First off, let’s give you guys an update. At this point in the season, I’m an astounding 0-2! Yay! Wait… what? So, it turns out that a few of my picks haven’t panned out quite as well as I would have thought (looking at you, CJ Anderson and Roy Helu). It seems that every week I have a number of players, despite being starters in highly relevant positions with tons of potential, scoring sub 5 points. Even this week I had Shane Vereen score 2.5 points for me.
Some of my trades have been panning out poorly, too. Sending Odell Beckham off for Mike Evans and Charles Johnson sounded like a wonderful idea, but Johnson is a weekly disappointment, and Evans is only just going to see meaningful snaps this week.
I learned, though, that I have some excellent players on my roster. A few players have really surprised me in how well or quickly they took off. If anyone remembers my first article as IDPDynasty’s resident Dynasty Noob, I was preaching the value of Michael Crabtree. Man has that paid off. He’s been eating up catches as Amari Cooper’s #2. I foresee him producing well at least for the remainder of the season. Another guy that I found myself picking up early that’s paid dividends was Henry Anderson. He’s put up decent numbers (double digits against the Bills and Jets) both weeks this season.
Likely, that means I’m in for a rough season. My top tight end at this point is Eric Ebron (who has been doing surprisingly well, although is incredibly touchdown dependent), my starting QBs (Drew Brees and Tyrod Taylor with Blake Bortles switching in) are inconsistent at best, and this is the first week I get to see the value of my running back position with Le’Veon Bell finally returning. Not to mention the incredibly precarious situation that was my defensive backs with Kam Chancellor holding out.
At the very least, I’m likely set in a good position to draft high. And I’ve got some key guys to build my team around.
So, on to this week Hidden Gems!
Luke McCown, NO – As a spot start, McCown should be about as passable as Brees has. The Saints are sorely lacking at receiving options this year, but as long as Carolina focuses in on the run, McCown should put up respectable, albeit lower tier numbers. And best of all, he should be on most peoples’ waivers as Brees was only just ruled out on Friday.
Theo Riddick, DET – As a Detroit fan, this one baffles me. Riddick shouldn’t get nearly as many snaps as he does as he’s an incredibly poor rusher, but it was Riddick instead of the dynamic Ameer Abdullah that was carrying the rock for Detroit when the game was on the line in Minnesota, and that doesn’t look to change any time soon. At the very least, Riddick offers a PPR target magnet even if he’s a poor rusher in reality.
DeAngelo Williams, PIT – Does it really count as being a sleeper when you’re the top scoring rusher in most fantasy leagues? Lucky for us savvy few, teams are dropping Williams left and right with the return of Le’Veon Bell (praised be his name). Honestly, that’s foolish. Williams has been electric toting the ball, and the return of Bell isn’t going to take that away. Will he continue to have 3 touchdown games like last week? No. But I predict that Pittsburgh will be like Detroit’s old thunder and lightning with Joique Bell and Reggie Bush. That backfield can sustain two startable running backs.
Kamar Aiken, BAL – Last week saw a significant uptick in Aiken’s targets. While he isn’t a star quite yet, with Marlon Brown unable to unseat Aiken from the WR2 spot in Baltimore, Aiken should be a decent spot start at least until Breshad Perriman gets going. I particularly like him this week against a weak Pittsburgh secondary that is sure to turn this game into a shootout.
Gary Barnidge, CLE – This is a poor season to not have a top tight end, and even then you’re not set (*cough*Jimmy Graham*cough*). Unfortunately, no one on waivers is going to be spectacular, but if you need a warm body, Barnidge just may be your guy. He’s taken over the lion’s share of the Cleveland tight end snaps, and if Johnny Manziel continues to start, then that should pay dividends for Barnidge owners. Is that a particularly relevant play? Probably not. But that’s about the best that you’re going to get at tight end this year.
A.J. Klein, CAR – Klein performed admirably in Luke Kuechly’s absence and since Kuechly isn’t fully recovered from his concussion just yet, then Klein should be a relatively safe play.
Jonathan Babineaux, ATL – Babineaux should be in a prime situation to take advantage of his veteran skills in Dallas this week. Despite their stellar offensive line, both the passing and running game should be a struggle in week 3. Neither Joseph Randle or Darren McFadden have been productive, and Brandon Weeden holds the ball far too long. This should be a clean-up week for Babineaux.
Bene Benwikere, CAR – I actually really like Benwikere. He’s a decently sized corner that tries to be active in the run game. He’s a quick slot corner that is able to keep up with the shiftier receivers that are taking over the NFL today. With Luke McCown at the helm of New Orleans, Bene should have a field day.
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