Binge, Stream and Skip: Fantasy football Week 2 viewer's guide

Game environment is the foundational starting point in making fantasy decisions. As such, I’m going to break down each game on the slate into three categories: Binge, Stream and Skip.

Games you want to “binge” are like the show you can’t miss; you’re watching as soon as it goes live and might just crush all the episodes in one weekend. These are the start-all-your-guys fantasy games and ones with season-defining storylines.

Games you want to “stream” are like the shows you certainly watch start to finish, but perhaps you’re finishing it over time instead of one shot. While these games might not feature a ton of “must-starts,” we can pick and choose our spots, and the teams are likely to matter in the NFL playoff picture.

Lastly, the games you want to “skip” are like the shows you’re leaning toward passing on, but you might catch an episode here and there (or might stick to reading recaps online to stay up with the culture). There will be a non-obvious player or two who stands out in these games, but overall, they aren’t the best environment for fantasy football.

Let’s dive into my Week 2 Fantasy Football Viewer’s Guide.



You could argue that these were two of the most disappointing offenses of Week 1, at least according to public sentiment. That said, I’m not especially worried about either going forward.

For the Ravens, we live in a microwave society. Yes, we talked all offseason about how the new-look Ravens offense under Todd Monken would be unlike anything we’ve seen with Lamar Jackson. It will be, even if the Week 1 results weren’t great. Installing an offense is a marathon, not a sprint. I’m confident that Baltimore can get right quite quickly, perhaps this very Week 2 game.

My one concern is the offensive line, as both Tyler Linderbaum and Ronnie Stanley have been ruled out for this matchup.

With the Bengals, it’s a little more complicated but perhaps not all that concerning … if Joe Burrow is healthy. Quarterback charting expert Derrik Klassen wrote after watching Burrow in Week 1: “Every aspect of Burrow’s game was affected by the injury and the missed time over the offseason. This was the most apparent when Burrow tried, and failed, to drive the ball.”

It’s also worth noting the rainy conditions in that game, which might've exacerbated the problem. But I couldn’t help but remember when Ja’Marr Chase spoke about his quarterback’s availability in training camp, saying, “I told him that with all honesty, I don't want him there … as long as you're there after Week 5 and on, we're good, brother." Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald has thrown some good pitches at Burrow when they’ve faced off, but Baltimore also enters this game banged up in the secondary.

If Burrow doesn’t bounce back here, I’ll move from “not concerned at all” to “slightly troubled.”

Non-obvious players I like

  • Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Baltimore Ravens. Much of the hype is justifiably on rookie Zay Flowers (more on him in a second), but with Rashod Bateman (39% of the snaps) still working himself back to form after an offseason of rehab, Beckham ran out as a clear starter. The veteran receiver ran a route on 74.2% of Jackson’s dropbacks and was the air-yards-share leader at 40%. He’s the downfield target here and even drew some crucial pass interferences to go with a vintage OBJ highlight catch. If this game is high-scoring, Beckham can rip a few big plays.

STAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Zay Flowers led all pass-catchers (by a lot) in Week 1 with a 60% first-read target share, per Fantasy Points Data. A.J. Brown was second at 47.1%. So it was made clear right away that Todd Monken wants to feature the explosive rookie.

Some in the fantasy space have made a big deal about how most of these targets are “designed reads” (six of 10 targets) like screens and such. We don’t want Flowers to be only a gadget guy, but this is why watching players play is actually important. That is far from the only area where Flowers wins, as you see him run a ton of downfield routes and win against man coverage in Week 1.

Don’t be surprised if: Tee Higgins finds the end zone. Higgins led the team with 140 air yards and drew the lone end-zone target for Cincinnati last week. Of course, it resulted in a flat zero catches. He’s too good of a player for that to continue and should find favorable matchups with Marcus Williams and Marlon Humphrey ruled out by the Ravens.


This is a matchup of two NFC playoff hopefuls, with the two operations coming in with vastly different vibes.

The Lions are riding high after upsetting the Chiefs on the road in the season opener that already feels like a lifetime ago. Detroit’s offense looked like the unit we expected, and their defense executed a fantastic game plan. The stop unit in particular looked much improved up front, with Aidan Hutchinson taking a leap and in the secondary thanks to a variety of additions.

