Nick Mensio

Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em

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Week 2 Start 'Em or Sit 'Em

Thursday, September 13, 2018


Happy Week 2, everyone. Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em is geared toward season-long leagues but can also be used for daily fantasy purposes.

QUARTERBACK

Start of the Week: Ben Roethlisberger vs. Chiefs: Big Ben is coming off an awful showing last week in Cleveland. He turned the ball over five times in the tie, tossing three picks and losing two fumbles, but didn’t deserve the blame on a number of those. The Steelers now head home to face a Chiefs defense that was absolutely torched by Philip Rivers in Week 1 for the overall QB3 finish after he managed 424 yards and three touchdowns. The day should have been even bigger for the Chargers’ offense, but Tyrell Williams dropped a 34-yard touchdown, Rivers missed him on a would-be 31-yard score earlier, and Travis Benjamin had a 50-plus-yard pass go through his hands, as well as a potential 20-some-odd-yard touchdown later in the fourth quarter. Kansas City overhauled its secondary in the offseason and has yet to see Eric Berry come back from Achilles’/heel issues. (Berry sat out practice again Wednesday.) Without Berry, the Chiefs were getting totally flamed over the top. New CBs Kendall Fuller and Orlando Scandrick had atrocious afternoons in L.A. and now get to deal with Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster. Chiefs-Steelers has the highest total on the board at 52.5 points. The Steelers’ implied team total of 28.25 points is the third-highest of Week 2.

 

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Starts

Jimmy Garoppolo vs. Lions: Garoppolo lost his first career game as a starter last week in Minnesota, tossing three interceptions in the process. He left some throws on the field, but was dealt an early blow with the loss of Marquise Goodwin to a bruised thigh in the second quarter. Garoppolo showed a strong rapport with George Kittle thereafter, targeting his tight end nine times and hooking up on five of those for 90 yards. The two could have easily had a bigger afternoon. Kittle dropped what might have been an 80-yard touchdown with nobody within five yards of him, and Garoppolo immediately threw a pick-six on the very next play. Garoppolo also missed Kittle over the top of the defense on a potential lengthy touchdown and later threw way too high to his tight end in the end zone on what should have been a four-yard score. The Niners now come home for a much easier matchup against a Lions defense that laid down to the Jets in Week 1. Detroit is now on a short week and gets to travel to the West Coast. This game has the third-highest total at 48 points, and San Francisco’s implied team total of 27.25 is the fourth-highest of Week 2. There’s rumors already swirling that the Lions are fed up with new coach Matt Patricia, with some players quitting on him this past Monday night. The Niners are in a prime bounce-back spot.

DeShaun Watson at Titans: It was a really disappointing opener for Watson, who finished as the overall QB21 last week after completing just 50% of his passes for 176 yards with one score and one pick. He added 40 rushing yards but also lost a fumble. Watson held the ball too long at times but was playing shorthanded without Will Fuller (hamstring), who is expected back this week. The good news is Watson played aggressive coming off his ACL tear, took shots downfield, and had no real glaring concerns to his game. In the Titans, Watson gets a defense that allowed Ryan Tannehill to complete over 71% of his passes against them in Week 1, while hooking up with Kenny Stills for a pair of touchdowns. Tennessee sacked Tannehill just once and showed very few signs of life in the pass rush department. Watson threw four touchdowns against the Titans last Week 4.

Alex Smith vs. Colts: Smith played about as good a Week 1 against the Cardinals as the Redskins could have hoped for; he didn’t turn the ball over and took what the defense gave him, methodically working the ball down the field. Washington had 30 first downs last week, second-most in the league behind the Chargers. They were sixth-best on third down. Smith completed 70% of his passes at an 8.5 YPA clip, surgically getting the ball to his top playmakers in Jordan Reed and Chris Thompson, who looked completely healthy after season-ending injuries last year. The two combined for 10 catches for 111 yards and a pair of scores. It was easy to see they’re going to be Smith’s favorite targets. The Skins get a try-hard Colts defense that is going to have to rely on hard work to get by this season. Indy is undermanned at all three levels and really had no answers for A.J. Green and Joe Mixon last week. Andy Dalton completed 75% of his throws and was the QB16. Smith brings an added element of rushing ability to help raise his floor. The Redskins also have arguably the best offensive line in the sport, while the Colts boast one of the weakest pass-rush groups. A week after posting the QB11 finish, Smith is very much stream-worthy with the Redskins’ implied team total of 26.5 points as the fifth-highest on the board.

 

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Sits

Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. Eagles: Fitzpatrick had a magical Week 1, finishing as fantasy’s overall top scorer and No. 1 quarterback, nearly 11 full points ahead of Drew Brees, his counterpart last week. He was surely a hot pickup among point-chasing fantasy owners after throwing for 417 yards and four touchdowns, adding a fifth touchdown as a runner. This Bucs offense is beaming with talent, sporting one of the league’s better offensive lines with gobs of upside among its pass catchers, but it’s hard to get behind journeyman Fitzpatrick at home against the Super Bowl champs in a prime letdown spot after such a spirited divisional road win last Sunday. The Eagles shut down Matt Ryan in their opener and will have had 10 days of rest by Sunday. Ryan averaged 5.84 YPA and threw zero touchdowns last Thursday night. Philly is dripping with pass rushers, so much so that they had to let DE Vinny Curry go, and he’s now one of Tampa Bay’s top ends. Fitzpatrick may also be without deep threat DeSean Jackson after he was concussed in the opener. Jackson caught five balls for 146 yards and two scores before getting hurt. Fitzpatrick is a full-on Week 2 fade for me.

Kirk Cousins at Packers: Cousins was fine last week against the Niners, finishing as the QB9 for the week after throwing for 244 yards and a pair of scores. With the Vikings up by three scores at one point in the second half, they didn’t have to throw the ball much, capping Cousins’ upside some. He’ll now get his first divisional road test in the NFC North. Green Bay held Mitchell Trubisky to 4.9 YPA last week and didn’t allow a passing touchdown. The secondary is much better this year after the additions of veteran Tramon Williams and first- and second-round rookies Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson at cornerback to go along with sophomore Kevin King and veteran FS Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. The pass rush is still a bit of a concern, but Nick Perry is back healthy and Muhammad Wilkerson was added up front. Cousins isn’t a bad option by any means; I just think there are better plays in one-QB leagues than Cousins on the road in a game with a middling 46.5-point total.

Russell Wilson at Bears: Wilson wasn’t bad last week in Denver, finishing tied with Kirk Cousins as the overall QB9, but he was sacked six times, tossed a pair of interceptions, and lost Doug Baldwin to a second knee injury that is expected to sideline him for a couple games. Wilson was already working with a pretty barren cupboard and had to lean on rookie TE Will Dissly and veteran WR Brandon Marshall after Baldwin’s injury. The Seattle offensive line remains a total disaster and LT Duane Brown had to leave the opener for some reason. (Seattle won’t have an injury report out until Thursday afternoon.) Khalil Mack, Akiem Hicks, and Leonard Floyd are going to be problems in Chicago. All that teamed with Brian Schottenheimer being Wilson’s play-caller has me off the perennial MVP candidate this week. Schottenheimer’s preferred style just caps Wilson’s upside. The 43.5-point over-under for Seattle-Chicago is the third-lowest of the week.


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Nick Mensio is a football writer for Rotoworld.com. The 2014 NFL season marks his third with Rotoworld. He can be found on Twitter at @NickMensio.
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