Now that Week 1 is over, fantasy managers have a slightly better sense of their team. They also have players that are injured and they need to make quick replacements. Those with Raheem Mostert, Jerry Jeudy, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Michael Gallup on their roster need to find someone else to fill in (if they haven't already). Josh Jacobs (more on him below) and Odell Beckham Jr. have already been ruled out for Week 2. Saquon Barkley is still getting eased into his role (which, ironically, has turned into more rushing yards for Daniel Jones). As a result, look at your lineup carefully and be sure you can start the best players you have.
Please note 5 Up/5 Down is a guide on players that should exceed or fall below their rank this week. This is based on past performance, injury status, and matchup. This is not a start/sit column, but rather a guide.
Matthew Stafford, QB, Los Angeles Rams at Indianapolis Colts
In Stafford’s debut with the Rams, he threw for 321 yards and three touchdowns on "Sunday Night Football" against the Bears. He looked good, connecting with three different receivers for touchdowns. Cooper Kupp almost had a second touchdown, but was ruled down just short of the goal line. Either way, the stat line is good, and Stafford should continue to throw the ball down the field. He’s ranked No. 15 but could creep into the top 12.
Kenyan Drake, Las Vegas Raiders at Pittsburgh Steelers
Josh Jacobs is the primary running back for the Raiders, and he is the one that saw the goal-line work in Week 1. Jacobs had 10 carries for 34 yards and two touchdowns and added one reception for six yards. Meanwhile, Drake was used in the passing game. He only had 11 rushing yards, but he had five receptions for 59 yards. Jacobs was questionable heading into Week 1 with an illness and he has already been ruled out for Week 2 because of an ankle/toe issue. That means that Drake is guaranteed to see more touches on Sunday. Drake is ranked No. 37 but he should exceed that, even in a tough matchup against the Steelers.
Jarvis Landry, WR, Cleveland Browns vs. Houston Texans
In Week 1, Landry had five receptions for 71 yards. However, he added two carries for 13 yards and a touchdown which improved his stat line. With Odell Beckham Jr. already ruled out for Week 2 (he also did not play in Week 1), Landry should have another good week. He’s ranked No. 40 but should exceed that. He used to be a PPR machine, but the targets aren’t there as much this year, but that doesn’t mean that he won’t see them. The fact that Landry also can be used as a running back only boosts his fantasy value.
Dallas Goedert, TE, Philadelphia Eagles vs. San Francisco 49ers
Zach Ertz pulled his hamstring in Week 1 and he’s missed practice time this week. His status for Week 2 is up in the air and that should just mean more targets for Goedert. In Week 1, Goedert had five targets. He caught four of them for 42 yards and a touchdown. Ertz only had two targets but he caught both of them for 34 yards. Goedert is ranked No. 13, but he could sneak into TE1 consideration with Ertz out.
Noah Fant, TE, Denver Broncos vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Fant is ranked No. 11, but with Jerry Jeudy out, his role should increase. In Week 1, he had eight targets. He caught six for 62 yards. While he didn’t find the end zone, it was still a solid outing. In Week 2, look for those numbers to increase. The Broncos face the Jaguars in Week 2 and while it’s too soon to determine how teams fare against various positions, the Jags allowed Pharaoh Brown to have four receptions for 67 yards. Start Fant with confidence this week.
Justin Herbert, QB, Los Angeles Chargers vs. Dallas Cowboys
Herbert did look good in Week 1, but it was against the Washington Football Team. His 337 yards, one touchdown and one interception aren’t terrible, but he’s ranked No. 5 against the Cowboys this week. While Tom Brady certainly made it look easy against the Cowboys in Week 1, the ‘Boys have likely shaken off the rust and can improve on that performance. Herbert is still a QB1, but he’s ranked too high this week.
Najee Harris, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Las Vegas Raiders
Harris didn’t have the best NFL debut. He ran for 45 yards on 16 carries in Week 1. Part of the problem is the Steelers' offensive line, but for a top-tier running back, he should have more success. He’s ranked No. 9 this week, and after last week’s performance, that seems awfully high. It doesn’t help that Harris wasn’t part of the passing game (one reception for four yards). If Harris can break through or catch some passes, he can be an RB1, but he’s not there yet.
Marquise Brown, WR, Baltimore Ravens vs. Kansas City Chiefs
“Hollywood” Brown did have six receptions for 69 yards and a touchdown in Week 1. Fantasy managers from last year remember that he would alternate from having good games to having a touchdown drought that lasted seemingly forever. He has emerged as a boom-or-bust player, and it will be hard to trust him. Brown missed practice Wednesday and Thursday this past week with an ankle issue. He will likely suit up for Week 2, but it may be enough to knock him down from his No. 35 ranking.
Brandon Aiyuk, WR, San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles
Perhaps it was the fact that many fantasy managers started Aiyuk expecting something and were instead given nothing, but it’s hard to trust him at all this week. Trent Sherfield (started in less than 1 percent of leagues) was the second wide receiver for the 49ers. While it is certainly possible that Aiyuk has a breakout game at some point, fantasy managers would be wise to let that game happen on their bench before putting them in their lineups again. He’s impossible to trust, even ranked as No. 71 (down a lot from the ECR).
Mike Gesicki, TE, Miami Dolphins vs. Buffalo Bills
In Week 1, with Will Fuller out on a suspension, Gesicki had two targets. He caught neither one. The Dolphins used Durham Smythe and Hunter Long and now Adam Shaheen returns as well. It seems like Gesicki is not a fantasy option. He will likely be used in some situations. He’s a blocking tight end and will catch a touchdown or two at some point, but he certainly is not a top-10 tight end, as ranked, this week.
Full Disclosure from Week 1
Up (2/5 correct)
- Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Washington Football Team (Ranked: 21, Actual: 36) (injured early)
- Justin Jackson, RB, Los Angeles Chargers (Ranked: 71, Actual: 67)
- Darrell Henderson Jr., RB, Los Angeles Rams (Ranked: 23, Actual: 16)
- Dyami Brown, WR, Washington Football Team (Ranked: greater than 50, Actual: 119)
- Hunter Henry, TE, New England Patriots (Ranked: 18, Actual: 26)
Down (2/5 correct)
- Trevor Lawrence, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars (Ranked: 12, Actual: 15)
- D’Andre Swift, RB, Detroit Lions (Ranked: 25, Actual: 4)
- Kenny Golladay, WR, New York Giants (Ranked: 35, Actual: 54)
- Nelson Agholor, WR, New England Patriots (Ranked: 55, Actual: 22)
- Dallas Goedert, TE, Philadelphia Eagles (Ranked: 8, Actual: 6)
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.