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Week 2 Fantasy Tiers: Make Your Start/Sit Decisions With These Rankings

Week 2 Fantasy Tiers: Make Your Start/Sit Decisions With These Rankings article feature image

Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images. Ezekiel Elliott.

If you want to contend for your fantasy football championship, you have to be diligent about in-season management. And a big part of that is making start/sit decisions.

To help you start strategizing, I’ve outlined the early version of my Week 2 fantasy football rankings into tiers so you can better visualize the drop-off in expected production at each position.

As always. there will be a ton of volatility in how I adjust my rankings up until kickoff, so be sure to check my updated rankings before making final decisions. But for now, let’s dive into my Week 2 tiers!

Week 2 Fantasy Tiers

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QB | RB | WR | TE | K | DEF


Tier 1

Lamar Jackson (@ HOU)

Lamar gets this tier all to himself this week. He picked up right where he left off in 2019 with a 275-yard and three-touchdown game through the air in Week 1.

I expect his rushing stats to take a step back this season, but his 7/45/0 line against the Browns was likely due to the Ravens winning by 32 points. This week’s matchup against the Texans should be much more competitive and he’ll likely rush 8-11 times.

Tier 2

Patrick Mahomes (@ LAC)
Dak Prescott (vs. ATL)

Eighteen teams ran at least 10 plays with a lead in Week 1. The Chiefs had the third-lowest pass rate among those teams. It’s too small of a sample size to sound any alarms, but we’ll need to monitor it closely.

As for this week, Mahomes draws a tough matchup against the Chargers, who he failed to throw for 200 yards against in either matchup last season.

The Rams were able to operate a clock-eating offense that left the Cowboys offense on the sideline for much of Sunday night’s game — Dallas’ 24:22 time of possession was the third-lowest of Week 1. Dak should have a bounce-back game in what should be a shootout against the Falcons this week.

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Tier 3

Kyler Murray (vs. WAS)

Kyler flashed his rushing upside with a 13/91/1 line. More importantly, it looks like he and DeAndre Hopkins are already on the same page. Hopkins erupted for 14 catches and 151 yards. His presence will allow Murray to have Lamar Jackson-type spiked weeks this season.

Tier 4

Josh Allen (@ MIA)
Russell Wilson (vs. NE)
Deshaun Watson (vs. BAL)
Aaron Rodgers (vs. DET)
Matt Ryan (@ DAL)

We need to treat Josh Allen the same way we would treat Jameis Winston — it won’t always be pretty, but Allen will put up substantial numbers every week.

It looks like the Seahawks finally bought into #LetRussCook. I drafted him in quite a few leagues this season despite assuming that Pete Carroll would continue to limit his fantasy potential. It’s was too early to do a victory lap, but Russell looks on his way to a potential top-three season. He draws a tough test this week against the Patriots, though.

Aaron Rodgers looked great in Week 1, which could be a response to the Packers spending their first-round pick on QB Jordan Love. Maybe they played the long con in bombing their 2020 draft to motivate Rodgers to have a career year? Now he faces a Lions’ secondary for which all three starting cornerbacks are injured.

Tier 5

Tom Brady (vs. CAR)
Cam Newton (@ SEA)

Now, this tier is awkward — Tom Brady opens his Bucs’ career 0-1 while Cam Newton just led Brady’s former team to a 1-0 start.

Look for Brady to take his embarrassing Week 1 performance out on the Panthers. If he struggles again this week, then we can start to entertain concerns.

Newton’s body won’t be able to handle 10 or more rush attempts every week at this stage of his career. The Pats should have a more pass-heavy game plan this week against Seattle, which will give us a better idea of his rest-of-season outlook.

Tier 6

Carson Wentz (vs. LAR)
Matthew Stafford (@ GB)
Drew Brees (@ LV)
Ryan Tannehill (vs. JAX)
Mitchell Trubisky (vs. NYG)

Carson Wentz needs Lane Johnson to return this week, or Wentz may end up getting sacked another eight times — I wouldn’t blame you for benching him this week until their offensive line improves.

