Unless there is a complete breakout performance from an undrafted player or a severe injury to a main contributor, I really don’t like to have a kneejerk reaction and start dropping & adding players in the first couple of weeks of the fantasy season. Many times, someone will drop a capable player on their bench for someone who had a fluky week 1 performance, and the player they dropped can go on to be the better option. Much like driving in a traffic jam and you switch to the lane that’s moving, but it suddenly stops; then the lane you were just in starts moving… you don’t want to get caught in that chasing mode. It’s the perfect recipe for using all your drop/adds in the first 6 weeks. Stand pat unless you are pretty confident the guy you are picking up has some upside, and be sure the guy you’re dropping is worthless.
In the first couple of weeks, we have seen a couple of breakout performances from players that we probably weren’t expecting to produce at a high level: one of them being Cam Newton. Week 1 could have gone down as a fluke. But Week 2 against the Packers D is showing that he might very well be a solid QB play. If he wasn’t drafted, most teams might have taken a flyer on him after week 1, almost surely after this week he will be owned in most leagues. While I don’t think he’ll be tossing for over 400 yards every week, I do know that he has the ability to have a monster performance, especially with the right matchup.
So with that said, here are the players that I would grab if they are out there.
Cam Newton, QB Carolina: See above. Grab him if you can, but I doubt he’s available in 12-team leagues. I do think he will come back down to earth soon, though, so don’t expect weekly monster performances, but given the right matchup you can feel comfortable rolling with him. Cam’s emergence is great for Steve Smith owners though. Talk about getting a steal in the draft.
Thomas Jones / Dexter McCluster, RB & RB/WR Kansas City: Obvious, I know. Major devastation for Jamaal Charles owners… yours truly included. So what to do? Pick up Thomas Jones or Dexter McCluster? Easy answer, grab either one. Unfortunately Dexter is listed as a WR in CBS & ESPN leagues. So unless that changes, it doesn’t help your RB slot. Thomas Jones would make the most sense obviously for all formats, but Dexter should be utilized in a half-share with Jones. Yahoo! has Dexter listed as a WR/RB, so he is definitely worth grabbing in those leagues, and if you are in a PPR league, he becomes even more valuable, since you can put him in any RB, WR, or flex spot. Don’t expect a whole lot though: this Chiefs team could go down the toilet REAL quick, and it’s looking like not even Jamaal-type talent could put up numbers in this mess of an offense. It’s not like you’re picking up Arian Foster’s backup. A sleeper to keep an eye on in this situation: Le’Ron McClain. He could emerge as a more productive, younger every down back for the Chiefs. Worth taking a shot if you have the roster space.
Rex Grossman, QB Washington: Again, since this post is coming out after Week 2, chances are that Rex is already gone in your league. But if he’s available, grab him. Looks like he’ll put up serviceable numbers, and it’s always good to have a QB that is easily capable of 250 & 2/3TDs or more.
Tashard Choice / DeMarco Murray, RB Dallas: Felix is banged up, and who knows if that shoulder injury will linger. This is a good Dallas offense, and between Choice & Murray, you have to imagine that one of these guys could emerge as a major contributor. Talent-wise, Murray has the upper hand. Role-wise, Choice is a 4-year vet while Murray is a rookie. Tough call, it’s really a coinflip. But I would roll with Murray.
Jerome Simpson, WR Bengals: With Jordan Shipley out for the season, Simpson should be in line for a lot more targets. This Bengals team is tough to figure out since it’s a completely new look. But AJ Green has been sensational, and Simpson looks like he’s rounding into a nice #2 in an offense that can air it out.
David Nelson, WR Buffalo: He’s a big guy at 6’5″, and in that (so far) high-powered offense, he’s a #2 to a true franchise talent in Stevie Johnson. If Stevie is getting the main coverage on gameday, guess who will benefit the most?
Denarius Moore, WR Oakland: Not completely sold on this guy, considering he entered the year at the 3rd or 4th spot on the WR depth chart. But he opened some eyes with his acrobatic catches and has shown some ability. If Jason Campbell takes a liking to him, he might just be a regular player in this offense. I wouldn’t add him yet, unless you have someone completely worthless on your roster that you can drop. There are most likely better options at WR.
Isaac Redman, RB Steelers: Mendenhall’s backup is a good guy to grab now in case Rashard gets hurt… never know. better to be prepared.
Jesse Holley, WR Cowboys: Who? Dez & Miles are out… Miles for a few weeks. Holley will be a WR 1 or 2, and Romo needs to throw the ball to somebody besides Witten. He’s definitely worth grabbing.
Fred Davis, TE Washington: Looking like one of Rex’s favorite targets. Grab him if he’s available.
Detroit Defense: If you haven’t gotten on board yet and they’re available, grab them now. I grabbed them in two of my leagues, and they will be wreaking havoc all year. Turnovers & sacks all start with solid line play, and they might have the most dominant D line in the league. Love these guys.