As mentioned, the offense was about as expected. They’re going to flow through Amon-Ra St. Brown in the passing game, and the run game (seventh in EPA per carry in Week 1) will be a foundation piece.

Meanwhile, the Seahawks enter Week 2 licking their wounds after a tough home loss to the Rams. To play a little armchair psychologist, they looked like a team that expected to defeat a rebuilding opponent with ease and perhaps got a little too high on its own press clippings. Pete Carroll is a good enough coach to brush past that one-week aberration, but there are long-term concerns after losing both starting tackles in Week 1.

Charles Cross is out this week, and Abe Lucas was placed on IR. Newly signed 41-year-old Jason Peters might well start soon. Geno Smith was under pressure on 14 dropbacks in Week 1 and completed just 45.5% of his passes for 4.7 YPA. Injuries to both starting tackles have sunk offenses before. I’m still starting both of the veteran receivers with confidence and holding out sooner-than-later hope for Jaxon Smith-Njigba, but this is on my radar nonetheless.

Non-obvious players I like

  • David Montgomery, RB, Detroit Lions. The veteran back played on 77.1% of team snaps, handled 61.8% of team rush attempts and ran a route on 33.3% of dropbacks. Until that usage changes, and despite what the haters think, he’s good enough to hold a big role, and you play him every week.

  • Kenneth Walker, RB, Seattle Seahawks. This should be obvious, but in case it needs to be said: K9 dusted rookie Zach Charbonnet in snap share, rush attempt share and route participation.

  • Sam LaPorta, TE, Detroit Lions. In his first NFL action, LaPorta ran a route on 50% of team dropbacks and was targeted on 28% of those patterns. You can’t ask for much better tight end deployment than that.

  • Josh Reynolds, WR, Detroit Lions. You have to be relatively desperate to start Reynolds in fantasy, but he is clearly the (for now) answer at WR2 for the Lions over Marvin Jones. Reynolds is the best vertical outside receiver on the roster.

STAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Jahmyr Gibbs ran a route on just 19.4% of team dropbacks. The Lions are promising more work for Gibbs as the season goes on. Overall, I tend to fall on the side of believing them. After all, they were ecstatic to grab him in the draft. But I thought he was over-drafted in fantasy (in Round 3) this summer, and nothing about his Week 1 role changed my mind, despite him being a verifiably electric player.

Don’t be surprised if: We don’t get another high-scoring affair here. I’m actually hoping I’m wrong with this one, but it appears that some in the fantasy community are banking on another 90-plus-point shootout like we got between these two teams last season. With Seattle’s offensive line issues and Detroit’s defensive improvements, we might not quite reach those heights.


Vegas expects the Jaguars to stay hot and the Chiefs to rebound, as this game carries a 51.5-point projected total. I’m on board with both.

The addition of Calvin Ridley paid immediate dividends for Jacksonville. Ridley was an alpha in every sense of the word in Week 1, handling a 48.6% share of the team air yards and drawing a target on 33% of those patterns. He’s the type of presence that makes an entire offense better. The immense trust between Ridley and Trevor Lawrence just one game into their time together is striking.

Kansas City’s offense wasn’t up to snuff in Week 1. That’s no surprise, considering they learned that Travis Kelce was going to be out far too late in the proceedings to adjust the game plan. I want to see this unit with their elite pass-catcher in the mix before casting judgment on how the distribution or impact will work going forward (Kelce will be back in Week 2). However, there was such a dramatic rotation at the receiver position (no one ran more than 72% of the routes) and in the backfield (no one had more than 35% of the carries) that you cannot consider playing any ancillary piece at this point.

Non-obvious players I like

  • Zay Jones, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars came out with more two-tight-end sets than expected, and it was Jones who played over Christian Kirk in those packages. If the Jags play more 11-personnel in Week 2 to spread the field against the Chiefs and Kirk approaches an 80% route participation mark, you’re not allowed to be surprised because he’s a good player. But just based on Week 1, Jones with his 35.5% air yard share is the guy to look at.

STAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Travis Etienne's 83% route rate in Week 1 was easily a career high. He never topped 67% last year. This is a huge development. Rookie Tank Bigsby indeed came in for goal-line work but made a bevy of rookie mistakes. He doesn’t look poised to siphon work from the explosive Etienne, who's an RB1 until further notice.

