Welcome back, ladies and gentlemen to Week 2 of the 2022 NFL season!
Hopefully you were able to walk out of Week 1 with a victory and you’re ready to head into Week 2 and all of the chaos that it contains! There’s a lot of injury updates and news to sort through and some key players are going to be out today. If you have questions – and I know you do – make sure that you’re tuning in to the Youtube Livestreams at 11:00am EST and 12:00pm EST over on The Fantasy Playbook Youtube Channel!
In the meantime, grab that cup of coffee, settle in, and let’s get the information we need to dominate our matchups here in Week 2!
The Injury Hub
Each week, you’ll find a section of the cheatsheet providing the latest injury updates to key players.
Buckle up, folks.
Mike Evans (Expected to Play)
Julio Jones (Game Time Decision)
Leonard Fournette (Expected to Play)
Jameis Winston (Expected to Play)
Alvin Kamara (Not Expected to Play)
Mark Ingram (Expected to Play)
Allen Lazard (Expected to Play)
Gabe Davis (Questionable for MNF)
George Kittle (Not Expected to Play)
JK Dobbins (Unlikely to Play)
Tee Higgins (Expected to Play)
D’Andre Swift (Expected to Play, but workload concerns)
Russell Gage (Expected to Play)
Kyle Philips (Game Time Decision on MNF)
Brevin Jordan (Expected to Play)
Pierre Strong Jr (Expected to Play)
Braxton Berrios (Expected to Play)
Kadarius Toney (Expected to Play)
Rondale Moore (OUT)
Michael Pittman Jr. (OUT)
Chris Godwin (OUT)
Damien Williams (OUT)
Michael Gallup (OUT)
Dak Prescott (OUT)
Alec Pierce (OUT)
KJ Hamler (OUT)
Ty Montgomery (OUT)
Van Jefferson (OUT)
Elijah Mitchell (OUT)
Wan’Dale Robinson (OUT)
Dontrell Hilliard (OUT)
The Starts of the Week
QB: Derek Carr (QB – Las Vegas Raiders)
Derek Carr is going to be my QB start of the week. Now, I’m cheating just a bit here because his ECR has fluctuated a bit since I chose him and now to when I’m recording this podcast. Carr’s QB9 in ECR right now, but he was at QB11 when I started preparing. I simply want to give an extra vote of confidence for starting him this week against Arizona. We just saw Patrick Mahomes – granted, it’s Mahomes – destroy the Cardinals for 360 yards and 5 touchdowns. But also, Trayvon Mullen – one of their corners – was limited on Wednesday and did not play in Week 1. Marco Wilson’s on the injury report as well. Jalen Thompson, one of their safeties, was a DNP. This secondary needs help and Davante Adams might have 200 yards in this one. I have Carr at QB6 on the week right now. I’m starting him over Kyler in this same game, Russell Wilson, Lance, Cousins, and Tom Brady.
RB: Darrell Henderson (RB – Los Angeles Rams)
Am I missing something? Why is a RB that just saw 82% of his team’s snaps (which was only bested by Saquon Barkley in New York) and every single one of his team’s red zone snaps outside the top-20? The offense wasn’t great, I get that, but we can’t fully judge this offense based on one performance against what is potentially the best defense in the entire league right out of the gates. They now get to take on Atlanta and even though they shut down New Orleans’ RBs from a fantasy standpoint, Alvin Kamara barely touched the ball and the Saints barely gave the ball to their RBs anyway. Henderson’s going to see volume, he’s got a good matchup on paper, and he’s part of an offense that has a very high team implied point total of 28.5. Based on everything we’ve heard from Sean McVay this week, Cam Akers is not suddenly going to become the bellcow in this backfield any time soon. Henderson is at RB21 in FantasyPros’ ECR and he’s currently at RB16. As for right now, I’m comfortable playing Henderson over Kareem Hunt, Josh Jacobs, Cordarrelle Patterson and Miles Sanders, just to name a few.
WR: Joshua Palmer (WR – Los Angeles Chargers)
The first thing we have to acknowledge is that this game promises to have some fireworks and see points flying up on the board. Yes, it’s a division matchup and those are typically played pretty tight, but this is Patrick Mahomes versus Justin Herbert. 54 point over/under tonight and – with the spread – that breaks down to the Chargers with 25 implied points and the Chiefs with 29. No Keenan Allen for this one, so it’s going to be Mike Williams, Joshua Palmer, and then Deandre Carter or Jalen Guyton. We saw what happened last season when Palmer got the opportunity and played more than 80% of the snaps. I talked about this frequently going into draft season, but he had 15.1 and 12.8 Half PPR points in both of those games. Going into this one, the Chargers will have a game plan built around not having Allen available and it’s going to feature Williams and Palmer a lot. With his versatility, being able to move around the formation, I think we’re in line for a big performance here from the second-year player. For the time being, I’m playing him over Rashod Bateman, Brandon Aiyuk, Drake London, and Darnell Mooney to name a few.
