Week 1 of the NFL season has come and gone. And what an exciting week it was. With every week of the NFL season comes unfortunate injuries. Leaving Fantasy Managers running to the waiver wire to pick up the next breakout players. Needed to fill in where a lot of yards and touchdowns need to be replaced. Let’s explore week 2 sleepers and busts.
With the end of week 1, some players took on bigger roles for their teams than expected in the offseason who should be good additions for the season.
Also, every week brings new matchups, which leaves even more choices and questions about who will have the big game in each game.
Let’s see who is worthy of a pickup, who will be in the best spots to go off, and compare some top players at each position for these upcoming games in week 2 sleepers and busts.
49er’s Week 1 Injuries
The 1st injury that will warrant a waiver wire pickup is from the San Francisco 49er’s in Roheem Mostert.
The 49er’s had a ridiculous amount of injuries last year and have started this season off as well with a couple more already.
Mostert was injured much of last year and the 49er’s had multiple other options at running back to go with in Tevin Colemon, Jerrick Mckinnon, and Jeff Wilson.
However, this year, Eli Mitchell was the surprise fill in for Mostert, who endured an early injury. Mitchell, the 6th round pick of the 49er’s in 2021, received the bulk of the carries after Mostert’s injury.
A running back receiving the bulk of the carries in a Kyle Shannahan and 49er’s offense is like picking up a golden ticket.
Many people drafted Trey Sermon, the 3rd round pick of the 49er’s in 2021. Sermon is expected to enter the mix at some point while Mostert is out for the season.
Sermon was inactive for this game. Mitchell out carried the other running back who was active in JaMycal Hasty 19 to 1.
Houston Texan’s Backfield
The 2nd running back to add, if you miss out on Mitchell is new Houston Texan Mark Ingram.
It was expected to be a more even split of carries in Houston. Ingram managed to get 26 carries in week 1 for a Texans team that looks like they will be committed to the run in 2021.
The other two running backs for the Texans, Phillip Lindsay and David Johnson, received only 8 and 3 carries, respectively.
This was in a matchup against Jacksonville, so will likely be one of the best matchups Ingram gets all year. However, with a volume of over 20 carries per week, Ingram looks like a good pickup in all leagues – standard leagues especially.
NY Giants Waivers
Some big performances came from unlikely names in week 1. The New York Giants made a big offseason acquisition in Kenny Galloday.
However, the best receiver looked to be Sterling Shepard, who has already built a connection with Daniel Jones from the past years.
Shepard got the most targets on the team with 9 and turned those into 7 catches for 113 yards and a touchdown. Shepard is currently less than 40% owned on most sites and should be one of the top wide receiver pickups of the week.
Nelson Agholor a Potential Sleeper
A slept on pickup for the New England Patriots was Nelson Agholor.
With not many high profile wide receivers on the Patriots, Agholor looks like he will be that go to guy for rookie quarterback Mac Jones.
Nelson Agholor had a really good season under the radar for the Raiders last year. Agholor is a good deep threat despite having 5 catches for just 72 yards and a touchdown in week 1.
Look for Agholor to be the deep threat for the Patriots as well as lead the team in catches.
Agholor is only about 33% owned in most leagues, so should be available for a number 1 wide receiver.
New Orleans Saints Sleepers
The New Orleans Saints had one of the biggest surprise games of week 1, beating the Green Bay Packers 38 to 3.
Jameis Winston was a touchdown machine in this game with 5 total TD’s. Winston showed he could not only get it done in the red zone but delivered a 55 yard bomb for a touchdown as well.
Look for Winston to improve in his passing yardage. Especially when the team gets some of their high-profile wide receivers back in the lineup.
Winston is 40% or less owned on most sites which makes him a good addition to your roster if you need help at quarterback.
The 1st option at tight end on the waiver wire comes from one of Winston’s favorite red zone targets in Juwan Johnson.
Johnson is a wide receiver turned tight end so he has the athletic ability of some of the best tight ends in the NFL but also has a similar size.
The preseason tight end favorite for the New Orleans Saints was Adam Trautman, who received twice as many targets as Johnson.
Due to Trautman being on the 53 man roster there is some hesitation in adding Johnson. However, red zone targets are more valuable, especially for mid-tier tight ends who don’t receive the amount of targets as wide receivers. Or the handful of top tight ends in the league.
The Saints are desperate for playmaking pass catchers right now, though with their injury situation, Johnson looks like he will be one of those, at least for the time being.
Johnson is 10% or less owned in most leagues and should be added if tight end help is needed immediately.
Is Dawson Knox a Sleeper?
The next tight end to add is Dawson Knox of the Buffalo Bills who is the clear number 1 guy there.
The Bills throw a ridiculous amount and Knox was a beneficiary of that in week 1.
