Start or Sit These Players on Thursday Night to Win Week 2 Fantasy

Week 2 is the official start of the “short week” for the Thursday Night contest. There are those in the Fantasy community that follow the “When in doubt, Thursday is out” philosophy. Thankfully I am not a member of that line of thinking, especially considering I write this article weekly.

There are certainly variables to consider when setting your weekly lineup that includes players scheduled to be in action on a Thursday. First and foremost, not unlike any other matchup you need to watch the injury reports. If you have to choose between a questionable player and a player that is good to go of similar value, well you don’t need me to tell you which player to insert into your lineup.

One overlooked piece when setting a lineup that includes Thursday night action is your flex spots. Fill your positional spots on Thursday and leave your flex spots for Sunday. Lots can happen leading up to any given Sunday, and having the ability to be flexible with roster construction is an advantage you don’t want to give away.

Don’t let a Thursday matchup scare you. I get it, your fantasy assets are coming off a short week, but remember so are the defenses they matched up against. Good players typically are good players and good matchups are typically good matchups. The same can be said for the opposite. Long story short, my advice is don’t over think it. If player “X” was going to be in your lineup on Sunday, they should be in your lineup on Thursday as well.

The last piece of advice before we get into this week’s start/sit is to remember that this is Week 2. Do NOT overreact to Week 1. It is far too early in the season to panic and sit a player you drafted to start simply because they had an off week in the opener. Players have off weeks; trust your process, as you drafted these players where you did for a reason, and that reason is not to sit them in Week 2.

With out further ado, let’s get into Thursday’s divisional battle between the New York Giants and the Washington Football Team.

1. Quarterback

Start or Sit These Players on Thursday Night to Win Week 2 Fantasy
Start or Sit These Players on Thursday Night to Win Week 2 Fantasy

Daniel Jones – New York Giants – Sit

Daniel Jones finished Week 1 as QB14 with 21.38 fantasy points. Jones was a respectable 22/37 for 267 yards and a touchdown against a solid Denver Broncos defense. He added in 6 carries for 27 yards and a rushing score. In typical Daniel Jones fashion, he also lost a fumble in this one. Jones has now turned the ball over 40 times in his 28 games.

The Giants receiving corps is a mess to put it politely, and the running game is a work in progress as well. There will be plenty of weeks where Jones is a viable streaming option in my opinion, but Week 2 is not one of them. The Football Team was the ninth toughest opponent for fantasy QBs in 2020, and held much more talented Justin Herbert to 14.38 points in Week 1. Sit Jones in all 1QB formats and go ahead and start him if desperate for a NO.2 QB in your Super-Flex leagues.

Taylor Heinicke – Washington Football Team – Start

Taylor Heinicke came on in relief of injured QB Ryan Fitzpatrick in Week 1. Heinicke came in at the 9:00 mark of the second quarter and finished 11/15 for 122 yards and a touchdown. He also mixed in 3 runs for an additional 17 yards.

We last saw Taylor Heinicke in the Wildcard round in last season’s playoffs. In that one, Taylor Heinicke nearly lead the Football team to a massive upset over the eventual Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In that game, Heinicke finished 26/44 for 306 yards, a touch down and an interception. He also ran 6 times for 46 yards and a score. Heinicke, in his last just under 6 quarters of football, has been good, netting 37/59 for 428 yards, 2 touchdowns, and a pick. He also has 9 carries for 63 yards and a touchdown. The Giants were picked apart by Teddy Bridgewater last week, and on a short week, I like Heinicke a lot. Get him in your lineup.

2. Running Back

Start or Sit These Players on Thursday Night to Win Week 2 Fantasy
Start or Sit These Players on Thursday Night to Win Week 2 Fantasy

Saquon Barkley – New York Giants – Start

Saquon Barkley started Week 1 after some preseason concern that his injured knee may not be ready for him to play. In the end he played and he gave you a whopping 2.7 PPR points. In Saquon’s last two full games he has 25 carries for 31 yards, with 6 catches for another 60. He has failed to score as well. Barkley’s last two weekly finishes are RB50 with 2.7 points last Sunday, and RB37 with 6.6 points last season in Week 1 vs. Pittsburgh. In his last two full outings he has averaged 4.65 PPR points/game.

Barkley played 48% of his teams snaps last week, while rookie Gary Brightwell and Devontae Booker shared the other 52%. Saquon had 13 touches and the backup duo combined for 6. This is a tough matchup. The Washington Football Team has a good defense. They were the second best fantasy defense versus the run a year ago, and were 12th best in Week 1. Add all of this up and I am starting Saquon Barkley. Why? Because you never sit Saquon if he is healthy and in the Giants backfield.

Devontae Booker – New York Giants – Sit

Booker will continue to be a change of pace back for the Giants that combined with Gary Brightwell will help the G-Men ease Saquon back into the lineup. The work these two will get will continue to decrease starting in Week 2 against the tough Football Team defense. Sit Booker, and if you were considering Brightwell, sit him as well.