Drew Brees gets a pretty significant downgrade with Michael Thomas set to miss multiple games. According to NextGenStats, Brees had the lowest average Completed Air Yards (3.2) in Week 1. His diminishing arm strength at 41 could become a severe issue with MT out of the lineup. I’m worried we may see more Taysom Hill packages or even a Jameis Winston appearance at some point.

I would still consider Brees a fringe QB1/2 this week against an awful Raiders defense.

Tier 7

Jared Goff (@ PHI)
Ben Roethlisberger (vs. DEN)
Jimmy Garoppolo (@ NYJ)
Philip Rivers (vs. MIN)
Joe Burrow (@ CLE)

Jimmy Garoppolo has a pass funnel matchup this week against the Jets. However, he could be without George Kittle, who is dealing with a knee injury. If Kittle is ruled out, Jimmy G will fall to Tier 8 (I’ll tweet the updated version of my Week 2 tiers this weekend).

The Colts could be a more pass-heavy offense than anticipated. Philip Rivers attempted 46 passes in what was a very close loss to the Jaguars. We can’t overreact to one game, but I would say this is excellent news for all Colts pass catchers. Their Week 2 matchup has sneaky shootout potential as it looks like the Vikings defense is in deep trouble.

Tier 8

Kirk Cousins (@ IND)
Teddy Bridgewater (@ TB)
Derek Carr (vs. NO)
Baker Mayfield (vs. CIN)
Tyrod Taylor (vs. KC)
Daniel Jones (@ CHI)
Gardner Minshew (@ TEN)

It’s tough to trust any one of these game managers. One or two of them will likely finish as a QB1 this week, but the rest could leave you with a dud.

Teddy Bridgewater would be my pick from this tier — the Bucs have an elite run defense, so this should be a pass-heavy game script for the Panthers.

I’m sure having Gardner Minshew so far down in my rankings will raise some eyebrows. He was my favorite late-round flier at QB and looked great in Week 1. However, the Titans will likely dominate in time of possession in this matchup, so Minshew would have to be extremely efficient again this week to put up QB1 numbers.

I’ll have him much higher in my Week 3 rankings, when he faces the Dolphins.

Tier 9

Dwayne Haskins (@ ARI)
Ryan Fitzpatrick (vs. BUF)

Ryan Fitzpatrick has another tough matchup this week, and if he has another multi-interception game, I wonder if we could see a Tua Tagovailoa start sooner than later.

Tier 10

Sam Darnold (vs. SF)
Drew Lock (@ PIT)

I expect Lock to struggle against the Steelers’ elite defense and end up on quite a few waiver wires as a result. If you’re living the #StreamerLife, keep an eye out for him — he could end up being a sneaky Week 3 play against the Bucs, especially if Courtland Sutton is back in the lineup.

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Tier 1

Christian McCaffrey (@ TB)
Ezekiel Elliott (vs. ATL)
Derrick Henry (vs. JAX)

CMC’s brutal matchup against the Bucs forces him to share his tier with two other backs this week.

The Titans are 9-point home favorites against the Jaguars (check real-time odds here), which makes this the ultimate Derrick Henry game script.

week 2-fantasy-rb-rankings-running-backs-ppr-half-standard
Brett Carlsen/Getty Images. Pictured: Derrick Henry

Tier 2

Alvin Kamara (@ LV)

I expect the Saints to use Kamara even more as a pass-catcher with Michael Thomas out. Kamara should see a heavy workload against a poor Raiders defense.

Tier 3

Saquon Barkley (@ CHI)
Dalvin Cook (@ IND)
Josh Jacobs (vs. NO)
Aaron Jones (vs. DET)
Clyde Edwards-Helaire (@ LAC)

Josh Jacobs saw six targets in Week 1, which is excellent news to everyone who snagged him in the second round of drafts. He ran a route on 57% of Derek Carr’s dropbacks, which means we can expect about three receptions on average if Jacobs can keep up that usage.

CEH was impressive in his NFL debut with a 25/138/1 line on the ground. I’ve been talking up his pass-catching ability, yet he failed to record a single catch. He’ll have top-five upside once he becomes more involved as a pass-catcher.