Knox hauled in 4 catches for 41 yards but could see even more targets going forward. Knox is probably the best low-owned, tight end, waiver wire option at 23% or less ownership percentage on most sites.
Week 2 Trade Targets
With all of these pickups based on how teams are using their rosters let’s take a deeper look at some sits and starts for week 2 based on matchups and opportunities.
These players are going to be outside of your top options that are must starts every week but players who are on the fringe of being in your lineup or not each week.
David Montgomery had a standout game against a tough run defense in the Los Angeles Rams to start out at running back.
In week 2, Montgomery gets a good matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals, making him a top 10 play at the position.
Eli Mithell or James Robinson
Another start is going to be a player who will be a hot waiver wire commodity in Eli Mitchell.
With Mitchell getting 19 of the 20 running back carries after Mostert went out, he should be a top 15 running back play against Philadelphia.
A running back sit who a lot of people were very high on week 1 is James Robinson.
Robinson had a tremendous rookie year totaling over 1,000 yards rushing and was seen as the go-to-back after the injury to Travis Etienne for the Jaguars.
Very few people saw Carlos Hyde actually leading the Jaguars in carries with just 9. Robinson was limited to 5 carries against a beatable defense in the Houston Texans.
Now, with an even tougher matchup against Denver. He most likely won’t see the bulk of the carries, making Robinson a sit in week 2.
Ja’Marr Chase Season Winner
Rookie Ja’Marr Chase had an outstanding NFL debut and connection with Joe Burrow in week 1.
Chase led the Bengals in targets and eclipsed the 100-yard mark with a touchdown.
Burrow wants to throw to him and they are facing a Bears team that left a lot of Rams wide receivers wide open in week 1.
Chase could be a top 20 play in week 2.
Courtland Sutton Season Outlook
The other receiver to start this week is Courtland Sutton. The Denver Broncos leading receiver in Jerry Jeudy went down with an injury in the season opener.
kJeudy’s injury will keep him out at least a few weeks and Denver needs a replacement for him.
Step in Courtland Sutton, who was once the go-to guy in Denver. Jeudy demanded 7 targets in week 1 but Sutton only received 3.
In week 2 the best deep option on the roster will be Sutton who should command 6+ targets.
Sutton should see some deep balls his way against a Jacksonville team who gave up 37 points to an average Texans team.
Devante Parker is a Sit for Week 3
The sit this week comes in a surprise performance from Devante Parker for the Dolphins.
Parker is very reliant on scoring a touchdown to meet value, even with the team lead in targets at 7. Parker managed to get just 12.1 fantasy points in a 1 point ppr league.
The Bills were embarrassed in week 1 and look for them to stuff the passing attack of the Dolphins. That is minimal to begin with as they opened the season up with just 202 passing yards.
QB Sits and Starts for Week 3
Most leagues you can only start one quarterback. This quarterback is only a start depending on who else you have on your roster.
As mentioned earlier about Joe Burrow, he is coming into a great matchup. The Rams absolutely torched the Chicago Bears for wide open completions and touchdowns.
Look for Burrow to continue his strong start to his sophomore season with 300+ yards and multiple touchdown passes.
Sit Tyrod Taylor
The biggest sit of week 2 is Tyrod Taylor. Don’t be fooled by a solid week 1 performance. Taylor as he went for an impressive 291 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 40 rush yards.
However, it was against possibly the worst defense in the NFL and the Texans love to run the ball.
Houston also gets the Cleveland Browns. The Browns have one of the top defenses in the NFL and should shut down this Houston offense.
Tyler Higbee could be the TE Sleeper of 2021
Tyler Higbee should be in your lineups as a start for week 2. Higbee received the 2nd most targets on the high-powered Los Angeles Rams team.
Higbee converted that into 5 catches for 68 yards. He gets another good matchup against the Colts, who gave up a bunch of deep passes to the Seahawks in week 1.
Again for tight ends, you should only be starting one and you wouldn’t start Higbee if you also have Travis Kelce or Darren Waller.
Sit Mike Gisecki
A sit at tight end is another Miami Dolphin. I don’t mean to pick on the Dolphins but Mike Gisecki was drafted as a top 12 tight end. If you have another option at tight end, consider using them this week.
The Dolphins have a tough matchup and their passing attack is nothing to be afraid of in general.
Gisecki also wasn’t involved in the Dolphins plan at all, receiving only 2 targets and recording no catches in week 1.
RB’s in Week 2 Sleepers and Busts
To wrap this up, let’s take a look at certain week 2 plays and compare them as to which is the better play.
Starting at running back, you could be choosing between a couple on your roster for that RB2 spot.
Let’s take a look at Darrell Henderson 1st, who many people have inside their top 15 running back rankings for week 2.
