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Changing the Call: Quarterback Start/Sits Week 2

Can Stafford rebound from a disastrous Week 1? Which defense should be avoided at all costs? The answers to these questions and more lie ahead as @Spydes78 brings you the Week 2 installment of Changing the Call, a weekly start/sit guide to the QB. ⬇️

Huddle up, Nerds! You’ve looked to your favorite dynasty site to guide you through the spring and summer months, but a strong offseason alone will not win you a championship. No matter how talented your roster is, you’ll need to make the right lineup decisions to wrestle glory from your league mates.  

But, have no fear! Your Dynasty Nerds writers are here to shepard you through the minefield of starts and sits. Our staff will make recommendations each week to aid in your lineup decision-making. Look for the position-specific columns below to guide you to dynasty grandeur. 

Follow us, friend us, tweet us. We look forward to hearing from you! 

NOTE: Rankings are based on a 12-team PPR league. So, saying WR2 means top 24, or TE1 means top 12, etc., and are pulled from Fantasy Pros consensus expert rankings.

About Last Week…

Previous Week Record: 2-2

Season Long Record: 2-2

Week 1 Starts

Last week’s slate of starts was a bit of a mixed bag. The Cardinals and Chiefs delivered on the high-score affair that was anticipated. And even though Arizona was roundly defeated in their home opener, Kyler Murray still managed a robust 20.6 fantasy points, a top 10 finish on the week.

However, Aaron Rodgers’ visit to Minnesota did not go nearly as well. The Vikings started the season strong by bucking the trends and shutting down the Packers quarterback. With a lowly 4.7 fantasy points, Rodgers finished as the 32nd best option for the week. The performance was eerily similar to last year’s Week 1 drubbing at the hands of New Orleans. Green Bay bounced back from that disastrous start, and I expect they will come again in 2022. That’s little comfort to your Week 1 lineups, though.

Week 1 Sits

Unfortunately, my recommendations were also a bit hit or miss on the sit side. On the positive side, I suggested you keep Tua Tagovailoa on the bench against New England. That was sound advice as Tagovailoa managed just 14.8 fantasy points, finishing 22nd among quarterbacks in Week 1.

However, I had a complete blind spot regarding Marcus Mariota.  Give the well-traveled veteran credit, though. Against a stout Saints defense, he posted 19.8 fantasy points. And though his top 10 finish was ultimately not enough to vanquish the divisional rival, it was indeed enough to throw a wrench into my ‘sits’ column.

WEEK 2 STARTS

Matthew Stafford, LAR

Let’s not sugarcoat it. Thursday’s NFL Kickoff was a complete disaster for Stafford and the Rams. Rather than take a nationally televised victory lap, the defending champs were met with a sound thumping by the Buffalo Bills, a title contender in their own right.

And though it was an all-around ugly performance, there’s still hope that Los Angeles will return to form. The roster is too talented (and the coaching too skilled) for the Rams to altogether drop off. Week 1 is notorious for overreactions, and to cast out Stafford and his cohorts after a sloppy debut would be a mistake.

Week 2 presents a gift-wrapped opportunity to set things right for the Rams. They’ll look to rebound as they play host to Atlanta. The Falcons were putrid against quarterbacks in 2021, giving up an average of 19.6 fantasy points per game. (Only Washington was more generous to their opponent.)  Last week against New Orleans, the Falcons showed little signs of putting this weakness to rest, getting gouged for 21.7 fantasy points by Jameis Winston. A porous defense jetlagged by cross-country travel seems just what the doctor ordered for the Rams.

With an over/under of 47.5 and the Rams installed as a massive 10.5-point favorite, it’s clear that the bookkeepers see this game as an opportunity for redemption. The specific player props are indicative of a bounce back for Stafford too. According to betsperts.com, the over/under lines have been established at 281.5 passing yards and 2.5 passing touchdowns for the Rams quarterback.

It will take some guts to count on Stafford after such a public Week 1 dismantling. But trust the numbers on this matchup. The Falcons will be overmatched by a Los Angeles team full of talent and eager to get back to winning ways. Dial up Stafford this weekend, and ride that spirit to fantasy victory.

Carson Wentz, WAS

Go big or go home, right? Before dismissing the recommendation to start Wentz as too perilous, let’s explore the facts.

