Posts Tagged ‘Jared Cook’

The first game of week 2 is already in the books, and most of week 1’s heroes have already seen a sharp increase in their fantasy ownership. But, there is still plenty of talent available for fantasy owners looking to bolster their rosters headed into the NFL’s second week. Below I’ve compiled a list (in no particular order other than being sorted by position) of players who are still available and have considerable upside for this week and/or the rest of the season. The parentheticals ()() beside each player’s name will give their ownership percentage in NFL.com and ESPN fantasy leagues respectively.

To be included on this list a player must be owned in less than 30% of leagues, though there are sometimes exceptions. If these names go a little too deep for your league or you’re wondering about some of the more popular pick-ups from this week you can check out my previous post, Five players that should be owned in all leagues. All right, enough intro, let’s get to some names:

Karlos Williams, RB, Bills (3.0% on NFL)(17.5% on ESPN) The Bills new coaching staff loves Williams, don’t believe me? They cut fan favorite Fred Jackson before the season to give Williams a better chance at getting on the field early. Follow a season opener that saw Williams log just 6 carries (which he took for 55 yards and a TD) they released Bryce Brown, who had been competing with Williams for the primary backup job. LeSean McCoy continues to be hampered by a hamstring injury and Williams physical running style fits what Greg Roman and Rex Ryan want to do on offense. If you’re counting on McCoy this season, Williams is a definite must own as he will be the guy in a run heavy offense if McCoy misses time, and if he can continues to run well, could become a well balanced dose of thunder to McCoy’s lightning.

Lance Dunbar, RB, Cowboys (2.9% on NFL)(13.7% on ESPN) With Dez Bryant sidelined for the foreseeable future with a broken foot, Dunbar’s Dallas teammate, Terrance Williams, has gotten a lot of the love from fantasy owners. But Williams he won’t be the only one who sees an increase in targets with Bryant on the sidelines. Dunbar caught 8 passes for 70 yards in the opener, clearly establishing himself as the passing down back. The Cowboys next 4 opponents are the Eagles, Falcons, Saints and Patriots, so passing downs may not be as hard to come by for big D as they were last year.

Brandon Coleman, WR, Saints (4.1% on NFL)(35.4% on ESPN) Coleman followed up an impressive preseason with a solid week 1 showing. Saints fans have been excited about the Rutgers product since he was signed following the 2014 NFL draft, and the fact that the Saints traded wide receiver Kenny Stills and cut Nick Toon (both of whom were expected to play big roles in the offense following the Jimmy Graham trade) should tell you how the coaching staff feels about Coleman. No one’s going to confuse him for Calvin Johnson, but at 6’6, 220 lbs. he’s a mismatch for defenses, especially in the red zone and will have value even if he continues to only play in three wide receiver sets. (His ownership on ESPN has spiked out of my usual range, but is still available in nearly all NFL.com leagues, so I figured he’s worth talking about.)

Tyler Lockett, WR, Seahawks (8.3% on NFL)(22.4% on ESPN) Lockett is must own if you’re in a league that counts return yardage. For the rest, he’s still a worthwhile target whose role will likely only expand in the Seahawks offense as he gets more game time under his belt. Lockett is a special sort of playmaker and looking at the impact he’s had so far I can’t help but think: this is the guy the Seahawks thought they were getting when they traded a first and a third round pick for Percy Harvin, this is the guy they thought they were getting when they drafted Paul Richardson in the second round of the 2014, this is the explosive playmaker they’ve been waiting for. Maybe I’m wrong, and he’s just a return specialist who never sees more than a handful of targets in the pass game, but the upside is tremendous and if you’ve got the roster spot, Lockett could be worth stashing for the next few weeks to find out.

Marlon Brown, WR, Ravens (0.1% on NFL)(0.6% on ESPN) It’s easy to make a case against Brown, he’s flashed potential, but never been consistent, the Ravens will likely be run first due to their limited weapons in the passing game, but at some point Baltimore will need someone to step up as a starter alongside Steve Smith Sr. and I think Brown is their best bet. He’s 6’4 with good speed, quickness and solid hands. As it stands he’s just not seeing many targets, but that should change with Kamar Aiken failing to impress in week 1. I like Brown’s chance to catch a TD this weekend if you’re looking for a dart throw player, but i’m more interested in what he could become as the season goes on.

Tedd Ginn Jr., WR, Panthers (0.4% on NFL)(1.8% on ESPN) There’s something encouraging about the fact that Ginn was targeted seven times in week 1…though it is equally discouraging that he caught only two of them for 54 yards…then again that’s a per catch average of 27 yards. I guess what I’m getting at is I really like the opportunity for Ginn, who remains a starter for Panthers, especially in this week 2 match-up with the Texans. It’s a big risk/big reward play to be sure, but if you’re desperate you could do a lot worse.

Jared Cook, TE, Rams (3.4% on NFL)(8.7% on ESPN) Nick Foles likes throwing to his tight end (remember Zach Ertz?) and Cook is one of the best pass catchers on the Rams. Despite their best efforts, the Redskins are still weak when it comes to pass protection in the middle of the field. In his last trip to FedEx Field, Cook caught 4 passes for 61 yards with 2 touchdowns. The Redskins proved stout against the run in week 1, so expect the Rams to be throwing, with plenty of targets going Cook’s way.

