Carr has a great matchup to continue his strong start to the season
We are going to keep it simple for the Week 2 fantasy start/sit advice for quarterbacks, tight ends and defense/special teams (DSTs).
I am not going to recommend starting anyone that I see typically in the top dozen and my sit option is usually lower or right around the range of my start option.
Last week I recommended Jared Goff who did not have a great game. But I also recommended sitting Matt Ryan, and he did not have a good game either. At TE, I said to start Mark Andrews and sit Greg Olsen. So far I have myself going 3-for-4. And for DST, I went out on a limb. I said to sit the Texans and start the 49ers. All the latter did was end up as the No. 1 DST in fantasy football last weekend. I'm giving myself a B+/A- for last weekend.
Hopefully, I can do as well again. Here are the Week 2 start/sit picks for those positions:
Start: Derek Carr, Raiders vs. Chiefs
Jon Gruden might just be smarter than some think. He went with a run-heavy game plan last week and it worked well. Even with this approach, Carr still had a far better opening game than I thought he would. He was a very efficient 22-of-26 with a touchdown and no picks. I'm sure his owners would have liked to see more yardage, but given the game plan, they had to be satisfied with Carr's 259 passing yards.
I would expect Gruden to take the shackles off Carr this week and air it out. The Chiefs secondary is far more susceptible than the KC front seven. Rookie Gardner Minshew exploited the former for 275 yards and two touchdowns last week. I would expect Carr to post similar numbers as the Raiders try to keep up with the scoring machine.
Sit: Andy Dalton, Bengals vs. 49ers
You don't pass for 418 yards and two touchdowns if you're an awful quarterback. Dalton is not awful or even bad. But that doesn't make him great either. And he did put up a valiant effort on the road in one of the tougher stadiums to visit in Seattle. But those stats in Seattle were pretty volume-driven. Dalton attempted 51 passes on Sunday. Joe Mixon got injured and the Bengals had little choice but to try and pass that number of times. Despite the huge volume of passes, Dalton completed nearly 70 percent of his passes, which is about average in today's NFL.
Dalton will still be without the services of A.J. Green when the 49ers enter the Jungle this weekend. But the Red Rifle will need more than an elephant gun to take down the 49ers, who held the Buccaneers to under 200 yards through the air (and returned two INTs for TDs) in Week 1.
Start: Hayden Hurst, Ravens vs. Cardinals
I like a lot of the tight ends who are TE1s this week, but I'm not digging any of those in the TE2 range. Perhaps you are a Hunter Henry owner who is being forced to essentially "punt" the position this week. So with the Henry owner in mind, I will make a super-deep league recommendation: Hayden Hurst. The Ravens are one of the big favorites this week for their home opener. Hurst should do enough to outproduce most of the waiver wire options out there. If you want more detail, check out my DFS piece this week where I recommended him as well.
Sit: Tyler Eifert, Bengals vs. 49ers
I don't like Tyler Eifert for many of the same reasons I don't like Andy Dalton this week. And then some. The litany of injuries he has had over the years seems to have zapped him of the athleticism he once showed. Eifert was third in targets in last week but C.J. Uzomah still caught four passes last week as well.
The TE position in Cincy is looking more like a 50/50 split and given that the volume won't be there this week for the Bengals, I'd sit Eifert.
Defense/Special Teams (DST)
Start: Steelers DST vs. Seattle
The temptation here is to recommend the 49ers, but I'm starting to sound like a broken record. Although I'm not sure even half of my readers have heard or even seen a broken record. Anyway, after being embarrassed on Sunday night, I think the Steeler D will be pissed off and take it out on the visiting Seahawks. Obviously the stats are not going to back me up, but the Steelers defense is better than it looked.
Seattle did not exactly look sharp last week either. Throw in the fact we have a west coast team on the road for an early 1 p.m. ET game and I think the Steelers DST will be stream-worthy this week.
Sit: Jets DST vs. Browns (Mon.)
The Jets should have won that game last weekend. In vintage Jets fashion, they blew it. But lost in that discussion was the fact that the Jets defense played pretty well. However, with Sam Darnold sitting out this week because of mononucleosis, I expect the Jets offense to have difficulty staying on the field. So even if the Jets D starts well, I think it will tire quickly. The new-look Browns looked a lot like the old Browns last week. But something tells me Baker Mayfield and mates terrorize the Jets this weekend. Sit the J-E-T-S DST.
— Written by Mark Strausberg, a member of the Athlon Network Contributor, who despite his youthful exuberance and good looks has been playing fantasy sports before Wildcats or Hoosiers even made it to VHS. Got a fantasy sports question or thought? Hit him up on Twitter @MarkStrausberg.