In his Commanders debut, Wentz was impressive, posting 313 yards passing and four touchdowns against a Jaguars team that likely haunted his entire off-season. And though he did have a pair of ill-advised interceptions, he still managed 29.7 fantasy points, a top-three finish. Buoyed by the duo of stud Terry McLaurin and the upstart Jahan Dotson, Wentz showed flashes of his tremendous potential and temporarily silenced his doubters.

In Week 2, Wentz and the Commanders will take the show on the road to Detroit. The Lions were a favorable matchup for quarterbacks in 2021, surrendering an average of 17.8 fantasy points per game, 7th most in the league.  

In Week 1, Detroit continued to look vulnerable, coughing up a lofty 24.7 points to former Wentz teammate Jalen Hurts. The Eagles quarterback, known primarily for his rushing ability, still managed to accumulate 243 yards through the air against Detroit.  

The player props for Wentz in this matchup are set at 240.5 yards passing and 1.5 touchdowns. In 2021, as a Colt, Wentz started in all 17 games and had only two in which he did not throw at least one touchdown pass. Additionally, according to betsperts.com, he managed to toss more than one touchdown in 9 of 17 opportunities.

Look for Wentz to continue his hot start against a weak opponent and with ample pass-catching weapons at his disposal. Follow the trends and not the chatter. I think you’ll be glad that you did.

WEEK 2 SITS

Ryan Tannehill, TEN

If you watched the Week 1 opener between the Titans and the visiting Giants, you might be confused by this recommendation. Even glancing at the stat sheet would tell you that Tannehill accorded himself fairly well despite an upset loss. Shaking off concerns about A.J. Brown’s off-season departure, Tennessee’s quarterback posted a respectable 266 yards and two touchdowns, good for a 106.4 QBR on the day.

So, with a 19.3 fantasy point finish (that ranked just out of the weekly top ten) under his belt, wouldn’t Tannehill be an excellent bet to start again this week? Whoa! Slow down there, Nerd.

The problem for Tannehill this week is their formidable opponent. In Week 2, the Titans will visit Buffalo. The Bills lay in wait, well rested from a Thursday night opener in which they dismantled the reigning champs on national television.  

Josh Allen and a high-octane offense often claim the bulk of the national fascination with the Bills. However, Buffalo also boasts a nasty defense that may be even more imposing than their high-scoring counterparts. In 2021, the Bills were the best in the league against quarterbacks, giving up an average of just 11.2 fantasy points per game. In Week 1, they continued that track record by stifling Stafford to just 7.8 points. They feature a stout front that can rush the passer, rangy linebackers, and perhaps the league’s best safety tandem. They are a massive challenge for opposing passers.

With an over/under of 48.5 and the Bills favored by double digits, it is clear that the oddsmakers are also not bullish on Tannehill having success. The expert consensus ranking on FantasyPros has the Titans’ field general as their 24th best option this week. Every indicator suggests that you look elsewhere for help, and I concur. Leave Tannehill out of your lineup and save yourself the headache.

Mitch Trubisky, PIT

Week 1 pitted the visiting Steelers against the divisional rival Bengals. A late tie stubbornly persisted into overtime, with Pittsburgh narrowly claiming an eventual victory. Despite the win, concerns about the Steeler offense persist.

Trubisky was unimpressive in his yellow and black debut. The former Bears quarterback posted a lean stat line which fell short of 200 yards passing and included only one touchdown. Despite talented weapons like Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, and Pat Freiermuth, the passing attack was lackluster. Trubisky ended up with just 12.7 fantasy points, a bottom ten finish.

Things aren’t exactly looking up when it comes to Week 2. The Steelers will host a Patriots team eager to rebound from a sloppy loss against the Dolphins. New England will have more than their pride to power them in this matchup. In 2021, they boasted a robust defense that allowed 12.5 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. And, despite the aforementioned loss in Week 1, they still held Tua Tagovailoa to a tight 14.8 fantasy points last week.

With one of the lowest over/unders on this week’s slate (40.5), scoring figures to be at a premium in this matchup. Take heed of Trubisky’s limited first week and the potential of the visiting Pats defense. There will no doubt be better options at your disposal.

In Closing…

I thoroughly enjoyed bringing you this piece and would love to continue the conversation on quarterback start/sits. Please feel free to comment below or contact me @Spydes78 on Twitter. And also, stay tuned to @DynastyNerds for a steady pipeline of content from our eminently qualified staff to carry you through your season. If you like what you read, please consider becoming a subscriber to any of the elite tools that Dynasty Nerds has to offer. Make sure to use the promo code “SPYDES” to receive a 15% discount. Thanks for reading, and enjoy the grind!

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