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NFL Week 2 fantasy football start 'em or sit 'em

Orchard Park, New York, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris (22) warms up prior to a game against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Week 2 of the 2021 NFL season is already here, and that means fantasy football start and sit decisions are once again a top-of-mind priority.


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My goal in this weekly piece will be to feature fringe, underrated or overrated players across all positions in traditional 10- and 12-team leagues, along with deeper formats.

Without further ado, let's dig into the 2021 PFF fantasy football start ‘em or sit ‘em for Week 2 of the NFL season

Jump to a position group:

QB | RB | WR | TE | D/ST

QUARTERBACKS

START

JUSTIN HERBERT, LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

Herbert’s Week 1 box score showcases a massively disappointing outing. He put up just 16.4 total fantasy points a mark that awarded him a QB25 finish for the week. However, the final stat line hardly depicts Herbert’s actual performance.

The second-year player finished the week ranked fourth in PFF passing grade (83.8) and expected fantasy points. Herbert should have thrown 3.9 touchdowns as opposed to the lone score he did connect on. 

The reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year also saw elite protection from his revamped offensive line. Despite him facing the fearsome Washington Football Team front four, Herbert was pressured less than every other quarterback in Week 1 (12.2%).

With a shootout versus the Dallas Cowboys incoming for Week 2 — evidenced by a 55-point projected total Herbert should easily finish as a top-10 fantasy quarterback. 

JAMEIS WINSTON, NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

Nobody saw the field clearer than Jameis Winston in Week 1, as the once erratic thrower ripped the Green Bay Packers defense to shreds. He threw five touchdown passes on just 14 completions.

With a matchup against a Carolina Panthers defense that just allowed 258 passing yards and two touchdown passes to a rookie quarterback in his NFL debut, Winston is plug-and-play off the waiver wire ahead of Week 2. 

MATT RYAN, ATLANTA FALCONS

The Falcons started off their 2021 season in ugly fashion at home against the Philadelphia Eagles. Ryan threw for a measly 164 passing yards and scored just 7.4 fantasy points — 8.3 points under expectation. 

The offseason concerns for Ryan without Julio Jones were on full display, as the Falcons quarterback struggled immensely to produce and push the ball downfield. His average depth of target ranked 30th on the week (5.2).

But there’s reason to believe Ryan can piece together a solid fantasy performance versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They are the quintessential “pass funnel” defense that forces offenses to throw. That was exhibited last Thursday night when Dak Prescott attempted 58 passes and scored 28.4 fantasy points against the unit.

Ryan has also enjoyed past success against this same Buccaneers defense even without Jones in the lineup. In those two such games last season, the Falcons signal-caller averaged over 300 passing yards, 2.5 passing touchdowns and 26.3 fantasy points per game. 

If you missed out on Jameis Winston off the waiver wire, turn to Ryan. 

SIT

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