Fantasy Football Sleepers: Week 2

Written by Jody Smith
September 17, 2020
2,979 views

Fantasy Football Sleepers Week 2

Looking at this week's NFL over/under lines, there should be plenty of fantasy points on deck for Week 2. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of fantasy-relevant injuries which will necessitate managers exploring the waiver wire and digging deep to find underrated players and sleepers to fill out their lineups. 

One big key for longterm success is not to overreact to one game but to also remain proactive and take advantage of upcoming mismatches. Whether it's through free agency or your reserves, knowing which low-owned options could be on the verge of a strong showing in Week 2 can make all the difference towards wrapping up another early-season victory. 

Here are some players who fit the criteria of being solid sleeper targets for the second week of the 2020 NFL season. 

Quarterbacks

Philip Rivers.jpgPhilip Rivers (Indianapolis Colts) vs. Minnesota - Rivers had an up-and-down first start for Indianapolis, completing 80% of his throws for 363 yards and a pair of interceptions. Rivers spread his 45 attempts out to nine different receivers but with only two deep ball attempts, was content to target backs and tight ends rather than challenge DBs downfield. The Colts' elite offensive line resulted in plenty of time for Rivers, who enjoyed a league-best 97.9% protection rate en route to a QB22 finish which could have been much better. Perhaps an enticing Week 2 matchup with an inexperienced and rebuilding Minnesota secondary that ceded 364 passing yards and a league-worst 4 touchdowns to Aaron Rodgers last week will help Rivers avoid turnovers and vault into QB1 status in his home debut.

Jimmy Garoppolo (San Francisco 49ers) at New York Jets - Although Garoppolo's 103.0 QB Rating from Week 1 looks solid, he struggled with accuracy (57.6% completion rate) and made several poor throws in San Franciso's surprising Week 1 home loss to Arizona. He really struggled in the second half, completing just 8-of-17 throws for 89 yards and accumulating a lowly 5.2 yards per pass average. Normally targeting a west coast quarterback in a 1:00 PM start isn't ideal, but Garoppolo may have the best matchup in the league in Week 2 facing a shoddy Jets' secondary that surrendered an NFL-worst 35.3 fantasy points to Josh Allen. This is an ideal bounce-back spot for Garoppolo and the 49ers, who are road favorites of a touchdown. Garoppolo is a solid streaming option that has top-10 upside in a great spot.

Other QBs to stream: Mitchell Trubisky (vs. NYG), Ryan Tannehill (vs. JAX)

Running Backs

Ronald Jones (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) vs. Carolina - One of the best developments from Week 1 was Jones' usage against the Saints. Jones received out-snapped Leonard Fournette 33-9 and posted an impressive 57.6% touch rate. Jones was the only Tampa running back to receive more than five carries. Perhaps Bruce Arians was being truthful when he called Jones his workhorse, or maybe Fournette simply needs more time to familiarize himself with the playbook. But until that happens, Jones looks like a good bet to have a weekly 15-20 touch role and if that happens once again in Week 2, he's got an excellent shot at posting top-10 numbers. The Bucs will make their home debut against a familiar opponent, a rebuilding Carolina Panthers squad that just surrendered 206 scrimmage yards and 3 touchdowns to the Raiders' running backs. 

Adrian Peterson (Detroit Lions) at Green Bay - The Lions seem firmly committed to a three-man backfield but it was Peterson who easily looked like the best option in Week 1. Even though Peterson only logged 24 snaps, he touched the ball on a league-high 71% of those plays, led the Lions in rushing, and looked quite spry, even as a pass-catcher. Peterson got better as the game went on, accounting for 83 yards of offense on 11 second-half touches. There's an excellent shot that he carries that momentum over into Week 2 against a very familiar opponent. Over the years, Peterson has tormented the Packers, against whom he's produced the most rushing yards and touchdowns in his storied career and that success has continued even at an advanced age. In Peterson's last two matchups against the Packers, he's rushed for 196 yards (5.0 yards per att.) and three TDs. Even though Green Bay was nursing a large second-half lead last week, they still allowed 100 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns to Minnesota's running backs. Although he's somewhat TD-dependant, AP warrants RB3/FLEX considerations this week. 

Latavius Murray (New Orleans Saints) at Las Vegas - The loss of WR Michael Thomas for the foreseeable future will cause Sean Payton to reinvent the Saints' offense. Considering the lack of depth in the New Orleans' receiving corps, that's likely to result in more two-back sets with Murray as the main first and second-down runner and Alvin Kamara as a receiver. We saw a bit of this In Week 1 where Murray received 8 fourth-quarter carries to Kamara's 3. Historically, the Saints' offense is less pass-happy on the road, and Week 2 presents a solid matchup in Las Vegas versus a Raiders' squad that allowed a pair of rushing scored to Christian McCaffrey in the opener. Murray should be viewed as a solid weekly RB3/FLEX option as long as Thomas is sidelined.

