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

2RREFKF Detroit Lions running back David Montgomery (5) scores on a touchdown run as Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Nick Bolton (32) and defensive tackle Matt Dickerson, right, defend during the second half of an NFL football game Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

Anthony Richardson and Tua Tagovailoa are must-starts: Both quarterbacks have fine matchups this week but are at the point where they should be starters regardless of the matchup.

James Cook’s breakout game is incoming: Cook has a larger role this season than last, and now he will have a matchup where he should be able to break out.

Drake London and Christian Kirk’s slow starts: Both players had underwhelming performances in Week 1. They should rebound in the long term — but probably not in Week 2.

Estimated Reading Time: 15 minutes


Deciding who to start or sit in fantasy football can be as easy as looking at the PFF rankings and going with the higher-ranked player. 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.


QUARTERBACKS

START

Anthony Richardson, Indianapolis Colts
  • Richardson scored the fourth-most fantasy points in Week 1.
  • He completed 24 of his 37 passes for 223 yards, a passing touchdown and an interception.
  • He didn’t grade out too well as a passer, making no big-time throws, and his 5.3-yard average depth of target was the seventh lowest among quarterbacks. He showed he can rack up passing yards on short passes.
  • Richardson also ran 10 times — the second-most among quarterbacks — gaining 40 yards and finding the end zone.
  • This included six designed runs for 24 yards. He and Jalen Hurts were the only quarterbacks with more than two designed runs for more than 10 rushing yards. This is unsurprising, considering Richardson's current head coach was Hurts’ offensive coordinator last season.
  • Richardson was drafted so early because of his rushing upside. It’s understandable that some people wanted to give him a week to show that he would run frequently, and now we’ve seen it. Richardson should be in starting fantasy lineups going forward, regardless of the opponent.
  • He faces the Houston Texans this week, which is an average matchup for quarterbacks.

Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins
  • Tagovailoa scored the most points for fantasy quarterbacks in Week 1, at 28.1 points — three more than any other signal-caller.
  • He completed 28 of 45 passes for 466 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.
  • He was also the highest-graded quarterback of Week 1 (92.1).
  • Tagovailoa was a top-10 fantasy quarterback last season in terms of fantasy points per game.
  • He is another must-start quarterback, regardless of opponent, as long as he remains healthy.
  • The Dolphins play the New England Patriots in Week 2. They were in the bottom half of the league at allowing fantasy points to quarterbacks last season, including the bottom five in allowing passing touchdowns. The Patriots were similarly around average for Week 1 of this season.

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