The King’s Advance Scout: Trading James Conner, RBs and WRs on Waivers
The King reacts to Week One, plus who to pick up from Waivers and early Week Two insights
Here are some of my Top Fantasy takeaways from Week One, with an early eye on Week Two and beyond.
Lost in the mix of Baltimore’s blowout of Buffalo was a very concerning performance from Alex Collins. While he did rush for a TD, he ran for only 13 yards on seven carries and lost a fumble. The Ravens may look to get Collins back into the flow of things next week vs. Cincinnati so it’s too early to panic. But if his fumbling issues persist after being an issue earlier in his career, he could lose more snaps to Javorius Allen, who is worth a pickup off waivers if you own Collins or need some depth at the position, especially in PPR leagues.
Nyheim Hines reappeared after a lost preseason and caught seven passes for 33 yards. Even if Marlon Mack returns as the lead runner in Week 2, Hines should continue to have a role in the Colts’ passing game, especially when Andrew Luck chooses to go high percentage in the passing game. Add him off waivers and monitor his progress against Washington to see if he can continue to put his preseason fumbling issues behind him and become a PPR asset who deserves flex consideration. He does have bigger-play potential. Meanwhile, at TE it appears Jack Doyle and Eric Ebron can co-exist, but I will still bet on Doyle for more catches.
Deshaun Watson looked like a rookie at New England in the opener, as he tried too often to hit the big play with not enough success, and was not able to move the ball with high percentage passing. Keep the faith that he can rebound in Week 2 at Tennessee, as the coaching staff will likely see this on film and get him to move the ball more efficiently when he doesn’t have the opportunities to make a splashy downfield strike. Also consider adding Bruce Ellington off waivers, as he scored Sunday and could continue to play a more significant role in the Houston passing game if Will Fuller misses more time or cannot stay healthy.
On the subject of efficiency, Patrick Mahomes will soon see defenses try to force him to show he can be effective as a high-percentage passer when the firework deep strikes are not there. So, there will be a bumpy start or two in the near future. I cannot envision Pittsburgh, though, fully containing Tyreek Hill next week, and I would buy low from a panicky Kareem Hunt or Travis Kelce owner if I could.
Tampa Bay’s passing game exploded against what we thought would be a good New Orleans defense, but they face a tougher test in their home opener vs. the Eagles in Week 2. I am fine with adding Ryan Fitzpatrick from waivers, of course, but I would hold off on starting him in most cases until we see if Week 1 was just a case of high overachievement. I would not trust DeSean Jackson to deliver consistently when healthy, either.
So, should you trade James Conner if you believe his Week 1 outing could force Le’Veon Bell to report to the Steelers? I would consider incoming offers, but I would not aggressively look to deal him. You likely did not spend a high pick to get him and can use him as a starter as long as Bell is out. Conner can continue to help you win games in the interim. And if Bell does report any time soon, he could be a conditioning/injury risk after being out of action for such an extended period. You could be using Conner again down the line even if Bell reports. As of now, he also looks like a must-start for Week 2 against Kansas City.
Mike Williams caught five passes for 81 yards in the Chargers’ opener, and his arrow is already pointing up. Look for another quality outing in Week 2 at Buffalo. We all know of his red zone potential, but it was clear he is developing a solid role in the Chargers’ passing game overall. He will prove to be the best Mike Williams we have seen in Fantasy Football for some time, as he won’t go the bust route of the former Lion or Buccaneer of the same name.
Geronimo Allison caught five passes for 69 yards and a TD on Sunday night and signaled he is on the rise as a Fantasy WR, although some enthusiasm may be dampened in a Week 2 matchup with Minnesota. Still, if he went undrafted in your league, you have to add him from waivers, because he role will become even larger if Randall Cobb gets injured, which always seems like a very good possibility.
If the Saints’ defense keeps melting like it did in Week 1, Drew Brees is going to be a Top 5 Fantasy QB again this year. New Orleans hosts Cleveland in Week 2, and we could see a big day from Josh Gordon, or at least a respectable one if somehow the Saints tighten things up defensively.
The Patriots travel to Jacksonville next week, but as Odell Beckham Jr. proved again Sunday, the defense does not always win the perceived tough matchup. Phillip Dorsett will be a deserved popular pickup from waivers this week, but could be less productive on the outside as Tom Brady works more in the flats and middle of the field with James White and Rob Gronkowski. I’d start White again in seasonal leagues and Gronkowski will be a DFS play worth the price.
Phillip Lindsay is going to be a popular RB pickup off waivers after totaling 102 yards from scrimmage with a receiving TD Sunday. But at 5-8, 190 pounds, he will prove to be a consistently complementary player to Royce Freeman and usually a PPR-type contributor in the mold of a Tarik Cohen. So he may be erratic in terms of Fantasy production and recommendations on him will be strictly matchup-based. But he is surely worth an add for flex consideration going forward, but only with a moderate, not aggressive FAAB bid.
The Seahawks are going to be a waiver-friendly team this week because of changing dynamics in the passing game that may not be finished developing. Injury issues in both knees for Doug Baldwin are going to force Brandon Marshall into a larger role on offense, and Russell Wilson loves to throw the 50/50 ball downfield to a large receiver like him. He will also look for Marshall in the red zone. I’d spend 17 or so FAAB dollars on Marshall or make him a priority off waivers if you need WR help. Rookie TE Will Dissly caught three passes for 105 yards but may not be much of a factor going forward. Also keep Jaron Brown on your Watch List if Tyler Lockett cannot stay healthy. Oh, and one more thing on Marshall: He scored against one former team, the Broncos, in Week 1, and faces another, the Bears in Week 2. #RevengeGames
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