Before we get into the Week 2 breakdown, I just wanted to share something with you: We’re all aware that Hurricane Irma recently impacted Florida, and we hope that everyone is safe and escaped with little damage to their homes.
In case you didn’t know, CBS Sports is based in Fort Lauderdale. Thankfully, everyone is OK, and a group of people evacuated to continue working to keep our site up and running.
While it pales in comparison to those people in law enforcement and fire rescue making sure everyone is safe, which we’re all grateful for, I just wanted to thank my colleagues who left behind family and loved ones to make sure our content didn’t stop through the storm.
There are too many people to name each one, but your efforts behind the scenes are appreciated during this trying time. And now we can focus on football, so let’s move on to Week 2.
Editor’s Note: Projections are provided by CBS Sports and not Jamey Eisenberg.
Start of the Week
We all have to admit when we’re wrong sometimes. And it looks like I might be wrong about Ty Montgomery.
The concerns I have about him might still be an issue down the road — Is he ready for a heavy workload? Will he lose touches to Jamaal Williams ? — but he did everything you could have asked for in Week 1 against Seattle. He should follow that up with a great performance in Week 2 at Atlanta, which is why he’s in this spot.
It might seem like an obvious start, which is something we tend to avoid with our Start of the Week, although he was below 80 percent started on CBS Sports as of Tuesday. But I owe Montgomery, and the Fantasy owners who believed in him, a public apology.
He had the most carries (19) and touches (23) of his career against the Seattle Seahawks , and he finished with 54 rushing yards and a touchdown, as well as four catches for 39 yards. He played 74-of-82 snaps, and he briefly missed time with a foot/ankle injury, which proved to be a non-issue.
You’d obviously like to see more than 2.8 yards per carry, but he’s the man in the Green Bay backfield right now. And that should lead to great production against the Atlanta Falcons .
In Week 1, Atlanta gave up big stats to Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen , who combined for 18 carries for 118 yards and a touchdown, as well as a whopping 11 catches for 61 yards and a touchdown on 17 targets. Running backs who can catch really have the chance to succeed against the Falcons, who gave up the most receptions (109), receiving yards (870) and touchdowns (six) to the position in 2016.
Montgomery could have a monster outing in this matchup. He’s a top-10 running back in all leagues this week, and he looks like the real deal.
I’m sorry I doubted him.
I’m starting Montgomery over: Todd Gurley (vs. WAS), DeMarco Murray (at JAC), Jordan Howard (at TB), Mark Ingram (vs. NE) and Carlos Hyde (at SEA)
- Carson Wentz (at KC): Back-to-back road games aren’t easy, and the Kansas City Chiefs just held Tom Brady without a touchdown in Week 1 in New England. But losing safety Eric Berry (Achilles) is tough, and Wentz played well at Washington with 22 Fantasy points. He should have another solid outing this week.
- Carson Palmer (at IND): Another Carson and another quarterback facing consecutive road games to open the season. Palmer might have to do more heavy lifting this week with David Johnson (wrist) out, and Jared Goff just had 18 Fantasy points against this porous Indianapolis Colts defense. Palmer will rebound after a poor Week 1 outing at Detroit.
- Alex Smith (vs. PHI): His Week 1 performance at the New England Patriots might prove to be a fluke, but Smith was pushing the ball down the field and had success without Travis Kelce doing much. He had 38 Fantasy points, and the Philadelphia Eagles are without starting cornerback Ronald Darby (ankle) this week. I’m willing to trust Smith again in Week 2, in what could be a shootout.
The Rams should get back standout defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who sat out Week 1 against the Colts because of a contract dispute. And this defense should be able to harass Cousins, who struggled in Week 1 against the Eagles with 58 percent completions for 240 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception, along with 30 rushing yards and two lost fumbles. He was sacked four times, and Rams coach Sean McVay, who was the former offensive coordinator for the Redskins, should know ways to frustrate Cousins. I’m skeptical of starting him in Week 2 on the road.
