The only thing better than earning a Week 1 win after setting your fantasy football lineup correctly is to do the same thing for Week 2.
And now that we have a small sample given the conclusion of the league’s Week 1 slate, we’re able to have a bit more insight into matchups that could work best.
Here are some starts and sits entering Week 2:
Matthew Stafford, QB, Los Angeles Rams
We were on board with handcuffing Stafford to your bench until we saw how he would translate to Sean McVay’s offense. Well we saw, and it was spectacular. Stafford threw for 321 yards and three touchdowns against the Chicago Bears and, more importantly, looked incredibly comfortable behind center while eclipsing his projected point total. He’ll go against an Indianapolis Colts defense that allowed four touchdowns to Russell Wilson in Week 1.
Elijah Mitchell, RB, San Francisco 49ers
We included Mitchell in our players to target on the waiver wire, but have taken it another step further. The 49ers running back went off for 104 yards and a touchdown during Week 1, and is expected to take over the starting duties with Raheem Mostert suffering a season-ending injury. Mitchell now will go against a Philadelphia Eagles defense in Week 2 which allowed 4.8 yards per carry against a much less attractive Atlanta Falcons offense in the season opener.
Amari Cooper, WR, Dallas Cowboys
Cooper always seems to have fantasy managers either in love with him or strongly against him, but after his Week 1 performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he probably should be in must-start territory. Cooper’s targets — which were 16 in Week 1 — probably jump up a bit as the Cowboys will be without fellow wideout Michael Gallup due to injury.
Rob Gronkowski, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Gronkowski turned back the clock yet again with a pair of touchdowns from Tom Brady in Week 1. Unless you’re in a position with one of the top tight ends — Travis Kelce, Darren Waller, etc. — and Gronkowski providing depth, he’s worthy of a starting spot with the Bucs set to face the Falcons. Atlanta allowed 76 yards on six catches and one touchdown to tight ends in Week 1.
Kirk Cousins, QB, Minnesota Vikings
Did you see what Chandler Jones (five sacks) and the Arizona Cardinals did to the Tennessee Titans in Week 1? Arizona put aside the fact its secondary isn’t very strong with a dominant pass rush, and it’s fair to think Cousins could be in for a long day after Minnesota allowed three sacks to an inferior Bengals group last week.
Nyheim Hines, RB, Indianapolis Colts
Hines had his way with the Seattle Seahawks defense in Week 1, recording 1.35 points per target, but we’re not so sure he’ll have the same fate against the Los Angeles Rams this Sunday. The Rams allowed five receptions for 38 yards against the Chicago Bears in a one-sided win.
Kenny Golladay, WR, New York Giants
The front seven of the Washington Football Team didn’t make as many headlines against the Los Angeles Chargers as one may have thought. We’re figuring they will make up for that and more this week with the New York Giants on the slate. No time for quarterback Daniel Jones means limited production from a receiver like Golladay.
Mike Gesicki, TE, Miami Dolphins
Gesicki put up a goose egg during Miami’s season-opening win against the New England Patriots, and we can’t see much drastically changing as the Dolphins take on the Buffalo Bills this weekend. Gesicki was targeted just twice in the contest despite playing 39% of Week 1 snaps. He may be someone you view as collateral damage if you’re able to make a play on the waiver wire.