It is the fantasy sensation that is sweeping the nation. Gone are the days of camping on the pole position for your league’s waiver wire. Fantasy football leagues are embracing the free-agent acquisition budget system for waivers. However, how much of your FAAB should you put up in a given week to get the free agent you need to win?
Our free agent acquisition budget cheat sheet is broken down into several tiers and we give you a target value for a wide variety of players. Just like our waiver wire column, the threshold for inclusion is being rostered in less than 50% of ESPN leagues.
Fantasy Football Week 2 Rankings
League Winners (50% of FAAB)
The 2020 fantasy season has already delivered a surprise with the release of Leonard Fournette. Keeping with the insanity theme of 2020, his replacement ended up being an undrafted rookie. James Robinson has quickly established himself as a viable RB2 or Flex option in all formats. He accounted for 100% of the Jags’ running back carries in Week 1 and figures to keep a lion’s share of the work moving forward. He averaged nearly 4 yards per carry against a stingy Colts defense and will only get better.
JAMES ROBINSON HURDLE ALERT 🚨 pic.twitter.com/uDoSC1X6JT
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) September 13, 2020
Robinson appears to have the skills to be a league winner and appears to be a bonafide RB1 for the Jags. He has no one on the roster threatening to take carries from him in the short-term and seems to be productive. Robinson has the combination of opportunities and skills to help you win every league you can land him in. Break open the bank and consider spending 50% of your FAAB on him this week.
Mid-Tier Targets (20-40% of FAAB)
Similarly, Nyheim Hines was the back that the Colts turned to time and time again. Hines showed the trust and skills he has, especially near the goal line and he rewarded forward-thinking fantasy managers with two touchdowns on the day. With Marlon Mack out for the year with a torn ACL, Hines figures heavily into the Colts offense moving forward. Consider targeting Hines with 40% of your FAAB this week, maybe even more in PPR formats.
— NFL (@NFL) September 14, 2020
The theme of this week’s column is clearly running backs as Malcolm Brown comes in as the third back of this column. Scarcity is an issue when talking about running backs, especially with the prevalence of committees. However, Brown may be in the process of working his way out of committee on the strength of performances like Sunday night’s. He touched the ball 21 times and turned that into 110 yards and 2 touchdowns. When the Rams needed to close out the game late, they turned to Brown. Turn to Brown this week and dedicate up to 35% of your FAAB to him. He is a low-end RB1/high-end RB2 if he continues to get work at this level.
Joshua Kelley also deserves consideration and we discussed all the reasons why in the Waiver Wire Column. In short, he has a clear path to 200+ touches and should keep out-snapping Justin Jackson. Go spend 40% of your FAAB on him and be grateful for the discount. You could make an argument to go even higher on him though.
Upside Plays (10-20%)
Another back in a time-share, Myles Gaskin, shined as the most productive member of the Dolphins running back by committee. Gaskin turned his 13 touches into 66 yards on the day and comfortably led all Dolphins’ backs in touches and efficiency. Although Jordan Howard was used to bust through and score the Dolphins’ lone touchdown, Gaskin was a full 3.5 yards-per-carry better. Gaskin is in a full-on RBBC though and both Howard and Breida were paid. That being said, he is still worth up to 20% of your FAAB.
James Conner went down Monday Night with an ankle injury and Benny Snell came in like a force and was super productive in relief. Snell averaged 5.9 YPC on 19 touches and showed the ability that so many have been high on for a while now. If Conner misses any extended time then Snell is worth more than 20% of your budget. With Big Ben back in the fold, the Steelers’ offense looks almost potent and there will be plenty of opportunities. However, even if Conner’s injury is minor, he has a history of being nicked up and missing time, making Snell invaluable as a handcuff and worth 12-15% of your FAAB.