TE: Hayden Hurst (TE – Cincinnati Bengals)
I’m a little bit more concerned about this one with Tee Higgins returning to the lineup, but regardless I think there’s enough opportunity for Hurst to at least not crush your lineup. When we have so many questions now about Dawson Knox, Cole Kmet, Irv Smith, and the list goes on and on…Hurst is in a high-powered enough offense where he could see 5 targets and a decent chance to score. There’s really not much more to it than that. He’s a TE that’s getting targets…I think he’s worth playing then.
Players To Avoid
Each week, you’ll find a section of the cheatsheet here with players that Kyle Yates has concern over their matchups, etc. and you should look to avoid if you can.
QB: Tom Brady (QB – Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
QB29, QB4, QB30, and QB10. Those are the past four fantasy finishes for Tom Brady going up against the New Orleans Saints defense. There’s something about this defense that gives Brady fits and that’s when he has a full compliment of receivers. If you read The Injury Hub above, you know that that is not the case going into this one. It’s Brady, so you’re most likely not benching him this week and playing someone like Carson Wentz over him. But again the purpose of these sections is to point out the players that you should be concerned about this week and Brady is absolutely someone that I’m looking to avoid if I possibly can. I’m playing Trey Lance, Derek Carr for sure, Kirk Cousins, and even Matthew Stafford against Atlanta over Brady this week.
RB: Najee Harris (RB – Pittsburgh Steelers)
It’s awesome that he’s going to play here, but I don’t want to start Najee Harris this week. 3.6. That’s how many fantasy points Harris would have had in Week 1 if he didn’t reel in the touchdown. I understand that he left last week’s contest early, but that was with just two minutes left in the entire game and he essentially did next to nothing. Now, he gets a tough matchup against New England’s defensive front, he’s almost certainly not 100%, and he might not see his usual heavy workload because of it. We could see Jaylen Warren get some more action in this one to compensate for Harris’ injury. I understand that he’s your first round pick and that you might not have better options, but I’m mentioning him here as someone that if I had him and Darrell Henderson on my roster, that would be a really close call for me in Week 2. Harris is at RB16 in ECR and he’s at RB22 in my rankings.
WR: Darnell Mooney (WR – Chicago Bears)
Yeah, it was the monsoon and swimming pool game, but there are more reasons to be concerned with Darnell Mooney than just his opportunity in that matchup. One, this offense is going to flow through the ground game. They’re going to look to control the clock, utilize Justin Fields’ legs as a weapon both behind and beyond the line of scrimmage, and they’re also going to spread the ball around. Fields was top-5 in the league last week in ADOT at the QB position, despite the rain, so a big play from Mooney could make me look foolish here. But fantasy football is also about trying to measure confidence in a player when putting them into your starting lineup and I’m just not confident in Mooney or what we’re going to see from this offense on Sunday Night Football. The Vikings embarrassed – or more specifically Justin Jefferson – the Packers defense last week. They’re going to come out with an edge here and I believe their game plan should be, we’ll cover Mooney and make EQ St. Brown or Byron Pringle beat us. Mooney’s at WR29 in ECR and WR38 in my rankings. So he is still someone that I believe you can play as a low-end WR3/FLEX option, but ECR is still confidently saying you can start him and I’m just not there.
TE: Dawson Knox (TE – Buffalo Bills)
Dawson Knox will be my sit of the week here because I am limited to the players within the top-10 of ECR. Guys like TJ Hockenson, Dallas Goedert, Pat Freiermuth, are all solid plays because they actually did something for your lineup last week and Knox is just on that threshold of TE10. As I talked about in the Buy Low section though of yesterday’s trade podcast, you have to just mentally be prepared that Knox has as good of a chance as going for two touchdowns as he does for getting zero receptions. He’s still a decent play because of the upside, but I’d personally be looking at Tyler Higbee, Gerald Everett, Albert Okwuegbunam, or even Robert Tonyan over him due to their target floor.
Down The Stream
Each week, you’ll find a section of the cheatsheet with streaming options for the QB, TE, and DST positions in fantasy football that are under 50% rostered in Yahoo leagues.
QB: Carson Wentz (QB – Detroit Lions)
Wentz is just under the threshold at the time of writing, so there’s a strong possibility that he’s been scooped up already in your league. However, Wentz put up decent numbers last week against Jacksonville and he’s got a solid matchup in this one. You can look his way if you’re in a pinch.
TE: Robert Tonyan (TE – Green Bay Packers)
Tonyan’s not at 100% just yet, but he was a key receiving option for Aaron Rodgers last week. The Packers are going to need him here with how poorly the WR corps performed last week and he should see 5+ targets. That’s enough to potentially push him into the top-12 discussion.
DST: New York Giants
There aren’t very many good options on the waiver wire this week, so keep in mind that I’m not overly excited about playing the Giants. However, a matchup against Baker Mayfield usually results in an interception and that’s good enough to get you the nod here in this section for the week. Otherwise, you’re looking at Miami up against Lamar Jackson, Washington up against Detroit, or Chicago against Green Bay.