The Bottom 5% - Week 2

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Written by: Derek Tate


Look, Week 1 was rough on most fantasy owners. David Johnson seems poised to miss a significant amount of time, Le'Veon Bell laid an egg, Eddie Lacy was completely useless, Allen Robinson is out for the season, the consensus top TEs (Gronk, Kelce, Reed, Olsen and Graham) all failed to top 10 fantasy points in a PPR format. It was an absolute nightmare.

However, we did learn a couple of things and can scoop a couple options to plug-and-play or stash on your bench. Here. We. Go!

Quarterback


Jay Cutler - 2.6%, Miami Dolphins
This one is particularly head scratching. I get it, Smokin' Jay Cutler likely enjoyed Week 1 from his couch, chain smoking an entire pack of Marlboro's through the early games on Sunday, but he's available in 97% of leagues?!

If he was your only QB on the roster and you wanted/needed to swap him out for another QB for Week 1 instead of dropping a high upside RB/WR on your bench, then I understand. However his own percentage dropped by 10% over the last 7 days.

Cutler is a no brainer addition for a QB needy team in deeper leagues and two QBs leagues. Cutler's one season under Gase in 2015 was very respectable (3,659 yards passing, 21TDs to only 11 INTs, which was good for a QB rating of 92.3). The weapons are more than adequate for Cutler to post similar numbers. Landry is an ace in the slot, Parker has WR1 upside, Stills has big-play ability, Thomas is an athletic option at TE and Ajayi should give the offense plenty of balance to keep them honest.

Cutler has low end QB1 upside, go get him now because at his worst, he's a top 20 option this season.

Running Back (Some previously mentioned)

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Chris Carson - 3.6%, Seattle Seahawks (Mentioned Last Week)
Here is my quote from last week when suggesting to stash Carson.
"This young RB flashed enough ability with his opportunities to likely earn a few looks a game. If the other options don't impress, you shouldn't be shocked to see Carson's role expand as the season progresses."

All self pats on the back aside, it appears the Carson's ascension up the Seattle backfield pecking order has been significantly accelerated. Carson led all RBs in snaps (27), carries (6), rushing yards (39) and receiving yards (10). Lacy saw a grand total of 7 snaps versus his old team. He is a borderline drop after Week 1!

Carson has become a must add. Yes, when Rawls returns he will be involved, but Carson will be involved this season and worth a roster spot. Get him now, if it's not already too late.

Marlon Mack - 1.4%, Indianapolis Colts (Mentioned Last Week)
Another quote from last week on Marlon Mack:
"If Mack can impress with his opportunities, they may want to see what they have in Mack with this being Frank Gore's final season under contract. He is worth a stash to see how involved he is to start the season behind a 34-year-old RB."

One thing I neglected to mentioned last week are that the Colts are baddddd. It's entirely possible we have already found the 2017 league doormat after Week 1. I'm not certain Scott Tolzien has ever played football prior to wearing a Colts jersey, but I digress.

Mack saw the exact same amount of touches as Gore in Week 1 (11) and found the end zone once, while being robbed of a second TD early in the game, when Pagano decided to hurry to the line and run a play quickly instead of taking his time and having someone tell him to throw the damn challenge flag (insert fire Chuck Pagano joke).

Mack's fumble that resulted in a safety and his 2.4 yards per carry likely mean he won't be a high priority pickup on the waiver wire, but considering how poor his team performed on Sunday, it was an encouraging debut for Mack. 

With a potential of unlimited amount of garbage time this year for the Colts and Mack's Week 1 involvement, he is worth a spot on your bench.

Mike Tolbert - 1.2%, Buffalo Bills
Backup Bills RBs have had stand alone value the past two years.

Karlos Williams had 9 total TDs in 2015.

Mike Gillislee had 9 total TDs in 2016.

We are through one week of play and Tolbert already has one. Tolbert hasn't recorded 12 carries in a game since 2013, but with Buffalo preferring to keep McCoy fresh and Tolbert's ability to convert short yardage situations, we should not be surprised if Tolbert finishes the season with around 500 yards rushing with 8 TDs.

Is he a breakout candidate? Probably not (even if Shady goes down, he will likely still be TD dependent). However, his role is very clear after Week 1. If you're in a pinch at RB in standard formats, you could do worse than rolling the dice on Tolbert to punch in a short yardage TD in this run heavy offense.

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Javorius Allen - 0.8%, Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens and Bengals game was an ugly, defensive affair this past Sunday. However, with Woodhead getting injured early in the contest and the Ravens taking a run heavy approach, Allen saw 21 carries to West's 19. 

Albeit, West was a bit more effective and got the nod earlier in the contest. However, when a RB in an unsettled backfield sees more carries than the starter in Week 1, it shouldn't be overlooked.

In deeper leagues, regardless of format, Breida is absolutely worth a stash. He has handcuff upside paired with potential stand alone value. Go pick him up.

The Buffalo Bills were the only other team to run the ball over 40 times on Sunday. Allen is worth a scoop for a RB desperate team to see if his 21 carries were strictly do to game flow or because of the absence of Danny Woodhead as a second option.

The David Johnson Replacement Lottery (Kerwynn Williams 5.5%, Andre Ellington 0.8%, Chris Johnson 0.2% and D.J. Foster 0.1%)
David Johnson is going to miss time regardless of how the second opinion goes. So who is the next man up?

