Whether your first week of fantasy football ended in glory or up in smokes, you’ve got to pick up the pieces and move on in Week 2. It’s a long season; don’t give up hope just yet.
Many championships have been won on the waiver wire. Even if you aced your opening tests, you’d be wise to make some adjustments by finding a key player or two before it’s too late.
But don’t confuse one-hit wonders with players with true value moving forward. We’ve got you covered with the top guys you should target before Week 2.
TE Julius Thomas, Denver Broncos
Peyton Manning likes to throw to tight ends, and he proved in Week 1 that there are more than enough targets to go around. That said, Julius Thomas was tied for the team high in that department, grabbing five of the 11 balls that came his way.
Two of those five catches went for touchdowns, and he showed great explosiveness for his size. Altogether he racked up a game-high 161 yards as well.
His athleticism and size coupled with Manning’s propensity to look in his direction make him a must-add in any format. Double-digit yards and touchdowns might not be an every-week phenomenon, but it’s hard to imagine him not being a big part of the Denver Broncos’ game plan from here after his breakout performance.
WR Julian Edelman, New England Patriots
We all wondered what in the world Tom Brady would do without a star-studded cast of options to throw the ball to in 2013. Many of us pegged undrafted free agent Kenbrell Thompkins or Danny Amendola as the next fantasy superstars in New England, but Brady reverted back to a more familiar face in Julian Edelman.
Thompkins and Amendola got their chances, receiving a team-high 14 targets apiece, but Edelman got the looks in the red zone and converted twice, recording the Patriots' only two receiving touchdowns of the game.
ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss reported Amendola and tight end Zach Sudfeld were limited in practice on Monday:
WR Danny Amendola (groin), TE Zach Sudfeld (hamstring), TE Rob Gronkowski (thigh/back) & RB Leon Washington (thigh) among those limited.— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) September 9, 2013
While Amendola played injured Sunday, he was visibly favoring his groin on the field. The Pats face the New York Jets on Thursday night, and Bill Belichick is vague—at best—when it comes to injuries.
But even with the receiver in the game, Edelman found his way onto the field in Week 1 and proved to be an important part of the game plan for the Pats. He was put on the outside in three-wide sets and moved inside to the slot when Amendola needed a breather.
RB Joique Bell, Detroit Lions
Reggie Bush had a huge day against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 1, but it was Joique Bell who surprised fantasy football owners with a better-than-expected performance. Most notably, Mikel Leshoure was a healthy scratch on Sunday, giving Bell the opportunity to spell Bush and get a good amount of work near the goal line.
He delivered with two short-yardage touchdowns and also caught five passes for 67 yards out of the backfield. Plus, Bush is dealing with some injuries after the season opener. Coach Jim Schwartz said he doesn’t plan to limit Bush’s workload as a result of the early injuries, though, according to Carlos Monarrez of Detroit Free Press Sports.
But Bell had double-digit touches and touchdowns even with Bush in the lineup. Even as a backup in Detroit, he has potential to be a productive player in any fantasy format—scoop him up now.
WR Marlon Brown, Baltimore Ravens
Already thin at the position, the Baltimore Ravens are going to miss Jacoby Jones for a couple weeks after the receiver sprained his knee on a freak punt return collision with teammate Brynden Trawick. The team didn’t give a set return date but did anticipate it could be weeks before Jones makes it back to the field:
Jacoby Jones has a sprain, and he is "day-to-day, week-to-week," Harbaugh said.— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) September 9, 2013
Even with Jones back, Baltimore may have found what it was looking for this offseason: a big-bodied and quick target for Joe Flacco to abuse defenses with. Undrafted free agent Marlon Brown was one of the few bright spots offensively during the team’s trouncing by the Denver Broncos in Week 1.
He might not be a sure-fire starter every week, but Brown has an excellent matchup against the Cleveland Browns in Week 2—a team with incompetency in its secondary when talking about anyone not named Joe Haden. With Haden likely to be tied to Torrey Smith at the hip, he’ll be worthy of WR3 consideration this week.