Eddie Lacy, RB, GB (Redraft/Dynasty) - Lacy was a slow starter last year, so don’t give up on the “safe” first-round pick just yet. The Packers offense is still going to create a ton of scoring opportunities, and Lacy will be able to shake any lingering effects of his early season ankle injury during next week’s bye. Green Bay also has a four-game stretch against their somewhat weaker division foes coming up in the second half of the season. Lacy is going to be fine, starting this week against the porous Chargers run defense.
Crockett Gillmore, TE, BAL (Redraft/Dynasty) - Just another reminder that Gillmore’s strong start was based on talent and skills, and did not appear to be a fluke. There’s still a lot of room for targets and receptions to be soaked up in the Ravens offense, and Gillmore is just the man to do it. If he’s free on the waiver wire, pounce.
Mohamed Sanu, WR, CIN (Redraft/Dynasty) - Sanu is being disregarded because of Tyler Eifert and Marvin Jones Jr, but he’s a fine player in his own right, and an injury ahead of him away from playing a nice-sized role in a very good offense. Keep him on waiver wire speed dial in redraft, and stash away the 26-year-old 2016 free agent in dynasty for a potentially brighter fantasy future elsewhere.
Michael Floyd, WR, ARI (Redraft/Dynasty) - It’s easy to forget that Floyd has the kind of size/speed/ball skills combination that creates top 10 fantasy wide receivers because he has been passed by John Brown in Arizona. Brown is a stellar talent in his own right, so we shouldn’t hold that too strongly against Floyd. In redraft, Floyd has a great quarterback in a scheme perfectly suited to his skills. He might not have any consistent value without an injury ahead of him, but the ceiling is very high if he does, so he’s worth a bench spot. In dynasty, Floyd has a somewhat prohibitive 7+ million dollar price tag for a #3 receiver, so he might hit the open market, where he would be coveted (or be dangled in the trade market). Floyd is going to remind everyone what he’s capable of soon enough. Act before that happens in dynasty.
Jeremy Hill, RB, CIN (Redraft) - It feels bleak for Hill, and he’s not going to push Bernard into the lesser role he had in the second half of 2014. But he is going to be the recipient of a lot of scoring opportunities in this offense, and he’ll also play a larger role as we get into the cold weather football portion of the program. He won’t bounce back to draft value, but Hill will be a useful fantasy player this season yet.
Andrew Luck, QB, IND (Redraft) - Luck has blown up in the face of folks who spent a high pick on him. Hopefully they are wise enough to not sell him for pennies on the dollar. Who knows how long this injury will last, but when Luck is ready, he’ll still have a terrific supporting cast and schedule ahead, and a track record of production that is very hard to ignore. Starting out with the Bills and Jets skewed our perceptions of Luck, and you might be able to take advantage before those perceptions get re-aligned with reality.
Lamar Miller, RB, MIA (Redraft/Dynasty) - Another reminder that Miller is a very good young back who just needs to be used to show everyone what he can do for an offense. It sounds like he’s going to get that chance. His value could rebound fast enough to give you whiplash against the Titans this week.
Jordan Cameron, TE, MIA (Redraft/Dynasty) - Cameron is another talented player entering his prime that has the stink of the Dolphins early season failures on him. He’s worth a pickup in redraft if he was dropped, and in dynasty, you’re unlikely to get this physical freak with natural ball skills to boot for much cheaper unless he gets hurt. Another concussion could put us in Jordan Reed territory, but the upside is worth that risk at the current rock bottom price. There are very few tight ends with the demonstrated fantasy ceiling of Cameron.
Marcel Reece, RB, OAK (Redraft) - Reece might be THE poster child for Matt Waldman’s concept of “Crimes Against Fantasy” - players that are criminally underused, denying us the chance to celebrate them by owning and starting them on our fantasy teams. Here’s the thing: Reece has already equalled his career-high in touchdown receptions, and he’s also by far the best-suited running back on the roster to carry the load if Latavius Murray goes down. Reece could be a fantasy sleeping giant if Murray goes down, and he is worth an end of the roster in PPR leagues even if Murray stays healthy.
Antonio Brown, WR, PIT (Redraft) - Get your offers in while the sting of Brown’s poor games is still fresh and before before Roethlisberger’s return is imminent and Brown owners remember what they have.
