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10 sleepers to consider in your Week 2 lineup
One week of NFL action gives us a nice opportunity to draw some conclusions without going overboard. In fact, that’s one of the most difficult mental hurdles to clear: not overreacting to what we saw in just sixty minutes of action.
The good news is that we know others will overreact. We also know that prices will start to shift, but not drastically. Not yet.
For now, Week 2 presents the perfect opportunity to take advantage of salaries that are lagging behind while also playing off the emotions of those who will use Week 1 as an indication of what’s to come over the next few months.
QB Trevor Lawrence – JAX $6,000 vs. DEN
One look at Trevor Lawrence’s matchup with the Broncos’ defense should send most WFS players running, and that’s exactly why I want to target the Jaguars’ rookie quarterback. Lawrence was anything but sharp in his NFL debut — throwing three interceptions in a convincing loss — but he also amassed over 330 yards through the air. If we could get that type of volume at a reasonable price on a weekly basis, we should be thrilled with the outcome. Especially since we can expect the first overall pick to develop his game with the additional pass attempts.
QB Mac Jones – NE $5,600 at NYJ
Mac Jones was basically the opposite of the aforementioned Lawrence, where his efficiency and limiting of turnovers were excellent, but his counting numbers left something to be desired. That should change on Sunday as the New England Patriots seek their first win of the season against the Jets. The penalty for interceptions is harsh on OwnersBox, but Jones should be fine in that category. That makes his low price tag extremely appealing in a game where he’ll either need to throw to win or simply be putting his team ahead early.
RB James Robinson – JAX $5,500 vs. DEN
James Robinson was one of my sleeper targets last week, and he was quite the disappointment in terms of carrying the ball. That’s also because his team was knocked out almost immediately and had to turn to the aerial attack exclusively. The good news is that Robinson doesn’t lose value there, as he still saw six targets in Week 1. His price tag is actually a bit high considering how many touches went to Carlos Hyde, but that, along with the perceived bad matchup, should move people away from Robinson. If you play him, it’s likely to be a contrarian move.
RB Mark Ingram – HOU $5,000 at CLE
The Houston Texans put together one of the more impressive wins of Week 1 and did so by attacking the Jaguars from all angles. Houston had previously committed to a running back committee, but Mark Ingram easily led the team in carries with 26. Overall, the Texans had the most rush attempts on Opening Day, although some of that was driven by milking the clock with a lead for basically the entire second half. The easy assumption will be that Cleveland forces the Texans to throw, and that is extremely likely. Still, Houston knows its best game plan involves controlling the field with a malleable rushing attack, where Ingram should still get his attempts — including those near the goal line.
RB Trey Sermon – SF $4,200 at PHI
I waxed poetic about Trey Sermon in every article leading up to Opening Day, and I promptly wept as he was a healthy inactive against the Lions. Making matters worse, every other backup running back for the San Francisco 49ers had an opportunity to shine with an early injury Raheem Mostert. Unfortunately for Mostert, that injury is going to end his season, but it means Sermon is back in play. He may be popular given his price, but he was drafted in the third round to be an important piece behind Mostert. It looks like he will get his opportunity in Week 2.
WR Kenny Golladay – NYG $5,400 at WFT
One of the lone bright spots in the New York Giants’ dismal outing against the Broncos was wide receiver Kenny Golladay. His final statline wasn’t overly impressive — four catches for 64 yards and no touchdowns — but he was one of the only members of the Giants’ offense that was producing. As a whole, it’s likely that New York is an easy fade for most WFS players, which means that someone from the team has a chance to outperform. Golladay has earned additional looks from quarterback Daniel Jones.
WR DeVonta Smith – PHI $4,900 vs. SF
I wrote about DeVonta Smith in one of last week’s articles purely on talent alone. We saw that talent on display immediately as Smith scored the first touchdown of the season for the Philadelphia Eagles. The best part is that Smith also led the Eagles in targets, receptions, and yards. Smith has a tough matchup against San Francisco, but again, he is simply too good for his low price tag.
WR Russell Gage – ATL $3,900 at TB
Russell Gage was the perfect target leading into last week’s game against Philadelphia. He delivered a whopping zero catches on two targets. The latter is actually more surprising than the production given how often quarterback Matt Ryan looking in Gage’s direction last year with Julio Jones still around. However, this low output is one of the reasons why Gage will go overlooked again. We saw the Buccaneers force the Cowboys to throw in order to keep pace, and the Atlanta Falcons should do the same on Monday. It may have taken a full game for the Falcons’ new head coach to get a handle on the offense, and we should see a different Falcons team in Week 2.
WR Randall Cobb – GB $3,500 vs. DET
Because he will play on Monday Night Football — and thus serve as a late option for a lineup — Randall Cobb is probably not going to be extremely unpopular. He also won’t be a focal point with Davante Adams present. Let’s not forget that Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers brought in Cobb personally, where it would be foolish for Cobb to be a complete non-factor. If the Packers rebound dramatically from their embarrassing Opening Day loss, it will probably be on the arm of Rodgers. That puts all of his pass-catchers in play, and Cobb is the perfect avenue for exposure to Green Bay’s receiving corps at a bargain-basement price.
TE Logan Thomas – WFT $4,300 vs. NYG
I already wrote about WFS players looking elsewhere for offense when considering the Giants on Thursday Night Football, and it’s likely that the same argument would be made regarding the Washington Football Team. Not so fast. An injury to quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick means that Taylor Heinicke will step in as the team’s starter for the foreseeable future, and he has a history — albeit, small — of success. Heinicke started last year’s playoff game and threw for more than 300 yards with a touchdown. He also finished Week 1’s game with 122 yards on 11 completions in relief. His lone touchdown pass? Tight end Logan Thomas. And if we look back to the aforementioned playoff game, Thomas finished second on the team with nine targets.