With the Sunday main slate done, it’s never too early to turn our attention to Week 2 and attacking the fantasy football waiver wire!
As is often the case with Week 1, there were plenty of surprise performances from players who could offer huge, full-season fantasy upside (looking right into your eyeballs Elijah Mitchell). To make sure there’s at least one person on this list you can take action on, I’ve got two to three players per position, all of whom are under 50% rostered on Sleeper app.
May your waiver claims be successful!
Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints (47%) – Nothing to see here, just Winston casually tossing five touchdowns in his first game as the Saints starting QB. We know Winston can be a top-5 fantasy QB and he has certainly started 2021 looking like one in Sean Peyton’s offense. After his Week 1 performance, is rostered number is going to skyrocket so this is likely your last chance to make sure he’s on your team for the entire season.
Jared Goff, Detroit Lions (15%) – We know the Lions are going to suck this year, but that’s going to lead to the game script forcing Goff to throw the ball early and often. Against the San Francisco 49ers, Goff threw the ball 57 times for 338 yards and 3 touchdowns. It’s not going to be pretty, but Goff is going to have the volume this year to make him a viable QB streamer.
Kenneth Gainwell, Philadelphia Eagles (32%) – Yes Miles Sanders led the Eagles’ backfield in carries and yards, but Gainwell wasn’t too far behind him. The rookie in his first game carried the ball 9 times for 37 yards and a touchdown plus 6 yards receiving on 2 catches and 3 targets. Sanders had 15 carries and 4 catches on 5 targets. The Eagles spoke highly 0f Gainwell throughout the preseason and the team’s confidence in him was on display Sunday. It seems we might be dealing with a running back committee in Philly.
Mark Ingram, Houston Texans (12%) – Mark Ingram had 26 carries Sunday. Twenty-six. I’m not even mad. That’s amazing! No one wants to rely on the Texans backfield for fantasy points, but in today’s NFL, any running back who’s going to possibly see 20+ carries a game is a must roster, even if he’s 31-years-old. (Also, it’s really quite crushing Jordan and I didn’t go with Ingram on our 30-years-or-older DFS lineup this week.)
Elijah Mitchell, San Francisco 49ers (5%) – The bell of this week’s waiver wire ball in my opinion. Raheem Mostert left the game early with a knee injury and in stepped the rookie Mitchell who torched the Lions for 104 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown. With Trey Sermon surprisingly being a healthy scratch to start the year—because Kyle Shanahan says Mitchell and Jamycal Hasty “simply beat out Sermon” in camp which is NOT a good sign for myself and my fellow Serm-heads—the 49ers’ dominate ground work seems to be squarely in Mitchell’s lap moving forward. If Mostert misses time and Sermon can earn his way onto the field, Mitchell has RB2 value written all over him.
Cole Beasley, Buffalo Bills (54%) – It wouldn’t be a Pete Rogers waiver wire article without at least one player breaking my 50% rostered rule. But when I break my rule, it’s for good reason. Beasley saw 13 targets against the Pittsburgh Steelers, hauling in 8 of them for 60 yards. Only Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, Tyreek Hill, Chris Godwin, and Stefon Diggs saw more targets through the Sunday main slate of games. Double-digit targets sitting on your waiver wire is an instant add.
Nelson Agholor, New England Patriots (44%) – The connection between Mac Jones and Agholor looked pretty good in the first game of the season. Agholor was second on the team in targets, behind just Jakobi Meyers, but led the passing attack with 72 yards receiving and a touchdown. Agholor was a legit fantasy option last year with the Las Vegas Raiders and his strong start with the Patriots has me excited that last year was not a fluke. Agholor could be a solid flex WR for the rest of the season.
Jalen Reagor, Eagles (36%) – I’m sure both the Eagles and fantasy managers alike hope that the Jalen Hurts we saw this week against the Atlanta Falcons is the Hurts we get all season because he looked great. His strong game throwing the football led to both rookie Devonta Smith and Reagor finishing with six catches and a touchdown. Reagor caught all 6 of his targets for 49 yards along with the score. Reagor was second on Philly in targets and if this Eagles’ passing game looks like it did today all season, there’s enough work here for Reagor as Philly’s WR2 to have real flex value.
Christian Kirk, Arizona Cardinals (20%) – Speaking of starting the year hot, holy buckets someone check on Kyler Murray. Murray tossed for four touchdowns against the Tennessee Titans Sunday, with two of them going Kirk’s way. Despite being listed below A.J. Green and Rondale Moore on the depth chart, Kirk outperformed both receivers on similar target share. If Kirk continues to play like he did Sunday, he’s certainly going to be in-line for a larger workload.
Jared Cook, Los Angeles Chargers (46%) – Cook looked right at home in the Chargers offense in his first game. The veteran tight end caught 5 of his 8 targets for 56 yards. Those eight targets were third on the team behind just Keenan Allen (13) and Mike Williams (12). If Justin Herbert is going to keep looking Cook’s way this season, Cook has the talent still to turn that volume into TE1 production.
Gerald Everett, Seattle Seahawks (40%) – We talked all off-season about Everett’s ceiling based on his red zone potential and what do you know, in his first game with the Seahawks he goes out and catches a touchdown to go along with 20 yards receiving. Everett to start might be a bit touchdown dependent but in an offense as potent as Seattle’s with a quarterback like Russell Wilson, those touchdowns might not be hard to come by.
Who are you rushing to add off waivers this week? Let me know in the comments!