Week 2 saw a lot of attrition across all positions. The short/awkward offseason has reared its ugly head as many top producers could be sidelined in the near future. But our game will go on, and no one will feel sorry for your losses. It’s the next man up, and someone will be scoring touchdowns in week 3. It’s my job to identify them for you.
I group the adds by position and then within the position, rank them in order of preference. You’ll also be able to tell who is more valuable by the free agent acquisition budget (FAAB) suggestion, assuming a $100 budget. The sherpa will only advise players who are rostered in less than 50% of ESPN leagues.
QB – These suggestions are for superflex formats where you can start 2 QBs
Jeff Driskel ($20) – Drew Lock will miss 4-6 weeks after his AC join sprain which means Jeff Driskel is the new Denver QB. He is somewhat interesting and can offer some yards on the ground. Despite never entering a season as a starter and jumping to 3 teams in 3 years, Driskel has started 9 games in his short NFL career. His 2019 starts for Detroit offer hope. He threw for over 200 yards in all 3 starts and ran for over 50 yards in 2. He’ll have a nice assortment of weapons in Denver but the schedule is brutal with Tampa Bay and New England over the next 3 weeks.
Nick Mullens ($10) – Jimmy Garoppolo has a high ankle sprain which will likely keep him out of week 3. If you have a need at a QB2 spot, Mullens can fill in admirably. In 2018 as a rookie he started 8 games for San Francisco. In 4 of those contests he either had 300 yards or 3 touchdowns. The upcoming schedule is a cakewalk against the Giants, Eagles and Dolphins.
RB – The unanimous 1.01 and 1.02 selections in fantasy leagues went down with injuries this week, with Barkley potentially out for the year
Darrell Henderson ($25) – With Cam Akers out and Malcolm Brown suffering a finger injury, the 2019 3rd round pick got 14 effective touches against the Eagles. He looked like his bursty self and even pushed through a pile to find paydirt. This is the kind of waiver pickup I like to be aggressive on. The Rams offense looks awesome again and a back getting 15-20 touches for LA will be fantasy gold. Even if just Akers remains out I love Henderson for the next few weeks. If he blows up he could steal the rest of season job outright.
Joshua Kelley ($15) – It appears to be official now that Kelley has an established role in the Chargers offense. He’s received 37 touches in 2 weeks and 6 attempts inside the 10 to Ekeler’s 1. The Chargers defense looks great and if they can control games, Kelley will continue to get plenty of carries. He is a season long low end RB2 for fantasy with less appeal in PPR, but still a solid contributor.
Dion Lewis ($15) – Super stud Saquon Barkley is believed to have suffered a torn ACL on Sunday, meaning Lewis is the lead back going forward. He is clearly a more explosive runner than Wayne Gallman and should be active in the passing game. He’s a plug and play RB2 but limiting his upside are the facts that the Giants offense is looking very dysfunctional and Lewis could lose goal line carries to the beefier Gallman.
Jerick McKinnon ($15) – In a plot twist, McKinnon may be the last man standing in the 49ers running back room. Raheem Mostert left with what appears to be an MCL sprain and Tevin Coleman picked up a multi-week knee injury as well. Should McKinnon get the green light as the RB1 he offers tantalizing upside. He looks all the way back on his limited touches so far this season. He has scored twice and had a beautiful 55 yard run this week. It’s unclear if Kyle Shanahan will increase McKinnon’s touches to 15, but he is definitely a start in week 3 against the Giants. Beware the Jeff Wilson vulture though.
Mike Davis ($10-15) – The MRI results on Christian McCaffrey’s ankle showed a high ankle sprain that will keep him out 4-6 weeks. This is what Barkley had last year and was back in 3 weeks. While no one is CMC, Davis is a competent substitute and will be an all-around asset with his receiving ability. He’ll face a brutal matchup against the Chargers in week 3 but then softer matchups against Arizona and Atlanta.
Myles Gaskin ($7-10) – Gaskin saw 13 touches for the second week in a row, and after week 2 he leads the Dolphins in carries. He is the clear preferred receiving back for Miami, catching 6 passes for 36 yards on Sunday and now has 10 receptions on the season. The Dolphins have a bad offense but Gaskin can offer some sneaky receiving potential at least in PPR formats.
La’Mical Perine ($3) – Frank Gore got 21 gritty touches but averaged 3 yards per carry and Perine is an interesting rookie who was active for the first time. It’s only week 2 but Jets are already circling the drain, and it would only make sense to see what their young players can offer. Perine can be a multi-dimensional three down back if everything breaks right for him. While I really don’t want anything to do with this offense, RBs are always valuable and it is worth a stash to see how the next few weeks unfold.
Jeff Wilson Jr, Jamycal Hasty ($0) – If you miss out on everyone else or just want to be thrifty, Wilson and Hasty will be part of the San Francisco rotation until Mostert and Coleman return.
