It’s Week 2. Maybe you don’t need my help because you’re 2-0. Maybe, you’re rocking a pivotal 1-1 record and are still looking for one or two playmakers. Or, maybe you’re in the basement at 0-2 and are starting to second guess your draft day decisions. In any case, here is a list of the top 10 guys still looking for a home in the vast majority of leagues.
1. Danny Amendola, WR, St. Louis Rams – Owned in 18.0% of leagues (ESPN) 15 receptions! 15! 15 receptions for 160 yards (10.6 YPC) and 1 touchdown in week 2 in St. Louis’ three point victory over Washington. Amendola also caught 5 balls for 70 yards in Week 1. He’s definitely proving himself to be a more than viable flex option this season. As long as he remains healthy, he’s the guy in St. Louis and Bradford is looking his way nearly every time.
2. Dante Rosario, TE, San Diego Chargers – Owned in 0.3% of leagues (ESPN) Here we have the first of three injury replacements. Antonio Gates “looked like a go” heading into the Chargers’ matchup with the Titans, leaving many owners disappointed by the fact that he was labeled inactive at the last possible moment. The former Carolina Panther, Dante Rosario reaped the benefits of the injury posting 4 catches for 48 yards (12.0 YPC) and 3 touchdowns! He figures to be a prominent red zone threat for Philip Rivers and company as long as Gates is hurting. Monitor this situation before you make the move.
3. Andre Brown, RB, New York Giants – Owned in 0.8% of leagues (ESPN) Ahmad Bradshaw owned this backfield. That is, until he went down with a neck injury that the Giants have been very quiet about. My heart says Bradshaw’s injury is serious meaning that Andre Brown, not David Wilson, will start in Bradshaw’s absence. Unfortunately, Wilson’s fumble in week 1 has hurt him in Coach Tom Coughlin’s eyes. Brown is no slouch though carrying the ball 13 times for 71 yards (5.5 YPC) with 1 touchdown and 2 catches for 19 yards (9.5 YPC) in Week 2.
4. Martellus Bennett, TE, New York Giants – Owned in 35.5% of leagues (ESPN) This guy is a freak. To be honest, I’m surprised he’s still available in almost 65% of leagues. Since coming to the Giants from the Dallas Cowboys, and out from under Jason Witten’s shadow, Bennett has made some noise. Through two games he’s got 9 catches for 112 yards (12.4 YPC) and 2 touchdowns. He’s without a doubt Eli Manning’s new security blanket. Victor Cruz has been sensational but I’m worried about Hakeem Nicks’ ankles holding up through all 16 games. Bennett should prove valuable as the season progresses.
5. Lamar Miller, RB, Miami Dolphins – Owned in 2.4% of leagues (ESPN) I may start to sound like a broken record but injuries are abound already in 2012. Daniel Thomas (concussion) is hurt in Miami and that’s creating space for Miami Hurricane turned Miami Dolphin rookie Lamar Miller. In Miller’s first game action this season he carried the ball 10 times for 65 yards (6.5 YPC) and 1 touchdown. Granted it was a blowout by the Dolphins against the Raiders and Reggie Bush absolutely killed it (26 carries, 172 yards and 2 touchdowns. 3 catches for 25 yards.) But, Miller is definitely stating his case for an increase in workload. Also, Miami’s passing attack isn’t exactly setting the league on fire.
6. Brandon LaFell, WR, Carolina Panthers – Owned in 25.9% of leagues (ESPN) LaFell is another player who makes my All-Why-Is-He-Still-Available team for 2012. Through two games, the “Big Easy” from LSU has caught 9 passes for 155 yards (17.2 YPC) and 1 touchdown. For my money, LaFell is good for 4 catches, 75 yards, and a score give or take on a weekly basis.
7. Scott Chandler, TE, Buffalo Bills – Owned in 17.7% of leagues (ESPN) The big guy who surprised everybody last year during the Bills 5-2 start has continued his quiet surge. The fact is, Scott Chandler scores touchdowns. As long as the rest of the offense doesn’t crumble, he’ll be there in the red zone catching balls. He’s only got 6 receptions for 91 yards (15.1 YPC) but the 2 touchdowns help fantasy owners immensely.
8. Justin Tucker, K, Baltimore Ravens – Owned in 16.9% of leagues (ESPN) I know, I know, I know, a kicker. Trouble is, this guy has a cannon for a leg. He’s connected on all six field goals this season. The craziest part though is that in week 2, against the Philadelphia Eagles, Justin Tucker made field goals of 48, 51, and a career high 56 yards. Couple those distances with the extra points he’ll get from Baltimore’s offense and you’ve got one of the NFL’s highest scoring and most consistent kickers.
9. Dennis Pitta, TE, Baltimore Ravens – Owned in 24.6% of leagues (ESPN) Todd Heap 2.0 I starting to dominate targets in Baltimore. Ed Dickson starts but nobody besides the New England Patriots use both their Tight Ends as much as the Ravens. Pitta has been targeted 24 times in two games catching 13 passes for 138 yards (10.6 YPC) and 1 touchdown. If it weren’t for an errant Flacco pass, Pitta would have scored this past week in Philadelphia. Rest assured that Dennis Pitta will be a top 10 TE at season’s end.
10. Andrew Hawkins, WR, Cincinnati Bengals – Owned in 2.5% of leagues (ESPN) Hawkins showed flashes of his potential a few times last season but he’s certainly started better than most thought he would this season. After an 8 catch, 86 yard (10.75 YPC) performance in Week 1 many thought Hawkins would disappear in Week 2. They were ALMOST right. Hawkins made the most of his scarce opportunities this past week hauling in 2 passes for 56 yards (28.0 YPC) including a 50 yard touchdown pass from Andy Dalton. It was a case where Hawkins definitely turned nothing into something. As long as Cincy’s offense is clicking, I’d look for Hawkins to be complimentary to its success.
Honorable Mention: Donnie Avery, WR, Indianapolis Colts. Brent Celek, TE, Philadelphia Eagles. Mike Willams, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Brian Hartline, WR, Miami Dolphins. Andre Roberts, WR, Arizona Cardinals