Week two of the NFL season is in the books, and after Thursday Night Football, it’s time to turn our attention to this weekend’s games. Ideally, you shouldn’t already be looking for a streaming candidate for your rosters, but if you had Trey Lance, Dak Prescott, or Justin Fields, we understand. We are also here to help. To make this list, a player must be available in at least half of Yahoo! leagues, with one player per position available in at least 90% of leagues. If you want to know which streaming defenses to go for, check out Waleed Ismail’s dedicated column focused specifically on that.
Before we move on to the players, let’s give hearty congratulations to Carson Wentz, who made the list the first two weeks before graduating with a roster rate of over 50%.
Mac Jones versus Baltimore (25% rostered)
Now, this has less to do with Mac Jones and more to do with the dreadful Baltimore secondary that allowed 6 passing touchdowns to Tua Tagovailoa last week thanks to their complete lack of desire to stop Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill. While Mac Jones doesn’t have a Hill or a Waddle, he does have a full complement of weapons and the basic ability to get them the football. There isn’t much to say about Mac Jones here… he’s fine, and he will do well in plus matchups. This is just a plus matchup for Jones, as Baltimore allows the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, and most of that comes through the air (through two weeks, the Ravens have given up one rush yard to opposing quarterbacks).
Marcus Mariota at Seattle (13% rostered)
Seattle is fourteenth in fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks this season, and they played a guy whose tendencies they already knew (Russell Wilson) and a backup quarterback… whose tendencies they already knew (Jimmy Garoppolo). Mariota has been proficient in two games this year, one against the Saints and another against the Rams, who will both prove to be much better defenses than the Seahawks when all is said and done. But, it isn’t just what he’s done with his passing that has me interested: Mariota has the third-most QB rushing yards so far. The 46 rushing yards per game that he averages through two games comes out to the equivalent of an extra 115 passing yards when it comes to fantasy points. QB legs are the original fantasy football cheat code, and it seems as though Mariota will get that going this weekend against Seattle.
He will also get his receiving weapons involved, as well. This should be a game of continued dominance for Drake London (Seattle allows the fifth-highest yards per reception to wide receivers) and, hopefully, a breakout game for Kyle Pitts (they allowed a 38-yard touchdown to Ross Dwelley last week. All of this should combine for a top-ten game for Marcus Mariota.
Joe Flacco versus Cincinnati (5% rostered)
I recommended Joe Flacco when he was 1% rostered, and even though his roster rate has gone up 500%, I am still going to recommend Flacco here. He leads the league in pass attempts by a wide margin (he has 104 passes, and the #2 team, the Bengals, has 89… they also played an entire overtime). As it stands, Flacco has two of the top-ten pass attempt games already this season, and there’s no reason to believe that he will slow down in week three. The Bengals and Jets have run the most plays in the league, which means plenty of chances for Flacco to score with Garrett Wilson and Elijah Moore. The Bengals aren’t a great matchup, as they are in the bottom-eight in fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks. The opposing quarterbacks? Mitchell Trubisky and Cooper Rush, while having the sixth-lowest pressure rate in the NFL. Let’s just say that I’m holding off on making a declaration about their prowess at this time.
Jakobi Meyers versus Baltimore (45% rostered)
The Ravens have allowed the most wide receiver receptions (45), receiving yards (587), and receiving touchdowns (5) to wide receivers. While Tua going nuclear all over their secondary last week helped matters, it was not a one-week wonder. The Ravens ranked first in wide receiver receptions and sixth in wide receiver yards in week one against the Jets. This is a big week for Jakobi Meyers, who has 19 targets, 13 receptions, and 150 yards through two weeks (all top-20 at the position). His roster rate will likely jump up to two-thirds next week, which means this is your last chance to snag him, for free, off of your waiver wire. Even if he doesn’t do well this week, we are just a few weeks away from thinking about Byes, which is when Jakobi Meyer shines.
Corey Davis versus Cincinnati (25% rostered)
Let’s keep this ball rolling with Corey Davis and Joe Flacco hooking up for major fantasy points in each of the first two games of the season. Davis has at least 13.7 fantasy points in each of the first two contests, thanks to 14 combined targets for 8 catches, 160 yards, and a score. He’s Joe Flacco’s preferred deep weapon, with Flacco targeting him, on average, 17.7 yards downfield. He’s a top-20 wide receiver right now, and with the Jets & Bengals squaring off and keeping the tempo going, it’s likely he returns another top-20 week on the back of what should be at least 40 more pass attempts from Joe Flacco.
Greg Dortch versus L.A. Rams (10% rostered)
As the classic saying goes, you can’t scorch the Dortch. The Cardinals seem hellbent on making sure Greg Dortch (of all people) gets his in DeAndre Hopkins’ absence. I’m honestly shocked that Dortch has just a 10% roster rate at this point, as his 6.5 targets per game put him on a 110-target pace, and anyone with that kind of target upside should probably be on all 14-team and deeper rosters. This week, Dortch gets to continue his PPR prowess against the Rams. The Rams currently allow the most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers, with Jalen Ramsey struggling to contain opposing WR1s. They’ve also struggled against the slot (the fifth-best slot matchup this year), where Greg Dortch has run the second-most routes this season and received the ninth-most catches. It’s a matchup made in heaven for fantasy football streaming purposes.
