Deeper Sleepers for Standard Leagues (Week 2)

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Well, this week happened, didn't it? There were some really bad performances by some NFL teams--hi Cincinnati! hi Houston!--and some disappointing performances by players you were counting on in fantasy. There were also surprises. Also, you lost David Johnson. You were likely getting ready to stand up and holler about how good the catch he'd made but then you stopped because it was taking him a second to get up and then you felt really bad. David Johnson's injury is bad for fantasy teams, but it's also bad for people who want to watch the best players play the best football every week. For these reasons, as fantasy owners we sometimes need to dig deep on the waiver wire to somehow find a way to replace these losses.

This week I'll be looking at deeper waiver wire targets and sleepers for Week 2, players whose ownership is currently under 20% and are likely available in many of your leagues. Sometimes I'll be highlighting these players because they have long-term value. Other times I'll be pointing out players who can get you through key injures.

Note: All ownership percentages are for Yahoo leagues.

Editor's note: Purchase any NFL Lineup Optimizer pass (including daily DFS cheat sheets), and you also get access to NBA and NHL Optimizers and DFS cheat sheets.

 

Deeper Waiver Wire Targets for Week 2

DeShone Kizer (QB, Cleveland Browns) - 10%

Kizer is a work-in-progress right now - a talented player who is going to have some bad outings on a bad team. But in his debut, he flashed a competence that the Cleveland Browns haven't known in a long, long while. Kizer completed 66% of his passes with a touchdown and a pick, plus added 17 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Kizer won't set the world on fire with his arm this year, but the rushing threat he adds gives him solid value. Kizer is worth picking up if you need help at quarterback.

Jared Goff (QB, Los Angeles Rams) - 6%

Jared Goff actually looked like a competent NFL quarterback on Sunday, going 21-of-29 for 306 yards and a touchdown. It needs to be said that this came against the Colts and that you really need to take it with a grain of salt, but it's also worth noting that a lot of quarterbacks looked very bad in Week 1 and Goff didn't. I'd rather own Goff as my back up quarterback right now than own Andy Dalton, Blake Bortles, or Joe Flacco. The Rams have two good receivers in Sammy Watkins and Cooper Kupp, and the running game seems to be working again this year. Goff isn't worth starting until we see if he can sustain the level of play we saw Sunday, but he's worth grabbing and stashing.

Chris Carson (RB, Seattle Seahawks) - 15%

Wow, the Seahawks offense struggled on Sunday. With Thomas Rawls out, the Seattle rushing game consisted of Eddie Lacy, C.J. Prosise, and Carson. Lacy's five carries for three yards don't inspire much confidence. Prosise had 11 yards! Carson was the best back against Green Bay, taking six carries for 39 yards, though 30 of that came on one play. You probably don't want to own any shares of this backfield at the moment, but Carson has the best chance of emerging from it if Thomas Rawls doesn't return soon.

Tarik Cohen (RB, Chicago Bears) -  13%

Cohen was used as a change-of-pace back and a pass catcher out of the backfield on Sunday and it worked--he had five carries for 66 yards and eight catches for 47 yards and a touchdown. Cohen is in an interesting position with the Bears--it's very unlikely he unseats starter Jordan Howard because he doesn't have the build of an every down back, but with the Bears receiving unit just filled with injuries, Cohen could end up seeing plenty of targets from quarterback Mike Glennon. Except to see Howard and Cohen sharing the backfield at times, and to Cohen split-out wide at times. He's much more valuable in PPR than in Standard, but he could get enough usage to make him an interesting FLEX play.

Marlon Mack (RB, Indianapolis Colts) - 9%

Mack had ten carries against the Rams, which was the same amount as starting running back Frank Gore. They aren't in a timeshare--Mack touched the ball so much because the Colts were getting embarrassed and were trying whatever they could--but Mack could start to see the ball more and more going forward. Gore looked strong, though, so any hope that Mack would surpass him based on Gore declining seem to be out the window for now. There are better backs to own from this list right away, but Mack is an intriguing lottery ticket depending on how things develop with the Colts offense.

Kerwynn Williams (RB, Arizona Cardinals) - 5%

Williams is on this list for one reason: David Johnson is going to be out 2-3 months. Williams and Andre Ellington should be the backs for Arizona with Johnson out. Arizona has already seen what Ellington can do as a starter, so expect them to turn to Williams the majority of the time. He isn't a great back, but he'll get enough opportunities that you can plug him into your team as a Johnson replacement and...still feel really bad, but maybe a tiny bit less bad?

Javorius Allen (RB, Baltimore Ravens) - 3%

This is one of those that came out of nowhere. "Buck" Allen was a big part of the Ravens offense as a rookie in 2015, but it seemed like those days were over--if Kenneth Dixon wasn't missing this entire season, I'd be willing to bet Allen wouldn't be a Raven. But with Woodhead hurt and Joe Flacco not throwing the ball at all, Allen received 21 carries against the Bengals. I'm honestly shocked by that usage, but also--if you give a player 21 carries and it works for you, you have to keep doing that, right? I expect him to see the ball less going forward, but it is very tempting to pick him up and hope he gets the ball fifteen or so times until Woodhead returns. Allen has also shown an ability to catch the ball in the past, though we didn't see that on display Sunday.

Kenny Golladay (WR, Detroit Lions) - 17%

Golladay was hyped up during the preseason, but as the regular season dawned it looked like he'd struggle to find playing time on the Lions. Oops. Golladay hauled in two touchdowns against Arizona and looked explosive. There's risk here--scoring on half your receptions is a very unsustainable number--but if Golladay can continue to grow in the Lions offense he could be a productive player. A bonus: the Lions offense was outstanding, but Eric Ebron was mostly invisible. If that trend continues, Golladay could find himself getting targets down in the red zone.

Nelson Agholor (WR, Philadelphia Eagles) - 13%

Agholor had six catches against Washington, ending with 86 yards and a touchdown. The Eagles passing game looked strong, Agholor looked better than Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith, and...is it repeatable? Agholor has flashed his skill at times in his career, but we haven't seen him put it all together yet. If Carson Wentz continues to play well and the Eagles run game continues to struggle, Agholor could see his share of the ball. Worth a speculative add if you need receiver help, but not the top option.

Jermaine Kearse (WR, New York Jets) - 2%

If you need volume, just know that Kearse was targeted nine times on Sunday. He caught seven of those for 59 yards. The Jets will be playing from behind a lot this season and there's going to be plenty of chances for Kearse to put up games like this and add in the occasional touchdown.

Jesse James (TE, Pittsburgh Steelers)- 6%

Jesse James is on this list more by necessity than anything else. James hauled in six catches for 41 yards and a couple touchdowns against the Browns, but it was an unusual showing for Pittsburgh--Le'Veon Bell only touched the ball 13 times and Martavis Bryant only had two catches. I don't expect that James will have another game this season in which he gets into the end zone twice, but tight end isn't the deepest position and James could be worth a speculative add just in case the Steelers decide to keep him involved in the offense.

 

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