Don’t be surprised if: Travis Kelce returning makes everything better for this offense. Patrick Mahomes threw to his first read on just 43.6% of his passes, third-lowest among Week 1 starters, per Fantasy Points Data. He just didn’t trust what was going on around him with a makeshift game plan while working in young, inexperienced receivers. That will get better with time — don’t give up on some of these guys just yet.


These NFC West matchups are always a delight and full of the unexpected, as the Rams' win over Seattle showed last week. Including the playoff game, Kyle Shanahan is 9-4 against Sean McVay, and the 49ers have taken the past eight straight regular-season contests.

And this was all before they found their way to a potential answer at quarterback.

The 49ers were nothing short of fantastic in Week 1. It’s a talent-laden unit with quality players at all levels. The blocks the receivers threw for Christian McCaffrey show the immense buy-in from everyone on this team. Speaking of McCaffrey, he played on 85% of snaps, doing away with any silly worries about Elijah Mitchell siphoning work from one of the best football players in the league. He’s the RB1 overall with a bullet.

All the main dudes in San Francisco are in play every single week, but I do have my eye on George Kittle as the potential player to cede volume to the wideouts. That said, he garnered 21% of the targets in Week 1, and you, in all likelihood, do not have a better option at tight end.

The Rams were one of the biggest surprises in Week 1, thanks in large part to a sublime performance by Matthew Stafford. As long as Stafford is playing like that and stays healthy, this offense and overall team are going to out-kick expectations.

Now we just have to nail down the roles for the young players surrounding the veteran passer.

Non-obvious players I like

  • Kyren Williams, WR, Los Angeles Rams. One of the biggest surprises of Week 1 came when Williams ran as the clear top back over Cam Akers, though it shouldn’t have been so stunning, as this was a developing story in camp. Williams played on 74.5% of the snaps in quarters 1-3 and owned 100% of the two-minute snaps, per Fantasy Life. Akers played just 25.5% of the first three-quarter snaps and didn’t see the field in two-minute situations. Until we see something flip, Williams is a playable option in fantasy, and Akers is merely a stash.

  • Tutu Atwell, WR, Los Angeles Rams. Atwell will never be a major volume-heavy receiver with his skill set, but he looks to be a valuable pre-snap motion player for McVay’s offense. He will be quite boom/bust, but that motion role is critical.

  • Brandon Aiyuk, WR, San Francisco 49ers. The era of Aiyuk as a non-obvious start in fantasy is rapidly coming to an end, but for now, he must be mentioned. Aiyuk is the lone skill position player in San Francisco who has yet to hit his prime (Deebo Samuel is a great performer and currently in his prime), and he has already been excellent. The ascension is just beginning for a guy who has top-10 wide receiver talent. He also happens to be a great fit with Purdy.

STAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Just 24.5% of Purdy’s passing yards came from YAC … which was the lowest among Week 1 starting quarterbacks. This is notable considering we typically associate Shanahan’s offenses as units that prop up bad quarterback efficiency with YAC plays. This is what makes Purdy different from those guys. Purdy is capable of improvisational plays and will pass up the checkdowns to push the ball downfield. He’s more gunslinger than game manager. That overlaps well with Aiyuk, whom he clearly trusts without a second guess as a downfield target.

Don’t be surprised if: It goes either way for Puka Nacua. There has been a ton of steam on the rookie since his 15-target debut, and I’ve contributed to it because I love the player’s ability, but this is a case where fantasy centrism makes sense. If Nacua comes out quietly against a tough 49ers defense — especially now that he popped up as a late injury-report addition — you’re not allowed to be surprised. It also doesn’t mean he was a Week 1 fluke.

Both things can be true; please keep your hot takes holstered.


Most folks wouldn’t have had the Raiders being the 1-0 team entering this matchup.

Josh Allen had a meltdown, a mistake-fueled performance in Week 1. He wore it, took the blame and is looking to move on in Week 2. For all the good coming out of the Raiders' Week 1 win, there are still a ton of questions about this defense, which ranked 25th in dropback success rate allowed last week. It’s up to Allen to play within himself and not needlessly enter chaos mode.

The Raiders' offense was surprisingly efficient in Week 1 under Jimmy Garoppolo. They might be heading into a bit of a tougher test against the Bills' pass defense, but Buffalo did give up several big runs Monday. Las Vegas’ best chance to keep this one close is to put the ball in Josh Jacobs’ hands over and over again.

