Week 1 of the NFL Season was wild, producing unexpected performances and shocking results. In short, it’s all we’ve come to expect from the NFL of late. As we head into Week 2, it’s time to buckle down and prepare to win. While we’re all blissfully rejoicing the return, the specter of lineup decisions comes with it. Who should start? Who should sit? Let this weekly post be your guide as I go on a journey with you these next 18 weeks.

The criteria is simple: I pick one sit and one start from each position (quarterback, running back, wide receiver, and tight end). This is based on my rankings for each week, which you can find in full at www.campus2canton.com. The standard is Top 12 for quarterbacks and tight ends, Top 24 for wide receivers and running backs. Each week I’ll begin with a review of how I did the previous week because accountability is a part of this process.

This won’t be pretty.

Week 1 Suggestions

Starts

  • QB: Russell Wilson, QB14, Miss. Russ threw for 340 yards and a touchdown; it just wasn’t quite enough.
  • RB: J.K. Dobbins, DNP, Miss. Dobbins was a scratch on Sunday, which was a blow for me.
  • WR: Allen Robinson, WR106 Miss. Robinson caught one pass for 12 yards. I hope we see better soon.
  • TE: Dalton Schultz, TE6, Hit. Dallas struggled, but Schultz was still a top target.
  • Total: 1-3

Sits

  • QB: Jalen Hurts, QB5, Miss. Hurts was incredible. He rushed for 90 yards and a touchdown and slung it well in an Eagles’ victory.
  • RB: Travis Etienne, RB37, Hit. Etienne wasn’t the lead back and wasn’t Top 24.
  • WR: Gabe Davis, WR14 Miss. Davis was as good as advertised.
  • TE: Mike Gesicki, TE55, Hit. The Dolphins won, and Gesicki was an afterthought.
  • Total: 2-2

On to the Week 2 picks; let’s hope I fare better!

Quarterbacks

Courtesy of Brad Mills – USA Today Sports

Start: Carson Wentz, Washington Commanders

About: I know what you’re thinking, Carson who!?!?! I’m as surprised as anyone, but Wentz was great in Week 1. He threw for 313 yards and four touchdowns, finishing as QB3. This week he gets the Lions, who allowed Jalen Hurts to finish as QB5. Sure, Hurts did a lot of damage on the ground, but he also tossed the ball around the yard. And with Jahan Dotson and Curtis Samuel looking strong, I think Wentz will have another big day.

Sit: Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers

About: Lance and the 49ers’ offense struggled in Week 1, posting just ten points in a 19-10 loss in rainy Chicago. Lance himself was QB27. On Sunday, the team will play a Seahawks team that just held Russell Wilson to QB2 numbers. The 49ers will be without Elijah Mitchell and likely be missing George Kittle again. I don’t see Lance putting up Top 12 numbers.

Running Backs

Start: Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles

About: Hurts wasn’t the only Eagles player that looked good in Week 1. Sanders is entering a pivotal year, and he showed the kind of performance that fans have waited for as he rushed 13 times for 96 yards and a touchdown. He also caught two passes for nine yards. He finished as RB13. This week he gets the Vikings in what looks like one of the better games of the week. The Vikings, despite a win, also allowed A.J. Dillon of the Packers to finish as RB9. That’s a promising sign for Sanders, who looks to be a big part of the Eagles’ attack. I have him ranked as RB12 this week.

Sit: David Montgomery, Chicago Bears

About: The rationale here is simple—the Bears’ line isn’t great, and the Packers boast a solid defense. We saw Montgomery struggle in Week 1 in a Bears win. He carried 17 times but mustered just 26 yards. He had three receptions for 24 yards, but Khalil Herbert outrushed him on fewer carries. Those are all worrying signs. Montgomery finished as RB41. He could be better in Week 2, but I don’t have him as a Top 24 option.

Wide Receivers

Start: Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints

About: Once upon a time, Thomas was among the best receivers in the NFL. While the past two seasons he’s been a relative non-factor, we spent all off-season hearing he was back. Sunday, he showed it, catching five of his eight targets for 57 yards and two touchdowns. He finished as WR8. The Saints face the Buccaneers this week, and while formidable, the Saints have owned the Buccaneers with Tom Brady in the regular season, posting a 4-0 record the past two seasons. I think that work continues, and I suspect Thomas will be a big part of the attack.

Sit: Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears

About: The Bears’ offense is a work-in-progress. I’m not picking on the team, but it’s not a great matchup. The Bears have struggled against the Packers in the Aaron Rodgers era, and I don’t see that changing dramatically Sunday night. The Bears did enough to win in Week 1, and Justin Fields made some plays, but Mooney wasn’t a big part of that. He saw three targets, catching one pass for eight yards. He finished as WR111. Mooney is the Bears’ best receiver, but he will also draw the biggest coverage. I think he’ll be better than he was in Week 1, but I don’t think he gets a Top 24 finish.

Tight Ends

Courtesy of Carmen Mandato – Getty Images

Start: O.J. Howard, Houston Texans


About:
In the words of Michael Corleone, “just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.” Howard has long been the White Whale of tight ends—a guy with talent who is always on the cusp of breaking out. It didn’t happen in Tampa Bay, and when the Bills released him during pre-season cuts, that figured to be that. Enter the Texans. Howard flourished on the field, catching two touchdowns from Davis Mills in Week 1 and finishing as TE2. Yes, I said TE2. Now, he gets a Denver defense that allowed Geno Smith to hit three tight ends to the tune of eight receptions for 102 yards and two touchdowns. And that was before the Broncos lost safety Justin Simmons for four weeks. So, as much as it hurts, start Howard.

Sit: Hunter Henry, New England Patriots

About: Last year, Henry was a late-round TE hero. He had a connection with Mac Jones and caught plenty of touchdowns. After a quiet off-season, it was clear he wasn’t that bankable option anymore. He was out-targeted and out-produced by Jonnu Smith at tight end, and frankly, neither did enough nor saw enough volume to warrant being a start. He’s a TD-dependent TE2 at best.

Matthew Fox is a die-hard NFL fan and Broncos’ homer. He’s a member of the FSWA. You can find more from him on Twitter @knighthawk7734 or as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast, a part of the Campus2Canton Network.

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