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Week 2 Fantasy QB Rankings: Must-starts, sleepers, potential busts at quarterback

Sporting News — customerservice@sportingnews.com (Sporting News)

We'll reach a point this season where some of our favorite preseason QB sleepers are worth considering as fantasy starters. Week 2 isn't it, though. By coincidence more than anything, the quarterbacks with the best matchups are also the proven commodities that you likely drafted as your starter, be that young stars like Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes or proven veterans like Tom Brady and Matt Ryan. Daniel Jones, Drew Lock and Gardner Minshew, while playable at some point this season, are well down our Week 2 fantasy QB rankings.

With that said, there are a few matchups in our top 12 worth giving you pause. Russell Wilson and the Seahawks host New England. Seattle is normally a tough place to travel to, but with fan restrictions in place, Week 2 will be our first shot at seeing how that home-field advantage is affected. We've discussed already this season how the Patriots' defense isn't likely to come close to repeating last season, but it's still a talented unit that we can expect to scheme well to stop a unique talent like Wilson. While Wilson is still a fantasy starter this week, his upside is capped by the tough matchup.

WEEK 2 STANDARD RANKINGS:
Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

On the other side of that game is Cam Newton, who looked like a willing runner in Week 1 for the first time in a long time. He found the end zone twice with his legs, though he only threw 19 passes. Before the season, we said Newton needed to regain his rushing ability to regain fantasy relevance. Now that he's done that, he's at least in consideration to start each week, although we're not crazy about the trip to Seattle for Week 2.

WEEK 2 PPR RANKINGS:
Running back | Wide receiver | Tight endD/ST | Kicker

There's also some reason to be concerned about Deshaun Watson going against the Ravens. Watson's Week 1 stat line ended up turning out OK, but his passing and rushing touchdown both came when the game in Kansas City was well out of reach. Baltimore has one of the NFL's top defenses, and Watson looked like he missed DeAndre Hopkins in the opener. Playing Baltimore also leads to concerns about time of possession, which KC made an issue against Houston. Watson, too, remains a starter this week, though he has less upside than usual.

WEEK 2 NFL DFS TOURNAMENT LINEUPS:
Yahoo | DraftKings | FanDuel

Two of fantasy's top rushing quarterbacks have great matchups in Week 2, as well. Kyler Murray plays Washington, which has a strong pass rush but not an equivalent secondary. Expect the Cardinals' spread offense to cause Washington issues. Josh Allen should take advantage of another AFC East foe in Week 2 when the Bills travel to Miami - as long as Allen avoids fumbling too often.

WEEK 2 NFL DFS CASH LINEUPS:
YahooDraftKings | FanDuel

You should also feel good this week about playing Dak Prescott (vs. Atlanta), Drew Brees (@ Raiders), Tom Brady (vs. Panthers), and Aaron Rodgers (vs. Lions). If you have the tough Jones (@ Bears), Lock (@ Steelers) or Minshew (@ Titans) matchups to deal with in two-QB leagues, Mitchell Trubisky could actually be a sleeper play hosting the Giants, but you can still probably live with Jones and Minshew due to their scrambling abilities.

WEEK 2 DFS: Best stacks | Best valuesLineup Builder

Note: Check back throughout the week, as we'll continue to update our QB rankings up until kickoff based on the latest news, as well as provide individual player analysis. 

Week 2 Fantasy QB Rankings

These rankings are for four-point passing TD leagues.