Marquess Wilson, WR, CHI (Redraft/Dynasty) - Wilson is probably seen as a band aid who will go back to the background once Alshon Jeffery, Eddie Royal, and Kevin White are all healthy, but in the meantime, the 23-year-old is showing that he belongs in an NFL starting lineup and producing like a fantasy mainstay as a WR2/WR3. His dynasty prospects are very bright, and any or all of those injured players could encounter more problems down the line. Wilson and Jay Cutler are on the same page, and Cutler is playing very well. Don’t assume the elevator is headed down for Wilson.
Dwayne Harris, WR, NYG (Redraft) - Harris is free is most leagues, but he has the potential to help. Harris is flourishing as a slot receiver with his toughness in the middle of the field. The Giants pass offense will made copious use of his quick hitting targets, especially with Odell Beckham Jr Jr and Rueben Randle both battling hamstring injuries. Victor Cruz is no closer to playing than he was in Week 1. Harris could be a consistent double-digit scorer in PPR leagues, and you can exchange pocket lint for him.
Mike Evans, WR, TB (Redraft/Dynasty) - Another reminder to target dominant #1 receiver in the making. The bye week will help him shake off any remaining effects of an early season hamstring injury. While the Bucs and Jameis Winston are happy to limit attempts (only 19 last week - two of which went to Evans inside the five) when they play with the lead, how often is that going to happen? Evans is came on in the second half last year, and he is poised to be even better with a nice upgrade at quarterback this year.
Willie Snead IV, WR, NO (Dynasty) - Snead looks terrific out there, and he’s a decent bet to lead the Saints in all significant receiving categories this year. He’ll help redraft teams as a WR3 or outstanding bye/injury depth, and it’s unlikely that you can recoup commensurate value in a draft. In dynasty, he appears to be sliding into a terrific role in a high volume pass offense, but both Sean Payton and Drew Brees are no sure things to be part of his long-term picture. His value is more based on situation/opportunity than the kind of talent that would translate in any surroundings. Be open to dealing him if you don’t need Snead.
Arian Foster, RB, HOU (Dynasty) - This one only applies if your team is headed south fast. Foster’s value could appreciate more with one of two of his patented monster games, but if he gets hurt, the 29-year-old’s dynasty trade value evaporates. If you are risk averse, you can try to wait until Foster’s value peaks and perhaps another team in your league is over a barrel at running back or so close to the title that they can taste it. Chances are if you are in a rebuilding mode, you need to take the discount price on your commodity instead of risking it turning into magic beans. Proceed accordingly.
Charcandrick West, RB, KC (Redraft/Dynasty) - West is more physically talented than a typical undrafted free agent. He’s a middle class Jerick McKinnon with a chance to get his foot in the door in the Chiefs backfield long-term. He’s also got a “Matt Asiata” next to him in Knile Davis, and the Chiefs offense immediately becomes one of the worst in the league without Jamaal Charles. I’ve seen West fetch a first-round plus in dynasty. He is seen as the “last train out of town” at running back in redraft by some, and they might overpay for his services. My guess is that his debut as the lead back in Minnesota this week will be anticlimactic and any sell high window we might enjoy will slam shut.
Marcus Mariota, QB, TEN (Dynasty) - Defenses are already catching up with Mariota, so the early season fantasy success he had is going to get smaller in the rear view mirror soon. Does he, the Whisenhunt regime and his so-so supporting cast have the wherewithal to counterpunch? My guess is no, and then we’ll go back to square one with a new head coach and so on, clouding Mariota’s dynasty stock. As it is, it is very hard to cash in much value for quarterbacks in dynasty leagues. Hopefully his rushing stats from last week arouse some interest among a team or two whose quarterback situation is ailing long term so you can recoup a little more than what you paid for him in the rookie draft.
James Jones, WR, GB (Dynasty) - I am loathe to trade core producers like Jones on a contender, but if you are feeling shaky or worse about your time, it’s probably time to pull the ripcord on Jones. He is on the injury report and if he misses time, your sell high window slams shut. The return of Davante Adams after the bye won’t be a good thing either. It has been a good run, but non-frontrunners so should see what the market will pay for Jones this week.