Playing the matchup can strike gold. Now in Week 2 of the 2021 NFL season, we can make better lineup calls.
Start ‘Em, Sit 'Em is the ultimate look at the best and worst matchups based on a PPR scoring system in fantasy football. This column will not cover the elite players in the NFL like Patrick Mahomes, Christian McCaffrey, Davante Adams, or Travis Kelce. Instead, I'll look at the players you have the most questions about to help you set the most effective starting lineup possible. For all of your final fantasy lineup decisions, be sure to check out my weekly player rankings which will be updated daily throughout the 2021 NFL season.
Week 2 Start ‘Em: Quarterbacks
Start of the Week
Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports
Tom Brady vs. Falcons (4:05 p.m. ET, FOX): Brady was spectacular in his first start of the season, throwing four touchdown passes and scoring 27.2 fantasy points in a win over the Cowboys. I'd keep him in your starting lineup this week too, as the Bucs host the Falcons. Their defense allowed nearly 29 fantasy points to Jalen Hurts last week and has given up the seventh-most points to quarterbacks since Week 9 2020.
Week 2 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em
Aaron Rodgers at Lions (Mon., 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN): This would have been seen as an obvious take last week, but some fantasy managers might be leery of Rodgers after his 1.3-point stink bomb last week. Consider this your reassurance. The best elixir for a struggling quarterback is a matchup against the Lions, who have surrendered the most points to the position since Week 9 2020. Keep the faith and start Rodgers once again.
Matthew Stafford at Colts (1 p.m. ET, FOX): This matchup might appear bad on paper, but the opposite is true. In their last 10 games, the Colts have allowed an average of more than 20 fantasy points a game to quarterbacks. That includes a huge stat line allowed to Russell Wilson last week (4 TDs, 27.1 points). Stafford looked like a true superstar in his debut with the Rams too, throwing three touchdown passes.
Jameis Winston at Panthers (1 p.m. ET, FOX): Winston came out of nowhere to put up five touchdowns in his Saints debut, causing his stock to rise in the fantasy world. He should be active in all superflex and two-quarterback leagues this weekend when the Saints face the Panthers. In their last nine games dating back to last year, their passing defense has surrendered 21 touchdown passes to opposing quarterbacks.
Baker Mayfield vs. Texans (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Mayfield put up a stinker in the season opener, scoring just 12.6 fantasy points in a loss to the Chiefs. I think he’ll rebound this week, however, as the Browns will host the Texans. Their defense allowed more than 19 fantasy points to rookie Trevor Lawrence last week and has given up around 20 points a game to quarterbacks in their last 10 games dating back to last season.
More StartsJustin Herbert vs. Cowboys (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS) Teddy Bridgewater at Jaguars (1 p.m. ET, CBS) Joe Burrow at Bears (1 p.m. ET, FOX)
DFS BargainsBaker Mayfield vs. Texans (DraftKings: $6,000) Mac Jones at Jets (DraftKings: $5,400) Teddy Bridgewater at Jaguars (DraftKings: $5,400)
Week 2 Sit ‘Em: Quarterbacks
Sit of the Week
Photo Illustration by Bryce Wood
Carson Wentz vs. Rams (1 p.m. ET, FOX): Wentz had a decent stat line last week in a loss to the Seahawks, throwing for 251 yards with two touchdowns for 18.3 points. That won’t get it done in this day and age of fantasy football, however, and this week’s matchup against the Rams is a daunting one. Their defense has allowed just eight touchdown passes and an average of 12.2 fantasy points in their last nine contests.
Matt Ryan at Buccaneers (4:05 p.m. ET, FOX): Ryan and the Falcons' offense looked terrible last week against a suspect Eagles defense, so facing the Buccaneers on the road makes this team a major risk. Atlanta's offensive line struggled to protect Ryan, and Tampa Bay has one of the top front sevens in the league. Ryan scored 18-plus fantasy points in just three of his 13 career starts against the Bucs on the road.
Sam Darnold vs. Saints (1 p.m. ET, FOX): Listed as a start ‘em last week, Darnold had a nice fantasy performance with two touchdowns and more than 19 fantasy points. That was against the Jets in a revenge game, however. This week, Darnold has a far tougher opponent when the Panthers face the Saints. Since Week 9 2020, no defense in the league has allowed fewer fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks (10.3 PPG).
Tua Tagovailoa vs. Bills (1 p.m. ET, FOX): I like Tagovailoa as a sleeper this season, but it’s tough to start him in a difficult Week 2 matchup against the Bills. Their defense has allowed just 12 touchdown passes and an average of fewer than 17 fantasy points to enemy quarterbacks in their last nine games. That includes a Week 17 contest from a season ago where the Bills held Tua to one touchdown and just 15.2 fantasy points.
Derek Carr at Steelers (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Carr put up a solid performance in Week 1, throwing for two touchdowns and scoring 24 fantasy points against the Ravens. I’d keep him out of starting lineups this week though, as he goes up against a Steelers defense that has allowed just 10 touchdown passes and 13.5 fantasy points a game to opposing quarterbacks since Week 9 2020. Carr is a fantasy fade for me this week.
More SitsDaniel Jones at Football Team (Thurs., 8:20 p.m. ET, NFL) Tyrod Taylor at Browns (1 p.m. ET, CBS) Zach Wilson vs. Patriots (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
DFS FadesRyan Tannehill at Seahawks (DraftKings: $6,300) Trevor Lawrence vs. Broncos (DraftKings: $6,000) Matt Ryan at Buccaneers (DraftKings: $5,600)
Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on Sports Illustrated and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Click here to read all his articles here on SI Fantasy. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for your late-breaking fantasy news and the best analysis in the business!