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Fantasy Football Week 2 preview: New England Patriots vs. New Orleans Saints

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Everything you need to know about what this Sunday’s showdown between the New Orleans Saints and New England Patriots to set your fantasy roster.

Kansas City Chiefs v New England Patriots Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Throw your ESPN draft grades out the window, kids, it’s Week 2 and we all know the person with an A+ draft never actually wins the Super Bowl.

Here’s all you need to know for Week 2: New England’s offense vs. New Orleans defense. Start all your Patriots.

Ok, good talk everyone, and good luck.

Just kidding, just kidding. Because we’ll have a whopping 10 days in between last week’s embarrassing loss to an underrated Kansas City Chiefs team and Sunday’s game, you’ll have plenty of time to tweak your fantasy lineup to achieve maximum domination and hopefully move to 2-0 on the season - or, like the Patriots, hope to enter Week 3 at 1-1. Gotta start somewhere, right?

First off, a few things everyone should know about the game.

Where is it?

New Orleans, LA - Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

It’s a dome. Both teams are going to feel good slinging it around, especially since the Saints love their downfield shot plays.

When is it?

1:00pm Eastern Standard Time. You’re going to have to make a call on whether to start your Pats and Saints early, which kind of sucks, but given that this game could very well end up a shootout, don’t worry too much.

On to the players. I’m assuming I don’t need to tell you to start Tom Brady or Drew Brees if you ponied up a high-round draft pick and have either of them. Let’s hit the running backs first.

(FYI, for positional rankings, I’m going off Fantasy Pros, which aggregates a whole bunch of expert rankings. You probably knew that already, and if you didn’t, congrats, Pats Pulpit just made you smarter. You’re welcome.)

Running backs

Mike Gillislee, RB (NE)

Standard Scoring Rank: 17th in running backs

PPR Scoring Rank: 22nd in running backs

Notes: It’s telling that Gillislee was in for pretty much every goal line and short-yardage situation the Patriots were in last week. Belichick and McDaniels seem to be favoring Rex Burkhead and James White as far as moving the ball between the 20s goes, so Gilly’s looking touchdown-dependent, but ESPN has him projected at 8 points, which sounds about right if he can find the end zone.

James White, RB (NE)

Standard Scoring Rank: 32nd in running backs

PPR Scoring Rank: 26th in running backs

Notes: James White actually led the Patriots in running back snaps last week, including 10 carries on the ground. He’s not just a scatback anymore!

Rex Burkhead, RB (NE)

Standard Scoring Rank: 53rd in running backs

PPR Scoring Rank: 54th in running backs

Notes: Don’t bother until Rex shows us something.

Same goes for Dion Lewis, actually.

Adrian Peterson, RB (NO)

Standard Scoring Rank: 42nd in running backs

PPR Scoring Rank: 48th in running backs

Notes: AP played 9 snaps and got 6 carries last week.

Mark Ingram, RB (NO)

Standard Scoring Rank: 23rd in running backs

PPR Scoring Rank: 19th in running backs

Notes: Ingram hit double-digit points in standard scoring last week, so he’s still worth a play, unless you’re worried about the Saints running back that lead the team in snaps last week...

Alvin Kamara, RB (NO)

Standard Scoring Rank: 44th in running backs

PPR Scoring Rank: 41st in running backs

Notes: Yup, Kamara played the most snaps of all three Saints backs last week, with 31 snaps to Ingram’s 26.

Wide receivers

Brandin Cooks, WR (NE)

Standard Scoring Rank: 5th in wide receivers

PPR Scoring Rank: 5th in wide receivers

Notes: You’re starting Cooks, end of story. Don’t overthink it.

Chris Hogan, WR (NE)

Standard Scoring Rank: 32nd in wide receivers

PPR Scoring Rank: 36th in wide receivers

Notes: Hogan was on the field for 73 snaps last week, but only got 5 targets and caught one pass for 8 yards.

Danny Amendola hasn’t practiced all week after his concussion, so he’s probably out. It’d be worth checking on Sunday morning to see if Danny’s active, though. And if you’re considering Phil Dorsett, you’re either too clever for your own good or you’re in big, big trouble.

Michael Thomas, WR (NO)

Standard Scoring Rank: 8th in wide receivers

PPR Scoring Rank: 8th in wide receivers

Notes: Be careful here - Thomas is a beast, but he’ll more than likely draw coverage from either Stephon Gilmore, Malcolm Butler, or Eric Rowe with varying degrees of safety help over the top. You’re probably starting him regardless, just be aware.

Ted Ginn, WR (NO)

Standard Scoring Rank: 36th in wide receivers

PPR Scoring Rank: 37th in wide receivers

Notes: He’s the same deep threat with sketchy hands that you know and love.

Willie Snead is still suspended, and we’re not going to bother with Brandon Coleman or Tommylee Lewis.

Tight Ends

Rob Gronkowski, TE (NE)

Standard Scoring Rank: 1st in tight ends

PPR Scoring Rank: 1st in tight ends

Notes: You know what to do.

Dwayne Allen, TE (NE)

Standard Scoring Rank: 27th in tight ends

PPR Scoring Rank: 29th in tight ends

Notes: Honestly, Allen isn’t even worth a roster spot right now.

Coby Fleener, TE (NO)

Standard Scoring Rank: 11th in tight ends

PPR Scoring Rank: 10th in tight ends

Notes: Coby was 5 for 6 on targets last week and caught a touchdown for a tidy 11 points in standard scoring.

Defense/Special Teams

If you start either the Saints or Patriots defense this weekend, you deserve whatever happens to you.

Good luck!