the two RBs today.  I’d recommend Ingram as a “FLEX with RB2 upside” this week and a full RB2 recommendation if Kamara is ruled out.

 

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

 

Quarterback

Tom Brady (Start, QB1)

 

Add another bullet point to the legacy of Tom Brady as he became the oldest player to start a game at QB in NFL at 45 years old and led his team to an easy 19-3 victory over the Cowboys. Brady was as efficient as ever, completing 66% of his passes and finding Mike Evans for the game’s only TD. Brady did toss an interception when it looked like he didn’t anticipate LB Donovan Wilson would drop into coverage, but that was more of a good defensive play than a bad decision. This week, Brady and the Bucs travel to New Orleans for a divisional matchup with the Saints – a team that has been a thorn in Brady’s side since he arrived in Tampa Bay. Brady’s only victory as a Buc against New Orleans was in the playoffs following the 2020 season, but Brady was still mostly pedestrian with just 199 passing yards and two TDs in that contest. In five contests against New Orleans since joining Tampa Bay, Brady owns a 60% completion percentage with 1,236 yards and eight TDs and INTs. Signs are pointing to Chris Godwin missing at least this game, which is a minor blow to Brady’s projections despite the other viable WRs on the team. Brady has the tools and weapons to finish as a QB1 again this week, but I see a scenario where he finishes just outside the top-12 at his position. Fantasy managers may not have a better option, making Brady a start, but if you are fortunate enough to have a bonafide stud alongside Brady, give him the nod over Brady this week.

 

Running Backs

Leonard Fournette (Start, RB1), Rachaad White (Sit)

 

Leonard Fournette had one of his best games as a pro last week against the Cowboys, carrying the ball 21 times for 127 yards and handling both of his targets for an extra 10 yards through the air. Despite a reworked interior offensive line, Fournette was able to consistently find running room with 81 yards before contact and looked strong finishing runs. The Saints struggled to contain Cordarrelle Patterson in Week 1, surrendering 120 yards and one TD and allowed 72 yards and one TD to Marcus Mariota on the ground as well. Now, no one is going to confuse Brady for Mariota in the running department, but Fournette can replicate Patterson’s success and perhaps more, making Fournette a solid choice for your fantasy teams this week as an RB1.

The Buccaneers seem to be high on Rachaad White but the rookie is unlikely to see significant action while Fournette is healthy and playing well. White only saw 17 snaps (27%) last week and it’s probably safe to assume that workload will remain unchanged. White is a nice stash in keeper or dynasty leagues and the clear handcuff to Fournette right now, but he isn’t a viable starting option – at least for this week.

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Mike Evans (Start, borderline WR1/WR2), Julio Jones (Start, borderline WR2/WR3), Chris Godwin (Sit), Russell Gage (Sit), Cameron Brate (Sit)

 

First, let’s take a moment to admire this TD catch by Mike Evans against Trevon Diggs last week.

Evans is still an elite red zone threat and has a genuine rapport with Brady that the other WRs do not have, either because of injuries or as a newcomer to the team. With Godwin’s injury expected to see him sidelined for this game, Evans likely becomes an even bigger part of the passing offense and should be able to have his way with whoever tries to cover him this week.  Evans should see enough volume to make him an easy WR1 but the Saints may roll coverage to his side limiting his final numbers.  I have Evans as a low-end WR1 right now but could see a high WR2 finish if he’s double-teamed all day.

In his return to the NFC South, Julio Jones looked like his old self against the Cowboys in Week 1 totaling three receptions on five targets for 69 yards and added two carries for 17 yards. Jones looked quick and confident last week, traits that were rarely on display with the Titans last season. Jones almost assuredly will step into Godwin’s starting role if Godwin is in fact ruled out this week. If Terrell’s primary objective is sticking with Evans, it should allow Jones multiple opportunities to exploit Atlanta’s lesser CBs. If Tampa Bay’s running game continues to be as effective as it was last week, Jones might see a target share similar to last week which keeps him out of the surefire WR2 ranks and puts him closer to WR3 or FLEX option for Week 2.

