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The Replacements

Posted Sep 14, 2017

With so many injuries to fantasy starters in Week 1, some teams are starting waiver wire players in Week 2

Now that waiver wires are closed, hopefully you were able to grab Tarik Cohen, Javorius "Buck" Allen, Kenny Golladay, or Cooper Kupp to fill the many injuries we all suffered in Week 1. If you missed out on the more popular picks, consider grabbing guys like Marqise Lee or Allen Hurnsat WR, and Chris Carson or Kerwynn Williams at RB. If all these guys are gone, just save your waiver wire position for another week when an injury vaults someone else into a starting role. Don’t make moves just to make moves. In most leagues, waiver wire order is determined by who has made the least moves, with the most active guy being at the bottom of the list.

On the Jaguars front, now that Allen Robinson is done for the season we can expect the offense to lean even more than before on Leonard Fournette. Marqise Lee slides into the WR1 role, with Allen Hurns moving up to WR2, and Keelan Cole and Arrelious Benn seeing time in 3-wide sets. With the depth chart looking as it does, Lee is the WR to grab first, but Hurns is a close 2nd.

As a side note, don’t forget to get the Dolphins and Buccaneers players back into your lineups. Both teams had their bye in Week 1 due to the hurricane, but are now slated to play 16 straight games. Injuries will be a concern, so keep a close eye on player health for both teams.

 

 

Start ‘em

David Carr – Raiders: A good idea for the season is to try to play whatever fantasy players face the Jets, Colts, and/or 49ers defenses. This week Carr gets the Jets, making him a legitimate top 5-7 fantasy QB.

There is a strong case to be made for Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree being the No. 1 WR tandem in the NFL, so their QB is naturally going to have immense value. After the “elite” QBs, Carr should be the next name mentioned.  

Russell Wilson – Seahawks: Wilson had a terrible opening week, completing just 14 of 27 passes for 158 yards, no touchdowns, and no interceptions. The Seahawks just don’t seem to play well on the road, and this was a road game. But Wilson gets the 49ers at home in Week 2, making him a prime bounce-back candidate.

The 49ers gave up 23 points to the Panthers in Week 1, and their defense isn’t getting any better with Reuben Foster suffering a high ankle sprain.

Ty Montgomery – Packers: Montgomery is the starting running back in Green Bay’s high-octane offense, making him someone to start on a weekly basis. Last week he was able to rack up 93 total yards and a touchdown against the Seahawks. This week he gets a Falcons defense that made Tarik Cohen (113 total yards and a TD) one of the hottest waiver wire additions for Week 2.

Montgomery could have similar numbers to Cohen this week, putting him squarely in the RB1 rankings.

Jacquizz Rodgers - Buccaneers: Rodgers is the starting running back with Doug Martin suspended for the first 3 games of the season. With the Bucs having a bye in Week 1 due to the hurricane, he hits Week 2 against the Bears at full strength and with an extra week to prepare.

The Bears are now without Kevin White and Cameron Meredith at WR, so their offense is going to struggle to move the ball. With the Bucs at full strength, this game could get ugly right off the bat. If the Bucs get up, Rodgers will get additional touches. I like him as a strong RB2 this week.

Adam Thielen – Vikings: Thielen’s Week 1 performance (9 receptions for 157 yards) is being overshadowed by Stefon Diggs’ 7 catches for 93 yards and 2 touchdowns. Thielen saw 10 targets in Week 1, which accounted for 31 percent of Sam Bradford’s passes thrown. It is obvious that Thielen is going to have a big role for the Vikings passing offense, and more value in PPR leagues than Diggs.

Thielen is a strong WR3/low-end WR2 play for Week 2 against the Steelers. Diggs is going to be the big-play WR, whereas Thielen is more of the PPR WR. He won’t score as much, but he will rack up targets and receptions.  

Chris Hogan – Patriots: Hogan burned a lot of people’s trust on Thursday night when he hauled in just 1 of 5 targets for 8 lonely yards. The reality is it was a terrible game for everyone on the Patriots not named Mike Gillislee. Tom Brady is 40 years old, and Hogan’s value hinges directly on Brady’s ability to shake off Week 1 and hit Week 2 with a vengeance.

The Patriots take on the Saints, a game that should be an offensive showcase from both teams. If that is the case, there will be plenty of passes thrown, leaving Hogan with plenty of chances to make up for his Week 1 flop. Consider him a WR3 with upside.

Zach Ertz – Eagles: Tight end is always a boom-or-bust position in fantasy football, as owners of Rob Gronkowski (2/33/0) and Austin Hooper (2/128/1) found out in Week 1. Ertz had a boom week when he hauled in 8 of 8 targets for 93 yards against the Redskins. Further proof he has a bigger role this year is found when you consider his 8 targets tied him for the team lead with Darren Sproles and Nelson Agholor.

The reason I like Ertz so much this week is because of his matchup with an Eric Berry-less Chiefs secondary. Daniel Sorensen steps into the strong safety role, and has accrued just 82 career tackles and 3 interceptions. Consider Ertz a top 3-5 fantasy TE this week.

