As expected, the opening week saw a lot of firepower from the quarterback position. Many, but not all of the studs performed as we expected, and some sleepers with nice matchups outdid expectations. Since we only have a one-game sample size, it's important not to overreact to what we saw last week, but it's inevitably going to happen. Moving forward, we'll have more stats that will help up with our projections, both for QBs and, more important, for defenses. For now, we have to combine impressions from last week with some of the stuff we knew (or thought we knew) coming into the year As always this early, we use a mix of everything when putting together our Week 2 fantasy QB rankings.
Studs like Justin Herbert (vs. Cowboys), Russell Wilson (vs. Titans), Aaron Rodgers (vs. Lions), and Tom Brady (vs. Falcons) are always going to start, and it looks like they all could be in for explosive weeks against defenses that once again look susceptible to the passing game. Rodgers was really the only one of the four who really struggled last week, but he gets as good of a "get-right" matchup as he could hope for on Monday, so there's no need to consider benching him.
Lower down in our rankings, Mac Jones (@ Jets) has a nice matchup, but he's still just for the Superflex/two-QB crowd. Jameis Winston (@ Panthers) might have graduated to the starting tier after his five-TD game. He faces the Panthers in Carolina, and although the Panthers' defense looked decent last week, it was against a rookie QB with a lot of young players around him. The Saints looked crisp despite Winston not needing to throw for many yards. The Jaguars' defense looked atrocious against the Texans' bland offense, so perhaps Teddy Bridgewater (vs. Jaguars) is also a viable play despite losing Jerry Jeudy (ankle) for a few weeks.
One of our favorite preseason sleeper QBs, Tua Tagovailoa, faces another tough matchup. It might be tough to start him this week once again, but brighter days are ahead. The same goes for Trevor Lawrence (vs. Broncos), who might have a decent day thanks to volume but is far too risky to really consider. On the flip side, Joe Burrow (@ Bears) showed no signs of rust against Minnesota, and the Bears looked especially vulnerable against the pass. Burrow is on the start-sit bubble as a result.
Again, let's remember we still don't have a ton of information to go off of, as we've only seen one game from each team. The best you can do is take all available factors at your disposal and view Week 1 with a grain of salt to make your start/sit decisions.
Note: We'll be updating these QB rankings as needed throughout the week, so check back for the latest changes and analysis.
Fantasy QB Rankings Week 2: Who to start at quarterback
Rankings are based on standard, four-point passing TD scoring formats.
|1||Kyler Murray, ARI vs. MIN|
|2||Lamar Jackson, BAL vs. KC|
|3||Patrick Mahomes, KC @ BAL|
|4||Tom Brady, TB vs. ATL|
|5||Russell Wilson, SEA vs. TEN|
|6||Aaron Rodgers, GB vs. DET|
|7||Jalen Hurts, PHI vs. SF. The jury has been out on Hurts as a passer, but he looked impressive in Week 1 against the Falcons. He completed 77 percent of his throws and tossed three touchdowns to zero interceptions. DeVonta Smith looked good, so he might have a true No. 1 WR. Even if you took away his 62 rushing yards, this was an impressive offensive showing. The 49ers allowed Jared Goff to score 29.9 fantasy points in Week 1. Of course, a lot of his points came in garbage time, but Hurts has a much safer floor and higher ceiling.|
|8||Justin Herbert, LAC vs. DAL. Herbert scored a mere 14.38 fantasy points in Week 1, but he was facing one of the premier defenses in the NFL. Dallas projects to have one of the worst passing defenses in football, and Herbert should reclaim a spot inside the top 10 in what could play out to be a shootout in Los Angeles.|
|9||Dak Prescott, DAL @ LAC. The Chargers' defense might be much improved this year, but Dak is a mainstay inside the top 10 regardless of matchup. He has top overall QB potential every week, but we can expect the Cowboys to be more balanced on offense moving forward.|
|10||Baker Mayfield, CLE vs. HOU. Mayfield has was outside the top-20 QBs in Week 1, but the Browns' offense looked good. He passed for 321 yards, but Jarvis Landry, Kareem Hunt, and Nick Chubb combined for four rushing touchdowns. All it would've taken for Mayfield to have a top-12 finish was simply a touchdown or two. Since we know the Browns' offense is good, we can expect Mayfield to get more opportunities to throw touchdowns against a bad Texans defense, especially Odell Beckham Jr. (knee) returns.|
|11||Josh Allen, BUF @ MIA. Josh Allen finishing at QB19 (before Monday Night Football) is sure a surprising and disappointing development. He again plays one of the league's best defenses this week, so a top-five finish may elude him again. Of course, he could still make his way into the top five, but it's tough to project that happening. Still, his 51 passing attempts and nine rushing attempts show that he'll once again have a crazy amount of usage.|
|12||Kirk Cousins, MIN @ ARI. How many times does Cousins have to produce solid fantasy outings for people to respect him? Yes, he can be due for disastrous weeks on occasion, but he's going to be attempting a lot of passes behind a bad Minnesota defense, and he has weapons all over the field. He passed for 351 yards and two touchdowns and will be called upon again to throw it all over the yard against Arizona.|
