Through two games, some surprising names sit atop the fantasy ranks. Eddie Royal is the best wide receiver. Knowshon Moreno is among the top running backs. Philip Rivers ranks highly at quarterback.
There are always surprises at the start of the season, but usually it's young players who gain fantasy relevance, not veterans who were cast off and unwanted.
The problem with these players: They're hard to sell. If you have Royal on your bench and are looking to trade him, finding a suitor isn't easy.
The sixth-year pro had a stellar rookie season in Denver before disappearing from the fantasy radar. He posted 1,089 total yards and five touchdowns that season. He's now on pace for 912 yards and 40 — yes, 40 — touchdowns.
Obviously Royal won't touch LaDainian Tomlinson's single-season touchdown record of 31, but his early success can't be ignored. Rivers is in the same boat. It's his 10th year in the league, his eighth as a starter. In that time, he's averaged less than 4,000 yards passing and 27 touchdowns per season, along with no help in rushing statistics.
This season, Rivers has 614 passing yards and seven touchdowns. He's has targeted Royal 14 times, five of which were completed for touchdowns. There aren't a lot of weapons in San Diego, which makes the Chargers' offensive resurgence more impressive. Still, neither player is worth more than a bench spot and bye-week replacement because they don't have the trust of fantasy owners.
Moreno isn't much different. He's gotten the most reps among Denver running backs so far, but that's only because he can pass protect and doesn't fumble. As rookie Montee Ball progresses, he should take most of the workload.
Sam Bradford, Matt Schaub and Anquan Boldin are other veterans who have outperformed their past fantasy value. The best option with these players is to keep them on your bench in case of injury or bye week. Trading them will be difficult.
Memories of fantasy destruction haunt their pasts, and not many fantasy owners are willing to forget that.
SMART TO START
Quarterback Tony Romo, Cowboys: St. Louis has allowed 350 passing yards per game, and Romo's top target, Dez Bryant, had 141 receiving yards last week against a strong Kansas City defense.
Running back Frank Gore, 49ers: Gore has struggled through two games, especially last week against Seattle. This week he faces Indianapolis, which has given up 272 rushing yards over two games.
Wide receiver Julian Edelman, Patriots: He's going to get his catches — he has 20 through two games. With opportunity comes touchdowns, and he'll see plenty of chances with Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola likely out.
FIT TO SIT
Quarterback Jay Cutler, Bears: The Steelers held the Bengals to 280 passing yards and one touchdown, and the Titans to 117 passing yards and no touchdowns. Don't expect Cutler to fare much better.
Running back Trent Richardson, Colts: Yes, being traded to Indianapolis was very good for Richardson's fantasy stock, but a matchup against San Francisco while learning a new playbook is not ideal. Ahmad Bradshaw should get about half the carries this week.
Wide receiver Greg Jennings, Vikings: If you haven't realized it yet, Minnesota can't throw the ball.