Like all other weeks, we aim to buy low and sell high entering Week 2, but it can also be a good week to “Buy High” and “Sell Low”, i.e., owners have factored the newfound reasons for value increase or decrease, but not enough. Be able to paying a larger premium than your draft investment and taking a loss on bad picks but getting something in trades this week.
Chris Hogan, WR, NE - The Chiefs respected Hogan enough to cover him with Marcus Peters at times. The Saints don’t have a Peters, and neither do most teams. Hogan should run free in the Saints secondary this week and remind everyone why big things were predicted for him when Julian Edelman went down.
Tom Brady, QB, NE - Mike Gillislee scored three time from close in, which were all set up by defensive penalties against the passing game, which put the offense on the doorstep of the end zone, and Gillislee also failed to convert two fourth and shorts in the Chiefs end of the field, all of which conspired to keep Brady down in a game that should have been solid for fantasy despite the struggles with a Chiefs defense that matched up well with the Patriots. The Saints made Sam Bradford look like Tom Brady, so who should Brady look like against them?
Matt Ryan, QB, ATL - Ryan had multiple drives fizzle out in Bears territory just to result in field goals, but he still created a reasonable fantasy day with an improvised bomb to Austin Hooper. Things should start to hum in this offense at home against Green Bay, with all the key players back from last season. He has an outstanding schedule and will build momentum.
Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Greg Olsen, TE, CAR - Cam Newton was obviously rusty last week and the Panthers didn’t have to extend themselves much to summarily dismiss the 49ers last week. Downfield passing should start to round into form this week, which will bring Benjamin and Olsen back to starting fantasy levels, a trend that will continue with the Panthers soft upcoming schedule.
Isaiah Crowell, RB, CLE - Crowell was the clear featured back against the Steelers. He couldn’t find the end zone or break off any big runs, but both will come in time as the game isn’t too big for rookie DeShone Kizer and the defense was respectable even without #1 overall pick Myles Garrett. The best case scenario this year was Crowell not sharing as many snaps with Duke Johnson Jr and the Browns being competitive. It looks like we could get both.
Emmanuel Sanders, WR, DEN - Sanders was shadowed by Jason Verrett in the opener, one of the best corners in the league, and he still almost caught a long score to make for a good fantasy night. Dallas doesn’t have a corner with near the skill and talent of Verrett, so it should be a bounceback Week 2 after a quiet Week 1 with a better than expected Trevor Siemian throwing the ball.
Charcandrick West, RB, KC, Chris Ivory, RB, JAX - These end of the bench pickups for thorough owners in redraft leagues could bear fruit if injuries strike the starters. West is an adequate talent in a great situation if Kareem Hunt misses time, and Ivory is a good talent in a great situation if Leonard Fournette wears down.
Alvin Kamara, RB, NO, Chris Carson, RB, SEA - The Saints and Seahawks both favored their rookies in crowded backfields in Week 1, which portends even bigger things down the line for Kamara and Carson. Kamara is also a good receiver out of the backfield, and both have excellent matchups this week. They are good waiver wire consolations if you miss out on Tarik Cohen.
Marshawn Lynch, RB, OAK - Lynch didn’t post a gaudy stat line against the Titans, but he looked like his old self. With the quality of the passing game and offensive line around Lynch, he’ll be able to put near RB1 numbers in this outstanding situation, and could easily 2-3 times this week against the Jets.
Alshon Jeffery, WR, PHI - Jeffery should get to benefit from having a quarterback that can keep plays alive with the arm strength to keep the whole field in play while he is scrambling.
CJ Beathard, QB, SF - Brian Hoyer is clearly limiting this offense. Beathard might not add more, but the 49ers should want to see what he’s got to know how he factors into their future at quarterback. In 2QB/Superflex leagues, it might not be too early to stash away Beathard, as he seems likely to play before the end of the season.
Todd Gurley, RB, LAR - Gurley was good as a receiver out of the backfield, he scored, and the Rams offense looks much improved, but it was also the Colts morose defense and Gurley still ran without inspiration and barely managed over two yards per carry. Things aren’t going to get easier for him, so it’s not a terrible idea to try to swap him for a back that went later but should be worth more like a few listed below.
Mike Gillislee, RB, NE - Gillislee scored three times, but all three were set up by defensive penalties. He didn’t add a ton of value of his other carries and could be a lot more pedestrian for fantasy if things don’t break his way in the red zone. His hamstring issues could also pop up. If you can, trade him to the David Johnson owner for a strong RB2 price.
Tarik Cohen, RB, CHI - Cohen broke or eluded at least one tackle on almost every one of his touches. He is quick, fast, strong for his size, and Cohen’ short stature enhances his balance a la Darren Sproles. The Bears should continue to feature him in this offense, as he was a key part of everything that worked against the Falcons. Cohen is no fluke and he could match Darren Sproles’ fantasy impact from his heyday with the Saints.
Sam Bradford, QB, MIN - Bradford had the best game of his career against the Saints, and while that could be the Saints defense and the Vikings offensive line is still a question mark, he looked ultracomfortable with his targets running the plays that Pat Shurmur drew up. Bradford and Shurmur are on their third team together and appear to have the coordinator-quarterback mind-meld that usually leads to career numbers.
Ty Montgomery, RB, GB, Dalvin Cook, RB, MIN - This duo was available for a third or fourth-round pick in most drafts, but they would be going in the late first or early second in drafts done today. Montgomery dominated touches in an offense led by a Hall of Fame quarterback in his prime, and Cook is the clear lead back and finisher for an offense that is moving up the ranks.
Jordan Howard, RB, CHI - Howard is another back to dangle in front of David Johnson owners. His shoulder is already banged up and he’ll lose more snaps to Tarik Cohen than anyone anticipated a week ago. The Bears are going to be competitive enough to keep Howard relevant in fantasy leagues, but he won’t return near the second-round price paid for him.
AJ Green, WR, CIN - Green is still just as good as ever, but it is fair to wonder if Andy Dalton and this offensive line will hold him back this year. Turning him into Montgomery or Cook and a quality WR2 like Golden Tate or a Minnesota receiver is a good angle to play if you can.
Lamar Miller, RB, HOU - Miller is the lead back in an offense that was one of the worst in the league upon unveil in Week 2 and Deshaun Watson isn’t going to save it, especially as long as left tackle Duane Brown is holding out. Rookie D’Onta Foreman is also coming and he’s a bigger threat to Miller’s touches than Alfred Blue ever was. This is a tough situation and player to be positive about right now.