Non-obvious players I like

  • James Cook, RB, Buffalo Bills. Cook played on more than 60% of snaps and logged 54.5% of the team's rush attempts with a 14.6% target share. That’s the mark of a back you play every week.

  • Gabe Davis, WR, Buffalo Bills. Look, Gabe is who he is. He’s going to have some rough showings when he’s not simply working as a vertical threat. Still, this type of matchup, on which the Bills are a heavy-home favorite against a lesser secondary, is the right moment to chase his big plays.

STAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Josh Allen led the NFL (by a lot) with 28 dropbacks out of 12 personnel. Daniel Jones was second with 12. Whether or not it works long-term, the Bills are committed to making this their base personnel grouping. That makes Dalton Kincaid a near-every-week starting consideration at tight end. I don’t expect him to carry a 1.3-yard aDOT every week.

Don’t be surprised if: There is no answer for the Raiders here now that Jakobi Meyers has been ruled out. Meyers was absolutely cooking before leaving the game following a scary hit against Denver. Both Meyers and Davante Adams drew 43.8% of the Raiders' first-read targets. They could be the next funnel offense that flows through two wideouts because Meyers is that good of a wide receiver. With him missing this game, I’ll keep an eye on Hunter Renfrow, but he’s simply not the same caliber of player.



The Packers dismantled the Bears in Week 1, which should come as no surprise, but you have to come away from this feeling good about Jordon Love’s prospects. The Packers were No. 1 in EPA per dropback in Week 1. Love played a clean game, but man, Matt LaFleur was in his bag in this game. No longer having to share the leadership of this offense with Aaron Rodgers, LaFleur let his flag fly and threw a ton of diverse and deceptive concepts at the Bears. This is a good ecosystem for Love to grow up in.

The Falcons are weird. We knew this was going to be the case and that this offense would be run-heavy. I still believe the 26 rush attempts to 18 passes ratio won’t be quite so skewed each week. Remember that the Panthers turned the ball over and shortened the field for Atlanta multiple times in Week 1. Those types of instances will always make an offensive result look outside the norm.

At least, here’s to hoping that's the case. For now, you have to temper optimism for the mega-talented Drake London, especially in a non-ideal matchup, but his time will come.

Non-obvious players I like

  • A.J. Dillon, RB, Green Bay Packers. All right, let’s call this “I sort of like." Aaron Jones will miss this week with a hamstring injury. Dillon is not even close to a direct replacement for the dynamic Jones, but he’ll be in line for more work if Jones misses the game. You can chase the fantasy points here.

  • Luke Musgrave, TE, Green Bay Packers. Musgrave was second among tight ends in yards in Week 1 and ran a route on 70% of the dropbacks.

  • Tyler Allgeier, RB, Atlanta Falcons. Again, I don’t expect the running backs to get 34 touches on a weekly basis, but Allgeier is a darn good player and will continue to hold a role in this backfield.

STAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: The Falcons were 12th in defensive success rate in Week 1. I’m not sure how much of this result is a mirage thanks to a toothless Panthers offense or if the additions Atlanta made this offseason have revamped a unit that has been miserable for years. With the way LaFleur was pitching heat on Sunday, I think this will be a quality test.

Don’t be surprised if: Jayden Reed pops in this game. Reed got a little banged up midgame last week but still led the team in air yards with 93. He’s the primary pre-snap motion option with Christian Watson on the shelf, and that offers him big play chances. I love this guy’s skill set.


The Chargers' defense let them down in Week 1, but they’ll face a much lighter challenge in Week 2 with the Titans. Ryan Tannehill had a downright nightmare game amid waves of pressure behind a dysfunctional offensive line, but he also only completed 52.2% of his passes when kept clean (per PFF).

This Titans offense could circle the drain quickly and will have a hobbled DeAndre Hopkins this week as he deals with an ankle injury.

The Chargers' offense didn’t throw the ball at the clip that many were expecting in Week 1, but their top two receivers are still in play every week. The Titans were shredded by Derek Carr, Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed in Week 1. Now they’ll deal with Justin Herbert.

Non-obvious players I like

  • Chig Okonkwo, TE, Tennessee Titans. Like-adjacent on this one, but Okonkwo ran a route on more than 70% of the dropbacks in Week 1. He’s a full-time player who is getting downfield looks. He could become more involved with Hopkins less than 100%, as could second-year receiver Treylon Burks.

STAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: The Chargers in Week 1 had a top-10 rushing offense success rate of the past decade, per Ben Solak of The Ringer. Kellen Moore’s addition was immediately felt in the ground game. They ran the ball extremely well and will continue to do so. Despite fantasy folks' obsession with the passing game, this was the area of the offense that needed the most work. Looking good so far.

Don’t be surprised if: Even before Austin Ekeler was ruled out with an ankle injury, I was expecting Joshua Kelley to have a big role in this game.

Why? Because Ekeler himself is looking for that complement:


I feel for Jets fans and all who were enthused about this offense. The landscape is just dramatically different with Zach Wilson at the helm. Garrett Wilson is a volatile WR2, and that’s just how it’s going to be for a guy you took inside the top-20 picks, unless something changes with Zach Wilson.

It doesn’t look like any improvement is coming based on his Week 1 showing.

It’s hard to take much away from how the Cowboys offense will operate this season, considering they didn’t have to do much to contribute to a dominant win over the Giants in Week 1. That defense is going to haunt opposing quarterbacks all season.

Non-obvious players I like

  • Jake Ferguson, TE, Dallas Cowboys. With Brandin Cooks dealing with a sprained MCL and expected to sit, some other pass-catchers will step up. I am a big Michael Gallup fan and like him this week, but throwing into the teeth of that Jets secondary might not be the move. Ferguson got plenty of opportunity in Week 1, which is about all you can ask for at tight end.

STAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: The Jets were second in rushing EPA in Week 1.

Don’t be surprised if: Tony Pollard still gets home despite the tough matchup. One thing we do know about Dallas’ offense is the confirmation that Tony Pollard is a high-end RB1 in fantasy football after he ran well in a positive game script and got the goal-line work. Pollard’s expected fantasy points based on his role (per Fantasy Points Data) trailed only Austin Ekeler in Week 1.


This AFC East matchup will be fascinating. We know what we’re getting out of the Dolphins offense. Tua Tagovailoa was one of, if not the best, quarterback performers in Week 1. This will be a tougher test against New England, but we’re not dialing back expectations for the Miami passing game at this stage. Tua’s superpower is his ability to get rid of the ball quickly and still push it downfield, which alleviates pressure. According to Next Gen Stats, among QBs who played Sunday, Tua had the fifth-fastest time to throw but the most air yards per completion.

The New England defense did play well, as expected, against the Eagles in Week 1. It was their offense that was a bit more surprising. Having Bill O’Brien as the adult in the room really made a difference from the jump.

Non-obvious players I like

  • Hunter Henry, TE, New England Patriots. Henry ran well ahead of Mike Gesicki (33 routes to 19), and this was to be expected after camp reports. He led all tight ends with a paltry 56 yards, but he’s in play every week with this type of usage.

  • Kendrick Bourne, WR, New England Patriots. Bourne scored twice on his 11 targets in Week 1, and I liked his ability to beat man coverage. The vibes around JuJu Smith-Schuster are certifiably awful right now, so other pass-catchers will need to step up. Kayshon Boutte is more likely to lose playing time if DeVante Parker returns to the X-receiver spot.

STAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Mac Jones led the NFL with 58 dropbacks in Week 1, so seven players had four-plus targets. Jones was unfairly maligned for a disaster second season that was ruined by unserious coaching. He can be a high-level distributor in an attack like this, but I’m not sure I buy New England being this pass-heavy every week. We’ll know a lot more about how we value these sleeper pass-catchers and the running back receiving roles after this matchup.

Don’t be surprised if: Jaylen Waddle has a big game. Waddle isn't going to have the same target share as Braxton Berrios and River Cracraft on a weekly basis. Bill Belichick will certainly attempt to put the squeeze on Hill and try to stop Tua from getting to his third read. I’m pounding the Waddle overs in the prop streets for this matchup.


I’m not sure how I feel about the Saints overall, but I’m loving what I saw out of their passing game for fantasy football in Week 1. Chris Olave had a fantastic role, as he moved around pre-snap and was targeted on 33% of his routes. They got him more layup looks than last year, and Derek Carr pushed him the ball downfield. Olave can be a top-10 receiver this season, and the complementary players around him in the receiving hierarchy are underrated.

