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Slant Pattern: WR Start/Sit – Week 2

Is Michael ‘Slant Boy’ Thomas a viable fantasy starter? @THEtristancook is here with Slant Pattern - Week 2 to help with your WR start/sit decisions!

Hello and welcome back, Nerds! The Dynasty Nerds writers are here to provide you with weekly starts and sits. I will cover the wide receiver starts and sits for the 2023 season! We, as a group, will be making our recommendations based on weekly consensus PPR rankings from FantasyPros. Here is our squad and the position groups they will cover to help you each week. Follow, DM, and Tweet us.

We look forward to hearing from you!

One thing to keep in mind when making your start/sit decisions is that it will ALWAYS depend on who your other options are. The players listed below are WRs that I expect to finish above/below their respective rankings. But it doesn’t mean you need to take them out of (or put them into) your lineup unless your alternatives are worth it.

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.


Before we get into the recap of last week’s picks, let’s go over how I determine the success and failure of my picks:

  1. Regardless of whether I have a player listed as a start or sit, if they get injured during the game where it significantly impacts their fantasy output, it is ruled a no decision based upon injury.
  2. If a player finishes within a handful of spots of their ranking, either above or below, it is considered a push.
  3. My goal is always to get all my picks correct.

However, I consider above 50% a moderately successful week. Let’s get to it.

Two of my players dealt with injuries. Christian Watson was ruled out after last week’s article came out, and Diontae Johnson suffered a hamstring injury during the game and did not return. So, that leaves Courtland Sutton, DJ Moore, Gabe Davis, and DeAndre Hopkins. Of those four, Sutton and Hopkins finished slightly above and below their respective rankings and are ‘pushes.’ DJ Moore and the entire Bears team struggled in the opening week. He finished with 2 catches for 25 yards, which was good enough for WR73 and was a ‘miss.’ Gabe Davis finished as WR68 with 2 catches for 32 yards; he was a ‘hit.’ That means I had one ‘hit,’ one ‘miss,’ two ‘pushes,’ and two no-decisions based on injury—time to do better for Week 2. Let’s get to it.


Michael Thomas, Saints – WR 31

Week 1 Stats | WR 37 | FPts: 11.1 | Tgts: 8 | Rec: 5 | Yds: 61 | TDs: 0

Michael Thomas is my first ‘start’ for Week 2. Yes, you are reading that in 2023, and yes, it was just as surprising for me to type. I wasn’t sure what to expect from Thomas in his first game back from yet another foot injury that severely limited him last season. But I was pleasantly surprised by what we saw last week. The Saints’ offense left a bit to be desired last week against the Titans, but I was encouraged by Michael Thomas’ involvement.

There are a few reasons that make me optimistic. Derek Carr and the Saints threw for over 300 yards in a game that wasn’t particularly high-scoring. This week, Michael Thomas and the Saints face off against a Carolina Panthers team that isn’t scaring anyone. I expect Carr to be able to pass at will once again. And finally, Michael Thomas saw 8 targets last week, nearly a 25% share of the passing attempts. As long as he’s healthy, it looks like Michael Thomas will be a viable fantasy option once again.

George Pickens, Steelers – WR 30

Week 1 Stats | WR 49 | FPts: 8.6 | Tgts: 7 | Rec: 5 | Yds: 36 | TDs: 0

My second ‘start’ is George Pickens. He had a solid performance last week, catching 5 passes for 36 yards. His day could have been much bigger if he had been able to haul in an errant pass at the goal line. Even with that, Pickens nearly made a spectacular reception.

But, my optimism mainly has to do with a lack of other options for Kenny Pickens and Co. Diontae Johnson isn’t expected to play this week after suffering a hamstring injury, and Pat Freiermuth missed some time last week after taking a hard hit. The biggest cause for concern is the opponent. We saw Cleveland shut down a much more prolific passing attack last week. However, I think the volume Pickens will see should outweigh the tough matchup.

Mike Evans, Bucs – WR 25

TAMPA, FL – JANUARY 23: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wide Receiver Mike Evans (13) attempts to get past the Rams defenders during the NFC Divisional game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on January 23, 2022 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire)

Week 1 Stats | WR 13 | FPts: 18.6 | Tgts: 10 | Rec: 6 | Yds: 66 | TDs: 1

Mike Evans is my final ‘start’ for the week. Evans had a big week last week in Tampa Bay’s upset victory over Minnesota. He hauled in 6 of his 10 targets and found the end zone on a nice catch over the middle. However, despite the big week, Evans is ranked as a high-end WR3 for Week 2.

Like Thomas and Pickens before him, Evans saw a large target share in the opening week. His 10 targets were good for a 29.4% target share. We weren’t really sure what to expect with Baker Mayfield under center, but he looked Evans way early and often. The Bucs host the Bears this week, and I expect to see more of the same. I expect to see Evans outperform this ranking quite handily.


Garrett Wilson, Jets – WR 15

Week 1 Stats | WR 22 | FPts: 14.4 | Tgts: 5 | Rec: 34 | Yds: 34 | TDs: 1

My first ‘sit’ for Week 2 is Garrett Wilson. This seems like a fairly simple call. By now, we all know about the injury to Aaron Rodgers. Garrett Wilson actually had a decent day with Zach Wilson throwing him the ball, including a spectacular touchdown reception. However, I am pumping the brakes on Wilson this week and this season. You probably went into the season expecting a big year from the second-year wideout. But now, I think he’s a matchup play until we see how the Jets look. Furthermore, this week, the Jets face off against Dallas, who obliterated the Giants last week. I expect to see Diggs covering Wilson, so if I have another option, I am looking that way.

Jahan Dotson, Commanders – WR 26

Week 1 Stats | WR 46 | FPts: 9.0 | Tgts: 7 | Rec: 6 | Yds: 40 | TDs: 0

Jahan Dotson is my next ‘sit’ for this week. Similarly to the aforementioned Garrett Wilson, I am concerned about the matchup and quarterback play enough that I am looking to pivot. The Commanders are traveling to Denver this week, so Dotson and Co. will face off with Pat Surtian II and a solid Denver secondary. I was encouraged by Dotson’s usage in the offense last week, but I want to avoid this matchup if I can.

Drake London, Falcons – WR 34

INGLEWOOD, CA – SEPTEMBER 18: Atlanta Falcons Wide Receiver Drake London (5) runs the ball during an NFL game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Los Angeles Rams on September 18, 2022, at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA. (Photo by Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire)

Week 1 Stats | WR 109 | FPts: 0.0 | Tgts: 1 | Rec: 0 | Yds: 0 | TDs: 0

My final ‘sit’ of the week is Drake London. I know that you’re not supposed to overreact to one week. But I don’t think you can safely start Drake London going forward. He comes into this game ranked at WR36, but there’s no way you can feel confident with him after a 1 target, 0 reception opening week. He finished last season with 48 targets in the final five games, which had many people excited for 2023. However, last week, the Falcons only threw the ball 18 times for 115 yards. This team wants to run the ball in every possible situation, so relying on anyone outside Bijan Robinson is risky. I am looking elsewhere here as well.

That’s it for Week 2. Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter (@THEtristancook) if you have any specific questions about who I would start. 

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