The wide receiver position didn’t wait long to present fantasy football owners with injury issues. Week 1 saw Kenny Golladay (hamstring), Courtland Sutton (shoulder), Mike Evans (hamstring), and Mike Williams (shoulder) dominate the news due to their questionable statuses. Heading into Week 2, it’s worth acknowledging that WR, unlike RB, doesn’t always present obvious replacements. Targets often get spread around when injuries pop up out wide. In making our Week 2 fantasy WR rankings, you’ll notice that we’ve ranked many banged-up wideouts under the assumption that they’ll be on the field, and we haven’t (yet) given big boosts to the guys who might get more snaps if they’re out.
It gets complicated when trying to account for injuries. Some players only play the slot, while some play the Z or X positions. If a top WR is out, that also means the other team’s best cornerback might now guard the No. 2-turned-No. 1 guy, which could hurt more than help (see Preston Williams and DeVante Parker). Often, WR injuries just lead to more production for TEs or pass-catching RBs. Most of this ranting is just to say that you’re better off playing your backup WR who might be a second wideout on a decent team rather than scouring the waiver wire for handcuff-type players even if you’re already frustrated by your starters’ injuries.
WEEK 2 STANDARD RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker
One player worth talking about showed out when the lights were bright in the Thursday night opener. Will Fuller caught eight passes for 112 yards, and unlike when DeAndre Hopkins ran many of the underneath routes and Fuller went deep, Fuller popped up all over the field for targets. He looks like a legit, every-week WR2 (at least, as long as he’s healthy). There were also preseason doubts about both Brandin Cooks and Sammy Watkins, but those were pretty much put to bed by their consistent usage as the second options out wide for Houston and Kansas City, respectively.
We wanted to keep an eye on the 49ers’ WR situation early in the season with Deebo Samuel (foot) going on Injured Reserve and set to miss up to three weeks. Rookie Brandon Aiyuk, Kendrick Bourne, and Trent Taylor all have the potential to be fantasy relevant if things break their way – but in Week 1, 49ers WRs combined for less than 15 total targets. A Week 2 matchup with the Jets will be tempting us to start at least one of those guys, but after a highly disappointing Week 1, none seem worth it.
If possible, it’s definitely worth having an Arizona WR in your lineup Week 2. Washington’s secondary is not its strong suit, and with the way the Cardinals spread it out on offense, they could have multiple players put up big numbers. It won’t just be Hopkins — Christian Kirk and Larry Fitzgerald could join the party.
WEEK 2 PPR RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker
Unlike we all predicted, the Tampa Bay-New Orleans game wasn’t quite a fantasy bonanza. Michael Thomas got dinged up, Chris Godwin and Mike Evans struggled to get free and Emmanuel Sanders didn’t do much in his Saints debut. We still believe in both of these offenses going forward, and at least Godwin, Evans and Thomas are must-starts still in Week 2 – don’t overthink it with top-12 WRs.
And if you’re looking to add a few sleepers, we’re fond of Jacksonville’s Laviska Shenault Jr., Indy’s Parris Campbell, and in extra deep leagues, Detroit’s Quintez Cephus. You could also pick up the eternal fantasy tease, Marquez Valdes-Scantling. After a long TD in Week 1, maybe he’ll repeat the trick in Week 2 against the Lions.
Note: We’ll continue to update our WR rankings throughout the week, so check back for the latest movement and individual player analysis.
Week 2 Fantasy WR Rankings (Standard)
These rankings are for non-PPR leagues.
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