The first two weeks of the NFL season have flown by. Like every year, players come out of nowhere and become impact players early on. These emerging players can make the difference in your fantasy football season. They might only be flashes in the pan, or if you’re lucky, season-long assets. Either way its important to get off to a good start. Whether you’re 0-2 or 2-0, dominating the waiver-wire is essential this early on. Below are five players you need to target.
1. Chris Carson (RB, Seattle Seahawks)
This rookie running back has been receiving praise since the beginning of the off-season. Coach Pete Carroll has gushed about the rookie’s intelligence and game and he’s backed it up by looking like Seattle’s best running back for over a month. Carson finally got the opportunity he needed in Week 2 versus the 49ers. With it he accounted for 100 total yards on 21 touches. Seattle has a crowded backfield for sure. But Carroll has always been a coach to put the best player on the field and Carson is the best running back Seattle has. Despite a poor oline, Seattle wants to run the ball. If Carson is the starter going forward which I believe he is, he’s a no-brainier rest of season Rb2. And a must have pick-up!
2. Rashard Higgins (WR, Cleveland Browns)
A fifth round pick a season ago, Higgins has come out of nowhere. Just days after being signed off the practice squad Wiggins lead the Browns in receiving in a tough match-up versus the Ravens. He recorded 7 catches for 95 yards on 11 targets. Helping his case even more, Cleveland Brown’s 2nd year starting wide-receiver Corey Coleman has been put on IR. That now leaves Higgins and signing bust Kenny Britt as the two receivers for the Browns. Despite the fact its the Browns, Higgins in all likelihood could lead the team all receiving categories going forward. He could easily be a WR 4/5 for the rest of the season due to volume alone.
3. JJ Nelson (WR, Arizona Cardinals)
The 3rd year wide-receiver quietly has scored a touchdown in 6 of his last 7 games. Week 2 he erupted for 5 catches for 120 yards and a touchdown. The opportunity is there for Nelson with John Brown out injured. Brown doesn’t have a timetable to return, and always has a hard time staying on the field. Meaning Nelson will continue to have a strong opportunity going forward and be a viable option for Carson Palmer. He fills the role of deep threat receiver for an offense that needs all the splash plays they can get without David Johnson. He’s an instant WR4 while Brown is out.
4. Evan Engram (TE, New York Giants)
A gifted athlete out of Ole Miss, Engram is best described as a “move tight-end ” for the Giants. Taken 23rd overall in the draft, the Giants have wasted no time creating mismatches and utilizing Engram all over the field. The young tight-end currently leads the Giants in receiving yards and scored the Giants only touchdown Monday night. It’s safe to say his lead won’t last with Odell Beckham Jr getting healthier. Still, Brandon Marshall looks done and Sterling Shepard is mediocre. That leaves plenty of opportunity for Engram to emerge as the 2nd option in the Giants offense. Combined that with the fact the Giants might have the worst offensive line in the league, Eli should be looking to get the ball out quick. That bodes well for the big receiver. If you need a tight-end or flex, Engram is a great upside target. He has the potential to be a top ten tight-end for the season.
5. Allen Hurns/Marqise Lee (WR, Jacksonville Jaguars)
Back from the dead. Hurns’ fantasy days were numbered going into the season. He was 4th on the depth chart on a run first team. Fortunately for the receiver, things change quickly in the NFL. Allen Robinson and rookie receiver Dede Westbrook are now both on IR. That leaves just Hurns and fellow receiver Marqise Lee as the only viable pass catchers on the Jaguars. Despite the fact they have Blake Bortles throwing them the ball, both receivers carry value due to volume and plenty of garbage time they’ll get going forward. That was evident this Sunday. Hurns had 66 yards and a touchdown in the forth quarter in their blowout against the Titans. Both players are low end WR4’s.