Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Advice/Adds Week 2
Words cannot describe how great it feels to have live football back. Well, part of my responsibilities here at TDN is to do exactly that. I’m also tasked with outlining the best waiver pickups for your fantasy team each week.
The main takeaway from Week 1—and this is a big one—is don’t overreact! And I’m not just talking about Aaron Rodgers’ abysmal outing (I’ll take ‘R-E-L-A-X’ for 500, Alex). Every season, fantasy managers freak out on half of their team after one underwhelming performance. Let’s take a step back and realize one week does not define a player. You will have bad weeks. You will make bad lineup decisions. You won’t win every game.
On the flip side, there are certain players who may look like the reincarnation of Alfred Morris or James Robinson. It’s important that you pump the brakes on any hype and evaluate the stats behind the stats. For example, Juwan Johnson was TE4 heading into Monday Night Football. If you had to Google him real quick, I don’t blame you. However, his 17-point performance came on just 12 snaps and three targets. That’s just not sustainable. In other words, don’t be fooled by big, starry fantasy points until it becomes a constant, if at all. That’s the general theme I aimed for when writing my first waiver wire column of the season.
Have any questions? Reach out on Twitter @ZachCohenFB!
Week 1 Stat Line: 23.64 pts, 291 pass yards, 2 TD, 40 rush yds
At this point, if you read my articles and you‘re still surprised to see Taylor here, I don’t know what to tell you. Sure, Taylor’s big game came against the Jaguars—who certainly have issues of their own—but this is a sustainable performance for Taylor. 33 pass attempts seem like it’s closer to his floor than his ceiling, and the same can be said about his 40 rushing yards. He may need to take a seat next week against Cleveland, but he has a juicy matchup in Week 3 against Carolina.
Week 1 Stat Line: 29.62 pts, 148 pass yards, 5 TD
*Plays Without Me by Eminem* Guess who’s back, back again? Winston’s first start since his Buccaneer days went about as well as you could imagine from a fantasy standpoint. Winston only threw 20 passes, though essentially every fourth pass was a touchdown. He has sky-high upside in an offense that may be tailored perfectly to him. Depending on your starter (Matt Ryan? Joe Burrow?) I’d consider starting him next week against the Panthers, too.
Names to Watch: Teddy Bridgewater, Zach Wilson, Sam Darnold
Week 1 Stat Line: 14.5 pts, 26 carries, 85 rush yards, 1 TD
The Texans ran the ball 41 times in their 37-21 rout of the Jaguars. Ingram had 26 of those carries. While Houston probably won’t be in this situation often, Ingram’s heavy usage already gives him more fantasy relevance than a handful of common bench players. It would be nice if Ingram saw at least a target—David Johnson and Rex Burkhead will be more involved there. He’s a solid pickup for fantasy teams in need of running back depth.
Week 1 Stat Line: 16.4 pts, 19 carries, 104 rush yards, 1 TD
Another year, another injury to Raheem Mostert. It sucks seeing Mostert struggle to stay healthy. Luckily, the 49ers have a good backup plan in Trey Sermon. Oh, what’s that? Sermon was a healthy scratch? Well, I guess it’s Elijah Mitchell Time in the Bay Area. The sixth-round rookie shined in his debut, posting 16.4 points on 19 carries, 104 rushing yards, and a score. Even if his long-term value fizzles out, Mitchell is the 49ers’ running back to own right now.
Week 1 Stat Line: 12.3 pts, 9 carries, 37 rush yards, 1 TD, 2 receptions on 3 targets, 6 rec. yards
Waiver-wire running backs will be a pretty barren landscape, so these next few players deserve less consideration than Ingram and Mitchell. Gainwell has an interesting case because he only ran nine times. However, his playing time wasn’t too far behind that of Miles Sanders. Sanders did look better, though, as he ran 15 times for 74 yards. It just seems like Gainwell isn’t going anywhere, so he could be worth a stash.
