Early on in the fantasy football season there are always a number of overlooked players who get off to a semi-hot start, but are left on the waiver wire a little too long. Fantasy owners do this because they are afraid to “give up” on players they drafted after only a couple of weeks, or they’re afraid to trust what they’re seeing early in the year.
Ego and fear gets in the way of seeing what is right in front of them; a player that can make his/her team better. I’m here to breakdown five players who are being undervalued heading into week three. All of these guys are owned in a very small percentage of leagues, and you may really want to consider getting your hands on some of them now – before they become household names and highly sought after waiver wire targets:
*ALL PERCENTAGES OF PLAYERS OWNED ARE ACCORDING TO NFL.COM*
Leonard Hankerson, WR, Atlanta Falcons (Owned in 0.8% of fantasy leagues)
Hankerson is without a doubt taking over the number two receiver slot on the Falcons. And as we all know, when a team possess’ a LEGIT number one receiver, like a Julio Jones, that team’s number two receiver often puts up insane stats. This is because they are able to see favorable coverages for most of the game thanks to the number one guy garnering so much attention. Look at Emmanuel Sanders or Golden Tate. Their production is the best it’s ever been because they have Demariyus Thomas and Calvin Johnson respectively drawing double coverage constantly. Now I don’t think Hankerson is as talented as Sanders or Tate, but he is definitely in an amazing position to become a legit fantasy football weapon. Get him before others realize this as well.
Rishard Matthews, WR, Miami Dolphins (3.0%)
Matthews has been overlooked his entire career with the Dolphins. Everyone was talking about what an amazing offense Miami was going to have this year (myself included) but no one was really talking about Matthews as a legit fantasy option. Well I’m now convinced that Matthews is the second best receiver to own on the Dolphins (after Jarvis Landry of course). Matthews constantly beats his coverage and is seemingly always on the same page as Tannehill. Matthews is only owned in 3% of leagues, while other Dolphin receivers like Kenny Stills and DeVante Parker are owned in 48.9% and 19.9% of leagues. And if you look at the difference in stats between Matthews and those two it seems like there is no logic as to why this is. So far in 2015 Matthews has 10 receptions for 149 yards and 1 touchdown. While Stills and Parker have a combined 4 receptions for 23 yards and 0 touchdowns… Pick up Matthews before others realize his value and it’s too late!
Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals (28.9%)
Through the first two weeks of the season only Tom Brady, Carson Palmer, Ben Roethlisberger, and Aaron Rodgers have more fantasy points at the quarterback position than Andy Dalton. There is just the typical stigma that Andy Dalton is a choke in big games that surrounds him like a negative aura. But you really have to put that feeling aside and look at the numbers. In my opinion it is hard to justify leaving Dalton on the waiver wire if you have a backup quarterback on your bench. Maybe you don’t want him as your starter but the fact is that if he can continue this play at all than someone else in your league is sure to want him as their starter. Especially with all of the quarterback injuries that have been going on. So even if you already have a legit QB1 you want to roll with, you should get Dalton because his trade value could be incredibly high in a week or two.
Crocket Gillmore, TE, Baltimore Ravens (12%)
Gillmore is THE guy to own on the Ravens offense. The Ravens are desperate for a player like him, and now that they know they’ve got him I expect them to start utilizing him ruthlessly. Marc Trestman needed a big bodied guy that he could count on in the red-zone and can count on in the short passing game. And up until last week they really had no one that could fulfill those roles. Now that Gillmore has proven himself capable of filling those roles he is going to see an output of balls similar to what Martellus Bennet was receiving in Chicago last year, when Trestman was coaching there. It may be a bit early to be piling on praise that high, but you absolutely can’t let this guy sit on the waiver wire all weekend unless you have top priority. Because one more week like last week out of the young tight end and he will be on EVERYONE’S radar.
Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers (3.2%)
Someone has to be the number two receiver on the most potent offense in football, and I think it is this guy. At one point in time people were convinced DHB was going to be a great fantasy receiver. But sub-par year after sub-per year left fantasy owners with a bad taste in their mouth. Fast forward to 2015 and people are convinced that in the first four weeks of this season that Markus Wheaton (owned in 17.7% of leagues) would be the obvious number two receiver for the Steelers, while Martavis Bryant is suspended. But the stat-line of the first two weeks of this season isn’t convinced, as DHB has more receptions, yards, and touchdowns than Wheaton. Now Wheaton is entering this weekend with some sort of chest injury and it could be DHB’s time to really assert himself as the teams number two receiver. Even when Bryant gets back I think it is possible that if DHB’s already asserted as the teams number two receiver that he could hold onto that spot. Of course that is still two weeks away, and in the meantime, in my opinion, DHB is the guy to have. Not Markus Wheaton.