Did you lose a player or two to injury this week and you’re trying to find a suitable replacement? Are you trying to improve the bottom of your roster and you’re not sure who to turn to? Have no fear! Here are some of the best options to improve your roster depth, fill a vacated hole and maybe even earn you an extra win in the upcoming contests.
This is the Grab Bag. Every week will have new players, info and even a Hail-Mary or two that are sure to give you an advantage against your next opponent.
QB Andy Dalton – Cincinnati Bengals
This 9-year veteran did everything he could and almost lead his team to an upset win in Seattle. Completing 35 of 51 passes for 418 yards and two touchdowns is a standout performance for any fantasy QB, especially when he’s missing star wide out A.J. Green. At times, the Red Rifle looked comfortable in the pocket behind an O-line that was widely ranked at the bottom of the league. His timing with John Ross was very impressive connecting with the young route runner on both long touchdown strikes. In fact, Dalton connected with 8 different players – all of which caught multiple passes – three of which averaged over 16 yards per catch. Andy Dalton must have built a time machine because he looked like the Andy Dalton from 2015 when he set career best numbers in completion % (66.1), fewest INTs (7) and QB rating (106.2). In week 2, the 49ers come to town after their abuse of Jameis Winston, which could deter other owners from pursuing Dalton’s services.
The fact that a stout defense like Seattle nearly stumbled at home to the Bengals makes Dalton an intriguing pick up and start for all you QB streamers out there – and also those that lost Nick Foles for the next 2+ months. Dalton is available almost everywhere and will be even more dangerous when Green returns.
RB Mike Davis – Chicago Bears
Yeah, the kickoff game of the NFL regular season was kind of a snooze-fest and it doesn’t seem like the first place to look for a scoring boost. Not quite true. Mike Davis led the team in touches with 11 – including 6 receptions on 7 targets – albeit for only 36 yards. Tarik Cohen had 8 touches and rookie David Montgomery had only 7 touches. The Bears spent the majority of the game trailing the Pack, which ultimately led to fewer looks for the RBs. In 2018, Davis averaged 4.59 yards per carry on 112 rushes with Seattle – the second most prolific rushing offense in the league (534 attempts). Chicago was 6th in rushing attempts (468) and 7th in rushing touchdowns (16) in 2018. Based on those stats, we know they prefer to run the ball. Also, Tarik Cohen had zero carries and was only involved in the passing game, which is his specialty. These reasons show us that coach Matt Nagy is willing to run the ball and they will find success as the season continues. In Week 2, Chicago faces the Broncos who sacrificed 4.5 yards per carry in 2018.
Davis’ workload looks, to me, to be fairly consistent in the ground game as the Bears look to right the ship against Denver. He’ll get around 8-12 touches per game and has the ability to shrug tacklers for bigger gains. He is available in the vast majority of ESPN and Yahoo! leagues (over 80%) and could be a real steal if his carries increase or a teammate goes down.
RB Justin Jackson – Los Angeles Chargers
It’s easy to not notice Jackson’s numbers in the Chargers’ Week 1 performance behind the three touchdown game that Austin Ekeler put up against the Colts. Jackson was out-carried, out-targeted and out-gained in nearly every category – every category except yards per carry (9.5) where he nearly doubled Ekeler (4.8). As long as Melvin Gordon is holding out, this will be a running back by committee (RBBC) situation, and that alone makes J.J. valuable in fantasy. Chargers’ running backs ranked 10th in yards per carry in 2018 and they have returned all five starters this season – which includes two Pro Bowlers. As long as they stay on the field together, we can continue to see Jackson, Ekeler and the O-line excel in the ground game. The Bolts travel to Detroit in Week 2 to battle a team that gave up 4.87 yards per carry to the Cardinals.
Jackson isn’t the pass catcher that Ekeler is, but he’s no Joe Shmoe. He’s still on the waiver wire in more than half of the leagues out there across multiple platforms and formats. And if Ekeler were to suffer an injury, he would surely become a bellcow for Los Angeles.
WR Jamison Crowder – New York Jets
It should always be noted when one player on a team gets nearly twice as many looks as his teammates. Crowder’s Week 1 stat line came out of nowhere. He was targeted 17 times and caught 14 of those passes – both career highs for Jamison – while no the rest of New York’s wide outs were targeted a combined 11 times. QB Sam Darnold clearly saw the potential that Crowder has shown in previous years when he played for the Redskins. This week, the Jets offense will square off with a Cleveland defense that just gave up 248 yards and three passing touchdowns to Marcus Mariota with 100 of those yards going to rookie A.J. Brown. Over 15 games in 2017, Crowder had 66 catches and 789 yards on 106 targets – all team highs – so we know he can support the role as the lead pass catcher.
Crowder definitely looks like the #1 receiver in the Jets’ passing game. While averaging 12.49 yards per catch over the last 3 seasons, the former Blue Devil is in line to have another beneficial year with a highly touted young quarterback. He is un-rostered in more than half of Yahoo! leagues and should be available in most leagues to add receiving depth to your roster.
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