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Dan Harris’s Week 2 Fantasy Football Guide (2021)

by Dan Harris | @danharris80 | Featured Writer
Sep 16, 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.

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Quarterbacks

My Top 12 Quarterbacks

1. Patrick Mahomes (KC) at BAL. Projection: 329.3 passing yards, 2.4 passing touchdowns, 0.4 interceptions; 3-12-0 rushing

2. Kyler Murray (ARI) v. MIN. Projection: 289.2 passing yards, 2.2 passing touchdowns, 0.6 interceptions; 6-39-1 rushing

3. Josh Allen (BUF) at MIA. Projection: 277.1 passing yards, 1.9 passing touchdowns, 1.1 interceptions; 7-34-1 rushing

4. Russell Wilson (SEA) v. TEN. Projection: 299.1 passing yards, 2.4 passing touchdowns, 0.3 interceptions; 4-22-0 rushing

5.  Lamar Jackson (BAL) v. KC. Projection: 241.9 passing yards, 1.5 passing touchdowns, 0.9 interceptions; 9-51-0 rushing

6. Tom Brady (TB) v. ATL. Projection: 319.8 passing yards, 2.9 passing touchdowns, 0.3 interceptions; 1-1-0 rushing

7. Justin Herbert (LAC) v. DAL. Projection: 309.2 passing yards, 2.1 passing touchdowns, 0.9 interceptions; 3-21-0 rushing

8. Aaron Rodgers (GB) v. DET. Projection: 282.5 passing yards, 2.1 passing touchdowns, 0.2 interceptions; 2-9-0 rushing

9. Dak Prescott (DAL) at LAC. Projection: 312.7 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 0.6 interceptions; 4-25-0 rushing

10. Jalen Hurts (PHI) v. SF. Projection: 251.9 passing yards, 1.5 passing touchdowns, 1 interception; 7-55-0 rushing

11. Matthew Stafford (LAR) at IND. Projection: 294.4 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 0.9 interceptions; 1-4-0 rushing

12. Ryan Tannehill (TEN) at SEA. Projection: 255.7 passing yards, 1.8 passing touchdowns, 0.5 interceptions; 3-22-0 rushing

 

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

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.

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Running Backs

My Top 24 Running Backs

1. Christian McCaffrey (CAR) v. NO. Projection: 20.3 carries, 82 rushing yards, 0.5 rushing touchdowns; 6-55-0 receiving

2. Dalvin Cook (MIN) at ARI. Projection: 23.1 carries, 101.2 rushing yards, 0.9 rushing touchdowns; 4-33-0 receiving

3. Alvin Kamara (NO) at CAR. Projection: 13.7 carries, 67.6 rushing yards, 0.5 rushing touchdowns; 5-54-0 receiving

4. Nick Chubb (CLE) v. HOU. Projection: 17.4 carries, 95.6 rushing yards, 1.3 rushing touchdown; 1-13-0 receiving

5. Derrick Henry (TEN) at SEA. Projection: 21.2 carries, 103.3 rushing yards, 0.8 rushing touchdowns; 2-15-0 receiving

6. Aaron Jones (GB) v. DET. Projection: 15.5 carries, 75.9 rushing yards, 0.9 rushing touchdowns; 3-24-0 receiving

7. Najee Harris (PIT) v. LV. Projection: 19.8 carries, 79.9 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown; 3-25-0 receiving

8. Antonio Gibson (WAS) v. NYG: Projection: 19.2 carries, 80.4 rushing yards, 0.4 rushing touchdowns; 3-25-0 receiving

9. Joe Mixon (CIN) at CHI. Projection: 18.6 carries, 72.1 rushing yards, 0.4 rushing touchdowns; 4-24-0 receiving

10.Chris Carson (SEA) v. TEN. Projection: 15.9 carries, 69.4 rushing yards, 0.9 rushing touchdowns; 3-22-0 receiving

11.Austin Ekeler (LAC) v. DAL. Projection: 12.2 carries, 53.4 rushing yards, 0.2 rushing touchdowns; 4-33-0 receiving

12. Ezekiel Elliott (DAL) at LAC. Projection: 17.7 carries, 71.2 rushing yards, 0.7 rushing touchdowns; 4-30-0 receiving

13. Jonathan Taylor (IND) v. LAR.  Projection: 16.4 carries, 69.7 rushing yards, 0.3 rushing touchdowns; 3-20-0 receiving

14. David Montgomery (CHI) v. CIN. Projection: 18.5 carries, 84.4 rushing yards, 0.6 rushing touchdowns; 2-15-0 receiving

15. D’Andre Swift (DET) at GB. Projection: 10.1 carries, 52.2 rushing yards, 0.2 rushing touchdown; 5-47-0 receiving

16. Clyde Edwards-Helaire (KC) at BAL. Projection: 13.6 carries, 55.3 rushing yards, 0.2 rushing touchdowns; 3-25-0 receiving

17. Darrell Henderson (LAR) at IND. Projection: 16.2 carries, 65.7 rushing yards, 0.4 rushing touchdowns; 2-20-0 receiving

18. Damien Harris (NE) at NYJ. Projection: 17.8 carries, 85.2 rushing yards, 0.7 rushing touchdowns; 1-6-0 receiving

19. Miles Sanders (PHI) v. SF. Projection: 12.1 carries, 56.9 rushing yards, 0.3 rushing touchdowns; 3-23-0 receiving

20. Myles Gaskin (MIA) v. BUF. Projection: 12.2 carries, 51.1 rushing yards, 0.2 rushing touchdowns; 4-27-0 receiving

21. Kareem Hunt (CLE) v. HOU. Projection: 9.3 carries, 42.9 rushing yards, 0.7 rushing touchdowns; 3-22-0 receiving

22. Saquon Barkley (NYG) at WAS. Projection: 15.4 carries, 61.2 rushing yards, 0.5 rushing touchdowns; 3-17-0 receiving

23. Elijah Mitchell (SF) at PHI. Projection: 15.2 carries, 67.7 rushing yards, 0.3 rushing touchdowns; 2-12-0 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

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.

