Preemptive Strike: Week 2
If you are a fantasy manager that happened to get by unscathed so far this season, that is great news for you. Some of us on the other hand has already had to deal with the losses of Jerry Jeudy, Raheem Mostert, J. K. Dobbins, and Curtis Samuel, just to name a few. Now that the dust has settled from all the Week 2 waiver wire requests, it’s time to start thinking ahead of your league mates and who to pick up prior to this week’s slate of games. Included this week are some team defenses that may be useful for defensive streamers out there. Hopefully, this week's edition of Preemptive Strike will be a useful guide to keep league managers ahead of the upcoming waiver wire run. Here we go!
Justin Fields, QB - Chicago Bears 51% Rostered
It will only be a matter of time before Justin Fields takes over this offense. Although the Bears played a tough Rams defense, Andy Dalton’s performance made this Bears' offense look like vanilla at best. Fields is a dual-threat quarterback that will bring this offense to life. In the limited snaps that Fields was behind center, he went 2-of-2 in passing attempts for 10 yards and also rushed for a touchdown on his only carry of the contest. Add Fields now if you’re in need of quarterback help because once he takes the field someone will scoop him off the waiver wires very swiftly.
Jared Goff, QB - Detroit Lions 13% Rostered
One quarterback that should be rostered in 12-team leagues is Jared Goff. The Lions are really bad on defense, which means there will be plenty of negative game scripts in the Lions’ future. If last week’s performance is any evidence of what’s to come, Goff may be averaging 300 yards and multiple touchdowns for the foreseeable future with upcoming contests with the Ravens and Bears who both got lit up in Week 1.
Sam Darnold, QB - Carolina Panthers 15% Rostered
Last week versus his old team Sam Darnold totaled a very respectable 279 yards passing yards and two total touchdowns. This week may be a tough match-up against the Saints but the following two weeks Darnold will have very juicy games against the Texans and Cowboys that will be perfect for quarterback-streaming fantasy managers. The Panthers’ quarterback should be rostered in 12-team leagues as an excellent QB2 for your roster.
Mac Jones, QB - New England Patriots Rostered
When looking at rookie Mac Jones’s debut for the Patriots, one can see why the Patriots waived Cam Newton prior to the season opener. Jones had a very solid performance against a tough Dolphins defense, posting 281 passing yards and a touchdown with no interceptions. Jones can be added in 12-team leagues for depth purposes but keep in mind that after this week’s match-up with the Jets, he has a couple of tough games against the Saints and Buccaneers.
These are quarterbacks to stash in deeper dynasty two-quarterback leagues and Superflex leagues if you have the roster space: Taysom Hill, Cam Newton, Drew Lock, Jordan Love, Jacoby Brissett, Gardner Minshew, David Mills, and Tyler Huntley.
James White, RB - New England Patriots 40% Rostered
One of Mac Jones’s security blankets in Week 1 was James White. White was targeted seven times and brought in six receptions for 42 yards. This type of game will be consistent for the running back and White should be owned in all PPR league formats.
Kenneth Gainwell, RB - Philadelphia Eagles 35% Rostered
I know Miles Sanders' owners were not happy to see this but Kenneth Gainwell had a very promising game in his debut for the Eagles. Gainwell received nine rushing attempts and produced 37 yards rushing and a touchdown. The rookie running back also received three targets, which is an excellent amount of usage in his first game. Gainwell should be rostered in all 12-team league formats.
Tony Jones Jr., RB - New Orleans Saints 24% Rostered
Everyone knows that the Saints backfield belongs to Alvin Kamara, but Tony Jones Jr. crept in and rushed 11 times for 50 yards in Week 1. Not bad for the second-year running back that really came out of nowhere and made Lavatius Murray expendable. If Kamara were to go down with an injury, Jones Jr. would springboard into RB2 consideration with all the touches he would receive. Jones Jr. should be added in 12-team leagues.
