Watch for Bills Josh Allen, Cardinals Christian Kirk
A look at the players to keep an eye on in deeper leagues, though you don’t have to pick them all up just yet
We're already onto the third week of The Watch List, and we continue to dig a bit deeper. Looking back on last week, Ito Smith and Willie Snead were the only players I mentioned who were Week Three contributors. This week did not bring us many great options, but there are some very intriguing options that need to be monitored. Here are a few players that could provide some upside for weeks to come:
Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills QB
The rookie from Wyoming, Josh Allen, pulled off the biggest upset in over 20 years. Going up against one of the best defenses (at least we thought they were) in the NFL, Allen had no trouble jumping on them early. He orchestrated a commanding lead through the air and with his legs, going up 17-0 within the first 10 minutes of the game. Allen put his athleticism on display, escaping pressure, hurdling defenders and protecting the football. He carried the ball 10 times for nearly 40 yards and two touchdowns. While we shouldn’t expect this rushing productivity to continue, it is worth monitoring. If Allen continues to be a dual threat like we saw on Sunday, he could provide some value down the road. Allen is owned in just three percent of Yahoo leagues and should only be considered in two quarterback formats.
Wendell Smallwood, Philadelphia Eagles RB
While it was expected to be the Corey Clement show in Philly, Wendell Smallwood was the back that showed out. In the absence of Jay Ajayi, Smallwood proved to be the more productive back, accumulating 91 yards on just 13 touches. Clement gained 75 yards on his 19 touches which was 3.06 less yards per touch than Smallwood. When Ajayi is out, we can expect a committee of some sort. Inside Injuries has Ajayi cleared to return this week. If he does in fact return, don’t plan on Smallwood having much of a role at all. However, if Ajayi’s injury lingers and he is out for an extended period of time, Smallwood will definitely be worth the add. This is another situation in which it is better to sit back and watch it unfold.
Christian Kirk, Arizona Cardinals WR
One of the most polished receivers in the 2018 draft class, Christian Kirk is trending in the right direction, having seen an increase in targets from week to week. Josh Rosen being named the starting quarterback also works in Kirk’s favor. When Rosen entered the game with just under five minutes to play, he targeted Kirk on three of his seven attempts. Kirk totaled eight targets in Sunday’s loss to the Bears with almost half of them coming in a short period of time with the fellow rookie. Kirk is slowly gaining steam in the fantasy world, so he might be worth a stash immediately in deeper leagues. He could take off with Rosen now under center.
Geoff Swaim, Dallas Cowboys TE
Though it may not mean a whole lot just yet, it looks as if Geoff Swain has solidified himself as the Cowboys’ receiving tight end. Swaim was the Cowboys’ top receiver in terms of yards as well as receptions in their loss to the Seahawks on Sunday evening. His seven targets were second amongst Cowboys, just one shy of Ezekiel Elliott. The fourth year tight end has finally taken a step forward in this depleted offense. If his target share in this offense remains steady, he could provide a nice return to fantasy owners. If the Cowboys are going to be trailing in games, Swaim could be a go-to option for Dak Prescott down the stretch. He currently has less than a one percent ownership in Yahoo leagues, but is worth keeping an eye on at the tight end position.
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