Week one is in the books.... If you are like me, then the loss of Keenan Allen has left you devastated. It was business as usual for the Chargers WR. Six catches for 63 yards in the first half. All was going well for your 2nd or 3rd round pick. Then BOOM! Just like that.... He's gone. Out of your lineup. Adios. To say it leaves owners like myself scrambling to figure something out would be an understatement. Now take a deep breath and relax. There is a lot of football left to be played and plenty of other options to find at WR. In reality, the replacement for Keenan Allen is not on any waiver wire. However, there are some intriguing players available in 95% of ESPN leagues that could fill a flex spot or see an expanded role in the future. Let's take a look.
Tyrell Williams (1.2%) & Dontrelle Inman (0.1%) -
With the devastating ACL injury to Keenan Allen against the Chiefs, one of these two WRs will have the opportunity to earn significant targets opposite of Travis Benjamin. If their production on Sunday is any indication of who will see an expanded role, then the answer is crystal clear. Williams caught two of his five targets for 71 yards, while Inman caught of one of his three targets for six yards. They are similar in terms of height and weight, with Williams being marginally thicker and taller. Inman was given an opportunity last year to stand out when Allen went down with the laceration to his kidney and was underwhelming with his chances. I see Williams being given an opportunity to emerge as Rivers’ favorite big bodied WR to target this year. If I am a Keenan Allen owner (or victim), I would make sure to scoop both of these WRs up with Williams being the top priority.
Nelson Agholor (5.1%) – He may be a full year late to the party, but late is better than never for Nelson Agholor. He was a popular breakout candidate last year that fell flat on his face and stayed there for the entirety of 2015. This past Sunday, Agholor looked like the player many expected to show up last year. He hauled in four of his five targets for 57 yards, and found the end zone once against the Browns. Any fantasy success should be taken with a grain of salt when facing the dumpster fire that is the Cleveland Browns, but this was a very encouraging start for the young WR. Another reason to look at Agholor is the displaced rib injury to TE Zach Ertz. Wentz found a rhythm with his big TE in the opener. With Ertz likely to miss some action, the rookie QB will have to turn elsewhere. I expect Jordan Matthews and Nelson Agholor to be fed the football indefinitely until Ertz returns. He is more than worth an add in deep PPR formats.
Chris Conley (3.8%) - If the Kansas City Chiefs threw the ball 48 times every week, then I would feel much more confident about this recommendation. Unfortunately, his 48 attempts are the most passes Smith has thrown in a regular season contest in his Chiefs career. An interesting stat from Sunday is that Maclin, Kelce and Conley all finished with the same amount of targets (7). If the Chiefs continue to toss the ball all over the yard (which I do not expect, but anything is possible) Conley could make for a very high upside stash. He is a dynamic talent at the WR position with a rare combination of size and speed. His modest stat line of four receptions for 43 yards should keep him off most owner’s radars. In a deep PPR league, I love stashing high upside players. With physical tools that resemble some of the elite in today's game, Conley should find his way on a team in some leagues.
Cole Beasley (3.0%) – This pickup may not be sexy or flashy, but Cole Beasley may find his way to WR3 territory with Dak Prescott under center. Let me explain.... Prescott proved that he can be a composed QB in live NFL action with his performance on Sunday. He relied on his arm, not his legs, against the Giants and consistently made good decisions with the football. The good decisions I am referring to was his tendency to check the ball down to Witten or Beasley. Sure, Beasley's stat line was not impressive (8 catches for 65 yards). However, the 12 targets he saw on Sunday were the most he has seen in a game since 2012. If Prescott continues to play it safe, then Beasley is worth scooping in deep PPR leagues.
Jeremy Kerley (0.3%) & Quinton Patton (1.3%) – The question on many fantasy owners, and analysts for that matter, was, "Who is the WR to own in San Francisco?" The answer through week one is Jeremy Kerley. Gabbert targeted Kerley on 11 occasions Monday night, and he responded with seven receptions for 61 yards. Slot WRs have been fantasy relevant in the past in Chip Kelly''s system (notably Jordan Matthews comes to mind.) What is more impressive is that Kerley arrived in San Francisco only two weeks prior to the Monday night opener. With the volume of snaps a Chip Kelly offense can produce, and the absence of a leading WR, Kerley is a player I would love to stash on my roster. It is worth noting that Quinton Patton finished with five receptions for 60 yards. Patton will man an outside WR spot along with Torrey Smith, while Kerley works the slot. If you were to give me a choice between Kerley and Patton, give me the player likely to see more targets in an underwhelming passing attack.
Travaris Cadet (0.0%) – With C.J. Spiller rendered inactive by his coaching staff, it was Travaris Cadet that led all Saints RBs with 7 targets. Last year, we saw Mark Ingram post a career high in targets, receptions and receiving yards. So the seven targets Cadet saw came as a bit of a surprise. Cadet didn't exactly set the world on fire with his opportunities on Sunday (three receptions for 14 yards and one TD) but if this is a preview of how the backfield distribution of touches will be for 2016, then I want to stash Cadet. With Payton's history of using multiple RBs and Cadet's skills as a receiver, he is worth considering as a long term PPR handcuff to Ingram.
Jalen Richard (0.2%) – If DeAndre Washington is worthy of handcuff status to Latavius Murray, then so is Jalen Richard. With 84 yards rushing on just three carries against the Saints, Richard may have earned himself some touches on a weekly basis. His 75-yard TD run was impressive, displaying great speed, burst and acceleration on his way to the end zone. Richard may do nothing for the rest of the season, but his showcase of homerun hitting ability in regular season action certainly merits some consideration as a stash in deep leagues to see if his role expands after this performance.
Previously mentioned RBs still available in 95% of leagues -
Dwayne Washington (0.3%) Goal line TD vs Colts.
Kenjon Barner (1.2%) 4 carries for 41 yards vs Browns (Ryan Mathews fans... I promise you will thank me later).
Josh McCown (0.3)% – The Robert Griffin III era was very short-lived in Cleveland. The familiar face of Josh McCown will take over at QB, and should be on your fantasy radar if you're in need of a QB. In what was essentially seven games and one quarter, McCown threw for 2,109 yards, 12 TDs with only 4 INTs last season. He was on pace for over 4,000 and 24 scores. His weapons are on par with last season for the next three weeks. Corey Coleman replaces Travis Benjamin in the speedster department and his favorite target Barnidge likely can't be happier with the return of McCown under center (0 receptions this past Sunday). The intriguing part of scooping McCown is the addition of Josh Gordon to this offense. With the Browns likely playing from behind the majority of this season, McCown will have plenty of weapons to toss the ball this year. If I don't own a stud at QB, McCown is worth a stash in all formats.
Dennis Pitta (0.5%) – If this guy could only stay healthy..... Pitta returned to action this past Sunday and made it through the whole game without a significant injury. In what was a very low scoring affair, Pitta saw the 3rd most targets on the squad (4) and finished with three receptions for 39 yards. TE can be a bit of a barren wasteland past the top 10. Pitta is likely not on anyone's radar after an average stat line on Sunday. However, Pitta could sneak into top 15 TE status if he can stay healthy. If you are desperate at TE, Pitta is the one to add.
Those are my deep stashes for Week 2. Go out and scoop them before your league mates do!