Welcome to the first week of The Watch List! Throughout the 2018 NFL season, I will be identifying deep league fliers to keep a close eye on. Note that these are not must-add players at the moment, so don’t get them confused with hot waiver wire names.
Owned in just one percent of Yahoo! leagues, Richard proved to have a solidified role as soon as the game got ugly in the second half. Marshawn Lynch will garner a majority of the early down carries, with Doug Martin rotating in as a change-of-pace back. However, Richard is the clear favorite in terms of the team’s pass-catching back. Derek Carr was leaning on Richard a lot as a safety net late in the game Monday night. He was focused on getting the ball out quickly and continued dumping it off to Richard. The game script may have led to Richard’s nine catches on 11 targets, but he is a nice PPR option to monitor moving forward.
We heard all offseason that Ryan Grant was the surefire number two receiver for the Colts opposite T.Y. Hilton. This proved to be true in Week 1, as Grant caught eight of the nine balls that Andrew Luck threw his way. Though he only racked up 59 yards on these eight receptions, Grant remained a consistent option in the Colts’ offense. Luck attempted 53 passes in Sunday’s loss to the Bengals, so we can expect this offense to remain pass-heavy like we’ve seen in years past. Grant is owned in just five percent of Yahoo! leagues and should only be considered in PPR.
In their Week 1 blowout by the Ravens, Marcus Murphy was one bright spot for the Bills. Many expected Chris Ivory to be the main beneficiary if anything happened to LeSean McCoy, but this may not be the case. Yes, it is early and there is no need to overreact just yet. However, McCoy did struggle on Sunday, averaging just 3.1 YPC. Murphy compiled 31 yards on just six carries Sunday, outplaying both McCoy and Ivory. There is not much work to be had in this backfield, but we need to remember that both McCoy and Ivory are 30 years old. If their struggles continue, watch out for Murphy to get some more opportunities.
Rookie tight end Will Dissly was the Seahawks top receiver in Week 1. Though he may not look the part, the 6-4 tight end out of Washington might be here to stay. He caught three passes on five targets for 105 yards and a touchdown. Nick Vannett, the team’s “starting” tight end, only saw two targets, which he turned into one catch for 11 yards. If Dissly has already been picked up in your league, don’t even worry about it. He is not a must-own tight end after just one big game. Dissly may be a factor in the Seahawks’ offense if they are without Doug Baldwin, but give it another week before adding him to see if this keeps up.
Though Corey Grant did not see a whole lot of action in Week 1, he could be an interesting option down the road. Leonard Fournette left Sunday’s game against the Giants with a hamstring injury. It is considered to be minor, but if the injury lingers throughout the season, they’re going to work Grant into the offense. We saw last year when Fournette was out that the Jaguars used both T.J. Yeldon and Ivory. The Jaguars were talking up Grant all offseason saying that they need to get him more involved in the offense. Last season Grant had 8.3 YPC on 30 rush attempts. He has top end speed and can be a factor in the passing game as well.