Sleeper running backs
- Kerwynn Williams (at IND): We don’t know exactly how the Cardinals plan to replace David Johnson (wrist), but Williams is worth using as at least a flex option this week. He’s scored in each of the past two games when Johnson had to leave with an injury.
- Tarik Cohen (at TB): He was heavily involved in the passing game in Week 1 with eight catches for 47 yards and a touchdown on 12 targets, and the Bears need help with their receiving corps. He’s a borderline flex option in PPR this week.
- Chris Carson (vs. SF): Thomas Rawls (ankle) is expected to play this week after missing Week 1, but Carson should still get his share of touches in a good matchup at home. And if Rawls remains out then Carson would be a starting option in all leagues.
- Shane Vereen (vs. DET): The Giants shouldn’t even bother to run the ball. They should just throw all game, and Vereen is their guy in passing situations. He just had nine catches for 51 yards in Week 1 at Dallas, which is 14 points in PPR. He has flex appeal in PPR this week.
- Alvin Kamara (vs. NE): I’m sticking with Mark Ingram as the best running back for the Saints, but Kamara was heavily involved in Week 1 at Minnesota and should be again this week in a potential track meet. He’s a sneaky flex option in PPR.
It was Week 2 last year against Baltimore when Crowell showed everyone his upside with 18 carries for 133 yards, including an 85-yard touchdown run. We doubt he has that same success this week. Including the preseason and Week 1 against the Bengals, the Ravens first-team defense has now gone 13 quarters without allowing a point. Baltimore should make things tough on Crowell on the road, and he struggled a little in Week 1 against the Pittsburgh Steelers with 17 carries for 33 yards and two catches for 33 yards, although he scored a two-point conversion. Crowell is just a low-end No. 2 running back this week at best. It also doesn’t help that Cleveland Browns guard Kevin Zeitler (thumb) is expected to play at less than 100 percent.
Sleeper wide receivers
- Tyrell Williams (vs. MIA): He went off against Miami last year with five catches for 125 yards and a touchdown in Week 10. After facing the Broncos secondary in Week 1, this is a dream matchup against the Dolphins.
- Adam Thielen (at PIT): Last week against New Orleans could be a sign of things to come for Thielen and Stefon Diggs , as Thielen had nine catches for 157 yards on 10 targets. He is a low-end starter in standard leagues and a No. 2 option in PPR this week.
- Nelson Agholor (at KC): The Eagles can have success in the slot against the Chiefs, as Danny Amendola just beat them up for six catches and 100 yards before suffering a concussion. Agholor will look to build off his strong game in Week 1 here in what could be a surprise shootout.
- Chris Hogan (at NO): The Saints couldn’t keep up with Diggs and Thielen, and that duo combined for 16 catches for 250 yards and two touchdowns. Look for similar production from Hogan and Brandin Cooks , making Hogan a No. 3 Fantasy receiver with upside this week.
- Ted Ginn (vs. NE): You should expect a lot of points between the Saints and Patriots this week in New Orleans, and hopefully we’ll see Drew Brees take some shots down the field to Ginn. He had a quiet Week 1 with four catches for 53 yards on five targets at Minnesota, but he’s an upside play whenever he’s at home.
Golladay was one of the bigger stars in Week 1 against the Cardinals with four catches for 69 yards and two touchdowns on seven targets, and he took advantage of Marvin Jones being shadowed by Peterson. We expect the Giants to pay a little bit more attention to Golladay this week, and New York just held Bryant to minimal production in Week 1. They should be able to do it to Golladay also. He’s worth adding and stashing in all leagues, but he should not be considered a starter just because he played well in Week 1.
Sleeper tight ends
- Benjamin Watson (vs. CLE): Watson had no targets in Week 1 at Cincinnati, but Flacco only attempted 17 passes. The Browns just allowed Pittsburgh’s Jesse James to go off for six catches for 41 yards and two touchdowns, so Watson is a streaming option.
