Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers
It doesn’t appear Melvin Gordon will be suiting up anytime soon for the Chargers so Ekeler will step in as the main running back on a good offense. He’s obviously not the player that Gordon is, but has a good chance to be a solid RB2 based on his usage in the passing game. Ekeler is an exceptional receiver and is someone that Philip Rivers trusts. Justin Jackson will probably see 6-8 touches a game, but Ekeler is the one to own for Los Angeles. At a minimum he should see 10 carries and five targets in Week 1.
Damien Williams, RB, Kansas City
Williams was poised to have a breakout year as the starting running back on the best offense in the league, but newly acquired LeSean McCoy has derailed that plan. Once the Bills cut McCoy, the Chiefs gobbled him up and Williams’ fantasy owners cringed. Williams is still expected to be the starter, but the Chiefs have already said that McCoy will have a substantial role in the offense. Williams still needs to be started in all fantasy formats in Week 1, but he’s trending more towards an RB2 than an RB1.
Jamison Crowder, WR, New York Jets
The Jets realized they needed more weapons for their young franchise quarterback so they went out and got a solid slot receiver in Jamison Crowder. He doesn’t wow you on the field, but he’s a talented route-runner with good speed and hands. Word from Jets camp is that Crowder and Sam Darnold have built great chemistry this offseason so it’s safe to expect Crowder to be a nice security blanket underneath for the second-year signal caller. He could have a nice fantasy season in PPR leagues and makes a great FLEX play Week 1 against Buffalo.
Darren Waller, TE, Oakland
As usual, the tight end position is the most scarce position in fantasy football. And now that Gronk has retired it’s even worse. Waller has been one of those buzz names in the summer as a player who could breakout in 2019. The Raiders did bring in Antonio Brown so he will command a ton of targets, but other than Brown, there aren’t many other big names on the offense. Waller could find himself receiving the second most targets every week for a team that is expected to be playing from behind a lot again. Take a look.
Lock of the Week
Robert Woods, WR, Los Angeles Rams
Woods had a breakout year in 2018, acting as the possession receiver in the Rams offense. He only scored six touchdowns, but he saw 130 targets and converted that into 86 receptions for 1,219 yards. Once again he will see a large amount of balls thrown his way and should eclipse six scores this season. Woods has a tough matchup out of the gate at Carolina, but expect him to be busy, especially since we don’t know what to make of Todd Gurley’s work load. An 8-80-1 stat line is on the horizon for Woods in Week 1.