Fantasy Football Start 'Em Or Sit 'Em: Week 2 Edition
Erich Schlegel, USATSI

After a surprising week one, we break down who to sit and who start in what’s sure to be another exciting week of fantasy football.

Week one of the NFL brought fantasy football mojo back with a bang. Looking at last week’s predictions, you probably won your matchup if you remembered to start Spencer Ware. However, you may have been burned by Tyler Lockett.

Week one taught us valuable lessons for the remainder of the season. There are several rookies who are going to have an immediate impact at the pro level. Some defenses look vastly improved, while some look relatively unchanged. Thirdly, can kickers ever be trusted?

Now that some players’ roles have become more defined, we can make more educated predictions for week two. Don’t worry if your bench outscored several of your starters last week; we’ve got you covered for week two.

Start ‘Em

Sterling Shepard, WR, New York Giants

If Shepard’s week one performance against Dallas was a small omen of things to come, then he’s your FLEX play in week two. Fresh of a 4 catch, 43 yard, and 1 touchdown performance, Shepard has a favorable matchup in week two.

The Giants will welcome the New Orleans Saints to town for their home opener on Sunday. The Saints allowed over 280 pass yards per game last season, ranking 31st in the NFL. They gave up 35 points to Oakland at home last week, which included a 319 yard game for Oakland QB Derek Carr.

The Giants should have little trouble moving the ball against the Saints, making Shepard an attractive target for what looks to be a potent Big Blue passing attack.

Sit ‘Em

Vincent Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The 33 year old Jackson looks to be entering the twilight of his career. Last week, James Winston threw for 281 yards and 4 touchdowns, while Jackson racked up just 2 catches for 18 yards. Youngsters Mike Evans and Austin Seferian-Jenkins have emerged as better options for a mostly youthful Bucs offense.

Jackson is still worthy of a roster spot, as he remains second on the team’s depth chart at wide receiver. However, the former pro bowler isn’t the player he once was, and faces a daunting task on the road against a loaded Arizona secondary. This week, Jackson is best served riding the bench.

Start ‘Em

Travis Benjamin, WR, San Diego Chargers

Keenan Allen‘s season ending knee injury has paved the way for Benjamin to land ample playing time. Benjamin will now start opposite of Dontrelle Inman on the outside, and should see an uptick in targets from this point on.

Benjamin, who recorded 966 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns a season ago with mediocre quarterback play in Cleveland, now gets to form a tandem with Phillip Rivers. That combination has the potential to be very enticing for fantasy owners.

The Chargers will host the Jaguars in week two, who finished 29th in passing yards per game allowed last season. All signs point towards giving Benjamin a start in week two.

Sit ‘Em

Jared Cook, TE, Green Bay Packers

Cook’s strong preseason and combination of size and speed led some people to believe he could usurp incumbent tight end Richard Rogers as the starter. If week one taught us anything, that has not yet happened.

Cook nabbed just one pass for seven yards in a victory over Jacksonville, but clearly remains the second tight end on the depth chart in Green Bay. Traveling to Minnesota, who finished in the top half of the league in pass yards per game allowed last season, isn’t a favorable matchup either, making Cook a bench player in week two.

Cook has the potential to finally breakout, but until the numbers tell us otherwise, he’s best served as a backup on your bench.

Start ‘Em

Mohamed Sanu, WR, Atlanta Falcons

Replacing Roddy White as the team’s number two is no easy task, but Sanu impressed in week one, logging 5 catches for a team high 80 yards and a touchdown. He’ll have plenty of opportunity given a solid quarterback in Matt Ryan and the attention that’s going to be paid to Julio Jones.

The Falcons travel to Oakland in week two, who surrendered 34 points and over 400 passing yards to New Orleans in week one. The Raiders also ranked 26th against the pass last year, boding well for the Atlanta aerial attack.

It’s worth noting that Sanu did sustain an ankle injury in the second half of week one. However, it didn’t appear to be serious. Pay attention to the injury report before Sunday’s game, and start Sanu if he’s listed as probable or better.

Sit ‘Em

Frank Gore, RB, Indianpolis Colts

Gore carried the ball 14 times for 59 yards against a decent Lions’ defense in week one, but his task becomes much more difficult in week two. Gore, who is now 33, faces a Denver defense that limited Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart to just 64 yards on opening night. Denver’s run defense lost some key contributors in the offseason, but returns many from a unit that finished third against the run last season.

Playing on the road in Denver is never an easy task, and the Broncos stout run defense makes Gore an unattractive option next week.

NEXT: The Third Down Play That Cost The Jets The Game 

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