Carlos Hyde, RB - 19% Jacksonville Jaguars 19% Rostered
Rumor has it that Carlos Hyde was singing Reunited and it Feels so Good after the season opener. Hyde played for Coach Urban Meyer when he attended Ohio State University years ago. All Coach Meyer did in his first game as an NFL coach, is piss off all the James Robinson owners by giving Hyde 56 percent of the snap share. Hyde has proven time and again if given the touches he will produce. For now, Hyde should be added in 12-team leagues as he may be useful in upcoming bye weeks.
Larry Rountree III, RB - Los Angeles Chargers 16% Rostered
In Week 1, Larry Rountree III was recommended to add prior to the game along with Justin Jackson due to the fact the Austin Ekeler was recently sidelined with a slight hamstring injury. Now, this week there is only one running back worth rostering after Ekeler and that is Rountree. Rountree had eight rushes for 27 yards compared to Jackson’s one carry for five yards. If you are looking for running back to stash Rountree is your man.
Cordarrelle Patterson, RB/WR - Atlanta Falcons 12% Rostered
Now it’s starting to get a little interesting in here. Cordarrelle Patterson has been designated by yahoo as a running back and wide receiver which gives him multiple positions designations. Patterson has always had game-breaking speed, and it looks like once again he may be an option in deeper leagues. He rushed seven times for 54 yards and had a couple of receptions for another 13 yards. If you are in a 14-team league or deeper, Patterson may be the answer your looking for in upcoming bye weeks.
These are some running backs to stash that are an injury away from either becoming the starter or having a significant role on their respective teams: Alexander Mattison, Rhamondre Stevenson, Chubba Hubbard, Damien Williams, Darrell Williams, Jerrick McKinnon, Marlon Mack, and Samaje Perine.
If you have injured reserve (IR) spots available on your roster, here are some other running backs to stash for later in the season: Jeff Wilson Jr., Tarik Cohen, Darrynton Evans, and Anthony McFarland Jr.
Tim Patrick, WR - Denver Broncos 22% Rostered
If you are reeling after losing stud Jerry Jeudy due to his high ankle sprain, check and see if Tim Patrick is still available in your waiver wire because he’s an excellent replacement for the stud wideout. Patrick had a breakout 2020 season with Courtland Sutton out last season with a torn ACL, and now it looks like he will continue to be heavily used in the offense with the loss of Jeudy. Patrick caught all four of his targets for 39 yards and a touchdown, so try and squeeze him in your roster if you can.
Jalen Reagor, WR - Philadelphia Eagles 26% Rostered
Jalen Reagor finished Week 1 with six receptions on six targets for 49 yards and a touchdown, with a 46 percent snap share. After this week the Eagles will be involved in a couple of shootouts so if you are in need of some wide receiver depth in 12-team leagues, look to add Reagor now if you can.
Sammy Watkins, WR - Baltimore Ravens 20%
The great Week 1 Sammy Watkins game continued this year. Watkins led the team with eight targets for the Ravens and he totaled four receptions for 96 yards. The only thing that seems to stop Watkins throughout his career has been the injury bug. If he can just stay healthy (which is a big IF) Watkins can be an excellent PPR receiver for your teams this season. The veteran wide receiver will face the Lions next week. Watkins should be added in all 12-team leagues.
Terrace Marshall Jr., WR - Carolina Panthers 19%
Although Terrace Marshall Jr. did not have a big game, at least the targets were there. He received six targets in the contest which only trailed D.J. Moore. Add him now while you can because he has two highly favorable match-ups coming in the following two weeks against the Texans and Cowboys.
Van Jefferson, WR - Los Angeles Rams 7%
Many expected DeSean Jackson to be the number three receiver in the Rams offense but luckily Sean McVay came to his senses and let Van Jefferson come out and play to the tune of 60 percent of the plays. Jefferson is a big play waiting to happen and should be a player to watch in shallower leagues but a definite add in deeper rostered leagues.
