Fantasy football owners are going to spend a lot of time surfing the waiver wire over the next four months. After all, a timely pickup can often be the difference between winning or losing on any given week, which impacts a team's playoff hopes.
Week 2 is certainly no exception.
In fact, it's one of the most important pickup weeks of the season. Teams finally had to show their cards after keeping things simple during the exhibition games, allowing certain players to break through as potential fantasy assets.
Knowing that, let's examine some of the top options available in most leagues. The list is followed by a deeper dive into some of the players that can help owners fill key roster spots.
Week 2 Fantasy Pickups
Outlook for Most Intriguing Options
EJ Manuel, Buffalo Bills
Manuel has a long way to go before establishing himself as the franchise quarterback fans in Buffalo have been waiting for. That said, his first career start featured plenty of positives and brought him into the fantasy conversation.
The rookie threw two touchdowns while completing 67 percent of his passes and rushing for 23 yards on just three attempts.
The play-calling was on the safe side, with the Bills' coaching staff likely wanting to work him in slowly, but he handled everything asked of him.
Moving forward, the Buffalo offense should open up, giving Manuel more opportunities to take deep shots and utilize his legs. Add in the fact the Bills will likely be playing from behind quite a bit—leading to more passing situations—and he possesses a lot of fantasy upside.
Brian Hartline, Miami Dolphins
Hartline is coming off a productive season which saw him reel in 74 passes for nearly 1,100 yards. However, he didn't receive much fantasy hype—mostly because the Dolphins brought in Mike Wallace.
The move was supposed to sap most of his value.
Instead, the Ohio State product had a huge opener. He had nine catches for 114 yards and a touchdown, matching his TD total from all of last season. With the Cleveland Browns focused on keeping Wallace under control, Hartline was allowed to run free.
He's not going to put up top-10 receiving numbers every week and Wallace remains the top option in Miami.
That said, Week 1 proved he'll have enough targets to make him worth owning with the knowledge that he can fill a void in the starting lineup when needed.
Kellen Winslow, New York Jets
If Geno Smith was the undisputed starter for the Jets throughout training camp, Winslow would have probably attracted more fantasy attention. But since it took awhile for the team's quarterback situation to sort itself out, the tight end flew under the radar.
Young quarterbacks like to utilize their safety-valve option.
It's a role Winslow played to perfection in Week 1, leading the team with seven catches and 79 yards. He also found the end zone, resulting in a 13-point fantasy outing in standard formats.
With the Jets having a severe lack of talent in their receiving corps, there's no reason Winslow can't continue to put up No. 1 tight end numbers. Smith clearly feels comfortable with him as an option underneath and their chemistry will only continue to build.
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