Posts Tagged ‘week 2’

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.

 

Advertisements

This is a waiver wire pick-up column of sorts. Seeing as many fantasy football leagues have already processed their waiver claims for week 2, and nearly all others will have by the time this is published I’m putting these 5 names that exceed my threshold of >30% ownership to qualify for my weekly pick-ups column but are still out there in some leagues. These are guys who’s week 1 success should carry through the rest of the season and as such deserve to be owned in all leagues regardless of size. The numbers I’ve posted are accurate as of Wednesday night, but will likely have changed once Thursdays waivers post. I’ll do my best to update in the morning.

Percy Harvin, WR, Bills (33.6% on NFL)(57.5% on ESPN) – Coming into the season the lack of buzz around Percy Harvin confused me. This is the same guy who was a mid-season MVP candidate a few years ago with Christian Ponder throwing him the ball. He’s the guy who rejuvenated the Jets, Geno Smith led, offense the second half of last season. He followed Rex Ryan to Buffalo. Oh, and he made his young QB look good with a diving touchdown grab. He won’t always score and the numbers won’t always pop off the screen, but defenses will continue to key in on Sammy Watkins ensuring that Harvin maintains fantasy value as a risk/reward flex play.

Terrance Williams, WR, Cowboys (39.7% on NFL)(66.1% on ESPN) With Dez Bryant out for what could be 6 to 8 weeks, Williams takes over as number 1 on the Cowboys wide receiver depth chart. Williams likely won’t see as many targets as Dez would, and certainly should not be expected to put up top 5 fantasy numbers, but he should see enough targets to make him a solid starter. Williams is a talented young player who disappeared into the shadow of Dez Bryant and the power running game last season, so expect him to capitalize on his time in the spotlight, starting in week 2 against the Eagles (though after getting torched by Julio Jones, Byron Maxwell has plenty to prove as well.)

Stevie Johnson, WR, Chargers (13.1% on NFL)(43.2% on ESPN) The difference in ownership on the two sites is a bit staggering, but likely mostly related to bench size. In any case Johnson was targeted 6 times, caught all 6 passes and scored a TD, and that was in a game that saw Keenan Allen catch an absurd 15 passes. Like with Harvin there’s sure to be some games that disappoint, but Johnson is a big bodied target with reliable hands who can move around the formation. He should continue to be a favorite for QB Philip Rivers at least until Antonio Gates suspension ends and even beyond, though a reevaluation may be necessary following week 4. 

Tyler Eifert, TE, Bengals (47.0% on NFL)(70.5% on ESPN) In 2013 it was Marvin Jones, last year it was Mohamed Sanu, and at least through week 1 of the 2015 season it appears that Eifert will claim the role of Andy Dalton’s preferred #2 pass catcher. Actually, Eifert topped even the newly resigned AJ Green, leading the team with 9 receptions on 12 targets for 104 yards and 2 TDs. While it’s possible we’ve already seen Eifert’s best fantasy output of the season he should continue to be a reliable target in the middle of the field and finally have the breakout season analysts predicted for him last year, before his season was wiped out by injury.

Dion Lewis, RB, Patriots (11.5% on NFL)(31.7% on ESPN) A bit borderline for the ‘must own in all leagues’ category, but I don’t think we’ve heard the last of Lewis. He benefitted big time from the absence of LeGarrette Blount in week 1, but given his versatility and Bill Belichick’s penchant for messing with fantasy owners who think they’ve figured out the backfield, I’d expect Lewis to see his share of snaps going forward. Of course I’d be remiss not to mention that Lewis did have a red zone fumble and repercussions may still be to follow.

 

Finally thought up a clever (read: cheesy) title for a weekly pick-ups column, Woo!

Since I’m already a week late let’s jump right in, starting with TEs. Hernandez went down, Fred Davis needs a road flare to catch RG3’s eye and Antonio Gates has already missed time. Here’s the guys I like.

Martellus Bennett, NYG: in week 2 Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks combined for 378 yards and 2 TDs and Bennett still had 77 yards and a TD. Long story short, the Giants are going to throw a lot and Bennett will continue to benefit from the extra attention Cruz and Nicks will see.

Dennis Pitta, BAL: Flacco is looking for him often, so this is a guy who’s especially valuable in PPR leagues. With Ed Dickson lurking, and questions about Flacco’s consistency you might be leery of him, but Pitta’s going to find himself open over the middle plenty with Torrey Smith pulling the safeties his way.

Kyle Rudolf, MIN, the numbers haven’t been huge just yet, but he’s one of Ponder’s favorite targets and he’ll get lots of red zone looks. Tough match-up with San Francisco in week 3, but he should continue to get solid production after that.

Scott Chandler, BUF: Best known as the TE who dominated week 1 last year the kind of dropped off the fantasy radar. Well he’s back with a TD in each of the first two weeks and some modest yardage (38 and 53 respectively) he had 6 TDs in 14 games last year, and should remain a top Red Zone target, and he’ll have some great weeks, but he’ll have some bad ones too.