- Zach Miller (at TB): The Bears need help in their receiving corps with Cameron Meredith (knee) and Kevin White (collarbone) lost for the year, and Miller could play a big role. He had four catches for 39 yards on six targets in Week 1 against Atlanta.
- Austin Hooper (vs. GB): It would be nice to see the Falcons give Hooper more than just two targets even if he can’t quite average 69 yards a catch like his did in Week 1 against the Bears. He’s worth buying into as a low-end starter this week against the Green Bay Packers .
I’m always going to trust Witten against the Giants given his track record in those matchups, especially in Week 1. But I don’t want to start Witten this week against the Broncos. I’m not sure if Denver gets the credit or a poor game plan for the Chargers was the cause of Henry and even Gates (two catches for 17 yards on three targets) not being involved in Week 1, but you know this defense is tough to throw on. Consider Witten just a No. 2 Fantasy tight end this week.
Buccaneers (vs. CHI) – 13.9 Projected points
We had the Rams in this spot last week, and they delivered in a big way with 34 Fantasy points. We hope the Buccaneers can follow suit, and they should be rested after not playing in Week 1. Look for Tampa Bay to try and take away Chicago’s running game this week and make the Bears one-dimensional with their two starting receivers (Meredith and White) out. The Buccaneers DST closed last season strong, and the unit should keep playing well in this home game against their former backup quarterback in Mike Glennon .
- Raiders (vs. NYJ): The Bills defense got two interceptions, one sack and allowed just 12 points against the Jets in Week 1. Now the Raiders get that offense on back-to-back road games, with a trip to the West Coast. Good luck, Josh McCown .
- Jaguars (vs. TEN): The Jaguars DST tied the Rams with 34 Fantasy points after destroying the Texans in Week 1. It won’t be as easy in Week 2 against Tennessee, but this revamped defense looks nasty. This is a low-end starting unit in all leagues.
- Lions (at NYG): Including the playoffs, the Giants have now gone seven games in a row scoring fewer than 20 points. The surprise is they have won three of those games, but the Lions defense can definitely harass Manning here and force some turnovers.
Vikings (at PIT) – 8.8 Projected points
In the six home games that Roethlisberger was able to play in 2016 (he missed Week 7 at New England with a knee injury and sat out Week 17 to rest for the playoffs), the Steelers averaged 30.5 points per game. They are such a different team at home, and the Vikings have to travel on a short week after playing on Monday night. The Vikings DST is good, but the Steelers offense at home is amazing. It’s not worth the risk to start the Vikings DST in Week 2.
What a great debut for Tavecchio, who is replacing the injured Sebastian Janikowski (back). He had four field goals and two extra points and did not miss a kick, including two field goals of 50-plus yards. The Raiders should dominate the Jets this week, which is why Lynch is my No. 1 running back in standard leagues in his first game in Oakland, and I’m excited about the passing game. Tavecchio should also be great, and he’s worth adding off waivers where available and starting in Week 2.
- Graham Gano (vs. BUF): Gano will remain Carolina’s kicker all year, especially after his Week 1 performance. He made all three of his field goals and both extra points at San Francisco, and he should do well this week at home against the Bills.
- Phil Dawson (at IND): Even without David Johnson, the Cardinals should have success moving the ball against the Colts. Indianapolis just allowed three field goals and five extra points against the Rams in Week 1.
- Nick Folk (vs. CHI): Folk will make his Buccaneers debut this week, and he should do well against the Bears, who were top five in Fantasy points allowed to kickers and got off to a bad start in Week 1 against Atlanta with three field goals and two extra points allowed.
The Redskins offense looked off in Week 1 against the Eagles, continuing a trend from the preseason, and Hopkins suffered with just five Fantasy points on one field goal and two extra points. I’m expecting a tough defensive effort from the Rams, who get Donald back, and they held the inept Colts offense to just nine points, while Adam Vinatieri missed a field goal and an extra point. Hopkins and the Redskins will be better than that, but it might not be by much. I’d be nervous starting Hopkins this week.