Whether your fantasy football team rocked Week 1 or struggled more than the Minnesota Vikings offense Monday night, attacking the weekly pool of free agents is an important part of the overall plan. Some position by position thoughts following Week 1.
Quarterbacks (Assuming Carson Palmer and Teddy Bridgewater are not available)
1. Marcus Mariota -- Wow. Calling that an impressive debut is like saying the movie "Titanic" once made some money at the box office. Mariota looked the part of an NFL quarterback and nothing like a player making his NFL debut. Don't expect four touchdowns each week, obviously, especially on a mere 16 pass attempts. Also, don't automatically rush to start Mariota this week in his second straight road game, though Cleveland didn't shine in its opener. Even owners with must start QBs can consider going for Mariota's upside, but don't go crazy with the auction dollars. Those with Cam Newton, Eli Manning and yes, even Peyton Manning and Tony Romo can spend a little more.
2. Alex Smith -- The poster boy for average fantasy QB rocked Week 1. The key here is the offense looked more formidable overall with Travis Kelce and Jeremy Maclin leading the receiver options compared to Dwayne Bowe last year. Far more solid than spectacular, but won't kill you most weeks either. Decent floor considering he'll run for yards.
3. Tyrod Taylor -- We saw the formula in the opener. Run for 40-50 yards, throw enough to keep the defense from focusing on LeSean McCoy and get the ball into hands of Buffalo's playmakers. Even though he won't throw 30-plus times most weeks, that's enough to give Taylor top 15 some weeks -- especially when Sammy Watkins get involved. Don't view Taylor as part of any QBBC, but rather a potential plug-and play option in the case of injury or bye weeks.
Others: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Mallet, Johnny Manziel -- The man from Harvard epitomizes streaky fantasy quarterbacks. Fitzpatrick tends to start strong before fading. Ride the wave for now in two-QB leagues.
Running backs (Assuming Bishop Sankey is not available)
1. David Johnson -- No way, Andre Ellington hurt already. Who could have imagined? OK, that's mean for Ellington owners and don't mean to pile on. Hopefully you were wise enough to back up the brittle runner with this Johnson rather than one many know as CJ2K. The rookie only had one touch in the opener, but he turned that into a 55-yard touchdown catch. If Ellington sits out this week, expect more work for the rookie. If you need help for Week 2, Chris Johnson is the best bet for touches. If you have other viable options, grab David Johnson's potential.
2. Ronnie Hillman -- Hillman should have been drafted in nearly all 12-team leagues. He offered potential Flex value considering coach Gary Kubiak's run-heavy approach -- and that was before Hillman matched C.J. Anderson with 12 carries and Peyton Manning's arm looked shot. Anderson owners shouldn't freak out about their guy losing his gig just yet, but everyone else should jump on Hillman and hope that's exactly what happens.
3. Dion Lewis -- Dominated the RB workload for the Patriots in Week 1, finishing with 15 carries for 69 yards and another 51 yards on four receptions. Now, trusting New England's RB distribution week to week isn't wise. LeGarrette Blount returns this week following a one-game suspension. He'll be the primary the runner and goal line threat, but Lewis looks like the new Shane Vereen. That gives him Flex appeal in PPR formats and potentially more depending on the matchup.
Others: Chris Johnson, Lance Dunbar, Benny Cunningham, Duke Johnson, Terrance West -- Duke Johnson arguably trumps all on this list other than David Johnson for ceiling. It shouldn't shock anyone if he emerges as Cleveland's starter at some point.
Wide receivers (assuming Pierre Garcon, Kendall Wright and Stevie Johnson are not available)
1. Terrance Williams -- Jason Witten, Cole Beasley and Lance Dunbar might end up with more receptions any given week, but Williams is now Tony Romo's primary deep threat. That also means more defensive attention. We'll see if he can handle, but for now bump up Williams into borderline WR2 territory.
2. Donte Moncrief -- This one is tricky considering we don't know if T.Y. Hilton (bruised left knee) will miss the Colts' Monday night matchup against the Jets. If he does, there is a strong case for Moncrief as Indy's top playmaking option. Andre Johnson exists, but the 34-year-old didn't exactly look spry in the opener. Moncrief actually one more target (11 to 10) than Johnson and finished 6-46-1. If Hilton is out, Moncrief becomes a potentially explosive WR3 option.
3. James Jones -- Aaron Rodgers works wonders. Jones goes from being dumped by the Raiders and Giants to grabbing two touchdowns in Week 1. However, he only had four targets and overall finished with 51 yards. Jones is a TD-dependant player. Considering his QB, that means he could become a viable weekly option. Don't go crazy cutting a player who struggled in their opener for Jones. For those who are just looking to upgrade their bench, Brandon Coleman and Cole Beasley (PPR only) offer more potential. Then again, there is nothing wrong with having a piece of the Aaron Rodgers offense.
Others: Brandon Coleman, Cole Beasley, Percy Harvin, Allen Hurns -- Coleman may emerge as New Orleans' second best fantasy WR behind Brandin Cooks before long. Add speedsters Tyler Lockett (Seattle) and Phillip Dorsett (Indianapolis) in deeper leagues, especially if players accrue points for special teams.
1. Tyler Eifert -- Depending on your league, tight ends outside the top-8 could have come off the board in almost any order. Eifert was my go-to target in that range and he rocked the Raiders in Week 1. Consider him a must-start unless you already own one of the better options.
2. Jordan Reed -- Talent is never the issue. Neither is opportunity considering how much the Redskins under Jay Gruden feed tight ends. As long Reed is healthy, he's a potential start -- at least in leagues that don't subtract points for penalties incurred. We kid, Jordan, we kid.
3. Austin Seferian-Jenkins -- Rookie quarterbacks throw passes to tight ends. This isn't breaking news, but a reminder. Jameis Winston can also target Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson, but ASJ looks the part of a future TE1.
Others: Eric Ebron, Ladarius Green, Darren Fells -- Green's value takes a hit once Antonio Gates returns from suspension. For now, he's a viable start in most formats.
Defenses -- Week 2 specific
Ravens at Oakland
Rams at Washington
Saints at Bucs
Chiefs at Broncos
Dolphins at Jaguars
Titans at Cleveland