Fantasy Football Week 2: Risers, Fallers and Top Trade Candidates

Richard JanvrinFeatured ColumnistSeptember 16, 2015

Fantasy Football Week 2: Risers, Fallers and Top Trade Candidates

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    Brian Blanco/Associated Press

    With Week 1 of the fantasy football season in the books, it took little time for the season to throw its usual curveballs.

    In a week highlighted by Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant's foot injury, we also saw Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota throw up Fran Tarkenton-like rookie debut numbers.

    Heading into Week 2 is a tough time to diagnose risers and fallers. Why? Well, because the first couple of days after Week 1 always result in a ton of knee-jerk overreactions.

    In this column, I'll do my best to decipher who is a riser or faller and also some trade candidates you should buy low, sell high or just get rid of outright.

    Let's kick it off with a riser.

Riser: Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco 49ers

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    Tony Avelar/Associated Press

    Without trying to overreact, I have to say my Carlos Hyde doubt, especially for Week 1, was flat-out wrong.

    On Monday Night Football, the San Francisco 49ers running back came out with an "all systems go" mentality. Hyde carried the ball 26 times for 168 yards and two scores, adding two receptions for 14 yards. The Minnesota Vikings had no answer for Hyde, and it seemed like every run to the outside resulted in 10 yards.

    Additionally, fellow San Francisco 49ers running back Reggie Bush suffered what is believed to be a calf strain but may only miss a short period of time, according to Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay AreaDuring the postgame press conference, San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula addressed the injury, saying, "We don’t think it’s serious, but again we’ll take care of that."

    If Bush were to suffer any setbacks, Hyde may also see more opportunities in the passing game.

    For now, Hyde is locked in as an RB1 when the Pittsburgh Steelers host the 49ers this coming Sunday.

Faller: Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos

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    Jack Dempsey/Associated Press

    Again, we're not trying to overreact, but Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning got roughed up in his Week 1 matchup with the Baltimore Ravens.

    Throwing for only 175 yards with an interception didn't bode well for fantasy owners. But it's worth noting that out of Manning's 44 total attempts only four were of 20 yards or more, and none of those were completed, according to Pro Football Focus.

    To be fair, the Ravens defense created some pressure on Manning, resulting in four sacks. Also, the Broncos couldn't get anything going on the ground with running back C.J. Anderson, who posted a putrid 29 yards on 12 carries.

    Next week, Manning may be tasked with an even harder assignment as he and the Denver Broncos travel to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs in a Thursday night showdown.

    Unless you have another top quarterback option, you're probably starting Manning, but don't be surprised if he struggles yet again.

Riser: Tyler Eifert, TE, Cincinnati Bengals

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    Tony Avelar/Associated Press

    The long-awaited emergence of Cincinnati Bengals third-year tight end Tyler Eifert has seemingly arrived.

    After receiving a team-high 12 targets during the Bengals' demolition of the Oakland Raiders, Eifert hauled in nine of those for over 100 yards and two scores.

    As of now, all signs seem to point to Eifert as Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton's security blanket and the No. 2 pass-catching option in this offense.

    If the dynamic duo that is Cincinnati Bengals running backs Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard can continue its success, Andy Dalton may have found himself that secondary weapon behind wide receiver A.J. Green he's been searching for as he hopes to come in to his own after being in the league for several seasons.

    Tyler Eifert is on the upswing and should continue to be a TE1.

Faller: DeSean Jackson, WR, Washington Redskins

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    Alex Brandon/Associated Press

    Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant wasn't the only NFC East wide receiver to suffer an injury.

    According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, blazing Washington Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson will be sidelined three to four weeks after suffering a hamstring injury.

    This is a much more devastating injury than it may appear. Yes, he may be out a month, but this may hamper Jackson's entire season.

    Why? DeSean Jackson predicates his success on the deep ball. Last season, 600 of Jackson's 1,169 total receiving yards came on passes of 20 or more yards.

    Hamstring injuries have a tendency to linger, so DeSean Jackson's hamstring will be something to monitor moving forward.