As of this writing, there has been no confirmation on the status of Chris Godwin following the hamstring injury he suffered late in last week’s victory over the Cowboys. I’ve seen everything from “it’s not as serious as we thought” to him missing a “few weeks“.  The reality might fall in between the two, but I fully expect Godwin to miss at least one game. Even if he is deemed active, fantasy managers simply can’t trust him to play a full complement of snaps or be at 100%. Monitor status reports but I’d advise looking elsewhere for help at the WR position this week.

The biggest beneficiary from Godwin’s expected absence might be Russell Gage. Another former Falcon, Gage entered the season as Godwin’s primary backup out of the slot position but saw extensive work in the second half after Godwin’s exit. Gage secured both of his targets for 13 yards and provided a reliable option for Brady in the short and intermediate area of the field dominated by Rob Gronkowski in previous seasons. I don’t think Gage sees enough opportunities to push for a spot in fantasy leagues this week, however.

Despite Brady’s past affinity for TEs, Cameron Brate just doesn’t bring the same excitement as those that came before him. Brate saw just three targets last week resulting in one reception for six yards and one drop. With the additions at WR for Tampa Bay, the TE has taken a back seat in the passing game and Brate is more likely to provide running room for Fournette rather than be a consistent option for Brady. Feel free to keep Brate on your bench in Week 2.

 

New Orleans Saints

 

Quarterback

Jameis Winston (Sit)

 

It’s not a question of talent with Jameis Winston (#1 overall pick, one of a select few QBs with 5,000 passing yards in a season, 137:91 career TD:INT ratio) but whether we get “Good Jameis” or “Bad Jameis” from game to game. Last week, it took Winston and the offense nearly three quarters to get going before pulling off a come-from-behind victory over the Falcons. Winston went 13-for-16 for 213 yards and two TDs in the fourth quarter last week after a mediocre 10-for-18 for 56 yards and no TDs up to that point. The Buccaneers flustered Dak Prescott last week (14-for-29, 134 yards, 1 INT) before Prescott’s injury and will look to do the same to Winston this week. New Orleans has a better offensive line and, arguably, better WRs than Dallas so a slightly better statline should be in the cards for Winston but I can’t see him producing enough to warrant a starting recommendation this week.

 

Running Backs

Alvin Kamara (Start, RB2), Mark Ingram (Sit)

 

Early indications surrounding the rib injury that forced Alvin Kamara from the game last week indicate the injury was minor and shouldn’t impede Kamara from a typical workload this week, but Kamara has missed games here and there the past few years with injuries. Kamara missed four weeks last season with an MCL sprain but was stifled two weeks after his return by the Bucs to the tune of 31 total yards on 13 touches. Kamara was adequate running the ball with 39 yards on his nine carries but didn’t provide anything extra in the receiving game (three receptions, seven yards), an area that has traditionally bolstered his fantasy status. Kamara is still enough of a weapon on offense to post starting-level production for fantasy managers, but he seems to be better served as your RB2 this week against a defense that has been stout against him for the last few seasons.

Kamara’s primary backup again this season is Mark Ingram, but the veteran didn’t fare much better when given the chance last week as he mustered just 23 total yards on five touches and was responsible for New Orleans’ only turnover with a fumble in the third quarter. Unless Kamara’s rib injury resurfaces and prevents him from playing effectively, Ingram will be relegated to backup duties again this week and should not be started.

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Michael Thomas (Start, WR2), Jarvis Landry (Sit), Chris Olave (Sit), Adam Trautman, Taysom Hill, Juwan Johnson (Sit all TEs)

 

Fantasy managers who were banking on a return to form from Michael Thomas were understandably concerned when, through three quarters, Thomas had four targets that resulted in one reception for four yards. The fourth quarter, however, brought joy to those same people as Thomas hauled in four receptions for 63 yards and two TDs. Some early-game rust would have been expected in his first game action since December of 2020, but those two TD receptions are indicative of just how dominant Thomas can be. Thomas has a decent size advantage over Tampa Bay’s starting CB duo and he’s a verifiable TD threat any time the Saints get near the end zone. I don’t think we can expect the type of production Thomas provided in the fourth quarter last week over an entire game with Winston at QB, but he should provide fantasy managers with a solid WR2 option with WR1 upside this week.

