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Fantasy football Week 2 start ‘em or sit ‘em

Patriots running back Mike Gillislee runs the ball during a game

Patriots running back Mike Gillislee runs the ball during a game against the Chiefs, Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017, in Foxborough, Mass. Photo Credit: AP / Steven Senne

Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles QB

at Kansas City Chiefs

The second-year quarterback got off to a strong start to the season, completing 26 of 39 passes for 307 yards, two touchdowns and an interception while leading the Eagles to a 30-17 win over the Redskins. He wound up fifth among quarterbacks in fantasy points in standard scoring leagues. But he’ll face a much tougher test in the Chiefs’ defense, which despite allowing 27 points to the Patriots last Thursday, came away with the win. The Chiefs suffered a big loss when Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry ruptured his Achilles tendon, but with major pieces such as Derrick Johnson, Ron Parker, Allen Bailey and Justin Houston, they’re able to get after the quarterback. Wentz isn’t the best option out there against a stout Chiefs defense, but he’s a low-end QB1 this week and should be in for a big season overall.

Sam Bradford, Minnesota Vikings QB

at Pittsburgh Steelers

Yes, Bradford made the Saints look silly on Monday night, but the Saints, who ranked last in the league against the pass last season, didn’t do much to improve and ran out three rookies in the starting unit. Bradford finished third in fantasy points among quarterbacks last week while throwing for 356 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. The Steelers surely will give him a harder time. Plus he was limited in practice Wednesday because of a knee injury. Don’t get caught up in one performance against a lousy team.

Mike Gillislee, New England Patriots RB

at New Orleans Saints

Can you expect Gillislee to rush for another three touchdowns? Probably not. But, the Saints gave up 127 rushing yards to rookie Dalvin Cook (second behind only fellow rookie Kareem Hunt) in a Week 1 loss to the Vikings. LeGarrette Blount rushed for 18 touchdowns last season with the Patriots. Fifteen of those came from inside the opponent’s 10-yard line. He’s now with the Eagles, opening up goal-line rushes for Gillislee, which the Pats did in Week 1 against the Chiefs. Gillislee got six carries inside the 10, with three of those going for scores. The Patriots have a loaded backfield with Gillislee, James White, Rex Burkhead and Dion Lewis, but as long as Gillislee continues to score and get the bulk of the carries — he led the team with 15 last week — he’s the Pats’ back to ride.

Rob Kelley, Washington Redskins RB

at Los Angeles Rams

Kelley couldn’t get it done against the Eagles in Week 1, rushing for just 30 yards on 10 carries. To put that in perspective: quarterback Kirk Cousins matched Kelley’s yardage on six fewer rushing attempts. The Redskins’ pass-heavy approach didn’t help, especially for someone who had just 18 targets last season. The Rams held Frank Gore and the Colts to just 75 yards rushing last week. It won’t get any easier for Kelley as Rams All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald is expected to return to the starting lineup this week after ending his contract holdout. At best, Kelley’s a low-end flex in non-PPR leagues.

Kerwynn Williams, Arizona Cardinals RB

at Indianapolis Colts

David Johnson fantasy owners suffered a big blow when last season’s leader in yards from scrimmage went down with a wrist injury in the Cardinals’ opener against the Lions. Arizona brought back Chris Johnson in light of David Johnson’s injury, but Williams will get his first career start when they take on the Colts on Sunday, head coach Bruce Arians said Wednesday. Williams, in his fourth NFL season, only had five carries in Week 1 and has played in just 22 games, but he averages 5.4 yards per carry. Williams will have to share the load with Chris Johnson and third-down back Andre Ellington, but for now, he should get the bulk of the carries. And this week might be all that matters. Indianapolis opened the season with 11 new defensive starters against the Rams, and it didn’t go well. The Rams scored a league-high 46 points — though they had two pick-sixes and a safety — against the Colts.

Pierre Garcon, San Francisco 49ers WR

at Seattle Seahawks

Garcon put up a solid performance in his 49ers debut. The veteran became Brian Hoyer’s top target, getting 10 looks in a loss to the Panthers. He also led the team in catches (six) and receiving yards (81) but was held out of the end zone. It’s another tough matchup for Garcon as he takes on Seattle’s “Legion of Boom” at one of the toughest NFL stadiums to play. Garcon’s no more than a flex play in PPR leagues this week.

Ted Ginn Jr., New Orleans Saints WR

vs. New England Patriots

With Willie Snead suspended for the first three games of the season after violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy, Ginn is the Saints’ No. 2 wide receiver. He only had four catches for 53 yards on five targets, largely because Drew Brees likes to spread the ball to his pass-catching running backs. But with a shootout likely coming against the Patriots — both offenses heavily favor the pass behind future Hall of Fame quarterbacks and both defenses gave up at least 29 points in Week 1 — Ginn should get his fair share of targets. He’s a nice flex play in most formats.

Marqise Lee, Jacksonville Jaguars WR

vs. Tennessee Titans

With Allen Robinson out for the season after tearing his ACL against the Texans, Lee becomes the No. 1 receiver. But on a run-focused team, it’s hard to get excited about his “boost” in fantasy value. The fourth-year receiver was held without a reception on four targets last week with Blake Bortles attempting only 21 passes. The one benefit for Lee this week is the Titans have allowed the most fantasy points to receivers since the beginning of the 2016 season, according to ESPN. Lee’s a flex play in deeper leagues.

Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts TE

vs. Arizona Cardinals

Doyle emerged as a top-15 fantasy tight end in PPR and non-PPR leagues alike last season as he had 59 catches for 584 yards and five touchdowns. But that mostly came with Andrew Luck leading the offense. With Scott Tolzien starting in place of the injured Luck last week in the Colts’ opener against the Rams, Doyle was held to just two catches for 41 yards. The Cardinals allowed the fewest fantasy points to tight ends last season, according to Pro Football Reference. With Luck out again and a tough matchup on deck, Doyle’s not worth starting.

Jared Cook, Oakland Raiders TE

vs. New York Jets

In his debut with the Raiders, Cook and quarterback Derek Carr hit it off. The veteran tight end hauled in all five of his targets for 56 yards in the win over the Titans. The Jets’ defense was terrible in its opener against the Bills, allowing 408 yards to a mediocre team. Cook will be fighting for targets among Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree, but he seems to be Carr’s next-favorite target. If he’s going to become a reliable fantasy option, Cook will need to get in the end zone. In his previous two seasons (with the Rams and Packers), Cook caught one touchdown pass. This week, he’s a good streaming option in the event of a tough matchup situation (i.e., Doyle).

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