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Week 2 Free Agent Focus

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

Nyheim Hines, RB, Colts

Blind-bid recommendation: 25-30%

Hines was heavily involved — even near the goal line — before Marlon Mack exited Sunday’s opener. That figures to continue with Mack likely done for the year.

Hines finished Week 1 with 7 carries for 28 yards and a score, plus 8 catches on 8 targets for 45 yards and another TD.

James Robinson, RB, Jaguars

Blind-bid recommendation: 20-25%

He dominated backfield work in the win over the Colts, handling 16 carries and 1 target. RB Chris Thompson saw just 2 targets and didn’t record a carry. Robinson should play a similar role at least in the short-term future, with RB Devine Ozigbo out at least 2 more games and RB Ryquell Armstead on the COVID list.

The next 3 opponents -- Tennessee, Miami and Cincinnati -- all finished last season ranked among the league's bottom half in Football Outsiders' defensive DVOA.

Malcolm Brown, RB, Rams

Blind-bid recommendation: 20-25%

The Rams opened with Brown as their lead back in Sunday night's win over the Cowboys. He carried 18 times for 79 yards and 2 TDs. Cam Akers followed at 14 carries (for just 39 yards), while Darrell Henderson logged only 3 rushing attempts.

Brown's 4 targets also paced Rams RBs and tied for 3rd on the team overall. He caught 3 of those for 31 yards. Those 3 receptions give Brown 1 more than he had all of last year.

Brown also opened 2019 with a 2-TD game. But his 18 carries against Dallas were 7 more than he had in any game last season -- when Brown only exceeded 6 rushes 3 times. His 21 touches were 10 more than his high for any 2019 game.

We'll see whether Henderson commands more touches as he works back into shape. And we'll see whether Akers claims larger workload shares. But we should probably at least treat Brown as the top Rams RB for a Week 2 visit to Philadelphia.

Joshua Kelley, RB, Chargers

Blind-bid recommendation: 15-20%

He operated as the clear #2 RB in Sunday’s opener, carrying 12 times for 60 yards. A few of those came from inside the Bengals’ 10-yard line, 1 of which went for a 5-yard score. Kelley wasn’t targeted, so he holds more value in non-PPR leagues.

Sammy Watkins, WR, Chiefs

Blind-bid recommendation: 15-25%

We’ve seen this before. Watkins exploded for 198 yards and 3 TDs in Week 1 last year. Then he failed to score or eclipse 64 yards in any game the rest of the regular season. So we’re not ready to jam him into starting lineups after his 7-82-1 outing in Thursday night’s opener.

But Watkins led the Chiefs with 9 targets and played 80% of the offensive snaps in that one. Any WR getting that type of usage in this Chiefs passing game is at least worth owning in fantasy leagues.

Parris Campbell, WR, Colts

Blind-bid recommendation: 10-15%

He tied for the Colts' lead with 6 catches for a team-high 71 receiving yards in the loss to the Jaguars. More importantly, Campbell tied for the lead (with T.Y. Hilton) at 9 targets. He even added a carry for 9 yards.

Campbell looks set to play a major role in this quick-hitting Colts passing game. Next comes a home date with the Minnesota defense that just got torched by Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.

Robby Anderson, WR, Panthers

Blind-bid recommendation: 10-15%

It was a promising debut for the new-look Panthers offense. That included a 6-115-1 line from Anderson, highlighted by a 75-yard catch-and-run TD. His 8 targets trailed D.J. Moore by just 1 for the team lead. He looks like at least a potential matchup-based fantasy play.

Laviska Shenault, WR, Jaguars

Blind-bid recommendation: 7-10%

Dede Westbrook was a healthy scratch for Sunday’s opener, locking Shenault into a top-3 role. The rookie hauled in 3 of his 4 targets for 37 yards and a score. He added 10 more yards on 2 carries. That versatility gives Shenault intriguing fantasy upside.

