AJ Hoffman

NFL fantasy football rankings for Week 2

NFL fantasy football rankings for Week 2
Drew Brees was spectacular for fantasy in Week 1. Photo by Saints/Facebook

With Week 1 behind us, let's take a look at the positional rankings for Week 2:

QB 

  1. Drew Brees vs. CLE
  2. Cam Newton @ ATL
  3. Tom Brady @ JAX
  4. Russell Wilson @ CHI
  5. Patrick Mahomes @ PIT
  6. Kirk Cousins @ GB
  7. Matt Stafford @ SF
  8. Alex Smith vs. IND
  9. Ben Roethlisberger vs. KC
  10. Matt Ryan vs. CAR
  11. Aaron Rodgers vs. MIN (If healthy)
  12. Dak Prescott vs. NYG
  13. Deshaun Watson @ TEN
  14. Andrew Luck @ WAS
  15. Philip Rivers @ BUF
  16. Marcus Mariota vs. HOU
  17. Tyrod Taylor @ NO
  18. Ryan Tannehill @ NYJ
  19. Joe Flacco @ CIN
  20. Sam Darnold vs. MIA

RB (standard scoring)

  1. Todd Gurley vs. ARI
  2. Ezekiel Elliott vs. NYG
  3. Alvin Kamara vs. CLE
  4. Melvin Gordon @ BUF
  5. Kareem Hunt @ PIT
  6. David Johnson @ LAR
  7. James Conner vs. KC
  8. Dalvin Cook @ GB
  9. Saquon Barkely @ DAL
  10. Joe Mixon vs. BAL
  11. Jordan Howard vs. SEA
  12. Christian McCaffrey @ ATL
  13. Adrian Peterson vs. IND
  14. Alex Collins @ CIN
  15. Lamar Miller @ TEN
  16. Jay Ajayi @ TB
  17. Kenyan Drake @ NYJ
  18. Devonta Freeman vs. CAR
  19. Carlos Hyde @ NO
  20. Leonard Fournette vs. NE (If healthy)
  21. LeSean McCoy vs. LAC
  22. Dion Lewis vs. HOU
  23. Royce Freeman vs. OAK
  24. Marshawn Lynch @ DEN
  25. Peyton Barber vs. PHI
  26. Rex Burkhead @ JAX (If healthy)
  27. Jamaal Williams vs. MIN
  28. Derrick Henry vs. HOU
  29. Tevin Coleman vs. CAR
  30. Chris Thompson vs. IND
  31. Alfred Morris vs. DET
  32. Isaiah Crowell vs. MIA
  33. Chris Carson @ CHI
  34. Phillip Lindsay vs. OAK
  35. James White @ JAX
  36. Kerryon Johnson @ SF

WR (standard scoring)

  1. Antonio Brown vs. KC
  2. Michael Thomas vs. CLE
  3. DeAndre Hopkins @ TEN
  4. Julio Jones vs. CAR
  5. Odell Beckham Jr. @ DAL
  6. AJ Green vs. BAL
  7. Tyreek Hill @ PIT
  8. Keenan Allen @ BUF
  9. Stefan Diggs @ GB
  10. Mike Evans vs. PHI
  11. Adam Thielen @ GB
  12. Davante Adams vs. MIN
  13. TY Hilton @ WAS
  14. Emmanuel Sanders vs. OAK
  15. JuJu Smith-Schuster vs. KC
  16. Golden Tate @ SF
  17. Allen Robinson vs. SEA
  18. Jarvis Landry @ NO
  19. Demaryius Thomas vs. OAK
  20. Larry Fitzgerald @ LAR
  21. Brandin Cooks vs. ARI
  22. Marvin Jones @ SF
  23. Corey Davis vs. HOU
  24. Nelson Agholor @ TB
  25. Robby Anderson vs. MIA
  26. Kenny Stills @ NYJ
  27. Chris Hogan @ JAX
  28. Josh Gordon @ NO
  29. Devin Funchess @ ATL
  30. Amari Cooper @ DEN
  31. Randall Cobb vs. MIN
  32. Robert Woods vs. ARI
  33. Cooper Kupp vs. ARI
  34. Michael Crabtree @ CIN
  35. Kenny Golladay @ SF
  36. Tyler Lockett @ CHI
  37. Jamison Crowder vs. IND
  38. Quincy Enunwa vs. MIA
  39. Keelan Cole vs. NE
  40. Sterling Shepard @ DAL
  41. Pierre Garcon vs. DET
  42. Marquise Goodwin vs. DET (If healthy)
  43. John Brown @ CIN
  44. Brandon Marshall @ CHI
  45. Kelvin Benjamin vs. LAC

TE (standard scoring)