Other RBs to consider: Mark Ingram (at HOU), Benny Snell (vs. DEN), Zack Moss (at Miami), Tevin Coleman (at NYJ), James Robinson (at TEN)

Wide Receivers

Breshad Perriman (New York Jets vs. San Francisco) - Perriman had a forgettable opener, which came as no real surprise when matched up against Tre'Davious White and Buffalo's elite defense. Things should get better in a hurry, though, as Perriman gets a much-improved situation at home against a San Francisco secondary that had no luck defending DeAndre Hopkins, who caught 10-of-12 targets for 116 yards from the perimeter. Even better, the Niners will be without premiere shutdown CB Richard Sherman. Finally, teammate Jamison Crowder (hamstring) has been unable to practice so far ahead of this contest, which puts Perriman in-line to potentially lead New York in targets in Week 2. Double-digit looks could be within grasp, giving Perriman considerable upside as a solid Week 2 WR3.

Scotty Miller (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) vs. Carolina - Chris Godwin was a late entrant into the NFL's concussion protocol, which puts his availability for this week's NFC South tilt very much in doubt. Should Godwin sit or be limited, Miller could be in-line for a huge target boost against an unproven Carolina secondary. Even with Godwin active in Week 1, Miller logged a 61% snap share and led the Bucs' receiving corps with a 16.3% utilized rate. Without Godwin, Miller would predominately play in the slot and act as a safety valve for Tom Brady, who has a long history of relying on his inside receivers. Miller hauled in 5-of-6 targets against New Orleans and could see a boost in opportunities in an intriguing Week 2 matchup. 

Quintez Cephus (Detroit Lions) at Green Bay - It looks like Kenny Golladay (hamstring) will miss his second straight game, which will result in another week of heavy usage for fifth-round rookie Quintez Cephus. Last week, Cephus played in 80% of Detroit's snaps and saw a whopping 10 targets. He only came down with 3 of those looks for 43 yards but that kind of usage is certainly noteworthy. The Lions are 6-point underdogs this week traveling to Green Bay, which should set up a favorable game script for Matthew Stafford and the Lions' passing attack. We can't count on double-digit targets again, but Cephus should be targeted enough to warrant a WR4/5 look in deeper leagues. 

Other wideouts to target: CeeDee Lamb (vs. ATL), Parris Campbell (vs. MIN), Marquez Valdes-Scantling (vs. DET), N'Keal Harry (at SEA), Trent Taylor (at NYJ)

Tight Ends

Hayden Hurst (Atlanta Falcons) at Dallas - No Week 1 contest has a higher over/under than this battle of 0-1 NFC foes. QB Matt Ryan did an amazing job evenly distributing targets amongst his wideouts last week but Hayden Hurst only saw 5 looks despite an 80% snap share. While they did a respectful job limiting Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett to a 6/4/47/0 line last week, Dallas struggled to defend tight ends in 2019, allowing the third-most fantasy points to the position. Look for Mike Nolan to draw up a gameplan to try to limit Atlanta's terrific trio of wideouts, which should open up more opportunities for Hurst in a matchup that looks like a can't miss track meet. Hurst played the fourth-most snaps (62) of any tight end last week, so he should have plenty of chances to potentially post top-10 PPR numbers. 

Logan Thomas (Washington Football Team) at Arizona - Most fantasy managers know how historically bad the Cardinals were against tight ends last season. Arizona did a solid job against George Kittle (who did sprain his knee) but Thomas's Week 1 usage indicates that he'll be a big part of Washington's week-to-week gameplan. Thomas played nearly three-quarters of the Football Team's snaps and ranked seventh among all tight ends with a 15.4% target share last week. This is a phenomenal matchup for Thomas and he's among the top streaming options for the entire Week 2 slate.

Other tight ends to choose: Chris Herndon (vs. SF), Jordan Reed (at NYJ), Jimmy Graham (vs. NYG), Eric Ebron (vs. DEN)

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Jody Smith

Jody is a member of both the Pro Football Writer's of America (PFWA) and Fantasy Sports Writer's Association (FSWA) and has been covering the NFL and fantasy football for over a decade. Jody won FantasyPro's Most Accurate Expert contest and also garnered the FSTA's accuracy award in 2012. A Houston native, Jody has covered the Texans locally since 2016 for both digital and radio audiences. Past writing stops include CBS Sportsline, Gridiron Experts, Pro Football Focus, Fanball, FantasyPro's. Jody is also a frequent guest on SiriusXM and Houston radio and his work regularly appears in print on newsstands each summer.