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Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 2: A No-a on Tua and Other QB/TE/DST Fantasy Advice

Tagovailoa probably won't rack up the pass attempts this week but Jared Goff could surprise.

I'm struggling with the start/sit QB/TE/DST fantasy advice for Week 2, as I think most of the industry's projected rankings are fairly spot on, especially at positions other than RB and WR.

And that makes things a tad difficult given my criteria for this article. This column focuses on the options in the "QB2/TE2/DST2" range, i.e. those ranked from around 13 to 24. That's the tier I will be evaluating. And more often than not, I'll try to give you a lower-ranked option for whom to start and a higher-ranked option for whom to sit when possible.

Week 2 Positional Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K I Flex

But I think I might have found some options worth starting that should exceed expectations and some others that will fall short of expectations.

Read below to see what they are.


Jared Goff, Detroit Lions vs. Washington Commanders

Washington has a strong front seven. Therefore, Goff will have to do something he does regularly — toss it to his targets in the short-to-intermediate range. After last week, Goff finds himself as a top-20 fantasy quarterback option.

Hard to believe, I know. But you might even be more surprised when I tell you that he will likely remain there after this weekend. 


Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins at Baltimore Ravens 

I'd say the Ravens' secondary passed the opening week test last week, but even I was surprised as to how often they were tested. Joe Flacco threw a whopping 59 passes last week! Yes, Flacco and the Jets are not quite Tua and the Dolphins. But there is no way that Tua is likely to see even 40 attempts. This game already has one of the lower under/overs of the week (44.5 points), and that might even be a little high. Tagovailoa is going to have minimal attempts and I have concerns about how effective his stats will be.

Related: Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 2 RB/WR Fantasy Advice


Isaiah Likely, Baltimore Ravens vs. Miami Dolphins

On the flip side of this matchup, Likely could be a very sneaky start option. The Dolphins were below average last season when it came to preventing fantasy points to TEs. They find themselves in a very similar spot after last week. Is Likely going to be a top-five TE this week? No. Too many of the top TEs have good matchups this week, but there's a high probability you don't own one of this week's top-five TE options. 

Plain and simple, I gotta agree with Chase Vernon on this one...

...and therefore I like Likely this week against a very "meh" defense vs. tight ends.


Hunter Henry, New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers

I'm still trying to figure out how the Steelers are an underdog this week. The Patriots' offense might have looked the worst it has during the Hooded One's tenure. And Henry is no exception. He had two catches for 20 yards last week. Blech.

I know many drafted Henry after his nine-TD season last year. But there are red flags everywhere. His 50 catches last season was his lowest total in three years. His yards per game were the lowest it's been since his rookie season. Is there anything you see in this Patriot offense to believe Henry can match his TD total from last year?

I have faith that some of the Patriot weapons can rebound this season, but Henry isn't one of them — and certainly not this week. 

START This Defense/Special Teams (DST)

Detroit Lions vs. Washington Commanders 

Not really digging any DSTs outside of the top 15 or to be totally honest, outside of the top 10 this week. But someone is going to have to stream someone in that range, and I think the Lions might perform a little better than their ranking. Linebackers Chris Board and Jarrad Davis are both on one-year "prove it" deals and they immediately make the Lions D better than they were last year. 

I am also very hesitant to give the Washington offense much credit. When they beat a proven defense I will. Not that the Lions are a proven defense either, but they are certainly one that is improved from last year.

SIT This Defense/Special Teams (DST)

Carolina Panthers at New York Giants

I was thinking the other day how much I used to love having the Panthers' D. Guys like Luke Kuechly, Julius Peppers, and even Chris Gamble were names that I knew I could depend upon. But I was struggling to name even one player on this Carolina defensive unit. I had to look it up, but then recalled that Shaq Thompson and his four-year, $52M contract is on this team, and he might be their best defender. Those not sporting the Panthers, I challenge you to name another player. Can't name one, can you?

Do you know why? Because there's hardly anyone noteworthy on that defense. Even Thompson ain't all that. Yes, he had 100-plus tackles last year. But in his eight-year career, Thomson has all of three interceptions and not even a dozen sacks. That's not too good. 

And now the Panthers hit the road to visit the rejuvenated Saquon Barkley and the undefeated New York Giants? No thank you. I'm seeing Carolina consistently ranked in the top half of DST options this week and I'm just shaking my head. No way.

— 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.