It was a very unpredictable week one in the NFL, and even more so for fantasy. Some of the early picks in everyone’s drafts disappointed, a handful went down with injuries, and some of them did not play at all due to Hurricane Irma. Through it all, there were some solid performances from the players you would have expected, but also some early breakouts that racked up points on your bench, or in the free agent pool.
Let’s sort through some of the lesser owned options that can help your team in week two and perhaps beyond. I will also recommend roughly how much of your FAAB (Free Agent Acquisition Budget) to bid.
Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
Smith played like the #1 overall pick that he was (which does not happen very often) on the road against the defending champ in New England. He was well protected and found Tyreek Hill and Kareem Hunt for long TD passes. The Chiefs want to run the ball, but this attack is pretty balanced. This will likely stand as his best game of the season, but should be owned in all leagues. If you need a QB (especially in a 2 QB format), feel free to use up to 20% of your FAAB budget.
Sam Bradford, Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings did not mess around on Monday Night, and Bradford simply picked apart a weak New Orleans secondary, routinely connecting with Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. He will be helped by the addition of rookie back Dalvin Cook, as well as the two offensive tackles they brought in via free agency. This is another balanced attack, and unless the matchup is against a top tier defense, Bradford should provide solid points while healthy.
Tarik Cohen, Chicago Bears
Cohen impressed all afternoon in his league debut against the NFC Champion Falcons. He was shifty on his five carries for 66 yards, but really stood out as a reliable pass-catching option out of the backfield with eight catches for 47 yards. Jordan Howard is still the primary back of course, but I would expect Cohen to get a high amount of snaps, especially since Kevin White is out (again), and Benny Cunningham is also injured. 15-20% of your FAAB is warranted.
Javorius Allen, Baltimore Ravens
Buck Allen received high volume in the Ravens game against division rival Cincinnati once Danny Woodhead went down after re-aggravating his hamstring injury. Allen is not a spectacular player by any means, but can run it well and catch a few passes too in an offense that will be looking to pass all day. If you have your doubts about T. Cohen sustaining a useful role on your team, Allen is the pickup for week two. If you need a back, feel free to bid at least 10-15% of your FAAB budget.
Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams
The rookie out of Eastern Washington was targeted early and often, showing a good rapport with QB Jared Goff. He put up a very nice debut with 4 catches on 7 targets for 76 yards and a touchdown. I expect Kupp to receive more targets, and certainly more receptions than Robert Woods, making him the 2nd option behind Sammy Watkins. This offense wants to run with Todd Gurley, but Kupp should see consistent targets over the middle and out of the slot as a check down options the young QB. He is worth a shot for about 15-20% FAAB.
Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions
Golladay had a monster game in his Lions premier against a solid Arizona secondary. He will still be the third receiver option for QB Matt Stafford behind Golden Tate and Marvin Jones, but he is a big body who should make plays in the red zone when called upon. There is a lot to like about his future, but I would not spend more than 20% of my FAAB budget on Golladay for this season.
Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons
Hooper was doing nothing, and then exploded in the second half to finish with two catches for 128 yards and a score. Atlanta is a high octane offense, so I would want as many relevant shares of this team as I can roster. Hooper will have some pretty big games like this once in a while but you really can not expect 100+ yard games of course. Still, he is worth owning and if you need help at the spot, use about 5 or 10% of FAAB to acquire him.
Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills
The veteren tight end produced a solid output for the Bills in week one, with 9 targets and 4 catches for 53 yards and a touchdown that made his day. Albeit it was against the Jets, Clay did not disappoint like so many other did at his position. I am not saying to play him over Jimmy Graham, Jordan Reed, Greg Olsen, etc, but he is a nice bench option for those bye weeks and in case of injury. Go ahead and bid 5% to add him.
Oakland Raiders vs NYJ – Khalil Mack and that pass rush should have their way with Josh McCown – 10% FAAB
Baltimore Ravens vs CLE – They dominated Andy Dalton and contained AJ Green. At home, expect another great game versus Rookie QB DeShone Kizer and the Browns – 10% FAAB
Featured Image by Sports Illustrated SI.com
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