Riser: Terrance Williams, WR, Dallas Cowboys

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    Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

    "Next man up" is a common phrase coined by NFL head coaches when a player goes down with an injury.

    Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Terrance Williams is the next man up in Dallas with fellow wide receiver Dez Bryant being out for an extended period of time with a foot injury.

    This is really the time for Williams to shine, as it's widely assumed he is not a true No. 2 wide receiver. Posting five receptions on eight targets for 60 yards, Terrance Williams will look to find the end zone as the Dallas' No. 1 receiving-game option when the Cowboys take on a Philadelphia Eagles defense that got beaten up by Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (no, Williams is no Julio).

    Williams is still out there in a ton of leagues (44.9 percent owned in ESPN leagues). If he is on your waiver wire, make him a top priority, but keep the expectations right around WR3 range moving forward.

Faller: Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys

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    Brandon Wade/Associated Press

    By far the most devastating fantasy football blow, fantasy owners and the Dallas Cowboys could now be without wide receiver Dez Bryant for eight to 12 weeks, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

    With the injury initially diagnosed with a four-to-six-week timetable for recovery, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, this is a huge blow to anyone who owns Dez Bryant.

    Believed to be a Jones fracture, per the Big Lead's Jason McIntyre, this is the same injury that ended Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Marvin Jones' season last year and also knocked NBA and Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Kevin Durant out for his season.

    This does not bode well for the wide receiver, as he was likely the top pick in your fantasy draft. Prepare yourself to be without him for the entire season.

Trade Candidates

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    Bill Wippert/Associated Press

    Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys

    It pains me to talk about the idea of trading Dez Bryant, but you have to—and fast.

    As I highlighted in the previous slide, Bryant's injury has the potential to end his season. At this point, you could probably still get some value out of him to the right owner.

    Search your league for an owner who has some wide receiver depth or an abundance of a position you may need.

    The new reports of eight to 12 weeks may scare owners away, but do what you can to unload who was likely your No. 1 pick.

     

    Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars

    My love for Allen Robinson isn't going anywhere. Yes, I'll agree with the narrative that the Jacksonville Jaguars offense makes for very limited opportunities for the 22-year-old, but his ceiling is about as high as any wide receiver.

    Coming off of one catch for 27 yards in Week 1—and the usual panic from owners—you may be able to get Allen Robinson for 50 cents or less on the dollar.

    If you're in need of wide receiver help, especially after the Dez Bryant injury, Robinson will prove to be a great addition to your team, depending on the price tag.

     

    Andre Johnson, WR, Indianapolis Colts

    I'm not sure what it is about the Buffalo Bills' playing at home, but they absolutely dismantle opposing teams and their quarterbacks (I've been to two Bills home games—they won both).

    Any game against the Bills shouldn't be taken as a depiction of what the season holds for that respective player.

    In a game in which Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck struggled throughout, Andre Johnson managed only four receptions for 24 yards. However, the veteran wide receiver did receive 10 targets.

    Don't think I'll forget to mention the injury to fellow Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton. Initial reports were that he may miss a few weeks with a knee injury. But later an MRI diagnosed the injury as a knee bruise, and Hilton may only be day-to-day, both according to Mike Chappell of Fox 59/CBS 4 and Indysportscentral.com.

    If Hilton is unable to go, Andre Johnson will only continue to see an uptick in targets. If Hilton can play, he's still a great option to go out and acquire, because remember, it was the Buffalo Bills and their stingy defense.

     

    Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee Titans

    Marcus Mariota will perhaps be awarded the "Sold High" trophy at the end of the season. With no intent to take away his success in Week 1, the rookie signal-caller did face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and their struggling defense. To give Mariota credit, he did look poised, and every throw was accurate.

    With the 21-year-old throwing more touchdowns (four) than incompletions (three) in Week 1, his value will never be higher than it is now.

    Mariota is likely your backup, so deal him for a player who can help your team now.

    He is by far a sell-high candidate heading into Week 2.

     

    Advanced stats courtesy of Pro Football Focus unless otherwise noted.