A single week of fantasy football can tell us everything. It can also be fool’s gold. How are we to decipher the difference and understand if we should be buying into a player’s single-game performance?
I rack my brain with this conundrum every fantasy season. Week 1 is only one performance. It probably means nothing. But what if it is the start of something big? What if it is all the evidence we need of a breakout season?
Let’s look at a player that falls into this category in Week 2 and break down if Joshua Kelley is worth adding to our waiver wire.
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Should Joshua Kelley Be a Fantasy Waiver Wire Add in Week 2?
Week 1 of the Los Angeles Chargers season was action-packed but ended in disappointment. Sounds pretty familiar when we talk about the Chargers.
In LA’s 36-34 defeat to the Miami Dolphins at home, four different Bolts found paydirt: Justin Herbert, Austin Ekeler, Donald Parham Jr., and Kelley. But what surprised me most when I looked at the final box score was that Ekeler and Kelley had the same amount of carries in the game: 16 each.
This is a team that gave the ball to Ekeler 204 times to Kelley’s 69 carries just a season ago. Ekeler finished with 311 touches to Kelley’s 83 in 2022. This wasn’t a one-two punch a year ago.
Yet, Kelley was able to be a big part of the Chargers offense on Sunday, totaling 91 yards on the ground (a 5.7 yards per carry average) and a touchdown. Is this something we can expect to see moving forward?
One bit of news favoring Kelley is that Ekeler has been hobbled this week with an ankle tweak. Whether this injury will keep Ekeler out of the Chargers’ Week 2 matchup in Tennessee is still to be determined in the coming days. But if Ekeler can’t suit up, Kelley could be the main guy on Sunday.
Kelley was barely out-snapped by Ekeler in Week 1; 41 plays to 38. He was already a big part of this offense on Sunday. Whether Ekeler misses time or not, Kelley seems like a great option for our waiver dollars and bids in our fantasy leagues.
While I still believe Ekeler is the main attraction in LA, Kelley is a player I am still willing to spend around 8-10% of my FAAB budget on. He was already able to produce with Ekeler in the lineup and (if that continues) it could mean a breakout 2023 for the young back.
Where I am hesitant in spending more than that 8-10% is that Kelley had these numbers in a shoot-out game where both teams stormed up and down the field. In a game that might require more grinding and clock management, Kelley’s snap share will likely lower. The Chargers want to get Ekeler the ball and know that he is one of their best weapons.
Regardless, Kelley is certainly worth a bid if he is on waivers in your fantasy leagues. This could just be a flash in the pan in Week 1. But if that production stays consistent moving forward, Kelley will be in our lineups (at least in the Flex) many weeks this season.