9 Fantasy Football Stash Candidates Ahead of Week 3
What makes a player stash-worthy? These are guys 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.
It can be that 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.
Darrel Williams, RB – Chiefs
The 26-year-old Darrel Williams hasn’t done too much yet, except vulture a score from Clyde Edwards-Helaire in Week 2, but we could see more of a committee-type approach in this backfield sooner than later. Edwards-Helaire hasn’t been hyper-effective thus far, with just 11.3 total half-PPR points through two games, and his unfortunate fumble at the end of Sunday night’s game was very costly.
It wouldn’t be too surprising to see Edwards-Helaire enter the dog house, with Williams and even Jerick McKinnon taking on more volume moving forward. Williams is only rostered by 11% of Yahoo! managers so stashing him as a member of one of the NFL’s highest-scoring offenses could pay off in the coming weeks.
James Washington, WR – Steelers
Diontae Johnson appeared to suffer a painful knee injury on the final play of Pittsburgh’s loss in Week 2, but fortunately, reports came back positive for his long-term outlook. Johnson was briefly hurt in their first contest of the season with an issue in the same knee as well, which is not ideal. If Johnson were to end up missing any time, James Washington could slide in with more consistent looks in three-WR sets.
We need to monitor Johnson’s progress this week, but Washington is someone to consider adding in the event Johnson's knee becomes a lingering thing.
Teddy Bridgewater, QB – Broncos
Carrying a second QB is usually not recommended in seasonal fantasy leagues, but the way injuries are plaguing the NFL through just two games, it may not be a bad idea to grab Teddy Bridgewater while you still can (17% rostered). There were scares with Baker Mayfield, Derek Carr and Tua Tagovailoa on Sunday, and it’s no fun to scramble if your QB goes down.
Bridgewater is quietly the QB10 after two contests, with over 20 fantasy points in each game. His upcoming schedule is fairly decent, too. After Week 3, he faces defenses who rank 28th, 19th and 13th in fantasy points allowed to opposing QBs so far in 2021.
Chuba Hubbard, RB – Panthers
Chuba Hubbard hasn’t done anything spectacular on his own thus far, but when Christian McCaffrey left for a short period during Week 2’s contest, it was a reminder that the rookie is one injury away from a potentially sizable workload.
He’s only on 16% of Yahoo! rosters right now, so getting ahead of the crowd could be advantageous down the road. As an added bonus, the Panthers have a pretty favorable schedule coming up, with three of their next four opponents allowing team totals of 52, 48 and 61 points through two contests, so game script could call for some Hubbard to get him acclimated to the league.
Darnell Mooney, WR – Bears
On paper, Darnell Mooney’s stats don’t look fantastic, but he’s seen 15 total targets in the first two weeks, which is encouraging. With that kind of volume, the points will follow, especially if Justin Fields slings the ball on a consistent basis sooner than originally anticipated, as veteran Andy Dalton is dealing with a bruised knee bone.
It also helps that the Bears’ next three opponents allowed opposing WR corps to post an average of 33.7 half-PPR points per contest against them so far, so if you’re in a pinch, Mooney could be used in the flex in the incoming weeks.
Alexander Mattison, RB – Vikings
This is a stash similar to Hubbard, in that Dalvin Cook appeared to be injured twice in Week 2, but somehow managed to make it back into the game both times. Head coach Mike Zimmer indicated it was just a “little ankle sprain” but we all know how coach speak can be.
Alexander Mattison’s stand-alone value isn’t much, but if Cook is sidelined at all, he could be in for a really nice uptick in usage. Stash him now before any news comes out on Cook ahead of Week 3, as the 23-year-old back is only on 33% of Yahoo! rosters.
Jeff Wilson Jr., RB – 49ers
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before—the 49ers' backfield is banged up. Elijah Mitchell suffered a shoulder stinger but should be alright, JaMycal Hasty sustained an ankle injury and Trey Sermon was concussed on his lone play of Week 2. Jeff Wilson Jr. is currently out recovering from meniscus surgery and is slated to return sometime in November, but coach Kyle Shanahan stated it could be earlier, or perhaps later.
If you have the bench room, stashing Wilson now could behoove your roster down the stretch once he's fresh and ready to take over the backfield. Or at least get plenty of volume in a run-heavy offense.
K.J. Osborn, WR – Vikings
If nothing else, it's exciting to have the possibility of a No. 3 WR in Minnesota. K.J. Osborn has been thrown to 15 times so far in 2021, which is the same volume as Mike Evans, Allen Robinson and Jakobi Meyers. It might not be sustainable from week to week, or it may, but the third option on a team that's thrown to at the eighth-highest rate so far (82 passes) is someone we should either stash now or keep a close eye on.
Freddie Swain, WR – Seahawks
While Freddie Swain’s Week 2 performance was a career-high by a few miles for the NFL sophomore, it was the type of output that piques interest. Seattle has been searching for their No. 3 WR since Doug Baldwin retired and they may have found him in Swain. That’s not saying too much, though, since both DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett are target hogs in their own right, so Swain won’t see a ton of stand-alone consistency.
However, Swain could be a factor if one of the two sustains an injury or when the Seahawks face other soft secondaries. He could be worth a speculative add in larger leagues and is worth at least keeping an eye on in the weeks to come.