Week 2 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings: Are Puka Nacua and Zay Flowers must-start WR already?

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Before we get to the Week 2 rankings, here are my thoughts on some of the biggest questions facing the wide receiver coming out of Week 1: 

Is Puka Nacua for real? 

Nacua garnered positive reviews out of Rams camp all summer long, but the Fantasy community didn’t really take notice outside of deeper sleepers lists because he was just a fifth-round pick without an elite athletic profile. But he showed the ability to earn targets at a very high rate, something SportsLine’s Jacob Gibbs highlighted throughout the offseason:

Nacua went out and caught 10 of 15 passes for 119 yards and was this close to having an even bigger game:

It was just one game, but he ran routes on 35 of 39 snaps in his NFL debut and clearly had Matthew Stafford’s trust. Stafford looked terrific after a healthy training camp, and defenses are going to have to respect his ability and willingness to pull the trigger on deep passes. That should leave the short and intermediate areas of the field open for Nacua, who looks like the clearest Cooper Kupp analogue in this offense. Will he be a must-start, superstar Fantasy option moving forward? That’s unlikely, especially once Kupp is back, but I’ve moved him into the WR3 range for Week 2 already, and I think there’s a decent chance he ends up being the best waiver-wire option at the wide receiver position this season. I’m extremely pumped about what he showed. 

Is Drake London’s breakout already off the rails?

This kind of quote is fine when you’re winning, and the Falcons did, in fact, win Week 1 (against a bad Panthers team with a QB making his NFL debut, but hey, 1-0 is 1-0). But I don’t believe London is going to be happy with one target and no catches every week, and I certainly won’t be. But this is why I didn’t necessarily buy the idea that London was a Fantasy superstar in the making. Arthur Smith is ideologically committed to winning (or, you know, as has happened more in his career, losing) his way, and I just feel like that’s always going to lead to these kinds of games happening more than we want. You can say the Falcons are trying to win with the personnel they have, but they also chose to go into the season with Ridder as their QB, having made zero attempts to improve the position. This is how they want to play, and games like this aren’t a mistake. London will have better days ahead, I can’t help but feel like both he and Pitts are hurtling toward another disappointing season.

Is Calvin Ridley a WR1? 

He sure looked like it in Week 1, and that’s how I’m ranking him for Week 3. One thing that helped his case in Week 1 was the fact that the Jaguars consolidated their passing game, playing with two or fewer wide receivers on the field for 32 snaps, something they did just three times in 19 games last season. That left Christian Kirk as the odd man out, but it could also lead to higher-than-expected target shares for Ridley and Zay Jones if it remains the case. Every report out of camp indicated that Ridley was a legit No. 1 option in this offense, and that’s what we saw in Week 1. I don’t really see any reason to doubt him. The question now is simply, “How high should he be ranked?” I’ve got him ranked as WR7 for Week 2, and I’m not sure that’s high enough. 

Is Zay Flowers the Ravens WR1? 

I steered clear of the Ravens receiving corps in Week 1 because of the uncertainty over how they would deploy everyone, but there really wasn’t any ambiguity in Week 1: Zay Flowers was the clear go-to go, earning 10 targets on just 22 pass attempts. There was a clear decision to get Flowers involved in the offense early, with six of those 10 targets coming on screens, RPOs, or pop passes, where he was the only option in the passing game. That bodes well for Flowers and how the coaching staff views him, but I’ll also point out that it doesn’t necessarily mean Flowers is the kind of receiver who demands those kinds of targets in a more typical passing game. 

The Ravens were able to stick with the game plan and scheme up touches in a game where they were never really at risk of losing, but I do wonder what it looks like when they have to push the ball down the field more consistently. This was definitely a very promising debut for Flowers, but I’m not quite ready to declare him a must-start Fantasy option just yet. He’s a solid WR3, especially in PPR with those designed plays. But I’m not quite ready to anoint him the clear top target earner in this offense yet, especially coming off a game where Mark Andrews, a proven target hog, was inactive. 

Are any of the Chiefs WRs worth our time? 

