With Week 2 of fantasy football officially underway, the start and sit decisions take on even more of an impact for managers.
Whether you’re looking to bounce back from a Week 1 loss or continue to stay undefeated, the start and sit decisions are ones that will make or break a week.
Doing start/sit articles can be a little challenging. The players featured on the list below should not be taken as “must starts” or “must sits.” Instead, these are more suggestions on what we believe managers should do with fringe players heading into the weekend. The choice is ultimately up to the manager.
Just because a player is listed as a “start” doesn’t mean he should be put in the lineup over the secure, bona fide studs. Vice versa for the “sits.” If there’s no better option on the waiver wire or the bench, a manager shouldn’t automatically sit the player. That’s why these can be tricky waters to navigate.
You also can check out our start and sit bench list for Week 2.
Here is a look at some of the tough start and sit decisions in fantasy football for Week 2:
Sit: TE Hunter Henry, New England Patriots
Taking part in the Patriots offense right now is very risky. They came out flat and uninspiring during the Week 1 opener against the Miami Dolphins. Henry wasn’t drafted to be an elite tight end, but the touchdown upside he had in 2021 doesn’t appear to be there right now. Henry saw just a 10% target share in Week 1 and now has to go against a Pittsburgh Steelers defense that boasts a strong secondary. Pivoting off Henry seems like the prudent move for Week 2.
Start: TE Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams
Higbee is always a risk to play, because his games typically just result in uninspiring lines. However, we can’t ignore the fact that Higbee commanded a 27% target share while playing 94% of the snaps in Week 1. Taking on a poor Atlanta Falcons defense, we should expect the Rams offense to bounce back, which means touchdown opportunity for Higbee.
Sit: WR CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys
This is a bit of cop-out because Dak Prescott won’t be in the lineup after suffering an injury in Week 1. Even though Lamb could wind up seeing heavy targets from Cooper Rush, the quality of those targets won’t be enough to offset the lack of production from the offense as a whole. It’s difficult to trust any player in the Cowboys offense, and even an uber-talent like Lamb falls into that category.
Start: WR Curtis Samuel Jr., Washington Commanders
We were able to see the Commanders’ new offense with Carson Wentz, and one of the surprises was how involved Samuel was in Week 1. Despite running fewer routes than both Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson, it was Samuel who led the team with 10 targets while seeing an additional four carries on the ground. Against a suspect secondary in the Detroit Lions, Samuel is a sneaky flex play with upside if that kind of usage continues.
Sit: WR Robert Woods, Tennessee Titans
It’s tough to truly buy into the Titans’ passing attack. And even though Woods appeared to be the top receiver on the depth chart, the targets didn’t make it seem that way in Week 1. Woods saw just two targets during the opening game, which was fewer than four other options in the passing game. On top of that, the Titans have to take on the Buffalo Bills, and we should try to avoid risking that play on Monday Night Football.
Start: WR Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears
Those who started Mooney in the Week 1 slosh fest at Soldier Field were certainly disappointed. His one reception on three targets for eight yards was rough enough, but we should expect a bounce back in Week 2. Even in the terrible weather conditions, Justin Fields averaged the fourth-most air yards per attempt among quarterback in Week 1, per RotoViz. With conditions likely being improved in Green Bay, we should see more targets for Mooney, especially to the deeper part of the field.
Sit: RB Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders
Jacobs may have been the leader in backfield touches during Week 1, but it’s clear the Raiders don’t see him as a vital part of their game plan. Jacobs could be efficient with his carries on the ground, but his lack of involvement in the passing game is concerning. He saw just one target on 17 routes run during the Week 1 game against the Los Angeles Chargers. Given the weakness in the Arizona Cardinals secondary, it’s likely the Raiders emphasize their game plan around attacking through the air. Managers may not have a choice but to start Jacobs, but we should view him as more of an RB3 right now with limited upside due to his lack of work in the passing game.
Start: RB Jeff Wilson Jr., San Francisco 49ers
Elijah Mitchell is expected to miss roughly the next two months, which means Wilson is the next man up in the 49ers offense. Even though he will still have to compete with Trey Lance and Deebo Samuel taking carries, Wilson should be the “lead” back ahead of rookies Jordan Mason and Tyrion Davis-Price. The opportunity Wilson could see in Kyle Shanahan’s offense is intriguing enough, but it becomes even more so after watching the Seahawks allow 5.0 yards per carry to the Denver Broncos in Week 1.
Sit: RB Rhamondre Stevenson, New England Patriots
Entering the season, Stevenson seemed primed for the “James White role” within the Patriots offense. Then, Ty Montgomery was the one to be featured in that role for Week 1. Even with Montgomery hitting the injured reserve list, Stevenson is a risky play this week. The Patriots offense looked out of sorts, and even though T.J. Watt won’t be there, the Pittsburgh Steelers defense is still strong. After playing 25% of the snaps in Week 1, Stevenson should see a slight bump. But you’re hoping for a touchdown against a stingy defense. If possible, it would be wise to look the other way.
Start: RB Travis Etienne, Jacksonville Jaguars
Looking at the final stat line for Etienne in Week 1 won’t paint the whole picture for his outing. Had he not suffered some untimely drops, including a would-be touchdown, and fumbled after taking a big hit, his day would look much different. The Indianapolis Colts have been solid against running backs, but Etienne’s value comes in the passing game. Though he’s splitting time with James Robinson, who led the team in carries Week 1, Etienne led the backfield with 22 routes run and four targets. Rex Burkhead recorded five receptions on eight targets against the Colts in Week 1, and Shaquille Leonard has been ruled out again. Etienne has RB2 upside this week.
Sit: QB Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Since joining the Buccaneers in 2020, Brady has had an interesting clash with the New Orleans Saints. In two of his four games, he finished as QB4 and QB10 in those respective weeks. The other two games saw him finish as QB30 and QB29. Maybe Brady comes out with a big game, but there are some serious injury question marks in the wide receiver room. After posting a dud in Week 1, I’d rather pivot to another option than take the risk with him in the lineup.
Start: QB Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers
Lance’s season didn’t get off to the best start for fantasy managers, finishing as the QB11 in standard scoring. However, the weather conditions were not conducive for fantasy points, and there were still encouraging notes to take from his opener. The biggest takeaway was the fact that he led the team with 13 carries for 54 yards. That’s the Konami Code aspect we want in fantasy. We certainly want to see improvement in passing, and the Seahawks allowed Russell Wilson to average 8.1 yards per attempt in Week 1. Consider this a vote of confidence to start Lance in Week 2.