Rank Player
1 Lamar Jackson, BAL @ HOU
2 Patrick Mahomes, KC @ LAC
3 Kyler Murray, ARZ vs. WAS.  We had some concern over Murray's Week 1 matchup with the 49ers, and both on the ground and through the air the second-year QB proved it was no problem. Washington's pass rush did stifle Carson Wentz some, but Murray is at another level right now and should be started in every league.
4 Dak Prescott, DAL vs. ATL. Dak and the Cowboys struggled to find time to throw against a strong L.A. Rams pass rush Sunday night. Atlanta shouldn't pose the same problems, though, so Prescott should find time to throw deep to Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb. In Week 1, it was Russell Wilson against the Falcons who put up the most fantasy points of any QB on Sunday.
5 Aaron Rodgers, GB vs. DET
6 Russell Wilson, SEA vs. NE. The Patriots picked off Ryan Fitzpatrick three times, but that's not much to read into when deciding whether to play Russ. He's likely the best QB on your roster by a decent margin, so you should keep playing him and keep reaping the rewards.
7 Josh Allen, BUF @ MIA. Allen had a big Week 1 despite two costly fumbles when the Bills were closing in on the end zone. Miami let Cam Newton run on them a bunch in Week 1, and Allen could follow that blueprint this week to another big fantasy day.
8 Matt Ryan, ATL @ DAL. Ryan flew past 400 yards passing in Week 1 on the back of garbage-time prevent defenses. That's something Ryan has become very good at in recent seasons, and if nothing else, you can count on that late against another strong opponent.
9 Deshaun Watson, HOU vs. BAL
10 Ben Roethlisberger, PIT vs. DEN
11 Tom Brady, TB vs. CAR. Brady threw two interceptions, including a pick-six, against the Saints. On the bright side, Carolina just allowed 34 points to the Raiders. This is a great bounceback opportunity for Brady, but Week 1 showed that there could be some growing pains in Tampa Bay, even for the G.O.A.T.
12 Drew Brees, NO @ LV. With Michael Thomas looking at a multi-week absence, Brees becomes a legitimate sit candidate. Emmanuel Sanders didn't look like a game-changer in Week 1. The biggest reason to keep Brees in your lineup this week is the matchup - the Raiders just allowed Teddy Bridgewater to have a solid game.
13 Jared Goff, LAR @ PHI
14 Ryan Tannehill, TEN vs. JAX
15 Matthew Stafford, DET @ GB
16 Jimmy Garoppolo, SF @ NYJ
17 Carson Wentz, PHI vs. LAR. If Wentz's struggles against the Washington pass rush are any indication, he may struggle again in Week 2 against the Rams' front that stifled Dak Prescott. Wentz could be helped by the return of Miles Sanders, which would add a multi-faceted dynamism to this attack.
18 Cam Newton, NE @ SEA. Newton ran 15 times for 75 yards and a touchdown in Week 1. And while the eye test isn't everything, Newton looked healthy while on the move, too. That was always going to be the biggest key for him, so Newton is on the verge of being a fantasy starter once again.
19 Philip Rivers, IND vs. MIN
20 Gardner Minshew, JAX @ TEN. Minshew only threw one incompletion in Week 1, and he led the Jags to an upset win. Tennessee probably features a bit more defensive talent than Indianapolis, but Minshew might benefit from the emergence of rookie Laviska Shenault to balance that out. 
21 Daniel Jones, NYG @ CHI
22 Kirk Cousins, MIN @ IND
23 Joe Burrow, CIN @ CLE. Burrow really struggled in Week 1, and a short week before playing the Browns on Thursday Night Football could spell trouble. Myles Garrett will be licking his chops for this matchup. The biggest plus for Burrow fantasy owners was his willingness to run in Week 1, which could save his value in weeks with a tough matchup.
24 Mitchell Trubisky, CHI vs. NYG
25 Baker Mayfield, CLE vs. CIN. Mayfield's rookie season feels like a long time ago, and not just because of the time-warping pandemic. His interceptions Sunday were in part because Baltimore is good defensively, but they were also just ugly plays on Mayfield's part. You can't trust starting Mayfield until we see drastic changes in his performance.
26 Tyrod Taylor, LAC vs. KC. Taylor didn't run enough in Week 1 to overcome an underwhelming passing day. The Chiefs held Deshaun Watson in check until very late in Week 1, so Taylor can stay on your bench this week.
27 Derek Carr, LV vs. NO
28 Teddy Bridgewater, CAR @ TB. While Teddy Two Gloves made some good plays in Week 1 against the Raiders, Tampa Bay's defense showed how ferocious it could be in slowing down Drew Brees. Maybe you pick up Bridgewater to play matchups further down the road, but even in 2-QB leagues, we'd stay away from the Buccaneers.
29 Drew Lock, DEN @ PIT
30 Dwayne Haskins, WAS @ ARZ
31 Ryan Fitzpatrick, MIA vs. BUF
32 Sam Darnold, NYJ vs. SF