Fantasy football Week 2 preview

Fantasy owners already know who their must-start players are, but everyone has a few decisions to make when it comes to setting a lineup. We’re here to help with those tough decisions.

Each week this space will be dedicated to whom you should start or sit in your upcoming fantasy matchups.

Starts

Thomas Rawls, RB, Seahawks — Seahawks-Rams likely will be a low-scoring affair as neither offense has looked great. The Seahawks will try to control the clock with their running game, especially with Russell Wilson dealing with an ankle injury. Rawls had nearly as many touches as Christine Michael last week and was named the starter for Week 2.

Rashad Jennings, RB, Giants — He had 19 touches last weekend in the win over the Cowboys and finished with 78 total yards. This week, he gets to face a Saints defense that is second worst in points allowed to running backs. I bet he gets into the end zone.

New York Giants running back Rashad Jennings (23) breaks a tackle attempt by Dallas Cowboys' Sean Lee (50) to gain extra yardage on a run as defensive tackle Terrell McClain (97) gives chase in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday Sept. 11, 2016, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
New York Giants running back Rashad Jennings (23) breaks a tackle attempt by Dallas Cowboys’ Sean Lee (50) to gain extra yardage on a run as defensive tackle Terrell McClain (97) gives chase in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday Sept. 11, 2016, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

Jordan Matthews, WR, Eagles — The play of Carson Wentz last week against the Browns made Matthews a top-six receiver in fantasy scoring. They’ll face the Bears, who are 23rd in points allowed to receivers.

Danny Woodhead, RB, Chargers — Melvin Gordon scored twice last week? Well, Woodhead had more touches and more yards from scrimmage in addition to one score. Last year without Keenan Allen, Woodhead led the Chargers in receptions.

San Diego Chargers running back Danny Woodhead (39) runs under pressure from Kansas City Chiefs defensive back Steven Nelson (20) during the first half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)
San Diego Chargers running back Danny Woodhead (39) runs under pressure from Kansas City Chiefs defensive back Steven Nelson (20) during the first half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

Gary Barnidge, TE, Browns — He had a breakout season last year, but his dismal start last week might have you ready to cut ties. Don’t be so hasty, though. He had Robert Griffin III at the helm in the opener, but with Josh McCown now starting, Barnidge may have new life. They have a solid rapport going back to last year.

Sits

Eddie Lacy, RB, Packers — The “slimmed-down” talk ended after it appeared that he had trouble getting a lot going against the Jaguars last week. He had just 15 touches and will face a Vikings defense that allowed only 45 yards rushing in the opener.

Carlos Hyde, RB, 49ers — Last year, he killed the Vikings to open the season. This year, he scored twice against what was thought to be a solid Rams defense. I’m not a believer yet, and he faces a Panthers defense that looks to bounce back after giving up a great game to C.J. Anderson.

Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Dominique Easley, top, and defensive tackle Cam Thomas (92) tackle San Francisco 49ers running back Carlos Hyde (28) during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Monday, Sept. 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Dominique Easley, top, and defensive tackle Cam Thomas (92) tackle San Francisco 49ers running back Carlos Hyde (28) during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Monday, Sept. 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Alex Smith, QB, Chiefs — I wouldn’t count on him having 363 yards passing and three touchdowns against the Texans, who are eighth best in points allowed to quarterbacks.

Gio Bernard, RB, Bengals — He faces a good Steelers run defense and hasn’t fared well against it in the past. Jeremy Hill probably has more of an opportunity to score should the Bengals get into a goal-line situation.

Any receiver facing the Ravens, Seahawks or Panthers — Got a Browns wideout? Leave him on the bench. Tavon Austin owner? Maybe next time, pal. Hopeful for points from Torrey Smith? Give it up.

No man’s land

Todd Gurley, RB, Rams — There’s no way you can sit Gurley, but you really wish you could, given that his team’s one-dimensional offense has to face the Seahawks. If the passing attack doesn’t take the pressure off of him, it could be a long day.

Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley (30) is tackled by San Francisco 49ers nose tackle Mike Purcell (64) and safety Eric Reid (35) during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Monday, Sept. 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley (30) is tackled by San Francisco 49ers nose tackle Mike Purcell (64) and safety Eric Reid (35) during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Monday, Sept. 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Dez Bryant, WR, Cowboys — You probably used a first or early second-round pick on him and, as a result, have to start him. Dak Prescott makes no bones about hitting the check-down receiver instead of taking chances on his biggest playmaker so you’ll just have to cross your fingers.

Fantasy football position rankings heading into final weekend of drafts

It’s the final weekend before the fantasy football season kicks off. Here’s a look at my position rankings for the upcoming season. For quarterbacks I’ve listed two deep for a 12-team league. I’ve listed three deep for running backs and four deep for wide receivers. I’ve also listed the top 12 tight ends and defense/special teams.

Quarterbacks

1. Aaron Rodgers, Packers
2. Cam Newton, Panthers—I don’t think he’ll be quite as productive as he was last year, which is why I have him behind Aaron Rodgers.

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) looks to pass during an NFL football game against the New England Patriots in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, Aug. 26, 2016. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) looks to pass during an NFL football game against the New England Patriots in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, Aug. 26, 2016. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)

3. Russell Wilson, Seahawks
4. Andrew Luck, Colts
5. Drew Brees, Saints
6. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers
7. Tom Brady, Patriots
8. Blake Bortles, Jaguars
9. Carson Palmer, Cardinals—I’ve dropped him a couple of spots from the last time out because he hasn’t looked great in preseason. Plus there’s always the fear of him getting hurt. If he stays healthy, he’s got the weapons to end up as a top-5 quarterback.

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) throws prior to an NFL preseason football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016, in Houston. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) throws prior to an NFL preseason football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016, in Houston. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

10. Eli Manning, Giants
11. Philip Rivers, Chargers
12. Derek Carr, Raiders
13. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jets
14. Tyrod Taylor, Bills
15. Kirk Cousins, Redskins
16. Jameis Winston, Buccaneers
17. Matthew Stafford, Lions
18. Andy Dalton, Bengals
19. Marcus Mariota, Titans
20. Matt Ryan, Falcons
21. Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins
22. Alex Smith, Chiefs
23. Jay Cutler, Bears
24. Brock Osweiler, Texans

Running backs

1. David Johnson, Cardinals—I think he has the potential to be the best back in the league. That said, he will probably not be the first running back taken in your draft. If not, make sure you don’t pass him up.

David Johnson #31 of the Arizona Cardinals runs with the ball against the Houston Texans in the first quarter of a preseason NFL game at NRG Stadium on August 28, 2016 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
David Johnson #31 of the Arizona Cardinals runs with the ball against the Houston Texans in the first quarter of a preseason NFL game at NRG Stadium on August 28, 2016 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

2. Todd Gurley, Rams
3. Adrian Peterson, Vikings
4. Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys
5. Lamar Miller, Texans
6. Le’Veon Bell, Steelers
7. Eddie Lacy, Packers
8. Jamaal Charles, Chiefs
9. Mark Ingram, Saints
10. LeSean McCoy, Bills
11. Devonta Freeman, Falcons
12. Doug Martin, Buccaneers
13. C.J. Anderson, Broncos
14. Latavius Murray, Raiders
15. Thomas Rawls, Seahawks
16. Jeremy Hill, Bengals
17. Matt Forte, Jets
18. DeMarco Murray, Titans
19. Carlos Hyde, 49ers
20. Jeremy Langford, Bears
21. Melvin Gordon, Chargers
22. Jonathan Stewart, Panthers
23. Ryan Mathews, Eagles
24. Frank Gore, Colts
25. DeAngelo Williams, Steelers
26. Arian Foster, Dolphins
27. Matt Jones, Redskins
28. Chris Ivory, Jaguars
29. Gio Bernard, Bengals
30. Derrick Henry, Titans
31. Rashad Jennings, Giants
32. Duke Johnson, Browns
33. Danny Woodhead, Chargers
34. Ameer Abdullah, Lions
35. Isaiah Crowell, Browns
36. Christine Michael, Seahawks

Wide receivers

1. Antonio Brown, Steelers
2. Odell Beckham Jr., Giants
3. Julio Jones, Falcons
4. DeAndre Hopkins, Texans—Really excited to see what he can do with Will Fuller, Jaelen Strong and Braxton Miller spreading the defense thin.

DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Houston Texans looks for room after a reception against the Arizona Cardinals in the first quarter of a preseason NFL game at NRG Stadium on August 28, 2016 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Houston Texans looks for room after a reception against the Arizona Cardinals in the first quarter of a preseason NFL game at NRG Stadium on August 28, 2016 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

5. A.J. Green, Bengals
6. Dez Bryant, Cowboys
7. Allen Robinson, Jaguars
8. Brandon Marshall, Jets
9. Jordy Nelson, Packers
10. Mike Evans, Buccaneers
11. Keenan Allen, Chargers
12. Amari Cooper, Raiders
13. Alshon Jeffery, Bears
14. Sammy Watkins, Bills
15. Brandin Cooks, Saints
16. T.Y. Hilton, Colts
17. Demaryius Thomas, Broncos
18. Randall Cobb, Packers
19. Jeremy Maclin, Chiefs
20. Donte Moncrief, Colts
21. Eric Decker, Jets
22. Jarvis Landry, Dolphins
23. Kelvin Benjamin, Panthers
24. Doug Baldwin, Seahawks
25. Michael Floyd, Cardinals
26. Julian Edelman, Patriots
27. Josh Gordon, Browns
28. Marvin Jones, Lions
29. Golden Tate, Lions
30. Allen Hurns, Jaguars
31. Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals
32. Tyler Lockett, Seahawks
33. John Brown, Cardinals
34. Emmanuel Sanders, Broncos
35. Jordan Matthews, Eagles
36. DeSean Jackson, Redskins
37. Sterling Shepard, Giants
38. Michael Crabtree, Raiders
39. Kevin White, Bears
40. Willie Snead, Saints
41. Corey Coleman, Browns
42. Stefon Diggs, Vikings
43. Torrey Smith, 49ers
44. Tavon Austin, Rams
45. Vincent Jackson, Buccaneers
46. Travis Benjamin, Chargers
47. Laquon Treadwell, Vikings
48. Michael Thomas, Saints

Tight ends

1. Rob Gronkowski, Patriots
2. Jordan Reed, Redskins
3. Greg Olsen, Panthers
4. Travis Kelce, Chiefs
5. Delanie Walker, Titans
6. Coby Fleener, Saints
7. Gary Barnidge, Browns—He may not duplicate last year’s numbers, but Robert Griffin III could use him as a security blanket.

Tight end Gary Barnidge #82 of the Cleveland Browns catches a touchdown pass during the first half of the preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons at FirstEnergy Stadium on August 18, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Tight end Gary Barnidge #82 of the Cleveland Browns catches a touchdown pass during the first half of the preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons at FirstEnergy Stadium on August 18, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

8. Tyler Eifert, Bengals
9. Julius Thomas, Jaguars
10. Antonio Gates, Chargers
11. Zach Ertz, Eagles
12. Jimmy Graham, Seahawks

Defense/special teams

1. Broncos
2. Seahawks
3. Cardinals
4. Panthers
5. Texans—They’ve got a Week 1 matchup against a hurting Bears offense and J.J. Watt may be healthy enough to play by then.

Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints is sacked by Jadeveon Clowney #90 of the Houston Texans, John Simon #51 and Whitney Mercilus #59 in the first quarter durting a preseason NFL game at NRG Stadium on August 20, 2016 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints is sacked by Jadeveon Clowney #90 of the Houston Texans, John Simon #51 and Whitney Mercilus #59 in the first quarter durting a preseason NFL game at NRG Stadium on August 20, 2016 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

6. Vikings
7. Rams
8. Chiefs
9. Patriots
10. Bengals
11. Jets
12. Raiders

Fantasy football Top 100 heading into final weekend of drafts

It’s the final weekend before the fantasy football season kicks off. No matter what kind of league you’re in, a just-for-fun league or a serious money league, you’ll need a cheat sheet. Here’s what we’re offering up at the Statesman. So without further ado, here are the top 100 fantasy football players in standard leagues for 2016.

Top 100 overall

1. Antonio Brown, WR, Steelers
2. David Johnson, RB, Cardinals
3. Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Giants
4. Todd Gurley, RB, Rams
5. Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings
6. Julio Jones, WR, Falcons
7. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Cowboys–In the last week, his average draft position has jumped from the tenth pick of the first round to the sixth. Seeing his performance in the third preseason game got a lot of owners excited. I’ve got him seventh on the board.

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) rushes against the Seattle Seahawks in the first half of a preseason NFL football game, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016, in Seattle. The Seahawks beat the Cowboys 27-17. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)
Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) rushes against the Seattle Seahawks in the first half of a preseason NFL football game, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016, in Seattle. The Seahawks beat the Cowboys 27-17. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)

8. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Texans
9. A.J. Green, WR, Bengals
10. Lamar Miller, RB, Texans
11. Dez Bryant, WR, Cowboys
12. Allen Robinson, WR, Jaguars
13. Rob Gronkowski, TE, Patriots
14. Brandon Marshall, WR, Jets
15. Jordy Nelson, WR, Packers
16. Mike Evans, WR, Buccaneers
17. Le’Veon Bell, RB, Steelers
18. Keenan Allen, WR, Chargers
19. Eddie Lacy, RB, Packers
20. Jamaal Charles, RB, Chiefs–The lastest word is that he’s running behind on his recovery. It’s the second time he’s had to recover from an ACL injury. Spencer Ware is taking first team reps right now, but it’s not yet clear if Charles will actually miss any games.
21. Mark Ingram, RB, Saints
22. LeSean McCoy, RB, Bills
23. Devonta Freeman, RB, Falcons
24. Doug Martin, RB, Buccaneers
25. Amari Cooper, WR, Raiders
26. Alshon Jeffery, WR, Bears
27. Sammy Watkins, WR, Bills
28. Brandin Cooks, WR, Saints
29. T.Y. Hilton, WR, Colts
30. Demaryius Thomas, WR, Broncos–You can say he’s attempting to have a bounce back year, but not many receivers need to bounce back after catching 105 passes for over 1,300 yards while scoring six touchdowns. I’m a believer in Trevor Siemian so Thomas could be great again.

Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) makes the catch as Los Angeles Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson (22) pursues during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016, in Denver. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)
Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) makes the catch as Los Angeles Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson (22) pursues during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016, in Denver. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)

31. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
32. Cam Newton, QB, Panthers
33. C.J. Anderson, RB, Broncos
34. Latavius Murray, RB, Raiders
35. Randall Cobb, WR, Packers
36. Thomas Rawls, RB, Seahawks
37. Jeremy Maclin, WR, Chiefs
38. Jeremy Hill, RB, Bengals
39. Jordan Reed, TE, Redskins
40. Matt Forte, RB, Jets
41. DeMarco Murray, RB, Titans
42. Donte Moncrief, WR, Colts–He’s in line for a breakout year. He can play like a possession receiver, but he’s got the skills of a deep threat. If he ends up combining those abilities he could end up being the best receiver in Indy.