Tier 4

Kenyan Drake (vs. WAS)
Nick Chubb (vs. CIN)
Jonathan Taylor (vs. MIN)

Nick Chubb was out-touched by Kareem Hunt in Week 1, 11 to 17. We should expect that type of split any time the Browns get blown out, but that won’t be the case in Week 2 against the Bengals — Thursday night should be a “Nick Chubb game.”

Jonathan Taylor was the No. 3 ranked RB in my Upside Ratings heading into the season. It took only one week to unlock his upside with Marlon Mack suffering a season-ending Achilles tear.

Taylor should provide low-end RB1 value from now on.

Tier 5

Raheem Mostert (@ NYJ)
Austin Ekeler (vs. KC)
Joe Mixon (@ CLE)
David Johnson (vs. BAL)
Ronald Jones II (vs. CAR)
Todd Gurley (@ DAL)
Chris Carson (vs. NE)

Ronald Jones is a “trust fall” RB2 play this week against a terrible Panthers defense. It’s only a matter of time until Leonard Fournette eats into Jones’ carries, but we should be able to trust Jones for one more week.

Chris Carson is tough to project this week. You would think that #LetRussCook coming to fruition would kill Carson’s value — he rushed only six times for 21 yards in Week 1. However, Carson hauled in six passes for 45 yards and two scores. I’m projecting him for 13.5 carries and three receptions this week as a low-end RB2.

We’ll have a much better sense of Carson’s expected usage after this week.

Tier 6

Kareem Hunt (vs. CIN)
David Montgomery (vs. NYG)
Melvin Gordon (@ PIT)
Malcolm Brown (@ PHI)
Miles Sanders (vs. LAR)

Malcolm Brown tricked everyone when he scored twice in Week 1 of 2019. It took him 13 more games to rack up his next two touchdowns. But this season’s two-touchdown performance in Week 1 is much different because a) Todd Gurley is no longer on the team b) Brown was used heavily as a pass-catcher.

I’m treating Brown as a low-end RB2 this week.

Miles Sanders’ hamstring injury held him out of Week 1, so my initial Week 2 projection for him is very cautious. Be sure to check out my updated tiers this weekend once we have a better idea of his health.

Tier 7

Nyheim Hines (vs. MIN)
Benny Snell (vs. DEN)
Devin Singletary (@ MIA)
Mark Ingram (@ HOU)
Zack Moss (@ MIA)
James Robinson (@ TEN)

Hines should offer RB3/Flex value with Marlon Mack out for the season — just keep in mind that Week 1 will likely be Hines’ highest-scoring game of the season.

Benny Snell will move up one to two tiers once James Conner is officially ruled out for Sunday.

Zack Moss
Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images. Pictured: Zack Moss

Zack Moss had three rush attempts inside the 5-yard line last week and also saw four targets. His overall numbers were underwhelming, but the underlying usage was very encouraging.

James Robinson looked great in his debut. The Jaguars will likely be playing from behind this week, so he’ll need to be more involved in the passing game to provide Flex value. Robinson saw only one target but ran a route on 39% of pass plays, so I would expect him to see two to three receptions this week if he can maintain that level of usage.

Tier 8

Latavius Murray (@ LV)
Adrian Peterson (@ GB)
Tarik Cohen (vs. NYG)
J.K. Dobbins (@ HOU)
Antonio Gibson (@ ARI)
James White (@ SEA)
Cam Akers (@ PHI)

Latavius Murray has the potential to provide Flex value with Michael Thomas out for several games. The Saints will need to get creative, which could involve using Kamara more as a receiver with Murray seeing an increase in snaps at RB.

Adrian Peterson looked great in Week 1 and gets a plus-matchup against Green Bay for Week 2. This Lions backfield will be a headache as long as all three backs are healthy, but I think you can trust AP for at least one more game if you’re in a pinch.

[Access Sean Koerner’s Full Week 2 Fantasy Rankings]

Tier 9

Frank Gore (vs. SF)
Alexander Mattison (@ IND)
Leonard Fournette (vs. CAR)
D’Andre Swift (@ GB)
Josh Adams (vs. SF)
Boston Scott (vs. LAR)

Frank Gore should get the start for Le’Veon Bell this week, but Gore will be in a timeshare with Josh Adams, so this is a situation to avoid.