K.J. Hamler, WR - Denver Broncos 7%
Just like Tim Patrick, K.J. Hamler gets a boost with Jeudy hitting the IR. Hamler should get plenty of looks at the slot and must be owned in 12-team PPR leagues.
Bryan Edwards, WR - Las Vegas Raiders 20% Rostered
Could we have just witnessed the awakening of Bryan Edwards this past Monday Night? After being an afterthought for most of the game, Edwards was a key factor in the Raiders’ victory over the Ravens last week. All of his four receptions and 81 yards came at the end of regulation and overtime. Edwards also came up just short of a touchdown which would have probably sent his roster percentage through the roof.
Anthony Schwartz, WR - Cleveland Browns 3%
Keep an eye on Anthony Schwartz’s availability prior to this week’s game against the Texans, because if he ends up playing and performs as he did in his debut in Week 1 he may be more difficult to add in 14-team leagues or deeper rostered leagues come next week.
K.J. Osborn, WR Minnesota Vikings 2%
Before Week 1 everyone was asking who in the blue hell is K.J. Osborn, one of Ozzy’s kids? But after the game, Osborn had a great showing as the WR3 for the Vikings with his seven receptions and 76 yards on nine targets. The Irv Smith injury really opened the door for Osborn this season and boy did he smash through it. A must add in 14-team leagues before this week’s match-up.
If you have an IR spot available on your roster, here are some wide receivers to stash for later in the season: Michael Gallup, Curtis Samuel, and Rashod Bateman.
Cole Kmet, TE - Chicago Bears 39 % Rostered
This may be your last chance to add Cole Kmet in your respective leagues. Whether if it’s Dalton or preferably Fields behind center for the Bears, Kmet will make plays if the ball is thrown his way. With the target share that he will have this year, Kmet will be hovering around double-digits fantasy points in PPR leagues all season long and is a must-own player in 12-team leagues.
Juwan Johnson, WR, TE - New Orleans Saints 38% Rostered
Did anyone see that man running down Bourbon Street with that football in his hand? Yea that was Juwan Johnson catching another touchdown. It appears that Johnson will be one of Jameis Winston’s go-to receivers in the RedZone this season. The dual-positioned player has a wide receiver and tight end designation in yahoo leagues making him a very intriguing add in 12-team leagues especially in tight end premium leagues.
David Njoku, TE - Cleveland Browns 8% rostered
Could now be the time that David Njoku finally puts it all together and has a breakout season? Only time will tell. If Odell Beckham continues to be out, look for Njoku to make more plays downfield in the meantime. If Austin Hooper and Harrison Bryant were out of the picture Njoku would really make strides this year. I would look to add the talented tight end in 14-team leagues deeper
James O’Shaughnessy, TE - Jackson Jaguars 1% rostered
Here’s a name for you super-deep league fantasy managers to add if he is available. James O’Shaugnessy is the receiving tight end in the Jaguars offense and was targeted by Trevor Lawrence eight times in the rookie quarterback’s debut. The tight end was able to come down with six receptions for 48 yards. Look for that to continue as the season progresses.
For those fantasy managers that enjoy streaming defenses here are a few options to consider to add prior to the waiver wire rush next week.
Arizona Cardinals Defense 50% rostered
The Cardinals face-off against the Jaguars in Week 3 and should make Trevor Lawrence feel uneasy inside the pocket next week. The Cardinals should be owned in all leagues
Carolina Panthers Defense 19% rostered
The Texans might still be battered next week after facing the Browns this week, making the Panthers a good addition to 12-team league defensive streamers.
New York Giants 7% rostered
Another deep league option to add is the Giants defense who will get the dirty bird Falcons in Week 3.
I hope some of these players are still available in your leagues and help you prosper as the season progresses. If you would like to further discuss this or have any fantasy football questions you can reach me on Twitter @smooth1074.