These recommendations are based on a 12-team league using a $1,000 budget.
ANDY DALTON– CINCINNATI BENGALS – $50
There might be some Carson Wentz owners looking for a quarterback for Week 1 with Nick Foles starting for the Eagles. Dalton looked good in his final preseason game, going 11-for-16 with 180 yards and two touchdowns, including a 57-yard score to John Ross. The Bengals have a favorable matchup against the Colts, who are one of the worse defenses in the NFL.
Others to consider: Tyrod Taylor, CLE – $40, Joe Flacco, BAL – $20, Sam Bradford, ARI – $20
ALFRED MORRIS – SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS – $150-$200
The 49ers haven’t made any moves to add another running back to the roster following the season-ending torn ACL of Jerick McKinnon. Matt Breida is my preferred choice, especially in PPR formats, but he was drafted in most leagues. Morris played well last season with the Cowboys and looked good in the preseason with 19 carries for 89 yards. Morris has experience in the Kyle Shanahan offense, too.
ADRIAN PETERSON – WASHINGTON REDSKINS – $100-$150
I’m not excited about Peterson, but some might be in a dire situation at RB but if you lost Jerick McKinnon or have a suspended Mark Ingram and need an option to fill in for the first few weeks. Peterson looked good in his preseason debut in Week 3 and he’s the lead back for the Redskins, although he won’t help much in the passing game with Chris Thompson there. Peterson is 33 and has averaged 3.1 yards per carry the last two years, so I don’t see him helping long term.
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JAMES CONNER – PITTSBURGH STEELERS– $75-$100
The Steelers held practice on Monday and Le’Veon Bell didn’t show up. Bell has yet to sign his franchise tender and missed all summer. Bell has been training in South Florida and posted a video on his Snapchat account in a hotel overlooking the beach. Bell could show up Wednesday and play in Week 1, but in case he doesn’t Conner should be added as insurance, especially for Bell owners. Conner looked excellent in the preseason.
JORDAN WILKINS – INDIANAPOLIS COLTS – $50
All signs point to Marlon Mack missing Week 1 with a hamstring injury. Wilkins could get the start, although others are in the mix for touches. The Bengals struggled against the run last season, but look improved.
Others to consider: John Kelly, LAR – $45, Chase Edmonds, ARI – $40, Boston Scott, NO – $30, Mike Gillislee, NO – $20, Kyle Juszczyk, SF $20, Jeremy Hill, NE – $20
KEELAN COLE– JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS – $150-$200
Cole might have been undrafted in some early drafts. With Marqise Lee out for the season, Cole is in line for more targets. He was already starting opposite Lee, but this opens more opportunity. The Jaguars will spread the ball around, but Cole came on towards the end of the season with three touchdowns in his final five games. He had at least 99 receiving yards in three of his final four games.
JOHN ROSS – CINCINNATI BENGALS– $125-$150
Ross wasn’t going high in early drafts and sometimes went undrafted. He showed he’s healthy and the speed is obvious. He caught a 57-yard touchdown pass in Week 3 of the preseason and has a matchup against a bad Colts secondary in Week 1.
DANNY AMENDOLA – MIAMI DOLPHINS – $75-$100
Health is always a concern for Amendola, but he’s healthy at the moment. Lots of targets opened up with the departure of Jarvis Landry. DeVante Parker is dealing with a finger injury and Amendola should see a lot of targets in Week 1.
TRE’QUAN SMITH– NEW ORLEANS SAINTS – $50
This is a speculative add for deeper formats. For more details, click here.
Others to consider: Christian Kirk, ARI – $40, Cole Beasley, DAL – $30, Ryan Grant, IND – $30, Albert Wilson, MIA – $30, Phillip Dorsett, NE – $25, Cordarrelle Patterson, NE – $25, Trent Taylor, SF – $15
AUSTIN SEFERIAN-JENKINS – JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS – $50
This is a matchup play if you’re in dire need of a tight end. The Giants were abysmal against tight ends last season and while they made changes to the defense, it’s a trend worth exploiting until we see it fixed.
MIKE GESICKI – MIAMI DOLPHINS – $50
Gesicki had a quiet preseason, but the Dolphins expect him to start and play a role in the offense. It takes time for tight ends to adjust to the NFL, but Gesicki has a good skill set. He’s a good TE2 to stash in deeper formats.
ANTONIO GATES –LOS ANGELES CHARGERS – $40
The return of Gates isn’t very exciting for Fantasy. He could still score 5-7 touchdowns, but don’t expect much volume or yards. Gates had 30 catches for 316 yards and three touchdowns last season with Hunter Henry in the picture. Gates is 38 yards old, so make sure he’s not your starting tight end.
Others to consider: Luke Willson, DET – $20, Nick Vannett, SEA – $20
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