Welcome to Fanball FAAB, our weekly analysis of players who may be available on your league’s waiver wire.
Words by Christian Peterson. Rankings and blind bid recommendations by Paul Charchian.
Stew Beard, Buccaneers
Week 2: 27-33, 402 yds, 4 touchdowns
Week 3: vs Steelers
With over 400 yards in each of the first two games, nine total touchdowns, and easily the most impressive postgame wardrobe ensemble of the season, Ryan Fitzpatrick absolutely needs to be owned in every fantasy league. The Bucs are off to a shocking 2-0 start, and there’s almost no way Jameis Winston gets his job back in Week 4, when he returns from his suspension. However, before you go all-in on Fitzmagic, remember that we’ve seen this before, several times:
- First four games: 244 yds, 2.75 touchdowns per game
- Remainder of season: 225 yds, 1.3 touchdowns per game
- First three games: 280 yds, 3.0 touchdowns per game
- Remainder of season: 230 yds, 1.2 touchdowns per game
- First four games: 233 yds, 3.0 touchdowns per game
- Remainder of season: 218 yds, 1.0 touchdowns per game
At the very least, Stew Beard is an attractive QB streamer in Week 3 against a Steelers secondary that just yielded six touchdown passes to Patrick Mahomes, but don’t make the mistake of thinking he’s your QB savior for the remainder of the season. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 10%. In 2QB and QB flex leagues, I’d go 20%.
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Blake Bortles, Jaguars
Week 2: 29-45, 377 yds, 4 touchdowns
Week 3: vs Titans
Bortles destroyed the Patriots in the Week 2 AFC Championship game rematch, and encouragingly found a way to squeeze 246 yards out of a wide receiver corps that was a huge question mark coming into the season. Keelan Cole (7-116-1) is turning into a legit No. 1 WR, and slot receiver Dede Westbrook (4-83-1) showed his upside with a long touchdown catch-and-run. Take the Week 2 effort with a grain of salt since the Jags were playing a different style without their ground-and-pound mantra when Leonard Fournette is healthy, but he could be useful this week, likely sans Fournette once again, versus a Titans defense that’s allowed multiple touchdown passes in each of their first two games. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 3%.
Joe Flacco, Ravens
Week 2: 32-55, 376 yds, 2 touchdowns
Week 3: vs Broncos
Consider this more of a warning not to read too much into Flacco’s Week 2 performance than a recommendation that you rush to your waiver to add Flacco. The Ravens were on the wrong end of a first-half blowout last week, which resulted in Flacco uncharacteristically launching 55 pass attempts. To put that in perspective, that’s the most attempts he’s had since Week 1 of the 2014 season, and he attempted 42 passes or fewer in 13 of 16 games a year ago. The Week 3 matchup with Denver isn’t doing him any favors. Pass. Meaning, you should pass on him. Not that he’s going to keep passing. Because he’s not. You get the idea. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 1%.
Phillip Lindsay, Broncos
Week 2: 14-107 rushing, 1-4 receiving
Week 3: at Ravens
Hopefully all you Royce Freeman truthers took our recommendation last week and added Lindsay as insurance. As it turns out, it’s looking more and more like Freeman is merely insurance for Lindsay, who became the first ever undrafted rookie to rush for 100 yards in each of his first two NFL games last week. There is no guarantee that the 5-8, 190-pounder can hold up to the rigors of a full season in which he gets 15+ touches and he’s still ceding goal line carries to Freeman, but Lindsay’s ownership should be in the 90-100% range at this point, so check your league’s waiver wire just in case. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 50%.
Gio Bernard, Bengals
Week 2: 6-27 rushing, 4-15 receiving on 7 targets
Week 3: at Panthers
Starter Joe Mixon is out for 2-4 weeks with a knee injury, which puts Bernard squarely in the crosshairs as the Bengals starting RB until Mixon returns. Bernard averaged 101 combined rushing and receiving yards on 19 touches per game over the final five games of last season, including 4.7 yards per carry. As one of the more capable backup runners in the league, he’s worth a huge blind bid from Joe Mixon’s owners. Just be aware that the Bengals go on the road to face the Panthers and Falcons in the next two weeks – both teams fielded top-10 run defenses a year ago. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 20%.
