After a very busy week 1, Week 2 arrives in the 2019 season, and it’s time to set those NFL lineups and gear up for a monster weekend of football.
As is the case when playing any fantasy sport, it’s imperative to hit on the high-priced players in your lineup. They require a big chunk of your salary, and when paying up for a player, you shouldn’t have to worry about him letting down your lineup.
Heading into the opening week of the NFL season, here are four studs who should prove to be worth their high price tag.
Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
Projected Points: 23.6
If you thought the Kansas City Chiefs’ offense had a chance to regress in 2019, a 40-point outburst against the Jacksonville Jaguars quelled any of those fears.
The Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes will take their talents out to Oakland, and they currently sport the second-highest implied team total at 30.0 points. The Raiders struggled against the pass last year, and after Week 1, they rank squarely in the middle of the pack at 16th (0.21 Passing NEP per play).
With all of those tailwinds at Mahomes back, expect another big performance this week.
Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints
Projected Points: 19.7
One thing we clearly learned from the New Orleans Saints’ heart-stopping opening-week win was something we already knew — Alvin Kamara will be a huge part of this offensive attack.
Kamara racked up 97 rushing yards and 72 receiving yards in a superb performance. He was not only heavily involved, he was highly efficient — he ranked 11th in Rushing NEP per carry (0.18), and his eight targets clocked him in third among running backs.
And let’s not ignore that the Los Angeles Rams were absolutely hammered on the run in Week 1 — Christian McCaffrey popped them for a 6.7 yards-per-carry average on his way to a 19-carry, 128-yard, 2-touchdown day. The Rams currently rank as the ninth-worst defense so far in 2019 (obviously a small sample).
Expect Kamara to put up a big offensive day against the Rams in a game that could be a shootout.
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans
Projected Points: 15.1
With the Jags’ defense missing folks like Myles Jack, this no longer looks to be the intimidating force that it was a season ago. DeAndre Hopkins could go nuclear in this Week 2 matchup if he can replicate what the Chiefs did a few days ago.
While Jalen Ramsey is certainly a stud corner, the Jacksonville secondary was roasted by Sammy Watkins for nine catches, 198 receiving yards and three scores in Week 1. That performance led to Jacksonville being the fourth-worst passing defense in the NFL in Week 1, per our numbers.
Among the 21 wide receivers with 10 or more targets in Week 1, Hopkins ranked sixth in Reception NEP per target (0.95), and his 13 targets tied him for second among all wide receivers.
Lock in Hopkins for another big Sunday effort.
T.J. Hockenson, TE, Detroit Lions
Projected Points: 7.5
After a record-setting performance in his first game as an NFL player, T.J. Hockenson could possibly replicate that performance this week.
Tied for the fifth-most expensive tight end in Week 2 (among healthy players), Hockenson racked up 142 air yards last week all while leading the Detroit Lions in receiving with six catches, 131 receiving yards and a score.
While the Arizona Cardinals defense that the rookie faced last week is likely one of the league’s worst units, he faces a Los Angeles Chargers team that was mediocre against the pass in the opening week, including nearly giving up a score to Eric Ebron on a touchdown that the Indianapolis Colts dropped.
With guys like Hunter Henry injured and not a ton of choices at the tight end slot, consider Hockenson at the position.