Cincinnati Bengals defense: The Bengals get a plus matchup this week as they take on a Houston Texans offense that will feature a rookie QB. I also go into the Texans problems below when I talk about Deshaun Watson, but there are some problems on the offensive line that you can be sure guys like Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins will take advantage of.

The Bengals also get back Adam Jones, who they activated from the reserve/suspended list on Tuesday. With everyone back except LB Vontaze Burfict, the Bengals have the defense that will give the Texans problems. I consider them a top-5 fantasy defense this weekend, and one of the top streaming defenses for Week 2.

 

Sit ‘em

Deshaun Watson – Texans: Watson will be the starting QB for Week 2, making him a QB people are adding off the waiver wire this week. The problems are 1) He is a rookie. Rookies always struggle, and defenses like to blitz them relentlessly. 2) The Texans will be without RG Jeff Allen and TE C.J. Fiedorowicz, further limiting the Texans ability to move the ball. 3) He’s facing a fierce Bengals defensive line that is almost sure to pin their ears back and put pressure on Watson.

Dak Prescott – Cowboys: Prescott looked above average against the Giants on Sunday, finishing with 268 passing yards, 24 rushing yards, and 1 touchdown. But this week the Cowboys get a Broncos secondary that is looking to bounce back after allowing 3 touchdown passes to Philip Rivers in Week 1.

Too many people get star-struck with Dez Bryant, and he disappoints more often than he comes through for fantasy owners. The Cowboys are going to feature Ezekiel Elliot all season, making Prescott a QB2 in all formats. I would look more at guys like Carr, Wilson, or even Carson Palmer this week over Prescott.

Adrian Peterson – Saints: I know Peterson wouldn’t be the fantasy player people were drafting him to be, and he proved that in Week 1 when he totaled 18 yards on 6 carries. It was also seen, but disputed, that Peterson was not happy with Coach Sean Payton on the sidelines during the game.

The simple reality is that when the Saints are throwing the ball, Peterson is a non-factor. And on top of that, you don’t draft a RB in the 3rd round (Alvin Kamara) to be 3rd-string behind a RB you obviously don’t trust in Mark Ingram, and a 32-year-old RB in Adrian Peterson. Carries are Ingram’s first, then split between Peterson and Kamara; when passing, it is Ingram, Kamara, then anyone other than Peterson.

Tarik Cohen – Bears: It’s not that I don’t like Cohen, because I do. Rather, his name appears here because people are getting a little too hyped over a single game. The Bears are now without Kevin White and Cameron Meredith at WR, leaving them with Kendall Wright, Deonta Thompson, and Markus Wheaton as their top 3 wideouts. With those guys at WR, and nobody threatening at TE, the Bears offense becomes even more one-dimensional than it already was.

The Bucs will stack the line and look to shut down the run, and limit the check-down passes to Cohen out of the backfield. I view him as more of a flex play than the RB starter people are talking about him being.

Nelson Agholor – Eagles: Agholor is being claimed in all formats this week after he reeled in 6 of 8 targets for 86 yards and a touchdown in Week 1. What people need to understand is 58 of those yards and the touchdown came on a single play when Carson Wentz scrambled and made a play almost all on his own. Without Wentz making something out of nothing, Agholor finishes with 5 catches for 28 yards. Even if you factor in one more catch for the average yards-per-reception he had, that gives him 6 catches for 34 yards.

Agholor rotated with Torrey Smith at WR2, but was in the slot when the Eagles went 3-wide. He has the talent to succeed, but people are seeing numbers without context when setting Agholor as a starting WR for Week 2.

Donte Moncrief – Colts: I’m actually cutting ties with Moncrief until we get a better idea of exactly when Andrew Luck will be back. The Colts offense as a whole will be among the worst in the NFL with Scott Tolzien and/or Jacoby Brissett throwing the ball, making T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief guys that shouldn’t be counted on.

Even if you want to keep Moncrief to prevent someone else from stashing him on their bench, you shouldn’t consider playing him until Andrew Luck is under center.

Jason Witten – Cowboys: Cowboys fans were going crazy on social media after the Cowboys dismantled the Giants on Sunday, pointing to Witten’s 9/59/1 line as a sign of things to come. Look, Witten is 35 years old and has logged 7-plus receptions just 12 times since the 2003 season. That means that he averages 3 games per season when he logs 7 or more receptions in a game. On top of that, he has scored 3 touchdowns in each of the past two NFL seasons.

Witten is a TE that has a 3-year average of 43.5 yards per game, and has scored 11 touchdowns in those same 48 games. Witten is a firm TE2, and not someone that can be trusted game-to-game.

New England Patriots defense: The Patriots looked terrible on both sides of the ball on Thursday night, with their defense giving up 368 passing yards and 4 touchdowns to Alex Smith, 246 total yards and 3 touchdowns to Kareem Hunt, and 133 receiving yards to Tyreke Hill. As if the box score wasn’t bad enough, the Patriots also lost WLB Dont'a Hightower to a sprained MCL in that game.

There is still no word on Hightower’s ability to play in Week 2, but his loss will hurt in a game that will feature two high-octane offenses in the Patriots and Saints. The Patriots certainly don’t want to start the season 0-2, but Drew Brees and the Saints are also trying to avoid an 0-2 start after losing to the Vikings 29-19 on Monday night. Who wants it more?

 

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