Russell Gage, WR, Falcons

Blind-bid recommendation: 7-10%

Gage’s 12 targets in Sunday’s loss to Seattle matched Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley for the team lead. He also matched them with 9 receptions and joined them in eclipsing 100 yards. (Gage tallied 114.) He’s obviously not going to produce such large receiving lines often, but Sunday immediately showed us the upside of serving as the #3 wideout in the league’s highest-volume pass offense.

Allen Lazard, WR, Packers

Blind-bid recommendation: 5-7%

He hit Week 1 rostered in just 25% of ESPN leagues. Lazard was out-targeted by Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling in Sunday’s opener but still came away with a nice 4-63-1 line. We’ll check the snap counts on Monday, but Lazard still looks like the 2nd-best bet in Green Bay’s passing game.

Logan Thomas, TE, Washington

Blind-bid recommendation: 2-3%

Thomas led Washington with 8 targets Sunday, edging WR Terry McLaurin by 1. He caught 4 for a mere 37 yards on an unimpressive passing day by QB Dwayne Haskins. But Thomas also nabbed the team’s lone TD reception. The usage is enough to make you pay attention. And Week 2 brings a matchup with the Arizona defense that vaulted all TE ceilings in 2019. There’s room in this shallow Washington passing offense for Thomas to remain a key player.

Deep-League Options:

Peyton Barber, RB, Washington

Blind-bid recommendation: 8-10%

Two short TD runs dramatically inflated Barber’s Week 1 fantasy impact. Overall, he gained just 29 yards on the ground. But his 17 carries led the team, beating rookie Antonio Gibson by 8 rushes. He also beat Gibson 6-1 in red-zone carries. Barber’s not likely to offer a lot of help to fantasy teams, but he’ll be worth owning in deeper leagues if he continues to lead Washington in rushing attempts.

Scotty Miller, WR, Buccaneers

Blind-bid recommendation: 5-8%

He followed a hype-filled summer with a 5-catch, 73-yard effort in today’s loss to the Saints. Miller’s 6 targets tied for 2nd on the team, just 1 behind leader Chris Godwin. Miller might have benefited from Mike Evans (hamstring) playing at less than 100%, but we wouldn’t be surprised if he stays involved enough to be an option in deeper fantasy leagues.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR, Packers

Blind-bid recommendation: 5-8%

After some positive buzz from Aaron Rodgers this summer, Valdes-Scantling ranked 2nd on the team in targets in Sunday’s opener. He turned 6 looks into 4 catches for 96 yards and a score — and nearly had another TD. MVS' blazing speed along with his QB's ability to throw deep makes him well worth a bench stash. Next up: the Lions, who allowed Mitchell Trubisky 3 TD passes Sunday.

O.J. Howard, TE, Buccaneers

Blind-bid recommendation: 5-8%

He saw 6 targets in the loss to the Saints — tied for 2nd on the team and 3 more than Rob Gronkowski. Howard parlayed those into a 4-36-1 line. Tampa’s offense still seems to be settling in, but don’t be surprised if Howard continues to out-produce Gronk.

Jimmy Graham, TE, Bears

Blind-bid recommendation: 3-5%

He scored a 2-yard TD in the comeback win over the Lions — and nearly scored a 2nd before replay revealed that he was down at the Detroit 1. Graham’s 7 targets ranked 2nd on the Bears behind only Allen Robinson’s 9. He’s worth a look in deep and TE-premium leagues. A Week 2 home date with the Giants looks like another upside matchup.

Jordan Akins, TE, Texans

Blind-bid recommendation: 2-3%

He’s not here because of his garbage-time TD in Thursday night’s loss to the Chiefs. Akins is here because he played 81% of Houston’s offensive snaps and ran a pass route on 80% of QB Deshaun Watson’s drop backs in that one. Corresponding numbers for TE Darren Fells: 42% and 24%. If that type of usage continues, Akins will be a spot-start option this season. He’s worth stashing in deep and TE-premium leagues.

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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