PWN Stars: Week Two
September 12, 2014 | Chad Scott
PWN Stars is a weekly deep sleeper article – used mostly for bye weeks – but useful for degenerate dynasty folks. It’s inevitable there will be a Richardo Lockette, John Kuhn or Larry Donnell every single week. Sure, these guys are mostly useless week-to-week, but sometimes, one breakout performance turns into two, three and maybe four. That’s PWNing at its finest. You won’t find guys like Allen Hurns, Isaiah Crowell or Dwayne Allen here – you’ve already missed out on those players via the waiver wire. PWN Stars are the blue chip fake footballers who are owned in less than 25% of MyFantasyLeague.com leagues. Guys that you can insert into your daily or seasonal/dynasty teams if you’re looking for a Hail Mary. Now that you know what this is, enter at your own risk.
Let’s be honest. If you’re looking for deep waiver wire help this early into the season, you’re either in a 16-team league or you let ESPN auto draft your entire team. The beauty of these articles isn’t putting all your faith into the players listed, but to make you aware of a sneaky and/or less risk-averse situation than a player you’re currently considering starting.
I enjoy mixing in complete long shots with solid, but not-so-sexy players for owners who either love to party or appreciate having sex with pants on. The choice is yours and I hope – for your sake – I hit on more than a few as the season progresses.
Let’s do it…
Damaris Johnson, WR HOU (<2% owned)
Johnson had some buzz surrounding him entering the NFL in 2012 with the Philadelphia Eagles. Then, Chip Kelly came along and waived the small, yet speedy/shifty receiver this preseason. His loss may end up being the Houston Texans’ gain.
Johnson, signed by the Texans on August 31, equaled his highest snap total (15) since Week Ten of the 2013 in his first week with the team – literally. Not only was he used as the team’s primary slot receiver, but he already overtook Keshawn Martin for punt and kick return duties.
Garrett Graham was held out Week 1 with a back injury and rookie tight end, CJ Fiedorowicz injured his foot last Sunday and was held out of practice as of Wednesday. We know head coach, Bill O’ Brien prefers to deploy a two-tight end base offense, but with 2/3 of the position gimpy, Johnson has a chance to prove his worth as a receiver – not just special teams player.
Looking ahead to the matchup, Johnson will be lined up against Oakland cornerback, Carlos Rogers. Last week, Rogers gave up nine receptions on nine targets to the New York Jets’ trio of Eric Decker (3), Jeremy Kerley (3) and David Nelson (1). Rogers has declined significantly in the past two seasons according to ProFootballFocus.com and this could be a savvy week to gamble on a guy like Johnson to exploit that matchup.
Given the few days he had to learn the offense, Johnson played the first offensive snap – and maybe even more telling, he was active for Week One over 2012 third rounder, Devier Posey.
Johnson is impressing quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick and the coaching staff seem to want his particular skill set on the field. BOB helped make guys like Wes Welker and Julian Edelman relevant from the slot, so there’s a more than zero percent chance Johnson fits that bill.
PWN Prediction: Five receptions, 65 yards and one touchdown (17.5 points)
Nate Washington, WR TEN (18% owned)
Not the sexiest name you’d want to insert into your lineups this week, but with all the love being shown to teammate, Justin Hunter, seems like the perfect storm for Washington to have a game to stick it to us degenerates.
Plus, he’s playing the Dallas Cowboys.
Since 2012 – and when Jake Locker is actually playing football – Washington has averaged 5.75 targets, 2.9 receptions, 54.5 yards and 0.25 touchdowns. Those numbers aren’t mind blowing, but for someone who’s owned in just 18% of MFL leagues, I’ll take my chances.
To add fuel to the dumpster fire that is sure to be the weekend of Justin Hunter, Washington led the Titan receiving corps in snaps (78) and routes run (41). He’s still starting and played 95% of the team’s total offensive snaps, you guys.
Looking at his opponent, Cowboys’ cornerbacks, Brandon Carr and Maurice Claiborne are not very good and as of Thursday night, the team’s ‘top’ cornerback, Orlando Scandrick, is still suspended.
In 2013, Carr and Claiborne gave up a combined 100 receptions, 1467 yards and four touchdowns. Last week wasn’t much better when they combined to surrender seven receptions, 129 yards and one touchdown.
This matchup is also one of Vegas’ highest O/U this weekend at 49.5 points.
As much as I love Hunter and Kendall Wright this week, the stars are aligning to break many fantasy enthusiasts’ hearts with a monster game from Nate the Great. If there was ever a time to flex Washington, this might be the week to do it.
PWN Prediction: Six receptions, 95 yards and one touchdown (21.5 points)