2021 Season: It's A Match! Three Matchups to Exploit in Week 2!

(Photo Credit: Jeffrey Beall)

Zach Crutcher (@ZackyNFL)
The Lateral Contributor

Whether it is bye week troubles, a late injury, or waiting on a rookie stash to finally get an opportunity, sometimes a warm body in the FLEX spot is all you need. Enter: It's A Match! These waiver recommendations are strictly to be considered plays for this week only. If they work out longer term than that, great. But that is not the expectation.

Also, all players are rostered in approximately 50% or less of ESPN leagues. If there are better players still available in your leagues, go get them instead.

It's A Match! Three Matchups to Exploit in Week 2

New England Patriots at New York Jets (1pm Sunday)

Who to add: James White, Running Back (New England Patriots) [54% ESPN]

With quarterback Mac Jones under center, the New England Patriots' offense looked poised and effective in Week 1. However, there is still plenty of room for the rookie quarterback to grow and improve. While Jones continues to adjust to the speed and physicality of the NFL, he will lean on his safety blanket, running back James White. White earned a target on seven of his 16 routes run and posted a 43.8% targets-per-route-run. Plus, with a 17.9% target share overall, he is a solid addition in PPR formats (just like he has been forever). Even in Week 1, he produced 12.1 PPR points on four carries for 12 yards and six receptions for 49 yards.

White will look to continue this success against a young and inexperienced Jets' secondary that just gave up nine catches for 89 yards to Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey. White is obviously no McCaffrey, but the gaps in coverage that the Jets defense left will still be there in Week 2. White is someone who has made a career out of finding those soft spots in defenses. 

Who to add: Nelson Agholor, Wide Receiver (New England Patriots) [32% ESPN]

In addition to Mac Jones, wide receiver Nelson Agholor also made his New England Patriots debut last Sunday against Miami. They had an instant connection. Late in the second quarter, Jones found Agholor down the middle of the field for a great 26 yard gain to put New England deep in Miami Dolphins territory. A few plays later, Jones found Agholor in the end zone for the duo's first touchdown together. 

Agholor looked like a player ready to make an instant impact on his new team in Week 1. He hauled in five of his seven targets for 72 receiving yards and a touchdown, or 18.2 PPR fantasy football points. Against an inexperienced Jets' secondary that allowed four receptions of 20 or more yards in week one, including a 57-yard touchdown to a wide-open Robby Anderson, Agholor's big-play ability should continue to be utilized by New England. 

Denver Broncos at Jacksonville Jaguars (1pm Sunday)

Who to add: K.J. Hamler, Wide Receiver (Denver Broncos) [2% ESPN]

After giving up 37 points to a dismal Houston Texans' offense in Week 1, the Jacksonville Jaguars face the Denver Broncos' offensive weapons in Week 2. However, some of those weapons are a bit worse for wear. Wide receiver Courtland Sutton struggled Week 1 returning from injury and fellow wide receiver Jerry Jeudy has been diagnosed with a high-ankle sprain. Jeudy is now expected to miss six weeks

So, the door is wide open for either wide receiver Tim Patrick or wide receiver K.J. Hamler to seize a major role in this offense. Hamler is a playmaker through and through. He ran a 4.27-second 40-yard dash at his pro day, was productive at Penn State, and had a solid rookie season last year. Hamler also just barely missed out on a 50-yard touchdown against the Giants when Teddy Bridgewater underthrew him in the end zone. While Hamler may not command a 20% target share, his big-play ability makes him a threat to put up double-digit points on any given Sunday. Look for Hamler to use his speed and separation to create opportunities against this struggling Jaguars team.

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