One to Watch: 

Ryan Grant, WR, Redskins (0.0% on NFL)(0.1% on ESPN) Okay this is a deep pull, with plenty of caveats, but keep an eye on second year receiver Ryan Grant. With DeSean Jackson missing the next few weeks Grant stands a chance at more playing time, and an outside chance at garnering a start. Andre Roberts is better known in Washington for his drops than his receptions and the team sees rookie Jamison Crowder as strictly a slot receiver for the time being. Grant has also shown chemistry with starting QB Kirk Cousins in the preseason. With Jackson out and TE Jordan Reed questionable, Grant is the ‘Skins next best shot at a reliable set of hands behind Pierre Garcon…it’s just a matter of whether or not the team will see it that way.

 

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Decided my original sleeper post was too long, so I’m breaking it down by position. Intro paragraph is always the same.

You know the story of the Princess and the Pea, right? Well, the gist is that there’s this princess who can’t sleep if you put a single pea under her mattress because it hurts her back…or something. Look, the point is, in your fantasy draft this year you are the princess (deal with it, it’s a good thing.) If you can find those players (or “peas”) buried deep in the draft (or “mattress”) you will be able to sleep easy knowing your fantasy roster is ready for anything…like say losing 3 of your top four picks in the first two weeks of the season (trust me, it happens.) So, without further confusion, I present, your peapods for the Tight End position:

Jared Cook, TEN: The biggest trendiest name at the biggest trendiest position. I have only one concern with Cook and it’s who wins the QB battle? Matt Hasselbeck has gone a long time without a serviceable tight end and if he’s under center Cook may slip into the background, BUT if Jake Locker can win the job I expect the two to pick up right where they left off in those last three games of the 2011 season in which Cook totaled 335yds and 1 TD. (that’s nearly half his yearly total in 3 games!) Cooke should be around in the 11th, but if Locker’s been announced you could go as high as the 8th for him.

Jermaine Gresham, CIN: From 2010 to 2011 Gresham saw his yardage increase by over 100 yards on just 4 more receptions (and one less game.) Gresham was drafted to be a receiving TE and that’s exactly how OC Jay Gruden intends to use him. AJ Green won’t surprise anyone this year, and should draw plenty of attention from opposing safeties which should leave Gresham wide open across the middle. I’m a little concerned about Andy Dalton slumping, but I see plenty of passing in Cincinnati’s future and Gresham should be this year’s main benefactor.

Owen Daniels, HOU: What always seems to kill Daniels value is his TDs. He’s never had more than 5 in a season and he’s only managed that twice. Some of that can be attributed to injury, which is another concern with Daniels. But since his rookie year he has not averaged less than 12 yards per catch and he finds himself in good position to see a lot of looks this year. Andre Johnson is coming back from injury, the run game is stronger than ever and Joel Dreessen has left for Denver leaving his targets for Daniels (with perhaps a few left over for James Casey who’s known to line up all over.) He won’t be the most consistent guy, but you also won’t need to spend any more than a 12th pick on him (assuming he even gets drafted) I think he’s a guy who’s slipped off the radar and could come back in a big way if the Texans are who we think they are.

Coby Fleener, IND: 6’6, 4.4 speed, limited WR group oh and he’s playing with his old college QB. The only thing that bothers me is that he’s actually being expected to produce solid number and I’m not ruling out Dwayne Allen as a key contributor.

Lance Kendricks, STL: I was big on Kendricks as a breakout star last year as the report was then OC Josh McDaniels was looking to get him on the field in all sorts of sets and take advantage of his rare size/speed combo to exploit defenses…it never really happened like that due to an anemic passing game and Kendricks wasn’t doing himself any favors dropping passes. This preseason the hype is gone, and the talent seems to have started showing. He’s had multiple catches of 20+ yards and a couple of touchdowns through the first 3 preseason games. I still want to see him in a game that counts, but the early signs have Kendricks high on my watch list.

Jacob Tamme, DEN: Not so much a sleeper, but he’s been slipping from headlines as the focus at Broncos camp is all about Peyton and his young WR. Peyton loves targeting tight ends and he’s had success with Tamme before, that could be a huge advantage and Tamme could end up on of the top TE by the end of the season.

Greg Olsen, CAR: I think I was year early on the Olsen bandwagon. I snagged him late in the draft last year sure that the rookie Newton would rely on his 6’5 TE over his 5’9 WR who was seemed to be declining. Missed big time on that one. Jeremy Shockey split the new QB’s favor with Olsen, and with his departure I look for Olsen to push 1000yds and double digit TDs…overly optimistic, but that was what Olsen and Shockey came up with combined last season, so there’s some precedent. Olsen will likely still go undrafted in many leagues, and should probably only be taken as #2 TE with big upside. (definitely worth the bench spot if your league allows TE’s as flex)

Tony Moeaki, KC: He’s still working his way back from an injury that cost him the 2011 season, but he showed flashes in 2010 as a rookie (he totaled a little over 500 yards and 3TDs in 16 games) Not wow numbers, but with Bowe and Baldwin on the outside Moeaki (and Kevin Boss) should find some running room over the middle. He’s another definite #2 with upside, but I think Cassel’s going to make good use of his TE.