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Have you ever had a new neighbor move in next door and throw a huge housewarming party? No big deal as long as they invite you to the party, right? But when you don’t get an invitation and they’re up into the wee hours of the morning blaring Garth Brooks, then there’s trouble-a-brewing. That’s pretty much what happened when Urban Meyer arrived in Jacksonville and decided to give Carlos Hyde 9 carries and James Robinson just 5 carries in week 1. As a James Robinson supporter, I have to admit I was a bit unsettled by the late-night Carlos Hyde music, and more than a little nervous about what the future might hold with Urban Meyer now living next door. But Robinson was on the field for twice as many snaps as Hyde in that week 1 contest, so no need to call in a noise complaint just yet. Robinson posted another disappointing fantasy line this week against Denver, but the silver lining here is that he out-touched Hyde 14 to 2. And don’t forget Denver has a very solid defense which limited Jonathan Taylor to just 51 rushing yards on 15 carries in week one. The Robinson owner is likely disenchanted by this poor early fantasy production from J-Rob, so put some feelers out there and see if you can take advantage of early-season frustration and impatience. Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy football:
Saquon Barkley – Saquon almost took the lede this week after a crowd of angry Redditors told me Barkley stinks and they’d much rather have Joe Mixon after I ranked the Giants’ RB #9 last week in my rest of season rankings. Remember, this is a freak athlete who underwent ACL surgery less than 11 months ago. He’s not at full strength yet and should improve with each week of practice. Plus, the Giants’ offense just proved they aren’t complete garbage against a good Washington defense. Give me Saquon over Mixon 12 times out of 10.
Jonathan Taylor – The Colts’ schedule softens a bit moving forward after facing tough matchups against the Seahawks and Rams in the first two weeks. I may have overestimated Taylor’s workload when I ranked him in my top tier of RBs this preseason, but I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t finish among the top 10 fantasy running backs this year. And if Frank Reich stops inexplicably giving the ball to Marlon Mack, then the #1 overall upside is still within reach.
Alvin Kamara – I doubt the Kamara owner in your league is panicking after one terrible week. But hey, it never hurts to throw some chum out there and see if you can get anything on the hook.
Javonte Williams – The Broncos rookie continues to lead the way in the Denver backfield in the early going, and the buy-window continues to remain open as Melvin Gordon takes half the work. It’s only a matter of time before Williams erupts for 100 yards and a couple of touchdowns.
Sony Michel – As of this writing, it’s still to be determined how severe the Darrell Henderson rib injury is. Regardless, Michel looked sharp on his 10 carries filling in for Henderson late in the game. Even if the Rams’ top RB is ready to go in week 3, there’s a good chance Michel is a bigger part of the game plan moving forward.
Cordarrelle Patterson – It’s hard to ignore the role C-Patt has claimed in the Falcons offense through two weeks (14 carries and 8 targets), not to mention the fact that he just found the endzone twice this week. Consistent weekly production is possible, but not something I’m banking on as long as Mike Davis is healthy. Regardless, he’s a running back who can be slotted in at wide receiver on most platforms and if Davis were to get hurt there would be enormous value in that.
Michael Carter – The Jets rookie RB has been eased into the offense, but impressed in week 2 with 11 carries for 59 yards and 2 catches for 29 yards plus a couple carries down by the goal line. There’s a chance the talented youngster takes over this backfield moving forward and he has serious upside if he does. I’m betting on it.
JaMycal Hasty – In two weeks the 49ers have gone from 12 running backs down to one running back. Keep an eye out for news on the severity of Elijah Mitchell’s shoulder injury and Trey Sermon’s concussion when deciding how aggressive to pursue Hasty this week, if he’s available in your league. Also, if you have a deep bench or open IR slot, don’t forget to stash Shanahan favorite, Jeff Wilson, for his mid-season return. Edit: It’s been brought to my attention that Hasty go hurt late in the game as well and is dealing with an ankle injury himself. He’s still a buy until we know more but monitor this whole mess closely.
Alexander Mattison – Dalvin Cook suffered a late ankle strain which limited him down the stretch in the Vikings’ tough fought battle in Arizona. It seems likely that he’ll be good to go for week 3 against Seattle, but you never know how something like this will feel the next day and thus Mattison should be added everywhere, just in case. The Vikes’ backup immediately leaps into RB2 discussion if Cook misses time.
