Stars of Week 2 

QB: Patrick Mahomes, KC: 23-28, 326 yards, 6 TDs, 0 INTs

RB: Todd Gurley, LAR: 19 carries, 42 yards, 3 TDs (3 catches, 31 yards, 0 TDs)

WR: Stefon Diggs, MIN: 9 catches, 128 yards, 2 TDs

TE: Travis Kelce, KC: 7 catches, 109 yards, 2 TDs

We’ve got a new sheriff in town, as Chiefs gunslinger Patrick Mahomes has lit the NFL on fire these first two weeks. Mahomes has perhaps the best collection of skill players at his disposal, and will remain a QB1 going forward. Rams running back Todd Gurley had a quiet day from a yardage standpoint, but he found the end zone three times against the Cardinals. Gurley remains the number one overall fantasy player. Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs had himself a game against the tough Packers’ secondary. Diggs has developed a nice connection with new quarterback Kirk Cousins. Last but not least, we honor one of Mahomes’ key weapons – Travis Kelce. The Chiefs’ tight end crossed the century mark in yardage and scored two TDs. Only Gronk stands ahead of Kelce at the top of the tight end mountain. 

Week 2 Takeaways – A Closer Look

Each week we’ll take a closer look at a handful of performances and sort out what such performances mean going forward. 

- Sam Darnold, QB – NYJ: 25-41, 334 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs

Analysis: After Sam Darnold threw a pick six in his first ever NFL pass attempt, he rallied to throw two TDs and lead the Jets to a surprise blowout of the Lions. Darnold looked every bit of a franchise quarterback in that game. This past Sunday, Darnold looked every bit of a talented but rookie gunslinger against the Miami Dolphins. Darnold surpassed 300 yards but threw two picks against the underrated Dolphins’ defense. It won’t be long before Darnold becomes a QB1 in fantasy – but that time won’t be this year. Very rarely does a rookie QB become a weekly starter, and Darnold needs time to grow and learn the nuances of NFL defenses. Expect performances this season to vary greatly from week to week., which makes Darnold a QB2 for this season, and not higher. 

- Matt Breida, RB – SF: 11 carries, 138 yards, 1 TD (3 catches, 21 yards, 0 TDs)

Analysis: The 49ers had grand plans for new running back Jerick McKinnon when they signed him away in free agency from the Vikings. Both the 49ers and fantasy owners were heartbroken when McKinnon tore his ACL in practice right before week 1. In McKinnon’s absence, both Alfred Morris and Matt Breida have seen increased roles. Breida especially had the most to gain, given that Morris appeared to have a definite role in the offense even with McKinnon healthy. Taking advantage of his touches, Breida breezed past the 100 yard mark this past Sunday against the Lions, which included a 66 yard TD run. Over the first two games, Morris has out-carried Breida by a 26 to 22 count, but Breida has seen the field more in passing downs. Expect the current ratios and usage to remain consistent as the season moves forward, which makes Breida a solid weekly flex option, which is buoyed by his role in the passing game. 

- Austin Ekeler, RB – LAC: 11 carries, 77 yards, 0 TDs (3 catches, 21 yards, 0 TDs)

Analysis: The Chargers were a trendy Super Bowl sleeper pick heading into the season. The Bolts sport a stacked roster on both sides of the ball. For fantasy purposes, the troika of Rivers-Gordon-Allen has garnered the lion’s worth of attention. Second year running back Austin Ekeler made some noise last year for his receiving prowess out of the backfield, and this year he’s poised to take on a larger role as the change of pace back. Ekeler should receive 5-8 carries a game while catching 3-5 balls, which is in line with Ekeler’s usage through the first two games. In the potent Chargers offense, this makes Ekeler flex worthy in all but the shallowest of leagues. 

- DeSean Jackson, WR – TB: 4 catches, 129 yards, 1 TD

Analysis: A year ago, DeSean Jackson was an overpriced signing for the Bucs. With Ryan Fitz-magic starting in place of Jameis Winston, DeSean Jackson has come alive! Over the first two games, Jackson has 275 yards and 3 TDs with Fitzpatrick as his QB. Fitzpatrick has breathed life into the Bucs passing game, and he’s developed a nice rapport with Jackson with the long ball. We know from history that Fitz-magic doesn’t last long, and also that Jackson has only had one 1,000 yard season over the last three years. So this means that you should ride Jackson while Fitzpatrick remains hot. Jackson should be viewed as a WR3/flex while Fitzpatrick functions as a competent QB. 