Boston Scott was a huge Week 1 disappointment. He suffered an in-game injury and is now set to take a backseat to Miles Sanders. If an impatient Scott owner drops him over the next couple of weeks, though, I recommend scooping him up.

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Tier 1

Davante Adams (vs. DET)

Adams had a monster Week 1 line of 14/156/2. Now he faces a Lions defense for which every starting cornerback is injured.

Even if Michael Thomas was healthy right now, there was a chance Adams would have still edged MT out as my No. 1 WR this week.

Tier 2

Julio Jones (@ DAL)
DeAndre Hopkins (vs. WAS)
Tyreek Hill (@ LAC)

DeAndre Hopkins’ stock shot way up after his Week 1 performance. He was about an inch away from scoring a 34 -yard touchdown at the end of the game, but I think owners were happy with his 14/151/0 performance.

Hopkins is a top-three value this week against the Football Team.

DeAndre Hopkins
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images. Pictured: DeAndre Hopkins

Tier 3

Amari Cooper (vs. ATL)
Adam Thielen (@ IND)
Calvin Ridley (@ DAL)

It was nice to see Calvin Ridley get off to a fast start. He’s one of my most highly-owned WRs and I even have a 90-1 bet for him to lead the league in receiving yards. Michael Thomas’ injury has opened that market up considerably. Ridley is currently 12-1 on FanDuel.

It’s only a matter of time before I and every other analyst in the industry have Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley ranked inside the top-five WRs. Their Week 5 matchup against the Panthers will likely be the first time that happens.

Tier 4

Allen Robinson (vs. NYG)
Chris Godwin (vs. CAR)

Allen Robinson is apparently unhappy about his contract and possibly even demanding a trade. It’s a situation we’ll have to keep an eye on, but likely doesn’t impact his Week 2 outlook.

Chris Godwin is in the concussion protocol, so we’ll need to monitor his status.

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Tier 5

D.J. Moore (@ TB)
JuJu Smith-Schuster (vs. DEN)
Robert Woods (@ PHI)
Tyler Lockett (vs. NE)
Mike Evans (vs. CAR)
Marquise Brown (@ HOU)
Odell Beckham Jr. (vs. CIN)
A.J. Brown (vs. JAX)
D.K. Metcalf (vs. NE)
Will Fuller V (vs. BAL)
Terry McLaurin (@ ARI)
Kenny Golladay (@ GB)
Julian Edelman (@ SEA)
Cooper Kupp (@ PHI)

You can’t go wrong with anyone in this massive WR2 tier.

Kenny Golladay’s hamstring injury forced him to miss Week 1, so he could end up being a game-time decision for Week 2. I’ll be monitoring his status closely. Since his rank could fluctuate, be sure to check my updated rankings later in the week.

Tier 6

Emmanuel Sanders (@ LV)
Michael Gallup (vs. ATL)
TY. Hilton (vs. MIN)
CeeDee Lamb (vs. ATL)
DJ Chark (@ TEN)
Stefon Diggs (@ MIA)
Keenan Allen (vs. KC)
Jamison Crowder (vs. SF)

Emmanuel Sanders is set to become the Saints’ No. 1 WR in Michael Thomas’ absence and should be treated as a WR2/3.

CeeDee Lamb is going to be a WR2+ eventually, but it’ll be sooner than people think. With Blake Jarwin (torn ACL) out for the rest of the season, look for Lamb to see more targets over the middle.

Tier 7

Diontae Johnson (vs. DEN)
A.J. Green (@ CLE)
Jarvis Landry (vs. CIN)
Marvin Jones (@ GB)

Jarvis Landry is still working his way back from a hip injury. He’s on the WR3/Flex cusp this week, so I would lean towards sitting him on Thursday Night Football. I’m guessing that the short week will force the Browns to be extra cautious with him.