Week 1 Stat Line: 7.8 pts, 9 carries, 44 rush yards, 2 receptions on 2 targets, 14 rec. yards
Leave it to Urban Meyer to ruin a young star running back. James Robinson had the lowest share of carries in his career on Sunday. Robinson, 23, got just five carries, while Hyde, 30, got a team-high nine carries. Robinson did see six targets to Hyde’s two, but if Meyer keeps this split going, Hyde can have legit flex value. Yes, I find that weird, too.
Names to Watch: Tony Jones Jr., JaMycal Hasty, Cordarelle Patterson
Week 1 Stat Line: 20.3 pts, 4 receptions on 5 targets, 43 rec. Yards, 2 TD
Pascal was a late scratch from last week’s Waiver Wire article (I swear!), so naturally, he puts on a show. On the surface, five targets don’t seem too sustainable, but he did lead all Colts wide receivers in targets. He’s not a bad gamble considering no other receiver on the team has established himself as the WR1 yet.
Week 1 Stat Line: 14.6 pts, 7 receptions on 9 targets, 76 rec. yards
Osborn had himself quite a day. Not only did he post the above stat line, but he was tied with Justin Jefferson for second-most targets on the team. It seems like the Vikings’ thin tight end room forced them to run more three-receiver sets. If that trend continues, Osborn could wiggle his way into a flex role. We may be watching a whole new Minnesota offense this year, one in which Osborn becomes the main benefactor.
Week 1 Stat Line: 13.9 pts, 4 receptions on 4 targets, 39 rec. yards, 1 TD
It always feels like Patrick finds a way to slide into this column. Once Jerry Jeudy exited the game, Patrick saw the second-most snaps among Broncos wide receivers. Jeudy will likely miss some time with a high ankle sprain, which bodes well for Patrick’s stock. I wouldn’t expect too much from him, but he did average 13.2 points between weeks 3-14 last season. Patrick is a sneaky addition to your roster. KJ Hamler could be worth a look, too.
Tyrell Williams/Kalif Raymond
Williams’ Week 1 Stat Line: 2.4 pts, 2 receptions on 3 targets, 14 rec. yards
Raymond’s Week 1 Stat Line: 8.9 pts, 3 receptions on 4 targets, 50 rec. yards
I won’t be the first to admit that picking from the Lions receivers is like sifting through a trash can. There is no clear wide receiver to target, especially with the heavy involvement of T.J. Hockenson, D’Andre Swift, and Jamaal Williams. Although, it was encouraging to see Williams’ involvement before he left the game after a helmet-to-helmet hit. Even though he led all Detroit wide receivers in first-half targets (with 3!), Williams isn’t a must-add. He’s merely an average WR1 on a less-than-average offense. But hey, if he’s healthy, he may get you targets, and thus receptions! Raymond led all Detroit wideouts with 69 snaps and may deserve a future waiver spot, too.
Names to Watch: Christian Kirk, Rondale Moore, Braxton Berrios, Trent Sherfield
Week 1 Stat Line: 10.8 pts, 6 receptions on 8 targets, 48 rec. yards
If you’re relying on waivers to find a starting tight end, then my prayers go out to you. But if you’re just looking for some depth, then maybe a player like O’Shaughnessy can help out. The seventh-year tight end was one of the four Jaguars to see 8+ targets, a stat that may be inflated by Jacksonville‘s negative game script. He also played on 59/73 of the team’s snaps—34 more than backup tight end Chris Manhertz. Look, I doubt O’Shaughnessy will be anything more than a desperate streaming option, but his Week 1 usage and stat line are promising enough to warrant consideration if you need tight end depth.
Week 1 Stat Line: 10.6 pts, 5 receptions on 8 targets, 56 rec. yards
Cook is someone I’ve written extensively about, so I won’t beat around the bush too much. He saw the team’s third-most targets, though he only out-snapped Donald Parham Jr. by six snaps. Luckily, Los Angeles seems content with trotting both tight ends out at the same time. Cook may be the only tight end I’m comfortable with spending a waiver spot on. If you need one badly, Cook is actually a solid option.
Names to Watch: Adam Trautman, Juwan Johnson, Pharaoh Brown