DeKALB — In the early weeks of every NFL season, unknown players emerge as reliable fantasy options. Here are some players to consider adding to your team heading into week two:
Marquise Brown, WR - owned in 28.2% of leagues according to ESPN
Brown put on a clinic against the Miami Dolphins, catching four passes for 147 yards and two touchdowns. He and his cousin, Patriots WR Antonio Brown, are smaller, yet explosive playmakers. Marquise’s quarterback, Lamar Jackson, also seems to have taken a major step as a passer, which will be promising for Marquise as the season continues.
John Ross III, WR - owned in 4.8% of leagues according to ESPN
The speedster was a major disappointment last year as a rookie. However, he started this season on the right foot and caught seven passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns. Ross was able to take advantage of A.J. Green’s absence in week one and cemented himself as a key player in the Cincinnati Bengals’ offense moving forward.
Chris Thompson, RB - owned in 18.9% of leagues according to ESPN
The Redskins main RB Derrius Guice suffered a knee injury in week one that will force him to miss some time, per NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. Adrian Peterson, who did not play, is expected to take a majority of hand offs in his expected week two return. Thompson, who caught seven passes for 68 yards, should continue to be a PPR threat even with Peterson’s return. Thompson had 21 more receptions than Peterson last season even though Thompson played in six less games, according to ESPN.
Malcolm Brown, RB - owned in 6.5% of leagues according to ESPN
With running back Todd Gurley working through lingering knee issues, many expected running back Darrell Henderson to fill in as the main backup. After week one, Brown finished with 11 carries for 53 yards and two touchdowns, compared to Henderson’s single carry for no yards. Brown’s lack of production outside of his two touchdowns is concerning, but if he becomes a constant red zone target for Rams QB Jared Goff, Brown should be a reliable option from touchdowns alone. Especially in the Rams offense that ranked second in offensive points scored in 2018, according to ESPN.
T.J. Hockenson, TE - owned in 30% of leagues according to ESPN
The rookie lived up to expectations in his first game after being drafted eighth overall by the Lions. Hockenson caught six passes, including one for a touchdown, and led the team with 131 receiving yards. Hockenson saw the second most targets from quarterback Matthew Stafford and their connection should only grow as Hockenson spends more time in the offense.