Priority pickups for Week 2: Rookie receivers and veteran backs deserve fantasy attention

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Each week, our mission here is to flag six priority fantasy pickups who remain available in an overwhelming majority of Yahoo leagues, plus a streamable defense. If you happen to play in a smallish league in which Jamison Crowder (46 percent rostered), John Brown (50 percent) and T.J Hockenson (52 percent) are currently unattached, then yes, those guys obviously deserve your immediate attention. Act now. Go get 'em.

For those digging just a bit deeper, let's begin with a trio of rookie wideouts.

Terry McLaurin, WR, Washington (4%)

McLaurin was a big-play specialist at Ohio State last season, averaging 20.0 yards per catch while scoring 11 touchdowns on only 35 receptions. Such things can happen when a team's quarterback throws 50 TD passes. McLaurin's pro career got off to a sensational start on Sunday, as he caught five balls for 125 yards and one score on seven chances. He could have had a second long score, but Case Keenum can't reasonably be expected to make every throw.

Here's a look at McLaurin's 4.35 wheels in action...

The rookie played nearly every snap for Washington (62 of 65), so fantasy managers have no reason to fret about playing time. Add anywhere you're unsatisfied with your WR3.

Recommended FAAB bid: $16 of $100 budget

Marquise Brown, WR, Baltimore Ravens (31% rostered)

First, the discouraging news: Brown played only 14 snaps in Sunday's mauling of Miami, well behind Willie Snead (50) and slightly behind fellow rookie Miles Boykin (18).

But here's the good news: Hollywood was targeted on five of his 14 snaps, resulting in plays like this...

He finished his afternoon with four catches for 147 yards and two scores, numbers that will obviously place him among the opening week WR1s. As most of you know, Brown topped 1000 receiving yards in back-to-back collegiate seasons at Oklahoma, entering the 2019 draft as one of the most dynamic playmakers at his position. Baltimore will of course run the ball early and often this season, and the team won't have many matchups as friendly as Sunday's tilt with the Dolphins. Brown is going to have plenty of quiet weeks, no doubt. It's also clear, however, that his big performances have the potential to be win-your-week explosions, in the style of D-Jax.

FAAB bid: $15

DK Metcalf, WR, Seattle Seahawks (37%)

Can't say we foresaw Metcalf drawing more opening week targets than any other Seattle receiver or tight end, but that's the way it played out. The hyper-athletic rookie from Ole Miss snagged four of his six targets, finishing with 89 yards, including a 42-yard field-flipper. He more than passed the eye test. Metcalf is gifted with ideal size (6-foot-3) and 4.33-speed, plus he has exceptional leaping ability (40.5-inch vertical). He underwent a knee scope in August, but bounced back fantastically well.

Seattle's offense is something less than pass-happy, of course, which should make Metcalf an inconsistent fantasy producer. Russell Wilson only put the ball in the air 20 times on Sunday. Metcalf's big weeks have a chance to be special, however.

FAAB bid: $11

John Ross III, WR, Cincinnati Bengals (10%)

Yup, we're really doing this again. When a guy sees a dozen targets, hauls in a pair of touchdown catches and finishes with 158 yards, he's on the pickup radar.

The fantasy community obviously has a complicated history with Ross, a player who's struggled with injuries and drops over his three seasons. He didn't actually have the cleanest game on Sunday, but his target volume overwhelmed the blemishes. Ross is a burner who ran a 4.22-second 40 back in the day, you might recall. He was used as much more than a vertical threat in the Bengals' opening week loss, leading his team in targets and yards. A.J. Green is likely out for multiple games, so Ross should continue to see plenty of opportunities.

FAAB bid: $8

Malcolm Brown, RB, Los Angeles Rams (12%)

You shouldn't be feeling terrible if you invested an early fantasy pick in Todd Gurley, because your guy led the Rams backfield in snaps (54) and scrimmage yards (101) on Sunday. However, it's clear that Brown is going to be a problem. He played 21 snaps against the Panthers and feasted near the goal line, scoring a pair of short touchdowns. This bulldozing 10-yard gain by Brown ranked among the day's best efforts...

His first touchdown was similarly impressive, while the second was a walk-in. If you're looking for a cheap share of one of the league's elite offenses (and you should be), place an aggressive bid for Brown. Sean McVay gave him the bubble-wrap treatment in the preseason, a clear sign that he was going to have a substantial role. Consider him a handcuff with benefits.

We should note that well-hyped rookie Darrell Henderson was an afterthought in his NFL debut, playing only two snaps and carrying once for no gain.

FAAB bid: $18

Adrian Peterson, RB, Washington (5%)

Derrius Guice had a long, complicated road back from last year's ACL injury, and it appears his injury problems aren't completely behind him. Guice's other knee required an MRI on Monday morning; he's expected to miss time, according to early reports. Brutal news for the talented young back.

Adrian Peterson wasn't active for Sunday's loss at Philadelphia, and head coach Jay Gruden became a little bit salty when asked about the decision. It's now perfectly clear that AP will have an early-down rushing role for however long Guice is sidelined. So that's awkward. Chris Thompson showed plenty of life on Sunday, catching seven balls for 68 yards, so he's the preferred add in any sort of PPR format.

FAAB bid: $12

Carolina Panthers, DEF (6%)

Luke Kuechly and Co. will host Jameis Winston on Thursday night. Do you really need any additional explanation on this one? Of course not.

FAAB bid: $2

Carolina's defense is facing Jameis Winston in Week 2, so that unit has obvious fantasy appeal. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Carolina's defense is facing Jameis Winston in Week 2, so that unit has obvious fantasy appeal. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Discussed last week and still deserving attention: RB Ito Smith (split snaps with Freeman), WR Deebo Samuel (out-snapped Pettis by a mile), WR Jamison Crowder (17 targets makes him an auto-add), TE Darren Waller (gets a boost from AB's absence).

Various other add-worthy options: RB Rex Burkhead (32 snaps and 13 touches on SNF, plus Miami up next), RB Giovani Bernard (the obvious Mixon replacement), RB Chris Thompson (10 targets should get your attention), RB Ronald Jones II (the most productive member of Bucs' RBBC), RB Raheem Mostert (no Coleman next week), RB Alexander Mattison (rook had a substantial role against Atlanta), WR Mecole Hardman (Hill's injury creates an opportunity), WR AJ Brown (yet another rookie with a big debut), WR Preston Williams (here’s the one thing that went right for Miami on Sunday) and WR DJ Chark Jr. (dynamic athlete coming off 4-146-1 performance).


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