Week Two Positional Rankings

Michael Zingone

Week one is in the books and the NFL season is officially underway. With that, close matchups in fantasy football will lead to playoff crunch time in just a few months’ time. Every start/sit decision could mean the difference in getting a coveted bye week or even just making the fantasy football playoffs.

In this series, I’ll give you my top 30 quarterbacks, 60 running backs, 60 wide receivers, and 30 tight ends each week to help you with your start/sit decisions in your leagues. To generate this list each and every week, I examine team trends, Vegas over/unders, implied points, pace of play, among various other factors to build a projection for each player and subsequently adjust rankings for upside and more detailed matchup specifics.

Among the rankings, there will surely be some that surprise you or that you may disagree with. At the end of each position section, I’ll give you my thoughts on some players that perhaps are ranked higher/lower than you might expect and insights as to why they are a good/bad play this week. Ultimately, these rankings should help your start/sit dilemmas and ensure you have the requisite resources to make an informed decision.

Without further ado, let’s dive into week two’s positional rankings!


Pos Player Matchup Rank
QB Lamar Jackson @HOU 1
QB Patrick Mahomes @LAC 2
QB Dak Prescott ATL 3
QB Josh Allen @MIA 4
QB Kyler Murray WAS 5
QB Matt Ryan @DAL 6
QB Aaron Rodgers DET 7
QB Russell Wilson NE 8
QB Deshaun Watson BAL 9
QB Drew Brees @LV 10
QB Cam Newton @SEA 11
QB Matthew Stafford @GB 12
QB Tom Brady CAR 13
QB Ben Roethlisberger DEN 14
QB Ryan Tannehill JAC 15
QB Gardner Minshew II @TEN 16
QB Jared Goff @PHI 17
QB Carson Wentz LAR 18
QB Joe Burrow @CLE 19
QB Kirk Cousins @IND 20
QB Jimmy Garoppolo @NYJ 21
QB Baker Mayfield CIN 22
QB Mitch Trubisky NYG 23
QB Dwayne Haskins @ARI 24
QB Tyrod Taylor KC 25
QB Derek Carr NO 26
QB Philip Rivers MIN 27
QB Teddy Bridgewater @TB 28
QB Daniel Jones @CHI 29
QB Drew Lock @PIT 30
QB Sam Darnold SF 31
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick BUF 32

Start ‘em: Josh Allen, QB BUF

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Allen is ranked as a top option in fantasy football this week. What may be surprising, however, is the confidence one should have in him as a fantasy option. After a solid 28.2 fantasy points outing versus the lowly New York Jets, he is set up for another high scoring output against a Miami defense that allowed Cam Newton to rush for 75 yards and score twice on the ground. The Bills are six-point favorites with an implied team total of 23.5 points on the day. Consider Allen to be a top-six option at worst with upside to be the highest scoring QB on the week. Unless you have Lamar Jackson or Patrick Mahomes, start Josh Allen in week two.

Sit ‘em: Jimmy Garoppolo, QB SF

This one is a tough call this week, as Garoppolo faces a New York Jets team that just allowed a big game to Allen and the Buffalo Bills. San Francisco as a team should thrive in this matchup despite being on the road at New York. The 49ers have the ninth highest implied team total on the week at 25 points, which is a good thing for Jimmy G. However, with star TE George Kittle questionable and number one receiver Deebo Samuel on IR, Garoppolo just might not have the weaponry to sustain a top-12 quarterback week. With limited offensive weapons, Shanahan and the 49ers may lean more heavily on their three healthy running backs. Garoppolo has a solid floor this week, which is fine for superflex formats, but avoid this handsome quarterback in start-one formats where possible due to a lack of upside.

If you’re desperate: Tom Brady, QB TB

Brady wound up posting solid fantasy football numbers in garbage time in week one while getting blown out by Drew Brees and the Saints. While dynasty players shouldn’t expect a rushing touchdown from Brady most weeks, he should have significantly more success passing in week two than he did in week one. Tampa Bay hosts the Panthers this week and boast the second-highest implied team total of the week at 29 points. Expect this game to be high scoring and for Brady and the Buccaneers to put up a lot of points early in the game. Ultimately, Brady’s upside in this game is somewhat limited by the health of his receiving weapons and the horrendous play of the Panthers rushing defense, but he boasts one of the best projected floors at the position in week two. He’s a solid start all around.

