Sometimes, I start really feeling confident about NFL fantasy prowess and start imagining Fox or ESPN calling me to do studio spots on gamedays. Then I write a post telling you to sit Tyreek Hill and start Martavis Bryant and the dream is shattered. Well, at least until I rebound with a positively perfect prognostication… like my Week 2 picks for wide receiver gold and mold.
START THESE GUYS: Amari Cooper or Michael Crabtree, Oakland (vs. NY Jets)
Marshawn Lynch is the star attraction this Sunday in Oakland, but these receivers will need just a few catches to romp through the Jets’ secondary for yards and a score. Derek Carr tried to force feed touchdowns to Cooper last week, which didn’t go well except for the time Cooper pushed the Tennessee defense into the end zone with him.
Each wide receiver will have at least one touchdown this week, making their fantasy owners happy.
SIT THIS GUY: Terrelle Pryor, Washington (at LA Rams)
Pryor and Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins connected for 66 yards on six catches, but they never seemed in sync. Pryor had a bad drop and Cousins flat out missed him at least twice. They are still developing their connection and timing.
This will not be the week we see the pair hit it off. Washington goes up against the Sean McVay-led Los Angeles Rams. McVay knows Cousins inside and out and will make this a miserable reunion for the Washington quarterback and his wide receivers.
START THIS GUY: Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams (vs. Washington)
Last week’s numbers were not just because the opponent was Indianapolis. Washington will send their best corner out with Sammy Watkins and everyone else will be paying attention to Todd Gurley. Meanwhile, Kupp will curl, slant, and hook in the intermediate zone, which happens to be quarterback Jared Goff’s happy zone.
Once teams start respecting the Rams’ rookie, it will be time to start playing Robert Woods.
SIT THIS GUY: Pierre Garcon, San Francisco (at Seattle)
Garcon had a nice game and any WR1 warrants attention in NFL fantasy football. Just not this week. Seattle’s home opener comes a week after they ran out of gas against Aaron Rodgers, a situation exacerbated by the loss of Jeremy Lane after a phantom punch got him ejected.
The 49ers came back to earth last week against the Panthers’ good defense. This week they face a better defense on the road. Don’t play any of the Niners’ receivers this week.
START THIS GUY: Dez Bryant, Dallas (at Denver)
Start a wide receiver in Denver? Sure! Especially one who is upset about his two catches on 11 targets in Week 1 and has a smart, careful quarterback operating behind a good offensive line.
Bryant was absolutely livid over his third consecutive dud against the NY Giants. He is out to prove he is still Dez Bryant and can catch and score against top defenses. He’ll do both against Denver this week.
SIT THIS GUY: Kenny Golladay, Detroit (at NY Giants)
What’s that? You just picked up Kenny Golladay on waivers? Well, put him on the bench this week. His coming out party in semi-garbage time last week means he is not sneaking up on anyone this week. To add to his challenge, he is going against a very upset Giants defense with much more talent throughout the mid-line and defensive backfield than Arizona has.
If you are going to play any Detroit receiver this week, make it Marvin Jones as Stafford tries to make up for only targeting him twice last week. But Golladay gets shut out this Monday night in New Jersey.
Too-obvious-to-write-about guys who should start
Antonio Brown (182 yards!), Julio Jones (shootout vs. Green Bay), Tyreek Hill (especially with Philly’s Ronald Darby out), Brandin Cooks and Michael Thomas (taking advantage of two quarterbacks on a mission.)
This week’s flash-in-the-pan prediction
Kenny Britt breaks out of Hue Jackson’s doghouse with two long catches and a touchdown as Baltimore finds out it’s not as easy to shut out an opponent who has an offensive line.
Even as I saw my Week 1 prediction explode, I had fun watching Tyreek Hill running all over the field last week. Odell Beckham wound up inactive but my third sit was on target. Dez did get one more point than I predicted, though.
My starts were also mixed. Stefon Diggs edged Hill for the top wide receiver score in standard leagues. Larry Fitzgerald came up with 74 yards without a score, while Martavis Bryant caught only two of six targets for one NFL fantasy point.
Josh McCown missed Robbie Anderson on a couple of deep routes, messing up my flash-in-the-pan prediction for Week 1. It will all get better though in Week 2. I can feel it!
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