Buy Low Opportunities Heading into Week 3 (Fantasy Football)
Week 2 is the one that truly tests the intestinal fortitude of fantasy managers that are struggling to field a quality team right now. Everyone knows not to panic after Week one, but Week two is when the word “bust” starts being thrown around left and right. It’s still important to focus more on usage than production, but lack of production after two full weeks can still be cause for concern. The key to buying low is identifying the differences between bad luck, bad teams, and bad situations. There will certainly be some busts this year, but the odds of a high-usage player busting from a good offense are fairly low historically.
Targeting star players who haven’t hit pay dirt is the theme for this week.
Leonard Fournette – RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Lenny himself already told everyone that his touchdowns are coming, so this should be an obvious one. Fournette is one of the true workhorses in the league, but right now his offensive line is questionable at best. The health of that whole unit should improve soon here, and if it doesn’t – the continuity of the current group will yield more positive results. The volume he’s seeing is reason enough to want him on your fantasy team, but the lack of touchdowns and his early schedule likely have his fantasy managers worried. Only CMC and Saquon Barkley have been on the field for a higher percentage of their team snaps, and the receiving options in Tampa Bay past Mike Evans are shaky until Chris Godwin returns. Lenny will be a focal point of this offense, and the touchdowns are going to come. This is the perfect time to trade for him if you can get him for an RB2 price. If he stays healthy, he will almost certainly finish the year in the RB1 range.
Javonte Williams – RB, Denver Broncos
The Broncos are a mess right now, but their second-year running back has been excellent from an efficiency standpoint. He’s picking up right where he left off in 2021, but the breakout we all expected is taking more time than we expected. Nathaniel Hackett may not have what it takes to Hack-ett at the NFL level, but one quick way to win over a fan base and locker room is to feed the exciting playmakers on your team. Both Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy should see plenty of work, but I expect Williams to ascend to clearcut lead back territory sooner rather than later. Melvin Gordon is underrated a bit, but he’s not the special player he once was. Williams’ snap totals increased from Week one to Week two, and he’s leading the 60/40 split with Gordon. Javonte is currently the RB15 despite not seeing the end zone yet, which means that regression should come his way soon as well. Williams could end up as a backend RB1, but his fantasy managers may already be bored enough to dish him for cheaper than that.
Diontae Johnson – WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers alpha receiver is one of only seven players to see double-digit targets in each of the first two weeks, yet he continues to be underrated in fantasy conversations. I swear I’ve typed this same sentence for four years in a row, but Diontae Johnson is really good, and he’s the clear WR1 on his team. Chase Claypool is not who we thought he was, and George Pickens has been underwhelming despite being a near full-time player. Diontae is going through another season as the top option in the passing game, but his production has plenty of room to grow. He’s just barely inside the top 40 at his position, but his target totals and air yardage suggest plenty of big games down the road. The Steelers faced off with the Bengals and Patriots who are tough matchups for any receiving corps, but the schedule opens up for Pittsburgh going forward. Diontae will find his way back into the top twenty very soon, and will likely end the year inside the top 15 just like he does every other year.
Chris Olave – WR, New Orleans Saints
By now you’ve probably seen the ridiculous statistic from Olave’s Week 2 game, but it’s still worth sharing again. Chris Olave saw 334 air yards in a single game. Even if air yards are not always perfectly predictable, that type of usage and quality of targets cannot be ignored. OBJ is the only other receiver to see 300 or more air yards in his rookie year, and there were only two receivers that ever had a higher total in a single game since 2009 (per RotoViz). Olave has elite draft capital, he plays on an offense that doesn’t hesitate to push the ball downfield, and he’s only two games into his first season as a pro. This type of breakout is almost too obvious, but his production hasn’t been sexy enough to warrant the same hype as Drake London and Garett Wilson. Now is the perfect time to get Olave on your roster, before his current fantasy manager has time to realize what’s going on in the Big Easy.
Dalvin Cook – RB, Minnesota Vikings
Cook is in a similar spot to Leonard Fournette, as he’s a workhorse for his team but he’s a disappointment for his fantasy managers. Cook is one of only seven running backs to be on the field for 70% of his snaps or more, and he ranks 7th in targets amongst running backs. The Vikings are only two games into their new coaching regime, so we should expect some bumps along the way early on. I’m willing to put a lot of trust into what the new coaching staff is doing in Minneapolis, and the best is yet to come for Dalvin. He’s currently the RB28 on the season, but this will be the floor for him in 2022 since his usage is predictably and reliably elite. If you can trade for Cook at a discount to his draft price, it’s going to be worth it.