Brandon Myers, OAK: He’s been a top target for QB Carson Palmer the first two games, and with Jacoby Ford missing from the slot he could continue to dominate the middle of the field. I think people are afraid to trust Myers because if Darren McFadden can get his groove back it will cut back Palmer’s attempts while simultaneously opening up the outside deep routes with opposing safeties cheating up to contain the run…until that happens Myers will keep producing.

Not much doing if you’re in the market for a running back. But I’ll put some handcuff updates here.

Andre Brown, NYG: took over after Bradshaw went down and could be a guy to target if Bradshaw can’t go next week.

Jackie Battle, SD: Good name to watch as he put up decent numbers in relief of Curtis Brinkley. If the Chargers hold Mathews out Battle might get the nod, if not he should at least get any goal line looks, so if you’re a Matthews owner who’s been trying to make due with ronnie Brown he’s worth a shot.

Daryl Richardson, STL: Now looks like the Steven Jackson handcuff over Isaiah Pead. Jackson left the Redskins game with a groin injury, so if you have Pead stashed on your bench you may want to make the swap.

Kendall Hunter, SF: Still the back-up to a seemingly unstoppable Frank Gore. Gore’s had 17 and 19 touches in weeks 1&2 he’ll likely stay in that 15-20 range most of the season, but Hunter is the one getting the touches Gore misses and he’ll carry the load if Gore misses any time.

Now, Wide Receiver is shaping up to be as deep as promised.

Brandon LaFell, CAR: Is looking good…ranted it’s so far been against two teams who’ve given up a lot of passing yards in both this year’s appearances (Bucs and Saints) but hey, Panthers play the Giants next week, so he should be good for at least one more week.

Andrew Hawkins, CIN: He was a trendy name especially for PPR players after an 8 catch 86 yard week 1. The follow up wasn’t quite so impressive with only 2 catches for 56 yards, but one of them was a TD scamper off a short pass. He’s a home run threat and a security blanket, he’s worth a roster spot especially with an Orakpo-less Washington and Miami next up on the schedule.

Donnie Avery, IND: The Colts will not be ahead in a lot of games. That means Andrew Luck will have to throw a lot and with Fleener and Allen needed to help block and defenses focused on Reggie Wayne look for Avery to continue making plays.

Brandon Gibson, STL: So, if you read my preseason stuff, you saw I had Brian Quick as a sleeper if he could with the Rams starting job…well as it turns out that job went to Gibson, and he doesn’t look willing to give it up. He’s got 50+ yards and a TD in two straight games. The Bears are next up on the schedule, and after the Packers game I’m nervous, and if Danny Amendola is still available in your league he’s the one you want, but Gibson’s performance makes him worthy of at least a look.

Dexter McCluster, KC: Mostly a PPR consideration as I don’t see him reaching the end zone often and his yardage alone won’t be enough most weeks, but Cassel likes him and Jon Baldwin hasn’t been nearly as involved in the pass attack as I’d hoped.

Brian Hartline, MIA: He needs to be mentioned after a 110 yard outing, but don’t get too excited. Hartline will continue to see plenty of targets, but the Raiders defense is bad. The Dolphins get the Jets in week 3 and Cardinals in week 4…I wouldn’t want him in my line up until at least week 9 against the Colts. (actually not a bad schedule the rest of the way after that)

Mohammed Massaquoi, CLE: With Buffalo up next on the schedule, I think he could be interesting if you need some one. He seems to have decent chemistry with Weeden and the Bills have shown you can throw on them.

Oh, and if you’ve been losing games by just a few points, you kicker may be to blame. Here’s the guys you should be looking at.

Justin Tucker, BAL: in just two weeks he’s got 7 PATs and 6 FGs, 5 of which have been from 40+ (two from 50+) and yet he’s owned in only 5% of NFL.com leagues. The opportunity is going to be there. (just for some perspective Tucker currently has outscored Jamaal Charles by 19 points through two weeks)

Greg Zuerlein, STL: Liked this guy since I heard him being talked up during the preseason. 6th round draft pick, the team loves him, and he’s got a strong leg. The Rams offense isn’t the high powered attack the Ravens have but with an improved defense and Sam Bradford playing well they’ll be in field goal range enough for young GZ (clubhouse nickname, not mine) to put up some solid fantasy numbers.

Blair Walsh, MIN: Another guy I got sold on after preseason. I heard the GM talking him up, and after his 16point week 1 I decided to drop Josh Scobee and give him a shot. Walsh outscored Scobee 10 to 1 (in fairness Walsh was against the Colts, while Scobee had the misfortune of playing the Texans D) point is Minnesota, like St. Louis should find itself in scoring position on enough drives to give their rookie ample opportunities.

Connor Barth, TB: like the 3 above he’s got double digit points in the first two weeks. The offense in Tampa should continue to provide Barth with opportunity and according to NFL.com he’s made 20 consecutive kicks dating back to last year (only 5 so far this year)

I’m going to add a D/ST here

Arizona Cardinals: Coming off a big win against the Patriots, they’ll be a trendy add, but they get the Eagles in week 3 and Dolphins week 4. They’re better than you think.