Week 2 took a devastating toll with high profile injuries across the league. If your team came out unscathed, consider yourself lucky; everyone else, it’s time to buckle down and dig into the details to optimize your lineup. Fortunately, with two games to review it’s easier to trust guys who have been sitting on your bench. As always, this advice is meant to help you fill out the last spot or two on your roster. You should NOT bench your RB1 for a guy you picked up off waivers. We’re talking about replacing WR3s and FLEX plays.
START: That undrafted guy who’s made a real-life football impact
When replacing a FLEX with a player claimed off waivers it’s important to make sure the player you’re plugging into your fantasy lineup has a clear role with his real football team. You don’t want a gadget player who makes a splash every five weeks on a trick play, because it’s too hard to predict when their number will be called. Think Joshua Kelley, Russell Gage, James Robinson, Robby Anderson. Every single one of those guys has earned not only playing time, but touches. Kelley is practically splitting rushing work in LA and has received valuable red zone work. Gage has proved to be the true No. 3 option in Atlanta-- not Hayden Hurst-- and will continue to rack up targets in the Falcons pass-happy offense. Anderson looks like a new man outside of New York and Robinson has already racked up 32 carries, while no one else on the Jaguars has hit 10 yet. These are the guys who can win your league since they should contribute for the rest of the season and cost you next to nothing. If you have a vacancy in your lineup, now’s a great time to start leaning on them instead of your seventh-round pick that’s playing just ok.
SIT: The underperforming QB you drafted
For the most part, fantasy QBs have played reliably through two weeks. However a few guys initially seen as mid- or late-round values have yet to provide the expected return on your draft investment. I’m talking about guys like Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson. Brees and Wentz have delivered back-to-back duds, while Brady and Watson have looked uninspiring despite decent showings in Week 1. That doesn’t mean you should cut these players (although you probably can safely cut Wentz and Brees), but it might be time to bench them. One of the hardest things to do in fantasy is cut bait with a player you’ve invested in, but if you hold and wait too long the season-- and your playoff seeding-- could slip by you quickly. Moving to a quarterback like Ryan Tannehill or Gardner Minshew, who are both available in nearly 50% of leagues, could provide you the stability you need at the top of your lineup. If you want to get zesty early in the year, identify a manager who has two solid QB options and try to make a deal for one of them. While it’s not worth paying a premium price, you may be able to secure a QB you can start every week if that manager’s roster was hit hard by injuries.
STREAMS OF THE WEEK
Third time’s the charm for this section… I hope. This stream section has admittedly been filled with lots of “L’s,” but I’m ready to shake all that off and tackle Week 3 with fresh eyes.
QB: Jared Goff
Don’t be afraid of that big red “BUF” in the matchup that indicates Goff is in for a tough day. The Bills faced Ryan Fitzpatrick and Sam Darnold in their first two games, so Goff will be their first legit QB threat. Factor in Buffalo’s strong offense, and there’s a good chance the Rams will need to throw the ball to keep pace with Josh Allen.
TE: Drew Sample
Joe Burrow showed great chemistry with Sample on Thursday night football, and targeted the tight end nine times. Sure, that didn’t translate into huge fantasy numbers for Sample, but this week the Bengals draw the Eagles who have not been able to stop opposing tight ends this season. In only two weeks, the Eagles have already surrendered four touchdowns to TEs.
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