1. Alex Smith, QB (Kansas City Chiefs)
Alex Smith is riding high off his impressive Week 1 performance against the New England Patriots in which he threw for 368 yards and 4 touchdowns, finishing as the 1st ranked QB. This week Smith and the Chiefs offense return home with an implied team total of 26.5 against the Philadelphia Eagles who will be without starting CB Ronald Darby. If the Chiefs offense can remain upbeat and unpredictable, look for Smith to have another solid outing.
2. Ty Montgomery, RB (Green Bay Packers)
Entering this season there were questions about if Ty Montgomery’s role was safe as the lead back in Green Bay with Jamaal Williams being drafted this offseason. Montgomery’s concern was primarily in pass blocking and from his performance this past week he has certainly put that to rest. Montgomery was Pro Football Focus’ top rated running back in pass protection for Week 1, and lined up on 72 out of 84 (90.24%) offensive snaps -- this led all running backs in the NFL in Week 1. Montgomery faces the Falcons’ defense this week, which gave up 125 yards and a score on the ground, and 11 receptions for 61 yards and a touchdown through the air to Chicago Bears’ running backs. On Sunday, Ty Mont needs to be in all of your lineups.
3. Brandin Cooks, WR (New England Patriots)
Coming off a mediocre Week 1 performance, owners may second guess about starting wide receiver Brandin Cooks who only caught 3 passes for 88 yards. Cooks now faces his old team the New Orleans Saints, and he’s in a great position to bounce back. This one has “revenge game” written all over it, but regardless of the narrative, New Orleans gave up the 2nd most points to wide receivers in Week 1. This is nothing new, as in 2016 the Saints allowed the 6th most points from wide receivers. On top of this, last week Cooks drew 3 offensive pass interference calls, two of which set up short rushing touchdowns for teammate Mike Gillislee.
4. Eric Ebron, TE (Detroit Lions)
Eric Ebron finished last week’s game against the Arizona Cardinals with only 9 yards receiving on 2 receptions. Last year, the Arizona Cardinals allowed the lowest total fantasy points allowed to tight ends per game with 3.36. Moving onto Week 2, Ebron is in position for a productive week. The Detroit Lions square off against the New York Giants, a team that just surrendered 7 receptions on 9 targets, 59 yards and 1 touchdown to Dallas’ Jason Witten last week.
5. Phil Dawson, K (Arizona Cardinals)
The Arizona Cardinals play the Colts, whose defense surrendered 3 field goals and 5 extra points (17.0 fantasy points) from Rams’ Greg Zuerlein -- this presents a great opportunity this week for Phil Dawson. The Cardinals’ implied team total is currently 25.75, which is the 6th highest this week -- there will be opportunities for field goal attempts if at any point the Cardinals’ offense stalls in the red zone. If the Rams offense can put up 46 points, look for Dawson to have many chances to boot a few through the uprights.
6. Cincinnati, DEF
The Cincinnati Bengals are playing the Houston Texans this week, which just announced that rookie Deshaun Watson will be under center. Last week, the Jaguars were able to get tons of pressure on Houston quarterbacks, leading to 13 QB hits, 10 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, and 1 defensive touchdown. Jacksonville was able to generate this pressure as Houston’s offensive line is a major concern without left tackle Duane Brown in the lineup. Brown doesn’t appear likely he will return this week due to his holdout and the Bengals will surely take advantage of this and attempt to replicate what the Jags did well last Sunday.
1. DeShone Kizer, QB (Cleveland Browns)
DeShone Kizer provided those who streamed the quarterback a solid outing in Week 1 against the Steelers with 18.58 points in 4-point touchdown leagues, good for QB9. Kizer now faces the Baltimore Ravens defense that forced Andy Dalton into turnovers galore, resulting in -3.00 fantasy points for the week. This was with a full set of offensive weapons, which the Browns do not have. Look elsewhere this week for QB to stream.
2. Paul Perkins, RB (New York Giants)
Paul Perkins did not impress in Week 1, running for 16 yards on 7 attempts, with his longest run being only 3 yards. If the Detroit Lions are able to get out to a lead in this game, the Giants will be forced to be pass heavy, much like last week against the Dallas Cowboys. Look for Shane Vereen, not Paul Perkins, to be a big factor once again down the stretch. Last week he caught 9 of 10 targets for 51 yards. With Odell Beckham Jr returning to the lineup, this should help the run game, but may not be enough. At this point in the season, Perkins remains a future bye-week replacement at best until it can be shown he can produce in the G-Men’s pass-first offense.
3. Sammy Watkins, WR (Los Angeles Rams)
Josh Norman will shadow Sammy Watkins this week. Against the Eagles last week, with Norman primarily covering Alshon Jeffery, he was thrown at 8 times with 3 catches allowed for only 36 yards. In addition, Norman had 2 pass breakups, both of which could have been interceptions on another day. While Watkins caught all 5 targets for 58 yards last week, he did not find pay dirt. With Norman covering him in Week 2, Watkins is best kept on the bench as his stats will look similar to what Jeffery was able to accomplish, if not worse.
4. Austin Hooper, TE (Atlanta Falcons)
Last week Green Bay locked up Jimmy Graham for 3 receptions for 8 yards. On 10 total targets to tight ends, the Packers only allowed 4 receptions for 18 yards and 0 touchdowns. Meanwhile, Austin Hooper’s Week 1 performance could be seen as an outlier, as his yards per reception was a whopping 64.00 due to blown coverage in the defense and a couple of nasty stiff arms. Owners may be disappointed when Hooper fails to replicate his stats after his last performance.
5. Adam Vinatieri, K (Indianapolis Colts)
Last week Adam Vinatieri made a 20-yard field goal but missed a field goal attempt from 38 yards out and an extra point. This week, Indianapolis plays against the Arizona Cardinals, and only have an implied team total of 18.25 that is 5th worst this week. Kicker is one of the positions that you can stream on a week to week basis, and Giorgio Tavecchio should be picked up if he is still available on the waiver wire - Tavecchio had had 4 field goals and 2 extra points last week, and the Raiders’ implied team total sits at 28.5, second highest for the week.
6. New England Patriots, DEF
The New England Patriots defense was torched by Alex Smith in Week 1. While it’s certain that they won’t be as terrible as last week, there are still glaring weaknesses. They now faced with the challenge of playing in New Orleans, a place where Drew Brees plays some of his best football. The Saints’ team total sits at 24.75 and this could be a shootout. Brees had a bad game by his standards last week and didn’t even turn over the ball. Last week Patriots failed to generate a consistent pass rush. If this isn’t fixed, the Saints should involve pass-catching running back Alvin Kamara similar to how Kareem “The Dream” Hunt was able to exploit the Pats defense last week.