Finding legitimate sleepers who give fantasy football owners a headache is a weekly chore. Inevitably, the injuries, bad games, and ineffectiveness of the previous week will force you to look for saves to begin with, whether they come from the waiver thread, from players on your own bench, or possible trade targets. Having a “sleep detector” handy will give you an edge over the rest of your leagues. Each week, several players will come out of nowhere and finish in the top 24 of their respective positions, and the numbers for week 2 will be no different.
We won’t bore you with obvious entries, so don’t be too shocked when you see Trey Sermon on the roster, which indeed carries more risk this week than Week 1 soccer balls. Rondale Moore showed up early on. signs of fantastic relevance, even with a talented group of WR around him. Also, please don’t back down from the Raiders’ defense – we have good reasons. As always, we’re not asking you to put your start-up stallions on for these guys, but consider them if you have multiple guys to consider. And for the 15-man leagues with 25 spots in the roster, we’re sorry, but we can’t help you identify the fourth-string tight end that will score a touchdown this week.
WEEK 2 FANTASY: Busts | Start them, sit them down
Last week we correctly labeled Kirk Cousins, Jamaal Williams, Ty’Son Williams and the Broncos defense as viable starters. However, we weren’t that specific with our Russell Gage, Jimmy Garoppolo, and just about all of our TE picks. As the season progresses, we will have more information at our disposal to identify the best options for playing on the start ’em, sit’ em bubble. After all, this is fantastic football, and sleepers will always come with risk.
STANDARD RANKING FOR WEEK 2:
quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | tight end | D / ST | Kicker
Week 2 Fantasy Sleepers: running backs
Ronald Jones, Buccaneers vs. Falcons (Jackson Sparks). It might make you sick of inserting Jones into your roster after producing negative fantasy points in week 1, but we need to look ahead. Jones has apparently “taken out of the Bruce Arians niche” and will start in Week 2 against a terrible Falcons defense that gave the Eagles 173 rushing yards in Week 1. Of course, some of those yards were coming from by Jalen Hurts, but Miles Sanders and Kenny Gainwell were in the top 20 standard RBs and the 22 best PPR RBs. The game script for Tampa Bay shouldn’t be as heavy as it was last week, so expect RoJo to have a rebound performance.
Devin Singletary, Bills at Dolphins (Vinnie Iyer). He won more work against a weak running defense from the Dolphins and should be involved in the passing game after seeing what the Patriots have been able to do.
Trey Sermon, 49ers @ Eagles (Matt Lutovsky). It’s a major risk, make no mistake, but with Raheem Mostert (knee) out for the year, it looks like Sermon has to play. Elijah Mitchell still thinks he’s RB1, but Sermon could easily get ahead of JaMycal Hasty, who San Francisco kept active in Week 1 due to the ability of their special teams. If Sermon is RB # 2, he’ll get carries – that’s exactly how it works in the San Francisco offense. Maybe you don’t trust that in one-season leagues, but there’s a lot of appeal for DFS to be against the grain with Sermon.
WEEK 2 LINEUPS DFS: DraftKings | FanDuel | Yahoo
Fantasy Football Sleepers of the Week 2: Quarterbacks
Kirk Cousins, Vikings @ Cardinals (Sparks). For a second week in a row, Cousins is one of our quarterback sleepers. All it does is produce, but people still aren’t optimistic about starting it. He was just below a QB1 (fantastic 22.04 points) last week, and he will have to try again north of 50 passes to keep the Vikings in this game. With Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins on the other side of the ball, it could be a complete shootout. Maybe this will be the week that fantasy owners wake up.
Matt Ryan, Falcons at Buccaneers (Iyer). Matty Ice will throw a ton against a fragile Bucs secondary and bring out numbers from Calvin Ridley and Kyle Pitts that didn’t happen against the Eagles.
Teddy Bridgewater, Broncos vs. Jaguars (Lutovsky). Bridgewater had 264 yards and two touchdowns against the Giants last week (plus 19 rushing yards); the Jaguars gave up 291 yards and two touchdowns (plus 40 rushing yards) even easier to Tyrod Taylor. Put it together and you have another fantastic good day for Bridgewater.
PPR WEEK 2 RANKS:
quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | tight end | D / ST | Kicker
Week 2 Fantasy Football Sleepers: Large Receivers
Jakobi Meyers, Patriots @ Jets (Sparks). Meyers led all of the Patriots in targets (9) in Week 1 against the Dolphins, and he is expected to play a much lower defense this week in New York. Mac Jones looked good at first, and although Nelson Agholor scored more fantastic points last week, Meyers still looked like his No.1 WR. It’s a solid, flexible game heading into week two.
Mike Williams, loaders at Cowboys (Iyer). Williams is healthy and looking great with Justin Herbert, and the Cowboys will be struggling to contain his height.
Rondale Moore, Cardinals vs. Vikings (Lutovsky). Moore caught four of five targets for 68 yards last week – ho-hum, right? Maybe, but the exciting rookie is clearly capable of more, and as he becomes more comfortable with the Cardinals’ powerful attack, expect him to be used in a variety of ways. The Vikings battled rookie Ja’Marr Chase last week, so why can’t another member of a satisfied squad cause them more trouble?
MORE FROM WEEK 2: The best waiver mics | FAAB Budget Planner | Buy low, sell high
Week 2 Fantasy Football Sleepers: Tight Ends
Gerald Everett, Seahawks vs. Titans (Sparks). Early signs are that the Titans’ pass defense is once again one of the worst in the league this year, and Everett could benefit. Everett was only targeted twice and caught both for 20 yards last week, but he scored a touchdown in the red zone. He’s got an early chemistry with Russell Wilson in this area, and the Titans don’t have anyone like Darius Leonard in their linebacker room. All of the best Seahawks pass catchers are a must-have this week.
Cole Kmet, Bear vs. Bengals (Iyer). Andy Dalton turned out to enjoy pitching him in Game 1, and he’ll be busy working against Cincy’s back seven to complete A-Rob.
Dalton Schultz, Cowboys @ Chargers (Lutovsky). Schultz saw six targets in week 1 and looked like the TE receiving the alpha. With Michael Gallup (calf) out, Schultz could see even more looks this week against a Chargers defense that struggled to contain Washington’s Logan Thomas last week. Think of Schultz more like a PPR game than a standard game, but it has hit potential, which will make it usable in any format.
Week 2 Fantasy Football Sleepers: Defense
Raiders @ Steelers (Sparks). Las Vegas playing defense? In 2021, it looks like they might. On Monday Night Football, the Raiders dominated the Ravens’ offensive line in passing situations. They didn’t shell Lamar Jackson much, but sacked him three times. Three bags don’t paint the big picture, however. Maxx Crosby had two sacks, two TFLs and five QB hits on his own. They also looked like an opportunistic defense, forcing four fumbles. This week they will face a Steelers offensive line that looks about as bad as we expected, and Big Ben looked even slower than last year. Don’t be surprised if the Raiders’ defense shows up to play.
Arizona Cardinals vs. Vikings (Iyer). That pass rush was real in Nashville, and they’ll crush Kirk Cousins behind a makeshift home attacking line.
Green Bay Packers vs. Lions (Lutovsky). It sounds crazy after Jameis Winston precisely chopped up the Packers last week, but some of the defensive issues were related to the offense putting them in bad places. Either way, Green Bay is expected to be better at home in prime time against his own personal whip, Detroit. The Lions did little before garbage time last week, and Jared Goff threw a brutal pick-six early in the game.