Fantasy Football: Week 2 Watch List Candidates
Scouring the waiver wire can be a daunting and time-consuming task due to the sheer amount of talent that is usually available in a league each and every week. The purpose of this article is to identify players who should be put on watch lists, so that fantasy owners can be proactive and aware of potential free agent gems over the course of the 2018 regular season. Keep in mind that the names listed below are owned in a small percentage of leagues, but nonetheless offer statistical upside and therefore deserve our attention.
WR Dante Pettis, 49ers (12% Owned)
In his NFL rookie debut, Dante Pettis showcased his talent to the tune of 2 receptions for 61 yards and one touchdown. His presence was needed after the departure of Marquise Goodwin, who is now expected to miss Week 2 with a bruised thigh. Pettis is worth owning in most formats, and now warrants a speculative add in redraft leagues.
As indicated in the rookie profile that I wrote about Pettis earlier this May, the wide receiver landed in an ideal destination with the San Francisco 49ers for fantasy football purposes. The team even traded the 59thand 74thpicks overall in this year’s draft to secure his services, which speaks volumes to how he was viewed as a prospect. While he should not be viewed as a locked and loaded weekly starter at this point, savvy owners should watch his production this week against the Detroit Lions to see if he will earn that status moving forward.
TE Will Dissly, Seahawks (29% Owned)
Advertised as primarily a blocking tight end out of Washington in college, Will Dissly proved that he is a more than capable pass catcher in Week 1 for the Seattle Seahawks by posting 3 receptions for 105 yards and a touchdown. Expectations should be tempered moving forward, as the former fourth-round pick is a 10th percentile SPARQ score athlete who never eclipsed 21 catches in a single collegiate season. Even so, he is now on the fantasy radar and warrants consideration in standard and tight end premium leagues. With Doug Baldwin out of the picture in Seattle’s passing attack for the foreseeable future, Dissly’s usage will be important to monitor in order to determine if he can be a regular contributor in fantasy or merely a flash in the pan.
RB Nyheim Hines, Colts (7 % Owned)
After a forgetful preseason, Nyheim Hines managed to flourish in his first career NFL game with five carries for 19 yards and an additional 7 receptions for 33 yards on nine targets. His twelve touches trailed only Jordan Wilkins, who registered seventeen for the Indianapolis Colts in Week 1. It will be interesting to see how Hines is utilized in the backfield mix when Marlon Mack returns, but the North Carolina State product’s progress should be monitored closely over the next few weeks. He deserves to be acquired in PPR formats, and could offer routine flex value for fantasy owners with Andrew Luck under center in 2018.
I labeled Hines as a sleeper in a rookie article this preseason, and he now has the opportunity to deliver on that potential. Remember, he has 4.38 speed and ran for 1,113 yards with 12 touchdowns in 2017 during his final collegiate season. Watch his volume in what should be a competitive contest against the Washington Redskins this weekend before confidently inserting him into fantasy lineups, but also realize that Hines will be a popular waiver wire add if he flourishes again in Week 2.
TE Antonio Gates, Chargers (9% Owned)
Fresh off of an entire offseason of rest, Antonio Gates suited up for Week 1 and delivered 2 receptions for 16 yards against the Kansas City Chiefs. The 38-year-old tight end played 33 of a possible 82 snaps in the contest, which figures to increase as the season progresses. Over a full season in 2017, Gates managed to post a 30-316-3 receiving line alongside Hunter Henry in Los Angeles. With Henry sidelined and Virgil Green as his main source of competition for snaps in 2018, expect Gates to surpass his counting stats from a season ago. In turn, this should translate to at least TE2 output in all scoring formats. He might not be reliable enough to start leading up to this week, but put Gates on watch lists as his conditioning improves since the tight end position is suddenly paper thin in the fantasy landscape.
WR Martavis Bryant, Raiders (9% Owned)
Is he facing a possible one-year suspension for once again violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy? Yes. Could he also be on the verge on a league ban that would, in turn, end his playing career? Yes. Even so, Martavis Bryant is a name to monitor after being resigned by the Oakland Raiders this past week. He cannot be trusted in lineups at this point, but obviously possesses enough talent to be rostered for those who need help at the wide receiver position. Over his last two professional seasons in 2015 and 2017, Bryant has recorded at least 50 receptions for 600 yards and three touchdowns. In other words, he offers considerable upside when on an NFL gridiron. With next to no risk associated with his current cost, Bryant is worth stashing on fantasy benches while his progress is monitored in Oakland’s aerial attack.