Crockett Gillmore, TE, BAL (Redraft/Dynasty) - The bar to be fantasy relevant for a tight end is very low. We might look back on Gillmore’s Week 2 performance vs. Oakland as mostly evidence to start your tight ends against Oakland, but Gillmore was breaking tackles and generally looking the part on his way to big numbers. The Ravens aren’t exactly stacked with reliable receiving options, so Gillmore getting a steady dose of targets seems likely and his ability to convert them into points is there. He can at least be a solution for owners of the plethora of tight ends banged up already.
Andy Dalton, QB, CIN (Redraft/Dynasty) - Dalton has started very well, but there’s still skepticism about this being the “real” Dalton. This week against Baltimore is a key test because he has never played that well against them, at least not consistently. There’s a real chance that the return to a more pass-heavy philosophy on offense and a full complement of weapons will keep Dalton in the QB1 ranks this year, and a good game this week should be confirmation of that. He’s the answer for Romo and Brees owners.
Frank Gore, RB, IND (Redraft/Dynasty) - There were never high expectations for Gore against an opening one-two punch of the Bills and Jets, but we thought the Colts offense wouldn’t look as bad as they did. The thing is Gore inexplicably fumbled a walk-in touchdown or we would has instead seen his Week 2 as a bullet dodged - an acceptable fantasy stat line in an unacceptable night for the Colts. Gore is running well and things will get going for the offense unless Andrew Luck picked up a glue sniffing habit in the offense that we are unaware of.
Dion Lewis, RB, NE (Redraft/Dynasty) - Of course we can’t be sure that the first two weeks will be the blueprint for the Pats backfield going forward, but we don’t need to be for Lewis to be worth pursuit in fantasy leagues. He’s been a strong RB1 that we are valuing as a low RB2 now, so the Belichick risk factor is priced in. But focus on the reward for a second: Lewis looks amazing and the Patriots offense looks amazing. The Woodhead-plus reward is there and Belichick showed he was willing to stick with Lewis after fumbles twice already. Let’s not avoid the one Patriots back who might really hit because we’ve had bad experiences with them in the past.
Bilal Powell, RB, NYJ (Redraft/Dynasty) - Powell struck me as more of a hypercompetent but pedestrian back in the past. He looks to have bounce and power in his three down game, and his backfield partner, Chris Ivory, is back to his injury prone ways. Powell could force a 50/50 committee with strong play in the event of any Ivory absence. His involvement makes him a reasonable flex play even when Ivory is healthy, but he’s not right now.
Consider this: DeAngelo Williams was the #1 fantasy running back through two weeks in the role Bell is about to take over. Bell was already far and away the #1 running back in fantasy football last year once the Steelers offense opened up. Anyone wanting to trade for Bell should have to give up three difference makers, but his owners might take less if they started slow because they didn’t grab DeAngelo Williams. It’s worth probing. Bell’s numbers could exceed any previous estimation of what he is capable of. The Steelers offense will also have the most deep shots by design and strength of the offense, outside of maybe Arizona.
Heyward-Bey is the #3 in this pass offense, and he looks comfortable with what he is asked to do. He'll be the #2 for two more games. If injury strikes or Martavis Bryant slips up again, he'll probably start in a turbo-boosted offense. Bryant is going to be getting more open and able to get to more balls than Darrius Heyward-Bey or Markus Wheaton have been. The top-end WR2 numbers we hoped for seem like a formality once he returns.
And it all intersects at Roethlisberger. It's almost like he was warped reality to his will, assembling this kind of offense with this personnel and aggressive mindset around him.
Where the Steelers offense is going, we don’t need roads.
Carson Palmer, QB, ARI (Redraft/Dynasty) - Palmer’s numbers don’t indicate much of a buy low opportunity, but if he’s a team’s second quarterback, they might see this as a sell high opportunity because of Palmer’s recent injury history. While that looms in the background, in the foreground is Palmer playing the best football he has in years with the best supporting cast he has had in years and an offensive line that is already good and getting some pieces back. This offense isn’t going to slow down as long as he’s on the field.
John Brown, WR, ARI (Redraft/Dynasty) - Brown has scored all six of his career touchdowns at home and he is playing the 49ers defense that the Steelers torched last week. This could be the last chance to acquire him before he has something like an Allen Robinson Week 2 stat line.
Jordan Reed, TE, WAS (Redraft/Dynasty) - Reed not only played a few days after suffering a quad injury in practice, he played well, and he’s not on the injury report this week. Reed looks strong and confident and he should threaten to lead Washington in targets this year… if he can stay healthy. It could be a sucker bet to buy him in this window of good health, but that is priced in to his cost, and he seems to have a different vibe about him this year.
Devonta Freeman, RB, ATL (Redraft/Dynasty)- Freeman is a better version of Jacquizz Rodgers. Like Rodgers, he’ll have fantasy value while he has the backfield mostly to himself, especially in PPR leagues. Like Rodgers, he lacks the bulk to be a pile pusher and the quicks to get by without the bulk - at least as a feature back. Tevin Coleman looks up to the part. This is the time to unload Freeman.
Colin Kaepernick, QB, SF (Redraft/Dynasty) - There’s a perception that Kaepernick is playing well this year because of his stats. He wasn’t asked to do much in Week 1, and he was completely ineffective until the game was lost in Week 2. See if you can get some blood from this turnip in deals this week. The Cardinals defense won’t be as merciful as the Steelers if they get a big lead.
Eric Ebron, TE, DET (Redraft/Dynasty) - It might seem like Ebron is off to a good start, but a lot of his stats have come in garbage time, and while he looks better than he did in his rookie year, he doesn’t look like an impact #10 pick type of talent. He’s going to be a low fantasy TE1 at best, and that is not a sure thing.
Jordan Matthews, WR, PHI (redraft/dynasty) - Matthews is off to a good fantasy start, but his offense is not. Closer examination reveals that his first game was a results of ridiculously high volume, and his second was mostly a garbage time effort when bad drops marred a catchless first half. Matthews is not a true #1 center of the offense wide receiver and defenses are going to be able to clamp down on Sam Bradford’s favorite target until something else clicks. Matthews isn’t a sell at a discount player, but because of name value, he can be stepping stone to a true WR1 in fantasy while his stats still look like a WR1 in PPR leagues.
Chris Ivory, RB, NYJ (redraft/dynasty) - After a mostly injury-free 2014, Ivory is already dinged in 2015 and his backfield mate Bilal Powell is starting to hit his peak level of play. There was an expectation that Ivory might become a true bell cow back this year, and while the first week seemed to say yes, the trend is pointing strongly to no coming out of Week 2. See if someone who is bummed they missed out on Ivory is still willing to pay most of his draft cost for his services.
Derek Carr, QB, OAK (redraft/dynasty) - Carr’s game against what was thought of as a tough Ravens secondary seemed like a breakout game, and it’s true that Bill Musgrave’s passing play calls and tempo have helped the rookie, but the Ravens secondary had some bizarre breakdowns that accounted some of the bigger plays in the game. He’ll be somewhere in between his terrible Week 1 and great Week 2, which isn’t worth that much in most leagues.