If Sunday is any indication, then Kerwynn Williams will lead the rushing attack, with Andre Ellington as the pass catching and change of pace option. I do believe that is exactly how it is going to play out.

Prior to Sunday, Williams career numbers are 98 carries for 545 yards (5.5 YPC) and 3 TDs. Including a 12 carry, 60 yard, TD performance in last year's season finale.

However, keep an eye out of for the Chris Johnson. If they do add him to the roster, he could be involved and the recent signing of D.J. Foster off of the Patriots practice squad is worth monitoring as well.

Alvin Kamara - 5.9%, New Orleans Saints
Kamara led the team in the targets and carries while finishing dead even in total touches with Mark Ingram. The Saints offense was on it's heels all night against a stout Vikings defense. Game flow also may have favored Kamara, who led all Saints RBs with 31 snaps in the opener. Kamara is clearly going to see plenty of action in this backfield this season.

In fact, Kamara may be a great deep league PPR option this week. The Patriots are likely to come out firing on all cylinders offensively in Week 2 against the Saints, which means we could see quite a bit of Brees throwing the ball in this matchup.

The Patriots got torched by Kareem Hunt in the passing game (5 catches for 98 yards and 2 TDs), as the Patriots LBs struggled in pass coverage. Kamara is best suited to exploit this weakness. Any Saints RB that was this involved in his first game should be added to your bench.

Samaje Perine - 1.3%, Washington Redskins
Anyone remember how this backfield played out last season? Matt Jones was the lead back to start the season. He played poorly for the first month of the season, which then opened the door for Rob Kelley to steal the lead gig. Remember that? Also, do you remember when Bobby Boucher showed up at halftime and the Mud Dawgs won the Bourbon Bowl!? Do ya?? (Couldn't resist the Waterboy reference there)

It was a rough opening game for the Redskins. Kelley went for 30 yards on 10 carries. To be fair, the entire offense struggled. So I don't expect Gruden to make any changes this week at the RB spot. However, Perine is worth a stash in case Kelley continues to struggle.

Wide Receiver

Allen Hurns - 1.3%, Jacksonville Jaguars
After seemingly falling out of favor, with injuries to Allen Robinson and Dede Westbrook within the past couple weeks, Hurns finds himself thrust into a significant role moving forward.

Hurns led the receiving charge in Week 1, hauling in three of four targets for 42 yards. Leading the team in yards and receptions, Hurns is the most accomplished WR on the roster.

Sure, it feels like forever since Hurns posted a 1,031 yard and 10 TD season in 2015, but he's a proven capable WR at the NFL level who should be the leading option for the Jaguars this season.

No matter how inept Bortles is, Hurns will see plenty of opportunities to post modest numbers in 2017. That alone holds enough value to stash on bench and see how it works out.

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Jermaine Kearse - 2.7%, New York Jets
Through one week, we have a winner in the Jets WR sweepstakes. Kearse led the team in receptions (7), yards (59) and targets (9). One of those targets was a fade in the end zone that fell incomplete.

Despite just arriving in town via trade, Kearse looks the WR to own for the Jets. At this point, he is the only Jets pass catcher worth rostering. 

Ryan Grant - 0.0%, Washington Redskins
In a bit of a surprise, it was Ryan Grant who finished 2nd in receiving yards behind only Terrelle Pryor on opening week.

Second year WR, Josh Doctson, saw 0 targets and fewer snaps than Ryan Grant in the opening week. Of course, this could be subject to change, as Doctson missed some preseason reps with a hamstring injury. However, Grant played well this week. If you are desperate at WR in PPR formats, Grant may be worth a stash to see if he can build upon a solid Week 1 in a pass happy offense in Washington.

Josh Bellamy (0.1%) & Deonte Thompson (0.1%), Chicago Bears
First off, let's begin with a moment of silence. As we mourn the passing of Kevin White's career, we reflect on the good times. His 4.35 in the 40-yard dash at the 2015 combine will never be forgotten.

  As we move forward without Kevin, we will tirelessly search to replace his TD production (0) as a member of the Chicago Bears.

Some options consist in the names of Josh Bellamy and Deonte Thompson.

Bellamy has never registered a 100 yard game in his career, while Thompson posted one 100 yard game in Week 15 last year vs the Packers.

Bellamy (3 receptions, 27 yards on 4 targets) outproduced Thompson (1 reception, 15 yards on 2 targets) in Week 1. So if you want to give him the edge in who to pick up this week, then I can't blame you. However, both should be worth a look to desperate owners.

Tight End

George Kittle - 0.3%, San Francisco 49ers
Oh so many puns with a last name like Kittle. Puns aside, Kittle was rather efficient with his opportunities on Sunday (5 receptions on 6 targets).

The 49ers offense manufactured a meager 3 points against the Panthers. So Kittle, is likely not worthy of starting consideration, however, his six targets on a team limited on receiving options warrants monitoring.

Last Week's Bottom 5% top score
QB - Jared Goff 18.4
RB - Tarik Cohen 25.3
RB - Marlon Mack 11.5
WR - Jermaine Kearse 12.9
WR - Marquise Goodwin 5.1
TE - Charles Clay 15.3
FL - Chris Carson 5.9

Total = 94.4

Overall, not a bad Week 1 for the Bottom 5%.

To all of you that suffered significant injuries in Week 1 (or just got your ass kicked), keep your head. Week 2 could be better.



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Until next time, later says the Tater.


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