This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Football series.
The Week 2 NFL main slate begins Sunday at 1:00 p.m. EDT and features 13 games, while the Giants and Washington kick off the action Thursday at 8:20 p.m., and the week concludes with primetime Chiefs-Ravens (Sunday night) and Lions-Packers (Monday night) matchups. After getting our first look at everybody in Week 1, crafting an effective Week 2 lineup will require discerning which players (and teams) are capable of sustaining hot starts and which ones present value opportunities after underachieving in their openers. Among the suggested options below are a pair of rookies who found paydirt in their debuts and are set up to do so again, as well as an elite young quarterback facing a porous pass defense and an affordable tight end who can help you clear cap room for some of this slate's top options.
TOURNAMENTS (GPP – GUARANTEED PRIZE POOL)
QB: Teddy Bridgewater, DEN at JAX ($29): Bridgewater's solid but unspectacular, which is typically the opposite of what you want in GPP contests, but a matchup with the Jaguars raises Bridgewater's ceiling substantially. Jacksonville just surrendered 37 points — including 27 by halftime — to the Tyrod Taylor-led Texans, and Bridgewater showed mastery of the Broncos' offense by eclipsing 20 fantasy points in a season-opening road win over the Giants. He's not a running quarterback per se but knows when to create with his legs, as Bridgewater rushed for five touchdowns last season and is poised to exploit the Jaguars defense with both his arm and legs. Losing wide receiver Jerry Jeudy to a high-ankle sprain will sting a bit, but Tim Patrick and KJ Hamler should collectively fill that void alongside fellow wide receiver Courtland Sutton and tight end Noah Fant.
RB: Chris Carson, SEA vs. TEN ($24): You'll have to pay a premium for exposure to the Seahawks' high-flying passing attack, but the team's workhorse running back can be had for a much more reasonable valuation. While all three of Russell Wilson, DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett should get plenty of attention despite coming in north of $30, Carson's a nice value option in this offense after turning 19 touches into 117 scrimmage yards in Week 1 and watching fellow Seattle running back Rashaad Penny pick up a calf injury. The Seahawks are expected to get ahead at home against a Titans team that was blown out 38-13 by Arizona, and Carson's also a capable pass-catcher if the script flips the other way.
WR: Russell Gage, ATL at TB ($13): Gage's goose egg on two targets was just one of many ugly stat lines to emerge out of Atlanta's 32-6 season-opening loss to Philadelphia, but those who look his way despite that dud could be handsomely rewarded. Facing the stout Tampa Bay front and likely to be playing from behind as 12.5-point underdogs, the Falcons should air it out early and often. Gage is locked in as the Falcons' No. 2 receiver and saw double-digit targets in both games against the Buccaneers last year (totaling 14 catches for 159 yards and two touchdowns), making this a major buy-low opportunity.
DST: Cincinnati Bengals (at CHI, $10), New Orleans Saints (at CAR, $17)
CASH GAMES (H2H, 50/50s and DOUBLE UPS)
Justin Herbert, LAC vs. DAL ($33): Herbert and the Dallas defense both submitted Week 1 performances reminiscent of last season, which bodes well for Herbert's chances of outproducing his valuation. Despite facing a borderline elite Washington defense on the road, Herbert still passed for over 300 yards in the season opener after eclipsing that mark eight times in 15 games en route to AP Offensive Rookie of the Year honors in 2020. Meanwhile, the Cowboys allowed the fifth-most points per game (29.6) last year and gave up 379 yards and four touchdowns through the air to Tom Brady in their opener. Herbert's priced 10th among all quarterbacks in Week 2 but could easily deliver a top-five finish in this matchup.
Nick Chubb, CLE vs. HOU ($34): Houston looked much better than expected in Week 1, or maybe the Jaguars are just that bad. Either way, Cleveland's a significantly more talented team and should get ahead early and stay there as a 12.5-point home favorite. Such a game script would be favorable to Chubb, who sees most of the action on early downs while Kareem Hunt mixes in for passing situations. Chubb turned 17 touches into 101 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns against Kansas City, and a similar effort should be on tap here.
