John Brown, T.J. Hockenson
ESNY Graphic, AP Photo

With one week in the books, the waiver wires will go nuts in fantasy football. It’s important to sort out the players and posers. 

It’s time for the first-ever, fantasy players and posers column. With the craziness of Week 1 comes extraordinary performances. It’s tough to truly know which of these players will sustain production over 17 NFL weeks.

Fantasy Baller:

A fantasy baller is somebody that is growing on me and that they are worthy of being added to our teams. They have tremendous upside or a bigger role than was being anticipated. The ballers are must-adds now and should be added no matter the size of your league. Do whatever you can to add these guys. To qualify as a baller, the player needs to be owned in less than 50 percent of ESPN leagues.

Fantasy Poser:

A fantasy poser needs to show more before they are worth an add. These are the players that you put on your watch list on ESPN and monitor them to make sure that they weren’t a one-week fluke.


One of the most difficult parts about being a player who needs to show us more is that if we add them based on a one-week sample size, that means we dropped a player who will be more consistent and depth is important in fantasy football. Monitor the posers and if they are more involved in the offense

Fantasy Ballers:

Marquise Brown, Wide Receiver, Baltimore Ravens (available in 72 percent of ESPN leagues)

Marquise Brown is a fantasy baller, but he’s not an every-week starter. Brown was being compared to DeSean Jackson heading into the NFL draft and we all saw why in week one. He had four receptions for 147 yards and two touchdowns.

The yards and the touchdowns are nice, but those are going to be extremely difficult to repeat on a weekly basis. What is a little worrisome is the four receptions. I know the game was out of control early and the Ravens took their foot off the petal, but I would like to see more targets (second on the team with five).

The Ravens are a run-first team and he might only average five to seven targets a game but if he takes one to the house every other game, he will offer great value and be a WR3 on the season. Treat him like a younger DeSean Jackson and get ready to deal with monster weeks and some duds along the way.

Adrian Peterson, Running Back, Washington Redskins (available in 72 percent of ESPN leagues)

With Derrius Guice looking to miss multiple weeks because of a knee injury, Adrian Peterson will step in as the lead back for the Redskins. Peterson finished last season eighth in rushing yards (1,042) and scored seven rushing touchdowns.

He finished as the 19th-best RB last season and should continue to dominate once again despite his age. Add him now and take the top-20 production while Guice is out with an injury.

T.J. Hockenson, Tight End, Detroit Lions (available in 70 percent of ESPN leagues)

T.J. Hockenson showed why the Detroit Lions drafted him in the top 10 in the NFL draft this season. The reason why that he is baller is because of the uncertainty at tight end after the top five. Hockenson was second on the team in targets with nine and he had six receptions for 131 receiving yards, and he scored a TD.

What I like is his ability to be more than just a tight end who catches the ball close to the line of scrimmage and goes down. Add him now even if you have one of the top five tight ends, he’s worthy of being a flex play once the bye weeks start.

John Brown, Wide Receiver, Buffalo Bills (available in 65 percent of ESPN leagues)

John Brown is the clear No. 1 option in Buffalo. He led the team with 10 targets, seven receptions, 123 receiving yards and one touchdown. He’s always had the talent, but injuries and having the sickle cell trait has stopped him from reaching his full potential. It’s tough to trust him because of how often Josh Allen turns the ball over (four turnovers in week one) and he isn’t the most accurate passer.

However, he can throw the ball deep and John Brown is fast. He’s not an every-week starter but when the opposing team doesn’t have a lockdown cornerback, he should be your third WR or flex in deeper leagues.

NFL

Fantasy Posers:

Malcolm Brown, Running back, Los Angeles Rams (available in 97 percent of ESPN leagues)

If you own Todd Gurley this season, you need to add Malcolm Brown and he would go on the ballers list. However, he still needs to show me more before I add him on all my fantasy teams. It’s going to be hard to roster a RB who only saw 11 rushing attempts but if he is the goal-line back for the Rams next week, that is when he will be a baller. He still needs to show us more before he is added.

Green Bay Packers Defense (available in 97 percent of ESPN leagues)

The Green Bay Packers defense held the Chicago Bears to three points and had five sacks. It’s tough to tell if they took advantage of the average Mitchell Trubisky or if all the time, they spent improving the defense in the offseason is paying off. They get the Minnesota Vikings in Week 2 and if they dominate them the way that they did the Bears, they will need to be added in week three.

D.J. Chark, Wide Receiver, Jacksonville Jaguars (available in 82 percent of ESPN leagues)

I need to see more than just a one-week outburst (4/146/1) from D.J. Chark. With Nick Foles out until at least Week 11, it’s going to be hard trusting Chark with Gardner Minshew being his quarterback. Jacksonville wants to play good defense and run the ball. Keep him on your radar but I wouldn’t go and rush to add him to your rosters just yet, let him show you more.



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