The 2015 fantasy football picture became a bit clearer and more familiar after Week 2’s first batch of games. Owners saw some encouraging signs from expected top performers like Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr., and Bengals receiver A.J. Green. But others like Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor and Titans running back Bishop Sankey experienced plenty of regression after their solid to excellent Week 1 production.
So, just like most experts predicted, those top Week 1 scorers that owners prematurely thought would carry them to an early lead in their leagues can at best be called complementary or bye-week subs.
Instead, owners should work the waiver-wire prior to Week 3 for some consistent contributors who are still available after posting a second-straight week of good to excellent production.
With five games remaining in Week 2, other players will emerge as waiver-wire fodder, but for now here are five players to consider for a waiver-wire claim and several others to monitor. And of course add and drop at your own discretion.
Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Steelers
Will this production keep up after Martavius Bryant comes back from his suspension? Heyward-Bey’s become Pittsburgh’s No. 2 receiving threat, even surpassing Markus Wheaton, and he’s now topped five or more targets in two straight games. With his speed he’s a great complement to Antonio Brown, and is owned in only 1 percent of Yahoo and 0.4 percent of ESPN leagues.
Karlos Williams, RB, Buffalo Bills
LeSean McCoy played against New England and is still the Bills top back, but Williams has sucked away a touchdown in back-to-back weeks and is the clear-cut No. 2 or red zone back for Buffalo. He’s owned in 21 percent of both Yahoo and ESPN leagues, which will undoubtedly change in Week 3.
Jeremy Langford, RB, Chicago Bears
Facing a stacked Arizona D, the Bears split up carries between Matt Forte and the rookie Langford. The move served both as preservation of Forte as well as allowing him to work in the receiving game more, and Langford benefitted with Arizona worried about where Forte was lined up. At this point, if you find yourself in a very deep 12 or 14-team league, Langford’s a pickup and stash player who can provide some relief when byes start as a RB3 or FLEX2.
Matt Jones, RB, Washington Redskins
Just like Langford, Jones excelled for 123 yards and two scores because of his Week 2 matchup. He and Alfred Morris shared carries to keep the tough Rams D on its toes, and it worked wonders with the rookie Jones actually more than doubling Morris' yards. Owners might hesitate to pick up Jones, especially with Morris the true No. 1 rusher, but over the next three games Washington faces the questionable Giants, Eagles, and Falcons defenses.
Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings
Owned in 73 percent of Yahoo but only 36.4 percent of ESPN leagues, Rudolph posted his second straight week of good TE1 to TE2 production and has solidified his place as the Vikes No. 1 or 2 receiving option. Comparisons to Panthers TE Greg Olsen should follow Rudolph as the season progresses, especially if Minnesota's receiving corps continues to struggle. Rudolph accounted for seven targets in Week 2, and no other Vikings receiver garnered more than three.
Others to monitor: David Johnson, RB, Cardinals; Carson Palmer, QB, Cardinals; Jacob Tamme, TE, Falcons; Travis Benjamin, WR, Browns; Larry Donnell, TE, Giants; Louis Murphy, WR, Buccaneers; Marvin Jones, WR, Bengals, Stevie Johnson, WR, Chargers