Dan Harris’s Week 2 Fantasy Football Guide (2021)
Fantasy analysts get a lot of questions each and every week, and although we all wish we could answer every one, time constraints almost always prevent us from reaching that goal. So, this is the next best thing I can give. Most of my weekly fantasy football thoughts wrapped up in one tidy bow.
Rankings. Projections. DFS recommendations. Players who experts are conflicted on. The works. And if you bookmark this page, my rankings here will update every time I make a change.
Note, some readers asked that I not round the projections this week, so I will comply. Enjoy more precise prognostications!
And with that, I present your weekly fantasy football guide for Week 2 of the 2021 season. Enjoy.
My Top 12 Quarterbacks
QB Matchups to Target
- Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) v. LV: 269.1 passing yards, 1.6 passing touchdowns,0.4 interceptions; 1-1-0 rushing
- Baker Mayfield (CLE) v. HOU: 261.1 passing yards, 1.6 passing touchdowns, 0.5 interceptions; 3-15-0 rushing
- Teddy Bridgewater (DEN) at JAC: 255.5 passing yards, 1.4 passing touchdowns, 0.6 interceptions; 3-19-0 rushing
QB Matchups to Avoid
- Trevor Lawrence (JAC) v. DEN: 233.2 passing yards, 1.4 passing touchdowns, 1.3 interceptions; 3-19-0 rushing
- Tua Tagovailoa (MIA) v. BUF: 241.1 passing yards, 1.1 passing touchdowns, 1 interception; 3-11-0 rushing
- Derek Carr (LV) at PIT: 245.1 passing yards, 1.3 passing touchdowns, 1 interception; 2-6-0 rushing
QB DFS Dos and Don’ts
- DO: Dak Prescott(FD: $8000, DK: $6800)
- DON’T: Ryan Tannehill (FD: $7300, DK: $6300)
- DO: Tom Brady (FD: $8200, DK: $6900)
- DON’T: Joe Burrow (FD: $7100, DK: $5800)
Lightning Rod of the Week
Jameis Winston (NO) at CAR
High Ranking: 9
Low Ranking: 25
Standard Deviation: 2.3
Winston comes off a five-touchdown performance during which he needed to throw for just 148 yards. He’ll stay on the road against a Panthers defense that can be exploited through the air, but the question remains whether he showed enough to be trusted.
VERDICT: Stream. It’s had to trust Winston after one start where the Saints dominated, and he didn’t need to do much. He’s not a startable option in most single-QB formats, but he can be streamed in deeper leagues or if you lost Ryan Fitzpatrick.
My Top 24 Running Backs
18. Damien Harris (NE) at NYJ. Projection: 17.8 carries, 85.2 rushing yards, 0.7 rushing touchdowns; 1-6-0 receiving
21. Kareem Hunt (CLE) v. HOU. Projection: 9.3 carries, 42.9 rushing yards, 0.7 rushing touchdowns; 3-22-0 receiving
24. Melvin Gordon (DEN) at JAC. Projection: 12.1 carries, 56.1 rushing yards, 0.5 rushing touchdown; 2-10-0 receiving
RB Matchups to Target
- Melvin Gordon (DEN) at JAC: See above
- Jamaal Williams (DET) at GB: 10.2 carries, 44.1 rushing yards, 0.3 rushing touchdown; 4-23-0 receiving
- Ty’Son Williams (BAL) at LV:11.6 carries, 64.4 rushing yards, 0.5 rushing touchdowns; 1-9-0 receiving
RB Matchups to Avoid
- Mike Davis (ATL) at TB: 13 carries, 44.1 rushing yards, 0.1 rushing touchdowns; 4-16-0 receiving
- James Robinson (JAC) v. DEN: 8.1 carries, 29.9 rushing yards, 0.1 rushing touchdowns; 3-18-0 receiving
RB DFS Dos and Don’ts
- DO: David Montgomery (FD: $7300, DK: $6100)
- DON’T: Jonathan Taylor (FD: $7200, DK: $7200)
- DO: Najee Harris (FD: $6100, DK: $6300)
- DO: Damien Harris (FD: $6200, DK: $5400)
Lightning Rods of the Week
Elijah Mitchell (SF) at PHI
High Ranking: 17
Low Ranking: 36
Standard Deviation: 4.6
Mitchell came out of nowhere to rumble for 104 yards and a score last week against the Lions after Raheem Mostert went down with an injury. He had an unimpressive preseason, and Trey Sermon will be active for this game against a tougher Eagles rush defense.
VERDICT: Start with trepidation. No one can get into the mind of Kyle Shanahan, but Mitchell certainly earned a large workload last week, and it seems unlikely that Sermon will suddenly step into a bell-cow role after being inactive last week. There should be enough volume to make him an RB2.
