After a fascinating Week 1 of the NFL season, featuring some vintage performances from veteran quarterbacks all around the league along with new blood quickly making an impact, Week 2 is upon us. With many intriguing matchups this weekend, there are several options for fantasy owners looking to get ahead early on in the season. Once again, here are five players who will have a big game this week. In choosing these players, I targeted those who are not currently in the top 30 rankings for running back and wide receiver, and not in the top 15 for quarterbacks and tight ends.
Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, San Francisco 49ers
After an up and down Week 1 performance that saw him throw for 259 yards and two touchdowns in a loss to the Arizona Cardinals, look for Garoppolo to have a monster performance against the lowly New York Jets. Fresh off an embarrassing opening game that saw them become dismantled by the Buffalo Bills, the Jets defense offered zero resistance at points in the game, allowing Josh Allen and company to move the ball with ease. With rookie wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk set to make his season debut this weekend, look for Kyle Shanahan to begin to open up the playbook for deep against an overmatched secondary in New York, making Garoppolo an appealing option for teams in need of a quarterback in Week 2.
Parris Campbell, WR, Indianapolis Colts
After being sidelined with injuries for most of the 2019 season, Campbell lived up to his draft hype in Week 1. He led all Colts receivers in snaps and tied T.Y. Hilton with nine targets. Operating as the primary slot receiver for the Indianapolis offense, Campbell developed a quick rapport with Philip Rivers, hauling in six catches for 71 yards. Heading into a Week 2 matchup with the Minnesota Vikings, expect the team to throw the ball out of the gate against one of the youngest secondaries in the league. After being dismantled by the trio of Davante Adams, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Allen Lazard last week, Mike Zimmer’s group looks prime to take a significant step back this season, opening up the opportunity for big weeks for opposing wideouts.
Tre’Quan Smith, WR, New Orleans Saints
Far from a household name in the NFL, expect Smith to garner some attention from the media over the next few weeks, following the injury to star receiver Michael Thomas. After just one catch in the season opener against the Buccaneers, expect him to have a much larger role in the Saints passing game this week. An ultra-talented player, he has struggled to remain consistent over his three years in the league; however, the former third-round pick finished off his 2019 campaign strong, hauling in a touchdown reception in three of his final four games. Paired with an intriguing matchup against a Raiders defense that allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to wide receivers in Week 1, look for Smith to have a big week.
Ronald Jones, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Leading the way in a crowded Buccaneers backfield with 19 total touches in Week 1, Jones posted 82 yards on the ground. Expected to remain the lead guy in Tampa Bay for the foreseeable future, look for Bruce Arians to keep utilizing Jones as a rusher and in the passing game. Jumping ahead to a matchup against a Carolina defense that allowed Josh Jacobs to post 90 yards and three touchdowns, look for the Buccaneers offense to roll on Sunday. Currently projected as RB19, according to Fantasy Pros, Jones is a strong sleeper option for teams in need of a running back.
Adrian Peterson, RB, Detroit Lions
Currently, on his fifth NFL team, the ageless Peterson proved he still has juice in his legs during Week 1. In a strong showing against a stingy Bears defense, the 35-year-old recorded 14 carries for 93 yards while chipping in three receptions. In line to see the majority of the team’s workload against a suspect run defense in Green Bay this week, expect the Lions ground game to have success on Sunday. In 19 career games against the Packers spanning back to his time in Minnesota, Peterson has averaged over 100 yards per game and 16 touchdowns. Far from the player he once was, Peterson still represents tremendous value with a high upside for fantasy owners.
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