Oh, how we’ve missed the waiver wire. Many leagues have players go on waivers after their draft is complete, but it’s not the same as the first true waivers of the season that run after Week 1. This is where the first real breakout players, injury fill-ins, and, unfortunately, one-week wonders, show themselves. They’re different every year. Sometimes Week 1 shows big things to come, like it did for Terry McLaurin and Marquise Brown last season, but then there was also T.J. Hockenson a year ago, who failed to come close to his Week 1 output. Proceed with caution, but don’t be shy about looking for the best waiver wire pickups and free agent adds heading into Week 2.
Who had Nyheim Hines scoring the first touchdown of Week 1 Sunday in 2020? Even if you did, you wouldn’t have bet on rushing. But he did, and then Marlon Mack (Achilles’) got hurt and Hines added another TD through the air. Dallas Goedert also broke out in a big way, both Packers vying for WR2 duties had big days (Allen Lazard, Marquez Valdes-Scantling). We also saw injuries to Le’Veon Bell, DeVante Parker, and Boston Scott, creating opportunities for their respective backups.
Let’s not forget about the quarterbacks or tight ends, though. A couple of Florida-based teams have quarterbacks that could be good for streaming purposes or roster stashes, and some relocated quarterbacks in Indianapolis and Tampa Bay have created potential streaming TEs to pick up in case you need some depth at that position.
There were also some RB handcuffs who look like they’re ready for more action (Joshua Kelley, Jerick McKinnon) and WRs who could take advantage of injuries (Scotty Miller, Danny Amendola).
Yeah, we missed this, too. Let’s get to the top waiver pickups for Week 2, and take note of the potential D/ST streamers at the end of the list.
With Marlon Mack (Achilles’) expected to miss the rest of the season, everyone on the Colts RB depth chart bumps up a spot. That means Jonathan Taylor figures to be the primary ball carrier, but Hines proved in Week 1 he’ll be heavily involved, too. Even before Mack left the game against Jacksonville, Hines was stealing touches. He finished with 73 total yards and two TDs and on 15 touches (eight receptions). Not all matchups are going to be as favorable as this one, but Hines should continue to get 12-plus touches per game going forward, making him valuable in standard leagues as well as a borderline every-week play in PPR formats.– Matt Lutovsky
Much has been made of the Eagles’ WR injury woes, but even Jalen Reagor back and DeSean Jackson healthy, it was Goedert who led the team in receptions (8), targets (9), and yards (101). He also caught one of Carson Wentz’s two TD tosses. Fellow TE Zach Ertz caught the other, but it’s worth noting that Ertz had just three catches and 18 yards on seven targets. Goedert isn’t suddenly “better than Ertz,” but he’s clearly going to be an important receiver in the Eagles’ system.– ML
Okay, so Robinson is over the 50-percent ownership threshold on Yahoo (56), but he still might be available in a lot of shallower leagues. The Jaguars’ new lead-back was the only RB to log a carry on Sunday, totaling 16 rushes for 62 yards. He also had a 28-yard catch on his only target. Robinson appears to be the undisputed backfield leader, and even if he plays for a team with low expectations, he should have a chance to work his way into RB2 territory in good matchups and can be played as a high-volume flex option in other weeks. Ryquell Armstead (COVID) and Devine Ozigbo (hamstring) both figure to be at least two weeks away from returning. —Jacob Camenker
Austin Ekeler is still the “lead back” in Los Angeles, which was shown by his 19 carries in Week 1, but Kelley is clearly his top backup– and he could easiliy have flex value most weeks regardless of Ekeler’s health. Kelley ran 12 times for 60 yars and a score in his debut, getting multiple goal-line touches and generally looking impressive at all points on the field. The 5-11, 212-pound bruiser out of UCLA has a lot of upside with 10-plus touches per game, and it’s possible he even takes over as the primary runner if the Chargers prefer to utilize Ekeler in more of a receiving-back role. Either way, Kelley is a must-have handcuff for Ekeler owners, and he’s worth grabbing even if you don’t own Ekeler.
