Fight Fire with Fliers is a weekly fantasy football series that discusses emergency free agent adds or stash candidates for deep rostered or 14-plus team leagues. The post publishes on Saturdays following typical weekly waiver runs, allowing forward thinking managers a last minute opportunity to roster players ahead of their breakouts.
There were positive takeaways from most of the Week 1 fliers. A promotion from the stash ranks as well as indications of significant usage have strengthened several cases. Some options have gone by the wayside almost immediately, but as is to be expected with the burn and churn of deep stashes during the season. Week 2 finally gives way to some relevant TEs and more speculative RB/WR options.
Week 1 Recap
Kenneth Gainwell RB Philadelphia (Eight percent Week 1; currently 36 percent on Yahoo!)
The possibility of standalone value for Gainwell appears to ring true. Scoring a TD (not to mention having one overturned) doesn’t hurt either! If you did not stash him then you had pay legitimate FAAB to roster this talented RB. In any leagues I missed him, I willingly spent my FAAB on him, especially with the smokescreen of Elijah Mitchell. If you have not rostered Gainwell by now, I am afraid it is too late.
Gabriel Davis WR Buffalo (Eight percent Week 1; currently Seven percent on Yahoo!)
Davis reeled-in a TD in a difficult game against Pittsburgh, where the 2020 Bills seemed a distant dream. Despite Davis’ TD, it is curious that his rostership fell a percentage point. The sore thumb is Emmanuel Sanders, thus we keep the narrative alive that the younger, upside option will continue to develop and dominate the offensive snap-share.
KJ Hamler WR Denver (Two percent Week 1; currently Seven percent on Yahoo!)
Hamler mishandled a slightly underthrown but uncontested deep touchdown that would have really enhanced his perceived value on the market. This may signal a continued opportunity to add Hamler, as all eyes have shifted to Tim Patrick as the regrettable Jerry Jeudy ankle injury timeline begins to unfold. Tim Patrick has been valuable before filling in for Courtland Sutton last season, but I hesitate to consider Hamler a worse option as unlike Patrick, he seems to generate large separation from defenders all over the field.
Damien Williams RB Chicago (Five percent Week 1; currently Seven percent on Yahoo!)
Williams filled the complementary role to David Montgomery and soaked up meaningful targets from the backfield. While the game got away from the Bears, Williams was the only other RB to generate touches outside of Montgomery, signifying his locked status as a horsecuff (workhorse-handcuff).
Nico Collins WR Houston (Two percent Week 1; unchanged on Yahoo!)
In the best matchup for Houston to show a semblance of passing attack, little was offered outside of Brandin Cooks as they ran passed the hapless Jaguars. Collins had multiple targets, but could not outproduce habitual resurrections Chris Conley or Danny Amendola. Freely move on from Collins.
Darrynton Evans RB Tennessee (Four percent Week 1; currently Three percent on Yahoo!)
As strictly an IR stash, Evans can fall to the wayside as more relevant players become banged-up and the IR roster position has greater utility.
Stash (10 percent to Six percent Rostership)
Adam Trautman TE New Orleans (10 percent, Yahoo!)
Juwan Johnson appeared to come away with all the buzz after two TDs this weekend, but Trautman saw double the targets (6). In fact, this accounted for a 30 percent target share that led all Saints players in a week where few passes were necessary. The only risk associated with Trautman is whether he can generate Red Zone targets and what effect will the return of Michael Thomas eventually have on his share. Feel free to plug him in to the starting lineup immediately ahead of Mike Gesicki, for example.
Dawson Knox TE Buffalo (Six percent, Yahoo!)
Please do not consider Knox on par with Trautman. This is certainly more speculative on the well-being of Josh Allen as an elite QB and the need to diversify targets from Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley. Knox had a sub-10 percent target share against Pittsburgh, however he was the only TE targeted by Allen. It is also reasonable to note that a smaller target-share can be mitigated by a larger volume of targets in general, as Allen nearly threw 50 passes. He is still too unproven to trust until a tremendous matchup or an uptick in usage is observed. Otherwise, he is more of a play for those rostering Allen and looking for correlated upside.
JaMycal Hasty RB San Francisco (Six percent, Yahoo!)
The difficulty with Hasty is not having the standalone value as an option. The only value in Hasty is that the RB fantasy production in San Francisco receives a strange multiplying effect for anyone not injured prior to attaining significant volume. Hasty has been trusted by Kyle Shanahan before and we cannot rule-out the possibility he steps into a significant role at some point this season. As Raheem Mostert is done for the year and lingering concern over trusting Trey Sermon, Hasty is worth an add with the full expectation that his outcomes should be polarizing; dropped in a flash or straight to the moon in Mitchell-esque fashion.
Salvon Ahmed RB Miami (Two percent, Yahoo!)
This is strictly a team familiarity play and capitalizing on the lack of Malcolm Brown’s existence in the passing. Ahmed is the only RB in Miami that is capable of filling the Myles Gaskin role if necessary. Ahmed therefore has paths to virtually every role in the backfield and Miami seems content to sublet RB touches away from Gaskin. Remember that in a similar backfield last season, Miami eventually cut ties with Jordan Howard mid-season when his usage was deemed one-dimensional and redundant. Brown could fall victim to this fate as well.
Dyami Brown WR Washington (Two percent, Yahoo!)
Brown is the Collins replacement this week. Regrettably, Brown has already played. That said, he remains an upside rookie receiver in an offense that appears to be more engaging of downfield passing this season, even with Taylor Heinicke taking over for Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB. Brown impressed at camp as being remarkably pro-ready and now has been given the second-most snap and routes run share of the Washington WR group. Brown is being given the opportunity to produce from day 1. He will not be added via the FAAB process in your league this week, but consider him a viable post-waiver add.
Jason Astarita (@AstaritaJason) is a professional in the sports gambling industry. He has an MS in Psychology (Industrial and Organizational) from Southern New Hampshire University and completed his undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of San Diego. His passion for fantasy sports is over a decade old, but has recently been theorizing on the novel format of Superflex Best Ball in the Dynasty Fantasy Football arena and deeper league stash options weekly in Fight Fire with Fliers.