Happy Week 2! Hope everybody enjoyed watching live professional football for the first time in seven months.
Now it’s time to attempt to figure out what the hell happened, because we have 16 more games right around the corner and less than a week to digest and adjust accordingly.
What follows are my Week 2 QB rankings. Note that these are not season-long lists or projections; I’m purely ranking based on who I believe will score more fantasy points this week with a focus on 1) What the QB achieved in Week 1, 2) Injuries or workload changes that could impact their production, and 3) This week’s matchup. All DFS salaries refer to DraftKings.
1. BALTIMORE RAVENS QB LAMAR JACKSON AT HOUSTON TEXANS (BAL -5, 53.5)
Jackson’s much-anticipated passing TD regression will have to wait for another week, as he shredded the Browns for 275 yards and three scores through the air on just 25 pass attempts. Forty-five additional yards on the ground demonstrates the scary reality that 2020 Jackson appears to be every bit as dangerous as the 2019 version.
The potential absence of LT Ronnie Stanley (ankle) certainly wouldn’t be ideal, but the Texans’ porous defense remains a matchup to target, not fear. Jackson demonstrated as much last season, throwing for 222 yards and four TDs with another 79 yards on the ground during the Ravens’ 41-7 victory over Houston.
Credit to J.J. Watt and company for at least limiting big plays against the Chiefs in Week 1, although their failure to slow down Clyde Edwards-Helaire is troubling in projecting their performance against one of the most-lethal rushing attacks the NFL has ever seen.
DFS Note: Jackson’s $8,200 price tag is a new career-high mark. Of course, his $8,100 salary in Week 1 also was his highest yet, and he managed to clear that in style. The larger issue is that both Marquise Brown ($6,200) and Mark Andrews ($6,300) are a bit more expensive this week, meaning those wishing to stack the Ravens will have to find some cost-saving values to fit everybody in.
2. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS QB PATRICK MAHOMES AT LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (KC -6.5, 50.5)
Mahomes’ Week 1 performance was particularly frightening for opposing defenses because the Chiefs weren’t able to live off of big plays like normal. This didn’t both Mahomes, as the best QB alive was more than willing to take what was there and/or feed CEH in the run game.
Mahomes isn’t really a conventual gunslinger in terms of actively attempting tight-window throws:
- 2020: 9% dropbacks result in tight-window attempts (21st)
- 2019: 16% (26th)
- 2018: 15% (29th)
That’s what makes this offense so scary. Mahomes and company already have more talent than just about everyone, yet Andy Reid and the coaching staff also complement them with one of the league’s single-best schemes.
The opponent rarely matters when Mahomes is under center. Yes, Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram can make life tough on any tackles, while Casey Hayward and Chris Harris Jr. form one of the league’s better CB duos. Also yes, no QB in NFL history has averaged more fantasy points per game than Mahomes.
DFS Note: Mahomes ($7,700) comes in as the second-priciest QB. However, I’d rather pay up for the Ravens’ stack considering 1) Easier matchup, and 2) Baltimore as a whole is cheaper after considering how costly it’ll be to pair Mahomes with Travis Kelce ($7,000) and/or Tyreek Hill ($7,500).