Fantasy Football Start 'Em Sit 'Em: Week 2 lineup advice, best matchups, DFS picks

Author Photo
Breece Hall, Drake London
(Getty Images)

Week 2 in fantasy football means we aren't completely flying blind anymore for the 2023 NFL season. The opening week provided just a small sample size of what to expect from offenses and defenses around the league, but at least now there's a foundation to help figure out those tough start 'em sit 'em lineup decisions.

Unfortunately, Achilles' injuries took two key players off the board early: Ravens running back JK Dobbins and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. At wide receiver, Diontae Johnson will be lost for a while with his hamstring injury. Running backs Aaron Jones (hamstring) and Austin Ekeler (ankle) are two more banged-up players to watch.

There is some good news. Tight end should clean up a bit with Travis Kelce (knee) and Mark Andrews (quad) expected to return in good matchups. At wide receiver, Jerry Jeudy and Christian Watson, two more players dealing with hamstring issues, have a shot to deepen the pool.

MORE: Get NFL RedZone with Sling (50% off first month)

There are also plenty of other interesting developments with some surprise early breakouts and disappointments across positions. Here's a look at "The Decider's" Week 2 rankings and recommendations for season-long leagues, along with some DFS values to target on DraftKings and FanDuel. If you have specific lineup questions, check out RotoBaller's industry-leading "Who To Start?" tool below and compare up to four players across all positions.

MORE: Click here to become a RotoBaller VIP subscriber and receive exclusive access to their Premium VIP lineup tools, DFS cheat sheets, Lineup Optimizer, and Team Sync platform to give you custom tools and advice! Use discount code SPORTING.

Fantasy Football Week 2 Start 'Em: Quarterbacks

Must starts

  1. Jalen Hurts, Eagles (vs. MIN)
  2. Patrick Mahomes, Cheifs (at JAX)
  3. Josh Allen, Bills (vs. LV)
  4. Justin Herbert, Chargers (at TEN)
  5. Trevor Lawrence, Jaguars (vs. KC)
  6. Joe Burrow, Bengals (vs. BAL)
  7. Lamar Jackson, Ravens (at CIN)
  8. Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins (at NE)

Stronger starts

9. Jared Goff, Lions (vs. SEA). Goff is back at home in a comfortable spot, and this was a shootout last season. He also just saw trademate Matthew Stafford pick the Seahawks apart.

10. Daniel Jones, Giants (at ARI). He will go back to dropping some dimes with his legs and a few shiny nickels with his arm to exploit a shaky shell of a Cardinals defense.

11. Geno Smith, Seahawks (at DET). Smith outdueled Jared Goff at Ford Field last season, and he should be throwing a ton in what could be another high-scoring affair.

12. Jordan Love, Packers (at ATL). Love draws another road matchup very similar to what he faced in Chicago, and we know what he did there.

13. Justin Fields, Bears (at TB). Fields falls out of the top 12 because it might be tough to run on the Bucs, and they wreaked some havoc up front on the Vikings last week.

14. Brock Purdy, 49ers (at LAR). The Rams' defense overachieved in shutting down Geno Smith, but it's hard to see Purdy's two-TD streak end here.

15. Mac Jones, Patriots (vs. MIA). Mac was red hot behind Tua in scoring last week, and he'll once again be prepared to sling it with suddenly more diverse weapons.

16. Derek Carr, Saints (at CAR). Carr started slowly against the Titans but got into a groove with his talented receiving corps. It doesn't hurt that the Panthers are banged up on the back end.

DFS picks

Joe Burrow, Bengals (vs. BAL, $6,900 on DraftKings, $7,400 on FanDuel). Wow, one career bad game and you get buried a little in the pricing! As much as Burrow has struggled with the Browns, he's put up massive digits on the Ravens. He starts earning that $55 mil with a Burrow-like elite outing.

C.J. Stroud, Texans (vs. IND, $5,200 on DraftKings, $6,400 on FanDuel). Stroud had 242 passing yards and 20 rushing yards in his road debut. He just needs a little more running and a score for a path to 3X value facing an iffy Colts pass defense in Houston.

QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | D/STs | Kickers

Fantasy Football Week 2 Sit 'Em: Quarterbacks

Weaker starts

17. Kirk Cousins, Vikings at (PHI). Cousins was sloppy despite two TDs (one long, one short) last week, and the Eagles roughed him up last season in Week 2 to continue his big-game, prime-time struggles.

18. Deshaun Watson, Browns (at PIT). Watson slow-burned to some viable numbers in Week 1, but it wasn't pretty against the Bengal. This is a trickier spot on the road.

19. Anthony Richardson, Colts (at HOU). The Texans remain much better vs. the pass than the traditional running game, and they also did a good job of containing Lamar Jackson as a runner last week.

20. Russell Wilson, Broncos (vs. WAS). Wilson didn't really look like a new QB under Sean Payton, and the Commanders' pass D is tougher than you think.

21. Sam Howell, Commanders (at DEN). Howell seems to be a young QB to play more at home, and the Broncos' defense has enough to thwart him.

22. Dak Prescott, Cowboys (vs. NYJ). He could match Josh Allen with a messy performance against this nasty pass defense.

23. Ryan Tannehill, Titans (vs. LAC). It's tempting because of the numbers the current Dolphins QB put up on the Bolts, but Tannehill isn't in a dynamic passing game like Tua is.

24. Matthew Stafford, Rams (vs. SF). He put up a lot of yardage with no TDs on the Seahawks, but you absolutely cannot trust him in this brutal home opener.

WEEK 2 FANTASY: Sleepers | Busts

Fantasy Football Week 2 Start 'Em: Running backs

Must starts

  1. Christian McCaffrey, 49ers (at LAR)
  2. Nick Chubb, Browns (at PIT)
  3. Derrick Henry, Titans (vs. LAC)
  4. Saquon Barkley, Giants (ARI)
  5. Austin Ekeler, Chargers (at TEN, unlikely to play)
  6. Aaron Jones, Packers (at ATL, unlikely to play)
  7. Bijan Robinson, Falcons (vs. GB)
  8. Travis Etienne, Jaguars (vs. KC)
  9. Tony Pollard, Cowboys (vs. NYJ)
  10. Josh Jacobs, Raiders (at BUF)
  11. Rhamondre Stevenson, Patriots (vs. MIA)
  12. Kenneth Walker, Seahawks (at DET)
  13. David Montgomery, Lions (vs. SEA)
  14. Jahmyr Gibbs, Lions (vs. SEA)
  15. Joe Mixon, Bengals (vs. BAL)
  16. Dameon Pierce, Texans (vs. IND)
  17. James Cook, Bills (vs. LV)
  18. Rachaad White, Buccaneers (vs. CHI)

Stronger starts

19. Jamaal Williams, Saints (at CAR). The Panthers wilted against the power run vs. the Falcons, and Williams can rumble to about 80 yards and a TD on Monday night.

20. James Conner, Cardinals (vs. NYG). Conner will get nice volume here, and there's a good chance he scores to boost a ho-hum rushing effort.

21. Tyler Allgeier, Falcons (vs. GB). He's too involved as the co-No. 1 to sit, especially against a leaky Packers' run defense that's much better vs. the pass.

22. AJ Dillon, Packers (at ATL). With Jones looking very iffy to play, the clear backup should be busy with power running and some underrated work in the passing game.

22. Miles Sanders, Panthers (vs. NO). Sanders is getting a good rushing workload and just enough catches to pop.

23. Alexander Mattison, Vikings (at PHI). He's another middling, volume-based play, but he should do enough damage in the passing game to have value.

24. Najee Harris, Steelers (vs. CLE). You gotta stick with him after the Browns had a little trouble with Joe Mixon.

25. Breece Hall, Jets (at DAL). He has the talent to fly through this matchup and should see increased touches to boost Zach Wilson.

26. Isiah Pacheco, Chiefs (at JAX). Andy Reid will overcorrect and get his best back the ball more to power through the Jaguars' front with at least one short score.

27. Javonte Williams, Broncos (vs. WAS). He got the key work right out of the gate ahead of Samaje Perine, and he should build on that at home again.

DFS Picks

James Cook, Bills (vs. LV, $6,100 on DraftKings, $6,600 on FanDuel). You can tell the Bills really want him to take passing and running pressure off Allen, and he can do that much easier in the home opener vs. the Raiders.