I don’t have the same good vibes around the Panthers' passing game. Bryce Young went 2-of-12 for 23 yards with a pair of picks on throws of 10-plus yards Sunday. This offense just has no juice down the field.

Non-obvious players I like

  • Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints. We know he’s a long-term health question, but he’s here for now. Thomas ran a route on 84% of the dropbacks and garnered a 24% target share with one end-zone look. I like him against a Panthers secondary that’ll be missing Jaycee Horn after he landed on IR.

  • Miles Sanders, RB, Carolina Panthers. Sanders played on 58.3% of the team snaps, doubled-up Chuba Hubbard in carries and, most importantly, held a 13.2% target share. As long as these Carolina wideouts are not separating downfield, Sanders is going to continue to get catches.

STAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Derek Carr led the NFL with 27.3% of his pass attempts traveling 10-plus yards. If Carr continues playing like this, we’re going to get a great season out of Olave and a ton of the ancillary guys in New Orleans, primarily Rashid Shaheed.

Shaheed can flat-out play. He should not be on waivers.

Don’t be surprised if: Jamaal Williams finds the end zone despite another inefficient day. Williams got the ball at an absurd rate in Week 1 because there were simply no other options. He didn’t do much against Tennessee’s elite defense, but if the Saints hold a lead against Carolina, he’ll have another heavy workload and likely find better rushing lanes.


I bumped this one out of the “skip” section it held during the podcast version of this column. There are too many players I like on both sides. Both rookie quarterbacks exceeded expectations in Week 1, even if the stats don’t totally show it. C.J. Stroud in particular looked comfortable and played off-script better than many thought he would on the road in a tough Baltimore matchup. His play actually made me quite encouraged for Dameon Pierce, whom I think bounces back in a big way this week.

Non-obvious players I like

  • Nico Collins, WR, Houston Texans. Another player I’m feeling better about after watching Stroud in Week 1. Collins drew 11 targets and ranked third in air yards among all Week 1 pass-catchers. He’s a good player who can win at X-receiver against a weak secondary.

STAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Anthony Richardson had the eighth-most dropbacks in Week 1. The Colts aren’t just going to be the run-heavy offense because they have a good plan for Richardson in place and trust him to execute the offense. Richardson becomes a near every-week start at quarterback with this unit, but the underrated Michael Pittman quietly might be the biggest Week 1 winner at receiver.

Don’t be surprised if: Zack Moss takes over this Colts backfield. The Colts' running backs were a disaster spot in Week 1. Moss gave them a decent run last season, and he’s a solid (but not special) player in the league. He might've gotten overlooked on a heavy waiver-wire week across fantasy leagues. Check for him prior to Sunday if you have the space.



The Bucs got an upset win in Week 1, while the Bears might lead the league in bad feelings at this point. The defense was hideous, and the offense was nothing short of a clown show. If you haven't treated yourself to J.T. O’Sullivan’s breakdown of the Bears' offense — or what he calls a “dumpster fire spectacular” in Week 1 on his The QB School YouTube channel — just do it. Maybe grab a drink for the proceedings if you’re a Bears fan.

Again, shoutout to the Bucs for a Week 1 win, but I’m still pretty cautious about trusting many members of this Baker Mayfield-led unit. This is a great matchup against the Bears, however, so we’ll pick our spots.

Non-obvious players I like

  • Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Evans led Bucs receivers with a 26.5% share of the targets compared to Chris Godwin’s 17.6%. The more troubling part was Godwin’s 5.8 aDOT. He’s going to need a ton of volume to get home on that type of usage, which I don’t expect to come in this version of the attack. I don’t hate Godwin this week because the Bears can’t rush the passer a lick, but if you need a volatile WR3, I’d look at Evans to potentially hit big.

STAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Justin Fields’ 3.5 aDOT ranked 34th among Week 1 quarterbacks. There was literally nothing encouraging about the Bears' offense, but the most troubling part of the affair was Fields turning down open downfield throws. He used to be a true big-game hunter at quarterback, but now he’s needlessly hitting running back checkdowns. If that continues, it’ll be nice for Roschon Johnson’s garbage-time fantasy production — as such, I struggle to buy into it — and downright terrible for the Bears offense.

