Week 2 is the biggest opportunity to take advantage of flaws in market value of players, whether it’s because folks are slow to accept the new reality, or because they are overreacting to fluky Week 1 result. It’s up to you to determine which is which from the Week 1 firehose of new information, but make sure to take at least a few stands with your trades this week.
Kyler Murray (QB-ARI)
Murray was neck and neck with Russell Wilson to be the #1 fantasy quarterback before his injury last year, and he looked better than he did at any point last year in his dissection of the Titans. The Vikings defense had trouble with the Bengals and will be shorthanded, so expect Murray to lead the way to fantasy W’s again this week. He could be an unfair advantage at quarterback and reset the bar for fantasy scoring at his position.
Jarvis Landry (WR-CLE)
Odell Beckham Jr’s absence is ominous considering that he was cleared for minicamp way back in June. Landry is the de facto #1 receiver when Beckham is out, so the hive mind could be slow to catch up to his potential to become an everyweek WR3/Flex in PPR leagues this year.
Adam Thielen (WR-MIN)
Thielen was one of the week winners in the opening round of fantasy games, and that could become a regular occurrence on a Vikings teams that is mailing it in on defense playing under a likely lame duck coach. More pass attempts equals more value for Thielen, who should be on the block in dynasty leagues if he is on the roster of a team that had a rough Week 1 and is looking to the future.
Tom Brady (QB-TB)
Matt Waldman put out there that Brady could threaten Peyton Manning’s records, and Week 1 did nothing to dispel that notion. The backfield is full of unreliable players and the passing game is full of players who are either in their prime or playing like they are in their prime. Brady and Bruce Arians have no mercy and will be pleased to stick with a high powered passing game as the Bucs embark on Victory Tour 2021.
Mark Ingram II (RB-HOU)
This is elementary, but some may see Ingram’s workload and give something, anything of value for him.
Marvin Jones Jr (WR-JAX)
The Jaguars were a mess on both sides of the ball in Week 1, don’t let the score or Jones stat line fool you. This team is going nowhere and they don’t face the Texans again until Week 15. See if you can get a pick or prospect for Jones while he still seems like a viable play heading into a matchup with the Broncos.
Elijah Mitchell (RB-SF)
Mitchell was worth your waiver wire bucks, don’t trade him just because. If you don’t need him, you could cash him in right away to a running back needy that bid high on him, but not as high as you - or if you drafted him late in a dynasty rookie draft, his value may never be higher.
Ezekiel Elliott (RB-DAL)
It’s time to get out of your Elliott shares in dynasty leagues. He once again looked like he belongs in a full-blown RBBC with Tony Pollard, and he’s going to be playing for an offense that rely on the pass to move the ball. Elliott may have a few outburst games, but his actual value is nowhere near his name value right now, especially because you can just explain his Week 1 dud away with the matchup and Dak Prescott audibling out of run calls.
Josh Allen (QB-BUF)
Give it up for the Steelers defense, but also know that Allen was predictable, resembling a situation similar to Lamar Jackson’s in 2020 where his special sauce that made his career year was no longer working on opponents. Allen and offensive coordinator Brian Daboll could evolve, but Miami is a tough out on defense, and so is Washington in Week 3. Allen’s value window as an elite fantasy quarterback could be closing fast, so it’s time to consider a blockbuster deal in 2QB/Superflex or a smaller deal in 1QB if you like your backup, or you’re just willing to cash in Allen to upgrade elsewhere and figure out quarterback as you go along.
Michael Pittman Jr (WR-IND)
Pittman and really the whole Colts passing game was a Week 1 disappointment, and that’s not going to change against the Rams this week. Even with T.Y. Hilton sidelined, Pittman isn’t going to get enough consistent opportunity to matter in fantasy leagues, and Hilton said he will be back at some point this year. Pittman may hit eventually, but not this year, and maybe not on this team or with this quarterback
Mike Gesicki (TE-MIA)
Gesicki will surely have a big game or two this year, but good luck timing that game with your starting lineup choices. Will Fuller V's delayed return gives him a window to put up one of those big games so you might be able to sell high.
Najee Harris (RB-PIT)
Harris was held in check by the Bills in a low-scoring game, and he won’t find much room to run behind this line, at least not until they gel and fulfill their offseason focus on rebuilding the running game. Harris also looked ordinary for an NFL starting running back, not like what you want when you take one in the first round, so this isn’t necessarily a dynasty take, but for redraft, he should get some better game scripts courtesy of the defense that give him chances for score(s) and a strong second half when the team can put the lean on the opponent, as they might be able to this week facing a Raiders team coming off of a tough overtime win against Ravens on a short week of rest.
Austin Ekeler (RB-LAC)
I care a lot more about Ekeler getting a first and goal carry and converting it than him not getting any targets. He’s a good-to-great player in a good-to-great offense. The big games are coming, probably starting this week against the Cowboys. Get an offer in while you can.
Aaron Jones (RB-GB)
Of course we can invalidate the Packers Week 1. It was the heat, or they at the fish from Airplane, or they were the subject of a hex, but none of that can stop them from having a huge game against the Lions this week. Jones should get his, check and see if his fantasy team is wavering in their confidence in him.
Taylor Heinicke (QB-WAS)
Try to get Heinicke on the cheap in 2QB/Superflex leagues, both redraft and dynasty. He should add value as a runner and the offense came alive when he got on the field in Week 1. There’s an outside chance that he plays well enough to remain the starter when Ryan Fitzpatrick is healthy if he can get the Football Team on a winning streak.
Mike Evans (WR-TB)
The big games are going to come for Evans, and they will be big enough to make absorbing valleys like Week 1 worth it. Do a price check offer just to see if his team is worried about him after Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski found the fountain of youth.
James Conner (RB-ARI)
Conner didn’t score in Week 1, but he did get the ball down to the two, and he’s obviously going to be the running back who gets the call at the goal line when Kyler Murray doesn’t bogart the rushing touchdown opportunities. This could be one of the elite offenses for fantasy and Conner will be set up for double digit touchdowns (if not more) just like Kenyan Drake posted last year. Get in before the Cardinals give him chances to score this week against the sleepwalking Vikings defense.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling (WR-GB)
Valdes-Scantling was the #1 deep target for Aaron Rodgers, even while the offense was struggling to anything right in the loss to the Saints. The blitz happy Lions defense just lost their #1 corner, so everything should come easy to Rodgers in this one, including any deep shots to Valdes-Scantling, who generated a lot of hype this summer. Don’t assume it was unwarranted because of how Week 1 unfolded.
Brandon Aiyuk (WR-SF)
Aiyuk was outpracticed by Trent Sherfield, but it will be difficult for Sherfield to outplay him. At least one beat writer said this is not like the Dante Pettis situation, but that doesn’t mean that his dynasty team isn’t looking to sell low to get out because of the fear that the fickle Kyle Shanahan is souring on his second 2020 first round pick.
Devin Singletary (RB-BUF)
Singletary was outstanding in the fourth quarter and he should demand more work from an offense that needs to establish the run. Zack Moss and Matt Breida are no threat, so Singletary should be able to create as much fantasy value as he is capable of, which was good enough to be a fantasy RB2 down the stretch in his rookie year and for the three games that Moss missed last year.
Buy Low or Sell Low?
Robert Woods (WR-LAR)
Like Ekeler, Woods is a good-to-great player in a good-to-great offense, but is he a buy coming off of his quiet Week 1? He could keep scoring and produce reasonable numbers, but early indications are that he will blend into the pass offense more than stand out. It might end up being brilliant in hindsight to trade for him, but err on the side of trading him away if you are in the movement market for Woods.