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Wide Receivers

My Top 24 Wide Receivers

1. Davante Adams (GB) v. DET. Projection: 8.3 receptions, 105.4 yards, 1 touchdown

2. Tyreek Hill (KC) at BAL. Projection: 6.5 receptions, 92.2 yards, 0.9 touchdowns; 1-12-0 rushing

3. Stefon Diggs (BUF) at MIA. Projection: 7.1 receptions, 90.2 yards, 0.6 touchdowns

4. DeAndre Hopkins (ARI) v. MIN. Projection: 7.1 receptions, 93.3 yards, 0.7 touchdowns

5. D.K. Metcalf (SEA) v. TEN. Projection: 5.9 receptions, 89.9 yards, 0.8 touchdowns

6. Calvin Ridley (ATL) at TB. Projection: 6.5 receptions, 88.7 yards, 0.5 touchdowns

7. Keenan Allen (LAC) v. DAL. Projection: 7.3 receptions, 84.5 yards, 0.5 touchdowns

8. Amari Cooper (DAL) at LAC. Projection: 6.9 receptions, 85.7 yards, 0.5 touchdowns

9. Justin Jefferson (MIN) at ARI. Projection: 6.3 receptions, 91.2 yards, 0.4 touchdowns

10. A.J. Brown (TEN) at SEA. Projection: 5.9 receptions, 83.3 yards, 0.6 touchdowns

11. CeeDee Lamb (DAL) at LAC. Projection: 6.1 receptions, 75.2 yards, 0.5 touchdowns

12. Tyler Lockett (SEA) v. TEN. Projection: 6.3 receptions, 75.5 yards, 0.5 touchdowns

13. Chris Godwin (TB) v. ATL. Projection: 6 receptions,  74.9 yards, 0.5 touchdowns

14. Cooper Kupp (LAR) at IND. Projection: 7.1 receptions, 70.2 yards, 0.4 touchdowns

15. Allen Robinson (CHI) v. CIN. Projection: 5.9 receptions, 77.1 yards, 0.4 touchdowns

16. Terry McLaurin (WAS) v. NYG. Projection: 5.5 receptions, 76.7 yards, 0.4 touchdowns

17. Adam Thielen (MIN) at ARI. Projection: 5.2 receptions, 68.3 yards, 0.7 touchdowns

18. Deebo Samuel (SF) at PHI. Projection: 4.9 receptions, 62.3 yards, 0.4 touchdowns 1-9-0 rushing

19. Mike Evans (TB) v. ATL. Projection: 4.3 receptions, 67.8 yards, 0.7 touchdowns

20. Diontae Johnson (PIT) v. LV. Projection: 6.2 receptions, 64.1 yards, 0.2 touchdowns

21. Antonio Brown (TB) v. ATL. Projection: 5.4 receptions, 64.8 yards, 0.5 touchdowns

22. D.J. Moore (CAR) v. NO. Projection: 5.3 receptions, 74.1 yards, 0.3 touchdowns

23. Tee Higgins (CIN) at CHI. Projection: 4.2 receptions, 70.2 yards, 0.5 touchdowns

24. Robert Woods (LAR) at IND. Projection: 6 receptions, 55.6 yards, 0.4 touchdowns; 1-7-0 rushing

 

WR Matchups to Target

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

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.

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Tight Ends

My Top 12 Tight Ends

1. Travis Kelce (KC) at BAL. Projection: 7.2 receptions, 91.3 yards, 0.8 touchdowns

2. Darren Waller (LV) at PIT. Projection: 6.7 receptions, 74.4 yards, 0.5 touchdowns

3. George Kittle (SF) at PHI.  Projection: 6.2 receptions, 75.9 yards, 0.5 touchdowns

4. T.J. Hockenson (DET) at GB. Projection: 4.9 receptions, 57.7 yards, 0.3 touchdowns

5. Mark Andrews (BAL) v. KC. Projection: 4.2 receptions, 58.1 yards, 0.4 touchdowns

6. Kyle Pitts (ATL) at TB. Projection: 4.2 receptions, 50.2 yards, 0.3 touchdowns

7. Noah Fant (DEN) at JAC. Projection: 4.2 receptions, 49.8 yards, 0.3 touchdowns

8. Tyler Higbee (LAR) at IND. Projection: 3.8 receptions, 44.1 yards, 0.3 touchdowns

9. Rob Gronkowski (TB) v. ATL. Projection: 3.9 receptions, 46.8 yards, 0.3 touchdowns

10. Logan Thomas (WAS) v. NYG. Projection: 3.9 receptions, 42.1 yards, 0.3 touchdowns

11. Jared Cook (LAC) v. DAL. Projection: 3.5 receptions, 45.1 yards, 0.2 touchdowns

12. Dallas Goedert (PHI) v. SF. Projection: 3.7 receptions, 42.5 yards, 0.3 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

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.

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Dan Harris is the Editor-in-Chief of FantasyPros. For more from Dan, check out his archive or follow him on Twitter at @danharris80.

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