7 Fantasy Football Stash Candidates Ahead of Week 2
Welcome to stash candidates, a new weekly column at 4for4 that highlights players who may be potential league-winners at some point in the future, whether that’s next week or a handful of weeks down the road.
We’re looking at all kinds of stash-worthy guys in the event the player above them on the depth chart is on shaky ground or might be nursing an injury, or possibly a matchup-based situation in the weeks ahead. Clear out those benches (check out my Dead Weight Report on who to drop), and make room for these up and comers.
Cordarrelle Patterson, RB/WR – Falcons
Despite Atlanta cutting Qadree Ollison to add Wayne Gallman days before the season began, it was actually Cordarrelle Patterson who served as the No. 2 RB behind Mike Davis in Week 1 against Philadelphia. In Patterson’s debut for his fifth NFL team, the 30-year-old carried the ball seven times for 54 yards, also adding two catches for 13 yards to his line.
The Falcons were not exactly effective on offense to start the season so it’s difficult to know just where Patterson’s usage will end up, but he’s certainly worth a speculative add at this early point, as he could see an uptick in volume as the season progresses.
Terrace Marshall Jr., WR – Panthers
Currently rostered in just 20% of Yahoo! Leagues, the rookie caught 3-of-6 targets for 26 yards in Carolina’s Week 1 win over the Jets. Terrace Marshall’s volume was second among Panther WRs behind D.J. Moore, which is exciting, but the bulk of his stash appeal stems from the juicy schedule ahead for Sam Darnold and his pass-catching weapons.
From Week 2 through Week 8, Marshall will face opposing defenses with an average ranking of 23rd in WR schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA) from last season, including the Eagles, who just yielded 24.2 half-PPR points to Corey Davis and a Minnesota unit that allowed Ja'Marr Chase to post 18.4 in Week 1.
Kenneth Gainwell, RB – Eagles
Goodbye Boston Scott, hello Kenneth Gainwell. The rookie looked solid in his first regular-season NFL game, rushing nine times for 37 yards and a score with an additional touchdown called back due to a penalty.
He makes for a decent RB3/Flex moving forward but it may have to wait a week since the Eagles face a tough San Francisco run defense in Week 2. Gainwell is worth the add and hold, as RB depth seems to already be an issue due to injuries that perennially plague backfields around the league.
Van Jefferson, WR – Rams
Van Jefferson played in 34 snaps to DeSean Jackson’s 14, indicating he is the No. 3 WR in the Rams offense. That role may not seem super fruitful with Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods in the mix, but Jefferson managed to post a 2-80-1 line in Week 1, which has the potential to grow as this offense moves forward with new QB Matthew Stafford.
His volume may be a bit erratic on a weekly basis, but if something were to happen to either Kupp or Woods this season, Jefferson could find himself in a great position as the Rams’ downfield threat.
Damien Williams, RB – Bears
I’ve been pounding the table for Damien Williams all offseason, so why should I stop now? It’s not like his six rushes and five targets make him someone to ignore moving forward. David Montgomery looked good, in fact, he ran better than many expected him to right out of the gate. However, Williams was the one to spell the lead back on passing downs as he out-targeted Montgomery 5-1 in their first contest with Tarik Cohen on the PUP list.
Williams’s role may increase as the weeks rumble on and the 29-year-old back could be a huge asset if something were to happen to Montgomery at any point. Grab the former Chief now while you can, especially in PPR formats.
Matt Breida, RB – Bills
While it may be tough to stomach a ride on the Matt Breida train for another go-round, he could have some value this season. Zack Moss was surprisingly a healthy scratch in Week 1, leaving the backfield in the hands of Devin Singletary and Breida. The Bills are not even close to a run-heavy team and the game script against a stout Steeler defense did not help Breida’s situation, either.
The 26-year-old saw just four carries, but there could be better contests on the horizon for Breida as the Bills’ No. 2 RB. If he can get through the next few weeks without being overtaken by Moss, Buffalo gets a really soft schedule from Weeks 4-6, with tilts against the Texans, Chiefs and Titans, who allowed an average of 17.8 half-PPR points to opposing backfields in Week 1, including 36.7 combined fantasy points from Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt via Kansas City. If you have the bench room and are in need of some RB depth, Breida has some potential and is easily discardable if he doesn’t pan out.
Pharaoh Brown, TE – Texans
This one is for those of you in super-deep leagues or multiple-TE formats. Pharaoh Brown is one big human at 6-foot-6 and 258 pounds, and had himself a very nice start to the 2021 season. While Jordan Akins was touted as someone to watch as a possible streamer, it was Brown who out-targeted and out-produced Akins in their first contest of the year.
The 27-year-old caught 4-of-5 targets for 67 yards against the Texans and could become a more permanent fixture in this offense and a nice weapon for Tyrod Taylor moving forward. He’s certainly not a must-add, especially in single-TE formats, but he’s worth keeping an eye on as a guy to possibly covet at some point in deeper leagues.