Generally, I tend to lean toward sitting TNF players whenever you have a close call.

remove juice-sports betting
Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images. Pictured: Jarvis Landry

Tier 8

John Brown (@ MIA)
Preston Williams (vs. BUF)
Tyler Boyd (@ CLE)
Robby Anderson (@ TB)
Sammy Watkins (@ LAC)
Darius Slayton (@ CHI)
Parris Campbell (vs. MIN)
DeSean Jackson (vs. LAR)
Sterling Shepard (@ CHI)
N’Keal Harry (@ SEA)
Mike Williams (vs. KC)
Henry Ruggs (vs. NO)

Robby Anderson, Sammy Watkins, Darius Slayton and Parris Campbell all saw their stock shoot up after Week 1.

Henry Ruggs, meanwhile, looked great before leaving with a knee injury. I’m never going to make a sit/start call four days out, but I would lean toward sitting Ruggs just in case his knee injury flares up in-game. If he seems closer to 100% by Sunday, though, I’ll move his rank way up.

Tier 9

Steven Sims (@ ARI)
Russell Gage (@ DAL)
Anthony Miller (vs. NYG)
Allen Lazard (vs. DET)
Brandin Cooks (vs. BAL)
Curtis Samuel (@ TB)
Laviska Shenault (@ TEN)
Corey Davis (vs. JAX)
Christian Kirk (vs. WAS)
Courtland Sutton (@ PIT)
Breshad Perriman (vs. SF)
Jerry Jeudy (@ PIT)

There are some reliable high-floor options in this tier — Steven Sims and Russell Gage lead the way in that regard.

Anthony Miller put up 4-76-1 receiving line in Week 1, but I would be cautious with him. He ran a route on only 55% of Mitchell Trubisky’s dropbacks. I would want to see Miller clear 70% in that metric before trusting him as a WR4/Flex in deeper leagues.

Christian Kirk finished with zero yards on one catch in Week 1. He ran a route on 88% of Kyler Murray’s dropbacks and is a bounce-back candidate for Week 2. Defenses will have to double-team Hopkins going forward, which should open things up for Kirk. I would buy low on him if you can.

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Tier 1

Travis Kelce (@ LAC)

George Kittle’s injury elevates Kelce’s value this week, so he gets the top tier all to himself.

Jamie Squire/Getty Images. Pictured: Travis Kelce

Tier 2

Mark Andrews (@ HOU)

I stressed all offseason that Andrews’ increase in playing time would help offset his expected regression in yards per catch and touchdown rate. Well, he ended up seeing a massive spike in routes run per dropback at 87% and managed to find pay dirt twice.

He’s more likely to jump up to Tier 1 than drop to Tier 3 going forward.

Tier 3

George Kittle (@ NYJ)
Darren Waller (vs. NO)

It’s impossible to rank Kittle right now. The 49ers have already said that he won’t practice this week, leaving the door open for him to play. Luckily they kickoff early on Sunday, leaving the door open for plenty of backup plans if Kittle is ruled out.

Jordan Reed would be a good stash for Week 2 since he would become a TE1/2 if Kittle is ruled out.

Tier 4

Jared Cook (@ LV)
Zach Ertz (vs. LAR)
Hunter Henry (vs. KC)
Tyler Higbee (@ PHI)

Jared Cook could see a considerable boost with Michael Thomas out while Tyler Higbee may get promoted to Tier 3 if Gerald Everett ends up missing Week 2 due to a back injury.

Tier 5

Evan Engram (@ CHI)
Dallas Goedert (vs. LAR)
Hayden Hurst (@ DAL)

Goedert was my favorite TE to target late in drafts due to his potential upside if Zach Ertz ever were to miss time. I also felt there was a non-zero percent chance Goedert could end up leapfrogging Ertz this season. We have yet to reach that point — nor do I think it’s likely — but the chances went up after Goedert erupted for a 8/101/1 line in Week 1.

It’s too early to panic with Hayden Hurst. He ran a route on 80% of Matt Ryan’s dropbacks, which is an excellent sign. Hurst likely had Jamal Adams covering him often, and Adams is great at shutting down TEs.

Look for Hurst to bounce back with a big game soon.

Tier 6

T.J. Hockenson (@ GB)
Noah Fant (@ PIT)
Mike Gesicki (vs. BUF)
Jonnu Smith (vs. JAX)
Logan Thomas (@ ARI)

Logan Thomas could be the 2019 version of Darren Waller. Thomas has always had the talent but may finally get his chance to breakout. And his underlying usage in Week 1 was fantastic: He ran a route on 86% of the dropbacks, making about four receptions per game very possible.

