Even if you missed out on the top names available on the waiver wire, there are still ways to improve your fantasy football roster heading into Week 2.
Marcus Mariota, James Jones, Donte Moncrief, Terrance Williams, Dion Lewis and Chris Johnson were some of the bigger pickups this week, and most likely all of them have come off the board. This simply means you have to look at the next set of players who can hopefully make an impact either next week or later in the season.
Here is a look at some deeper-league finds hopefully still available to you. All of them are owned in less than 50 percent of leagues on ESPN.
Tyrod Taylor, QB, Buffalo Bills
Although he might not have had four touchdowns like Marcus Mariota, Tyrod Taylor had just as good of a first career start in the NFL. He helped orchestrate one of the bigger upsets in Week 1 with a win over the Indianapolis Colts, passing for 195 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions in the process.
Most importantly, Taylor showed he remains a factor with his legs, totaling 41 yards on the ground on nine carries.
He beats you with his arm. He’s smart. You can’t trick him. I mean, it’s hard to trick him. Obviously, he has that added dimension with his legs. You know, he’s great. He’s got a great feel for it. … The great ones, they just got that presence. He has a presence to him.
This doesn’t sound like someone who had just a fluke performance. The coaching staff truly believes this could be the start of a special career in Buffalo. With his ability to make plays both with his arm and legs, Taylor could be a valuable commodity on the fantasy circuit.
Khiry Robinson, RB, New Orleans Saints
For all the talk of Mark Ingram gaining a bigger role this offseason, the early breakdown was pretty even, according to Evan Silva of Rotoworld:
Neither player was able to get much going on the ground against a good Arizona Cardinals defense (24 yards for Ingram, 19 yards for Robinson), but both excelled in the passing game. Robinson finished with five catches for 51 yards on six targets.
Against a Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense that was just destroyed by the Tennessee Titans, both Ingram and Robinson could be looking at much better days.
Spiller’s timetable is currently unknown, but he missed seven games last year and is still returning from a brutal knee injury. In the meantime, you could do much worse than Robinson.
Jerricho Cotchery, WR, Carolina Panthers
It’s not an exciting pickup, but fantasy football is always just as much about opportunity as it is talent. With the Carolina Panthers, Jerricho Cotchery has an opportunity to be a useful fantasy player.
Based on what we saw Week 1, it will likely be some time before Devin Funchess can step into the role left by the departed Kelvin Benjamin, which leaves Cotchery and Ted Ginn Jr. as the best receiving options for Cam Newton. This isn’t too scary for opposing defenses, but at least Cotchery has some consistency to him and is a threat in the end zone.
The 33-year-old veteran scored Carolina’s only offensive touchdown on Sunday while bringing in four of his six targets for 45 yards. If he continues to develop a rapport with Newton, more success could be on the way.
Cotchery finished last season with just one touchdown but 10 the year before. If he gets somewhere in the middle in 2015, he could equal a quality bye-week fill-in or starter in deeper leagues.
Eric Ebron, TE, Detroit Lions
It seemed like everyone forgot about Eric Ebron after a down rookie season, but the former top-10 draft pick is now ready to show the world what he can do.
The Detroit Lions tight end finished Week 1 with four catches, 53 yards and a touchdown. The yardage was actually a team high, as quarterback Matthew Stafford spread the ball around the field in the opening game.
Nerdy Football’s Ty Schalter believes this is just the start of what should be a good season:
The talent had always been there for Ebron as a 6’4″, 255-pound mismatch in the open field. The problem was rounding out his game with consistency. Now that he has improved enough to get more playing time, good things could be on the way.
Although he’s tough to trust as a starter right now, the upside is there for big things.
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