Rachaad White, Buccaneers (vs. CHI, $5,500 on DraftKings, $6,200 on FanDuel). White got nice volume (19 touches) despite the Sean Tucker usage in Week 1. That workload can add up to more rushing and receiving effectiveness, including a TD, in what should be a positive game script. Keep in mind he's very Aaron Jones-like.

QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | D/STs | Kickers

Fantasy Football Week 2 Sit 'Em: Running backs

Weaker starts

28. Kenneth Gainwell, Eagles (vs. MIN). The Vikings seemed to be weaker vs. the pass than the run, and Gainwell (ribs) was banged up on a short week. D'Andre Swift ended up starting in his place and had a big game with Boston Scott.(concussion) being ruled out midgame and the team still not trusting Rashaad Penny.

29. Raheem Mostert, Dolphins (at NE). Mostert did score last week, but Miami wasn't interested in running much on the Chargers. The Patriots can stuff him.

30. Brian Robinson Jr., Commanders (at DEN). He was just OK playing ahead of a fumbling Antonio Gibson, and the Broncos bottled up Josh Jacobs well.

31. Gus Edwards, Ravens (at CIN). This goes for Justice Hill and Melvin Gordon, too. Here we go again in a messy, unpredictable usage committee with no JK Dobbins.

32. Khalil Herbert and Roschon Johnson, Bears (at TB). The Bucs can still bring it vs. the run, and it's hard to know what you'll get from either in a much more difficult spot than the Packers.

33. Cam Akers and Kyren Williams, Rams (vs. SF). They won't get the same kind of work in a bad negative game script against a mighty run defense, and there's no pass-catching to compensate.

35. Joshua Kelley, Chargers (at TEN). With Ekeler out he would seem to be a good play but keep in mind the Titans' run defense is brutal and Kelley can't compensate with receiving work.

36. Dalvin Cook, Jets (at DAL). Cook is now the Alexander Mattison to Breece Hall, and the Cowboys can stop his pedestrian style.

Fantasy Football Week 2 Start 'Em: Wide receivers

Must starts

  1. Tyreek Hill, Dolphins (at NE)
  2. Justin Jefferson, Vikings (at PHI)
  3. Ja'Marr Chase, Bengals (at BAL)
  4. Stefon Diggs, Bills (vs. LV)
  5. Amon-Ra St. Brown, Lions (vs. SEA)
  6. A.J. Brown, Eagles (vs. MIN)
  7. DeVonta Smith, Eagles (vs. MIN)
  8. Calvin Ridley, Jaguars (vs. KC)
  9. Chris Olave, Saints (at CAR)
  10. Brandon Aiyuk, 49ers (at LAR)
  11. Jaylen Waddle, Dolphins (at NE)
  12. Mike Williams, Chargers (at TEN)
  13. DK Metcalf, Seahawks (at DET)
  14. Keenan Allen, Chargers (at TEN)
  15. Tee Higgins, Bengals (vs. BAL)
  16. Davante Adams, Raiders (at BUF)
  17. CeeDee Lamb, Cowboys (vs. NYJ)
  18. Garrett Wilson, Jets (at DAL)
  19. Deebo Samuel, 49ers (at LAR)
  20. Zay Flowers, Ravens (at CIN)
  21. Amari Cooper, Browns (at PIT)
  22. Mike Evans, Buccaneers (vs. CHI)
  23. Chris Godwin, Buccaneers (vs. CHI)
  24. DeAndre Hopkins, Titans (vs. LAC)
  25. Jahan Dotson, Commanders (at DEN)
  26. Kendrick Bourne, Patriots (vs. MIA)

Stronger starts

26. Gabe Davis, Bills (vs. LV). Davis will be unlocked more facing a secondary that can give up big plays. Expect him to find the end zone this week.

27. Tyler Lockett, Seahawks (at DET). He disappeared in Week 1 and had a head injury concern, but the reliable one will be back at it again for Geno Smith playing off DK Metcalf's attention.

28. DJ Moore, Bears (at TB). It's hard to be too inspired by the poor play of Justin Fields, but Moore should rev up for a decent WR3 game vs. a familiar NFC South foe.

29. Michael Pittman Jr, Colts (at HOU). He looked very good with Anthony Richardson, and he can rack up some good catches underneath the Texans' zone.