Don’t be surprised if: Judgment is cast on Rachaad White after Week 2. White played on 79.4% of the Buccaneers snaps and ran a route on 53% of dropbacks. That is elite running-back usage, but he did next to nothing with it … and that was against a Vikings defense that D’Andre Swift and the Eagles obliterated on Thursday Night Football on the ground. If White can’t make it happen against the Bears, I’ll be left wondering if he ever will.


The Steelers will be banished to the “skip” section until further notice. I knew the 49ers defense would make it tough for them in Week 1, but that was an inexcusable outing from the passing game. Kenny Pickett had a pitiful 3.4 YPA and threw two picks while not under pressure Sunday. Now he’s without his best wide receiver in Diontae Johnson and has his tight end banged up. Nightmare.

The Browns' offense was predictably led by Nick Chubb, and while Deshaun Watson’s pocket presence and ball placement are still looking problematic, I’d like to see him in a clean-weather game.

Non-obvious players I like

  • Elijah Moore, WR, Cleveland Browns. Moore got exactly the role we hoped for in Week 1. He garnered 24% of the air yards, ran 80% of the routes and was second on the team in first-read targets to Amari Cooper (22.7%). With Cooper questionable after aggravating a groin injury in Saturday's practice, I think Moore officially gets rolling in his breakout game for the Browns.

STAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Allen Robinson was tied for the lead in routes run and had the most targets and receiving yards after Diontae Johnson left in Week 1:

I’d rather not get excited about any of these receivers, but at least we know what the roles look like. George Pickens continues to run mostly low-percentage routes and is primarily a jump-ball merchant. He’s going to be super-volatile with this usage. Allen Robinson is a nice fit as a big slot and could catch a ton of underneath passes from Pickett. Calvin Austin is an explosive separator outside. They might need him to break out, and I like him as a deep stash for games Johnson misses.

Don’t be surprised if: We’re talking about the Browns as a defense to fear after this week. Early-season games provide us time to adjust expectations, and after Week 1, I’m thinking the Cleveland defense under Jim Schwartz is going to be one of the breakout units of 2023. They have a chance to make a statement by demolishing the Steelers in a nationally televised game.


If the Giants are going to be a good offense in 2023, we’ll know after this week. My take is that they ran into a buzzsaw in Week 1 against the Dallas Cowboys, and many other offenses will fall on that sword throughout the season. I’d turn back to Darren Waller and Daniel Jones as fantasy starters this week.

Non-obvious players I like

  • None

STAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: The Arizona Cardinals were 13th in defensive success rate in Week 1. How much of that was Sam Howell playing with too much chaos in his second career game, and how much of it was Jonathan Gannon coaching up an under-manned unit? How Daniel Jones performs will tell us a lot.

Don’t be surprised if: We still don’t have clarity on the Giants' receivers after this week. Parris Campbell led the team with a 70% route participation as the primary slot last week.


I was disappointed with Sam Howell in his first start of the season, but I’m willing to give it time. There are simply too many good players around him to not at least get some good games in along the way.

The 2023 Denver Broncos looked a lot like the 2022 version. There’s little clarity in the running back room, and the receivers are banged-up and as middling as ever. Even talented rookie Marvin Mims is playing behind depth pieces. This whole unit is an avoid for now, though it looks like Jerry Jeudy will suit up this week and could offer a much-needed boost.

Non-obvious players I like

  • Jahan Dotson, WR, Washington Commanders. Dotson looked fantastic on film in Week 1 and was carving up defensive backs, even when Howell didn’t give him chances. I like him to bounce back this week. The Broncos' second cornerback was toasted in Week 1 by Jakobi Meyers while Patrick Surtain tracked Davante Adams around the field.

STAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Sam Howell was under pressure for 16 of 39 dropbacks and completed five of 10 passes with a 5.9 YPA, one TD to one INT in Week 1. This was the area that bothered Howell most, especially when he invited pressure in the pocket onto himself. If he gets rid of the ball on time, he should be able to enjoy a clean game against Denver. The Broncos' 6.9% pressure rate ranked dead last in Week 1.

Don’t be surprised if: Brian Robinson pushes all others aside in the backfield. Robinson had 14.8 expected fantasy points in Week 1, per Fantasy Points — no one else had more than three. He ran just four fewer routes than Antonio Gibson and handled almost 70% of the team's rush attempts.