Antonio Gibson- Washington Football Team – Start

Antonio Gibson finished his Week 1 with 20 carries for 90 yards, no scores and a lost fumble. He was also targeted 5 times, catching 3 for 18 yards. His 8.8 PPR points were good enough for a RB23 finish.

You likely had higher expectations for Gibson when you drafted him in the second round this season, I get that. The good news here was the Football Team targeted the RB position six times on Sunday, and five went to Antonio Gibson. Ron Rivera and his coaching staff have said all offseason they want Gibson more involved in the passing game, and in Week 1 they proved it. The Giants gave up 25.9 points to the collection of Chargers backs in Week 1, and stopping the run is not the strength of this defense. Start Gibson with confidence.

J.D. McKissic / Jaret Patterson – Washington Football Team – Sit

J.D. McKissic and Jaret Patterson are running backs that I like. McKissic is likely more of a potentail threat in the passing game, and Patterson should see 4-6 carries. Neither should be considered for your starting lineup in this one, however.

3. Wide Receiver

Start or Sit These Players on Thursday Night to Win Week 2 Fantasy
Start or Sit These Players on Thursday Night to Win Week 2 Fantasy

Sterling Shepard – New York Giants – Start

When things are not going so great for a quarterback they trend to fall back on players they are comfortable with to get them through it. That is exactly what happened in Week 1 and what I expect more of in Week 2. Daniel Jones targeted Shepard a team high 9 times against Denver, and Shepard turned those targets into 7 catches, 113 yards, a touchdown, 24.3 PPR points and a WR8 finish.

The Giants offensive line is weak, and the pressure is coming against Daniel Jones all season long. In a match-up with Washington and their elite front four, this is likely more evident than most weeks. The ball needs to come out quick, and Shepard in the slot is once again the likely target. Shepard is wildly underrated and could end up being a steal of a draft pick. Start him here and look for another double digit week.

Kenny Golladay – New York Giants – Sit

I want Kenny Golladay to be good this season; I really do. At some point this season I do anticipate that Kenny G will be the Giants top wide receiver. Week 2, however, that is not the case. Golladay missed a lot of playing time last month with an injured hamstring, so he’s had limited time to build chemistry with his new quarterback, Daniel Jones.

He was targeted 6 times in Week 1, pulling in 4 for 64 yards, which is better that I anticipated to be perfectly honest. Prior to Week 1, Golladay stated that he thinks the Giants could have a slow start on the offensive side of the football. I tend to believe him and as a result I am sitting him again this week.

Darius Slayton / Kadarius Toney – New York Giants – Sit

If I can’t get on board with starting Kenny Golladay here, I certainly cannot get behind starting Darius Slayton or Kadarius Toney. Last week, Slayton was targeted 7 times, hauling in 3 for 65 yards, and Toney caught both of his two targets for negative 2 yards. Toney should be on your waiver wire and Slayton on your bench.

Terry McLaurin – Washington Football Team – Start

I spent the majority of the offseason championing the cause for Terry McLaurin as a top-12 fantasy wide receiver. My main reason was McLaurin is ridiculously talented and QB Ryan Fitzpatrick loves his No.1 WR. Well that narrative lasted less than two quarters and Fitzpatrick didn’t target McLaurin once prior to leaving with his injury.

Upon entering, Heinicke targeted Terry 4 times, and McLaurin caught them all for 62 yards. I expect that McLaurin remains Heinicke’s top target, and despite the Giants having a good secondary I am starting McLaurin easily in this one.

Cam Sims / Adam Humphries / Dynami Brown

In Week 1 this trio combined for 7 targets, 4 receptions, and 25 yards. Outside of bye weeks when you are desperate for a wide receivers, these gentlemen belong on your league’s wavier wire let alone you bench.

4. Tight End

Start or Sit These Players on Thursday Night to Win Week 2 Fantasy
Start or Sit These Players on Thursday Night to Win Week 2 Fantasy

Kyle Rudolph / Evan Engram – New York Giants – Sit

At this time, it is unclear if Evan Engram makes it back in time for the Thursday game. Engram injured his calf in the preseason and missed last week as a result. The Giants did not practice on Monday, and although Engram is rumored to be improving, he’s a long shot for this week. As a result, Kyle Rudolph is likely to get another start after running 27 pass routes and catching two of five targets for eight yards in Week 1 against the Broncos. I would consider Engram if he’s active and I am stuck, but I prefer to sit him. Kyle Rudolph is an easy sit.

Logan Thomas – Washington Football Team – Start

The 2020 season was a breakout season for TE Logan Thomas. He ended up finishing tied with Robert Tonyan for TE3 after posting 176.6 PPR points. In Week 1, Thomas scored 12 points and finished as TE8. As long as Curtis Samuel remains out of the lineup, Logan Thomas is a must start TE. Fire him up with confidence, as the Giants allowed 12.3 points to the position per game a season ago and allowed 24.5 points combined to Noah Fant and Albert Okwuegbunam last week.

Thank you for reading Start or Sit These Players on Thursday Night to Win Week 2 Fantasy.

For all your start/sit questions be sure to reach out to me on Twitter @RotoHeatSully.

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