Week 2 is wrapping up and chaos is already afoot. Backfields continue to turnover and the new realities the NFL reveals constantly remind us not to cling to our preseason conceived notions. It's a reminder that pain is always present in the joy that is fantasy football. Now we must look forward to options to assist in beefing up our fake teams to move forward, whether it be long-term replacements or a streamer just to get by.
It's just those sort of symptoms that the Deep Dive is prescribed to help alleviate. NFL Fantasy's editorial overlord Alex Gelhar dutifully attacks the waiver wire to give you the top adds for the coming week in hopes of bolstering your roster. However, in this arena we'll look at options to help those of you looking to go a little bit further down the rabbit hole, whether you play in a deeper format or are at the mercy of your incredibly sharp league-mates who scour the waiver wire relentlessly. A player can only qualify for the deep dive if they're owned in less than 10 percent of NFL.com leagues. With that, here are 11 players you can consider adding before Week 3 either as deep FLEX plays or bench stashes.
Through the first two games of his NFL career, DeShone Kizer has flashed both the ups and downs of his profile. Week 1 saw him make some exciting throws and look downfield but Week 2 contained three interceptions and waves of mistakes. It's worth noting that Kizer left for a stretch of the Ravens game with a migraine but mess-ups will be there regardless, as he's absorbed nine sacks thus far. With that being said, we're poised to see more of the highs for Kizer in Week 3. He and his Browns will travel to take on the Colts, who have allowed the third-most passing yards (616) through the season's first two weeks. All that's come despite their opponents being in positive or neutral game scripts against them. Even if Kizer can't win through the air, his 10 rushes so far this season give us a reasonable expectation for a floor. At worst, Kizer offers high-end QB2 appeal this week with the potential to truly wreck shop in a juicy matchup.
The Ravens chose Alex Collins over Jeremy Langford when they waived the latter to promote him to the active roster. News came down today that Terrance West is dealing with a soft tissue injury, which if it forces him to miss time, opens up room for Collins behind Buck Allen, who is sixth in the NFL in rushing yards as of Monday morning. Collins already played eight snaps in Week 2 and took his seven carries for 42 yards. He's not an immediately playable option even if West is out, as Buck Allen looks like a workhorse. Collins is worth stashing and holding in case something happens to Allen, however, as the Ravens are clearly recommitting to their ground game. The team currently ranks just behind Denver in rush attempts through two games.
The rookie back saw 16 snaps against the Bengals after getting just two in Week 2. He looked explosive on his touches, and took two five-plus yard runs to each sideline on Thursday night. The Texans are a hamstrung passing offense with Deshaun Watson at the helm behind a leaky offensive line, so the team could look to run the ball more. At some point, they'll have to see that Lamar Miller needs his touches reduced. Despite seeing 17 and 18 carries in back-to-back games, he's yet to crack 4.0 yards per carry, a feat he's managed just once in his last eight games (2016 playoffs included). Foreman could provide a much-needed change of pace for the time being, and makes for a decent hold in case of a Miller injury.
Andre Ellington (30 plays) saw more playing time than both Kerwynn Williams and Chris Johnson on Sunday, who went out for 17 plays a piece. He's the passing down back but Johnson looked like the best runner of the trio, taking his 11 carries for 44 yards. Bruce Arians indicated Monday morning that the veteran could move his way up the depth chart. It's unlikely this turns into a fruitful fantasy role but Johnson should be rostered across most formats. </content:power-ranking>
Granted, it was a blowout, but the Raiders continued to split up their backfield snaps with Marshawn Lynch once again on the field for less than 50 percent of the team's plays. Lynch went out for 42 percent, while Jalen Richard trailed him with 27 percent and DeAndre Washington picked up the rest for 24 percent. Should injury befall Lynch or he eventually slows down due to mere aging, Washington would be the favorite for a more traditional feature-back role, but Richard would clearly factor in. He already holds a tangible role with 14 touches through two games. Richard has some big-play ability in both the run and pass game, averaging 9.0 yards per carry and totaling 51 yards on just two catches in Week 2.
The Greg Olsen injury opens up an opportunity for Devin Funchess. Yes, they play different positions, but Olsen's absence opens up a vacuum in the target distribution and Funchess is the most likely to fill it. Unlike last year, it appears he will actually be a regular on the field. Funchess led all Panthers wideouts by going out for 65 percent of the plays in their Week 1 blowout win and played 82 percent of the snaps on Sunday. His weekly usage also appears to have shifted. The third-year receiver got 44 percent of his targets so far this season from the slot. That's way up from the eight percent he saw as a rookie and 24 percent in 2016. If Funchess is to become more of a middle of the field threat this year, it could help alleviate some of the variance in his individual play. The Panthers get the Saints in Carolina this week, so Funchess has the appeal of immediately paying off as a ceiling flex play if you add him.
Elevated from the practice squad just Saturday morning, Rashard Higgins is suddenly in place to be the Browns' top receiver. Kenny Britt looks like a whiff of a free agent add, catching just a pair of passes through two weeks and losing playing time in Week 2. Possible breakout player Corey Coleman suffered a broken hand on Sunday and is likely on the shelf for six to eight weeks, per NFL Network Insider Ian Rapaport. Higgins immediately stepped up on Sunday, leading the Browns in targets, drawing 11 from DeShone Kizer, and receiving yards (95). Higgins was one of my favorite college receivers over the last two draft classes due to his excellent route-running prowess. With opportunity clearly here on a team emphasizing youth and Higgins already delivering solid production, we should be inclined to believe he is legit. Cleveland gets the Colts, Bengals and Jets over the next three weeks. Rashard Higgins is a must-add in every fantasy football format. He could easily lead this team in receiving.
The Dolphins draw the Jets on the Week 2 ledger. DeVante Parker and Jarvis Landry have the top-two spots locked down on this team but Kenny Stills was still on the field for 88 percent of the plays last week and saw five targets. Naturally, they were mostly of the deep variety, as he averaged 23.2 air yards per target. Stills makes for a great high-ceiling dart throw in Week 3 against a Jets team that allowed five passing touchdowns in their first two games.
With mid-game injuries to Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, Geronimo Allison ended up going out for 80 percent of the Packers' plays on Sunday night. If either of the two sit for their Week 3 home game, Allison will get plenty of playing time. Allison got on the field as a seventh-round rookie in 2016 due to injuries and clearly has some form of trust from Aaron Rodgers, which matters a great deal. He's at least worth exploring.
Willie Snead returns in Week 4 from a three-game suspension and Brandon Coleman has inhabited his slot receiver role in his absence, drawing eight of his nine targets from inside. Perhaps Coleman gets relegated to the bench when Snead returns but we may not want to assume that. Coleman was on the field for 89 percent of the Saints' Week 2 plays to just 65 percent for Ted Ginn. It's at least worth wondering if Coleman holds onto the big role for the duration of the season, considering that Snead can play outside as he did in 2015 and Ginn reverts to just a situational deep threat. Fantasy owners must care about any player getting significant role in the Saints offense, even if the unit has yet to hit its stride. </content:power-ranking>
He's back. Austin Seferian-Jenkins is eligible to return from a suspension this week. The veteran tight end was reportedly dominant in Jets camp this summer. He should immediately walk into a voluminous role, considering Jermaine Kearse and Robby Anderson alone absorbed a whopping 70.2 percent of the team's intended air yards in their first two games. After getting his off-field life on the right track following his release from Tampa Bay, Seferian-Jenkins looks poised to deliver on all the talent he possessed coming out of college.