Running Back

Pos Player Matchup Rank
RB Christian McCaffrey @TB 1
RB Ezekiel Elliott ATL 2
RB Alvin Kamara @LV 3
RB Derrick Henry JAC 4
RB Dalvin Cook @IND 5
RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire @LAC 6
RB Jonathan Taylor MIN 7
RB Josh Jacobs NO 8
RB Saquon Barkley @CHI 9
RB Aaron Jones DET 10
RB Kenyan Drake WAS 11
RB Austin Ekeler KC 12
RB Nick Chubb CIN 13
RB Chris Carson NE 14
RB Miles Sanders LAR 15
RB Raheem Mostert @NYJ 16
RB Joe Mixon @CLE 17
RB Todd Gurley @DAL 18
RB David Johnson BAL 19
RB Kareem Hunt CIN 20
RB Melvin Gordon @PIT 21
RB James White @SEA 22
RB Antonio Gibson @ARI 23
RB J.K. Dobbins @HOU 24
RB David Montgomery NYG 25
RB Ronald Jones II CAR 26
RB Nyheim Hines MIN 27
RB Devin Singletary @MIA 28
RB Zack Moss @MIA 29
RB Malcolm Brown @PHI 30
RB Leonard Fournette CAR 31
RB Adrian Peterson @GB 32
RB James Robinson @TEN 33
RB Benny Snell Jr. DEN 34
RB Joshua Kelley KC 35
RB Mark Ingram II @HOU 36
RB Tarik Cohen NYG 37
RB Jerick McKinnon @NYJ 38
RB Boston Scott LAR 39
RB D’Andre Swift @GB 40
RB Cam Akers @PHI 41
RB Chase Edmonds WAS 42
RB Myles Gaskin BUF 43
RB Latavius Murray @LV 44
RB Darrel Williams @LAC 45
RB James Conner DEN 46
RB Sony Michel @SEA 47
RB Alexander Mattison @IND 48
RB Peyton Barber @ARI 49
RB J.D. McKissic @ARI 50
RB Matt Breida BUF 51
RB Jordan Howard BUF 52
RB Kerryon Johnson @GB 53
RB Tony Pollard ATL 54
RB Frank Gore SF 55
RB Royce Freeman @PIT 56
RB Darrell Henderson @PHI 57
RB Tevin Coleman @NYJ 58
RB Carlos Hyde NE 59
RB Chris Thompson @TEN 60

Start ‘em: Austin Ekeler, RB LAC

Ekeler had an odd week one, and it’s puzzling dynasty players with what to do with the 2019 breakout star running back. While seeing 20 total touches – a feat he accomplished just twice all of last season – Ekeler saw just one target in the passing game. Ceding goal-line work to rookie Joshua Kelley and with a lack of involvement through the air in week one, many are questioning Ekeler’s relevance as a top running back option in fantasy football.

In week two, the Chargers take on the Kansas City Chiefs, whose opposing running back was also featured on last week’s “Start ‘em” segment: David Johnson. The rationale for playing Ekeler as a top option in week two is quite simple. The Chiefs have allowed the most running back receptions in the league dating back to 2019, the Chargers will need to play catch-up most of the game, and Ekeler should see his overall efficiency rise against a team that just allowed Johnson to get 109 total yards and a touchdown on just 14 touches. Start Ekeler with confidence as a low-end RB1.

Sit ‘em: Sony Michel, RB NE

There’s a new star rusher in town for New England, and he’s not a running back. Quarterback Cam Newton is back and seemingly better than ever, rushing for over 70 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday. Often, as we’ve seen with similar offenses with rushing quarterbacks, the running back can be a beneficiary via efficiency on the ground. That reason was a big component of Mark Ingram’s RB1 season in 2019 and Alfred Morris’s historic 2012 season. However, Michel just doesn’t seem to have that same benefit. Michel rushed for just 3.7 yards per carry in week one and – as usual – did not see any looks in the passing game. In a game at Seattle with New England as four-point underdogs, this doesn’t project to be a Michel game. You can safely bench him for higher upside plays.

