What to watch in Week 2: Stafford, Jimmy G, Lindsay's usage and more

Eric Karabell
ESPN PLUS

One of the starting quarterbacks in the Detroit Lions-San Francisco 49ersgame on Sunday is going to fall to 0-2, and if they do not play as statistically expected, fantasy managers are going to keep looking elsewhere. That really is not the least bit fair, of course, but try telling fantasy football managers what is and is not fair.

Matthew Stafford tossed four interceptions in a home game against the New York Jets.

The Jets!Jimmy Garoppolosuffered his first loss as a starter and threw a trio of interceptions, though it was a road game against a tough defense in Minnesota.

Still, Stafford finished each of the past three seasons in the top 10 of fantasy scoring at his position, which so many fantasy managers continue to ignore. I have no reason to believe that streak ends this season. Garoppolo certainly played at a top-10 level once set free from the employ of the New England Patriots and presented with opportunity elsewhere. OK, so these fellows did not play great in Week 1, but it seems odd that of the top quarterbacks on the ESPN most-dropped list, they are the ones rostered in most leagues. Drop Marcus Mariota and that makes sense. Drop Stafford?

As a result, this sets up as a critical game for the franchises and for the individual talent driving the offenses as well. Fine, you really want Ryan Fitzpatrick and Tyrod Taylor? Knock yourselves out, but I have not altered my opinion on what Stafford and Garoppolo will offer statistically this season. Of course, it is not merely them. The Lions had no running game on Monday night and one can argue it has been a problem since Barry Sanders left, so fantasy managers moved on from those options. The 49ers split things with Alfred Morris and Matt Breida, and nobody likes that, either. Perhaps we see a bit of clarity on Sunday and a high-scoring affair to boot!

At receiver, Kenny Golladay looks like he really is turning into a WR3, at the least, but can Stafford support three top-30 wide receivers? I think he can, especially if there is no running game. Garoppolo already lost running back Jerick McKinnon, and presumed No. 1 receiver Marquise Goodwin is dealing with a quad injury. Dante Pettis seems intriguing and tight end George Kittle does as well. Whither Pierre Garcon? Find out Sunday afternoon, because this game offers much intrigue!

Other notable quarterbacks to watch in Week 2

1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
2. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
3. Tyrod Taylor, Cleveland Browns
4. Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans
5. Rookies Sam Darnold, New York Jets, and Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills


Notes: As of Friday morning, we did not know if it would be Rodgers or DeShone Kizer starting at quarterback, and, lest we forget, there is a rather large difference. I cannot say I would move Davante Adams out of WR2 territory if Rodgers sits, but the Packers are facing the Vikings. An active Rodgers is not necessarily a top-five play himself. ... Fitzpatrick lit up the Saints for 417 passing yards and had a hand in five touchdowns. I doubt he does this to the Super Bowl champion Eagles, since he has a history of following up monster games with nothing, but everything changes if he plays awesome again. ... Taylor gets to face the Saints defense that was embarrassed at home by Fitzpatrick. This could happen again and vault the individuals on Cleveland into new territory, and remind people that Taylor has been a top-10 QB in the past, thanks to his legs. ... As for Watson, it was one game, and in Bill Belichick's house, so I find it odd there is panic about him. No, we did not expect 30 fantasy points every week, but it would be nice if he reenacts his play from last season before the knee injury. ... Finally, fantasy managers should not activate Darnold or Allen, but their competence is important for others around them. Numerous Jets thrived in Week 1. No Bills did. LeSean McCoy and Kelvin Benjamin need some help.

Notable running backs to watch in Week 2

1. Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville Jaguars
2. David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals
3. Adrian Peterson, Washington Redskins
4. Phillip Lindsay, Denver Broncos
5. Jamaal Williams, Green Bay Packers

Notes: Fournette left the Week 1 win prematurely with a hamstring injury that he originally claimed was not a big deal, but now he is a dreaded game-time decision. Fournette managers should have T.J. Yeldon or someone else ready just in case. ... Johnson is dealing with a back injury and perhaps that is not something to worry about, but missing and being limited in practice is a concern when you played in one game last season and have to face a strong Rams defense. ... Peterson ran all over the Cardinals, but it remains hard not to notice that he followed up his two 100-yard rushing performances last season with games of 21 yards and 29 yards (the latter on 21 carries). We crave consistency. ... Lindsay did not supplant fellow rookie Royce Freeman as the Broncos runner to roster, at least not yet. I definitely want to see if they split touches again. ... Finally, there are the Packers with their unclarified quarterback situation. Williams can pass protect, which is helpful when the quarterback is suddenly immobile, but can he gain rushing yards? He needs to, because Aaron Jones returns from suspension for Week 3.Notable wide receivers to watch in Week 2

1. Chris Hogan, New England Patriots
2. Corey Davis, Tennessee Titans
3. Brandon Marshall, Seattle Seahawks
4. Kenny Stills, Miami Dolphins
5. Robby Anderson, New York Jets

Notes: With Julian Edelman suspended, Hogan figured to be the one Patriots wide receiver worth relying on. Then he caught 1 of 5 targets against the Texans and Phillip Dorsett became the second-most-added receiver in ESPN leagues. It is not going to be easy in Jacksonville. ... Davis saw plenty of targets in Week 1, but Marcus Mariota was wild. Now Delanie Walker is gone and Mariota's elbow is hurt. Davis is so talented, just get him the ball! Incidentally, teammate Rishard Matthews is among the most dropped, but that is clearly a mistake. ... Marshall stepped up with Doug Baldwin injured, as did Tyler Lockett, but can we really count on Marshall after all the missed games and underachieving from three of the past four seasons? ... Stills would have been underrated even if DeVante Parker was active, methinks, so let us see what happens with both playing. Danny Amendola is a Dolphin, too. Ryan Tannehill can throw against the Jets. Interesting AFC East matchup. ... Speaking of Jets, Anderson is not the only wide receiver whose lone catch in Week 1 went for a score. Josh Gordon, De'Anthony Thomas and John Ross did the same. Anderson is the only one who was a top-20 PPR wide receiver last season. I am not worried. Good for Quincy Enunwa getting all those looks, but Anderson is the Jets receiver to count on first.