WR – Too early to spot any breakouts, but some WRs who are trending up are worth a look
Corey Davis ($15) – After a target filled week 1, Davis was somewhat disappointing in his follow up. He got in the zone, but only caught 3 passes on 5 targets. While A.J. Brown is out Daivs needs to be owned and started as a WR2/3 in any format.
Tre’Quan Smith ($10) – He was the leading receiver (not counting Alvin Kamara) for the Saints in their first game without Michael Thomas. He looked good, with one catch and run in particular showcasing play making ability. He has popped before when given targets, so for the next 3-4 weeks I would be confident starting him as a WR3. If he shows well, there could be a rest of season role for him in store.
Mecole Hardman ($7-10) – Keep you ear to the ground about how Sammy Watkins is doing. He took a shot to the head on Sunday and did not return. Hardman saw 4 touches after Watkins went out, but a full game as a starter could mean a lot more. He’d still be 3rd in line behind Hill and Kelce but this offense can support multiple weapons.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling ($7-10) – His strong opening week didn’t convince many fantasy mangers as he is still only 16.8% rostered in ESPN leagues. With alpha dog Davante Adams going out with a hamstring he should be expected to miss at least a week. MVS would be a plug and play after seeing 7 targets in week 2 and clearly in Rodgers’ good graces.
Randall Cobb ($5) – Much to everyone’s shock, Will Fuller left week 2 with a soft tissue injury. We all know what Cobb brings to the table. He can be an asset in PPR formats if Watson’s WR1 Fuller remains sidelined.
Keelan Cole ($5) – For the second week in a row Cole was the most targeted receiver for Jacksonville, and for the second week in a row he scored. This is a surprising development but Cole showed promise as a rookie before regressing in 2019. I still think Chark and Shenault will have the most work by the end of the season but Cole has established himself.
K. J. Hamler ($5) – Leading your own team in targets in your first game ever is quite an opening statement. Hamler saw 7 balls and hauled in 3 for 48 yards. He’s got undeniable juice and can score on any touch. Sutton’s season ending ACL tear opens up a starting spot immediately. However, they will be working with a backup QB so temper your expectations.
Tee Higgins ($1) – With 6 targets on Thursday night, Higgins seems to have crept up the receiving ladder in Cincinnati. John Ross is slipping and the first pick in the 2nd round could establish himself in a meaningful role on a high volume offense. He is just a stash at the moment, but he could be a redraft asset should he earn more work.
Isaiah Ford ($0) – For deeper leagues, Ford is intriguing as his prospect profile is extremely exciting save for his 7th round NFL draft selection. The Dolphins will have to throw a lot this year and any of their top 3 receiving options are probably worth monitoring. Ford saw 9 targets (second only to Gesicki’s 11) and turned them into 7-79. He may play in the slot and could emerge as the season progresses.
TE – Two TE1s are available in 50% of leagues, plus some guys to burn and churn until you hit on a consistent producer
Jonnu Smith ($15) – I am shocked to see he is only rostered in 40% of ESPN leagues. The bar for tight end relevance is so low that his relatively sparse touches don’t bother me. He is a threat to break a splash play at any time which is special for a TE. With A.J. Brown out for at least a few more weeks, he will continue to be a fantasy difference maker at the position.
Mike Gesicki ($7) – He had a great game in week 2 after a dud in the opener. I am bearish on whether he has a consistent weekly role for the Dolphins but like Smith he can be a difference maker from anywhere on the field. Miami should be throwing a lot and playing from behind so there will be targets to go around. He’s a solid TE for any fantasy team.
Dalton Schultz ($1-3) – There isn’t much here to get excited about except volume. However, 10 targets will cure a lot of ills for our little game. Schultz went for 9-88-1 in a barnburner against Atlanta. If you’re hurting at tight end, getting a piece of this offense is a good choice.
Jordan Reed ($1-3) – What a comeback for the former stud tight end. Reed stepped in for George Kittle and produced just like like the 49er star. He led the team in targets with 8 and parlayed that into 7-50-2. With all the injuries for San Francisco, I think a healthy Reed can play an integral part in the offense even when Kittle returns.
Drew Sample ($1) – Taking over for our dearly departed C.J. Uzomah, Sample saw 9 targets on Thursday night. He is not a very exciting athlete but will see volume in the Bengals offense that makes him relevant for fantasy. With a season long opening in front of him, Sample can help fill the TE2 hole in deep leagues.
Mo Alie-Cox ($0) – !ALERT EMOJI! We got a basketball-player-to-TE conversion happening [Michael Scott gif]! With Jack Doyle out, Alie-Cox got the start and he may have locked himself into a long term role. After signing with Indianapolis out of college without a college snap to his name, he has been waiting in the wings since 2017. He thrived on Sunday catching 5 balls for 111 yards and tied for the Colts lead in targets. He offers the always enticing “unknown upside” as an athletic marvel in an offense without a clear receiving hierarchy.
Stragglers – This is the group we’re going to have to leave behind in order to make it to the top
The guys with an ACL injury.
Tevin Coleman – When Mostert went down, Coleman was given 14 carries with which he gained 12 yards. And now he may be injured. You can do better.
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