Between the quad injury and the tough matchup, Cooks isn't a good start in Week 2
Fantasy owners can now look back on Week 1 and think about some of the good starting decisions they made (Raheem Mostert) and some poor ones (Boston Scott). Hopefully the week ended with a victory, but if not, the good news is we're ready for Week 2. It's early in the season, and there are plenty more weeks to make better start/sit decisions.
Fantasy owners will need to factor in injuries this week. While Week 1 was light for the injury report, Week 2 has more players that were injured in Week 1 or are playing through injuries. This certainly affects their play, as they may be limited on game day. Know who is behind the starter on the depth chart and set your lineups accordingly.
START These Running Backs
Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts
With Marlon Mack on the IR, the next man up is the second-rounder Taylor. While the waiver wire buzz has been around grabbing Nyheim Hines (which you absolutely should do), Taylor is going to be the starting running back. He only rushed for 22 yards in Week 1, but he caught all six of his targets for 67 yards. He and Hines will be involved in the passing game, but look for Taylor to make more of an overall impact. Hines should certainly be owned, but Taylor should be ranked higher and started as a high RB2 this week.
Ronald Jones II, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Starting Jones isn't a sexy move, but it's one that may pay off. In Week 1, he rushed for 66 yards. While this isn't exactly lighting the world on fire, it was enough to keep Leonard Fournette on the bench. Jones will likely get the start and the brunt of the carries in Week 2 when the Bucs face the Panthers. This is a great matchup for the running back (Josh Jacobs scored three touchdowns against them in Week 1). Jones is a decent RB2.
SIT These Running Backs
Frank Gore, New York Jets vs. San Francisco 49ers
It may be tempting to grab and start Gore now that Le'Veon Bell is on the IR. Don't give in to the temptation. The Jets running game is abysmal: Gore rushed six times for 24 yards in Week 1. Josh Adams is also in the picture and will likely share carries, and rookie La'Mical Perine will be involved as well (assuming health). Gore is 37 years old. He's had an impressive career, but fantasy owners shouldn't get excited about starting him just because Bell is out.
Melvin Gordon III, Denver Broncos at Pittsburgh Steelers
Gordon's fantasy owners were likely excited to hear that Phillip Lindsay is dealing with turf toe (not that they'd wish injury on anyone, of course) as it meant more work for the former Wisconsin back. This is true, although Royce Freeman will likely be involved. Unfortunately for fantasy owners, the Broncos face the Steelers in Week 2. For those that don't remember from Monday night, the Steelers shut down Saquon Barkley (who, inarguably, is a better player than Gordon). It doesn't bode well for a good Week 2 for Gordon. If you have him, you're likely starting him, but he's barely an RB2.
START These Wide Receivers
CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys vs. Atlanta Falcons
When Blake Jarwin tore his ACL in Week 1, fantasy owners wondered who might step up to fill that role. While it's not clear, it may very well be Lamb. He played in the slot in Week 1 and had five receptions for 59 yards on six targets. The Cowboys face the Falcons in Week 2, which has the potential to be a shootout. Lamb is currently in the high WR3 category, but he could easily make his way into WR2 range.
Emmanuel Sanders, New Orleans Saints at Las Vegas Raiders (Mon.)
Originally, the reports were that Michael Thomas has a high ankle sprain and he would try to play through it. Anyone that has played fantasy (or followed football injury reports) knows that players don't just play through a high ankle sprain the week after the injury occurred. Later reports revealed that Thomas would likely miss some time. The beneficiary of that may be Emmanuel Sanders. While Sanders did play in the slot in Week 1, Drew Brees is going to need another target, and that's why the Saints brought in Sanders. He had three receptions for 15 yards and a touchdown in Week 1. Expect him to step up on "Monday Night Football" in Week 2.
SIT These Wide Receivers
JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Los Angeles Rams
Heading into Week 1, it seemed that DeSean Jackson and Arcega-Whiteside would be the starting to wide receivers for the Eagles. Rookie Jalen Reagor was banged up and would likely be limited. Jackson was also limited, but both Reagor and Jackson fared better than Arcega-Whiteside. Jackson had two receptions (on seven targets) for 46 yards. Reagor had one reception (on four targets) for 55 yards. Arcega-Whiteside did not make the box score; he was not even targeted. Leave him on the bench in Week 2.
Brandin Cooks, Houston Texans vs. Baltimore Ravens
Fantasy owners who drafted Cooks as a high WR2 for their team with possible upside were disappointed after Week 1. While it may have been expected (Cooks had been dealing with a quad injury), a 2/20/0 stat line is pretty brutal. Unfortunately, it doesn't look much better for Week 2. The Texans face the Ravens, which have a very good defense. With Cooks still banged up (he was already limited at Wednesday's practice), it's tough to start him as anything more than a WR3.
— Rankings 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.
(Top photo courtesy of @HoustonTexans)