Bilal Powell, Jets
Week 2: 5-6 rushing, 5-74 receiving and a touchdown on 6 targets
Week 3: at Browns
Bilal Powell is seeing almost as much playing time as Isaiah Crowell, but his usage is becoming well defined as the team’s passing-down back. Of the two, Powell has been the far inferior rusher, but he’s been used copiously in the passing game. In his two games, he’s caught six passes for 80 yards and he scored a nifty touchdown last Sunday. In PPR leagues he’s a viable flex option in many weeks including this one. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 10%.
Javorious Allen, Ravens
Week 2: 6-8 rushing, 5-36 receiving and a touchdown on 7 targets
Week 3: vs. Broncos
With 13 targets and 10 catches through two games, Allen is clearly the Ravens’ preferred third-down option. More surprising is his apparent role at the goal line. Allen has touchdowns in each of the first two games, including a 1-yard plunge last Thursday night. It’s not a full-blown committee situation yet as Collins is the clear favorite on 1st and 2nd-down, but both backs have 20 touches through two games so Allen shouldn’t be ignored – especially considering he’s getting the highly valuable receptions and at least a chunk of the goal line looks. Collins still looks like the far superior runner, but Allen isn’t going away. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 10%.
Marlon Mack, Colts
Week 2: 10-34 rushing, 1-2 receiving
Week 3: at Eagles
With 9 carries in the first half of Week 2, it looked like Mack had regained control of the Colts backfield after missing Week 1. Then, he mostly sat on the bench as Jordan Wilkins gained 6.1 yards per carry on 10 attempts of his own – mostly in the second half. This appears to be a full-blown committee situation, with Nyheim Hines complicating matters by scoring a short touchdown in Week 2 as well. Mack is still the odds-on favorite to lead this backfield in touches going forward, but he’s unlikely to carve out more than 10-12 touches per week. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 5%.
Corey Grant, Jaguars
Week 2: 4-13 rushing, 6-56 receiving on 7 targets
Week 3: vs. Titans
Grant was heavily involved in the Jaguars passing game with Leonard Fournette sitting out in Week 2, grabbing 6 receptions and looking like a more explosive player than T.J. Yeldon. Fournette’s Week 3 status isn’t known yet, but if he misses another game PPR leaguers should be all over Grant. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 3%.
Ito Smith, Falcons
Week 2: 9-46 rushing, 1-8 receiving on 1 target
Week 3: vs. Saints
Tevin Coleman got all the attention last week with Devonta Freeman out of action, but Smith contributed 10 touches and quietly amassed 55 yards. Freeman is expected to miss at least one more week, so another 10 touches is realistic for Smith in Week 3 against the struggling Saints. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 1%.
Chris Ivory, Bills
Week 2: 2-7, 1 touchdown rushing, 1-2 receiving on 1 target
Week 3: at Vikings
A former Charch favorite, even he should have difficulty generating any enthusiasm for Beast Least. Sure, LeSean McCoy is questionable for Week 3 with cracked rib cartilage, but the Bills look like easily the worst team in the NFL, and a matchup with the Vikings is generally a death knell even for good running backs on good teams. Ivory is bad – he hasn’t averaged over four yards per carry since 2015 – and the Bills are worse, so only those of you who were unfortunate enough to draft McCoy and Ivory’s direct family members should have any interest in adding him to rosters. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 1%.
Quincy Enunwa, Jets
Week 2: 7-92 receiving on 11 targets
Week 3: at Browns
Just in case everyone else in your league failed to believe in Enunwa after his impressive Week 1 debut, take a look to see if you are in one of the 40% of leagues in which he is still available. He followed a 10-target, 6-catch first week with an 11-target, 7-catch Week 2 and is obviously a security blanket for rookie signal caller Sam Darnold. He should be 100% owned after this week. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 20%
Dede Westbrook, Jaguars
Week 2: 4-92, 1 touchdown receiving on 10 targets
Week 3: vs. Titans
Westbrook led the Jaguars in targets in Week 1, then ranked third behind Keelan Cole and Donte Moncrief in Week 2. He showed his big play ability with a nifty 61-yard touchdown and has big upside as an explosive playmaker. I’d take Cole over Westbrook and Westbrook over Moncrief, but don’t expect consistency from week-to-week. That said, this is as good a week as any to roll the dice on a big play or two – the Titans gave up over 100 yards and 2 touchdowns to Kenny Stills in Week 1 and let both Will Fuller and DeAndre Hopkins go over 100 yards with a score a piece in Week 2 . Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 6%.