It seems like everywhere Jarvis Landry plays he is a target magnet for his starting QB. Landry has averaged more than nine targets per game started throughout his career with Miami and Cleveland and that trend continued in his first game with New Orleans. Landry led the team against Atlanta in targets (9), receptions (7), and receiving yards (114) and was highly involved in the offense all game. However, as involved as Landry typically is in the game plan, he’s struggled to consistently find the end zone. Landry’s best TD season was back in 2017 with Miami when he finished with nine, but he typically finishes with 4-6 TDs and this puts a definite cap on his upside. Assuming Landry doesn’t continue to average 16.3 yards per reception (career average of 11.1 YPR), Landry would have to continue to be the primary receiving option by a large margin to be a consistent fantasy starter. We’ve seen his ability to finish as a viable starter but Landry has historically been average to slightly above-average and I think he’s no more than an emergency FLEX this week.

If nothing else, Chris Olave has yet to drop a pass in his NFL career. Olave caught all three of his targets last week for 41 yards and a crucial two-point conversion late to keep the Saints within one score of the Falcons. Olave showed promise despite the low target volume, creating separation, and displaying advanced route-running techniques that bode well for his NFL future. The big question for fantasy managers who rostered Olave becomes, “When is that future going to be realized?” If the fourth quarter last week is any indication of the ceiling of this offense, the future for Olave could be sooner rather than later, but he’s third or fourth in the pecking order right now and simply can’t be trusted on a weekly basis until his role within the offense grows.

The TE room for the Saints is full of intrigue as three guys all saw snaps but Juwan Johnson paced the trio with a 74% snap share (46 snaps). For fantasy managers, snaps are only meaningful for determining how many of those snaps involved the player as a fantasy-producing element. In Week 1, Johnson was in on 12 running plays and 34 passing plays and ran a route on 33 of those passing plays.  Perhaps more importantly, Johnson lined up in the slot 23 times which shows the confidence the staff has in him to produce as a receiver. Johnson saw five targets on the day, catching two for 43 yards. Dalton Schultz was an effective weapon for Dallas last week (seven receptions, 62 yards) which bodes well for Johnson’s chances, but I’m not sure he’s ready to elevate into the starting fantasy conversation just yet. Keep him on the bench for at least one more week.

The player that lost the most from Johnson’s ascension is Adam Trautman who was relegated to just 25 snaps last week and wasn’t involved at all in the passing game. Trautman’s blocking kept him ahead of the athletic Johnson last season, but Johnson has shown improvement in that area and might make Trautman a glorified offensive lineman going forward. Trautman’s fantasy value seems to have tanked and he isn’t an option for fantasy managers this week.

And now for the enigma that is Taysom Hill. Hill has been Mr. Everything for the Saints the past few years, operating as an offensive weapon of sorts as he’s played meaningful snaps at QB and TE and sometimes as an RB. The fact is, Hill saw only 16 snaps last week and is a player you love to root for as a fan but are frustrated to rely on as a fantasy manager. Until we see Hill with an every-week role in this offense, his production is simply too sporadic to trust as a starter. Now, if something were to happen to Winston and Hill gets the call as QB then fantasy managers might have a cheat code they can plug in at the TE position, but otherwise let someone else deal with the headache of whether or not to start him every week. This week, I wouldn’t.

4 responses to “Sit/Start Week 2: Reviewing All Fantasy Relevant Players In Every Single Game”

  1. Fantasy newb says:

    Would you start Jeudy or Kamara in flex position for week 2?

    Kamara matchup against TB seems tough

    Great article

  2. Shady Character says:

    Why are you talking about Atlanta in the Julio Jones write up? They aren’t playing the Falcons this week. Also, how do you talk about Evans without mentioning how Lattimore has shut him down consistently over the years?

  3. Adam says:

    This isn’t analysis. Just summarizing common narratives and being extremely vague with predictions.

  4. Smash says:

    Why do you have George Kittle listed as (Start, TE1) and then go on to say: “I don’t think George Kittle will be playing this week.”?

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