Patience is key in fantasy football, as it is in life, but it’s hard to be patient if you start 0-2. It’s only been over two weeks that we’re starting to worry about some players, but I’d like to give it another week or two before cutting ties with some mid-round picks. Either way, here are some guys to look into to find a delay to the slumping studs or to bolster your squad and deal with some of the issues coming up during bye week.
If you lost Trey Lance, you’re still looking for a Dak Prescott fill position, or you’re just stuck with Matt Ryan, look no further than Sunshine State for a starting QB.
Tagovailoa – MIA (64.2% ESPN rating; 63% Yahoo!)
- Tua is one of the higher-owned QBs, but he’s still on over a third of ESPN and Yahoo! tournaments. After Sunday’s Six-TD performance, he should be owned in nearly every league. He completed 71.1% of his passes with 8.66 adjusted grid points per attempt. (He’s only had 5.81 and 5.40 in the last two years.) And we can’t forget he has the highest deep ball completion rate in 2021 of 50%. He connected with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle on three of his four more than 20-yard throws, even if some were a bit. He obviously won’t throw six TDs a week, but with Hill and Waddle to throw forward, Tua should continue the QB1 conversation. I will pay Tua.
Trevor Lawrence – JAX (49.8% ESPN rating; 57% Yahoo!)
- We said this in the Jaguars chapter of this year’s Football Outsiders Almanac, but Trevor Lawrence has become a better NFL quarterback simply by not having Urban Meyer as his coach. He has thrown 510 yards and three TDs across three games, and he has scored more imaginary points than much higher ranked players like Matthew Stafford, Russell Wilson, Kirk Cousins, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. With a capable plus talented coaching staff around, he could boost the QB1 numbers in defence this season, especially if he runs more than he did last season (averaging more than four dashes per game). in 2021). The schedule is going to get tougher over the next few weeks with games against the Chargers and Eagles, but if you lose Prescott or Lance, or you’re struggling in QB, Lawrence is worth it without the Tua.
- Other QBs worth considering (<40%)
- Jared Goff – DET (6.9% ESPN; 23% Yahoo!)
- Jimmy Garoppolo (1.1% ESPN; 6% Yahoo!)
- Marcus Mariota – ATL (9.3% ESPN; 11% Yahoo!)
As usual, the quality of running back is very little and far. However, between injury and an early split workload, there are a few solid options that are likely to return lead on the wire this week.
Darrel Williams – ARI (3.6% rated ESPN; 4% Yahoo!) and Eno Benjamin – ARI (4.0% ESPN; 11% Yahoo!)
- Both return runners have added value following James Conner’s injury. Reports say it’s not considered serious, but we do know Conner’s trauma history. Williams earns eight carries and two picks for Benjamin’s eight carry and three take. Williams ran four more lines than Benjamin and turned his goal-line take into a touchdown. Despite the near-uniform workload, Williams is my preferred choice as a lover of early work and goal-setting in case Conner misses time,. He caught 47 passes and was RB2 last year in Kansas City, so we know he can excel again as a leader. Benjamin could be valuable in the deeper leagues in a third role.
Raheem Mostert – MIA (51.7% ESPN rating; 43% Yahoo)
- Mostert is trending up after a steady performance in Week 2. He started in place of Chase Edmonds and received 14 touchdowns after scoring just six in Week 1. They ran the same number of routes. Each gets three goals, but Edmonds gets only five hits against Mostert’s 11, giving Mostert a much higher chance rate. Both backs have been effective in their careers, so the Dolphins could go for a sizzling approach. Mostert is much less proprietary software and should be picked up in all formats.
JD McKissic – RED (42.0% ESPN rating; 24% Yahoo!)
- A week after Antonio Gibson dominated late-court touches, JD McKissic was more involved in Week 2. He received seven goals to Gibson’s four, taking all seven for 54 yards. He has the seventh highest taget rate among backrunners in Week 2. This is purely a product of the game scenario, with the Commanders trailing behind for most of the game, but we are. have seen McKissic participate in the pass game in the past. He has received five plus goals in more than half of the games he plays in 2021. Gibson will still be back at the top while Brian Robinson is out and perhaps even after he returns, but I do. thinks McKissic deserves a spot on the bench, especially this week where a similar game scenario is expected to take on NFC East rivals Philadelphia. However, don’t try to attract him.
- Other RBs worth considering (<20%)
- Jerick McKinnon – KC (13.6% ESPN; 6% Yahoo!)
- Sony Michel – LAC (5.2% ESPN; 6% Yahoo!)
- Tyler Allgeier – ATL (14.0% ESPN; 14% Yahoo!)
- Jordan Mason – SF (2.1% ESPN; 5% Yahoo!)
The wide receiver is the easiest spot to replace on the exemption cord, but this week’s top pick won’t come easily after a monster performance in just his second NFL game. Whether you’re looking for short-term value or a potential starter for a long-term season, consider these options.
Garrett Wilson – NYJ (8.4% ESPN rating; 24% Yahoo!)