J.D. McKissic versus Philadelphia (25% rostered)
At this point, I have to conclude that 25% of leagues are full-PPR. There’s really no reason to have McKissic rostered in only 25% of leagues if you consider that he has ten receptions in two games, which is tied for third at running back, and it’s given him ten “free” points on top of his yardage. It’s the equivalent of an extra 100 rushing yards tacked onto his total. This week, the Commanders take on the Philadelphia Eagles, in a game that the Commanders will need to throw to keep up. That means lots of J.D. McKissic. Opposing teams have only passed the ball to the running back five times against the Eagles, but those led to the eighth-highest yards per target on the season. McKissic should be rostered in all PPR leagues and is a good start this week.
Darrel Williams versus L.A. Rams (23% rostered)
The James Conner Ankle Situation (calling that band name) is still up-in-the-air, and while Darrel and Eno split touches after Conner’s ankle injury, Williams was the better player. This comes on the heels of him already being the better player and finishing as an RB2 while playing behind Clyde Edwards-Helaire last season. While Benjamin had a commendable 11 touches for 51 yards, Williams took his 10 touches for 62 yards, and scored a touchdown, to boot. While Benjamin performed well, he seems to be best suited as a scat back in the NFL, and that means that Darrel Williams should get the bulk of the carries against the Rams this week. If James Conner is a go, then you can jettison this play. But, he’s a must-add player (unless you play in a league with me, in which case, I drafted him).
Marlon Mack at Denver (5% rostered)
Is Marlon Mack good? Maybe? Maybe not? But, Marlon Mack is a 49er running back, and that means that he could get two carries or 22 carries. We all thought it would be Jordan Mason behind Jeff Wilson Jr. last week, but he didn’t touch the ball. I went a different way, tapping Tyrion Davis-Price as the running back to roster behind Jeff Wilson. It turned out that I was technically correct (the best kind of correct) as TDP finished with 14 carries, including two carries inside the ten-yard line, and one inside the five-yard line. So, the usage was all there, but the Seahawks stymied his efforts. Now, he has a high ankle sprain that will cost him several weeks, and the 49ers elevated erstwhile AFC South running back Marlon Mack. While starting Mack is a hail mary, but he should be on fantasy football rosters, as Jordan Mason is there for special teams.
Logan Thomas versus Philadelphia (27% rostered)
At this point, Logan Thomas just produces fantasy points. He’s TE10 in points per game this season, after finishing last year as TE8 in points per game (in an injury-plagued season), and TE4 in total points in 2020. The Commanders, and Ron Rivera, simply want to use Logan Thomas. He’s currently top-fifteen in targets, receptions, and yards while being one of 19 tight ends to score a touchdown. That this is happening with Carson Wentz is no coincidence, as the former Eagle loves to target his tight ends, and Thomas is the next in that lineage. This week, they take on a strong Eagles roster that has allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends while playing against T.J. Hockenson and Irv Smith. Smith should have had a second touchdown, but he dropped an easy pass. Thomas is going to slowly make his way up the rostership percentages, as he’s firmly in The Blob at this point.
Evan Engram at L.A. Chargers (23% rostered)
My sources say a pickup, for playing well, is being considered for Evan Engram. I am pro-not dropping every ball that comes your way and take no pleasure in reporting this. Through two games, Engram is fourth in receptions and twelfth in receiving yards for the Jaguars, while ranking sixth in routes run at the position. The former Giant is also twelfth in targets per route run, among tight ends with at least 50 routes run. All the indicators are there that he’s performing well and is getting plenty of opportunities to do so. The Chargers, on the heels of playing against Travis Kelce and Darren Waller, have allowed the tenth-most fantasy points to tight ends, which is a commendation, not a condemnation. But, they still have allowed the fifth-most yards per target, and have given up that many fantasy points with neither Darren Waller nor Travis Kelce scoring a touchdown. Should Engram go 4/40 and a touchdown, that’s a major victory for those who streamed him.
Tyler Conklin versus Cincinnati (10% rostered)
There are seven tight ends who are two-for-two in notching double-digit PPR games this season: Travis Kelce, Darren Waller, Mark Andrews, Zach Ertz, Gerald Everett, Pat Freiermuth, and Tyler Conklin. Granted, Conklin squeaked in with exactly ten fantasy points last week, but he has at least four catches in each of the last two games, and that doesn’t show any signs of slowing anytime soon, as he’s averaging 8 targets per game with Joe Flacco. We can reconsider this when Zach Wilson comes back and the offense takes a different complexion, but as of now, they’re slinging it the most times per game.
The Bengals matchup also benefits Conklin. Not only are the Bengals and Jets the top-two teams in plays run, and the Bengals yielded five catches for 75 yards to Pat Freiermuth in week one, they also allowed a combined four catches and 58 yards in week two to Dalton Schultz and his backup Zach Gentry, who filled in for an injured Schultz. No tight end has scored against them, which is why they are seventeenth against the position. However, they’ve allowed the twelfth-most receptions and seventh-most yards to tight ends. If the Jets keep throwing like they have been, Conklin is a shoo-in for a top-ten week.