With Weeks 1 & 2 in the books, I'm sure there are more than a few owners scrambling to the waiver wire looking for answers when their team starts 1-1, or worse yet, 0-2. Then you have fantasy owners who are looking for replacements with Dez Bryant and Tony Romo out for half a season. And yet still, you have owners who troll the waiver wire because they just aren't happy with their team and think just one more move will complete it.
I decided to give you the inside scoop on a few FAs out there and what their actual value is. While leagues can certainly be won by the smart FA add at the right time, they can also be lost by making a hasty decision without all the information.
Derek Carr: The Raiders had a good weekend, shocking the Ravens with a 37-33 victory. Carr stepped up and found the love with rookie WR Amari Cooper, finishing with 351 passing yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception. The Raiders are not THIS good, and the ride this season is going to be a rollercoaster for sure. But, Carr has shown his ceiling and Cooper will only get more comfortable as the season goes on.
Tyrod Taylor: The Bills are a running team, but that isn't a bad thing for Taylor because he is a running QB. I saw an article on Sunday saying he was a QB that "fell back to Earth" this weekend. Look, if my QB throws for 242 yards and 3 TDs, and chips in 43 rushing yards and another TD, I'm completely ok with him throwing 3 INTs. In fantasy football we care about the fantasy points, not the weather or not his team wins!
Matt Jones: Jones had a huge game on Sunday, finishing with 146 total yards and 2 TDs against what some consider to be an above average Rams defense. The problem he has is Alfred Morris, who is still the starter for the Redskins. The problem Morris has is Jones, who proved he is more effective. The Redskins are going to use the running game to control the clock as long as DeSean Jackson is out and Kirk Cousins in the QB. Jones is still just a flex play while behind Morris, but someone that should be added in most formats.
Dion Lewis: Lewis has put up back-to-back RB1 games to open the fantasy season, leading many owners to question who is the better RB to own in New England? While I think Lewis is a great RB2/Flex play right now, owners need to also understand the Patriots rotation at running back is going to be game-flow dependent. In Week 2 they spread the defense out to nullify the Bills defensive line, but that is likely to change against the Jaguars in Week 3 when I fully expect them to ground and pound it with LeGarrette Blount. Be aware and beware with the Patriots running game.
David Johnson: While [David] Johnson was only able to get into the game for 16 snaps and 6 touches, he made the most of them by totaling 45 yards and a TD on offense, then running kick-off back for 108 yards for another TD. I have a feeling that the Arizona backfield is going to be more of a timeshare than anything with Chris Johnson rushing for 72 yards on 20 carries. The rookie could end up being more of a special team factor than a fantasy factor.
Travis Benjamin: This is one guy I would actually avoid adding despite his early success. I mention him because the Browns WR has 204 receiving yards, 164 return yards, and 4 total touchdowns (3 receiving, 1 return) through the first two games. The problem I see is 1) the Browns QB situation; 2) the Browns having a run-heavy offensive scheme; and 3) Benjamin is a situational deep threat who either catches a 50-yard bomb for a TD, or does nothing. I wouldn't put too much faith in the Browns passing attack, or in Benjamin catching a bomb every single game this season.
DeAngelo Williams: A lot of sites are going to tell you it is time to cut Williams now that Le'Veon Bell is coming back, but not me. While I will agree he should not be in your starting line-up, he should be held just in case Bell tweaks a hamstring or the Steelers decide to use Williams in the Jerome Bettis role. For those who remember at the end of his career, Bettis would see 3 carries for 3 yards in a game, but would finish with 3 touchdowns! 3 TDs equals 18 fantasy points, and that is a pretty good day for any RB. The key to winning a league is to find value where others see garbage.
James Starks: When Eddie Lacy went down with an "ankle injury", fantasy owners were throwing elbows to get to the waiver wire to add Starks. Word is that Lacy is more likely than not to play in Week 3, making Starks little more than a speculation add on the hopes that Lacy tweaks his ankle and misses weeks instead of days. If you have an open roster spot at the end of your bench, you could do worse. But, I wouldn't cut anyone worth keeping for Starks given the news on Lacy right now.
Andy Dalton– Bengals: Dalton is one of the more underrated QBs not just in the NFL, but in fantasy football as well. This week he was able to carve out QB1 stats thanks to his 214 passing yards, 3 TDs, and 0 INTs. Dalton is one of those guys who could be helping you win games right now, but instead is on your waiver wire, all the while you are stuck playing Drew Brees, Eli Manning, or Sam Bradford and losing in the process.
Derek Carr – Raiders: I already talked about Carr's numbers, so let's talk about Week 3. A lot of people are going to make the mistake of chasing this week's numbers, and my feeling is he will have a much tougher match-up next week when the Raiders take on an underrated Browns defense. If you started Carr this week, screen shot it and put it as your profile picture to show your glory. If you didn't, don't chase last week's numbers.
Giovani Bernard– Bengals: Bernard stepped up bigtime this weekend, running the ball 20 times for 123 yards, and adding 3 catches for another 16 yards. While he didn't find the endzone, he proved without a doubt that he is much more than a PPR fantasy RB! I don't think Jeremy Hill owners need to be worried as every player has a bad game. But, Bernard proved he is much more than a handcuff with this performance. Gio is a good flex play option even if Hill is on his game.
DeAngelo Williams – Steelers: Williams finished the week as the #1 RB in fantasy football thanks to his 92 total yards and 3 touchdowns against a stout 49ers defense. Sure, he didn't have the flashy 100-plus yard game, but touchdowns are worth six (6) points in most leagues and his three got him 18 points right off the bat. Add in the yards and he finished with somewhere around 30 fantasy points, depending on your scoring set-up. With Bell back in Week 3, Williams heads to fantasy benches.
