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Unexpected Boom Performances: Fantasy Football Risers Include Brian Robinson Jr., Josh Reynolds, Jayden Reed, and more

Josh Reynolds - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups

Week 2 of the NFL season is in the book and it was certainly an upgrade over the lackluster Week 1. With plenty of exciting moments, including overtime victories, a Hail Mary touchdown, and surprising rookie performances, you can safely say that this was an exciting week of football.

Within this exciting slate of games, there were some very strong numbers being put up by unlikely sources. So, as usual, we will go through them in this article.

Now, I could easily just list off the Los Angeles Rams’ unlikely stars, Puka Nacua and Kyren Williams, but they were included in last week’s edition. So, if those outings dumbfounded you, you probably missed the boat. With that being said, here are some of the more unexpected boom performances from Week 2.

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Surprise Fantasy Football Performances

Brian Robinson Jr., Washington Commanders

In a close comeback win for the Washington Commanders, we may have been exposed to one of the best running back values from draft season. Second-year back Brian Robinson Jr. had himself a strong outing as a true bell-cow against the Denver Broncos.

Robinson truly dominated the backfield touches with 18 carries for 87 yards and two touchdowns along with two receptions for 42 yards. That statistical output resulted in 27.9 Half-PPR fantasy points, good for the third-highest score on the week and the highest score from a non-QB.

If this performance means anything for the fantasy community, it should be a wake-up call to stop valuing running back efficiency over running back opportunity. During the offseason, numerous people were falling for the Antonio Gibson college receiver/running back narrative once again. Looking at Gibson’s five total rushing opportunities in two games, it looks like Robinson is the only back to own in Washington as he has the trust of the coaching staff.

Joshua Dobbs, Arizona Cardinals

During a weird game that saw the Arizona Cardinals squander a 20-0 halftime lead against the New York Giants, the Cardinals had a solid performance from their quarterback.

Despite having only a few weeks working with this Arizona offense, Joshua Dobbs had himself a nice outing by completing 21-of-31 passes for 228 yards and a touchdown along with three carries for 41 yards and a touchdown. His efforts against New York made him the eighth-highest scorer and the fourth-highest-scoring quarterback with 25.22 fantasy points in Week 2.

It’s unlikely that anybody in a typical league started Dobbs this week, as the Cardinals weren’t expected to keep this game close. However, if you’re ever in a serious pinch at quarterback, this performance shows that the journeyman quarterback has the potential to pay off.

Brandon Johnson, Denver Broncos

In a tragic loss from the Denver Broncos, an unlikely source was able to show out as a top fantasy performer. The little-known Brandon Johnson had himself a day as he made the most of just three total targets from Russell Wilson.

During Denver’s Week 2 loss to the Washington Commanders, Johnson caught two-of-three targets for 66 yards and two touchdowns. Those statistics resulted in 19.6 Half-PPR fantasy points and a WR10 finish on the week.

This performance was particularly interesting as most of the production came from a miraculous 50-yard Hail Mary touchdown as time expired for the Broncos. It should be known that the pass wasn’t necessarily directed for him as it bounced through what seemed like five different players’ hands, but it ended up with him nonetheless.

While this outing was unexpected, there probably isn’t much here as far as future fantasy value goes.

Josh Reynolds, Detroit Lions

Josh Reynolds had an important role within the Detroit Lions’ offense for the second week in a row. With Jameson Williams suspended for the first six weeks of the season, someone had to step up in his absence, and the seventh-year vet has shown up.

In Detroit’s overtime loss to the Seahawks in Week 2, Reynolds was a top target as he caught five-of-six targets for 66 yards and two touchdowns. His strong day earned him 21.1 Half-PPR fantasy points, making him the WR8 on the week.

It’s unclear whether Reynolds will maintain this role for the rest of the season considering the impending return of the previously mentioned Williams. However, for at least the next four weeks, he should be considered a solid addition to most fantasy rosters.

Jayden Reed, Green Bay Packers

In a close Green Bay Packers loss to the Atlanta Falcons where the team forgot how to move the ball on offense for the final quarter of play, there was a nice contribution from an unlikely source.

Rookie wide receiver Jayden Reed had himself an involved day within this Packers’ offense. He finished by being the team’s leading target earner as he caught four-of-eight for 37 yards and two touchdowns. Those statistics resulted in 17.7 Half-PPR fantasy points and a WR15 finish on the week.

This performance could be the start of something special for the former Michigan State Spartan. He’s had his fair share of supporters in the offseason, and he appears to be building a strong rapport with quarterback Jordan Love. We’ll see where this goes, but you have to feel good about having Reed on your roster after this outing.

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