We warned fantasy worlds to grab Tarik Cohen last Friday, and I even sent out a Sunday morning email reminder recommending everyone to snatch him up before it was too late heading into waiver wire requests after Week 1. The dilemma most face now if they didn’t grab him… We also screamed from the rooftops this off-season to snag and stash Kenny Golladay… I’d be lying if I said I expected Cohen to be as trusted as he was by that Bears’ coaching staff in Week 1 out of the gate, but what I did know was the kid was elite in the talent department. So who is the next potential gem fantasy owners can get ahead of the curve on? Below is a list of the some players that can be “win a league” good if the situation changes just right for them in the coming weeks/months. Like Cohen, opportunity could be immediate, but that isn’t always the case, so be sure not to give up on some of these players should you roster them for a few weeks with no result.
1. Marlon Mack | RB IND
Marlon Mack rushed for 24 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries in Week 1 of the 2017 NFL season. He also added one catch for 21 yards on Sunday in the Colts’ Week 1 loss to the Rams… he did fumble the ball, but he looked great aside from that. He actually scored twice, but on his first TD, Chuck Pagano didn’t challenge a call that he would have won that would have resulted in another touchdown to his line. There is a chance he takes a back seat to Frank Gore for a bit longer, but as much as it wouldn’t surprise me to see him starting until Week 10, I also would not be shocked whatsoever to see him in the front seat in the next 1-3 games. He’s exciting, plain and simple. He reminds me a lot of my Tarik Cohen call prior to Week 1 kickoff, and I think this might be one of the last hidden gems floating around on waivers in many redraft leagues. My belief in Mack is not new, he is on the Bold Predictions, so I’ve been a believer all off-season long. If he gets a shot, something I cannot guarantee, I believe he shines in a HUGE way. Grab the kid ahead of the curve, folks!
2. Alvin Kamara | RB NO
He is not in the best immediate situation, as he has both Mark Ingram and Adrian Peterson sitting in front of him. That said, he still caught four passes (on six targets) in Week 1, and he ran the ball seven times. Sure, his YPC wasn’t great, as he got just 18 yards, but he is being used. And, in his defense, the Saints offense was overall awful in Week 1, something I’m not worried about moving forward. Will Kamara get starter touches at some point this year? I’m not entirely sure, as this could be one of those situations like Arian Foster during his rookie year, where he only received elite touches in the final few weeks of his rookie season. That happens, and it could happen here. All that said, I see elite talent here, folks, something I saw in Tarik Cohen even though I wasn’t entirely sure the Bears would use him so aggressively right in Week 1. I hope the Saints do what Chicago did and use their talent ASAP. If starting in the NFL, especially in this Saints offense, Kamara could be a top 10RB. Will he be? That is not up to me, unfortunately, but I can scream “stash and wait” all day long, so that’s what I will do! If someone owns him already in your league, buy-low, and get creative and consider a sneaky 2-for-2 or 2-for-1 deal to disguise your desire to get Kamara (as flat-out going after one sleeper in a 1-for-1 alarms the current owner into a knee-jerk reaction to say ‘no’).
3. Chris Carson | RB SEA
Opportunity could come knocking soon, and it kinda did in Week 1. But, Thomas Rawls is likely back this week, but that will only slow down the hype on Carson, which would have been big heading into Week 2 if Rawls wasn’t returning. The bottom line is this, though… Rawls can’t stay healthy, and hasn’t delivered consistent results by now… So, I’m not sure it’s gonna happen. Lacy looks heavy and awful, and injury issues will become a problem at the heavier weight… folks, the default stage is set for Carson at some point… don’t be too late to scoop him up.
4. James Conner | RB PIT
This might be more of a redraft move, but it’s the kind of move that can win a league. Easy. I’m not suggesting he doesn’t have future value beyond a single ‘fill-in’ type year (should injury strike), but Bell held out some this past off-season, and that can lead to injury. He is also a rusher that gets banged up. Be sure to grab both Conner and Terrell Watson if you own Bell this year, but I personally own Conner in about six leagues. Aggressively predicting injury is reckless and guess work, so I’m not necessarily saying it’s a given or anything close to a given.. injury is unpredictable. However, this is one of those situations, like Freeman/Coleman and Murray/Henry, where the back up could be a top 10RB if starting games and getting full-time work. Redraft leaguers, stash and hold James Conner!!!!
5. Charcandrick West | RB KC
Charcandrick West scored a 21-yard touchdown on his only carry in Kanas City’s Week 1 win over the Patriots. This is Kareem Hunt’s team now, but it’s important to realize that this team had three potential top 10RBs in this offense. Ware got hurt, but he was a potential top 5-10RB in PPR prior to going down.. That isn’t to say all three of the KC runners would all be top 10RBs outside of KC, it means that this offense is built around the runner, and the runner is setup to be a rusher that will likely total 100 total yards most weeks and have a real good shot at 4-5 receptions and near 1TD… All three rushers (Ware prior to injury, Hunt, West) are really good, and each could start for an NFL team… but, this offense is perfectly built around whomever is starting, which makes West a deep stash for non-Hunt owners and a must-have for all Hunt owners. If starting, West would be a top 10RB per start.
Josh Gordon | WR CLE
While it’s not easy to pick-up Josh Gordon in even somewhat large leagues, keep an eye on him and the news. He may never play in the NFL again, but he checked himself in to rehab this off-season and there is some talk that he could attempt to get reinstated in October. If he does, he could return to WR1 status ASAP. He could also, as I said, never play another down in the NFL. The point is, if he landed, he’d maybe help win a championship. Just watch the news and be on your toes.