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Week 2 Free Agent Focus

By Alex Korff | Updated on Tue, 23 May 2023 . 1:27 PM EDT

Gio Bernard, RB, Bengals

Blind-bid recommendation: 25-30%

He’ll operate as Cincinnati’s feature back if Joe Mixon’s ankle injury costs him time. In the 2 games Mixon missed last season, Bernard tallied 27 carries and 13 targets. The Bengals host a 49ers defense in Week 2 that allowed 108 rushing yards on 5.1 yards per carry to Bucs RBs Ronald Jones and Peyton Barber in the opener.

Ronald Jones, RB, Buccaneers

Blind-bid recommendation: 20-25%

Jones had easily his best game as a pro in the loss to San Francisco, carrying 13 times for 75 yards — a big 5.8-yard average. Peyton Barber mustered just 4.1 yards per carry on his 8 totes. Jones also caught his lone target for an 18-yard gain.

He earned himself a bigger chunk of the backfield work with his Week 1 performance.

Malcolm Brown, RB, Rams

Blind-bid recommendation: 20-30%

In our 1st look at the 2019 Rams backfield, it was Todd Gurley leading the way with 14 caries — but Brown close behind with 11. Brown churned out 53 yards and scored twice, the 1st from 5 yards out and the 2nd from 1. Rookie Darrell Henderson finished the opener with just 1 carry.

We’ll continue to monitor this Rams backfield, but Brown is certainly worth owning in basically all fantasy leagues and will be in the RB3 mix if he continues getting double-digit carries. If you own Gurley -- and aren't particularly deep in the backfield -- then you might want to bid a little more on Brown.

Rex Burkhead, RB, Patriots

Blind-bid recommendation: 8-12%

The forgotten man in New England's backfield led the way with 44 rushing yards on 8 carries in Sunday night's opener. Burkhead also led the RBs and ranked 2nd on the team with 8 targets, catching 5 for 41 yards. That's 16 opportunities (carries + targets) for Burkhead vs. 15 for Sony Michel and 11 for James White. We'll see if this is just another Patriots RB mirage, but Burkhead is certainly worth owning while we wait to find out.

Gus Edwards, RB, Ravens

Blind-bid recommendation: 6-10%

The Ravens utilized a 3-man attack at RB in the win over Miami. And while Mark Ingram led the unit (14-107-2), Edwards made his presence felt with 17 attempts for 56 yards. Only 6 of Edwards’ carries came in the 1st half of Sunday’s blowout win. But he had rushes from Miami’s 10- and 2-yard lines over the first 20 minutes. So OC Greg Roman certainly sees goal-line value here. Rookie Justice Hill added 7 carries in this one — 2 of which came in the 1st half.

Mike Davis, RB, Bears

Blind-bid recommendation: 5-8%

Davis played 56% of the offensive snaps in Thursday night’s opener (vs. Tarik Cohen’s 70% and David Montgomery’s 38%) and led the Bears backfield with 11 touches (5 carries, 6 catches). It resulted in just 36 scoreless yards, but Davis should be more productive going forward if he continues to see this type of volume.

John Brown, WR, Bills

Blind-bid recommendation: 20-25%

Brown hit Week 1 owned in just 35% of ESPN leagues. He should be owned basically everywhere after his big Week 1. Brown smoked the Jets for 123 yards on 7 catches, including the game-winning 38-yard TD late in the 4th quarter. He led the Bills with 10 targets — a big 27% of the team total.

Anything close to that type of volume going forward will make him a weekly fantasy starter. Week 2 will bring a visit to a Giants defense that just allowed Dak Prescott to throw for 405 yards.

Jamison Crowder, WR, Jets

Blind-bid recommendation: 15-20%

A super busy and productive Jets debut from Crowder: 17 targets, 14 catches and 99 yards. He accounted for 41.5% of QB Sam Darnold’s pass attempts and exactly half of his completions. We obviously can’t expect that type of volume going forward, but Crowder looks like the favorite to lead the Jets in targets and catches this season.

Marquise Brown, WR, Ravens

Blind-bid recommendation: 10-15%

In his NFL debut, Brown racked up 4 catches (on 5 targets) for 147 yards and 2 scores. And he did it on just 12 snaps. The rookie torched the Dolphins with a pair of explosive plays.

