We had a couple of hits last week, mentioning Julius Thomas and Kenbrell Thompkins in our highest category. Despite the mediocre stat line from Thompkins, we are still very high on him as Tom Brady threw in his direction 14 times, including twice in the end zone. The numbers for Thomas speak for themselves; he had quite the breakout party on opening night. The Broncos aren’t going to have seven passing touchdowns each week, but Thomas has clearly established himself as one of Peyton Manning’s go-to targets. These guys should be owned in all formats.
As for this week, we again tap into the tight end position and take a chance on a running back stepping in for a starter banished to the doghouse for our top category. Several wide receivers and some running backs make this week’s story, and even a quarterback gets a mention as someone “On the Radar.” Something for everyone this week, on to the wonders!
TE Kellen Winslow, New York Jets
Rookie Geno Smith leaned on Winslow in the preseason, and that has carried over into the regular season. Winslow caught seven passes for 79 yards and a touchdown in the opening day win for the Jets, a strong line for a tight end in a time-sharing situation. Though Jeff Cumberland will continue to see time, it will be Winslow that sees nearly 100 percent of the fantasy action.
RB Da’Rel Scott, New York Giants
Starter David Wilson had a nightmare of a game on Sunday night, fumbling twice and being benched. Scott was the man to replace Wilson, but with the Giants trailing for much of the night, there was not much of a ground game for New York. Coach Tom Coughlin is stubborn, and it remains to be seen if he is forgiving. If nothing else, Scott is waiting in the wings right behind Wilson, but we see Scott getting a shot at the starters role while Wilson is forced to work his way out of the doghouse.
RB Jonathan Dwyer, Pittsburgh
From the penthouse, to the outhouse, and back to the penthouse again all in the matter of a week? The Steelers were so disappointed with Dwyer’s effort that they released him before the regular season’s first game as they had accumulated plenty of other coverage for the injured Le’Veon Bell. Fast forward to now, backup Isaac Redman was ineffective and benched for fumbling the ball, backup to the backup LaRod Stephens-Howling tore his ACL and is lost for the season, and newly signed Felix Jones played a single play in which he blew a blitz pickup. Oh yea, the Steelers lost the game. We are still waiting to see Bell on the practice field, so once again the starting role for Pittsburgh is up for grabs.
WR Julian Edelman, New England
The toughest player this week to determine a spot for, Edelman ends up here, just edging his way into the bottom of the “Solid Pickup” category. Though his two opening game touchdowns suggest a higher ranking, Kenbrell Thompkins is still the New England wide receiver to own not named Danny Amendola. The return of Rob Gronkowski is still a week or two away; once he gets onto the playing field, the middle-of-the-field passes that Edelman had success with in Week 1 will go in Gronkowski’s direction. Tom Brady tried valiantly to hook up with Thompkins in Buffalo; look for that to continue with better success. So Edelman will end up as No. 4 on Brady’s read chart. He’s worth grabbing as a speculative pickup, and he is the top selection according to our friends at fleaflicker.com, but do so with tempered expectations.