NFL Fantasy Picks: Recommendations for Week 2
Pressure is on all the Fantasy coaches who lost in Week 1 of the NFL. Here's our recommendations to give you a shot of football glory in Week 2.
Week 1 in the NFL can be strange. Not everything goes to plan and, for coaches and fantasy owners alike, it's best not to overreact to the weekend just gone.
However, avoiding falling 0-2 is just as important as keeping your cool. In the high-pressure world of the NFL and amid the considerably lower stakes of fantasy football (tell that to some in our league!), nobody wants to fall into a hole early in the season.
And, in both cases, identifying the players who can be relied on to produce a big performance is the key to victory.
In this week's edition of Fantasy Picks, Stats Perform looks at the players who should be considered sure things to deliver the goods.
QB: Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks vs. Tennessee Titans
Wilson could hardly have been more impressive as the Seahawks swept aside the Indianapolis Colts on the road in Week 1.
Continuing his remarkable rapport with Tyler Lockett, who had two receiving scores, Wilson threw for 254 yards and four touchdowns as his marriage with new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron got off to a spectacular start.
Second in air yards per attempt (10.43) among quarterbacks with at least 10 attempts, Wilson carries substantial upside as one of the best deep-ball throwers in the NFL and should receive ample opportunity to demonstrate that prowess against an extremely vulnerable Titans defense shredded by the Arizona Cardinals for 280 net yards passing and four touchdowns through the air in their opener.
RB: Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions
Nothing went right for the Packers in their 38-3 loss to the New Orleans Saints, with Jones held to nine yards on five carries on a miserable day for the entire offense.
Yet a Week 2 clash with the Detroit Lions should prove the perfect tonic. Detroit gave up 131 yards on the ground to the San Francisco 49ers in the opener, with sixth-round rookie Elijah Mitchell gashing the Lions for 104 yards and a touchdown at a rate of 5.5 yards per carry.
The Packers operate a zone running game akin to that of the Niners, so Jones should be confident of finding room to rack up similar numbers. Jones has topped 100 yards in two of his past three games against the Lions, including a 168-yard, two-touchdown effort at Lambeau Field last year.
WR: Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers vs. Dallas Cowboys
Justin Herbert's rapport with a receiver who has a case for being the premier route runner in the NFL continues to blossom, with the reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year going to Allen time and again as the Chargers edged out the Washington Football Team in their opener.
Allen was targeted 13 times and caught nine passes for 100 yards in a 20-16 victory. He registered a burn, which is when a player wins his matchup with a defender on plays where he is targeted, on 12 of those 13 targets.
He did that against a Washington defense that allowed the second-fewest yards per pass play (5.33) in the NFL last season. Now he gets to face a Cowboys defense that ranked 21st in that same metric with 6.69 yards and gave up 7.58 per play in their opening loss to the Buccaneers. Book in Allen for another big day.
TE: George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers @ Philadelphia Eagles
Deebo Samuel overshadowed Kittle in the Niners' win in Detroit, but the top all-round tight end in football still produced with four catches for 78 yards and should be salivating at the prospect of facing the Eagles.
Last season, in a home loss to the Eagles, Kittle hauled in all 15 of his targets from Nick Mullens for 183 yards and a touchdown.
He might not see the same level of targets at Lincoln Financial Field this year but, with a healthy Jimmy Garoppolo under center, he should see enough of the ball to excel in a matchup with an Eagles defense that has consistently struggled to defend tight ends.
Defense: New England Patriots @ New York Jets
The Patriots may have come up short against the Miami Dolphins, but there was much to admire about their performance on defense.
With the likes of Matthew Judon and Josh Uche excelling at getting pressure on Tua Tagovailoa, New England's front is likely to have great success against the Jets' offensive line, which will be without left tackle Mekhi Becton.
Jets rookie quarterback Zach Wilson was sacked six times in their loss to the Carolina Panthers, which saw him throw an interceptable pass on 5.56 per cent of his attempts, according to Stats Perform data.
Expect New England's defense to create more interception opportunities and make it another long afternoon for Wilson and the Jets.