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

The QB List Sit/Start Team offers their Sit or Start recommendations for every player in Week 2 of the 2023 NFL season.

 

Game Info

 

Kickoff: Sunday, September 17th, 4:05 PM ET

Location: SoFi Stadium (Levi South), Inglewood, CA

Betting Odds: LAR +8, 44.5 total via PFF.com

Network: FOX

 

Writer: Chris Sanzo (@Doombot12_FF on Twitter/X)

 

San Francisco 49ers

 

Quarterback

Brock Purdy (Sit QB2)

While it’s clear that Brock Purdy is capable of running Kyle Shanahan‘s offense efficiently, this is one of those instances of real-life production being greater than fantasy production. The bad news is, of course, he has a rather low ceiling. It’s a near Herculean effort for him to throw for 300 yards, a feat he has done once, or run for 50 yards, which would equal half his career rushing yards. The good news is that he has as solidly consistent a floor as you’re going to see in the NFL. You know when he goes out there, you’re going to get 225-250 yards and 2-3 touchdowns. If you’re playing in a one QB league, you probably have a better choice, but if you’re playing in Superflex or two QB leagues, you should be more than happy to have him in your starting lineup.

 

Running Backs

Christian McCaffrey (Start, RB1), Elijah Mitchell (Sit, Flex)

Christian McCaffrey is just different. CMC made Top 3 drafters happy with over 25 points in PPR leagues, including a 65 yard touchdown run. Though Coach Shanny told everyone they were going to limit his snaps to prevent the wear and tear he suffered¬† from playing over 80% of the offensive snaps in Carolina, he was out there for 85% of the snaps in Week 1. While his snap share rocketed CMC to RB3 on the week, it also affected Elijah Mitchell. Mitchell was a popular depth or Zero RB committee piece, but a 15 percent snap share is not going to get it done. It also doesn’t help when you’re the least efficient runner on the day and double down by dropping your only target. Until he can consistently get a share closer to 45 percent and can prove he can produce in his part-time role, you can’t put him in your lineup with any confidence.

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Deebo Samuel (Start, WR2), Brandon Aiyuk (Start, WR2), George Kittle (Start, TE1) 

Week 1 was the start of the breakout we all wanted to see from Brandon Aiyuk. Last year proved that without a doubt, Aiyuk is the better receiver, while Deebo Samuel is the better weapon. This year, Aiyuk may just leave Deebo behind altogether. Finishing as the WR2 with 33 PPR points, and providing a huge block to spring CMC on his long touchdown, Aiyuk was everywhere. Both of his touchdowns were equally beautiful scores. His first left Patrick Peterson with two metaphorically broken ankles and the second with broken pride. Aiyuk snagged a beautiful back shoulder throw in the front corner of the endzone in tight coverage from Peterson, a play you would expect from an elite tier WR. While another 8/129/2 line is unlikely, there’s no reason to think a Rams secondary that just got worked by the Seattle Seahawks wideouts will be able to stop the early momentum.

Deebo Samuel actually drew a higher snap share than Aiyuk with 100 percent route participation and he had a seemingly efficient day of 5 catches for 55 yards, but the issue was his yards after the catch, or lack thereof. Deebo’s career average is 9.8 YAC/REC but only averaged a meager 1.8 against Pittsburgh. As he regresses positively back to that number, it would also make sense for Aiyuk’s would come down. Both wideouts have a great chance at being high-end WR2 plays this week with potential for low-end WR1 scoring.

George Kittle falls into a similar range at tight end this week. You wouldn’t know Kittle was coming off an injury with his 76 percent route participation, 18 run blocking snaps (including 13 zone runs), and lining up in the slot or outside 12 other times. The oddest part of his stat line was an uncharacteristic drop. He finished the week as TE22, but like Deebo, the opportunity is there for a big bounce back game.

 

 

Los Angeles Rams

 

Quarterbacks

Matthew Stafford (Sit, QB2)

The offseason efforts to trade Matthew Stafford never came to a fortuitous end for the Rams. Instead, the 35 year-old quarterback and his monster contract are still in Los Angeles behind an offensive line that failed him early last season (to be fair, it started to improve in the last quarter of 2022). The Rams bolstered the line in the offseason with the addition of Steve Avila via the NFL Draft.