James Robinson (JAC) v. DEN
High Ranking: 18
Low Ranking: 37
Standard Deviation: 3.9
Robinson laid an egg last week in a soft matchup against the Texans, as the Jaguars opted to give more work on the ground to Carlos Hyde. They may have seen the error of their ways given how productive Robinson was, but it’s hard to trust him in a tough matchup against Denver.
VERDICT: Sit like you’re in a sitting competition as to who can stay seated for longest. If you’re trusting Robinson this week after what we saw in Week 1, you are a brave soul.
My Top 24 Wide Receivers
12. Tyler Lockett (SEA) v. TEN. Projection: 6.3 receptions, 75.5 yards, 0.5 touchdowns
18. Deebo Samuel (SF) at PHI. Projection: 4.9 receptions, 62.3 yards, 0.4 touchdowns 1-9-0 rushing
21. Antonio Brown (TB) v. ATL. Projection: 5.4 receptions, 64.8 yards, 0.5 touchdowns
23. Tee Higgins (CIN) at CHI. Projection: 4.2 receptions, 70.2 yards, 0.5 touchdowns
WR Matchups to Target
- Mike Williams (LAC) v. DAL: 4.2 receptions, 70.2 yards, 0.5 touchdowns
- Jakobi Meyers (NE) v. NYJ: 4.3 receptions, 61.1 yards, 0.3 touchdowns
- Diontae Johnson (PIT) v. LV: See above
WR Matchups to Avoid
- Will Fuller (MIA) v. BUF: 3.1 receptions, 55.2 yards, 0.2 touchdowns
- Laviska Shenault (JAC) v. DEN: 4.2 receptions, 43.1 yards, 0.1 touchdowns; 1-11-0 rushing
- Marquise Brown (BAL) v. KC: 4.3 receptions, 48.6 yards, 0.3 touchdowns
WR DFS Dos and Don’ts
- DO: CeeDee Lamb (FD: $6800, DK: $6400)
- DON’T: Laviska Shenault (FD: $5600, DK: $4900)
- DO: Chase Claypool (FD:$5900, DK: $5600)
- DON’T: Marvin Jones Jr. (FD: $6100, DK: 4700)
- DO: Tim Patrick (FD: $5400, DK: $4600)
- DON’T: Julio Jones (FD: $6300, DK: $6300)
Lightning Rods of the Week
Mike Williams (LAC) v. DAL
High Ranking: 17
Low Ranking: 43
Standard Deviation: 4.7
Williams looked fantastic against Washington with 12 targets, eight receptions, 82 yards, and a touchdown. But we’ve seen big games before, which were followed by duds. At a deep wide receiver position, can fantasy managers trust him in Week 2?
VERDICT: Start. It’s a pristine matchup with Dallas, and Williams’s issues will come down more to his health, not his talent. Keep him in your lineup so long as he is active.
Robby Anderson (CAR) v. NO
High Ranking: 22
Low Ranking: 60
Standard Deviation: 6.2
Anderson caught his patented deep bomb with Sam Darnold at the helm but saw just three targets and caught one of them, albeit for the long touchdown. The Saints just shut down Aaron Rodgers and company and will look to make another statement in a divisional game.
VERDICT: Start. It’s not a great matchup, and there are some warning signs, but Anderson has too long of a track record of production with Darnold to jump off the ship so quickly. The Saints have plenty of injuries on defense, and Anderson should do enough to produce as a borderline WR3.
My Top 12 Tight Ends
11. Jared Cook (LAC) v. DAL. Projection: 3.5 receptions, 45.1 yards, 0.2 touchdowns
TE Matchups to Target
TE Matchups to Avoid
- Tyler Conklin (MIN) at ARI: 2.6 receptions, 31.1 yards, 0.2 touchdowns
DFS Dos and Don’ts
- DO: Rob Gronkowski (TB) v. ATL (FD: $5800, DK: $4700)
- DON’T: Dawson Knox (BUF) at MIA (FD: $5200, DK: $3500)
- DO: Jonnu Smith (NE) at NYJ (FD: $5300, DK: $4500)
- DON’T: Austin Hooper (CLE) v. HOU (FD: $5200, DK: $8900)
Lightning Rod of the Week
Jared Cook (LAC) v. DAL
High Ranking: 8
Low Ranking: 21
Standard Deviation: 2.4
Cook looked to be very much a part of the offense last week, seeing eight targets and totaling five catches for 56 yards. In a likely shootout with the Cowboys, he could have another solid game.
VERDICT: Start. I’m not ready to call Cook a ROS start just yet, but the eight targets were excellent for a tight end, and he should find similar volume here.