John Brown, Ravens
Week 2: 4-92, 1 touchdown receiving on 10 targets
Week 3: vs. Broncos
Brown made a couple of highlight-reel catches on national TV on Thursday night, so the hype will probably drive his price up in free agency this week. He’s certainly worth a look considering he’s scored two weeks in a row, but 4 catches on 10 targets is wildly inefficient, and I already noted above how rare it is for Joe Flacco to chuck the ball as much as he did in Week 2. Go ahead and add Brown as a potential helper during bye weeks or in very good matchups, just know that his upside is capped and you probably don’t want to use him in Week 3 against the Broncos. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 3%.
Antonio Callaway, Browns
Week 2: 3-81, 1 touchdown receiving on 4 targets
Week 3: vs. Jets
Callaway’s highlight-reel 47-yard touchdown with time winding down in Week 2 was overshadowed by the Browns’ astonishing ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory for the second straight week, but his status as an important cog in the Browns passing attack is secure now that Josh Gordon has been jettisoned. Callaway played over 80 percent of the snaps in Week 2 and appears to have the upper hand over Rashard Higgins to be Jarvis Landry’s running mate. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 4%
Calvin Ridley, Falcons
Week 2: 4-64, 1 touchdown receiving on 5 targets
Week 3: vs. Saints
After a goose egg in his NFL debut, Ridley got more involved in Week 2, securing 4 receptions and his first NFL touchdown. Ridley will have his ups and downs while battling Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu for Matt Ryan’s attention, but he’s worth a station in deeper leagues, and has huge upside if anything happens to Sanu or Julio. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 3%
James Washington, Steelers
Week 2: 1-14, 1 touchdown receiving on 5 targets
Week 3: at Buccaneers
Washington scored his first NFL touchdown in Week 2 and was on the field 80 percent of the time. Sadly, it was his only catch in a game in which Ben Roethlisberger amassed 60 pass attempts and 452 passing yards. Still a distant third option (at best) in the Steelers passing attack, Washington probably needs something to happen to Antonio Brown or JuJu Smith-Schuster to make a serious impact this year. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 3%
Paul Richardson, Redskins
Week 2: 4-63 receiving on 6 targets
Week 3: vs. Packers
The Redskins passing game could not be less inspiring, but in theory someone has to lead them in receiving this year. Thus far, Richardson has put a foot forward (not his best foot, just a foot) and leads the team in targets, receptions, and yards. The only real reason for optimism on this is a Week 3 matchup against a Packers secondary that’s starting rookies at each CB position and that just yielded ginormous numbers to both Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen a week ago. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 2%
O.J. Howard, Buccaneers
Week 2: 3-96, 1 touchdown receiving on 4 targets
Week 3: vs. Steelers
Howard hasn’t been heavily targeted early this year, but he’s made the most of his looks with a 35-yard catch in Week 1 and an explosive 75-yard touchdown in Week 2. There are a lot of mouths to feed in a suddenly potent Buccaneers passing game, but Howard is clearly ahead of Cameron Brate (0 catches in two games) in the pecking order and could pay dividends again in Week 3 against a Steelers defense that was torched by Travis Kelce in Week 2. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 2%
Jesse James, Steelers
Week 2: 5-138, 1 touchdown receiving on 5 targets
Week 3: at Buccaneers
James erupted for 138 yards on 5 catches in Week 2 and now has nearly 200 yards through the Steelers first two games. The Steelers tight end(s) are bound to find soft spots in defenses that are fruitlessly trying to stop both Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster, but James is also bound to share much of the attention with fellow tight end Vance McDonald (who was also targeted 5 times in Week 2). Go get James, just don’t overpay for his Week 2 stats. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 2%
Will Dissly, Seahawks
Week 2: 3-42 1 touchdown receiving on 5 targets
Week 3: vs. Cowboys
Okay, maybe this kid is for real. Dissly followed an impressive NFL debut with a second touchdown in as many games in Week 2. Granted, two of his three Monday night grabs (including his touchdown) were in garbage time, but Dissly appears to be Russell Wilson’s favored pass-catching tight end in the early going. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 1%
Dan Bailey, Vikings
Week 2: n/a
Week 3: vs. Bills
Well that didn’t take long. The Vikings rookie kicker experiment lasted just two weeks, and they moved on by signing the second most accurate kicker in NFL history. Truth be told, Bailey hasn’t been especially effective in the last couple of years, but he’s an undeniable upgrade over the overwhelmed Daniel Carlson. As a proven veteran in what looks like one of the best offenses in the NFL, Bailey will be a hot commodity on your league’s waiver wire (which is to say, people might actually bid a buck or two on him, instead of just waiting for their bye week to add whoever happens to be available for their existing kicker). Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 1%
We enjoyed another exciting Sunday of NFL action, including a lot of missed kicks. Here’s what you need to know from Week Two.
