Without preseason action, it was extremely difficult to figure out how certain NFL players were going to be used. As a result, it left us in the dark as to which players would take on a more meaningful role in the offense. Now, with the first week of NFL action in the books, we have a little clearer picture of things, and with that comes some new names that might be of interest to us when rounding out our fantasy rosters.
When adding players, it’s important to not overreact to certain things. If a player has a big week, was it a result a heavy workload or just some good touchdown fortune? Everyone loves to grab the flavor of the week, but the more sustainable that performance is, the more he’ll be able to contribute to your fantasy lineup. For that reason, these players won’t just be your typical high scorers for the week (although some will). Instead, we’re looking for future opportunities that may lead to favorable fantasy performances.
Here are some intriguing waiver adds for Week 2.
Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville Jaguars (25% owned)
If there is going to be such a thing as “Minshew Magic” then you’re going to want to get a piece of it. The Jaguars opening the season with a surprise victory over the Indianapolis Colts is a great start for Minshew whose name has been thrown around as a potential sleeper candidate. Normally, you don’t advocate for a quarterback who only threw the ball 20 times, but he completed 19 of them, and three of them were for touchdowns. With the Jaguars figured to be caught up in some negative game scripts this season combined with an ineffective running game, Minshew should have plenty of opportunities to air it out this year. He’s not a bad stash if you have the roster space.
Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears (3% owned)
The thought of adding Trubisky to your quarterback rotation might make you cringe because he just hasn’t been a real good quarterback lately. On Sunday against the Detroit Lions, Trubisky had a good game, throwing for 252 yards and three touchdowns. It wasn’t an efficient game by any means, but with 36 passing attempts, the volume might be there. With some very fluff defenses on the Bears schedule over the next several weeks, stashing Trubisky might be worth considering in deeper leagues.
Benny Snell Jr., Pittsburgh Steelers (17% owned)
After workhorse back James Connor left Monday night’s game with an ankle injury, the second-year running back Benny Snell Jr. came in an did a good job. He ran the ball 19 times for 113 times for a 5.9 ypc average. It’s unclear the extent of Connor’s injury, but given his history, securing the Steelers backup running back would be a wise move. It becomes extra valuable if Snell shows promise as a runner and if Pittsburgh’s offense regains its relevance with the return of Ben Roethlisberger. Both of those things were on display last night.
Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts (19% owned)
An Achilles injury to Marlon Mack is going to provide a big boost to Jonathan Taylor’ fantasy stock as he should get the lion’s share of rushing attempts between the tackles. However, another player in for a fantasy jolt is pass-catching back Nyheim Hines. He finished the week with a top five finish at 23.3 points thanks to a couple scores, but it’s usage in both the running game and passing game that has that appeal. One can’t help wondering if a fantasy gem like Austin Ekeler is a product of Philip Rivers. That may be a stretch, but if it’s remotely true, Hines could have some sneaky good flex appeal this season.
Parris Campbell, Indianapolis Colts (22% owned)
Many expected the Colts to be a run heavy team this year having one of the best run-blocking offensive lines in the league, but Philip Rivers may have other plans. His 46 passing attempts on Sunday is not how we expected things to go down. If Rivers is bringing some of his own flavor to the Colts offense, then it’s important to find out who his favorite receiver is. The obvious choice is veteran T.Y. Hilton, but it was the youngster, Parris Campbell, who led the team in receiving yards. Granted, it was just 73 yards, but his nine targets matched that of Hilton. And considering Hilton’s inability to stay healthy in recent years, Campbell might be the receiver to own in that offense.
Robby Anderson, Carolina Panthers (31%)
Making his Panther debut, Anderson put up a top five finish in Week 1 with 22.5 fantasy points. Of course, most of that was thanks to a 75-yard touchdown play. Big plays aren’t something that’s sustainable in fantasy, however, it’s worth noting that Carolina has a new quarterback this season in Teddy Bridgewater and his eight targets trailed D.J. Moore by just one. If Bridgewater shows favor for Anderson as defenses focus on Moore, it could offer up some fantasy value at the wide receiver position.
O.J. Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (17% owned)
While Rob Gronkowski was the tight end sleeper pick many owners gravitated to, it could be Tom Brady’s other tight end who produces the most value. O.J. Howard finished the week with the second most targets on the team, trailing only Chris Godwin. And his touchdown catch gave him a top seven finish for the week. Howard is a young talent who has yet to materialize, but knowing Brady’s history with turning tight ends into fantasy gold, it might be worth a grab and stash.
Logan Thomas, Washington Football Team (2% owned)
A training camp standout, Logan Thomas has been all the craze in Washington, and he put some of that on the field Sunday. While he only compiled 37 total receiving yards, Dwayne Haskins was looking his way often as Thomas had eight targets. Tight ends are a young quarterbacks best friend and his touchdown reception helped Thomas finish with 11.7 fantasy points, which was good enough for a top six finish. If you need help at tight end, Thomas could serve as a viable spot start.
Washington Football Team (4% owned)
Maybe it was just the Philadelphia Eagles’ sloppiness, but man did Washington’s defense feast on Sunday. There is not a lot to love about Washington, but suffice it to say, their defense is pretty good. They sacked Carson Wentz eight times thanks to multiple sacks by Ryan Kerrigan and second-overall pick Chase Young. They also added two interceptions and a fumble recovery, finishing as the second-highest fantasy scoring defense for the week. With a game against Cleveland (who gave up the most fantasy points to a defense this week) coming up in Week 3, the Washington defense has some fantasy appeal.