With Week 1 in the books, fantasy football owners have a better feel for their team. Owners could see how the games unfolded, how players were used, and how defenses looked. While it is a small sample size, it makes the rankings for Week 2 slightly easier than they were for Week 1. With that, players can move up and down.
The Five Up/Five Down is not a start or sit column. Rather, these are five players that should out-perform (or under-perform) to their rankings that may not be the obvious choices. Obviously, picking Drew Brees to succeed in Week 2 after his monster week is a no-brainer. These players may create more of a question mark for fantasy owners.
Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions (vs. Tennessee Titans)
Whether it's offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter, an improved Stafford or just an ability to use the weapons he has, Stafford has looked like a solid QB1. He's the sixth-ranked quarterback this week and he can easily finish in the top five. He threw for 340 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions in Week 1. He was able to effectively use his running backs as pass catchers (two of his touchdowns went to running backs) and is adjusting to life without Calvin Johnson. Against a Titans defense that can be beat through the air, Stafford is a must-start this week.
C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver Broncos (vs. Indianapolis Colts)
Anderson is the second-ranked running back for Week 2, and while that may seem strange, he could easily finish with the second-most fantasy points. He looked great on Thursday night, and now has an extra three days of rest before facing a weak Colts defense. In Week 1, he had 92 rushing yards, a rushing touchdown, four receptions for 47 yards and a receiving touchdown. Without Ronnie Hillman to challenge him for carries, Anderson is the go-to guy in Denver. As long as he's healthy (which, knock on wood, he appears to be for now), he'll start. Count on him to be successful this week.
Rashad Jennings, RB, New York Giants (vs. New Orleans Saints)
Averaging 4.2 yards per carry in Week 1, Jennings proved he was the lead back for the Giants. He lost passing-down work to Shane Vereen, which was expected, but he proved that he could handle the workload between the tackles. The Saints haven't exactly been known for their defensive prowess, and this game has the makings of being a high-scoring affair. With plenty of points to go around, Jennings is a good bet to find the end zone. He's the sixth-ranked running back this week, and while most weeks he's a solid RB2, this week he's a RB1.
Vincent Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at Arizona Cardinals)
Jackson may even be on the waiver wire in some leagues, but for Week 2, he has a plus matchup and may push for WR3 value with upside. He's a good DFS pick as well, as he'll be cheap, but has the potential to put up points. Part of the reason he may find success is because Patrick Peterson will likely be on Mike Evans (although reports say he won't exclusively cover him), leaving Jackson able to beat his coverage. He struggled last year as he battled injury, but while he's healthy, he's not a bad option for owners that lost Keenan Allen for the season. Ranked No. 41 for Week 2, V-Jax could easily be a Top 30 receiver.
Gary Barnidge, TE, Cleveland Browns (vs. Baltimore Ravens)
While it may seem odd that the fourth-ranked tight end for Week 2 gave fantasy owners a goose egg in Week 1, there is more to the ranking than last week's performance. The hope with Barnidge is that Josh McCown will utilize him like he did last year, bringing Barnidge from just another tight end into fantasy relevance, where he was a top-five tight end from week to week. While he may have burned fantasy owners last year, put him in lineups again for Week 2.
Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks (at Los Angeles Rams)
Wilson's fantasy owners likely drafted him as their QB1 and may not have drafted any other options. However, in Week 2, Wilson is a QB2, coming in as the 13th-ranked quarterback. While the Rams' defense did look atrocious in Week 1, Wilson is banged up, and that is going to affect him. He's a mobile quarterback, and with an ankle injury, he's not going to play like he usually plays. It's also hard to believe that the Rams will be that terrible for two weeks in a row, especially at their home opener.
Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons (at Oakland Raiders)
Fantasy owners that drafted Freeman as their RB1 have to be a little nervous following Week 1. Freeman had 11 carries (for 20 yards) and was targeted four times, accounting for 15 total touches. Tevin Coleman had eight carries (for 22 yards) and was targeted six times, accounting for 14 total touches. However, Coleman had a 47-yard reception, which boosted his totals, and he looked like the better running back. Freeman is the 23rd-ranked running back for Week 2, which puts him as a low RB2. It wouldn't be surprising to see Coleman out-touch and out-score him in Week 2.
Melvin Gordon, RB, San Diego Chargers (vs. Jacksonville Jaguars)
Depending on the league's scoring, Gordon likely wound up among the top 12 running backs in terms of fantasy points. However, he's hardly a RB1. In fact, Week 1 may end up being the best week of his season. He found the end zone twice, which accounted for most of his fantasy points, as he posted just 57 rushing yards. With Keenan Allen out, Danny Woodhead is likely going to be more involved in the passing game. Gordon is still going to have a role, but don't get too excited after Week 1. He's the 32nd-ranked running back for Week 2.
Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys (at Washington Redskins)
Bryant turned five targets into one reception for eight yards in Week 1. Sure, there was the touchdown catch that was ruled not a catch, but even with that, it's not the performance fantasy owners want from their WR1. Dak Prescott seemed more comfortable throwing to Jason Witten (14 targets) and Cole Beasley (12 targets). With Josh Norman likely on Bryant, it is hard to trust him as a WR1 this week. He is ranked ninth in the wide receiver rankings, but it wouldn't be surprising if he's outside the top 12 WRs when all is said and done in Week 2.
Jacob Tamme, TE, Atlanta Falcons (at Oakland Raiders)
Only three other tight ends had more targets in Week 1 than Tamme. He turned his eight targets into six receptions for 51 yards and has inched his way onto the fantasy radar. Following a rough fantasy week for tight ends, Tamme may seem like an appealing option. However, the 19th-ranked tight end is only viable in two-tight end leagues unless Mohamed Sanu ends up missing the game, which doesn't seem likely.
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. She also writes for SoCalledFantasyExperts.com among other sites. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.