Quarterback: Jameis Winston
After looking completely lost in Week 1, Winston bounced back nicely against the Saints. He completed 14 of his 21 passing
attempts for 207 yards and a touchdown. He also showed off his wheels, rushing for 23 yards and a touchdown. As Mike Evans gets healthier and the two begin to develop a rapport, we should see bigger numbers from Winston. The biggest thing to remember is he has played in only two NFL games and is still developing. Too many owners bashed him after Week 1. I have a feeling he will be started on numerous teams in your league this year, as he has a lot of favorable matchups in the middle of the season (bye week replacement), against the likes of the Giants, Colts, Eagles, Redskins and Falcons.
Running Back: Theo Riddick
It is easy to discount Riddick as nothing more than the third string running back on a pass-first team. After Week 1, when Riddick only played eight snaps compared to Ameer Abdullah’s 21 and Joique Bell’s 18, it would have made sense. However, in Week 2 Riddick paced Lions running backs in offensive snaps, with 35, compared to Abdullah’s 31 and Bell’s 18. He was also the team’s top passing downs back, as he saw six targets and neither Bell or Abdullah saw more than two. Riddick was able to catch five of those for 41 yards. The Lions may mix and match their running backs all year, but it is worth it for those in PPR leagues to keep a close eye on Riddick.
Wide Receiver: Leonard Hankerson
Hankerson is another player whose performance is easy to discredit by saying he is just a number three receiver. But it is important to remember he is on a team with Julio Jones drawing all of the defense’s attention and an aging Roddy White. Now, I do not think White is going to fall off of a cliff, but Hankerson will have his opportunities. Last week he was on the field for 67 percent of the Falcons snaps. Hankerson was targeted 10 times, for six receptions, 77 yards and a touchdown. Hankerson also blossomed into a red zone target for Matt Ryan, as he had one red zone touchdown and another that was called back. Owners should keep a close eye on his targets and his usage in the red zone, as both could put him in the WR3 or flex conversation going forward.
Tight End: Jared Cook
Through two weeks of the season Cook leads all Rams in targets. In Week 1 he tied for the team lead in targets with six, but had the most receptions and receiving yards. In Week 2 he led all Rams in targets, receptions and receiving yards. His numbers may not be off the charts, but the opportunities are there and that is what Fantasy owners should have their eye on. Foles obviously looks to make the short, safe throws and Cook has provided him with that safety blanket. If the targets and receptions continue to come his way he could become a great bye week replacement, depending on the matchup.
Defense to Stream: Packers
The Packers defense has looked surprisingly good against the Bears and Seahawks. This week they will match up against the Chiefs, who have allowed opposing defenses to score the third most Fantasy points against them. The Chiefs are not a team built to run up the score, which bodes well for the Packers defense, and they have been letting teams get to Alex Smith and have surprisingly had trouble holding onto the ball. The Packers defense is shaping up to be a Top-12 option this week, plus it is always nice to have a unit go in the Monday Night Game.
A popular question I have been asked on Twitter is who are some good buy-low options… The first is C.J. Anderson. I believe the turf toe issue should be behind him and he has gone against two of the best rush defenses in the league. The O-line will be an issue but he has played over 50 more snaps than Ronnie Hillman. Expect a big week… DeMarco Murray is an RB1 in PPR leagues. The Eagles O-line has been awful but he should continue to be heavily targeted in the passing game to make up for it. The hamstring injury is scary but drives his price even lower… I am not ready to give up on Davante Adams. He will struggle with consistency but he will have some huge weeks. The Chiefs have been torched by WRs this year, allowing the most Fantasy points per game to opposing wideouts. A big game could be on the horizon.
If you have any other questions feel free to follow me on Twitter, @MichaelFFlorio.