Up is Down. Left is Right. Pigs Fly. The Browns haven’t lost yet. Tampa Bay and New York have combined to score 96 points. Jimmy G and Watson are busts. Injuries abound. This is the insanity that has befallen the NFL in week one. Needless to say, no one saw this coming, proving yet again that anything can happen in the topsy turvy world of the NFL. The one thing we can do is see how teams used their personnel, and try to gleam how they will do so moving forward. It’s a small sample size, but we will try and see who you can nab on the waiver wire to try and get a step up in the coming weeks. Buckle up, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride. Welcome to the newly titled Finders Sleepers.
Fantasy Football 2018 Sleepers: Week Two
By: Dan Turner
Football players dream of one day getting to the NFL. They work their entire lives to get to this moment. Sam Darnold realized his dream on Monday Night Football, becoming the youngest QB since the merger to start opening day. The dream quickly turned into a nightmare, as Darnold would throw a pick six on his first professional throw. Most young QBs would unravel at that point, but Darnold composed himself and actually had a solid game.
He completed 16 of 21 passes for 198 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He was able to bounce back and lead his team to victory. For those with QB injury concerns or who are looking for a decent QB2, take a chance on Darnold, who seems to be building a solid rapport with Robby Anderson and Quincy Enunwa.
Everybody seems to want the Baker Mayfield experience to start ASAP. As the #1 overall pick, it is to be expected. Tyrod Taylor played well enough in the preseason to keep Mayfield at bay. He had a matchup against the division rival Pittsburgh Steelers, and the weight of an 0-16 to break at his back. He performed far above expectations. He threw for almost 200 yards and a score and ran for 77 yards and a score. He has a very fantasy friendly skill set, with both the passing and receiving numbers to back it up. He has a plus matchup upcoming against the Raiders in week 2. He can be a viable streaming option with upside.
This years rookie RB class came with a ton of hype. Names like Ronald Jones, Sony Michel and Saquon Barkley filled up the media heading into the season. A lot of them were even drafted in redraft leagues when they landed in good opportunities. Royce Freeman was one such back, as he appeared to win the Broncos job going into the season. Another rookie that seemed to show some talent in preseason was Phillip Lindsey. An undrafted RB, Lindsey showed in week one that he can be a force in fantasy. Taking the #2 job that seemed to be reserved for Devontae Booker, Lindsey finished with 102 total yards and a TD.
Consider him as a valuable handcuff and potential flex play, as it seems he is getting the receiving duties going forward in Denver.
Hines seemed to be the forgotten man after he was demoted after the preseason from his kick return duties for ball security issues. It was assumed that Jordan Wilkins would take most of the work going into the season with starter Marlon Mack being injured,. That was not the case however. Hines was able to carve himself out a nice role in the offense, as he was able to garner 52 yards and 7 targets in timeshare with Wilkens. This resulted in 11 fantasy points in PPR, which was more than was expected.
This can prove to be a good thing for the future, because it seems he will be trusted with 3rd down back duties, which is a role he will be able to keep when Mack returns. Look for him as a nice bench stash with upside as the season progresses.
Pettis was not expected to have a large role in the offense this year, as he was tabbed for his marvelous return work coming out of college. Well, that didn’t last very long. Goodwin got hurt in week one, and pettis came in to replace him. HE only had 2 catches but they went for over 60 yards and a TD. His end zone grab was super athletic, as he had to reach up and snatch the ball before going out of bounds. If Goodwin cannot go, except Pettis to get the start and could be a sneaky value play in week two.
One of the biggest fundamental ideas in fantasy is that opportunity is key in predicting who will have good weeks and when. Greg Olsen has been as consistent as they come in producing fantasy numbers in the last several years. Greg olsen got hurt in week one and was seen on the sidelines wearing a walking boot. That is usually not good news. Enter Ian Thomas. The rookie draft pick was set to groom under olsen in the hope to take the reins once Olsen was gone.
Well, that plan got fast tracked a little bit, as he is now the #1 TE in Carolina offense. Cam Newton is capable of helping his TEs put up great fantasy numbers, and if Thomas can see anywhere near the target share of Olsen, he could serve as a viable replacement to your fantasy squad.
The best example of “coming out of left field” player from week 1 comes from Will Dissly. Most of America didn’t even know he existed before week one, and now he seems to be talked up in fantasy circles. A 3/105/1 line will do that for you. It seems that he has leapfrogged into the TE1 role in Seattle and with the news that Doug Baldwin will miss a significant amount of time, it would seem that Russell Wilson will need new targets to throw too. So why not Dissly?
Dissly was seen mostly as a blocker coming out of school, but he showed that he can bounce of tackles and get some YAC as well. Take a look at him for a flex or TE as he could be a hot item if he has another big week.