If you’re desperate: Latavius Murray, RB NO

Despite a big game from teammate Alvin Kamara, Murray commanded a significant opportunity share in week one. While struggling with efficiency overall on the day, the veteran back saw 15 rushing attempts in what was largely a blowout game. The Saints take on the Raiders this upcoming weekend and boast the fifth-highest implied points (28) on the week and are 5.5 point favorites. With star wideout Michael Thomas out for multiple weeks, Murray should see his role in the offense increase as the Saints look to use Kamara more in the passing game. With extended snaps, Murray is a solid dart throw option in one of the best offenses in the league.

Wide Receiver

Pos Player Matchup Rank
WR Davante Adams DET 1
WR Julio Jones @DAL 2
WR DeAndre Hopkins WAS 3
WR Tyreek Hill @LAC 4
WR Allen Robinson NYG 5
WR Adam Thielen @IND 6
WR D.J. Moore @TB 7
WR Robert Woods @PHI 8
WR Calvin Ridley @DAL 9
WR Amari Cooper ATL 10
WR Mike Evans CAR 11
WR Terry McLaurin @ARI 12
WR D.J. Chark @TEN 13
WR JuJu Smith-Schuster DEN 14
WR Cooper Kupp @PHI 15
WR A.J. Brown JAC 16
WR Tyler Lockett NE 17
WR Odell Beckham Jr. CIN 18
WR Marquise Brown @HOU 19
WR Will Fuller BAL 20
WR Michael Gallup ATL 21
WR A.J. Green @CLE 22
WR Keenan Allen KC 23
WR Marvin Jones @GB 24
WR Jarvis Landry CIN 25
WR Diontae Johnson DEN 26
WR John Brown @MIA 27
WR Jamison Crowder SF 28
WR Darius Slayton @CHI 29
WR Stefon Diggs @MIA 30
WR D.K. Metcalf NE 31
WR Tyler Boyd @CLE 32
WR Julian Edelman @SEA 33
WR Anthony Miller NYG 34
WR Parris Campbell MIN 35
WR Emmanuel Sanders @LV 36
WR T.Y. Hilton MIN 37
WR DeVante Parker BUF 38
WR Russell Gage @DAL 39
WR Corey Davis JAC 40
WR Courtland Sutton @PIT 41
WR Robby Anderson @TB 42
WR Sammy Watkins @LAC 43
WR CeeDee Lamb ATL 44
WR DeSean Jackson LAR 45
WR Sterling Shepard @CHI 46
WR Jerry Jeudy @PIT 47
WR Henry Ruggs III NO 48
WR Preston Williams BUF 49
WR Brandon Aiyuk @NYJ 50
WR Laviska Shenault Jr. @TEN 51
WR Mike Williams KC 52
WR N’Keal Harry @SEA 53
WR Jalen Reagor LAR 54
WR Justin Jefferson @IND 55
WR Miles Boykin @HOU 56
WR Allen Lazard DET 57
WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling DET 58
WR Curtis Samuel @TB 59
WR Mecole Hardman @LAC 60

Start ‘em: Michael Gallup, WR DAL

The Cowboys trio of wide receivers is arguably the best in the league. Targets, largely speaking, are an indicator of talent compared to other options on the team. With these three wideouts – Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and CeeDee Lamb – it may be tough to tell who will see the bulk of the target share in any given week. In week two, however, there projects to be more than enough volume to go around for the Cowboys to have multiple top 24 options on the week. With an implied team total of 28.5 points – the third-highest of week two – against the Atlanta Falcons, the Cowboys project to score early and often in a game that has one of the highest over/unders of the week. In week one, the Falcons let up big games to Russell Wilson, DK Metcalf, and Tyler Lockett. Expect Dak Prescott and his trio of receivers to thrive in week two, with Gallup being a beneficiary as the secondary target.

Sit ‘em: Sterling Shepard, WR NYG

The New York Giants were a mess in most aspects of their opening game against the Steelers, highlighted by Saquon Barkley’s six total rushing yards on the day. While Daniel Jones was able to connect with Barkley and second-year playmaker Darius Slayton throughout the night, and Shephard operated as the “safety blanket” type receiver. While a solid floor option in PPR leagues, Shephard isn’t the type of fantasy player who boasts a high ceiling on a weekly basis given his role in the offense. You could do worse if you’re desperate, but in a game where the Giants have an implied total of just 18.5, Shephard can stay on your bench for higher upside options.

