The Elijah Mitchell waiver stories are becoming a thing of legend. In one of my leagues, he went for $88. In others, he went for the full $100. But I’ve heard tales of managers trading a player to get more than 100% FAB budget and promptly blowing it all on Mitchell. If you have an Elijah “missile” sob story, drop me a line on Twitter (@ajpassman) All that FAB was burning holes in many a manager’s pocket, but like I said last week, it’s early going. If you shot your shot on Mitchell, it’s ok. I have some zero-dollar bids you can make below.
While not as epic as last week, Week 2 still had some significant injuries, particularly to quarterbacks. Those injuries, and a few bright spots, could have a significant impact on Week 3 and beyond. So grab your coffee, continue putting off that one email, and let’s dive in.
Percentages are based on Yahoo! leagues.
Alexander Mattison, Minnesota (32% Rostered)
This is part insurance play, part good sense. Alexander Mattison is already one of the most heavily-rostered backups in fantasy, with Dalvin Cook’s injury history and massive workload. Cook was again hobbled in Week 2, coming in and out of the game against Arizona, with what head coach Mike Zimmer called “a little ankle sprain.” An injury update before waivers run on Tuesday night would help determine the amount of a bid, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see Minnesota be cautious with its star back and hold him out for a week. If Cook is out or limited, the FAB bid should approach 25% for Mattison. Even if we don’t know Cook’s status, the upside for Mattison is still worth a FAB bid. Minnesota’s Week 3 matchup is home against Seattle, who were just torched by Derrick Henry for three touchdowns.
FAB: 10% minimum; 25% if Cook is ruled out
J.D. McKissic, Washington (29%)
Kiss, kiss, catch, catch. J.D. McKissic had a big bounceback after a dud in Week 1. McKissic saw his snap share climb to 44%, and he wasn’t only involved on passing downs. Ron Rivera seems to trust McKissic in the big moments, with McKissic the preferred back in two-minute drills over Antonio Gibson. “Smooches” isn’t a must-start, but he could provide flex value in Week 3 against Buffalo.
Cordarelle Patterson, Atlanta (14%)
Without looking, can you guess the top fantasy producer for the Falcons through two weeks? It’s not Calvin Ridley or Kyle Pitts. It’s not even Matt Ryan. It’s Cordarelle Patterson. A recommended dart throw in Week 2, Patterson has made the most of his opportunities behind capable but uninspiring Mike Davis. The fantasy performances will level out, but Patterson is emerging as a viable option for the Falcons, who project to have a lot of pass-heavy game scripts this season.
Kenneth Gainwell, Philadelphia (36%)
A recommended add for Week 2, Kenneth Gainwell is still rostered in under 40% of leagues. He doesn’t have a lot of standalone value just yet, but he’s worth picking up now if you can get him.
James White, Philadelphia (42%)
Are you noticing a pattern? Several pass-catching backs are providing flex value in the first two weeks of the season. Receiving work for running backs can be unpredictable, but the upside is undeniable. James White is locked into his role on this offense, and Mac Jones continues to utilize him as a safety valve.
Stashes/Zero Dollar Bids: Demetric Felton, LAC (0%), Travis Homer, SEA (0%)
Note: Sony Michel and Tony Pollard don’t technically qualify, as each is rostered in more than 50% of leagues. If either is available on your wire, go get them.
Rondale Moore, Arizona (33%)
I might just copy and paste the Week 2 waiver recommendation for Rondale Moore, just with a few more exclamation points. With his snap share jumping from 29% in Week 1 to 46% in Week 2, Moore continues to demand attention. That should only continue, as he was the shock target leader for Arizona in Week 2, and his upside puts him ahead of the likes of A.J. Green and Christian Kirk for me. He’s still a rookie in an offense with a lot of options, so he’s not going to return WR2 value every week. But go with the talent and opportunity in a high-octane offense.
Henry Ruggs III, Las Vegas (35%)
The Steelers clearly wanted to bottle up Darren Waller after he saw a league-leading 19(!) targets against the Ravens in Week 1. And it was a strategy that was successful, as Waller wasn’t even targeted until the second quarter and only had two receptions in the fourth quarter. Enter the “Rugg-burner” (still workshopping that nickname). 2nd-year receiver Henry Ruggs III took the opportunity, turning 7 targets into 5 receptions, 113 yards, and a touchdown. Ruggs might be a frustrating player to figure out when to start, but I’ll say this: the Las Vegas Raiders have looked legit through two weeks. Darren Waller will remain the primary receiving option for Derek Carr, but there should be enough passing opportunities to support another receiver if the offense continues to play at a high level, and that receiver looks to be “Renry Huggs.” I’ll figure out a better nickname at some point. Henry Rugglemonster?
Tim Patrick, Denver (22%)
As expected, Tim Patrick delivered a solid performance in Week 2, turning four targets into three receptions and a score. With Jerry Jeaudy on injured reserve and Teddy Bridgewater playing more aggressively, Patrick is poised to hold matchup-based flex value for the foreseeable future. Note: place a backup bid of 1-2% for K.J. Hamler as a consolation prize if you get outbid for Patrick.
K.J. Osborn, Minnesota (2%)
Now more firmly established as the WR3 in Minnesota, K.J. Osborn has earned his targets from Kirk Cousins. He’s not a can’t-miss add, but Osborn is someone with a lot of upside who would be an immediate starter if Justin Jefferson or Adam Thielen were to miss time. I’m a little hesitant to chase the production (see Christian Kirk), but Kirk Cousins is off to a great fantasy start with 595 yards, 5 touchdowns, and no picks. 15 targets in two weeks for Osborn shouldn’t be ignored.
Stashes/Zero Dollar Bids: Van Jefferson Jr. (7%), Dyami Brown, Washington (2%)
The tight end adds for Week 3 are not significant enough to warrant much (if any) of your FAB. Place zero-dollar bids or monitor the wire on Wednesday, and consider these streaming options.
Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh (7%), Jack Doyle, Los Angeles Chargers (1%), Maxx Williams, Arizona (0%)
Note: I don’t recommend spending FAB on quarterbacks, outside of the deepest leagues and Superflex. If you’re in either of those formats or just streaming the position, make sure these quarterbacks are rostered:
Derek Carr, Las Vegas (27%)
Along with the entire offense, Derek Carr has looked more than capable of putting up points. As long as he stays hot, Carr will be a QB1 play.
Teddy Bridgewater, Denver (17%)
Teddy and the Broncos continue to look like a capable offense, and the good times should continue to roll Week 3 against the lowly Jets.
Justin Fields, Chicago (51%)
Ok, this is a cheat, because Justin Fields is already on too many fantasy rosters to qualify for this article, but his rushing ability makes him worthy of a pickup. If Fields can perform, the Andy Dalton era in Chicago may have already come to a close.
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