1) Jalen Richard, RB
Oakland Raiders - Owned in .4% of leagues.
After a pitiful fourth quarter meltdown by the Raiders, two things were made clear: The Raiders will not be leading many games going into the fourth and The Raiders pass catching back is Richard. He tallied a team high (tied with Jared Cook) nine receptions for 55 yards. Doug Martin was a non-threat in the passing game and DeAndre Washington didn’t get snaps due to injury. Richard also is featured in the running game to spell Lynch and was given 5 carries for 24 yards. Richard had a good game which went severely under the radar due to the time slot when the game was played and how the Raiders offense is perceived. Richard was used frequently and will be worth a flex spot if anything were to happen to Lynch.
2) Austin Ekeler, RB
Los Angeles Chargers - Owned in 24.3% of leagues.
Ekeler will be harder to find for free as he is owned in a quarter of all leagues. If for some reason he is on your waivers, he needs to be on your team. Ekeler is a rising pass-catching back in the league and will garner the appropriate attention sooner rather than later. He recorded 5 receptions for 87 yards and 1 touchdown while tacking on 5 carries for 39 yards. Keep in mind Melvin Gordon is 100% the man in L.A. on first and second down, but Ekeler is making his case to be on the field. He’s free now; next week he won’t be.
3) T.J. Yeldon, RB
Jacksonville Jaguars - Owned in 18% of leagues.
When Leonard Fournette exited Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury, Yeldon was inserted as the lead back. Yeldon posted 14 carries for 51 yards while adding 3 receptions for 18 yards and 1 touchdown. Yeldon commands the passing down work normally, but with Fournette’s injury, Yeldon received 30% of his entire carry count from 2017 (49). When you consider Fournette’s health history and current uncertainty coming into Week 2 makes Yeldon a must stash. He becomes a flex play for Week 2 against the Patriots if Fournette can’t suit up.
4) Ryan Grant, WR
Indianapolis Colts - Owned in .5% of leagues
In Luck’s return to the NFL we were reminded that he has made a living on volume passing, while the biggest beneficiary in Week 1 was Ryan Grant. He recorded 9 targets and caught 8 of them for 59 yards. He is the underneath option for Luck and he took advantage of this often. With Luck’s volume and upside the ball will have to go to more places than T.Y. Hilton and Jack Doyle. Grant is a stash but he’s not someone who will be startable just yet.
5) Dante Pettis, WR
San Francisco 49ers - Owned in 1.4% of leagues
The rookie entered the game as the team's third receiver on the depth chart. However, an early injury to Marquise Goodwin landed him in a prominent role. He was mostly stifled by the stellar Vikings secondary recording only 2 catches. On the first, he came down with a great touchdown catch, and on his second he created good separation and racked up yards after the catch. If Goodwin misses anytime, Pettis adds a deep threat to the 49ers pass-catching duo of Kittle and Garçon.
6) Adam Humphries, WR
Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Owned in .2% of leagues
Humphries was one of the most consistent receivers in 2017 although his numbers are not all that impressive, averaging 4 receptions a game for 40 yards a game. Fellow wideout DeSean Jackson has already sustained two injuries (concussion, shoulder) and hasn’t practiced at all. This bumps Humphries up the pecking order along with sophomore Chris Godwin. The bigger, more athletic Godwin will look to lineup outside, allowing Humphries to man the slot. Humphries is a player to stash for the return of Jameis Winston rather than starting him with Fitzpatrick. He will add umph to your lineup if Jackson misses anytime.
7) Ricky Seals-Jones, TE
Arizona Cardinals - 5.1% of leagues
In a disappointing outing for Seals-Jones against a Washington defense which was vulnerable to the tight end in 2017, Seals-Jones was severely held back by his quarterback play. Sam Bradford was horrendous in his Cardinals debut and has already on the hot seat. After signing with the Cardinals this offseason, the team drafted quarterback Josh Rosen. With his backup looming from the start, Bradford showed why the team made a move for the young passer. Seals-Jones will benefit in either scenario. Either Bradford plays to the level he is capable of or they replace him with the rookie. He was most likely drafted then dropped after a bad Week 1. With such a volatile tight end pool to choose from, stashing Seals-Jones until Rosen arrives or Bradford steps up is worth the roster spot.
8) David Njoku, TE
Cleveland Browns - 23.8% of leagues
The Browns tight end was hurt early in this game, although he didn’t miss time he was visibly limited in his movements. Njoku was not drafted high in fantasy drafts because of his ability but because he never saw the field. Even when healthy Njoku only played 50% of offensive snaps for the Browns in 2017. In his first game of 2018- snaps missed from injury included- he played 88% percent of snaps. He was also targeted 7 times but only record 3 receptions for 18 yards. Weather and a new quarterback played a part in this down game. Njoku is a plug-in starter this week against New Orleans.