If you’re desperate: Robby Anderson, WR CAR

One of the bigger surprises of week one, newly-signed Anderson went over 100 yards with a touchdown in his first game with the Panthers. His eight targets were the second-highest on the team, recording a 24% target share on the day. Heading into week two, the Panthers are 9.5 point underdogs against the Bucs and will need to continue to throw the ball to be competitive. Throughout the season, the Panthers’ defense – or lack thereof – will necessitate Teddy Bridgewater to go to his playmakers early and often. While one should expect Christian McCaffrey and DJ Moore to command the bulk of Carolina’s opportunity, Anderson is a great high upside play if you’re desperate in week two.

Tight End

Pos Player Matchup Rank
TE Travis Kelce @LAC 1
TE Mark Andrews @HOU 2
TE George Kittle @NYJ 3
TE Zach Ertz LAR 4
TE Darren Waller NO 5
TE Noah Fant @PIT 6
TE T.J. Hockenson @GB 7
TE Hayden Hurst @DAL 8
TE Tyler Higbee @PHI 9
TE Austin Hooper CIN 10
TE Jonnu Smith JAC 11
TE Dallas Goedert LAR 12
TE Evan Engram @CHI 13
TE Hunter Henry KC 14
TE Jared Cook @LV 15
TE Mike Gesicki BUF 16
TE Logan Thomas @ARI 17
TE Jimmy Graham NYG 18
TE Eric Ebron DEN 19
TE Jack Doyle MIN 20
TE Rob Gronkowski CAR 21
TE O.J. Howard CAR 22
TE Chris Herndon IV SF 23
TE Ian Thomas @TB 24
TE Tyler Eifert @TEN 25
TE Dawson Knox @MIA 26
TE Greg Olsen NE 27
TE Irv Smith Jr. @IND 28
TE C.J. Uzomah @CLE 29
TE Kyle Rudolph @IND 30

Start ‘em: Jonnu Smith, TE TEN

While Corey Davis stole the show in week one with a 101-yard performance, third-year TE Smith had a mini-breakout of his own. Smith earned an 18% target share on the day, catching four of his seven targets against a solid Broncos defense. Heading into week two, teammates Corey Davis and AJ Brown are both injured and/or limited in practice early this week, so Smith may be in line for an even bigger workload against a Jaguars team that allowed the duo of Jack Doyle and Mo Alie-Cox to get five catches for 69 yards in week one. Overall, in a relatively weak TE landscape, dynasty players should be confident starting Smith as a TE1, particularly in TE premium formats that reward receptions.

Sit ‘em: Irv Smith Jr, TE MIN

A popular second-year TE breakout candidate, Smith took a backseat in week one to the tune of just one target despite the Vikings largely playing catchup. One of the appeals for Smith was the easy-to-see path to opportunity without a clear number two target for the Vikings heading into the season. While it’s possible Smith carves out a bigger role as we progress into the year, the sophomore just has too low a floor to start in most formats. While it’s always a possibility that you might miss out on that breakout game, this just isn’t a wise gamble in a game where the Vikings are three-point road underdogs. There are plenty of tight ends that have a more predictable role.

If you’re desperate: Logan Thomas, TE WAS

The best bet to be the TE waiver wire gem of the season, Thomas showed week one that he is going to be a big part of the Washington offense for the 2020 season. With good athleticism and a lackluster depth chart around him, Thomas commanded an outstanding 27% target share in week one. While only finishing with 37 yards and a touchdown, this level of opportunity on a consistent basis week over week will vault Thomas to be a consistent TE option this year. In a prime matchup against the TE-friendly Arizona Cardinals, Thomas presents a combination of a volume floor and matchup upside that, if you’re desperate at TE, makes for a good play.

That concludes this week’s rankings article! As this series is released before Thursday’s game, be sure to follow any lingering injuries and changing injury status updates for players as Sunday approaches. If you’re wondering about a player I didn’t dive into detail about, feel free to reach out to me @FFzinger on Twitter. Best of luck this week, and I’ll be back next week to give week three’s positional rankings.

michael zingone
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