When the line is able to hold steady as it did in Week 1, the results are extremely encouraging. Stafford passed for 334 yards in a 30-13 dismantling of the Seahawks on the road, but unfortunately for fantasy managers, he was not responsible for any of the TDs the Rams scored. Stafford was QB18 despite an average of 8.95 yards per attempt, 4th best in Week 1, and more than a full yard above Kirk Cousins (5th, 7.82). This game is a real test for the O-line after the 49ers were able to sack Kenny Pickett five times last week. Until they can chain together games against well-established defensive lines, Stafford is a sit in 1QB leagues and a safe, low-end play in superflex.

 

Running Backs

Kyren Williams (Sit, Flex), Cam Akers (Sit, Flex)

Sean McVay‘s bizarre treatment of Cam Akers has continued into this season. If the utilization of both backs continues as it did week 1, Akers may have a difficult time just seeing the field. Kyren Williams out-snapped Akers 2:1, and that ratio was even more egregious before the game was out of hand. In one of the most unexpected results of the week, Williams finished as RB8 with a 72 percent route participation rate, but was propped up by two rushing TDs. In all, both backs were ineffective on the ground: Kyren averaged 3.5 yards per carry (15/52/2) while Akers put together a dismal 1.8 (22/29/1). The difference maker was Kyren’s 2.87 yards per rush after contact (YCO/A) to Akers’ 1.68. San Francisco is already a difficult matchup for running backs, so trying to figure out which back to trust seems a fool’s errand. That is not to say Kyren isn’t worth an add, but I’m not looking to fit either into any lineups if I can help it. If you have a need at RB2, or have Akers and aren’t comfortable starting him, a pivot to the receiving back in the same backfield is a switch worth making.

 

Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends

Van Jefferson (Sit, Flex), Tutu Atwell (Sit, Flex), Puka Nacua (Start, Flex), Tyler Higbee (Start, TE1)

George Pickens managed only 36 receiving yards on 7 targets, and half of that came on Pittsburgh’s final drive. Van Jefferson is the poor man’s version of Pickens. Both typically have a high average depth of target (ADoT), and are more or less catch-and-fall-down types. Pickens was a clear sit going into last week and Van Jefferson is no different in Week 2 after being outplayed by both Tutu Atwell and Puka Nacua. Atwell was effective last week against Seattle’s ascending secondary, but finds himself in an unlikely spot for success against a team that just snuffed out every downfield opportunity to a similar receiving group, especially given his limited history of production.

Though limited production is the name of the game for Puka Nacua, a rookie getting his second NFL start, there is a lot to love about his opportunity until Cooper Kupp comes back from the IR. Matthew Stafford and Sean McVay proved to the world last week that in that offense, there is going to be a receiver peppered with laser-locked targets, and regardless of the player manning that role, they will continue to go back to their bread and butter. Nacua earned 11 targets over the middle of the field and within the first 20 yards. That is not coincidence. It’s also where you can attack the 49ers as their slot corner production has been suspect since K’Waun Williams left in free agency last year. Add in Azeez Al-Shaair leaving this offseason, only to be replaced by inferior talent, and it won’t be surprising to see success for opposing teams willing to forego outside deep shots. Puka should be started again, and if he has any success similar to week 1, you’ll be starting him until Kupp returns.

Tyler Higbee was a disappointment in Week 1, especially for DFS players, but he should be a Top 3 option for the Rams this week, possibly the second option, depending on Kyren’s usage. If the 49ers are able to open up the offense against the Rams in similar fashion to what they did in Pittsburgh, Higbee should be able to earn more targets than the three he converted into 49 yards last week.

 

-Chris Sanzo (Doombot12_FF on Twitter)

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

  1. R. Amsrule says:

    Rams secondary “got worked” by Seattle? Did you even look at the boxscore or watch the game??? What kind of ignorant comment is that? Geno Smith was 16-26 for 112 yards. Rams held Metcalf to 47 yards. Lockett had 10 yards. Will Dissly was the 2nd leading receiver with 17 yards. Is that being “worked”. Not a very impressive write-up. Do better. At least look at the stats before you make an uninformed comment. Not a good look.

  2. DarkBrandon says:

    Turn spell check on!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.