Week two is in the books and the injuries continue to mount. This week, we saw players such as Greg Olsen, Jordy Nelson, Rob Kelley, and Rob Gronkowski leave their games early. Hopefully, you’ve been able to build some depth into your dynasty roster in order to withstand injury-ridden weeks like these. For those of you who haven’t, the waiver wire is going to be your best friend for the remainder of the season. The list below is made up of eight players who currently have low ownership percentages across my leagues. Being in over twenty dynasty leagues helps me have a decent idea of who would typically be available in most leagues, but we all know dynasty leagues are not constructed as one-size-fits-all. If you don’t see any of the players below listed on your league’s waiver wire, it may be smart to throw out some trade offers. Players such as the ones listed below could be found at the bottom of rosters and there is value to be had because they can be acquired cheaply. Therefore, if the waiver wire is out of the question, I would suggest sending out some flier offers to those owners.
Alex Collins, RB – Baltimore Ravens
Alex Collins was a late fifth-round pick out of Arkansas for the Seahawks in 2016. In college, he was a solid runner, rushing for over 1,000 yards in each of his three seasons. He displayed great vision and was an incredibly consistent RB who was great near the goal line. Unfortunately for him, the team that drafted him had Thomas Rawls, Eddie Lacy, CJ Prosise already rostered. Not to mention, they also drafted talented rookie RB Chris Carson in the seventh round this year. The Seahawks jettisoned Collins and he landed a job on the Ravens practice squad where he was eventually promoted to the active roster ahead of Sunday’s contest against the Browns. I’m not sold on Javorius Allen as an every-down runner, and Terrance West has looked bad and continues to play hurt. Collins received seven carries, rushed for six yards a clip in his first action, and coaches are saying he’s earned some more playing time.
James White, RB – New England Patriots
What more does a guy have to do to get some respect in this league? James White caught 14 passes on 16 targets in Super Bowl 51, converting one for a touchdown and adding two more scores by means of keeping it on the ground. He’s already caught 11 passes this season for 115 yards and his quarterback has gone out of his way to compliment him at nearly every press conference. The Patriots are crazy thin at receiver right now which means White should see the field more often as they wait for their injured players to get healthy. White’s a bigger threat in PPR leagues but can provide a solid start in all formats.
Mike Tolbert, RB – Buffalo Bills
Mike Tolbert is nothing special. He’s short, hefty, and isn’t particularly elusive. In fact, it’s hard to imagine exactly how he’s been in the league for 10 years. Having said that, he’s the only other running back on the Bills roster who has received a carry outside of LeSean McCoy. That trend should continue throughout the season as fellow backs Taiwan Jones and Joe Banyard aren’t reliable. The Bills want to run, and LeSean McCoy can’t carry the ball 400 times this year, so Tolbert will get some work. We saw McCoy receive vulture work on several occasions last year and Tolbert should have those opportunities this year.
Rashard Higgins, WR – Cleveland Browns
It’s very difficult to recommend any Cleveland Browns player given the incredibly inconsistent play of their quarterbacks. However, they will have to throw the ball to someone since they will be trailing in games quite often. Corey Coleman has a broken hand and Kenny Britt seems more interested in the birds in the sky, so Rashard Higgins has a chance to see some volume over at least the next few weeks. A big receiver who has always excelled at late separation and contested catches, I can easily see him receiving between six and ten targets per game.
Jermaine Kearse, WR – New York Jets
Similar to the Browns, the Jets will be throwing quite a bit this season. They seem to have gone into full-on tank mode, shipping away players with any kind of talent. We all know that terrible rosters can lead to positive game scripts for wide receivers, and Kearse is just about the only player on the Jets who can be called one. He saw nine targets in week one and another five in week two where he turned two of them into scores. Opportunity is king sometimes and Kearse will have plenty of that, so you should be able to rely on him as a WR4 throughout the season.
Marqise Lee, WR – Jacksonville Jaguars
Speaking of bad teams, let’s keep it rolling and bring up the Jaguars. They’re not nearly as bad as the Browns or Jets because they have a serviceable-to-good defense, but they are still struggling. They most likely will not be in as many blowouts as those two teams and their plan of attack is to run as often as possible. Without Allen Robinson though, this team finds itself thin at receiver, meaning the volume should be there for Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns. Hurns got the touchdown in week two but Lee led the way with 12 targets and 7 receptions. Even if the Jags only throw the ball 20-25 times per game I expect Lee’s target share to be in the 40% range. We might finally see Lee utilize some of the talents he displayed during his days at USC.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE – New York Jets
Austin Seferian-Jenkins is a name with which a lot of us in the dynasty community are familiar with. A second-round pick in 2014, ASJ has flashed talent throughout his career but was never able to put a full season together. Coming into 2017, however, we have heard nothing but glowing reports from the Jets camp about how Seferian-Jenkins has cleaned up his life and how sharp he looks. Fresh off a suspension and ready for redemption, he’s going to see targets for the same reasons mentioned above regarding Jermaine Kearse. With tight end injuries piling up across the league, you may want to take a shot on ASJ to either pad your bench, or keep him away from your opponent’s roster.
Ryan Griffin, TE – Houston Texans
In 2016, the Texans threw the ball 583 times and 179 of those attempts were to the tight end position. CJ Fiedorowicz received the lion’s share of those targets with 89, but Ryan Griffin wasn’t very far behind with his 74. Not to mention, Griffin had a better catch percentage than Fiedorowicz, hauling in over 67% of those targets. Fiedorowicz was a guy I was targeting later in all of my startups because I thought he was primed for a breakout year but unfortunately, he’s on IR and will miss the rest of the season. Griffin may have been on some rosters but was most likely dropped when he also left the game week one with a concussion. He is expected to play this week and I expect him to see some volume in this offense.