30. Romeo Doubs, Packers (at ATL). We'll see about Christian Watson (hamstring), but Doubs' usage as both a big-play and red-zone threat makes this spot sweet.

31. Puka Nacua, Rams (vs. SF). Puka isn't a fluke. They've made him a rookie Cooper Kupp with his alignment and quickness, and he can do some damage schemed away from Charvarius Ward in garbage time.

32. Courtland Sutton, Broncos (vs. WAS). He's looking like the best option for Russell Wilson by default, and the target share says take a favorable shot.

33. Michael Thomas, Saints (at CAR). We're still doubting Thomas a bit, but as long as he's healthy, he's a playable complement to Chris Olave.

34. Nico Collins, Texans (vs. IND). For now, he's their best receiver, and the Colts stink on the outside in coverage.

35. Elijah Moore, Browns (at PIT). He was their leading receiver last week and can be schemed open well playing off Amari Cooper.

DFS picks

Tee Higgins, Bengals (vs. BAL, $6,400 on DraftKings, $7.000 on FanDuel). Higgins got blanked on eight targets by a great Browns secondary. The Ravens have issues in coverage on the back end, and Higgins has had some nice games against them in the past. He rebounds and makes for a nice stack with his QB.

Mike Williams, Chargers (at TEN, $5,700 on DraftKings, $6,700 on FanDuel). Here's another quiet receiver from Week 1 who will be more in his element against the Titans, who struggled plenty with the downfield passing of the Saints.

Zay Flowers, Ravens (at CIN, $5,000 on DraftKings, $6,600 on FanDuel). Enjoy the cheapness of a player who should be open often in a high-scoring affair. Look for the rookie to keep it up and be more dangerous with Mark Andrews back.

Fantasy Football Week 1 Sit 'Em: Wide receivers

Weaker starts

36. George Pickens, Steelers (vs. CLE). Not to pick on him minus Diontae Johnson (hamstring), but that means he'll see Denzel Ward and a lot of fine cornerback coverage.

37. Terry McLaurin, Commanders (at DEN). McLaurin underwhelmed with Sam Howell early, and Pat Surtain II is certain to keep him slumping.

38. Jordan Addison, Vikings (at PHI). The Eagles' secondary sprang some leaks vs. the Patriots, but they won't let him get loose deep with pressure on Kirk Cousins, too.

39. Christian Kirk, Jaguars (vs. KC). Kirk won't be forced into the action for a second straight week, as he trades Kenny Moore for an even more challenging draw vs. L'Jarius Sneed and Trent McDuffie.

40. Jakobi Meyers, Raiders (at BUF). The Bills' secondary is back to being intimidating, and if he somehow passes concussion protocol, he'll cool off with the rest of the Raiders' passing game.

41. Drake London, Falcons (vs. GB). We see London once again doing nothing of note with Jaire Alexander and friends looming.

42. Marquise Brown, Cardinals (vs. NYG). The speed of Adoree' Jackson isn't great for his chances with non-Kyler Murray.

43. Brandin Cooks, Cowboys (vs. NYJ). Whether it's Sauce or D.J. Reed, don't expect him to cook up much and he's also unlikely to play with his knee injury.

44. Odell Beckham Jr., Ravens (at CIN). While Flowers blooms, he will wilt.

45. Treylon Burks, Titans (vs. LAC). His value has been Nuked too much to trust here.

Fantasy Football Week 1 Start 'Em: Tight ends

Must starts

  1. Travis Kelce, Chiefs (at JAX)
  2. Mark Andrews, Ravens (at CIN)
  3. T.J. Hockenson, Vikings (at PHI)
  4. Hunter Henry, Patriots (vs. MIA)
  5. Evan Engram, Jaguars (vs. KC)
  6. George Kittle, 49ers (at LAR)
  7. Darren Waller, Giants (at ARI)

Stronger starts

8. David Njoku, Browns (at PIT). Njoku absolutely went off on the Steelers last season and can do it again with his athleticism.

9. Dallas Goedert, Eagles (vs. MIN). Goedert was a no-show last week, but here's his chance to rev up a bit with the attention going to the wideouts.

10. Sam LaPorta, Lions (vs. SEA). The door opened well for him in Kansas City, and he'll walk through for a stronger all-around outing that can include his first score.

