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NFL Week 2 fantasy football start ’em, sit ’em

  • Several Rams players should be in fantasy starting lineups, led by starting running back Darrell Henderson thanks to a favorable matchup against the Falcons.
  • Chargers second-year WR Josh Palmer should have an every-down role with Keenan Allen injured and should see plenty of opportunities in a high-scoring game against the Chiefs.
  • Bills tight end Dawson Knox was held to a quiet Week 1 but should rebound without much problem against the Titans.

Deciding who to start or sit can be as easy as looking at the PFF rankings and starting the player ranked higher. This start’em, sit’em column digs a step deeper, looking into why someone you might typically start might not have a good week, or why someone overlooked might have a good week. In many cases, it’s the usual starters who should star, but we want to explore the borderline players too.

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

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QUARTERBACKS

START

MATTHEW STAFFORD, LOS ANGELES RAMS
  • The Rams have the second-lowest pass-block grade as a team but are facing the Falcons, who have the fourth-lowest pass rush grade.
  • The Falcons also had the lowest pass-rush grade as a team last season.
  • Stafford has an overall PFF grade of 93.7 when kept clean last season, with 8.3 yards per attempt and a touchdown on 7% of his throws.
  • He is facing a Falcons defense that had the fifth-most coverage mistakes in Week 1.
  • Falcons All-Pro cornerback A.J. Terrell lined up at both left and right cornerback last week but doesn’t go into the slot. 
  • Rams All-Pro wide receiver Cooper Kupp spends over half of his snaps in the slot. 
DEREK CARR, LAS VEGAS RAIDERS
  • Carr has the second-best matchup for a quarterback this week.
  • He is facing a Cardinals defense that had the third-most coverage mistakes in Week 1 and allowed the most points to a fantasy quarterback last week.
  • Carr found the most success last week attacking the middle of the field, completing 12 of 13 passes for 161 yards.
  • The Cardinals allowed 18 of 20 passes to be caught in the middle of the field for 210 yards.

SIT

TREY LANCE, SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
  • Lance finished at QB27 in Week 1.
  • Much of Lance’s fantasy value comes from his rushing ability.
  • He has scrambled on 25% of plays when he’s under pressure compared to 7.4% when he’s not.
  • The Seahawks had the third-lowest pass rush grade as a team in 2021.
  • Seattle’s best pass rusher in Week 1 was Uchenna Nwosu, who had one sack, one hit and three hurries. He was the only Seahawks pass-rusher with double-digit rushes and a PFF pass-rush grade above 70.
  • Most of Nwosu’s snaps will be against Trent Williams, the fifth-highest-graded pass blocking left tackle over the last three seasons.
KIRK COUSINS, MINNESOTA VIKINGS
  • He has the eighth-worst matchup for a quarterback this week.
  • Cousins’ completion percentage drops from 75.3% to 45.9% when he’s under pressure. Similarly, his big-time throw rate falls from 5.7% to 3.6%.
  • The Vikings' interior offensive line had a combined 43.5 pass-block grade over the last two seasons, the third-lowest rate in the league.
  • The Eagles' interior defenders have an 84.9 pass-rush grade over the last two seasons, the third-highest rate.
  • His top receiver Justin Jefferson gains a first down on 18.3% of his routes against man defenses compared to 9.8% against zone over the last two seasons.
  • The Eagles have had the sixth-most coverage snaps in zone defense since the start of 2021.

RUNNING BACKS

START

DARRELL HENDERSON, LOS ANGELES RAMS
  • Henderson finished at RB21 last week.
  • He had the third-most offensive plays last week for a running back at 55.
  • Henderson ran the ball 13 times last week while the rest of the Rams handled only five carries. He also was tied for the second-most receptions on the team with five.
  • He has the fourth-best matchup for a running back this week.

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