- Kenny Golladay, WR – DET: 6 catches, 89 yards, 1 TD

Analysis:  After an ugly showing in Week 1, the Lions offense rebounded against the 49ers this past weekend. Quarterback Matthew Stafford was far from perfect, as he overthrew his WRs several times. But consistent with the post Barry Sanders era, the team relies primarily on the aerial game for its offense. Golden Tate and Marvin Jones have served as reliable pass catchers for Stafford over the last few years, and now we welcome WR Kenny Golladay into the tree of trust. The second year WR from Northern Illinois has been targeted 12 and 9 times by Stafford over the first two games, which puts Golladay just behind Tate for the team lead in targets. Golladay is a big, strong target with good hands and the ability to make contested catches. With the Lions sporting a putrid defense, Stafford and company will be slinging the rock at an epic rate. This means that the team can easily support having three fantasy relevant WRs, with Golladay offering comfortable flex value, with WR2 upside. In case Golladay remains available in your league, snatch him up – this will be your last chance.

Rapid Fire Pickups

Each week we throw out potential free agent pickups from each position for deeper leagues, in each case 1) someone who has NOT been referenced above, and 2) a player available in most leagues.

QB: Ryan Fitzpatrick, TB (Juicy matchup vs Steelers, ride him while he’s hot!)

RB: Giovani Bernard, CIN

RB: Frank Gore, MIA

WR: John Brown, BAL

WR: Brandon Marshall, SEA

TE: Will Dissly, SEA 

Week 3 Rankings



  1. Tom Brady NE                 at DET
  2. Patrick Mahomes KC        vs. SF
  3. Aaron Rodgers GB           at WAS
  4. Drew Brees NO               at ATL
  5. Ben Roethlisberger PIT    at TB
  6. Kirk Cousins MIN            vs. BUF
  7. Ryan Fitzpatrick TB         vs. PIT
  8. Cam Newton CAR           vs. CIN
  9. Deshaun Watson HOU     vs. NYG
  10. Matthew Stafford DET     vs. NE
  11. Jimmy Garoppolo SF       at KC
  12. Matt Ryan ATL                vs. NO
  13. Russell Wilson SEA          vs. DAL
  14. Carson Wentz PHI           vs. IND
  15. Jared Goff LAR               vs. LAC
  16. Andrew Luck IND           at PHI
  17. Alex Smith WAS             vs. GB
  18. Philip Rivers LAC            at LAR
  19. Blake Bortles JAC           vs. TEN
  20. Ryan Tannehill MIA         vs. OAK

Running Backs:

  1. Todd Gurley LAR             vs. LAC
  2. Alvin Kamara NO            at ATL
  3. Ezekiel Elliott DAL           at SEA
  4. Saquon Barkley NYG       at HOU
  5. Kareem Hunt KC             vs. SF
  6. Melvin Gordon LAC          at LAR
  7. James Conner PIT           at TB
  8. C. McCaffrey CAR            vs. CIN
  9. David Johnson ARI          vs. CHI
  10. Tevin Coleman ATL          vs. NO
  11. Jordan Howard CHI         at ARI
  12. Leonard Fournette JAC    vs. TEN
  13. Kenyan Drake MIA          vs. OAK
  14. Giovani Bernard CIN        at CAR
  15. Lamar Miller HOU            vs. NYG
  16. Chris Thompson WAS      vs. GB
  17. Alex Collins BAL              vs. DEN
  18. Matt Breida SF                at KC
  19. Marshawn Lynch OAK      at MIA
  20. Dion Lewis TEN               at JAC
  21. Adrian Peterson WAS      vs. GB
  22. Latavius Murray MIN       vs. BUF
  23. Phillip Lindsay DEN         at BAL
  24. James White NE             at DET
  25. Peyton Barber TB           vs. PIT
  26. Rex Burkhead NE           at DET
  27. LeSean McCoy BUF         at MIN
  28. Corey Clement PHI         vs. IND
  29. Royce Freeman DEN       at BAL
  30. Kerryon Johnson DET     vs. NE
  31. Sony Michel NE              at DET
  32. Chris Carson SEA           vs. DAL
  33. Jamaal Williams GB        at WAS
  34. Derrick Henry TEN          at JAC
  35. Austin Ekeler LAC           at LAR
  36. T.J. Yeldon JAC               vs. TEN
  37. Tarik Cohen CHI             at ARI
  38. Jordan Wilkins IND         at PHI
  39. Theo Riddick DET           vs. NE
  40. Javorius Allen BAL          vs. DEN