- Garrett Wilson boomed dramatically in Week 2 and possibly the hottest addition of the week. He gets 33% target market share, turns his 14 targets into 8-102-2 rows and leads the team with 22% target share. He has received eight red zone goals, two more than anyone else, and he is currently leading the league in red zone goals. I expect Elijah Moore to be a bit more involved after last year’s production, but Wilson is here to stay and be an additional priority in all competitions. Volume will remain for Wilson with the Jets expected to be in many negative game scenarios. Going to great lengths to land him this week.
Noah Brown – DAL (0.8% ESPN rating; 2% Yahoo!)
- Brown ran a route with 94% backs in Week 2, 19th in the league, and ran only one route less than teammate CeeDee Lamb. Despite seeing six fewer goals than Lamb, Brown led the Cowboys in yards for the second straight week, and it was Brown who caught Cooper Rush’s only touchdown pass. Lamb still leads the team in terms of goals, but Brown is 16th in the league in catch rate, sixth in DYAR and fourth in DVOA. He won’t be replacing Lamb as the No 1 pick, and Michael Gallup will be back soon, but with Dalton Schultz uncertain around and his knee injury, Brown should stay involved moving forward. He’s not a priority compared to the likes of Wilson, or Jahan Dotson, but I wouldn’t let him in the wire, if you had the room.
Cole Beasley – TB (0.1% ESPN rating; 0% Yahoo!) and Breshad Perriman – TB (0.2% ESPN rating; 0% Yahoo!)
- Tom Brady needs someone to replace while Mike Evans is suspended for Week 3 plus Chris Godwin and Julio Jones are likely to take some extra time. Beasley had a career year in 2020, catching 82 passes on 107 goals for 967 yards. He continued that last season by combining 82 hits on 112 career-highest goals for 693 yards. We’ve seen veteran players find success with Brady, but don’t expect Antonio Brown to treat Beasley well. However, don’t expect him to run off the field in the middle of the game either. Perriman’s best season comes in 2019 at a WR60 value. He caught three of his five goals last weekend against the Saints, scored the only offensive goal for the Bucs, and finished third on the team with a 13% goal rate. Not a preferred addition, but with the potentially limited options at Brady’s disposal, both Beasley and Perriman could make for good roles in the near term.
- Other WRs worth considering (<20% rated)
- Sterling Shepard – NYG (10.2% ESPN; 11% Yahoo!)
- Greg Dortch – ARI (2.7% ESPN; 7% Yahoo!)
- Sammy Watkins – GB (4.4% ESPN; 17% Yahoo!)
- Nelson Agholor – NE (0.7% ESPN; 2% Yahoo!)
- Ashton Dulin – IND (2.4% ESPN; 1% Yahoo!)
Tight finish positions are always ugly, and this year was no different. I won Gerald Everett at my home tournament last week, and it paid off. Here are two other tight ends who can pay big dividends if you’re struggling in this position.
Evan Engram – JAX (16.6% of ESPN reviews; 21% Yahoo!)
- Doug Pederson’s Eagles aim for a tight finish on 32% of passes. Zach Ertz averaged over eight goals per game from 2016-20 and received more than 100 goals in every season he played in at least 14 games. Engram likely won’t hit eight goals per game with Christian Kirk the clear #1 catch pick in Jacksonville, but he did get 12, putting him on pace in 102. He ran a route with 84% backtracks during the week. 2, ranked seventh in the NFL with Mark Andrews, and received a 27% target market share, second only to Andrews. Although Dan Arnold received the only red zone goal among tight finishes in Jacksonville, it was his only goal of the season and Engram will receive some red zone images . Engram locked in as TE1 in a tight final friendly attack with an ascending midfielder. While he’s disappointed since ending TE5 as a rookie in 2017, I like Engram moving forward and the game scenario will work in his favor over the next few weeks. He’s my pre-draft sleeper and my top pickup.
Logan Thomas – RED (19.5% rating ESPN; 14% Yahoo!)
- And speaking of Pederson Eagles, Carson Wentz’s tight top finish is a good fantasy pick. Thomas received at least five goals in each of the first two games of the season, catching six of them at 82 yards and scoring one point. That makes him the TE10 in the youth season in PPR. Thomas ’51 airport ranks eighth among all TEs. With all the options received in Washington, he only sees one red zone target, which he caught on a 20-yard touchdown, but we should expect that target number to grow. , giving him more TD opportunities. He likely won’t command the 112 goals or 19.2% goal rate he did during his TE5 season in 2020, but it’s a promising start given the injury ACL. He deserves to be paid for Wentz’s historic trend for tight finishes in the red area and for the tight end of the year backdrop. He’s not too far from Engram in my eyes, so take your pick.
- Other TEs worth considering (<40% rated)
- Hayden Hurst – CIN (23.2% ESPN; 16% Yahoo!)
- Robert Tonyan – GB (21.3% ESPN; 38% Yahoo!)
- Juwan Johnson – NO (0.2% ESPN; 1% Yahoo!)
- Likely Isaiah – BAL (3.7% ESPN; 6% Yahoo!)