Sam Bradford QB, MIN
If you decided to devalue the quarterback position in your draft this season and ended up with someone like Andy Dalton, Eli Manning or Carson Palmer in your starting lineup, then you might be freaking out. Have no fear, however, as there will always be undervalued quarterbacks who put up fantasy starter-worthy numbers. Bradford could be that guy this year. He was spectacular Monday night, albeit against the Saints’ porous defense. The Saints D certainly helped, but Bradford’s play was spectacular. He started off with his usual dinks and dunks, but then, late in the first half, he started dicing up the Saints down the field with a bunch of beautiful throws. His offensive line is better and he has a lead back who can help him in the passing game in Dalvin Cook. Stefon Diggs looks to be getting even better, as does Adam Theilen, Kyle Rudolph remains a steady target and Laquon Treadwell is a wildcard that could put this offense over the top. Bradford isn’t going to put up over 300 yards and three touchdowns each week, but he is good enough to help you with any issues as a streamer.
Tarik Cohen RB, CHI
Cohen is one of the big surprise stories coming out of Sunday, and for good reason. The little known back for the Bears put up 103 total yards and a touchdown on 13 touches, while being targeted a whopping 12 times in the passing game. His electric speed and quickness flashed on the field for the Bears, a team devoid of talent at the skill positions on offense. Cohen isn’t going to overtake Jordan Howard as the primary early down back for the Bears, which does limit his upside somewhat, but the Bears are going to get this guy on the field considering how little talent they have elsewhere on offense. With Kevin White getting injured yet again, Cohen might be Chicago’s best weapon in the passing game. His touches could vary week to week, but he should still be a great asset in PPR moving forward, while still having some solid standard league appeal. He’s among the top adds of the week.
Chris Carson RB, SEA
The Seattle offense looked terrible Sunday, thanks in large part to their struggling offensive line. Eddie Lacy was awful and likely won’t be much of a factor for the Seahawks this season. The more impressive back for Seattle was the rookie seventh-round pick Carson, who actually out-snapped Lacy on his way to a six carry, 39 yard day. He also added a catch for 10 yards. It certainly isn’t the most impressive stat line ever, but Carson showed much more than Lacy. Thomas Rawls will return this week against the 49ers and should take over as the first team running back, but Carson is still worth a look given Rawls’ injury history. Rawls is an Elevated Injury Risk with a Below Average Health Performance Factor, according to Inside Injuries, and is a player that hasn’t been able to stay on the field at all early in his career, mostly due to his running style. Carson still qualifies as a stash at this point, but he’s a valuable one.
Nelson Agholor WR, PHI
Agholor has been a big disappointment over his first two seasons in Philadelphia after being picked in the first round of the 2015 draft, but his third season got off to quite a start Sunday, putting up a 6/86/1 line against Washington, which included a 58-yard touchdown in the first quarter. Agholor’s opportunities out of the slot should open up after the Eagles dealt Jordan Matthews to Buffalo, and if Carson Wentz continues to show improvement this season like he did in Week 1, then there could be some serious value here. He’s behind Alshon Jeffery and Zach Ertz on the pecking order, while Torrey Smith is going to be the main deep threat, but Agholor should still be able to carve out a nice target share. Given Jeffery’s injury history, there’s likely to be some games where Agholor bumps up even higher. The upside isn’t incredible here, but Agholor could be a sneaky WR3 this season.
Marqise Lee WR, JAC
The Jacksonville Jaguars were dealt a serious blow when #1 receiver Allen Robinson went down with an ACL tear Sunday. Robinson will be out the remainder of the season, which leaves a hole at receiver for Jacksonville. Lee will be given the first opportunity to fill it, which makes him somewhat appealing in fantasy. The Jacksonville passing game might not have much value to offer if they are able to stick to the ground and pound game plan that they have spoken about and executed so well Sunday against Houston. However, their defense won’t be playing Tom Savage and a terrible offensive line each week, which means that the Jags will be playing from behind at some point. As much as they don’t want Blake Bortles to have to throw it, he’s going to have to eventually. And, as bad as Bortles is, he has shown an ability to put up empty numbers in garbage time in the past. Those numbers count just the same in fantasy, and Lee is the likely guy to be on the receiving end of many meaningless touchdowns Bortles throws. The upside isn’t what you would hope for a guy that’s going to be a #1 option for his team, but it’s still high enough to warrant a pickup in deeper leagues.
Charles Clay TE, BUF
Clay has been a mediocre tight end option since going to Buffalo a couple of seasons ago, but there is some sneaky value here early in the season. The Bills top two wideouts right now are a rookie and a guy that hasn’t really practiced with the team, meaning Clay is the most trusted option that Tyrod Taylor has, which is the reason he led the team with 9 targets Week 1. He’s also far and away their best red zone option for the time being, and he did in fact catch a touchdown Sunday. If you are worried about your tight end spot and need a guy who can give you a decent floor with some touchdown upside, Clay could be a decent plug and play option.
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