Henderson tallied 16 carries in week 1 compared to just 1 from Sony Michel.
However, Henderson was not involved in the pass game, getting only one target and one catch.
The Los Angeles Rams love to throw the ball but will run if they need to run clock or control the game.
The game against the Colts in week 2 should be closer and some running backs ranked around
Najee Harris or Damien Harris
Henderson that seem like better plays are Najee Harris and the other Harris in Damien Harris.
Najee recorded the same number of carries as Henderson. Hajee Harris had two more targets and gets a good matchup against Las Vegas who gives up a lot to running backs.
Damien Harris is the workhorse for the New England Patriots. Damien Harris had 23 carries where he recorded 100 rushing yards and like Najee, he got 3 targets.
Harris also falls into a great matchup against the New York Jets.
Denver Bronco’s Running Backs
An interesting running back situation forming is in Denver with Jevonte Williams and Melvin Gordon.
Gordon had a 70 yard touchdown run which put him over the edge on Williams in week 1. However, Williams had 3 more carries.
Denver has a great matchup in week 2 against the Jaguars and both could be good plays and get 11+ carries each again.
For this one however, it seems Denver will try to get the rookie Williams going so he can be their guy going forward.
Burrow and the Bengals WR’s in Week 2 Sleepers and Busts
The Cincinnati Bengals look like they have one of the best overall offensive attacks in the NFL using it to defeat the Minnesota Vikings in week 1.
Joe Burrow has many great wide receiver options but who will be the best coming into week 2?
It looks like Burrow wants to go to big playmaker JaMarr Chase the most as he led the team in targets and yards.
Then Tee Higgins got in the action with a touchdown himself and 5 targets. Tyler Boyd was still involved but only received 4 targets and turned 3 of those into catches.
Boyd seems like a better play in ppr leagues than Higgins but for a more boom or bust play, Higgins should be the guy.
Mike Evans was the odd man out in the receiving game in week 1 for the Buccaneers. However, don’t steer away from him just yet. It seems Tampa Bay receivers will have to take a backseat some weeks and have their time to shine in others.
This week could be Evans and he seems like a better option than some highly ranked week 2 players such as Devonta Smith and Robby Anderson.
Smith faces a tough matchup in San Francisco and Robby Anderson was seen to have a good game. However, he had just one catch for a 50 yard touchdown and is really small boom or bust each week.
Anderson is being ranked above Mike Evans in a lot of week 2 rankings but could have ended week 1 with zero points just as easily.
Should you Start Allen Robinson?
Some wide receivers to start over Evans due to the role on their team is Allen Robinson.
Robinson doesn’t have to face the Rams this week, AJ Brown who will be a part of the Titans week 2 revenge.
Diontae Johnson who Big Ben Roethlisberger loves to throw to as he did 10 times in week 1.
One of the most slept on performances of week 1 was Justin Herbert, who faced arguably one of the toughest secondaries in the NFL in Washington.
Herbert still managed 337 passing yards and gets a good matchup in week 2 against the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys gave up 379 passing yards and 4 touchdowns through the air in week 1.
Is Justin Herbert a top 12 QB?
Still, some week 2 rankings have Herbert outside of their top 12 ranked quarterbacks for a guy who was being drafted as a top 10 quarterback.
Herbert should be a start over a couple guys such as Jalen Hurts in a tough matchup and Matthew Stafford.
Hurts had a great week 1 and is being ranked inside the top 10 this week but that could be too bullish too early.
With Stafford, he only threw 26 passes compared to Herbert’s 47 and threw for less yards, yet is being ranked higher for week 2.
Should you Sit Aaron Rogers?
Aaron Rodgers probably had the worst game of his career in his opener but hadn’t played a snap since last season where he led the league in touchdown passes.
Rodgers gets a nice matchup against the Detroit Lions who just gave up 41 points and should have a big time redemption game.
He should be considered as your quarterback over Herbert, Hurts, Stafford, and probably everyone besides Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, and Kyler Murray.
Week 2 Sleepers and Busts Conclusion
One of the most slept on tight ends in Tyler Higbee as he is constantly ranked outside of the top 10 tight ends.
Higbee has that big play potential and also commands a good amount of targets for the Rams.
In week 2, Higbee should be a play over a guy like Logan Thomas who was drafted in the top 8 of most drafts for tight ends.
Thomas had a good week 1 with a touchdown catch but managed just 30 yards.
Higbee had more than double the yardage of Thomas but the real kicker is that Thomas will be without his quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick, in week 2.
Noah Fant, who got a lot of work in his season debut, could be a good option, even over Higbee.
With Jerry Jeudy being out in week 2, Fant should see even more targets and deeper targets downfield for the big playmaking tight end.