We're nearly finished with Week 2 of the NFL season, and that means that it's time to buy some disappointing studs that may have fantasy owners stressed for the season. After another wild week with some big-time injuries and news updates, there are plenty of guys I'm buying into who are bound for a bounce-back.
Buys of the Week
Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
If you've been watching the Tampa Bay games, you've likely come to a few conclusions about the Bucs. 1. Jameis Winston doesn't look great. 2. It does not appear that O.J. Howard will be "a thing." 3. Chris Godwin and Mike Evans are looking more like a 1A and 1B when it comes to being the team's leading receiver.
Evans owners have been frustrated, to say the least, as he's put up just six receptions for 89 yards in his first two outings compared to Godwin's 11 receptions for 174 yards and two touchdowns. It's a disappointing start, but owners can take solace in the fact that he's still got a grasp on a similar target share to previous seasons.
While Godwin continues to rack up receptions, it's clear that Evans has established himself as the deep threat in Tampa Bay, with an average depth of target of 18 yards to Godwin's 11.8. Once Winston and Evans can get on the same page, we should see a big boom. He's finished each of his five seasons in the NFL with 1,000 yards and should presumably be a lock for another in a Bruce Arians-led offense.
Per Yahoo's Trade Market feature, some trades involving Mike Evans today include Mike Evans for Emmanuel Sanders, Mike Evans for Terry McLaurin, and Mike Evans for DeSean Jackson - straight up. Find a trade like this, and get the job done.
Editor's Note: Here are some of the top guys to target for trades, but who should you give up? Plug your trade props into our Season Pass Trade Analyzer to make sure you're coming out on top of every deal!
Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
Bengals RB Joe Mixon suffered an ankle injury in the third quarter of their season opener in Seattle and got in a limited practice session on Friday after two days of rest. He was listed as questionable headed into his matchup versus the 49ers, and fantasy owners had to decide whether they could trust him in their lineups. The verdict is in; you couldn't.
He finished the day with 1.5 yards per carry and zero touchdowns, and we shouldn't be surprised given his DNP status in the days preceding. The game script was tilted towards the pass, possibly to give Mixon some breathing room as he continues to recover. If he continues on the path to health, Mixon should see a nice workload against the Bills that allows little breathing room in the passing game. It's not often that you have an opportunity to buy a workhorse running back, and given his down weeks and injury concerns, this is the time. Mixon saw nearly 1,500 yards from scrimmage in 2018 and has the pass-catching ability and a new coach in Zac Taylor that should scheme to get him going in the coming weeks, as long as he is healthy.
Rashaad Penny, RB, Seattle Seahawks
If there are any Rashaad Penny truthers left out there, now might be your time. After Chris Carson dominated offensive snaps in Seattle's first outing, it looked as though Penny wouldn't be seeing the field any time soon. However, Carson has now fumbled in two consecutive games, and it would appear that the Seahawks have noticed. After losing a fumble versus the Steelers, we saw Carson loss some snaps, and Penny used them well.
The Seahawks' former first-round pick finished the day with 37% of the team's running back carries to Carson's 55%. The volume is a jump from Week 1, where he saw just 25% of the team's running back carries. By all accounts, the gap between Carson and Penny seems to be closing, and this may be the buy-low window for a running back on a run-first team.
Evan Engram, TE, New York Giants
After getting off to a hot start versus the Cowboys, Engram cooled down versus the Bills' solid passing defense. The Giants' receiving corps was depleted even more so this week, as Sterling Shepard was ruled out early with a concussion, Golden Tate continues to serve a four-game suspension and rookie wide receiver Darius Slayton continues to battle a hamstring injury. Next on the depth chart was Cody Latimer, who played after being questionable with a calf injury for most of the week. The team was barren, and Engram couldn't get much done.
The Bills were the best defense in the league vs. tight ends last season; a down Week 2 was to be expected. Moving forward, Engram will continue to be the focal point of the Giants' passing attack and should see double-digit targets more games than not. If you're looking for any "buy low" opportunity, the window is probably quite small.
James Washington, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger exited Sunday's game with a non-contact elbow injury that has officially ended his season. Backup Mason Rudolph did well as he started the second half for the Steelers, putting up 112 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. His interception came on a pass bouncing off of Donte Moncrief's hands that continue to look like butter, and it was hardly Rudolph's fault.
There are plenty of questions about what fantasy assets like JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Conner can get done in an offense without Big Ben. The one player to keep our eyes on is sophomore wide receiver James Washington. Rudolph and Washington have a long history, dating back to their tenure at Oklahoma State. Washington racked up over 4,000 yards in his final three years of college with Rudolph under center. The two have showcased that connection through the 2018 and 2019 preseasons. Surprisingly, when Rudolph entered the game, we didn't see much more of a presence from Washington, but that's not to say it's not coming. If he sees more playing time, we could be in for a breakout season.
Sells of the Week
Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson, WRs, Kansas City Chiefs
In case you haven't yet received the memo, Patrick Mahomes is a good NFL quarterback. He is going to spread the ball around to the open man and exploit mismatches in the secondary to make the explosive play. Watkins was "the guy" in Week 1, and this week it was Demarcus Robinson and Mecole Hardman.
Robinson brought in all six of his targets for 172 yards and two touchdowns, while Hardman finished the day with 61 yards and one touchdown. Hardman did have another touchdown called back that would have put up another six points for fantasy owners. The carousel will continue in Tyreek Hill's absence, who is dealing with a shoulder injury that did not land him on the injured reserve. Once Hill returns, their target shares will be limited or inconsistent at best. We are not going to be able to trust them to be consistent on a week-to-week basis. If you can spin the risk of either for an established piece that has more season-long value, like a Marvin Jones, I'd love to get it done.