One week of the fantasy football season is in the books and we have some defensive performances to dissect as we head into Week 2. While the season opener may shed light on what to expect from teams for the coming season, it’s also vital to not get too carried away with one game. With matchups playing a factor and noteworthy injuries impacting games, we break down which D/ST options you should start and which ones you should sit for Week 2.
Los Angeles Rams vs. Atlanta Falcons
No one expected the defending champions to get thoroughly outmatched the way they did last Thursday night, but the Buffalo Bills boast a super bowl contending offense. The Rams defense should be incredibly motivated to bounce back in a commanding fashion, which is great news for fantasy managers and bad news for the Falcons. Atlanta also ranked 25th last season with an -0.4 turnover margin per game, which is a plus for Los Angeles’ defense.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Dallas Cowboys
In Week 1, the Cowboys were the only team in the league to go without a touchdown scored, as they averaged just 3.8 yards per play. That was with quarterback Dak Prescott under center for most of the night, and now in Week 2, it will be Cooper Rush taking snaps in the pocket. The Cowboys could very well opt to stick to the ground game instead of stretching the field, which should keep the score low on their end. Even then, Dallas finished with just 71 total yards rushing in their Week 1 defeat. The Bengals should be motivated after a crushing Week 1 defeat and capitalize off potential turnovers from Dallas’ backup quarterback.
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Kansas City Chiefs
The Chargers defense compiled six sacks on Derek Carr in Week 1, while adding three interceptions and three forced fumbles as they finished with a top-5 fantasy scoring finish. The likelihood of replicating that performance against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs? Slim to none. Expect this to be a back-and-forth high-scoring affair, which means keeping the Chargers defense on the bench in Week 2.
Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers
The Bears limited Trey Lance and the 49ers to just 10 points in Week 1, while coming away with two sacks and a forced fumble that was recovered. Make no mistake, Chicago has the absolutely torrid weather conditions to thank for San Francisco’s low-scoring performance. In Week 2, they travel to Lambeau Field and await a motivated Aaron Rodgers coming off a dismal loss in their season opener. Rodgers should have a field day at Lambeau, much to the expense of the Bears defense, which fantasy managers should opt to sit in Week 2.