I was way too high on Skyy Moore in Week 1, ranking him as a top-30 WR. I won’t be making that same mistake in Week 2, after he managed just two targets on 29 routes against the Lions. But it’s not like there was much else to be excited about here. Kadarius Toney earned five targets on his 11 routes, but … well, that was its own, very different disaster, as he had two drops, including one that led directly to a pick-six. If you want to be optimistic about anyone in this receiving corps, it would be rookie Rashee Rice, who ran just 12 routes but was targeted five times, found the end zone, and showed the YAC skills that made him productive in the preseason. I’m not starting anyone in this receiving group besides Travis Kelce, at least until one of these WRs emerges as more than just a rotation player. That may just not happen this season. 

Do you play in a deeper full-point PPR league? Over at Sportsline, Jacob Gibbs has you covered with full-point PPR position-by-position rankings for Week 1.

Here are my full rankings for Week 2 at wide receiver for PPR leagues: 

  1. Justin Jefferson @PHI
  2. Ja’Marr Chase vs. BAL
  3. Tyreek Hill @NE
  4. Amon-Ra St. Brown vs. SEA
  5. Stefon Diggs vs. LV
  6. CeeDee Lamb vs. NYJ
  7. Calvin Ridley vs. KC
  8. Davante Adams @BUF
  9. A.J. Brown vs. MIN
  10. Jaylen Waddle @NE
  11. Keenan Allen @TEN
  12. Tee Higgins vs. BAL
  13. Devonta Smith vs. MIN
  14. Chris Olave @CAR
  15. DK Metcalf @DET
  16. Tyler Lockett @DET
  17. Amari Cooper @PIT
  18. DeAndre Hopkins vs. LAC
  19. Deebo Samuel @LAR
  20. Brandon Aiyuk @LAR
  21. Chris Godwin vs. CHI
  22. Terry McLaurin @DEN
  23. Garrett Wilson @DAL
  24. D.J. Moore @TB
  25. Michael Pittman @HOU
  26. Jordan Addison @PHI
  27. Mike Evans vs. CHI
  28. Puka Nacua vs. SF
  29. Brandin Cooks vs. NYJ
  30. Michael Thomas @CAR
  31. Jakobi Meyers @BUF
  32. Jahan Dotson @DEN
  33. Mike Williams @TEN
  34. Zay Flowers @CIN
  35. Zay Jones vs. KC
  36. George Pickens vs. CLE
  37. Drake London vs. GB
  38. Courtland Sutton vs. WAS
  39. Marquise Brown vs. NYG
  40. Jaxon Smith-Njigba @DET
  41. Nico Collins vs. IND
  42. Christian Kirk vs. KC
  43. Elijah Moore @PIT
  44. Romeo Doubs @ATL
  45. Gabe Davis vs. LV
  46. JuJu Smith-Schuster vs. MIA
  47. KJ Osborn @PHI
  48. Kendrick Bourne vs. MIA
  49. Curtis Samuel @DEN
  50. Van Jefferson vs. SF
  51. Darnell Mooney @TB
  52. Treylon Burks vs. LAC
  53. Josh Reynolds vs. SEA
  54. Tutu Atwell vs. SF
  55. Rondale Moore vs. NYG
  56. Adam Thielen vs. NO
  57. Allen Robinson vs. CLE
  58. Robert Woods vs. IND
  59. Rashid Shaheed @CAR
  60. Allen Lazard @DAL
  61. Skyy Moore @JAX
  62. Rashee Rice @JAX
  63. Tyler Boyd vs. BAL
  64. Parris Campbell @ARI
  65. Kadarius Toney @JAX
  66. Darius Slayton @ARI
  67. Marquez Valdes-Scantling @JAX
  68. Donovan Peoples-Jones @PIT
  69. Rashod Bateman @CIN
  70. Odell Beckham @CIN
  71. Terrace Marshall vs. NO
  72. Michael Wilson vs. NYG
  73. Jonathan Mingo vs. NO
  74. Jayden Reed @ATL
  75. Tank Dell vs. IND

Odell Beckham @CIN

Allen Lazard @DAL

Terrace Marshall vs. NO

Michael Wilson vs. NYG

Jonathan Mingo vs. NO

Jayden Reed @ATL

Tank Dell vs. IND

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