ASK THE EXPERTS appears weekly from training camp through the Super Bowl with answers to a new question being posted Thursday morning. How the guest experts responded when we asked them: Which slow starter will turn things around the rest of the way?
Through two weeks, JaMarr Chase is WR57 in PPR scoring and is no doubt causing stress for those who used a top-3 pick on him in redraft leagues. While his managers are unlikely to panic sell, they may be facing a 0-2 record and open to parting with him for 90 cents on the dollar. If you can swap a player who's had a particularly hot start, like Puka Nacua, and another contributor at another position, for Chase, you should run to the podium to announce the deal. There's no reason the Bengals should continue meandering through the season.
Wood is Senior Editor at Footballguys.com and has been with the company since its start in 2000. For more than 20 years, Footballguys has provided rankings, projections, and analysis to help fantasy managers dominate their leagues.
My vote for the best buy-low candidate is Trevor Lawrence. Through two games, he's ranked No. 21 among fantasy quarterbacks with just two passing touchdowns and an average of 227 passing yards and 23 rushing yards per game. Lawrence was the No. 7 fantasy quarterback last year and has Calvin Ridley added to his receivers. Homestands against the Texans and Falcons next should get him back on track.
Dorey co-founded The Huddle.com in 1997. He's ranked every player and projected every game for the last 23 years and is the author of Fantasy Football: The Next Level. David has appeared on numerous radio, television, newspaper and magazines over the last two decades.
I believe Commanders wide receiver Jahan Dotson will start to score moving forward. The team needs to get one of their best playmakers more involved, and that should happen very soon.
Nazarek is the CEO of Fantasy Football Mastermind Inc, celebrating 25 years online! His company offers a preseason draft guide, customizable cheat sheets, a multi-use fantasy drafting program including auction values, weekly in-season newsletters, injury reports and free NFL news (updated daily) at its web site, www.ffmastermind.com. He has been playing fantasy football since 1988 and is a four-peat champion of the SI.com Experts Fantasy League, a nationally published writer in several fantasy magazines and a former columnist for SI.com. He's also won nearly $30K in recent seasons of the FFPC High Stakes Main Event. Nazarek can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pat Freiermuth, to me, looks like a candidate to put top-10 tight end numbers going forward. I understand that he’s caught only 2 passes for 5 yards, but I expect the Steelers will get things turned around. They were able to turn things around last year, scoring almost twice as many touchdowns in the second half of the season. This time around, they’ve opened with a pair of games against two of the best defenses in the league. They’ll make fixes and get better. Their next two are against the Raiders and Texans, which will help things along. And Freiermuth should further benefit from Diontae Johnson being out for the next three games. That injury should cause Freiermuth to be used more. He caught 40 passes in his nine full games with Kenny Pickett last year. He’s still that guy (and I expect Pittsburgh’s offense to be much better than last year).
Allan is the senior writer for Fantasy Football Index magazine. He is a member of the FSGA’s Fantasy Sports Hall of Fame and the Fantasy Sports Writers Association Hall of Fame. He is an avid runner, swimmer and cyclist.
Going with my gut here and saying Dameon Pierce. Yes, it's been a (very) slow start that has seen him on the field a scant 45 percent of the time, but critically that hasn't been because another running back is getting meaningfully involved; it's been purely a function of gamescript. We know Pierce is a bull after his Derrick Henry-esque yards after contact numbers as a rookie and it is all hands on deck at running back fantasy-wide right now, and he's still the guy here. I am seeing a lot of antsy Pierce owners already in the FI Discord so the price is definitely dropping here. The young Texans offense should gradually improve and Pierce should reap the benefits... if you can ride out a couple more clunkers.
Wilson is a Fantasy Index contributor who hosts the Fantasy Index Podcast.
There's a number of reasons pro and con when considering Deshaun Watson. He has shown a few flashes, but very little consistency. Through 2 games he has been prone to costly turnovers and loss of composure. He's also holding the ball too long when he does have time, so he's been late on his throws. The Browns talented O-line looks a bit overrated, too, as Watson was running for his life Monday night. Now that Chubb is out, and the onus is squarely on Watson, where is the silver lining? Well, his receivers have been mostly open, so he just needs to get the pass off earlier and not try to force throws. The Browns overall need to stop with the self-inflicted penalties. As for optimism, Cleveland's defense has been as advertised, plus Tennessee is coming to town and their pass defense has been pretty shaky so far. A big performance should be just the boost Watson needs to be successful.
With 2 perfect seasons and multiple league championships to his credit, Scott Sachs runs Perfect Season Fantasy Football, featuring LIVE Talk & Text Advice. He is a 3-time Winner of the Fantasy Index Experts Auction League, as well as a previous Winner of the Fantasy Index Experts Poll.
Everybody knows Ja’Marr Chase is one of the best wide receivers in football, so I’m not going to tell you why he’s good. Through two games, Chase has been severely disappointing, but brighter days are among us. The Bengals play the Rams, Titans, Cardinals, and Seahawks the next four weeks. Yes, I know Joe Burrow is nursing a calf injury, but I believe that means a few more pass attempts on plays Burrow would have scrambled. The Rams have the 2nd-most points scored in the league, so we know they will put up enough points to sustain a shootout. The Titans have one of the best run-stuffing defenses in the league, so the Bengals will be forced to air it out. The Cardinals have a bottom-10 defense. Both Stafford and Goff put up 300+ passing yards on the Seahawks this year. Now they have to face Burrow and Chase. Some Chase owners are going to hold, but if you can find someone who hasn’t won a game yet or is dealing with injuries, they may be a perfect trade candidate.
Williams is working towards a degree in economics and statistics at Sonoma State. A United States Air Force veteran, he’s been playing fantasy football since 2012. Follow him on Twitter @_ColtWilliams.
Before the ugly contract talks I had Josh Jacobs 3rd in my running back rankings. Remember it was just last year that he led a lot of our teams to fantasy championships as a 5th or 6th round pick. The Raiders returned the same offensive line personnel that started last year, but not necessarily the same starters. There has been a lot of competition on the right side of the line at guard and tackle. Once the line settles in and Jacobs gets back in football shape, expect him to be a top-10 running back the rest of the way. Jacobs has been actually playing a higher percentage of the snaps than last year and he is top 4 in RB targets so far. These are all very positive trends. Expect this ship to right itself real soon, yes, even with a 9 carries for -2 yard game last week. Buy him now while others are panicking.
Holizna is a 29-year fantasy football enthusiast and founder of Faith-Family-Fantasy Football in 2019, a family-friendly, faith-based, G-rated fantasy football platform. Rankings contributor to the 2023 Fantasy Index magazine. Find him on Twitter @holihandicapper
A.J. Brown has been a disappointment thus far, and since I have DeVonta Smith in a couple of leagues, I haven't minded. But there will be a course-correction in which Brown starts putting up big weeks of his own, especially factoring that the Eagles defense seems poised to engage in a lot of shootouts. Brown and the Eagles passing game in general will be fine (and I'll include Dallas Goedert among those players who will start putting up good numbers going forward, too).
Richardson has been a contributing writer and editor to the Fantasy Football Index magazine and www.fantasyindex.com since 2002. His responsibilities include team defense and IDP projections and various site features, and he has run the magazine's annual experts draft and auction leagues since their inception. He previews all the NFL games on Saturdays and writes a wrap-up column on Mondays during the NFL season.