If Week 1 is a party, then Week 2 is the day after, when you’re either reminiscing about the great time you had or dreading poor decisions that were made; sometimes a little of both. Week 2 typically serves as a truth serum for any Week 1 outlier performances, good or bad, so I’m eager to see which players return to relevance and which players fall back to earth. Here are a few RB/WR/TE streamers that I feel can keep the party going for your fantasy team this week.
* Players marked with an asterisk below can also be found in the priority waiver wire adds article referenced at the end.
*James Robinson (RB, Jacksonville Jaguars)
In the land of streaming RBs, touches are king, and Robinson dominated touches out of the Jacksonville backfield with 17 in Week 1 (16 carries for 62 yards, one catch for 28 yards). RBs sitting atop their team’s depth chart do not often pop up on the waiver wire, but Robinson seems to have the job for the Jaguars for now and is somewhere between 40-55% available in most platforms. The Titans have been a middle-of-the-road defense vs RBs over the past season-plus (18th last season, 14th Week 1), opening up an opportunity for Robinson to produce a similar floor in Week 2. I view him as a solid but unspectacular Flex play this week in a volume-driven role.
*Adrian Peterson (RB, Detroit Lions)
He no longer possesses the same mega-ceiling that he did in his heyday, but Peterson showed he can still be effective as a no-frills, north-south runner for the Lions (14 carries for 93 yards, three catches for 21 yards in Week 1). He is currently second in NFL Next Gen Stats’ Efficiency metric (total distance traveled / rush yards gained), meaning Peterson’s primary objective is to plow forward between the tackles and get the yards that the offensive line blocks. He hasn’t had much of a role in the passing game in recent years, so I would pump the brakes in PPR formats, although he did catch all three of his targets last week. Ideally, you’d have better options on your roster than the Lions’ jumbled backfield, but if not, Peterson makes for a decent floor play in Non-PPR leagues as Detroit visits Green Bay.
Other names to consider: Benny Snell (41.9%-owned ESPN; top option if available), Latavius Murray (sub-65%-owned ESPN and Yahoo), Frank Gore, Myles Gaskin, Chris Thompson
*Mike Williams (WR, Los Angeles Chargers)
Despite a shoulder sprain that was initially expected to keep him out for multiple weeks, Williams paced the Chargers in targets (nine) and hauled in four catches for 69 yards in Week 1. It’s not the most efficient stat line, but it’s promising to see Williams so involved early on and emerge without any known setbacks. With an average of 16.1 Targeted Air Yards (eighth in NFL), Williams backed up his reputation as a downfield battler who can make tough catches in traffic. The questionable injury designation led to Williams being under-drafted (about 50% available in ESPN and Yahoo leagues), so scoop him up if he’s out there. If you need a WR3/ Flex to fill out your roster, you could do a lot worse than Williams this week and beyond.
Tre’Quan Smith (WR, New Orleans Saints)
Many have hypothesized that year three is when everything tends to click for wide receivers, based on a number of third-year WR breakouts that have occurred in the past. It just so happens that Tre’Quan Smith is now in his third NFL season, and he also happens to have a prime opportunity in front of him after the uber-talented, target-dominating Michael Thomas suffered a high-ankle sprain in Week 1. He’s a different type of player than the Saints’ other remaining pass-catchers and has shown a nose for the end zone with five touchdowns in each of his first two seasons (13 starts). For however long Thomas remains out of the picture, I think Smith will produce as a trusted and familiar face for Drew Brees. With no preseason to get fully in-sync, Emmanuel Sanders is still adjusting to this offense, adding to Smith’s appeal this week against the Raiders.
Other names to consider: Parris Campbell (would take second priority behind Williams), Curtis Samuel, Anthony Miller, Allen Lazard, Russell Gage
*Logan Thomas (TE, Washington Football Team)
I’m sure we all expected Thomas to lead the team in targets (eight) last week, right? Jokes aside, it looks like he will be fairly involved in Washington’s passing game and now gets to take on a Cardinals defense that was absolutely abysmal vs TEs last season. Yes, every season is a clean slate, but the Cardinals kept the same defensive coordinator as last year and Washington isn’t exactly loaded with high-end receiving options. With good size (6’6”), speed (4.61s 40yd), and the knowledge of a former successful college quarterback, I see Thomas making the most of his opportunities this week and beyond as The Washington Football Team looks for playmakers to get their franchise moving in the right direction.
Other names to consider: Dallas Goedert (61.8%-owned ESPN; top option if available), Chris Herndon, Jack Doyle, Jimmy Graham, Mike Gesicki
Accountability is everything, so here’s a quick look back at last week’s recommendations
Chris Thompson (RB, Jacksonville Jaguars): Oof. I wrongly assumed that the Jaguars would be chasing points in the second half last week, leading to a solid workload for the pass-catching Thompson, but that was not the case. In a closely-contested game where Jacksonville attempted just 20 passes, Thompson had zero rush attempts and caught two (of two) targets for six yards. I still think he will have some nice weeks in a play-from-behind, “garbage man” role, but this was not that week. He’s fine to drop in Non-PPR formats, but PPR players might want to keep him on the bench as a bye week fill-in when needed.
Darrel Williams (RB, Kansas City Chiefs): It’s safe to say I struck out on RBs last week. Finishing Week 1 with seven carries for 23 yards and two catches for seven yards, any talk of an early committee approach involving Williams was put to rest. To boot, Williams did not receive any red zone touches while rookie Clyde Edward-Helaire saw a league-leading six touches inside the 5-yard line. It’s not looking like Williams will have stand-alone value this season, but he is still a nice insurance policy for Edward-Helaire owners given this offense’s ability to produce multiple scoring opportunities each game.
DeSean Jackson (WR, Philadelphia Eagles): I swear this “Looking Back” section will start looking better, but Jackson was another miss for me last week. The silver lining is that he averaged 23 yards-per-catch in Week 1; the bad news is that he only had two catches (seven targets). Until the Eagles shore up their offensive line and bring some semblance of a rushing attack to the table, it will be challenging for Carson Wentz to buy enough time to hook up with Jackson on deep targets. He’s still a hold for me, as I see him capable of producing WR3/ Flex numbers on any given week. However, he’s a sit for Week 2 against a Rams defense that should give the Eagles fits with their pass rush.
Sammy Watkins (WR, Kansas City Chiefs): Now that I’ve taken my lumps with the Week 1 misses, let’s finish with a trio of promising pass-catchers. Watkins looked healthy and was consistently involved throughout Week 1, hauling in seven catches on nine targets for 82 yards and a score. If he continues to see eight-plus targets every week, he could very well be a mainstay as a WR3/ Flex in your lineup.
Parris Campbell (WR, Indianapolis Colts): He didn’t put up gaudy numbers, but Campbell’s usage and production in Week 1 was very encouraging. Working as the primary slot option for the Colts, Philip Rivers connected with Campbell six times (nine targets) for 71 yards. Campbell also added one rush for nine yards. If he continues to prove himself as a reliable short-to-intermediate target for Rivers, PPR owners should take notice and consider him as a borderline Flex option moving forward.
Chris Herndon (TE, New York Jets): I’m not going to run any victory laps over a guy who had just 37 receiving yards last week, but the usage and catch rate for Herndon was promising despite the tough matchup (six catches on seven targets). It’s clear Sam Darnold trusts him and, like most streaming tight ends, the only thing missing was a touchdown. He’s a fringe TE1 due to volume and target-share.
Make sure to check out Myles Nelson’s priority waiver wire adds article every Tuesday for more insight on who you should be submitting claims for heading into each Wednesday. Good luck in Week 2!
(Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire)