Our thoughts on some possible undervalued and overvalued players...
Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons
Julio Jones hasn't been terrible through the first two games (13 targets, seven catches, 100 yards), but he certainly hasn't met anywhere near the expectations of the very discriminating fantasy dweeb community. Atlanta goes up against two beatable secondaries, Tampa Bay and Seattle, over the next two weeks, so he's a good bet to start performing to his talent level.
Jared Cook, TE, Tennessee Titans
Maybe in the same way that Matt Hasselbeck ended up quashing the burgeoning career of John Carlson over in Seattle, he has plans to crush Jared Cook's dream of becoming a key part of the Titans offense in 2011. Hasselbeck has only targeted Cook five times so far this year, but hopefully he realizes soon that his third-year tight end can become a potent weapon if he ever decides to throw in his direction.
Roy Helu, RB, Washington Redskins
Just a couple short weeks ago, Tim Hightower was slated to be undisputed workhorse back in the Redskins backfield, but that was before the Shanahanigens kicked in and Roy Helu ran for 74 yards on 10 carries. This is not to say that Hightower won't remain the prominent rusher for Washington, but Mike Shanahan is obviously a fickle character, and Roy Helu could take over at any point.
Greg Little, WR, Cleveland Browns
Brian Robiskie must be one helluva blocker. That, or he has no idea or no ability to find an open spot on the field. Robiskie has only been targeted two times through two games so far, and it appears at this point almost inevitable that Greg Little (eight targets, five catches, 50 yards) is on his way to freeing up more time for Robiskie to put on his blocking clinic.
Blaine Gabbert/Mike Thomas, QB/WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
Starting Luke McCown was obviously a bad idea even before he got tossed around and trampled by the Jets last week. Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio hasn't officially named rookie Gabbert as his new starter yet, but it's hard to see how he could bear to watch another game with McCown as his quarterback. Gabbert starting would immediately boost the value of Mike Thomas, if only because it simply can't get much worse.
Jerome Harrison, RB, Detroit Lions
Harrison appears to have passed Maurice Morris on the depth chart, and he now assumes the valuable role as primary backup for the very dynamic, albeit occasionally frangible Javid Best. Harrison received eight carries last week, which was exactly one-third of the workload, and it wouldn't be surprising if this trend continued.
Lagadu Naanee, WR, Carolina Panthers
Okay, a bit of a stretch here, but technically Naanee is the still the No. 2 receiver in the new and improved Carolina Panther aerial invasion. He actually was targeted four times in the red zone last week, and has 12 targets on the year. If he can start catching at least 50 percent of his targets like he did last year in San Diego, he might become a fantasy factor.
Matt Cassell/Thomas Jones, QB/RB, Kansas City Chiefs
It's hard to pinpoint exactly how or when the Kansas City offense turned into a mockery of a travesty of a sham, but losing Jamaal Charles cannot possibly help this dire situation, and Thomas Jones is not the answer. As far as Matt Cassel, he is being exposed as the ordinary quarterback that he really is, and his 2010 performance may have been mostly attributed to the wizardry of former Chiefs offensive coordinator Charlie Weis.
Harry Douglas, WR, Atlanta Falcons
There was a murmur of preseason hype surrounding Harry Douglas, but after two targets last week and the fact that Tony Gonzalez refuses to acknowledge that he is 35 years old (155 yards and two touchdowns after two games). It appears safe to now disregard the fraudulent rumor that Douglas was worth holding on your roster.
Cris Cooley, TE, Washington Redskins
Fred Davis (six catches, 86 yards, one touchdown) is showing absolutely no respect for his elders. He completely made Chris Cooley (zero catches) irrelevant this past week. Cooley should have at least a couple solid games this season, but he's probably not going to be able to push Fred Davis back into anonymity any time soon.
No one in their right mind believed that Reggie Bush was going to make it through the season as the exclusive and/or primary running back for Dolphins, but after rookie Daniel Thomas rumbled for 107 yards on 18 carries this past week, Reggie Bush can again be considered a sporadically effective 3rd-down back.
Eddie Royal, WR, Denver Broncos
New Denver head coach John Fox isn't a huge fan of throwing the ball anyway, and when the Broncos have thrown the ball this year, Eddie Royal has had his number called as frequently as Willis McGahee (eight targets each through two games). With the emergence of Eric Decker, Eddie Royal may be in for another unmemorable season.
Anquan Boldin/Lee Evans, WR, Baltimore Ravens
Boldin and Evans would have comprised quite the formidable receiving duo back in 2005, but if recent history is any indication, Lee Evans will have a hard time staying on the field for two consecutive weeks, and Anquan Boldin will gradually fade into the ubiquitous fantasy void as the season progresses.
Brandon LaFell, WR, Carolina Panthers
Brandon LaFell has been moderately and surprisingly productive over the first two weeks of the season, but when you have a hot-shot rookie quarterback throwing for 400 yards a game, even a slow-footed possession receiver like LaFell is bound to come away with some catches. LaFell probably will turn out to be worth stashing as a No. 4 or No. 5 receiver, but as soon as Cam Newton slows down he might be the first to disappear off the box scores.
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