Man, Week 2 was a very, very eventful session of football. There were monster fantasy outings, nail-biting finishes, and unfortunately, a handful of significant fantasy injuries. And of course, many got to witness the greatness that is rookie quarterback Ej Manuel, who earned his first career win in dramatic fashion.
Homer much? Yeah, I guess. But let’s get to the guys you should be looking to acquire on your league’s waiver wire. Note: Ownership percentages are based off Yahoo!
Eddie Royal, San Diego Chargers (18%): When Royal caught two touchdown passes on Monday night’s opener, I thought to myself; “Okay, this is just a part of the game. Nothing to monitor.” However, after his three (yes, three) touchdown performance in Week 2, perhaps he deserves to warrant the attention of fantasy footballers out there. It was a good matchup for Royal against a disaster of an Eagles secondary that surrendered the most touchdowns to opposing wideouts (23) than any other defense in football last year. With Danario Alexander already on the IR and Malcom Floyd leaving today’s game with a scary injury, Royal could very well continue to be Philip Rivers’ number one target in the passing game. He’s seen 14 targets in the two games this season, but with the amount of passes the Chargers want to throw, not to mention Rivers’ tendency to throw the short pass, Royal could definitely have some fantasy value this year, and is worth a look if you are lacking at the receiver position. Remember, he is playing under Mike McCoy, who was the offensive coordinator when Royal was with the Broncos in 2009.
EJ Manuel, Buffalo Bills (18%): Did I fail to mention that I love the Bills? Manuel continues to show me that he was well worth the 16th overall draft pick in April’s draft, after leading the Bills to a come-from-behind victory on Sunday. Manuel didn’t have the greatest stat line, as he lost a fumble and threw his first career interception, but he didn’t let that phase him, as he marched back and showed tremendous poise. Okay, so not all of this is relevant in fantasy, so I’ll leave you with this. Quietly, the Bills have some strong weapons at his disposal in C.J. Spiller, Fred Jackson, Stevie Johnson and Robert Woods. Manuel obviously has the arm, and while he isn’t known for his legs like some of these other guys in the league, he can take off and run if he has to, which provides added value. Manuel, based off last year’s defensive numbers, has the ninth-easiest schedule among fantasy quarterbacks in the league. The more I see out of him, the more I believe he needs to be on fantasy radars. I’m backing it up today.
DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans (48%): Hopkins had his coming out party on Sunday afternoon, as he was one of the heroes for the Texans. After Andre Johnson left the game with an undisclosed injury. the guy they call “Nuk” took the reigns and dominated the Tennessee secondary. Hopkins caught a huge pass on the sideline to get the Texans inside the five-yard line in overtime, and then followed it with a beautiful fade catch in the corner of the end zone for the game-winning score. Hopkins finished the day with seven grabs on 13 targets for 117 yards and that touchdown. The rookie wideout has drawn a ton of comparisons to Roddy White, and after watching him for two weeks, I do see the resemblance. He is a strong route-runner with terrific hands and can go up and get any ball. If Johnson is forced to miss some playing time, Hopkins immediately becomes the number one receiving option for the Texans, which makes him a must-add in all formats.
James Starks, Green Bay Packers (8%): A lot of fantasy owners were excited to start rookie running back Eddie Lacy on Sunday. He had a terrific matchup against a Redskins defense that looks flat out tired, and as many were hoping, Lacy had a strong fantasy outing, rushing for 132 yards and a score. Wait, what’s that? That wasn’t Lacy? Sigh. Unfortunately, Lacy suffered a concussion early on in this contest, and didn’t return to action. In his place, James Starks manned the backfield, and he was the one to post that stat line. After rushing for over 130 yards, Starks became the first Green Bay running back to post a 100-yard game in three whole years. Owners who are planning on adding Starks should first check the status of Lacy throughout the week, as he could very well still play in Week 3. However, if you own Lacy, I would add Starks regardless.
Charles Clay, Miami Dolphins (1%): Remember when Dustin Keller essentially tore everything in his entire body, thus, killing the soul of every fantasy owner who was high on him? Well, there may be another Miami tight end on the horizon. After two weeks of play, the Dolphins H-back, Clay has been very busy. In Week 1, Clay was targeted six times, resulting in five grabs for 54 yards. And on Sunday, Clay had arguably the best game of his career. After catching five balls for over 100 yards and also rushing for a touchdown, Clay has become one of Ryan Tannehill‘s favorite targets in the passing game, and seeing how inconsistent the tight end position can be (though it’s been stellar thus far), Clay may be worth a look in deeper formats.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.