Some people expected Mecole Hardman to take over as the second-best WR to own in the Kansas City offense, but at least in the season opener, that answer was still Watkins. He actually received a team-high nine targets, catching seven for 82 yards and a touchdown. Watkins is injury-prone and this offense has a lot of weapons, but there’s no reason he should be on your waiver wire. —Billy Heyen
Williams should simply be owned in more leagues. He’s super talented and was targeted 60 times in just eight games a year ago. Ryan Fitzpatrick loves to throw to him, and after DeVante Parker (hamstring) got banged up a bit in Week 1, Williams might be Miami’s No. 1 target for their home opener next week. The matchup with Tre’Davious White will be tough if Parker doesn’t come back, but the volume may still be there. Williams had seven targets against the Patriots in Week 1.– JC
Someone had to get the carries for Washington, and Barber took the bulk of them in Week 1. He ran 17 times (eight more than Antonio Gibson) and scored twice on goal-line carries. His 29 yards leaves a lot to be desired and probably tells us more about his long-term prospects than two random TDs, but all “lead backs” have potential value (especially if they get goal-line touches), and right now, Barber looks like the lead guy in Washington. That could change in a hurry — especially if they’re not playing with a second-half lead — but at the very least, Barber is worth grabbing as a free agent.– ML
With Mike Evans (hamstring) banged up, Miller emerged as one of Tom Brady’s favorite targets. He ended up grabbing five passes for 73 yards on six targets, both marks good enough for second on the team. Brady has always liked targeting slot-type receivers over the middle, but Miller is a bit of an inside/outside speed threat, too. It’s also worth noting that Chris Godwin suffered a late head injury against the Saints, so if he misses time, Miller could emerge as the team’s No. 2 receiver.– JC
Even before Boston Scott went to the locker room, Clement was getting some work for the Eagles. Clement’s value will mostly depend on whether Miles Sanders (hamstring) is back in Week 2, but it’s worth considering Clement on the wire, especially if you own Sanders or Scott. –– BH
Anderson appears to have a good rapport with Teddy Bridgewater. He received the second-most targets (8) among Carolina receivers behind only D.J. Moore (9). Anderson also turned a catch into a 75-yard TD and generated over 100 yards on the day. He’s a big-play threat more than anything else, but he’s certainly a good WR3 and flex option depending on the matchup. –– JC
Aaron Rodgers hit Valdes-Scantling for a 45-yard touchdown down the right sideline Sunday, then they almost connected on a second long TD before Valdes-Scantling was tackled by his ankles from behind. MVS has always teased fantasy owners with his deep speed, leading to hopes of a DeSean Jackson-like impact. Rodgers talked up MVS late in training camp, and maybe this is the year. He only needs one big play each week to be worth flex value. A matchup with Detroit’s shaky defense could lead to another long TD in Week 2. –– BH
Lazard is owned in just 43 percent of Yahoo leagues, which is far too few given his upside. He showed what he’s capable of in Week 1, catching all four of his targets for 63 yards and a score. He also added a 19-yard run. Even though he was outproduced by Marquez Valdes–Scantling, Lazard could just as easily emerge as Green Bay’s No. 2 wide receiver going forward and is worth having on your bench. —ML
Ah, good ol’ reliable Frank Gore! The 37-year-old top backup for the Jets may be forced into a bigger role in New York’s backfield in the wake of Le’Veon Bell’s hamstring injury. Gore actually outgained Bell in the game 24-14 on six carries, though Bell was able to do more through the air. If Bell misses time, Gore could have the volume to be a (very) low-end RB2 depending on the matchup and at the very least will be a potential flex play in standard leagues. Josh Adams and rookie La’Mical Perine, who missed this week because of an ankle injury, are also worth watching if Bell misses multiple weeks. –– JC
