David Johnson remains a fantasy owner’s dream, accounting for all but two touches in the Cardinals’ backfield in Week 1 and having the talent to do special things with his opportunities. He’s not worth mulling over — he needs to be started no matter what.
The receiving corps is another puzzle altogether, with owners having to parse matchups to see who of Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd or John Brown needs to be started. Last week, I predicted Brown would be the odd man out and Fitzgerald would prosper. I’m inclined to predict the same for Week 2 against the Buccaneers’ undersized secondary, which will have its hands full with the mismatches Fitzgerald provides in the slot. He and Floyd are both solid WR2s for Sunday.
Carson Palmer wasn’t the turnover machine he was at the end of 2015, but he also wasn’t the MVP candidate preceding that time during Week 1’s loss to the Patriots. He was somewhere in the middle, which isn’t alarming against a perpetually underrated Patriots defense, but fantasy owners would have liked to see more. They should expect a bounce back against the Buccaneers on Sunday, but Palmer is more of a low-end QB1 until he flashes more of his early-to-mid 2015 form.
Until Brown and Jermaine Gresham garner more usage, they’re too difficult to trust in all formats. Keep them benched until further notice.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Mike Evans may get shadow coverage from Patrick Peterson on Sunday, but that isn’t written in stone. Even in that event, Evans has the talent to create something out of nothing and deserves to be started in all formats after popping off 99 yards and a long touchdown against the Falcons in Week 1. He is a solid WR2, but with a lower floor than usual.
Doug Martin also has his share of concerns against a defense that held LeGarrette Blount to just 70 yards on 22 carries, although the hulking back did find the end zone. Volume should be there for Martin to capitalize, but like Evans’ owners, Martin’s need to prepare themselves for a downside. Martin is an RB2.
Jameis Winston’s debut was about as good as he and his fantasy owners could have hoped for, tossing four touchdowns to four different receivers. He’ll have to play well against a tougher defense than the Falcons for any kind of positive narrative to form on him. He’ll certainly get that test in Week 2. Winston is a fringe QB1/QB2, but fantasy owners may be able to find capable quarterbacks with better matchups instead.
Vincent Jackson logging seven targets was encouraging, but it’s difficult to trust him until he can turn that into more than two catches for 18 yards.