Week Two Fantasy Football Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em

Owen Alles, Sports Editor

Start ‘Em

Robbie Anderson (WR – Panthers) @ Giants

Anderson had a very strong Week One, finishing as the Panthers top scoring fantasy wide receiver and WR10 overall. More importantly, however, was the volume Anderson received. Long thought of as the WR2 in Carolina, this may no longer be the complete case. Not only was Anderson the top scoring receiver on the Panthers, he also garnered the most targets from new quarterback Baker Mayfield, certainly an encouraging sign for Anderson’s fantasy managers. Although it would be absurd to say that Anderson is solidified as WR1 for a Mayfield led Panthers team after only one game, it would be more conceivable that DJ Moore and Anderson fall into a 1A and 1B type of system, with both receiving a large number of targets. If Anderson continues to receive this high of a target share he will maintain a reliable fantasy offense. As the Panthers travel to New York this week to play the somewhat surprisingly 1-0 Giants, Anderson should be inserted into the starting lineup of all fantasy teams.

Carson Wentz (QB – Commanders) @ Lions

Although Carson Wentz has received a stunning amount of mostly deserved criticism over the past few seasons, his debut game for the newly named Washington Commanders was without a doubt excellent, especially from a fantasy perspective. Wentz finished as QB3 overall amassing a total of 29.7 points. Quite surprising from somebody who was only rostered in 16.4 percent of ESPN fantasy leagues prior to Week One. Now the question for Wentz becomes whether he can repeat this performance again. All signs point to yes. His confidence seems revitalized and it’s quite possible that he simply needed a change of scenery and a coach to want him and believe in him. Although we do have to take into account the fact that Wentz’s high scoring Week One came against the Jaguars, one of the worst secondaries in the league, he has another weak opponent in Week 2 as the Commanders fly to Detroit to play the Lions. The Lions allowed Eagles QB Jalen Hurts to earn 24.7 points against them last week. Expect Wentz to achieve similar numbers. Wentz is certainly worth a starting spot in any league with 12 or more people.

Tyler Higbee (TE – Rams) vs Falcons

This may be somewhat surprising. Higbee was largely a disappointment in Week One, only registering 8.9 fantasy points, good for a TE15 finish on the week. However, there was one stat which Higbee led all tight ends in last week- targets. Quarterback Matthew Stafford threw to Higbee 11 times during the game, more than anyone else on the Rams not named Cooper Kupp. Higbee was unable to convert this massive volume into any significant fantasy output and, due in part to a few drops, was only able to haul in five passes. This was out of character for Higbee who is usually known to have steady hands. I would not expect this to happen again. Higbee’s massive volume, paired with the fact that they are playing the Falcons this week, who’s secondary was torched for countless big plays in Week One, and I expect Higbee to be far more fantasy relevant this week. Managers should start Higbee in all formats.


Sit ‘Em

Rashod Bateman (WR – Ravens) vs Dolphins

Although Bateman’s finish as WR26 last week may seem encouraging for all fantasy managers who drafted him in the later rounds there were a few signs this performance may eventually become an outlier, not the norm. Bateman had only five targets and 12.5 of his 13.9 total fantasy points were acquired on one deep touchdown reception. This type of performance is not sustainable and the small amount of volume is concerning. Bateman was also lined up opposite the Jets secondary, a young and unproven group. He should have had a much bigger week. On the schedule next are the Miami Dolphins. An extremely stout defense who gave up only 10.2 points to Jakobi Meyers, the Patriots top wideout. Star corner Xavien Howard should shadow Bateman for a majority of a game and limit his production. Bateman should remain on the bench in all leagues this weekend.

Chris Olave (WR – Saints) vs Buccaneers

Early season weeks are often rather unkind to rookie wide receivers. Saints 2022 first round pick Chris Olave is certainly not going to be an exception to this rule. While playing in the slot for the Saints in Week One, Olave managed to generate only 9.1 fantasy points, good for only a lowly WR51 finish for the week. To make matters worse this was against a team that lacks corner depth behind star A.J. Terrell so Olave in theory should have had a favorable matchup. This will not be the case in Week Two. The Saints instead will be lined up against the fearsome Buccaneers defense coming off of a week where they held the Cowboys offense to a measly three points. Cowboys star receiver Ceedee Lamb was held to a measly 4.9 fantasy points and Cowboys slot receiver Dennis Houston was held to 3.6 fantasy points. Neither finished in the top 75 wide receivers for the week. This does not bode well for the already underwhelming Olave. Make sure Olave remains on your bench this week.

Rex Burkhead (RB – Texans) @ Broncos

Who is RB1 in Houston? This is a question that will torture fantasy managers of Rex Burkhead, Dameon Pierce, or Dare Ogunbowale alike. In Week one it seemed to be Burkhead. He garnered the majority of the carries, recording 14 opposed to the 11 of Pierce. So all is well right? Not so fast. Burkhead earned only 12.0 fantasy points and did not look all that impressive in the role. This was recognized by the coaching staff as well and indicated when they publicly announced that Pierce would be getting more touches this week. This unsettling news along with the fact that the Texans are going up against the Broncos run defense, which held Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny to 8.1 fantasy points last week, does not bode well for Burkhead. Keep Burkhead on your bench in all formats and leagues this week.

Carson Wentz (Associated Press Photo)
Rashod Bateman (Getty Images)