Tier 7

Austin Hooper (vs. CIN)
Jimmy Graham (vs. NYG)
Chris Herndon (vs. SF)
O.J. Howard (vs. CAR)
Jack Doyle (vs. MIN)

Austin Hooper should benefit from David Njoku (knee) going on IR. Expect Harrison Bryant to chip in as well.

O.J. Howard played in an even timeshare with Rob Gronkowski in Week 1, and Howard has the potential to pull away from Gronk if he continues to play at a high level.

O.J. Howard
Todd Kirkland/Getty Images. Pictured: O.J. Howard

Jack Doyle is due for some positive target regression this week. He ran a route on 70% of Philip Rivers’ dropbacks, yet saw a target on only four of Rivers’ 46 pass attempts. Expect Doyle to bounce back — he’s a sneaky TE streamer this week.

Tier 8

Rob Gronkowski (vs. CAR)
Greg Olsen (vs. NE)
Eric Ebron (vs. DEN)
Dan Arnold (vs. WAS)
Ian Thomas (@ TB)

Eric Ebron put up a dud on Monday Night Football. I wouldn’t write him off quite yet, though — he ran a route on 67% of dropbacks and could pop up as a streamer play again in the future if he has a plus matchup.

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Tier 1

Justin Tucker (@ HOU)

Tier 2

Harrison Butker (@ LAC)
Greg Zuerlein (vs. ATL)
Ryan Succop (vs. CAR)
Zane Gonzalez (vs. WAS)
Wil Lutz (@ LV)
Mason Crosby (vs. DET)

Tier 3

Rodrigo Blankenship (vs. MIN)
Stephen Gostkowski (vs. JAX)
Robbie Gould (@ NYJ)
Jason Myers (vs. NE)

Tier 4

Younghoe Koo (@ DAL)
Chris Boswell (vs. DEN)
Cody Parker (vs. CIN)
Ka’imi Fairbairn (vs. BAL)
Tyler Bass (@ MIA)
Dan Bailey (@ IND)
Jake Elliott (vs. LAR)

Jake Elliott
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images. Pictured: Jake Elliott

Tier 5

Cairo Santos (vs. NYG)
Nick Folk (@ SEA)
Sam Sloman (@ PHI)
Dustin Hopkins (@ ARI)
Matt Prater (@ GB)
Daniel Carlson (vs. NO)
Michael Badgley (vs. KC)
Joey Slye (@ TB)

Tier 6

Jason Sanders (vs. BUF)
Randy Bullock (@ CLE)
Josh Lambo (@ TEN)
Sam Ficken (vs. SF)
Graham Gano (@ CHI)
Brandon McManus (@ PIT)

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Tier 1

Buffalo Bills (@ MIA)
Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. DEN)
San Francisco 49ers (@ NYJ)
Chicago Bears (vs. NYG)
Cleveland Browns (vs. CIN)

Tier 2

Arizona Cardinals (vs. WAS)
Tennessee Titans (vs. JAX)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. CAR)
Seattle Seahawks (vs. NE)
Kansas City Chiefs (@ LAC)

Tier 3

Baltimore Ravens (@ HOU)
Green Bay Packers (vs. DET)
Los Angeles Rams (@ PHI)
Philadelphia Eagles (vs. LAR)
New Orleans Saints (@ LV)
Dallas Cowboys (vs. ATL)
New York Giants (@ CHI)
Miami Dolphins (vs. BUF)
Cincinnati Bengals (@ CLE)

Tier 4

Indianapolis Colts (vs. MIN)
New York Jets (vs. SF)
Minnesota Vikings (@ IND)
New England Patriots (@ SEA)
Washington Football Team (@ ARI)
Denver Broncos (@ PIT)
Jacksonville Jaguars (@ TEN)

Tier 5

Atlanta Falcons (@ DAL)
Las Vegas Raiders (vs. NO)
Carolina Panthers (@ TB)
Los Angeles Chargers (vs. KC)
Houston Texans (vs. BAL)
Detroit Lions (@ GB)

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