Week 1 had some great games to kick off the NFL season. We learned a few things – Miami has an awful football team, Kyler Murray can keep cool under pressure and New England is still the best team on the planet. Let’s take a look at a few guys I am looking at going into Week 2. As always, these players are selected based on predicted outcomes, game scripts and defensive matchups. My intent here is to point out the less obvious players each week and give you confidence in players with whom you are struggling to make a decision.
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. Seattle Seahawks)
Roethlisberger had a rough Week 1, finishing with 276 yards with no touchdowns and an interception. He and the Steelers are at home this week welcoming Seattle to town. Last week the Seahawks gave up 418 yards (the most yards allowed to a quarterback in Week 1) as well as two touchdowns. JuJu Smith-Schuster should be a go for this one, as all reports are positive and the coaching staff seems optimistic. It’s no secret that Roethlisberger is better at home than on the road as he has 64 more touchdowns and 17 fewer interceptions in his career at home versus on the road. Look for a bounce-back game from Roethlisberger this week.
Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans (vs. Indianapolis Colts)
Henry picked up right where he left off last season. Henry averaged 4.4 yards per carry running for 84 yards with a score on the ground and added a 75-yard reception that went for a touchdown. The Titans will host the Indianapolis Colts, who gave up 125 yards and a score on the ground last week to the Los Angeles Chargers. The Titans should be able to control the line of scrimmage again in this one. Henry last week carried the ball 19 times compared to Dion Lewis who had three carries. Clearly, Henry is the lead back. Some owners might still be sour on Henry after his slow start last year, but I would be firing up Henry in all formats.
Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns (at New York Jets)
The Browns were one of the most hyped teams to start the year but they came out and fell flat on their faces. Chubb put up a pedestrian game going for 75 yards on 17 carries and added three catches for 10 yards. Dontrell Hilliard played the role of touchdown vulture, which could’ve helped salvage Chubb’s day. This week the Browns travel to New York to take on the Jets, who gave up 128 yards and a touchdown on the ground last week to Buffalo. The Browns need to get better offensive line play if they are going to be successful this year. Expect them to try to run the ball more this week so they don’t have to take so many chances downfield, knowing they have an inferior line. Chubb should be in store for a decent workload in this one
Tyrell Williams, WR, Oakland Raiders (vs. Kansas City Chiefs)
Williams and the Raiders shocked a lot of people last Monday night by how well the offense played. Williams put up a solid effort against Denver, posting a line of six catches for 105 yards and a touchdown on seven targets. Williams is the top receiver now that Antonio Brown is no longer in town, and I expect him to be peppered with targets all year long. The Chiefs gave up 273 yards and three touchdowns to receivers last week, good for the fourth-most in the league. The Chiefs defense is on the decline and can be beat. The Raiders will most likely be playing from behind in this one and will have to throw the ball, expect Williams to be plenty busy on Sunday.
Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams (vs. New Orleans)
Kupp looked good in Week 1 and didn’t seem hampered by his ACL injury from a year ago. Jared Goff’s favorite target from last year had 10 targets, grabbing seven balls for 46 yards, both totals good for second on the team. The Rams will be facing the Saints at home and with these two high-powered offenses, there should be a lot of offense in this one. Luckily for Kupp he works mostly out of the slot and will line up against P.J. Williams, who is one of the worst slot corners in the league. Kupp is locked in as a WR2 with WR1 upside for me this week.
Mark Andrews, TE, Baltimore Ravens (vs. Arizona Cardinals)
Going right back to the well this week. Andrews is emerging as one of the top tight ends in the league and this week the Arizona Cardinals are coming to town. The Cardinals gave up 146 yards to the tight end in Week 1, good for second-worst in the league. Andrews is forming a connection with Lamar Jackson that dates back to last year. They kept it going in Week 1 leading his team in targets in Miami. Andrews caught eight passes for 108 yards and a touchdown (his touchdown actually came from Robert Griffin III in garbage time) but hey, points are points! With tight end being as shallow as it is, Andrews is a great start this week.
Other Players to Like
Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia (at Atlanta)
Le’Veon Bell, RB, New York Jets (vs. Cleveland)
Matt Breida, RB, San Francisco (at Cincinnati)
Calvin Ridley, WR, Atlanta Falcons (vs. Philadelphia)
DK Metcalf, WR, Seattle (at Pittsburgh)
Darren Waller, TE, Oakland (vs. Kansas City)
George Kittle, TE, San Francisco (at Cincinnati)