First, he caught a quick slant in tight coverage and dashed 47 yards to the house. Later, Brown got behind the defense for an 83-yard score on a pass that traveled about 50 yards in the air. The takeaways here are certainly encouraging, as Brown’s speed looked impressive and Lamar Jackson played almost perfect ball.

Brown’s skill set and Baltimore’s run-heavy approach will lead to some boom or bust lines going forward. But the upside is worth stashing in leagues with decent-sized benches. If he played more snaps and/or didn't face such a weak opponent Sunday, Brown might sit higher on this list.

Terry McLaurin, WR, Washington

Blind-bid recommendation: 8-12%

McLaurin’s 7 targets in his debut tied him with 2 teammates behind a team-high 10 for RB Chris Thompson. That also constituted just a 15.9% share of QB Case Keenum’s 44 total pass attempts for the game. But McLaurin’s play backed up the summer hype.

He scored a 69-yard TD on a deep ball and only missed another from 60 because Keenum overthrew him. McLaurin also snared a nice sideline catch late in the 1st half to set up a FG.

There’s room for him to emerge as Washington’s lead receiver this year. And a Week 2 matchup with Dallas holds nothing scary matchup wise for the pass offense.

John Ross, WR, Bengals

Blind-bid recommendation: 8-12%

This was the guy the Bengals thought they were getting when they spent the 9th overall pick of the 2017 draft on Ross. He smoked the Seahawks on Sunday for 158 yards and 2 scores on 7 grabs.

Ross got behind the secondary on multiple occasions with his 4.2 speed. Most importantly, he led the Bengals with 12 targets. Ross is healthy (for now) and evidently fitting nicely into new HC Zac Taylor’s offense.

D.K. Metcalf, WR, Seahawks

Blind-bid recommendation: 5-8%

The rookie posted a 4-89 line in his NFL debut — despite undergoing knee surgery just 3 weeks ago. Metcalf had splash plays of 42 and 25 yards. And his 6 targets ranked 2nd on the team behind only Chris Carson’s 7.

Metcalf seems set to play a big role in this efficient passing game with QB Russell Wilson. A Week 2 trip to Pittsburgh could find a matchup that motivates a bit more passing.

Cole Beasley, WR, Bills

Blind-bid recommendation: 3-5%

After flashing chemistry with QB Josh Allen this preseason, Beasley posted a 5-40 line in Sunday’s opener against the Jets. That’s not exciting, which is a word rarely associated with Beasley. But he’ll be a useful PPR option when the bye weeks start to hit. Beasley ranked 2nd on the Bills with 9 targets vs. New York.

Mark Andrews, TE, Ravens

Blind-bid recommendation: 8-12%

Andrews started slowly against the Fins with only 2 first-half catches. As usual, though, the stats don’t paint a complete picture. Andrews was held on what would have likely been a goal-line TD. Then in the 2nd half, Andrews took a 39-yard catch down to the 1-yard line. He eventually found the end zone, but the 3-yard pass came from Robert Griffin. (Baltimore quickly built a big lead and pulled Lamar Jackson late.)

In total, Andrews racked up 7-105-0 alongside Jackson, who assembled (easily) his best passing performance as a pro. You can expect some inconsistency going forward, but the same can be said for many fringe TE1s.

T.J. Hockenson, TE, Lions

Blind-bid recommendation: 8-12%

6 catches, 131 yards and a TD. Not a bad NFL debut. Hockenson looked every bit of a 1st-round pick against the Cardinals. We rarely see rookie TEs produce fantasy-viable numbers, but Hockenson might be the exception. His 9 targets in the opener tied for 2nd on the team and were 20% of Matt Stafford’s total.

Jimmy Graham, TE, Packers

Blind-bid recommendation: 5-8%

He scored the 1st and only TD in Thursday night’s ugly opener. Graham finished with a 3-30-1 line and also drew a long pass-interference penalty. His 6 targets tied for 2nd on the team and were a nice 20% of Aaron Rodgers’ total. Graham looks set to play a significant role in new HC Matt LaFleur’s passing game. He’ll be a low-end TE1 option against the Vikings in Week 2.