McKinnon looked like the clear-cut RB2 behind Raheem Mostert and he had a TD reception late in the game against the Cardinals. Tevin Coleman worked into the rotation, as well, but McKinnon mostly operated ahead of him. It’s possible that was due, in part, to the poor air quality in San Francisco, but we know McKinnon is the preferred option on passing downs, which was shown by his five targets, one of which went for a TD. Kyle Shanahan is known for messing around with his RB rotation, but McKinnon seems like a great handcuff and potential PPR flex play in certain matchups.– JC
Who needs Jordan Howard and Matt Breida when you have Gaskin? Unlike Patrick Laird, Gaskin actually had bright moments down the stretch of last season, and Miami relied on him as a rusher and receiver Sunday. He led the team in carries (9), rushing yards (40), and caught all four targets for another 26 yards. This backfield is too crowded to really count on Gaskin every week, but he’s worth adding for anyone looking for RB depth. —BH
The Falcons saw three receivers get 12 targets and nine catches each in Week 1, with Gage being, perhaps, the suprise No. 3. The former LSU product totaled 114 yards on his nine catches. While Gage may not generate that type of production each week — Atlanta was trailing for a majority of the game against the Seahawks, prompting Matt Ryan to throw 54 times — Gage still should see his fair share of targets since the Falcons like to use three-WR sets. Grab him and stash him as a potential matchup-based PPR flex who could enter WR3 territory is either Julio Jones or Calvin Ridley has to miss time.— JC
Tom Brady loves throwing to his tight ends, and it seems that Howard has emerged as his favorite target at the position over Rob Gronkowski. Howard saw six targets from Brady and caught four of them for 36 yards and a TD. He could continue to see more targets than Gronk, and if he does that, he could work his way into TE1 territory as part of a high-flying offense. It’s also worth noting that Chris Godwin suffered a late head injury, so if he misses time, there will be some extra targets available for Howard.– JC
It seems that Herndon has emerged as Sam Darnold’s second-favorite receiver. Herndon was targeted seven times by Darnold, second-most on the team behind Jamison Crowder (13). Herndon has great athletic upside and in matchups that are easier than playing against the Bills, one of the best defenses against TEs, he could work his way into the TE1 conversation. He’s worth taking a flier on if you need help at the tight end position. –– JC
Minshew is one of our favorite sleepers for his ability to pass accurately and make plays with his legs. He’s still young, inconsistent, and potentially mistake-prone, but when it goes well, he can contribute to your fantasy team. Tennessee isn’t a super easy matchup in Week 2, but if Laviska Shenault Jr. is a legit second target for Minshew, he’ll have good options on the perimeter with Shenault and DJ Chark.— BH
A preseason sleeper in 2019 as a rookie, Campbell battled injuries and disappointed. It doesn’t look like that’ll be the case in ’20, though. He’s the Colts’ starting slot receiver and a popular target of Philip Rivers in Week 1 (8). Combine that with blazing speed that can turn short completions into long gains, and you’ll want to pick Campbell up, especially in PPR leagues after his six-catch, 71-yard game against the Jaguars. —BH
The rookie from Colorado likely would’ve been a higher draft pick if he came out in 2018, but he struggled in ’19 and became a draft day steal for the Jaguars. Not only did he line up all over the field (four targets, two carries), in Week 1, but also caught a touchdown. He could be “this year’s Deebo Samuel” if things break right. –– BH
With Kenny Golladay (hamstring) out, Amendola was the leading receiver for the Lions, racking up 81 yards. He saw fewer targets that Quintez Cephus (10) and Marvin Jones (8), but Amendola should be a consistent threat out of the slot. Amendola is worth a roster spot and could garner weekly consideration as a WR3/flex option in PPR leagues as long as Golladay is out.– JC
The Patriots only threw the ball 19 times against the Dolphins as part of their run-heavy game plan, but Harry was clearly the No. 2 target for the Patriots. He saw six targets, second only to Julian Edelman, and caught five passes for 39 yards. Harry did have a key fumble in the red-zone but had a chance to score a TD. If the Patriots decide to throw more moving forward, he will absorb quite a few targets and should have a chance to rack up some TDs thanks to his 6-4 frame. –– JC