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Donte Moncrief (10) walks off the field following an NFL preseason football game in Indianapolis, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016. The Eagles defeated the Colts 33-23. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Donte Moncrief (10) walks off the field following an NFL preseason football game in Indianapolis, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016. The Eagles defeated the Colts 33-23. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

43. Eric Decker, WR, Jets
44. Jarvis Landry, WR, Dolphins
45. Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Panthers
46. Carlos Hyde, RB, 49ers
47. Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks
48. Jeremy Langford, RB, Bears
49. Melvin Gordon, RB, Chargers
50. Doug Baldwin, WR, Seahawks
51. Michael Floyd, WR, Cardinals
52. Greg Olsen, TE, Panthers
53. Jonathan Stewart, RB, Panthers
54. Andrew Luck, QB, Colts
55. Julian Edelman, WR, Patriots
56. Ryan Mathews, RB, Eagles–He had just over 100 carries last year because DeMarco Murray was in town. He averaged 5.1 yards per carry and if he remains healthy, big if, he should put up very good numbers.

Philadelphia Eagles running back Ryan Mathews (24) runs against the Indianapolis Colts during the first half of an NFL preseason football game in Indianapolis, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
Philadelphia Eagles running back Ryan Mathews (24) runs against the Indianapolis Colts during the first half of an NFL preseason football game in Indianapolis, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)

57. Drew Brees, QB, Saints
58. Josh Gordon, WR, Browns
59. Marvin Jones, WR, Lions
60. Golden Tate, WR, Lions
61. Travis Kelce, TE, Chiefs
62. Frank Gore, RB, Colts
63. Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers
64. DeAngelo Williams, RB, Steelers
65. Arian Foster, RB, Dolphins–If he’s available this late, don’t feel bad about taking him. He’s gone earlier in a lot of drafts, even as high as the third round. I don’t advise taking him earlier than the fifth round.

Miami Dolphins running back Arian Foster (34) slips past Atlanta Falcons strong safety Keanu Neal, left, during the first half of an NFL preseason football game in Orlando, Fla., Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016.(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Miami Dolphins running back Arian Foster (34) slips past Atlanta Falcons strong safety Keanu Neal, left, during the first half of an NFL preseason football game in Orlando, Fla., Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016.(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

66. Matt Jones, RB, Redskins
67. Allen Hurns, WR, Jaguars
68. Chris Ivory, RB, Jaguars
69. Gio Bernard, RB, Bengals
70. Delanie Walker, TE, Titans
71. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals
72. Tom Brady, QB, Patriots
73. Tyler Lockett, WR, Seahawks
74. Derrick Henry, RB, Titans
75. John Brown, WR, Cardinals
76. Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Broncos
77. Rashad Jennings, RB, Giants
78. Coby Fleener, TE, Saints–Fleener’s got Drew Brees throwing him the ball, how can he not be a good option as your tight end.

Coby Fleener #82 of the New Orleans Saints is tackled by Lawrence Timmons #94 of the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first half of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on August 26, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Coby Fleener #82 of the New Orleans Saints is tackled by Lawrence Timmons #94 of the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first half of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on August 26, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

79. Jordan Matthews, WR, Eagles
80. Blake Bortles, QB, Jaguars
81. DeSean Jackson, WR, Redskins
82. Danny Woodhead, RB, Chargers
83. Carson Palmer, QB, Cardinals
84. Duke Johnson, RB, Browns
85. Ameer Abdullah, RB, Lions
86. Eli Manning, QB, Giants
87. Gary Barnidge, TE, Browns
88. Sterling Shepard, WR, Giants
89. Isaiah Crowell, RB, Browns–Both Browns running backs are pretty good value picks. Not much risk taking either of them this late, but they could pay off.

Cleveland Browns running back Isaiah Crowell (34) rushes for yardage during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Tampa, Fla., Friday, Aug. 26, 2016. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Cleveland Browns running back Isaiah Crowell (34) rushes for yardage during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Tampa, Fla., Friday, Aug. 26, 2016. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

90. Michael Crabtree, WR, Raiders
91. Christine Michael, RB, Seahawks
92. T.J. Yeldon, RB, Jaguars
93. Kevin White, WR, Bears
94. Tyler Eifert, TE, Bengals
95. Julius Thomas, TE, Jaguars
96. Broncos defense/special teams
97. Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers
98. Willie Snead, WR, Saints
99. Corey Coleman, WR, Browns
100. Charles Sims, RB, Buccaneers