Dallas Goedert (TE) PHI – 15-20% of FAAB
Parris Campbell (WR) IND – 15% of FAAB
Russell Gage (WR) ATL – 20% of FAAB
Bargain Pickups (10%)
Joe Burrow will head to Cleveland on Thursday night looking to get something going in his second outing as a starter. There were some upsides to his game and the rushing touchdown is a nice bonus. Cleveland was just shredded by Baltimore, but Burrow and the Bengals should be able to put up at least 24. Consider scooping up Burrow for up to 10% of FAAB as a rest-of-season option.
JOE BURROW. #SeizeTheDEY
— NFL (@NFL) September 13, 2020
The bargain bin is where you look for receivers who might not have a ton of value outside of PPR formats or as home run hitters. Scotty Miller is a little bit of both in Tampa and touched the ball 6 times Sunday for 79 yards. Scotty will benefit if Godwin misses any time, and the preseason hype might be something. Throw 5-10% of your FAAB at him to stash as a Flex option. Tie his value directly to how much you believe in Tom Brady.
FAAB Roulette (5%)
Peyton Barber was a feature of the Washington running attack on Sunday. He carried the ball 17 times for 29 yards and two touchdowns. The yardage is sad, but the workload is positive. If you can scoop him up for around 5% of your FAAB, stash him and see if he can have better luck this week.
With Kenny Golladay out in Detroit, Danny Amendola stepped up into a larger role and finished his day with 5 catches on 7 targets for 81 yards. Amendola is available in almost all leagues and will most likely have PPR value over the rest of the season. He is worth 5% as a Flex flyer.
— NFL (@NFL) September 13, 2020
After posting a 95% completion percentage in week one, Gardner Minshew heads to Tennessee to take on the Titans. Although the Titans D is tough, Minshew has the weapons to make something happen. If you believe in Minshew Mania, consider adding him for 5% of your FAAB and rolling the dice for the rest of the season.
The Green Bay receivers get lumped together because we go through this every year trying to figure out their WR2. Alan Lazard and Marquez Valdez-Scantling both had productive days against Minnesota. It remains to be seen if either can carve out a meaningful fantasy role. Limit your investment to 5% of FAAB and wait and see before rolling them out consistently in your lineup.
Logan Thomas was a productive receiving option at tight end for Washington with 8 targets. Throw 5% of your FAAB at him if you need a tight end.
In a rare moment of insanity, here are two sentences about the Washington Football Team Defense. They are really good upfront and may have the best defensive line in football so consider dropping up to 5% of your FAAB on them.
Keelan Cole (WR) JAX – 5%
Laviska Shenault (WR) JAX – 5%
No Bid/Wait until Free Agency
OJ Howard carved out a decent chunk of targets on Sunday, but the Bucs did not pay Gronk to not use him. Howard has some upside, but do not invest heavily in him right now. Last tight end of the day, Jordan Akins saw some targets and is a favorite target for Dashaun Watson in the red zone. Let him sit on waivers until free agency starts, then scoop him up as a touchdown-dependent dart throw.
The 49ers backfield is an enigma wrapped in secrecy and shrouded in who the hell knows what. Jerrick McKinnon was hyper-efficient on Sunday. He touched the ball 6 times and gained 44 yards and a touchdown. Given this efficiency, he may challenge for a larger role and is worth a free stash in deeper leagues.
Injuries happen in the NFL and here are a few deep stashes to combat them. Quintez Cephus has the talent to be a player in the NFL and was targeted 10 times on Sunday. Greg Ward took a round-about route to the NFL via the AAF, but he has started to carve out a nice role as their slot option in Philly. If the Eagles’ receiving corps continues to battle injuries, stash Ward. Demarcus Robinson was targeted 6 times to preseason darling Mecole Hardman’s 1 on Thursday. That may change, but pick up Robinson as a bench stash.
Consider rolling out the Rams Defense as they take on a hapless Philly offense in week two. Similarly, the Bengals Defense gets to beat down Baker Mayfield and the Browns in prime time. Lastly, the Cardinals Defense plays host to Washington. Although Washington is 1-0, their offense is uninspiring. If the Cardinals can force Haskins to throw, there will be turnovers and points to be had.
Fantasy Football Week 2 Rankings