Waiver Favors: Early Week 2 Fantasy Football Pickups

By Ha Kung Wong  Fantasy Football Pickups

 Twitter: @FBGarbageTime

Here we are again to help all of you who didn’t have time to watch every NFL game and are fed up with the players you drafted for your fantasy football team!

As usual, all pickups are available in at least 50% of Yahoo standard fantasy football leagues as of Sunday evening.

Travis Benjamin

WR – Cleveland Browns – 10% Owned

Travis Benjamin - Getty Images

Travis Benjamin – Getty Images

So we all forecasted doom and gloom in Cleveland when Johnny Manziel was named the starter late in the week.  Turns out, if the offensive line gives him time, he isn’t half bad.  And although he was mostly conservative with his passes, he has no fear throwing down field when necessary.  His favorite downfield target in Week 2?  Travis Benjamin, who managed to snag 3 of 4 targets for 115 yards and a TD, adding a return TD as gravy.  We saw flashes of Benjamin’s speed last year and drooled over his potential if he had a halfway decent quarterback.  Will Josh McCown be back behind center in Week 3?  I kind of doubt it.  Grab Benjamin as an upside WR3/Flex in 12-team leagues and deeper.

Matt Jones

RB – Washington Redskins – 20% Owned

Matt Jones - USA Today Sports Photo

Matt Jones – USA Today Sports Photo

There’s nothing wrong with Alfred Morris, as he had 18 carries on the day.  But Matt Jones also got his with 19 carries for 123 yards and 2 TDs, also catching 3 of 3 targets for 23 receiving yards.  Even more impressive is that, according to Redskins beat writer Master Tesfatsion, Jones only played 1 less offensive snap than Morris (31 to 32).  It’s likely to continue being Morris’ backfield in Washington, as he has the most experience and has been mostly reliable, but it’s clear, as it was in the preseason, that Jones has skills and deserves snaps.  Will this be a true RBBC?  Not right away, but I can certainly see Jones take 30-40% of snaps on a regular basis, with potential to take more, which would be enough for him to be an RB3/Flex in 10-team leagues and deeper.

James Starks

RB – Green Bay Packers – 7% Owned

James Starks

James Starks

Sometimes it’s not about ability, but about opportunity.  James Starks has been around for years in Green Bay, but he always finds a way to become relevant when starting RBs are injured.  With Eddie Lacy being carted off with an ankle injury in Week 2, Starks finds himself in the familiar role as next RB up.  And other than a fumble, he looked pretty good against a solid Seattle Defense amassing 95 rush yards on 20 carries and 29 receiving yards with a TD.  If you have Eddie Lacy, run to the waiver now and grab Starks.  For everyone else, well, you should be doing the same.  Pick him up in all leagues.

UPDATE – 9/21/15 @ 2:33 PM ET

Looks like Lacy might still have a shot at not missing any time.  Even if he’s a go, I still think James Starks should be picked up in all leagues.  You never know when there might be a re-injury, and Starks is more than competent.

Ty Montgomery

WR- Green Bay Packers – 6% Owned

Ty Montgomery - USA Today Photo

Ty Montgomery – USA Today Photo

Wow, the Packers just can’t catch a break.  Davante Adams, who was already stepping up to help cover the loss of Jordy Nelson, was carted off the field with an ankle injury in Week 2.  It was rookie WR Ty Montgomery who was most frequently seen in 3-wide sets once Davante Adams was out.  And we all know that being the WR3 in a prolific Green Bay offense can be meaningful.  In limited action, Montgomery caught all 4 targets for 37 yards.  It’s not guaranteed by any stretch of the imagination, particularly since Adams made it back later in the game, but he’s worth a flyer as a WR5/Flex in 12-team or deeper leagues.

Blake Bortles

QB – Jacksonville Jaguars – 9% Owned

I’m certainly not recommending you start Blake Bortles on your fantasy team, but now that he’s in sync with WR Allen Robinson, and with RB TJ Yeldon keeping defenses honest, there’s certainly upside here.  He completed 18 of 33 passes for 273 yards and 2 TDs, and most importantly, no INTs (unlike his Week 1 performance when he threw a pair of INTs).  You could do worse as a QB3 in 2 QB leagues, or as a backup QB in 14-team leagues or deeper.

Darrius Hayward-Bey

WR – Pittsburgh Steelers – 1% Owned

I was actually at the 2009 NFL Draft when Darrius Hayward-Hey was drafted seventh overall by the Oakland Raiders.  And like everyone else in attendance, I was bewildered by the pick.  And time has proven us right — that he really isn’t anything special.  Now on the Steelers, we really didn’t expect any different, but he’s honestly looked much better in Pittsburgh.  I don’t know what they have in the water there, but whatever it is, it’s revitalizing football careers.  First, DeAngelo Williams and now Hayward-Bey, as he caught 4 of 7 targets for 58 yards in Week 1 followed by 4 of 5 targets for 77 yards and a TD in Week 2.  He was used mostly on bubble screens in Week 2, but also had a nice 41 yard TD catch.  Who knows what happens when Martavis Bryant comes back in two games, but for now, he’s clearly ahead of Markus Wheaton. Worth grabbing as a WR4/Flex with upside in 14-team and deeper leagues.

Leonard Hankerson

WR – Atlanta Falcons – 4% Owned

I’m going to warn you now that this is only for the desperate.  There was concern that due to surgery, Roddy White wouldn’t be Roddy White in Week 1.  Turns out he was just fine.  But Week 2 was a different story as White only had 1 target.  Four others got more targets including Julio Jones (of course), TE Jacob Tammy, RB Devonta Freeman… and Leonard Hankerson.  Sure, Hankerson only caught 2 of 4 targets for 16 yards in Week 1.  But he snagged a whopping 6 of 11 targets for 77 yards and a TD in Week 2.  Perhaps he was just open this week, but if you need a WR5 flyer in 14-team and deeper leagues, Hankerson might be worth a stash.

Dexter McCluster

RB – Tennessee Titans – 1% Owned

Don’t go nuts here.  I still think, if you have to have one, Bishop Sankey is the RB you want in Tennessee.  He had a great Week 1 and still managed 42 yards on 12 carries in Week 2.  But when Tennessee plays from behind, as they may be apt to do with Marcus Mariotta’s growing pains, Dexter McCluster is the guy they use in the backfield.  McCluster had 10 carries for 98 yards and caught all 4 targets for 26 receiving yards.  He did nothing in Week 1, and will likely continue to do nothing in weeks where the Titans are in the lead, but if the Titans play a particularly tough defense or particularly good offense, McCluster may be worth a look as an RB4/Flex in 14-team and deeper leagues.

And here are pickups from previous articles which I still recommend:

Austin Sefarian-Jenkins, Bishop Sankey, James Jones, Tyrod Taylor, Percy Harvin, Terrance Williams, Chris Johnson, David Johnson, Donte Moncrief

Keep coming back for updates all week!

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