While Week 1 of the NFL season is all about the pomp and circumstance, Week 2 is all about the education. At least it should be for fantasy football managers. Having a full preseason and proper training camp gave us some insight as to what we can expect from each team, but until the players step onto the field and actually play a game, we have to rely on our intuition more than hard data.
With Week 2 in the books, we have a much better grasp on coaching tendencies, carry distribution, and the all-important quarterback/wide receiver chemistry. Given the vast depth of the wide receiver player pool, waiver wires will be a hotbed of action each week. You must take what you have learned through the first two weeks and apply it to your waiver claims immediately to strengthen your roster for the long haul.
The rookie pro-day and training-camp hype on Cardinals wide receiver Rondale Moore was through the roof. But though many were touting the second-round pick, criticisms over his size suppressed his value in fantasy drafts, often leaving him until the later rounds or, in smaller leagues, undrafted. But through two games, Moore has totaled 11 catches for 182 yards and a touchdown on 13 targets and looks like someone you want on your fantasy team.
Moore played just 20 snaps during the Cardinals’ Week 1 win over the Titans and commanded Kyler Murray’s attention, as he routinely shook coverage with his speed. In Week 2, his snap count was bumped to 28, and though that still ranked fourth among the team’s receivers, he actually led them in targets, receptions and receiving yards. A 77-yard trip to the end zone on broken coverage only boosted his value, and he is expected to bring more as the season progresses, so if he is available, invest.
Another receiver emerging from the shadows who warrants your attention is Minnesota slot receiver K.J. Osborn. The second-year wideout moved up the Vikings’ depth chart this summer and has been on the field for the majority of three-receiver sets. Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen will always do the heavy lifting, but Osborn has 12 catches for 167 yards and one touchdown on 15 targets through the first two games. His 64-yard score to open the game set the tone for Sunday’s action, and his strong hands and tight route-running have endeared him to Kirk Cousins.
Take what you’ve learned from these first two weeks and apply it to your roster immediately. The pace of a fantasy season doesn’t afford you time to wait and see. What you’ve witnessed is more than enough to get you started.
Howard Bender is the VP of operations and head of content at FantasyAlarm.com. Follow him on Twitter @rotobuzzguy and catch him on the award-winning “Fantasy Alarm Radio Show” on the SiriusXM fantasy sports channel weekdays from 6-8 p.m. Go to FantasyAlarm.com for all your fantasy football advice.