Austin Ekeler
ESNY Graphic, AP Photo

Week 2 can be a pivotal matchup in your fantasy football future. These are the under-the-radar plays that can bolster your roster.

Waiver Wire Advice

Invest in the heavily targeted veteran slot receivers

Fantasy football is all about targets. Too often people will waste a waiver claim on a player whose stats were inflated by one or two long receptions.

In reality, volume is key when analyzing wide receivers. While these guys may not be the most flashy, two guys that I’m looking to add this week are Danny Amendola and Cole Beasley (in that order).

They received thirteen and nine targets respectively in Week 1, and seem to be the primary option in their team’s short-passing game. Neither of these players is going to be viewed as a sexy pickup, but they have the chance to be invaluable depth options in PPR leagues.

Ignore the rookie buzz

Some of the more notable performances from the first weekend of the NFL season came from rookies. Marquise Brown, A.J. Brown, and T.J. Hockenson each registered at least 100 yards and a touchdown on Sunday. While these three may be thought of as trendy additions heading into Week 2, I’m avoiding all three of them.

The production from each of these guys just seems unsustainable when considering the number of mouths to feed on their respective offenses. You’re better off not taking a gamble on one of these youngsters and sticking with one of the aforementioned veterans.

Believe in the other young tight ends

While I’m not hopping on the T.J. Hockenson bandwagon, I am intrigued by Darren Waller and Mark Andrews. Both guys generated tons of excitement throughout training camp and the preseason but lived up to their lofty expectations in Week 1.

The best part about their outings were the number of looks they received. Waller and Andrews had eight targets apiece. They’re going to be one of the focal points of their respective passing games. I’m all in on these two young tight ends.

Take a chance on the post-hype performers

Think back to this time one year ago. Some names being talked about in the conversation of fantasy football’s top sleepers were Michael Gallup, Courtland Sutton, and John Ross. All three were major disappointments last season.

However, they’re back with a vengeance. Now, a year after all of the hype has passed, these three guys seem to have finally put it together. Each of the three young wideouts had six catches or more, and they all had at least 120 receiving yards. I’d take a flier on any of these three, but if I had to choose one it’d be Courtland Sutton simply because he’s the top option on his team.

Wait and see on the surprising quarterbacks

All I’d say here is don’t go rushing to add a quarterback unless someone like Kyler Murray is somehow available in your league. Plenty of quarterbacks flashed in the opening week of the 2018-19 campaign.

Guys like Andy Dalton, Derek Carr, and Jacoby Brissett still have to prove they can perform consistently before we start considering them to be viable backup quarterback options.

Trade Talk

Buy Low:

Underperforming mid-level running backs

Aaron Jones, Sony Michel, and Kerryon Johnson are three guys that I’d check in on after each had a slow start to their season. All three received plenty of touches, but struggled to do much with the ball. The amount of opportunity is encouraging, and I think the production will come with time. If the price is low, take a stab at acquiring any of these three slumping tailbacks.

Mike Evans

Two rough games to open the season may have Mike Evans’ fantasy owners in a state of panic. This is the perfect time to pounce. Evan has a combined six catches for 89 yards through his first two outings. It’s been a slow start, but have faith in the Tampa Bay wideout. He’ll turn things around.

Antonio Brown

Some people were scared off by the allegations and media circus following Brown. Regardless, the dude can still play and he’s linking up with Tom Brady. That could make for a dominant connection.

Devin Singletary

The Bills’ lead back was tremendously efficient in his NFL debut. While he didn’t receive as many touches as anyone had hoped, he dominated Buffalo’s running backs in terms of the snap count.

Expect Singletary to receive more touches as the season continues. He’s currently a solid flex play, but his status should only rise in the coming weeks.

Sell High:

Damien Williams

There are too many options in Andy Reid’s offense. While Damien Williams is the lead member of a crowded backfield, it’s hard to feel confident enough to play him on a weekly basis. He could turn into a touchdown-dependent fantasy player. I’d trade him while has some value.

The Explosive Deep Threats

Josh Gordon and Tyler Lockett both had successful outings in Week 1. However, I’d be looking to trade these big-play threats as soon as possible. I’m not a fan of having boom-or-bust performers on my fantasy team. Look to deal either while their value is high. Lockett and Gordon had two and three catches respectively in their season openers, but both had their stat-lines inflated by a touchdown. Get rid of these two while you have the chance.

Austin Ekeler

It may seem weird that I’m suggesting you trade Austin Ekeler after a monstrous Week 1 showing. At the same time, let’s not forget that he’s going to continue to lose some touches to Justin Jackson and that it looks like Melvin Gordon will return at some point. Ship Ekeler to a desperate fantasy owner who was blown away by his performance on Sunday.

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