Elijah Mitchell, SF at PHI ($19): After rookie third-round pick Trey Sermon got most of the preseason hype, it was actually the rookie sixth-rounder Mitchell who worked as San Francisco's lead back in his NFL debut after Raheem Mostert exited early on with a knee injury that has since been determined to be season-ending. Sermon didn't even dress for the opener, and while JaMycal Hasty vultured a touchdown he got only two touches. Mitchell rushed 19 times for 104 yards and a touchdown against the Lions, and knowing how running backs have historically thrived in coach Kyle Shanahan's offense, the promising rookie may not remain as inexpensive as $19 for long.
Amari Cooper, DAL at LAC ($24): With the highest over/under of Week 2 (55 points), Cowboys-Chargers should feature plenty of offensive fireworks from both teams. Cooper thrived in such conditions in Week 1, racking up a career-high 13 catches to go with 139 yards and two touchdowns against Tampa Bay. Quarterback Dak Prescott has eclipsed 400 passing yards in four of his last five games, so getting exposure to Dallas' passing attack through Cooper, CeeDee Lamb ($23), or even Cedrick Wilson ($10) if you're on a budget, is highly advisable.
Nelson Agholor, NE at NYJ ($18): Even after dealing with an ankle injury coming in, Agholor produced a successful Patriots debut with five catches for 72 yards and a touchdown on seven targets against the Dolphins. Despite leading the Raiders' wide receiver group with 896 yards and eight touchdowns last season and now emerging as the top option in another underwhelming receiving corps, Agholor's being overlooked ahead of a Week 2 matchup with a Jets secondary that's much less formidable than Miami's. New York's inexperienced cornerback corps held its own better than expected against the Panthers in Week 1 yet still allowed 94 scrimmage yards to DJ Moore and a 57-yard touchdown to Robby Anderson. With excellent speed of his own, look for Agholor to get behind the defense once or twice like Anderson did.
Ja'Marr Chase, CIN at CHI ($20): Given how the top of this rookie wide receiver class took the league by storm in Week 1, it's possible the group is still undervalued altogether. Three wide receivers went in the top 10 picks of the 2021 draft, and all three of Chase, Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith scored a touchdown in Week 1. Chase was the first member of that group off the board at fifth overall, and he also had the best debut, catching five of seven passes for 101 yards and a touchdown. His upside is immense in Week 2 against a Bears defense that allowed three different Rams wide receivers to find the end zone in Week 1, with two of those receivers also reaching the 80-yard mark.
Dallas Goedert, PHI vs. SF ($14): Goedert's a steal at $14 given his prominent involvement in Philadelphia's offense. He finished with four catches for 42 yards and a touchdown in Week 1, with three of his five targets coming in the red zone. Big-name backup Zach Ertz is still on hand but was targeted just twice last week and has a barking hamstring, so he's little threat to Goedert's spot atop the depth chart. The 49ers defended tight ends well last season but were roasted for eight catches, 97 yards and a touchdown by Detroit's T.J. Hockenson last week.
Arizona Cardinals, ARI vs. MIN ($16): The key to dominating on defense is winning at the line of scrimmage, and the Cardinals did just that in their 38-13 drubbing of the Titans. Arizona added J.J. Watt in the offseason, creating one of the league's most dangerous pass rushes by putting him opposite Chandler Jones, who was limited to five appearances in 2020 by season-ending biceps surgery but returned in style with five (!) Week 1 sacks in Tennessee. The Vikings don't lack weapons, but they mustered only 24 points in 70 minutes against the Bengals last week, while this unit put up 16 fantasy points against the high-powered Titans offense.
DST: New England Patriots (at NYJ, $19), Cleveland Browns (vs. HOU, $16)