  1. Rob Gronkowski @ JAX
  2. Travis Kelce @ PIT
  3. Zach Ertz @ TB
  4. Jordan Reed vs. IND
  5. Trey Burton vs. SEA
  6. George Kittle vs. DET
  7. Kyle Rudolph @ GB
  8. Jimmy Graham vs. MIN
  9. Jared Cook @ DEN
  10. Jack Doyle @ WAS
  11. Evan Engram @ DAL
  12. David Njoku @ NO
  13. Tyler Eifert vs. BAL
  14. Eric Ebron @ WAS
  15. Benjamin Watson vs. CLE

D/ST

  1. Rams vs. ARI
  2. Chargers @ BUF
  3. Broncos vs. OAK
  4. Bears vs. SEA
  5. Ravens @ CIN
  6. Eagles @ TB
  7. Texans @ TEN
  8. Jaguars vs. NE
  9. Vikings @ GB
  10. Saints vs. CLE
  11. Patriots @ JAX
  12. Jets vs. MIA
  13. Bengals vs. BAL
  14. Titans vs. HOU
  15. Giants @ DAL

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Jose Abreu looks lost at the plate. Composite Getty Image.

It’s a long baseball season, sure the Astros have started 4-8, and there are plenty of fingers to point around. But there’s no need to push the panic button.

Not yet.

Last year, the Astros didn’t start much better – they were 5-7 after a dozen games. It just seemed different, though. Nobody was wringing hands over the slow start. After all, the Astros were the defending World Series champions, coming off a 106-win season and figured to make mincemeat of the American League West again. Business as usual.

This year is different. The Astros are losing games in very un-Astros-like fashion. While the starting pitching has been surprisingly fine, at least the starters healthy enough to take the field, the bullpen has been a mess. The back end relievers, supposedly the strongest in all of baseball, have been disappointing. Bryan Abreu’s earned run average is 5.79. Ryan Pressly’s ERA is a sky-high 11.57 and closer Josh Hader, the best shutdown in the bigs, is at 6.00. The Astros are losing games late.

The Astros starting rotation is comprised mostly of seat-fillers. The Astros are sitting in the doctor’s waiting room for Justin Verlander, Framber Valdez, Jose Urquidy, Luis Garcia and Lance McCullers to be declared fit for battle. McCullers’ contribution to the team in recent years has primarily been confined to H-E-B commercials.

Impatient fans and copy-hungry media need a target to blame for the Astros’ slow start and they’ve zero’d in on first baseman Jose Abreu.

For good reason. Abreu, 37, a former American League MVP, is being paid 19.5 million this year and next. He is having a miserable time at the plate. Originally slated for No. 5 in the batting order, now dropped to No. 7 and sinking in the west, Abreu is hitting a paltry .088. But that number actually is deceptively positive. He has three hits (all singles) in 34 at bats, with 12 strikeouts, no home runs and no RBI. Frankly one of Abreu's singles was a pity hit from a friendly scorekeeper who could have given Royals shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. an error on Abreu’s weak grounder Tuesday night.

We can go all-analytics and brain-busting stats to explain Abreu’s troubles at the plate. But let’s use simple baseball language: Abreu is horrible. He’s done. Maybe it’s time for the Astros to cut bait. He is untradeable.

Abreu had a disastrous 2023 season, batting .237, the lowest average of his 11-year career. But after 12 games last year, he was hitting .271, not bad at all. Or as Larry David would say, pret-tay, pret-tay, pre-tay good.

This year he’s fallen off the end of the Earth. Fans groan as he swings meekly at breaking balls outside the zone. Or he fails to catch up to 95 mph-plus. Or he can’t connect on low inside pitches. Look, when you’re batting .088, it’s all bad.

Last year, the Astros actually had two, as Little Leaguers put it, automatic outs in the lineup. Abreu hit .237 and catcher Martin Maldonado blasted .191.

This year, it’s a tight battle between who’s the worst of the worst. Maldy is hitting .091 with two hits in 22 at bats and no RBI for Abreu’s old team, the Chicago White Sox. Abreu is hitting .088 for Maldonado’s old team, the Astros. This could go down to the last week of the season.

If Abreu is still with the Astros at season’s end. The Astros are no longer the high exalted dominant force in the American League West. They can’t afford an .088 hitter in the lineup. They can’t play eight against nine.

It didn’t help when manager Joe Espada recently said, “I got a ton of confidence in Abreu. I'm not going to talk about strategy. José Abreu has been a really good hitter for a very long time, and I have 100 percent confidence in José that, at some point, he's going to start hitting.”

How long is at some point? Didn’t Astros fans go through this last year with manager Dusty Baker refusing to sit Maldonado despite Maldy killing rallies in a tight pennant race?

The Astros don’t have a strong support system, especially backing Abreu at first base. But there are options. Mauricio Dubon is a jack of all trades. He could play first. Despite the funny line in Moneyball, first base statistically is the easiest position to play in baseball. Backup catcher Victor Caratini can fill the gap until the Astros sign a free agent first baseman.

Or the Astros could do something that would light a fire under fans: call up rookie Joey Loperfido, who’s belted five homers and driven in 13 RBI in 10 games for the Sugar Land Space Cowboys.

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