Well, last week didn’t work out too well for a lot of us including myself in picking D/ST starts for Week 1. Luckily I didn’t have any shares of New Orleans or Detroit, and even though they both seemed to have great matchups the picks were too good to be true. Detroit was somewhat saved by an early pick six, but it went all downhill from there. This week I’m staying away from the obvious matchups of the Los Angeles Chargers against Buffalo and Houston against Tennessee. I wouldn’t bench Jacksonville or the Rams this week and I’m thankful I’m writing this after Thursday Night Football, because Baltimore was not an option for me this week!
Here we go (fingers crossed)…
Carolina Panthers @ Atlanta Falcons ($2,900 – DK/$4,100 – FD)
The Panthers defense held the Dallas Cowboys to eight points, while getting one takeaway and three sacks in Week 1. Dallas’ passing game did not test the Panthers secondary like Atlanta’s will this week, but Atlanta will have a hard time if quarterback Matt Ryan only has eyes for Julio Jones again. It looks as though running back, Devonta Freeman will miss this game, so extra carries will go to Tevin Coleman. Coleman does have breakaway ability and is also good in the passing game, but the Panthers should be able to take away the run this week. I don’t see the Falcons scoring less than 17 points in their home debut, but the sacks and turnovers will favor the Panthers, making them a quality start in Week 2.
Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets ($3,100 – DK/$3,700 – FD)
Weather could be a factor this week in Metlife Stadium as the remnants of Hurricane Florence sit over the east coast. The Jets are coming off a week where they were the number one defense, intercepting Matthew Stafford four times. The Dolphins intercepted Tennessee quarterbacks three times themselves in Week 1 and had a special teams touchdown on a kickoff return. This week the Dolphins face their divisional rival on the road. The Jets don’t have an offensive line that will hold the Dolphins without a sack as the Titans did in Week 1. Rookie quarterback Sam Darnold was impressive in his debut other than the pick six he threw to open the game, but will he show the same poise in front of the home crowd. The Dolphins have the playmakers to make things more difficult for Darnold if the Jets get behind early.
New England Patriots @ Jacksonville Jaguars ($3,000 – DK/$4,500 – FD)
I think the Patriots are a safe start this week against the Jaguars. Blake Bortles has never been the safest quarterback and usually has a few games per year with multiple turnovers. If Leonard Fournette (game time decision) is out this week I don’t believe Jacksonville will stick with the running game and this will lead to a greater chance of Bortles’ turnovers, but even if Fournette is able to play Jacksonville will have to thrown to keep pace with the Patriots. In the 2017 Playoffs Bortles did manage not to turn the ball over, but was sacked three times. I don’t think he gets through another game against the Patriots unscathed.
Kawaan Short (DT/Panthers)
Short was able to take advantage of Travis Frederick being out of the lineup for Dallas with two sacks in the opening week. He will have a harder time this week against Alex Mack, but should still rack up a few tackles in stopping the running game from Atlanta.
Ricardo Allen (S/Falcons)
Allen takes over at strong safety after the injury to Keanu Neal and will be counted on heavily in stopping the Carolina’s running attack (mainly Cam Newton) and the short passing attack to Christian McCaffrey.
Jamal Adams (S/Jets)
It looks as though Marcus Maye will be out this week which should mean extra opportunities for Adams against the Dolphins running backs and receivers. The Lions didn’t stick to their running game after falling so far behind the Jets in Week 1, but the Dolphins won’t have the same issue, and we’ll see if the Jets miss Demario Davis at MLB. I think Adams will be counted on heavily.
Robert Quinn (DE/Dolphins)
The Dolphins didn’t register a sack in Week 1, but Robert Quinn should get them on the board in Week 2 against a young Jets offense.
Myles Jack (LB/Jaguars)
I think James White could be a big part of the Patriots game plan this week and Myles Jack is the LB who should be in coverage. He may also be used against Rob Gronkowski at times. I expect a big week from Jack.
Jalen Ramsey (CB/Jaguars)
Possibly the best corner in football currently, Ramsey will be up for this game against the team that knocked the Jaguars out of the playoffs in 2017. He’ll also be up for this game to try and back up comments about Gronkowski not being very good against cornerbacks.
Trey Flowers/Deatrich Wise Jr. (DE’s/Patriots)
Flowers and Wise are the Patriots best options to put pressure on Blake Bortles this week. If Leonard Fournette misses the game they’ll be all out to get to Bortles.
Against the Grain
Los Angeles Chargers @ Buffalo Bills
I’m going to play “devil’s advocate” for this game. The Chargers are pretty much everyone’s pick this week as a D/ST start, but things could go awry. Joey Bosa will miss this game, meaning Buffalo can roll protection toward Melvin Ingram giving rookie quarterback Josh Allen more time to make decisions. Buffalo will most likely rely heavily on running back Lesean McCoy, so it’s important they don’t let the Chargers jump out to an early lead. Best case scenario, Buffalo is able to run the ball somewhat affectively with McCoy, and let Allen slowly get into a rhythm throwing the ball on RPO’s (run pass options) or contributing with his legs as he did in Week 1. The Chargers can score quickly so Buffalo’s only chance is to dominate time of possession.
The Chargers are a safe bet for positive points, but without Bosa and if Buffalo sticks to safe passes I don’t see a path to double digit points for the Chargers this week.