Mahomes is the Truth
After throwing for four touchdowns in the season-opener, Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes bested that performance with a whopping six scoring passes in the Chiefs win over Pittsburgh. Mahomes is the first quarterback to ever throw ten touchdowns in the first two games of a season and it is hard to pick any fantasy QB you’d rather have right now.
Gordon on the Block?
By now, you’ve already seen the surprising news from the weekend that the Browns plan to release…err…trade WR Josh Gordon. Gordon was ruled out after a surprise hamstring injury and then the team reportedly decided to release him. Instead, they began to receive trade offers from as many as ten teams and are expected to make a move sometime today.
Thomas on Record Pace
There’s been a lot of attention given to the early quarterback performances and somehow Saints WR Michael Thomas is on pace to shatter the NFL receptions record, catching 28 passes through the first two games. We know Thomas can’t keep up this pace, but that doesn’t make his start any less impressive. He’s the WR1 in PPR leagues through two weeks.
Backs Catching Passes
Entering yesterday, only five running backs in NFL history had recorded 14 or more receptions in one game. That number grew by two yesterday as Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey and Giants rookie RB Saquon Barkley each caught 14 passes, leading their respective teams in receiving. Washington’s Chris Thompson also got in on the act, catching 13 passes for 92 yards. These RBs provide huge value in PPR leagues, even when they don’t make an impact on the ground.
Vikings WR Duo Dominates
I challenge you to find a better WR duo than the two Minnesota Vikings starters. WR Stefon Diggs caught nine passes for 128 yards and two scores, while his teammate WR Adam Thielen hauled in 12 passes for 131 yards and the game-tying score. Pending Monday Night Football, these two are the current WR1 and WR2 in fantasy leagues, both putting up over 30 fantasy points.
Fuller Impact Felt
The Texans welcomed back speedy WR Will Fuller, who missed the season opener with a hamstring injury. As he did last season, Fuller made a quick impact, catching eight passes for 113 yards and a touchdown. Fuller gives that offense some balance and keeps defenses honest.
After suffering a knee injury last Sunday night, there was some question about the status of Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, who missed the majority of practices during the week. Rodgers did draw the start and was able to play the entire game against the same Vikings defense that put him out of action last season. Rodgers threw for 281 yards and a touchdown in the Packers/Vikings tie. He will reportedly play through the pain throughout the season.
It was unbelievable to see veteran QB Ryan Fitzpatrick throw for 400 yards and four touchdowns in Week One, but if you were in shock then, just wait. He did it again. Fitzpatrick began the game with a 75-yard touchdown bomb to WR DeSean Jackson and never let up, finishing with 402 passing yards and four touchdowns and most importantly, another upset of an NFC contender. There is now a legitimate question if QB Jameis Winston regains his starting job in a couple of weeks when his suspension ends.
Veterans Dealing with Injuries
Fortunately, yesterday was not a day marred by serious injuries as many NFL Sundays are, but a pair of veterans on the league’s worst teams did miss some time. Bills RB LeSean McCoy (ribs) and Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (hamstring) were both forced to leave their respective games. Both injuries appear to be minor but are worth monitoring. The Bills and Cardinals might be two teams fantasy players want to avoid, regardless of health status.
Lindsay Takes Over
It was nice to see undrafted free agent rookie RB Phillip Lindsay have a solid Week One, totaling over 100 yards from scrimmage and scoring a touchdown. In Week Two though, he took command of the backfield, out-producing RB Royce Freeman 111 yards to just 28, while Lindsay carries the ball 14 times to only eight for the highly touted Freeman. This could still end up as a committee, but Lindsay is certainly in the driver’s seat for now.
Ryan McDowell (@RyanMc23) is a freelance contributor for the SportsHub Games Network, Inc., Fanball’s parent company. Any advice or strategies provided by SportsHub contributors represent their personal opinions; they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of SportsHub Games Network and are not necessarily reflective of the strategies they may employ in their own lineups.