|13||Teddy Bridgewater, DEN @ JAX. As usual, Bridgwater was effective and efficient (@ Giants) in Week 1. Although Jerry Jeudy (ankle) will miss this game, the matchup with the Jaguars is too good to pass up. The Jags allowed 37 points to the rebuilding Texans, and the Broncos have far better weapons at their disposal.|
|14||Matthew Stafford, LAR @ IND. Stafford was as advertised in his first game as a Ram (24.34 fantasy points), but we still respect Indy's defense despite it giving up four passing touchdowns to Russell Wilson. If the Colts' defense is exposed again, we'll have to adjust moving forward. For now, we think it will round into shape. Stafford could surely finish inside the top 10 of QB again, but we like some of the guys ahead of him and their matchups.|
|15||Joe Burrow, CIN @ CHI. Burrow showed no signs of rust, as he completed 20-of-27 passes for 261 yards and two touchdowns. He finished as the QB17, and we like him to replicate that performance and finish somewhere in the high-end QB2 realm again. Chicago's defense looks great on paper, but they've been easy to score points on over the past year.|
|16||Jameis Winston, NO @ CAR. Winston looked strong in the beatdown of the Packers, and the Saints offense was humming for 38 points. Despite only passing for 148 yards, he finished as a top-five QB with five passing touchdowns. Of course, the touchdown figure will come down, but the yards should go way up. It's nice to see him flourish in the offense, and if he has another top week, he might become a fixture inside the top-10 fantasy quarterbacks each week.|
|17||Ryan Tannehill, TEN vs. @ SEA. What could go wrong did go wrong for Tannehill in Week 1. He finished as the QB22 (before MNF), passing for 212 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. This performance could've looked a lot worse if it weren't for a goal-line rushing touchdown. We're trying not to overreact here, but the Titans' offensive line looked atrocious, giving up five sacks to Chandler Jones. The Titans' offense may turn it around, but it could take longer than two weeks.|
|18||Ben Roethlisberger, PIT vs. LV. We'll see how the Raiders' defense looks vs. the Ravens|
|19||Trevor Lawrence, JAX vs. DEN. Trevor Lawrence ended up being a top-12 quarterback (before MNF), but all of his positive stats came in garbage time. He threw for 332 yards, three touchdowns, and three interceptions. Some fantasy leagues penalize interceptions more (which seems to be rational), but for most leagues, he ended up saving his day late in the ball game. Denver's defense is much better than Houston's, so it's tough to see Lawrence completely turn his struggles around right away. If the game isn't out of hand early, Jacksonville's offensive attack should be more balanced anyway.|
|20||Matt Ryan, ATL @ TB. Mr. Boom-or-Bust at the quarterback position started off the year on the latter side of that phrase. In a game that looked like it was going to be a shootout, the Falcons' offense looked like the worst in the league. The offensive line is bad, and Ryan is starting to look old. Against Tampa Bay, we want no part of him. But it is worth noting he could have a decent day purely due to volume.|
|21||Jimmy Garoppolo, SF @ PHI. Jimmy G scored just over 14 fantasy points in a game in which his team put 41 points on the board. Additionally, Trey Lance came in the game in the first half and stole a red-zone passing touchdown from him. While his offense looked explosive, the 49ers' clearly don't have a commitment to getting Garoppolo touchdowns. After all, his one passing score came when he threw a short pass to Deebo Samuel who took it 79 yards to the house. Philadelphia's defense looked good in Week 1, but we'll see if that was just a case of a bad Atlanta offense.|
|22||Tyrod Taylor, HOU @ CLE. Let's give a round of applause for Taylor. The journeyman QB was a QB1 last week, and his offense put 37 points on the board. Taylor passed or 291 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another 40 yards. Sadly, he'll be staring down Myles Garrett in Week 2 rather than the Jacksonville defense. That said, we have to keep our expectations modest, but he's now a legit two-QB/superflex option.|
|23||Andy Dalton, CHI vs. CIN. The Andy Dalton revenge game could mean somewhat competent play with week. The Bengals' defense gave up a lot of passing yards in Week 1, and this feels like the last chance for Dalton to keep his job. Let's see if he can rise to the occasion with his No. 1 WR, Allen Robinson bouncing back.|
|24||Carson Wentz, IND vs. LAR. Wentz didn't look half had in his first game as a Colt (251 yards, two touchdowns), but Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey are likely going to make game two a lot more uncomfortable for him.|
|25||Tua Tagovailoa, MIA vs. BUF. One of our top preseason QB sleepers faces another tough matchup in Week 2. He did throw and rush for a touchdown, though, and Will Fuller will be in the lineup after a one-game suspension.|
|26||Derek Carr, LV @ PIT. As a general rule, don't start QBs against the Steelers unless they are the top studs. Even Josh Allen looked mortal against the yellow and black.|
|27||Jared Goff, DET @ GB|
|28||Taylor Heinicke, WAS vs. NYG|
|29||Sam Darnold, CAR vs. NO|
|30||Daniel Jones, NYG @ WAS|
|31||Mac Jones, NE @ NYJ|
|32||Zach Wilson, NYJ vs. NE|