Week 2 of the NFL season is officially behind us, and those who may not have had the best start in fantasy football may be looking to make some big changes to their respective fantasy teams.
For those who are looking to turn around their fantasy football fortunes, here are the top five pickup candidates that are available in over 50 percent of leagues on the ESPN Fantasy Football platform going into Week 3.
Week 2 Recap:
Those who read the Week 2 fantasy waiver-wire article from last week probably benefitted in a big way. Among those listed in the top five of that article were Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Puka Nacua, Rams running back Kyren Williams, and Baltimore Ravens running back Gus Edwards. All three of these players recorded more than 12 fantasy points in ESPN PPR formatting in Week 2.
5. Hunter Henry, TE, New England Patriots
- Week 2: 17.2 fantasy points (PPR)
- Rostered: 34.6 percent
The Patriots’ offense didn’t have the best performance as a whole on Sunday night against the Miami Dolphins, scoring only 17 points in a losing effort. But Henry shined as a key target for starting quarterback Mac Jones, hauling in six receptions for 52 yards and scoring New England’s lone touchdown through the air.
It can be argued that Henry deserves to be even higher on this list considering the position he plays is rather thin from a fantasy football perspective. His 17.2 fantasy points finished second of all players at the tight end position in Week 2, behind only Minnesota Vikings star T.J. Hockenson. However, the Patriots offense doesn’t profile to be a prolific passing attack on most weeks, which could limit Henry in weeks to come.
4. Jordan Love, QB, Green Bay Packers
- Week 2: 20.34 fantasy points (PPR)
- Rostered: 39.8 percent
There were a ton of questions coming into the season about how Love would adjust to his full-time starting role this season. And at least in fantasy football, those questions have been answered in a big way. Love put together his second straight game of 20 or more fantasy points in Week 2, throwing for 151 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions against the Atlanta Falcons.
The Packers offense appears to be just fine with Love at the helm. And some fantasy owners may be dealing with injuries to the likes of Joe Burrow or Anthony Richardson at their quarterback position. Love could be a great option for those in a pinch looking to replace one or both of those quarterbacks for Week 3.
3. Matt Breida, RB, New York Giants
- Week 2: 0.5 fantasy points (PPR)
- Rostered: 1.1 percent
Breida didn’t play a big factor whatsoever in the Giants’ comeback win in Week 2 against the Arizona Cardinals, only recording one run for five yards. However, he’s likely to feature for the Giants at running back for the next few games after star running back Saquon Barkley went down with an ankle injury.
Barkley was officially diagnosed with an “ordinary” ankle sprain, and is expected to miss three weeks. Breida should benefit from that in a big way; he’s the most likely player to receive the first crack at starting in the Giants’ backfield. The Giants have shown that they ideally would love to be a run-first offense, ranking eighth in rushing attempts in the NFL last season. And Breida should be the one spearheading that rushing attack as long as Barkley is out.
2. Zack Moss, RB, Indianapolis Colts
- Week 2: 20.7 fantasy points (PPR)
- Rostered: 32.1 percent
Moss made his 2023 season debut in Week 2 for the Colts and made a huge impact right away, taking control of the Indianapolis backfield right away with 18 rushing attempts for 88 yards and a touchdown. Perhaps more importantly, the Colts offense looked to be firing on all cylinders for the second straight week.
There’s a clear opportunity for Moss to thrive as long as star running back Jonathan Taylor is out for the Colts. At the very least, Taylor will miss the next two games for Indianapolis. And there’s even potential that Moss could be the starter for the whole year if the Colts end up trading Taylor at some point during the season, which he requested during training camp.
1. Jerome Ford, RB, Cleveland Browns
- Week 2: 24.1 fantasy points (PPR)
- Rostered: 9.1 percent
Ford came into the season as one of the best handcuffs in all of fantasy football in a great situation in Cleveland. The Browns have had one of the best rushing attacks in all of football over the past few seasons. Unfortunately for Browns fans, Ford was featured heavily in Week 2 against the Pittsburgh Steelers because of the devastating injury to star running back Nick Chubb.
There will still need to be an MRI done on Chubb to figure out the severity of his injury, but it’s expected to be season-ending. Ford made the most of his additional opportunity, rushing for 106 yards on 16 rush attempts while also hauling in a receiving touchdown through the air.
Barring some miraculous news on Chubb, Ford should be a very popular candidate for most fantasy owners to add to their team and profiles as a borderline starter in fantasy for most owners.
- Tutu Atwell (WR, Los Angeles Rams)
- Kyren Williams (RB, Los Angeles Rams)
- Gus Edwards (RB, Baltimore Ravens)
- Tank Dell (WR, Houston Texans)
- Sam Howell (QB, Washington Commanders)