Matt Jones – Redskins: The little-owned fantasy RB came through in a big way this week when he rumbled his way to 123 yards and 2 TDs, and added 3 catches for 23 yards. On top of that, Jones out-carried Alfred Morris 19-18 and out-shined him on the ground 123-59. My guess is that Morris is going to remain atop of the Redskins depth chart, but Jones has carved himself out a role after his performance on Sunday.
Allen Robinson – Jaguars: Robinson opened a lot of eyes in Week 2 with 6 receptions for 155 yards and 2 touchdowns. I've said in countless radio interviews and emails that Robinson is a WR2 in any format, and I consider him a WR1 in PPR formats. He has established himself as one of the league's premier deep threats, and Bortles go-to guy when he needs to move the sticks.
Larry Fitzgerald – Cardinals: Fitzgerald is someone that I personally avoided in fantasy drafts because his name value pushes his fantasy draft stock higher than it should be. But, this weekend at least, those who believed in him were reward with an 8/112/3 line. This might be the perfect time to sell-high on Fitzgerald given Carson Palmer's erratic nature and the fact that you can't play the Bears every week.
Crockett Gilmore – Ravens: Fantasy owners had to be asking themselves "Crockett… like Davey Crockett?" No, Crockett Gilmore! Gilmore has emerged as the No. 2 option behind Steve Smith in the Ravens passing attack, and proceeded to shred the Raiders defense for 88 yards and 2 TDs. Gilmore is a 6'6", 270 pound target that deserves to be added by those looking for answers at TE.
Cleveland Browns defense: The Browns showed off their underrated defense in Week 2 as they brought the Titans and rookie QB Marcus Mariota back to Earth by holding them to 14 points while racking up 3 recovered fumbles and a defensive touchdown if your league counts return TDs for defenses. The Browns get another juicy match-up in Week 3 when the Raiders come to Cleveland.
Jay Cutler – Bears: If you drafted Cutler this year my only question to you would be why? The decline of Cutler continued in Week 2 when he finished with a less than impressive 120 yards passing, 1 TD, and 1 INT. With this performance Cutler now has 345 passing yards, 2 TDs, and 2 INTs through the first two games of the season. Cutler isn't even on the streaming radar at this point, and fans have to wonder if his hamstring injury on Sunday is just the excuse the Bears need to bench him.
Andrew Luck – Colts: The Jets defense handed Luck one of the worst games of his career on Monday night, holding him to 227 yards passing and 1 TD. As if that wasn't bad enough, they were also able to force 3 INTs and a lost fumble. There is little doubt this will go down as Luck's worst game this season, and fantasy owners just have to chalk it up to a bad game by an underrated defense.
Sam Bradford – Eagles: The Eagles offense has been nothing short of a disaster, leading coach Chip Kelley to say everyone on the offense will be evaluated. This week Bradford managed to throw for 224 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs, and a lost fumble. That puts his season total now at 560 passing yards, 2 TDs, and 4 INTs. The reality is Bradford has been awful so far, missing throws and making poor defensive reads from the opening whistle. I doubt the Eagles bench him, but I also doubt I will see his name in the winners column anytime soon unless changes are made to the offensive line.
Marshawn Lynch – Seahawks: The Packers figured out a way to tame the beast this week as they limited Lynch to just 41 yards rushing and 21 yards receiving, with no touchdowns. The lack of production put him in the 25-27 range for fantasy RBs this week, nowhere near what owners were expecting when they drafted him in the 1st or 2nd round. Lynch will bounce back next week when he takes on the Bears turnstile defensive line.
DeMarco Murray – Eagles: It seems to be a common theme so far this season for the Eagles to be on the losing end of the fantasy discussion. The Eagles O-Line couldn't open a hole to save their life this weekend, leaving Murray with just 2 yards on 13 attempts (0.15 YPC). His only saving grace was the 5 passes he reeled in for 53 yards. Murray is now a borderline RB1/2 with homerun ability stifled by an offensive line with sacrifice bunt ability!
Ruben Randle – Giants: Fantasy owners were hoping that Randle would be the new Victor Cruz when they took a gamble on the new No. 2 WR for the Giants. What they got instead through two games is a grand total 4 catches for 28 yards. Regardless how much Eli Manning tries to talk him up in the passing game, Randle is just not worth owning at this point. He can safely be cut in 12-team leagues until his role is more defined.
Keenan Allen – Chargers: Allen looked like a stud WR in Week 1 when he rattled off 15 catches for 166 yards. Week 2 however was a different matter as the Bengals shut him down to the tune of 2 catches for 16 yards. Allen started the game off by fumbling a punt, then failed to break a tackle for the yards after catch. Allen is in no danger of being cut in fantasy leagues based on one game, but he will need to become more consistent for owners to keep him in their starting line-up going forward.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins – Buccaneers: One week after torching the Titans for 110 yards and 2 TDs, ASJ was held to a meager 29 yards on 3 receptions. The Bucs offense is going to be all over the map with a rookie QB at the helm, and a running game that doesn't exactly inspire confidence. With that said, Seferian-Jenkins is a touchdown dependent fantasy football TE.
Baltimore Ravens defense: The Ravens didn't just lose in reality on Sunday, their defense lost in fantasy as well! One of the most widely owned defense in fantasy football, the Ravens managed to get their owners just 1 sack and 1 INT, while allowing 37 points to the Raiders. The Ravens have tough back-to-back match-ups with the Bengals and Steelers, followed by a much easier draw with the Browns at home in Week 5.