11. Dalton Kincaid, Bills (vs. LV). Kincaid impressed in limited production against the Jets, and he should flash more of his ceiling here.

12. Pat Freiermuth, Steelers (vs. CLE). Kenny Pickett is trusting in him again, and he becomes more vital with no Diontae Johnson.

13. Cole Kmet, Bears (at TB). Kmet was sneaky good vs. the Packers, as Fields is stuck on his old weapons. The Bucs can be beat.

14. Luke Musgrave, Packers (at ATL). The Falcons gave up a busy day to Hayden Hurst, and Musgrave will be key again behind Romeo Doubs should Christian Watson sit.

15. Chigoziem Okonkwo, Titans (vs. LAC). Chiggy went blank like Goedert, but the Chargers can be vulnerable to field-stretching tight ends.

DFS pick

Darren Waller, Giants (vs. ARI, $5,500 on DraftKings, $6,600 on FanDuel). Waller saw decent targets from Daniel Jones with five, managing three catches for 36 yards to lead the team vs. the Cowboys. He can get double that with a good chance to score on the Cards even working through his hamstring.

Fantasy Football Week 1 Sit 'Em: Tight ends

Weaker starts

16. Kyle Pitts, Falcons (vs. GB). You cannot trust him to get the ball enough from Desmond Ridder.

17. Tyler Higbee, Rams (vs. SF). Higbee is an afterthought with young wideouts emerging fast.

18. Jake Ferguson, Cowboys (vs. NYJ). Fade everything you can in the Dallas passing game.

19. Gerald Everett, Chargers (at TEN). They won't need him, as the wideouts do plenty of damage all over the field for Justin Herbert.

20. Hayden Hurst, Panthers (vs. NO). The Saints are great against the tight end and just blanked Chig Okonkwo.

21. Juwan Johnson, Saints (at CAR). The Panthers are great against the tight end and just made Kyle Pitts disappear.

22. Dalton Schultz, Texans (vs. IND). He's being used little behind their wideouts for now.

23. Logan Thomas, Commanders (at DEN). He was active last week, but the Broncos have enough to contain him while Jahan Dotson is Sam Howell's guy this week.

Fantasy Football Week 1 Start 'Em: Defenses

Stronger starts

  1. Cowboys (vs. NYJ)
  2. 49ers (at LAR)
  3. Eagles (vs. MIN)
  4. Bills (vs. LV)
  5. Saints (at CAR)
  6. Giants (at ARI)
  7. Broncos (vs. WAS)
  8. Jets (at DAL)

9. Browns (at PIT). There can be some big plays to be had with Myles Garrett vs. Kenny Pickett on Monday night.

10. Steelers (vs. CLE). There also will be some big plays made with T.J. Watt vs. Deshaun Watson on Monday night.

11. Buccaneers (vs. CHI). They have the goods to push around the Bears up front and cause some mistakes from Justin Fields.

12. Texans (vs. IND). The Texans are a sneaky good play at home, and they get a break vs. a bad running game.

13. Packers (at ATL). They can get something nicely done vs. Desmond Ridder by making him throw enough.

14. Chargers (at TEN). Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack will actually exploit a weak offensive line this week.

DFS picks

Jets (at DAL, $2,700 on DraftKings). This is an elite defense that should be played in almost any matchup, especially at this price point.

Buccaneers (vs. CHI, $4,100 on FanDuel). This is ridiculously cheap for a team that had three turnovers and two sacks in Week 1!

Fantasy Football Week 1 Sit 'Em: Defenses

Weaker starts

15. Ravens (at CIN). They give up a lot of points to the Bengals and are not really good against the pass anymore.

16. Commanders (at DEN). They underwhelmed in a cake matchup vs. the Cardinals, and you can't go there on the road.

17. Dolphins (vs. NE). Mac isn't someone to mess with.

18. Patriots (vs. MIA). Tua isn't someone to trifle with.

19. Bengals (vs. BAL). Lamar wasn't clean last week, but he will put up big points this week.

20. Colts (at HOU). Don't fall into this trap. They had a fluky score last week and aren't very good overall.

Author Photo
Vinnie Iyer is an NFL writer at The Sporting News