2023 Fantasy Football Breakout Candidates: Week 2
We are officially past Week 1 of the 2023 NFL Season, so that means a new set of breakouts. In case you missed our candidates and justifications for our Week 1–which may or may not have flopped–check that out here!
Each week, we will be going over a few that you should consider picking up or starting in the upcoming week. But before we dive into Week 2, let’s completely examine how we did in Week 1!
- Van Jefferson, WR, Rams: 4 rec., 24 yards
- Derek Carr, QB, Saints: 22-33, 305 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
- Sam LaPorta, TE, Lions: 5 rec., 39 yards
- Zay Flowers, WR, Ravens: 9 rec., 78 yards
- Deon Jackson, RB, Colts: 19 touches, 28 total yards
Honestly, that’s a mediocre week. It was Week 1 for everyone! Let’s bounce back with a stronger Week 2!
D’Andre Swift, RB, Eagles
Swift finished Week 1 with … one carry for three yards?! That’s a whopping 0.3 fantasy points — or, if you’re in a league that doesn’t do decimals, a big ol’ goose egg. Kenneth Gainwell was very productive in Week 1 against New England, but will not play Thursday night against the Minnesota Vikings with a rib injury; Rashaad Penny was inactive Sunday, but I’m expecting him to also be used Thursday. Nevertheless, Swift, who they acquired from the Detroit Lions on draft weekend, should be in line for far more touches (per head coach Nick Sirianni) behind the NFL’s best offensive line against a below-average Vikings front seven that got pushed around in the second half of last week’s season opener against Tampa Bay.
C.J. Stroud, QB, Texans
Even though the final score might not reflect it, as I said on Tuesday’s Daily Show, I wasn’t unimpressed with Stroud’s Week 1 performance; I also wasn’t unimpressed with Indianapolis’ defense against Jacksonville. Stroud was sacked five times, but finished 28-for-44 for 242 yards and no touchdowns. He had a good rapport with Nico Collins and Robert Woods, but three failed fourth-down conversions were probably the biggest reason why Houston couldn’t close the gap. Expect the No. 2 pick to have a breakout performance in his home debut against a poor Colts secondary in Week 2.
Dalton Schultz, TE, Texans
I don’t usually double-dip with teams, but I will here! I have a ton of Schultz fantasy stock and he had a poor Week 1, finishing with two receptions for just four yards on five targets. The Colts have a weaker back seven than Baltimore, so I’m expecting a bigger weekend from one of their best pass-catching options this week. He was limited in practice Wednesday (quad), but I still expect him to play and receive plenty of snap share Sunday.
George Pickens, WR, Steelers
Pickens did not have a terrible Week 1, but his team did. Pittsburgh got crushed by San Francisco and looked completely flustered offensively, though will have a more feasible matchup this week against Cleveland. Pickens hauled in five catches for 36 yards, but should receive an increased target share due to Diontae Johnson‘s hamstring injury. He’s currently listed as WR30 in Fantasy Pros’ Week 2 rankings, but he’s a top-25 play for me this week against a more forgiving Browns secondary.
Justice Hill, RB, Ravens
Hill should be one of the more popular waiver wire pickups this week and had two goal-line touchdowns last week in lieu of J.K. Dobbins‘ season-ending injury. So perhaps this isn’t technically a “breakout” candidate, but he’s still someone worth mentioning. He will be splitting snaps with Gus Edwards, but is more versatile in the passing game–which Todd Monken will lean on–so he could due for a more efficient week (yards-wise) after finishing with just nine yards on eight carries.
SUBSCRIBE to the Vendetta YouTube Channel!
SHOP for Vendetta Merch!
SUPPORT Vendetta on Patreon!
CHECK OUT our Vendetta NFL Content Here.