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Thomas Rawls Among Fantasy RBs That Will Rise Again in Week 2

Scott Engel at shares a rundown of the top Fantasy players to start for Week 2.

Fantasy owners should not overreact to too much of what they saw in Week 1, as one slate of games does not give us enough of a sample size to determine true trends. Some proven or promising players did not live up to expectations in Week 1, but could bounce back in Week 2.

Thomas Rawls was not necessarily a disappointment in the opener, as he was not expected to handle a full workload yet. But like some other notable performers we'll mention here, his Week 2 output may be much better than what we saw in the season's first game. It has been confirmed that Rawls will return to the starting lineup for this week's game at Los Angeles, and after he showed his customary tenacity at times against Miami, he should be used with a lot of confidence as your Fantasy RB2. The Rams allowed San Francisco's Top 2 RBs to rush for three touchdowns and 96 yards last week. Rawls appears ready to again display the form that made him such a promising standout in his first NFL season last year. You should also continue to roster Christine Michael for Fantasy RB depth, as he will become a hotter Fantasy topic of conversation if he is pressed into more service at any time.

The biggest rebound candidate of Week 2 is Adrian Peterson, who was held to 31 rushing yards on 19 carries by the Titans. A very determined competitor with a lot of pride, Peterson will be fired up to bounce back in a rivalry game with the Packers. With Sam Bradford likely taking over at QB for Minnesota, the Vikings' offense should open up more and it's unlikely Peterson is going to be held down two weeks in a row.

Giovani Bernard was limited to 30 total yards in the opener, but should be much busier against Pittsburgh in what may be a pretty high-scoring game. Ezekiel Elliott rushed for just 51 yards against the Giants, yet he will be leaned on heavily against Washington. The Cowboys will want to utilize the running game to control the clock and keep the Redskins offense off the field as much as possible. Mark Ingram only had 58 rushing yards and did not score against the Raiders, but if the Saints engage in another high-scoring contest against the Giants, he should find the end zone at least once to finish off a productive drive.

Russell Wilson led a classic game-winning drive in the season opener last week, and his late TD pass to Doug Baldwin was his only scoring toss of the game. He will certainly face a formidable pass rush against the Rams, which is nothing new. But the Seahawks should own time of possession as their defense dominates, so he will have a lot of opportunities to put points on the board and Wilson will register at least respectable Fantasy totals. He is certainly a Top 12 Fantasy QB this week.

Cam Newton threw for just 194 yards with one TD and one interception in the opener, but did rush for a score, and he looks to be the top Fantasy QB of Week 2 as he takes on the 49ers. Kirk Cousins did not throw a TD pass and was intercepted twice by Pittsburgh, yet he should have a much easier time against the Cowboys and should show his better 2015 form. Andy Dalton did throw for over 300 yards against the Jets, but had only one TD pass and was intercepted once. Expect better overall totals vs. the Steelers, and three TD passes are certainly possible. Eli Manning is one of the top starts of the week against New Orleans. Derek Carr should build on a good opener as he takes on the Falcons.

Dez Bryant caught one pass for eight yards last week, but look for Dak Prescott to make a strong effort to get him the ball often and in big play spots this week. Emmanuel Sanders had 49 receiving yards in the opener. You have to like his matchup with the Colts, so consider starting him as a WR3. Jarvis Landry was limited to 59 yards by the Seahawks, and look for more statistical production against the Patriots. Among other WRs, Kelvin Benjamin should have another strong outing as he takes on the 49ers, and Jordan Matthews should fare very well against the Bears secondary. DeSean Jackson is a fine WR3 pick vs. Dallas, and Sterling Shepard is a good play vs the Saints. Mohamed Sanu (vs. Oakland) and Chris Hogan (vs. Miami) are quality choices as WR3 types also, especially in larger leagues.

Tyler Lockett caught three passes for 17 yards against the Dolphins. You can expect his numbers to swell against the Rams, as he should catch some quick hitters from Wilson as he releases the ball quickly against the Los Angeles pass rush. Baldwin continues to be a must-start and a regular TD producer, and he is again in top Fantasy WR2 territory this week. At tight end, Jimmy Graham caught a key pass late in the win over Miami. Continue to monitor his progress, as he is seemingly on track to returning to Fantasy starting status soon.

Gary Barnidge did not catch any passes in the opener, but with Josh McCown back at QB for the Browns, he should display his breakout 2015 form again as Cleveland meets Baltimore. Delanie Walker caught three passes for 42 yards in Week 1, and should be more productive against the Lions this time. Jesse James is a good plugger vs. the Bengals, and Coby Fleener has a good matchup vs. the Giants, so watch his progress to see if he becomes a bigger part of the Saints passing game this week.

When considering team defenses, the Eagles could be good for turnovers against the Bears, and the Texans can limit the output of the Chiefs. The Ravens should be solid as the Browns transition at quarterback.

*Scott Engel is a 20-year veteran of the Fantasy Sports industry and an inaugural member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association's Hall of Fame. For more in-depth advice and a full suite of Fantasy regular season information from Scott and the team at, register for the Xclusive Edge In-Season Fantasy Football package right here. readers get a special discount by entering promocode "seahawks" at checkout.   *

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