10 Fantasy Football Stash Candidates Ahead of Week 2
Welcome to stash candidates, a column 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.
Editor's Note: Check out the Week 2 Waiver Wire Watch
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Jordan Love, QB - Packers (31% rostered)
Jordan Love had a solid outing in Week 1 despite missing No. 1 WR Christian Watson. The Packer QB threw for 245 yards and three touchdowns while also adding three rushes for 12 yards. The Bears defense was painfully awful which may have masked some poor play, but Love is worth a stash based on his upcoming schedule. Green Bay faces the Falcons, Lions, and Raiders in the next few weeks, all ranked 23rd or worse against QBs in 2022, and allowed an average of 16.3 fantasy points in Week 1 to the position. If your QB underperformed last week, and many did, grab Love for a little insurance.
Rashee Rice, WR - Chiefs (36% rostered)
The WR room in Kansas City appears to be a cloudy mess, but Rashee Rice could emerge from the fog sooner rather than later. The rookie tied for the target lead in Week 1 and posted a hearty .58 PPR points per snap played in his NFL debut. There is plenty of upside as a member of the Chiefs offense and with Kadarius Toney underperforming and Skyy Moore an afterthought, Rice looks like the guy to grab and stash for future usage.
Roschon Johnson, RB - Bears (16% rostered)
The backfield in Chicago is standing room only right now, but Roschon Johnson has so much upside, that he warrants a bench spot now. The rookie saw seven targets and bullied himself into the end zone, mostly during garbage time, but the Bears did sprinkle him in for carries throughout the contest. Be patient with Johnson, as he’ll likely carve out a larger role for himself in neutral game scripts as the season chugs along.
Adam Trautman, TE - Broncos (0% rostered)
Sean Payton brought Adam Trautman to Denver in the last year of his rookie deal and it’s been clear he wants to use him. The former Saint was even listed as the No. 1 TE on the team’s first regular season depth chart. With WR Jerry Jeudy sidelined, the Broncos began Sunday’s game 12-personnel heavy, but had to back off once TE Greg Dulcich left the game with a leg injury. Dulcich’s injury and return timeline are still unclear, so stashing Trautman now may be a decent idea. The Broncos offense was fairly flat to start the season, so that’s why the 26-year-old is not a must add, but instead lands in the stash-and-see column.
Calvin Austin, WR - Steelers (1% rostered)
While most managers will likely target Allen Robinson due to Diontae Johnson’s hamstring injury, Calvin Austin may go unnoticed. Austin caught all six of his targets for 37 yards on Sunday, with three of those balls going his way after Johnson was on the shelf. The 24-year-old impressed at camp this offseason, leaving one beat writer to claim “He probably had the most eye-opening camp of anybody after a rookie season that was lost due to injury.”
Johnson’s time off the field is still yet to be determined, but if he does miss any time, Austin could be a nice fill-in, and the Steelers have nowhere to go but up offensively after their poor Week 1 outing.
Sean Tucker, RB - Buccaneers (4% rostered)
The legitimacy of Rachaad White’s lead-back potential has been in question all offseason, especially with a talented rookie back like Sean Tucker waiting off-stage. It was tough sledding for all RBs in Week 1 against Minnesota, but Tucker had five carries for 15 yards with an additional two catches for nine yards. His usage suggests that a complementary role is at least the minimum, but if White struggles, we could see more work and more fantasy goodness from Tucker as the season progresses.
Josh Downs, WR - Colts (1% rostered)
The rookie won the slot role for the Colts this offseason and had a decent first contest as a professional. Josh Downs saw seven targets on Sunday, second among Indy pass-catchers, and we saw enough promise from fellow rookie Anthony Richardson under center to warrant an add for future use. The Colts play in one of the weakest divisions when it came to defending WRs last season, as the Jaguars and Titans were ranked 24th or worse in adjusted fantasy points allowed, or aFPA.
Houston is actually fairly rigid against the pass so he’s not a starter for next week, but Downs could be a nice fill-in for byes later on this season.
Tyjae Spears, RB - Titans (15% rostered)
We saw rookie Tyjae Spears on the field more than expected in Week 1, as he actually out-snapped Derrick Henry 34 to 30. Spears averaged nine yards per carry on his three rushing attempts and was targeted four times against the Saints. If this is an indication of future usage, then Spears should have a decent role moving forward, and it doesn't hurt that three of his next four contests are against teams that sat 25th or worse in RB aFPA in 2022.
Donald Parham, TE - Chargers (0% rostered)
This a deeper stash option or one to consider if you’re in a multiple-TE league. Donald Parham has struggled with injuries over the last two seasons but he’s a massive (6’8”) red zone target for the Chargers and saw the same amount of balls as Gerald Everett in Week 1 (3). The consistency may not be there—or it may, as we’ve only seen one contest's worth of data—but Parham could be a nice add in a very dry TE landscape.
Jake Funk, RB - Colts (0% rostered)
This is another very deep pull but if you are desperate for RB help in a larger format, Jake Funk could be serviceable for a week or two until Zack Moss gets back and up to speed prior to Jonathan Taylor's eventual return. With Evan Hull now sidelined for a few weeks with a knee injury, that leaves just Deon Jackson and Funk in the Indy backfield. Called up from the practice squad the day before their Week 1 matchup, Funk had 10 rushing yards on two attempts and caught his lone target for 12 yards.