Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Fantasy Football Week 2 prep: PPR league cheat sheet to help you get the most out of your lineups

The Lineup Cheat Sheet combines Fantasy analysis and game-flow predictions with a confidence scale to give you a definitive answer on who to start in your leagues.

It’s pretty simple: The scale runs from 1-10. The higher the number next to a player’s name, the more confident you should be to start him. The numbers are not a projection, just a confidence score to help you pick who to start. Every relevant player for Week 2 is here, so if a player isn’t listed, don’t start him.

To find a specific player, use your search function — CTRL-F on PCs and Command-F on Macs. If neither of those are options, or if you’re on a mobile device, you can scroll by game.

If you’re still unsure, just send a note on Twitter (@daverichard) and I’ll give it a look, time permitting. Ready to get off on the right foot? Here’s how to approach every play for Week 2 in PPR leagues — you can find our non-PPR cheat sheet here.

More Week 2 help: Trade Value ChartQB Preview | RB Preview | WR Preview | TE Preview | Waiver Wire | QB Start/Sit | RB Start/Sit | WR Start/Sit | Starts, sits, sleepers and busts

All lines from Caesars Sportsbook.

The line wants us to believe: The game will be close on the strength of both defenses. Actually it might stay close on the weaknesses of both offenses. The Giants won’t be a popular pick because Daniel Jones is more like Danny Dunce than Danny Dimes. Expect this game to stay close until a New York turnover leads to easy points for Washington.

The line wants us to believe: The Saints are in great shape. Maybe it’s just me but I felt like some of Jameis Winston’s throws last week were off-target, including some of the touchdowns that were caught. Plays like that will catch up to Winston, and Carolina’s defense is pretty good outside of one meltdown that led to a long Corey Davis touchdown catch. I think the Panthers will do more than just hang with the Saints at home.

The line wants us to believe: Chicago’s the better team. I’m convinced the oddsmakers are trying to get you to take the Bengals. How could anyone watch the Bears blow defensive coverages last week and become inept on offense and lay points against pretty much anyone in the league? Answer: They’ll come out scoring this week. Cincinnati’s linebackers and secondary are a liability given injuries, and the Bears should be able to work around their weak O-line to pull out a win.

The line wants us to believe: Houston’s win last week was meaningless. The Texans took advantage of a sloppy Jaguars team and rolled their way to a nice win. Cleveland is far more disciplined, but they’re not necessarily the kind of team that can blow opponents out. Last year they won just three regular-season games by 10 or more points. The oddsmakers knew Houston would be a big underdog — they’re just trying to cover their butts.

The line wants us to believe: The Colts will keep it close. With a beat-up offensive line and a quarterback who seemed rusty last week, Indy couldn’t quite compete with the Seahawks. They’re facing a team that’s built similarly to the Seahawks in the Rams, but more injuries along with just one more week of added time with Carson Wentz shouldn’t be enough. This feels like a trappy line but I just cannot buy into Indianapolis.

The line wants us to believe: Jacksonville isn’t that big of a mess. Laying the proverbial egg at Houston last week should make the Jaguars an unpopular side. But here are the Broncos on the road for the second straight week against an embarrassed Jaguars team. Denver should win, but expect Jacksonville to get back to basics in an effort to keep the game close.

The line wants us to believe: The Bills‘ Week 1 loss wasn’t legit. Had Buffalo taken on an easier defense, they should have won big. Pittsburgh’s defense is tough — tougher than Miami’s. The Dolphins struggled to put up points last week and really got lucky with a late fumble to hang on to the win. Stats said the Bills defense was great last week, but the scoreboard will say it this week.

The line wants us to believe: New England isn’t quite good enough to blow out the Jets. New York has so many injuries on both sides of the ball and Bill Belichick is going to make things really tough on Zach Wilson. There were flashes from Wilson in the second half last week, but he’ll struggle to even hit his team’s implied point total whereas the Patriots could find their way to close to 27 points.

The line wants us to believe: The Eagles‘ Week 1 win was a fluke. This should be much closer to a pick ’em. We’ll learn more about both teams, but I wouldn’t be shocked in the least if the Eagles won by six. Their defense was very good last week and will do plenty to pressure Jimmy Garoppolo and make life tough for the Niners’ young run game. Jalen Hurts has earned enough cred to be given some confidence here, especially versus a pass defense that lost a starting cornerback.

The line wants us to believe: The Raiders are as good as they looked on Monday night. I struggle to buy into the Raiders playing on the road after a huge overtime win on Monday. They were given the game courtesy of two Lamar Jackson fumbles — and that’s on top of all the other mistakes Jackson and the Ravens made. The Steelers should be in position to gash them with Najee Harris on offense and pick off Derek Carr a couple of times on defense.

The line wants us to believe: The Cardinals aren’t good enough to blow out the Vikings like they did the Titans. Keep an eye on how Minnesota’s offensive line looks coming into this game — if they’re missing guys, the Cards pass rush can tee off again and make this another blowout win. I still have reservations about how good Arizona’s secondary actually is, but their pass rush helps them out quite a bit. If Minnesota’s O-line is at full strength, I wouldn’t put it past them keeping it to within a field goal.

The line wants us to believe: The Falcons are already toast. How could this offense be given an implied point total of under 20 points?! They should be able to hit at least that number, even against Tampa Bay. Remember, the Buccaneers secondary wasn’t so hot against the Cowboys. I fully expect the Falcons to throw a bunch and potentially keep it within one score by the fourth quarter.

The line wants us to believe: The Cowboys don’t have enough offensive juice to keep up with the Chargers. Man, this line is designed to get you to bet the Cowboys. After all they put up 29 points last week. But the Chargers were great on both sides of the ball and should have put up more than 20 points if not for five drops on Justin Herbert throws. I think the Bolts will win and cover, a prediction made easier by DeMarcus Lawrence’s foot injury keeping him out.

The line wants us to believe: The Titans offense is unfixable. Ryan Tannehill looked jarred early on and missed some open receivers. He was fine by the end of the game but the Cardinals just blew the Titans defense out of the water. I figure something similar will happen here where the Seahawks put up plenty of points, but the Titans hang around just enough to keep things close.

The line wants us to believe: The Chiefs have the defense to limit Lamar Jackson. There’s actually a pretty good track record of Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo keeping rushing quarterbacks from doing a lot of damage. I’m certain he’ll come up with a couple of plans to fluster Jackson like the Raiders did. Baltimore’s secondary couldn’t contain Darren Waller last week, so just imagine how Travis Kelce (and Tyreek Hill) will do this week.

The line wants us to believe: It’s Aaron Rodgers bounce-back week. I thought Rodgers was out of sync last week and his O-line was overmatched. This is the right kind of opponent to fix those problems as Detroit’s pass rush isn’t very good and the pass defense already is on at least one second-string starter. It’s silly to expect the Lions to score under 20 points when they put up 33 last week, though. A back-door cover is absolutely in play. 

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