By Josh Barrett
Not everyone you draft is going to be on your fantasy football roster at the end of the year. It’s a cardinal rule of fantasy that you shouldn’t waste a roster spot on a player that adds no benefit to your team. Be it injury or actualization of skills, I can’t tell you who to cut, but what I can share with you are the twelve players whom I believe will improve your roster in week two. Happy hunting on the waiver wire!
QB – Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills
Tyrod Taylor is like a Toyota Camry with a Ferrari engine. An all-around efficient day against Indianapolis in week one saw him complete 74% of his passes for 195 yards and a touchdown to go along with 41 rushing yards. Sammy Watkins failed to catch any of his three targets, but remains a low-end WR2 who I expect to rebound next week with a kind matchup against the Patriots. Once the Taylor-Watkins connection gets going, it’s only going increase Taylor’s value. Buffalo coach Rex Ryan runs an albatross of a fantasy offense, but, as has been widely reported, mobile quarterbacks prove year-after-year to produce on the fantasy gridiron. Unless you have a guaranteed top-5 QB, then I recommend taking a flyer on a guy who has the skill set and opportunity to finish the season as a top-12 QB.
QB – Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
Dear Barflies, no one is impressed that you know that no Kansas City receiver has caught a touchdown since December 8, 2013. Haters have been beating this dead horse for many moons now, and I’m sick of it. That being said, Smith has freakish weapons in Travis Kelce, Jeremy Maclin and Jamal Charles. Who cares who he throws the ball to if he tosses three touchdowns a game? Look, you know what you’re getting with this guy. He’s boring, but he gets the job done. If you’re looking for a QB2 who can provide you with consistency and won’t lose your matchup in a plug-n-play, then checkout the king of the check-down.
RB – Danny Woodhead, San Diego Chargers
I treat the players on my fantasy team like I do the stocks in my investment portfolio, and, like an ethical reporter, I feel obligated to brag tell you if a player is on my team. I didn’t plan on drafting him, but he fell into my lap in the later rounds, so I took out a flier. And praise Gary Busey that I did, because, he’s a PPR monster. The Chargers are easing Melvin Gordon into the pro game, and Woodhead stands to benefit on passing downs like he did this weekend against the Lions, catching four-of-seven targets for 20 yards. An early injury last year kept him out of sight and out of minds of most fantasy players, but San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers trusts this guy, and so should you.
RB – David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals
Andre Ellington is out for a few weeks and Chris Johnson ain’t nothin’ to flex with, leaving the Cardinals with former UNI Panther, David Johnson, as their primary back. Johnson didn’t receive a carry this week after Ellington went down, but he did haul in a 55-yard receiving touchdown. I don’t see him as much more than a boom-or-bust FLEX play, but if you’re swinging for the fences in a PPR, I say take a shot.
RB – Benny Cunningham, St. Louis Rams
Hey, somebody has to run the ball in St. Louis. With the Rams smartly choosing to wait on rookie Todd Gurley to be at full health and Tre Mason battling injury, Cunningham is in a position to receive a large share of touches. Even when the Rams’ other RBs return, Cunningham is still favored to keep the work on passing downs.
RB – Deangelo Williams, Pittsburgh Steelers
He loses about 99.99% of his value next week when Leveon Bell returns, but if you’re looking for a week two starter, then grab Williams and ship him off to Fantasy Island to make room for the week three waiver wire.
WR – Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks
For those leagues that reward points for return yards, here is a guy you need on your roster. Lockett scored a 57-yard punt return this weekend (he had two more return touchdowns in the preseason), and caught all four of his targets for 34 yards. He might be a couple of years away from carving out a large role in the Seahawks offense, but Lockett likes to prove people wrong, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he wins this year’s OROY. I like him as a stash in dynasty leagues and a boom-or-bust play out of the FLEX.
WR – Stevie Johnson, San Diego Chargers
An oldie but a goodie, Johnson caught six passes for 82-yards and a touchdown this weekend against the Lions. Johnson is historically a possession receiver who fits in with the ho-hum nature of a Philip Rivers led offense. I value him as a WR3 with upside while Antonio Gates serves the final three games of his suspension.
WR – Brandon Coleman, New Orleans Saints
Coleman is a vulture’s vulture. Compared to the diminutive Brandin Cooks, Coleman’s 6’6” frame and leaping ability plus the departure of Jimmy Graham leaves the former Rutgers Scarlet Knight as the Saints’ best red zone threat. Coleman proved himself this weekend against the Cardinals with a touchdown on four targets, and has serious appeal as depth in deeper leagues.
WR – James Jones, Green Bay Packers
Getting cut by the Giants might have been the best thing to happen to Jones. A week after being signed by the team that drafted him, Jones filled the WR3 role to critical acclaim, scoring two touchdowns against the Bears. He has a strong connection with Aaron Rodgers, and should be owned across the board in all formats.
TE – Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals
This is your last chance to get on the boat. The former Notre Dame product had nine catches for 104-yards and two touchdowns against the Raiders, and was targeted a team high twelve times by Andy “The Beige Water Pistol” Dalton. If he can stay healthy, Eifert looks to be every bit the part of a top end WR1.
TE – Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It’s no secret that young quarterbacks love tight ends, and there’s a tall twosome in Tampa Bay that might be the next big ticket item. For the sake of brevity, ASJ managed 110 yards and two touchdowns on five catches in this weekend’s shootout against the Titans. Winston’s play is going to be streaky this season, but with Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson distracting the secondary on both sidelines, look for ASJ to gobble up yardage over the middle of the field. Don’t be surprised if he ends the year with double-digit touchdowns.