There are wide receivers who only need to catch a few passes to turn in a top NFL Fantasy performance. Others get so many targets, they can’t help but rack up points. But there are 40-50 other wide receivers hovering around the 5-15 NFL Fantasy point range each week.
Which ones will bounce to the top of the pile in Week 2? And who will flounder below the pack? Here is who we think should start and who should be benched in Week 2.
Nelson Agholor burned us last week when he couldn’t break free after any of his eight catches for enough yards to make the Start ‘em cut. His 33-yards total (4.1 YPC) didn’t even make him a worthy PPR play… and he had eight catches!
But Agholor didn’t suddenly become a catch-and-stop receiver. Atlanta’s defense contributed more than most realize to the ugly season-opening contest and Agholor’s limited mileage. Tampa Bay won’t be able to bottle up the Eagles’ speedy slot receiver like that.
Ten targets and eight catches against a battered Buccaneers defense makes Nelson Agholor a must-start in all leagues.
Marshon Lattimore and the New Orleans Saints defense were absolutely embarrassed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Was it the beginning of a sophomore funk for the 2017 Defensive Rookie of the Year or some kind of fluke?
Meanwhile, Josh Gordon almost killed last week’s sit -em recommendation by playing a surprising percentage of snaps and catching a touchdown pass. But he did not get targeted much in his extended time on the field. Is it Taylor’s familiarity with his favorite preseason targets? Could be.
In the long run, I expect New Orleans’ defensive to devise a way to get pressure on the quarterback and for the talented defensive backfield to shut down Gordon.
There are a few NFL pundits claiming the Seahawks will have to run the ball to be successful in Chicago’s season opener. That might be true, but that doesn’t mean Russell Wilson isn’t going to throw the ball at all.
With Doug Baldwin out, Wilson will have a choice between Lockett, Jaron Brown, and the debuting Keenan Reynolds on the deep passes he loves to throw. He will take some shots, which makes the ceiling on Lockett too high to sit.
Brandon Marshall had an impact in Week 1, catching one touchdown and having a second called back just because he pushed the defender into the stands. He is the red zone target choice over the tight ends, which makes him a worthy start also.
Coach Jon Gruden told reporters he just doesn’t know what else he can do to fire up Amari Cooper’s game. However, the game plan against the Rams last week obviously dictated throwing the ball away from whoever was covered by the Rams starting corners. It effectively took Cooper out of the game.
Gruden could be trying to inspire the young receiver with his public shaming or he could be juking all of us into forgetting Cooper when he is about to be a focal point against the Broncos. Or… it could be that Cooper will again give his NFL Fantasy owners 2-3 scattered good weeks amid another disappointing season.
An Amari Cooper breakout is not likely to happen against the Broncos in Denver. I kind of like Jordy Nelson to rebound this week, but not Cooper.
My favorite Week 1 sleeper, Quincy Enunwa came through with a touchdown and 63 yards in a game where the Jets stopped passing the ball before the end of the third quarter.
Jermaine Kearse remains out in Week 2. While I expect Robbie Anderson to see more targets than he saw with Darius Slay attached to him, Enunwa's heavy target percentage is consistent with what we saw from rookie Sam Darnold in preseason.
Miami won’t offer much more resistance than the Lions in the Jets’ home opener. Start Enunwa in both standard and PPR leagues.
My shocker of the week is a call to sit Randall Cobb, despite his 142 yards and touchdown in Week 1 against Chicago. While the Bears have a nice defense, Khalil Mack wasn’t defending wide receivers.
The Packers and Vikings play twice a year. Cobb has been a part of about a dozen of those contests. He has never scored more than 6.2 NFL Fantasy points against the purple team.
I predict the receiving stats will flip toward Jimmy Graham and the running backs in another tough matchup for Green Bay.
Andrew Luck threw 53 times last week. That is probably normal for Indianapolis. Even if he shares the load with TY Hilton, Jack Doyle, and the running backs, Ryan Grant is a touchdown away from top-ten numbers every week. His 59 yards in Week 1 could be his floor.
Larry Fitzgerald is going to have some bad weeks if the Cardinals don’t learn to pass. They are not likely to find answers against the Rams. It’s a rare sit ‘im for Fitzgerald.
In grading my sit ‘em and start ‘em recommendations, I pondered whether to use the top-32 scorers each week or a target point total. I was thinking 10 for standard leagues and 15 for PPR. Then I crunched some numbers and found that 10 and 15 points was about the top-32 cut off most weeks. So, we’ll use the points as my gauge.
With Brandin Cooks joining Nelson Agholor in burning me, I made 3 of 5 correct starts and hit on all 4 Week 1 sits. Can perfection be far away? We’ll see after this weekend.
We’ll track the season results on my Facebook page. Check it out and leave any questions or comments you have, too!