Alright so let’s face it, week 1 for a few of you wasn’t pretty. Especially if you pinned your hopes on first round picks like C.J. Anderson, Peyton Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., and Drew Brees.
But fear not, there is hope out there beyond those picks.
Let me first get a couple of things straight: those players I mentioned will not be duds all season (Well…Anderson… more on him in a minute) and while it would have been nice for you to get on the board early it’s a long season. Plenty of time to change that philosophy. Let’s get on with it.
Ronnie Hillman, RB, Denver Broncos
One of a few names that will sound familiar today, Hillman looked every bit as good as he did in the preseason. He was decisive, quick, and played well no matter the situation. He had the same number of carries as Anderson (12) and did a yard better per carry with each of them (3.4 YPC to 2.4 YPC). Heading into Thursday night Anderson is nursing a toe injury, which bodes well for Hillman and the amount of touches he gets against the Chiefs.
Karlos Williams, RB, Buffalo Bills
The second name that should seem familiar if you read this regularly (and I hope you do), Karlos Williams looked great his first week out of the gate. He averaged nine YPC on six carries (55 yards) with a touchdown. Against the Colts he was the better running back, as Lesean McCoy got 17 carries and only totaled 41 yards (2.4 YPC). McCoy is a better PPR play (46 yards, three catches), but I’m sticking to my guns that Williams sees a significant role in the backfield.
Stevie Johnson, WR, San Diego Chargers
This name sounds familiar as well. At any rate, Johnson delivered 82 yards and a touchdown while catching all six of his targets Sunday in his Chargers debut. While Keenan Allen’s performance was spectacular, the productive day by Johnson should be seen as a more encouraging sign for owners looking for WR3/FLEX depth.
Austin Sefarian-Jenkins, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Here’s a name that is trending up since being reintroduced from injury. Austin Sefarian-Jenkins was just about the only bright spot from an otherwise dismal Buccaneers first week. Given his athleticism and skill I see him as more than a “safety blanket” for Winston.
Note: I know a lot of you are griping because Doug Martin didn’t run for 200 yards and 3 touchdowns. Listen, Tampa Bay was down early and often, and before they had to abandon the run Martin ran 11 times for 52 yards (4.7 YPC). If you consider him a bust already you should just stop.
Cole Beasley, WR, Dallas Cowboys
I know everyone will rush to grab Terrance Williams, but I would argue Cole Beasley is the man to grab on waivers. He won’t get near the attention of Williams and Witten, and playing in the slot against a still leaky Eagles secondary should see him put up solid WR3/FLEX numbers with Dez Bryant out for 4-6 weeks.
Ladarius Green, TE, San Diego Chargers
Tight ends are on the rise, and I’ve liked this one for quite some time. Green finally rewarded fantasy owners with the game his fans have waited for. Green caught five passes for 74 yards and a touchdown Sunday and confirmed he has the skills to adequately fill in/eventually replace Antonio Gates. You have him for three more games before you have to start thinking about the Chargers usage of him, so take advantage of it.
Did I miss anyone? Let me know by following @DACubbage on Twitter