Two weeks in and fantasy football is already flipping the script. After an offseason that saw wide receivers become all the rage and overtake running backs in the first round of drafts, Week 2 was a bad one for many of the game's top receivers. Antonio Brown, A.J. Green and Allen Robinson were all horrible disappointments.
There's little reason to believe those players will keep disappointing, so fantasy owners shouldn't panic with them just yet. For the mid-level receivers, you have to weigh things like matchups, trends and sometimes just gut instinct. We'll offer up three recommended starts for you at receiver, while advising caution with three others.
Marvin Jones, Detroit Lions (@ Green Bay Packers)
Jones has supplanted Golden Tate as Matthew Stafford's No. 1 receiver, picking up 12 catches for 203 yards and a touchdown. It looks like he's here to stay as a WR2, proving bargain value to fantasy owners who drafted him in the later rounds. Jones is now an every-week starter and has a high ceiling against the Packers, who are missing Sam Shields and Morgan Burnett in the secondary.
DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins (vs. Cleveland Browns)
After sitting out Week 1 with a hamstring injury, Parker returned last week and immediately gave the Dolphins' offense a boost, finishing with eight catches for 102 yards. Most of that came with Miami playing from behind, but Parker has shown enough to be in the game-plan every week as long as he's healthy. He has WR2 upside against Cleveland's defense this week.
Sterling Shepard, New York Giants (vs. Washington)
There can be no doubt now -- Shepard is going to play a big role in New York's offense. Operating as the clear No. 2 receiver next to Odell Beckham Jr., the rookie burned the New Orleans Saints for 117 yards. Washington won't be quite as forgiving a matchup as the Saints' defense, but Shepard will still be on the WR3 radar.
John Brown, Arizona Cardinals (vs. Buffalo Bills)
Brown entered the season as a candidate to make a third-year leap, but that hasn't transpired so far -- he has just two catches for 22 yards in two games. Fantasy owners don't need to cut bait, because Brown is still the No. 3 receiver in an explosive offense. But they should keep Brown on their benches until Carson Palmer starts throwing to him some more.
Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers (vs. Lions)
The Packers' offense still looks anemic despite getting Jordy Nelson back and Cobb's cold streak continues from last year. Although he has 11 catches in two games, he's averaging just 9 yards per reception and has yet to find the end zone. The Lions are a tempting matchup on paper, but Cobb isn't an inspiring WR3 play with Aaron Rodgers in a slump of his own.
Sammy Watkins, Buffalo Bills (@ Cardinals)
The Bills haven't ruled out Watkins for Week 3 and are hoping he'd be able to suit up. But even if Watkins is active, we still recommend sitting him. His foot hasn't been right all year and at this point we start wondering when Watkins gets shut down. The Bills are a mess and the offense should be avoided in fantasy, particularly against the Cardinals.