Cephus received raves throughout training camp for his ability to play all of the WR spots in the Lions’ offense. The rookie from Wisconsin can therefore benefit from to any Lions WR, particularly Kenny Golladay (hamstring), as we saw in Week 1. Cephus was Matthew Stafford’s high-volume target on Sunday (10 total) and could be worth a look in deeper PPR leagues or in keeper/dynasty leagues if he’s not already owned. —BH
Jackson didn’t do much against Washington, as he logged just two catches for 46 yards. However, he saw seven targets, which put him in a three-way tie for second most on the team with Greg Ward Jr. and Zach Ertz. Jackson only needs to rip off one chunk play to carry fantasy value, and if he’s logging that many targets, he’s worth grabbing on the waiver wire.– JC
Thomas actually led Washington in targets on Sunday, seeing eight from Dwayne Haskins. Thomas turned those targets into four catches for 37 yards and a TD. The red-zone target was notable considering that at 6-6, he represents the largest receiving option on the Washington offense. As a potential TD threat, he will be a valuable TE streamer, especially next week against an Arizona team that was worst in the NFL against TEs last year.– JC
Graham is not the player he once was, but he appears to have a good connection with Mitchell Trubisky. Graham saw seven targets, good for second most on the Bears behind Allen Robinson (9), and caught three passes for 25 yards and a TD. He nearly ended up with two scores but came up just short of the end zone after a review on the second one. As long as Graham keeps getting red-zone targets, he will factor into the tight end conversation as a potential streaming option.— JC
Olsen is a reliable veteran TE who caught all four of his passes for 24 yards and a TD in his Seahawks debut. Russell Wilson likes to spread the ball around, but the team could use a true No. 3 receiving option to pair with DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. He’s probably not a TE1 at this stage in his career, but his TD upside will make him a solid TE2 and potential streamer moving forward. –– JC
The Colts falling to the Jaguars was surprising; Doyle proving to be a reliable target was not. Philip Rivers targeted Doyle just four times, but he still managed to record three catches for 49 yards. That’s decent production for a TE especially in PPR formats, so he can be trusted next week in a matchup with a Vikings defense that just got shredded by the Packers in Week 1. –– JC
Sunday’s game against the Patriots was distinctly lacking FitzMagic from Ryan Fitzpatrick, who threw for just 191 yards with three picks. If Fitzpatrick can’t get back on track soon, Miami could turn to rookie QB Tua Tagovailoa to lead it into the future. If you’re in a two-QB or Superflex league, it makes sense to scoop up Tua now since there are some good receiving weapons in the Miami offense.– JC
The Titans should have Jadeveon Clowney fully up to speed for Week 2. That’ll be perfect timing to meet up with fumble-prone Gardner Minshew and the likely inconsistentJaguars. The Jags could turn into one of the top teams to stream against all year, and the Titans have an underrated defensive unit, anyway. No matter what the Broncos do to the Titans on Monday night, this D/ST is worth a claim on Tuesday. –– BH
The Browns have constantly tried to upgrade their defense to go with what should be a high-powered offense. In Week 2’s Thursday night game, we’ll see just how upgraded the unit is. You can count on the Cleveland pass rush causing Joe Burrow some issues, so if they can force a few rookie mistakes on short rest, a big fantasy day could be on tap. –– BH
There’s nothing to write home about talent-wise on the Arizona defense, but thankfully that probably won’t matter much in Week 2 when the Cardinals host the Washington Football Team. Dwayne Haskins will remain one of the best QBs to stream against all season, and it’ll take a while until Washington truly figures out its running game enough to cause other teams problems.— BH
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