Myles Gaskin – This is about as lukewarm of a buy suggestion as I’ll ever give, like when I told EverywhereBlair to invest in those dragon egg NFTs. Sorry, Blair! The Dolphins’ talented young QB is injured and Gaskin is splitting carries with BOTH Salvon Ahmed and Malcolm Brown. It’s not great! But there’s a chance he’ll be dropped in a bunch of leagues after this slow start and I’m fairly confident he’s the best option in the Dolphins backfield. I wouldn’t give up a lot to acquire Gaskin, but he’s certainly worth a roster spot still.
Emmanuel Sanders – The 14 targets over his first two weeks in Buffalo have only translated into 6 catches for 100 yards. But as long as the old man can stay on the field he should be able to threaten WR3 production as Josh Allen’s #2 option.
Henry Ruggs – The speedster is available in a surprising number of leagues, and not just shallow ones, after a lukewarm week one. But Ruggs still saw 5 targets in the opener and broke out this week with 5 catches for 113 yards and a touchdown. Make sure he’s owned in your league.
A.J. Green – The former superstar is proving his doubters wrong in the early going. Green has seen six targets from Murray in each of his first two games with the Cardinals, and he found the endzone this week. At age 33, he’s not the same player he once was, but in this offense, he can easily produce WR3 numbers and deserves a roster spot in all 12-team leagues at this point.
Laviska Shenault – It’s extremely difficult to turn 7 targets, 2 catches and 1 carry into -3 total yards, but that’s exactly what Shenault managed to do in week 2. Still, the volume is encouraging and Trevor Lawrence should start to hit his stride in the coming weeks. Shenault should grow with his young QB and deserves a roster spot in all but the shallowest leagues.
Will Fuller – Even if Tua is going to miss time, Fuller still deserves a shout-out this week. Fuller missed week one serving the final portion of his 2019 PED suspension and missed week two due to a personal issue. He also missed the preseason will a foot injury so he may take a little patience, but there’s likely a wide-open buy window for this high upside WR.
Elijah Moore – After a disappointing week 1, Moore hauled in 4 of 8 targets for 47 yards this week. This was in spite of an absolutely brutal 4 interception performance from his fellow rookie QB, Zach Wilson. Don’t expect consistency from Moore, but there should be some big weeks in his future.
K.J. Osborn – It’s time to take note of the Vikings’ dark horse. Can the Minnesota offense sustain three fantasy wide receivers on a weekly basis? Doubtful. But the kid is still worthy of a roster spot in most formats considering his boom or bust potential. Plus, there’s very high upside if one of Jefferson or Thielen were to get banged up.
Trent Sherfield – Anyone else starting to get Dante Pettis vibes from Brandon Aiyuk? At least Aiyuk saw the field this week and got two targets as well, but it’s hard to ignore the rumblings that Sherfield (1 catch on 3 targets for 9 yards) is ahead of Aiyuk on the depth chart—I’ll be curious to see what the snap count breakdown looks like once they’re available. The unknown Sherfield is only a deep league flier for now, but keep the name on your radar.
Justin Fields – The Bears’ rookie didn’t have an impressive line in relief of Andy Dalton (knee) this week, and he almost blew the game, but he also didn’t have a full week to prep as the starter. On the positive side, he ran the ball 10 times. As a mobile QB whore, this has me giddy. If Dalton can’t go in week three, then it could be Fields’ coming-out party in Cleveland.
Tyler Lockett – The Seahawks receiver tops my list of sells for the second consecutive week. Again, don’t sell him for dragon egg NFTs, but someone in your league might be salivating over Lockett’s production these first two weeks and give you WR1 value in return for him. I’d accept a deal like that in a heartbeat. We saw Lockett start very strong in 2020 as well before fading—part of that was the high-level offensive shift for the Seahawks offense as a whole but Lockett had gone cold before that. You might be able to steal Saquon Barkley straight up.
Ezekiel Elliott – How many weeks am I allowed to list the same players down here in the sales department? I’ve removed Joe Mixon since he might be more reasonably valued this week after his poor showing against the Bears. But Zeke, he’s a much better sell this week than he was last week. The casual fantasy player may see the 97 total yards and a touchdown this week and think, “Vintage Zeke is back, I need that man-baby on my team!” But I’ll keep saying it: Tony Pollard isn’t going anywhere. Elliot doesn’t have the same explosion he used to and Pollard is in his prime with only 190 career carries on the odometer. Don’t misunderstand me, Zeke is still a fine RB2 in this great Cowboys’ offense where he’ll see plenty of scoring opportunities. But someone in your league likely values him as a bellcow first-rounder, which simply isn’t the case any longer. Cash in while the name value is still there.