After two weeks, a myriad of injuries and a handful of breakout performances, season-long fantasy leagues are getting their first tastes of waiver wire steal options. Before all of your opponents snatch them up, we have some names to set your eyes upon as you make your week three adjustments.
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Our FULL NFL content schedule will be out soon, but we’ve got loads of exciting new columns and shows this season:
- Sal Vetri and Manny Lora are joining Loughy and a few others on the NFL Strategy Show at 11 ET from Tuesday to Saturday.
- Adam Pfiefer joins us from RotoCurve to provide a MASSIVE matchups breakdown of every game on the Sunday Slate as well as a key injury report on Fridays.
- Chris Spags is releasing four weekly videos previewing some of Awesemo’s favorite plays.
And much more!
Don’t forget to check out today’s NFL Strategy Show with Dave Loughran and Manny Lora as the recap week two’s NFL DFS action.
When news came down that Tyreek Hill would miss some time, everyone and their mother raced to grab rookie Mecole Hardman. Hardman made the most sense as a Hill replacement, as his blazing speed seemed to mesh well with Patrick Mahomes, and Hardman rewarded those picks with a handful of catches and a touchdown. But it was fourth-year receiver Demarcus Robinson who took Hill’s mantle as Mahomes’ favored big play target last week. He finished his breakout performance with a pair of touchdowns and 172 yards while averaging almost 30 yards a reception.
Of course, one cannot expect that same level of explosive performance from someone who was a relative unknown last week. But given the nature of the Chiefs’ offense, on any given week, anyone who can stretch the field vertically poses a serious threat as a fantasy sleeper. Robinson proved he fits the bill, and thus became this week’s most obvious must-have.
As a third-round pick last year, signs pointed to Mason Rudolph potentially becoming heir apparent to Ben Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh. Well, news that Roethlisberger will miss the remainder of the season will test the long-term viability of that plan. Rudolph’s first NFL appearance Sunday was a bit of a mixed bag, but largely promising. He led a few scoring drives, kept the game close throughout and impressed teammates with his command of the offense.
Obviously, the Pittsburgh offense will not resemble the Roethlisberger version, in that they will likely commit more to a consistent running attack. However, Rudolph will play with a strong line in front of him and a few solid weapons. As far as situation goes, he is in a fairly comfortable position to start a career. That is not to say that Rudolph should be a QB1 option right away. But for fantasy lineups devoid of quality quarterbacks or in need of a bye week backup, Rudolph now becomes a strong backup plan.
Jaylen Samuels and Benny Snell
By the same token, the loss of Roethlisberger should have a tremendous effect on the Steelers’ running back situation. Pittsburgh’s high passing volume has restricted some of the fantasy value of their backs in recent years. Under Rudolph, however, running back touches should kick up quite a bit. And with James Conner potentially missing time with a knee injury, that opens the door for at least a couple weeks of production from the Steelers’ reserve backs. Jaylen Samuels may already be widely owned in deeper leagues, but players in shallow leagues could get a solid RB2 option from him this week.
Truth be told, the Steelers’ greatest asset is their strong offensive line. There should be ample openings for backs, no matter who is getting touches. As such, grabbing Benny Snell as a handcuff could serve invaluable should Conner miss extended time.
San Francisco has a loaded running back corps once Tevin Coleman comes back from injury. In the interim, Matt Breida and Raheem Mostert have made up a solid one-two punch, and Mostert should be a handcuff option. Through two games, Mostert is average 61.5 yards per game on the ground at 5.6 yards per carry. This past week, he also added another 68 yards and a touchdown as a receiver. Mostert has been in the NFL for awhile now, but he has started showing the last couple of years that he can provide 80- to 100-scrimmage yard performances when given an expanded role. Coleman is expected to miss a couple more weeks, so deeper league players can ride with Mostert in the meantime.
The Colts’ running back committee approach creates some difficulties for season-long fantasy players. After one week, Marlon Mack was the NFL’s leading rusher. And though he still had the most touches for Indianapolis in week two, it only led to 51 yards. His primary spell, Nyheim Hines, accounted for fewer than 20 yards from scrimmage for the second-straight week. Meanwhile, Jordan Wilkins came away as the Colts top rusher, thanks primarily to one 55-yard run. Even though Mack still figures to handle the bulk of touches in that backfield, Wilkins may be emerging as the true handcuff over Hines, especially in non-PPR leagues. Hines was supposed to be the receiving back with Mack serving as the main ball-carrier. Yet, Mack has seen his share of receiver snaps over Hines. And with Wilkins’ stronger week two performance, Hines could see some phasing out in favor of Wilkins moving forward.
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