Welcome, all you fantasy football junkies, flunkies and rookies! Every Wednesday before the fantasy week starts, “Mark’s Fantasy Goldmine” will be updating you, LB Nation, on exactly who you need in that oh-so-tricky flex spot, sneaky waiver-wire pickups, one big piece of advice from me to you and my predictions for who will boom and bust this week. The Daily Forty-Niner sports section editors will also compile a list of your team name submissions sent to the @D49ersports Twitter and feature the winner of the week, so send us your best. Alright, now let’s get digging!
Flex On ‘Em
In week two, the fantasy world saw huge games from various shaky-status players, such as Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell and D.J. Moore, leaving owners wishing they had plugged them into their lineups. These decisions are often tough, as one wrong choice can be the difference between a win and a loss. Here are the best high-risk/high-reward options you should plug into your x-factor slot.
- Marquise Brown, WR, Baltimore Ravens: At the beginning of the season, questions surrounded Lamar Jackson and his ability to up their passing attack. Jackson has since blown these questions out of the water, mostly in part because of “Hollywood” Brown providing elite speed on the edges. With their rapport growing, their production can only increase from here.
- David Montgomery, RB, Chicago Bears: Head coach Matt Nagy gushed about Montgomery before the season started, but he hasn’t gotten off to the great start everyone expected yet. This will change against the porous Washington Redskins defense, as Montgomery will find himself in a ground and pound game with plenty of touches due to the low scoring affair.
- Nelson Agholor, WR, Philadelphia Eagles: Nelson Agholor is one of those players who always seems to give fantasy GMs hesitation due to the plethora of mouths to feed on the Eagles, as well as his tendency to disappear randomly. Expect Agholor to receive a lot of attention from Carson Wentz, as talented cornerback Darius Slay will most likely spend his time covering Alshon Jeffery or Zach Ertz, and the newer receivers won’t have the same level of chemistry Agholor has built up.
Workin’ the Wire
Being accomplished students here at the Beach, I know you’re a smart bunch, but this week you have the last waiver wire pick, with no idea who to target. So when you strike out on the player you knew would blow up, but was going to be taken at least 10 picks before you, keep one of these guys in your back pocket as a plan B (like I said about Mecole Hardman last week).
- Jaylen Samuels, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers: With James Conner questionable after hurting his knee last week, look for Jaylen Samuels to confidently fill the role of workhorse if need be for the Steelers. Conner has a known history of missing playing time last season, so even if he is good to go this week, stashing Samuels may prove to be a gem by the end of the season, like it was last year come playoff time.
- Mason Rudolph, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers: With the Steelers in disarray after losing Big Ben and also not having James Conner fully ready to go, lots of pressure will be placed on the shoulders of second-year QB Mason Rudolph. Rudolph played at Oklahoma State with fellow teammate and wide-receiver James Washington, and also has a year under his belt in the system, proving his big arm could actually be a fantasy asset as the season moves forward and he grows more comfortable in the starting lineup.
- Joey Slye, K, Carolina Panthers: Kickers are often forgotten in the fantasy world, but points are points at the end of the day. So far, Slye is the leader in fantasy points among kickers and plays on a team that will keep the opportunities coming to rack up big production. The Panthers can move the ball downfield with McCaffrey’s running ability, but they don’t have a great red-zone threat, typically leading to missed touchdown opportunities and settling for field goals from Slye instead.
Look, a Golden Nugget!
If you’ve read this far, congratulations, you get your second nugget of the season! Positions are arbitrary in fantasy football because, at the end of the game, the only thing that determines a win is the number of points scored. If you can snag a tight end who produces like an elite wide receiver, you will have a much easier time finding an average receiver who can produce like above-average tight end. This is because most teams focus their passing attack on wide receivers, while only a few teams like the Chiefs, Eagles and 49ers, can say their most dangerous threat is their tight end.
Dope or Nope?
Here is a list of the players that I think will exceed expectations in fantasy scoring at their respective positions, as well as the ones who will flop in week three.
- Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys vs. Miami Dolphins
- Mark Ingram, RB, Baltimore Ravens vs. Kansas City Chiefs
- Chris Godwin, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New York Giants
- George Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
- New England Patriots D/ST vs. New York Jets
- Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Buffalo Bills
- Adrian Peterson, RB, Washington Redskins vs. Chicago Bears
- JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. San Francisco 49ers
- T.J. Hockenson, TE, Detroit Lions vs. Philadelphia Eagles
- Tennessee Titans D/ST vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Stats via fantasy.NFL.com