Wide Receivers:

  1. Antonio Brown PIT         at TB
  2. Michael Thomas NO       at ATL
  3. Julio Jones ATL              vs. NO
  4. DeAndre Hopkins HOU   vs. NYG
  5. Odell Beckham Jr. NYG   at HOU
  6. Tyreek Hill KC                vs. SF
  7. Mike Evans TB               vs. PIT
  8. A.J. Green CIN               at CAR
  9. Stefon Diggs MIN           vs. BUF
  10. JuJu Smith-Schuster PIT at TB
  11. Adam Thielen MIN          vs. BUF
  12. Davante Adams GB         at WAS
  13. Keenan Allen LAC           at LAR
  14. T.Y. Hilton IND                at PHI
  15. Nelson Agholor PHI         vs. IND
  16. Emmanuel Sanders DEN  at BAL
  17. Golden Tate DET             vs. NE
  18. Brandin Cooks LAR         vs. LAC
  19. Amari Cooper OAK          at MIA
  20. Allen Robinson CHI         at ARI
  21. Chris Hogan NE              at DET
  22. Kenny Golladay DET       vs. NE
  23. Larry Fitzgerald ARI        vs. CHI
  24. Demaryius Thomas DEN at BAL
  25. Marvin Jones DET           vs. NE
  26. Cooper Kupp LAR           vs. LAC
  27. Keelan Cole JAC             vs. TEN
  28. Robert Woods LAR          vs. LAC
  29. Devin Funchess CAR       vs. CIN
  30. DeSean Jackson TB        vs. PIT
  31. Sammy Watkins KC        vs. SF
  32. Kenny Stills MIA             vs. OAK
  33. Michael Crabtree BAL      vs. DEN
  34. Will Fuller HOU               vs. NYG
  35. Randall Cobb GB             at WAS
  36. Tyler Lockett SEA            vs. DAL
  37. Pierre Garcon SF             at KC
  38. John Brown BAL              vs. DEN
  39. Josh Gordon NE              at DET
  40. Chris Godwin TB             vs. PIT

Tight End:

  1. Rob Gronkowski NE         at DET
  2. Travis Kelce KC               vs. SF
  3. Zach Ertz PHI                  vs. IND
  4. Jordan Reed WAS            vs. GB
  5. George Kittle SF              at KC
  6. Jimmy Graham GB          at WAS
  7. Kyle Rudolph MIN           vs. BUF
  8. Evan Engram NYG           at HOU
  9. Trey Burton CHI              at ARI
  10. O.J. Howard TB               vs. PIT
  11. Jared Cook OAK              at MIA
  12. Eric Ebron IND                at PHI
  13. Benjamin Watson NO       at ATL
  14. Jesse James PIT              at TB
  15. A. Seferian-Jenkins JAC   vs. TEN
  16. Tyler Eifert CIN               at CAR
  17. Austin Hooper ATL          vs. NO
  18. Will Dissly SEA               vs. DAL
  19. Ricky Seals-Jones ARZ    vs. CHI
  20. Charles Clay BUF            at MIN

Defense/Special Teams:

  1. Minnesota                        vs. BUF
  2. Jacksonville                      vs. TEN
  3. Chicago                            at ARI
  4. Houston                           vs. NYG
  5. Los Angeles Rams             vs. LAC
  6. Baltimore                         vs. DEN
  7. Philadelphia                      vs. IND
  8. Denver                             at BAL
  9. Dallas                               at SEA
  10. Miami                               vs. OAK
  11. Carolina                           vs. CIN
  12. New England                    at DET
  13. Cincinnati                         at CAR
  14. New Orleans                     at ATL
  15. Tennessee                        at JAX