Deep-League Options:

Andy Dalton, QB, Bengals

Blind-bid recommendation: 3-5%

Dalton chucked for a career-high 418 yards in Sunday’s loss to the Seahawks, completing 35 of 51 attempts (68.6%) with 2 TDs and 0 INTs. This was about as good as we’ve seen Dalton look — particularly noteworthy considering it was his 1st game in HC Zac Taylor’s offense. He’ll be a spot-start option in deeper leagues at home for the 49ers in Week 2.

Case Keenum, QB, Washington

Blind-bid recommendation: 2-3%

We’re probably not going to see many more games from Keenum like Sunday’s 380-yard, 3-TD explosion at Philly. But he heads back home in Week 2 for a Dallas defense that ranked just middle of the league against the pass in 2018 (and much tougher against the run). Rookie WR Terry McLaurin delivered a 5-125-1 receiving line on 7 targets in the loss to the Eagles and got free for what could have been a 2nd long TD if not for a Keenum overthrow. There’s upside to Keenum next Sunday -- but then a stay-away matchup with Chicago.

Chris Thompson, RB, Washington

Blind-bid recommendation: 5-8%

Thompson drew a team-high 10 targets in a loss at Philly that saw Case Keenum attempt 44 throws. No teammate surpassed 7 looks. Thompson caught 7 for 68 yards. Derrius Guice -- the only other Washington RB to touch the ball -- drew 3 targets and 10 carries. Thompson will enjoy regular reception upside for a team that should spend plenty of the year trailing.

A.J. Brown, WR, Titans

Blind-bid recommendation: 10-12%

The rookie came storming out of the gate, with a 47-yard catch-and-run in the 1st quarter. He later tacked on a 51-yarder in the 3rd. Brown finished with 3 catches for 100 yards. He saw just 4 targets — but TE Delanie Walker was the only Titan to finish with more (6). Brown looked like 1 of the more NFL-ready WRs in this year’s rookie class, and now it looks like he’s set to play a significant role for Tennessee right away.

Danny Amendola, WR, Lions

Blind-bid recommendation: 5-7%

He led Detroit with 13 targets and 7 catches in Sunday’s opener in Arizona. No other Lion saw more than 9 looks. We’re not expecting that to be a trend, but Amendola looks worth stashing in deeper PPR leagues.

D.J. Chark and Chris Conley, WRs, Jaguars

Blind-bid recommendation: 5-8%

Chark led the Jags with 146 yards in Sunday’s loss to the Chiefs. Conley finished 2nd on the team with 97. Both guys caught TDs: Chark from Nick Foles, Conley from Gardner Minshew. Foles’ injury dings both players, but Minshew looked surprisingly good in this one, completing 22 of 25 passes for 275 yards, 2 scores and 1 INT. He targeted Conley 5 times but Chark just twice.

DeMarcus Robinson and Mecole Hardman, WRs, Chiefs

Blind-bid recommendation: 5-8%

These guys combined for just 3 targets, 1 catch and 0 yards in the win over Jacksonville. But they’ll be in for expanded roles in the Chiefs’ high-octane offense with Tyreek Hill expected to miss a few weeks for a shoulder injury. Hardman finished 2nd among Chiefs WRs in the opener with a 78% snap rate. Robinson played 63%.

Vernon Davis, TE, Washington

Blind-bid recommendation: 3-4%

If Jordan Reed remains out with his concussion in Week 2, then Davis will be worth a look. He gets a Dallas defense that allowed the 8th most PPR points to TEs last season and ranked just 19th in Football Outsiders’ TE coverage ratings. Dallas continued that trend Sunday by yielding a big 11-116-1 receiving line to Giants TE Evan Engram.

Davis tied for 2nd on the team (with 2 others) with 7 targets in Sunday’s loss to Philly. He ran through tacklers for a 49-yard TD among his 4 receptions.

Alex Korff Author Image
Alex Korff, Product Manager
Alex is an engineer by trade and focuses a lot on the game theory and the “value” of players. He spends most of his time in spreadsheets and building new fantasy football tools.
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