With just Monday Night Football still to happen, now is that glorious time of the week when we turn our attention to Week 2 and attack the fantasy football waiver wire.
We’ve made it almost through the first week of football and man, has it already been tough. Najee Harris, Elijah Mitchell, Dak Prescott, and Keenan Allen all left Sunday’s games with potentially serious injuries that should keep them out multiple weeks. Welcome to football everyone. This is why the waiver wire is so important.
To be as helpful as possible to you dear readers, I’ve got at least two players at each position, ranging from just over 50% rostered in Sleeper leagues to well under the 30% mark. I’ve also included a few players to be cautious of to further help give you the edge over your leaguemates. No matter your league size, there’s someone in here for you.
Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints (51% rostered)
In his first game back since his ACL tear last year, Winston looked good throwing the football. He completed 23 of his 34 passes for 269 yards and 2 touchdowns. And zero interceptions. That’s a big stat for Winston. The Saints offense will likely only improve as Winston, Michael Thomas, Jarvis Landry, and Chris Olave all continue to get on the same page. And we’ve seen Winston put up top-5 fantasy QB numbers before.
Carson Wentz, Washington Commanders (19% rostered)
Wentz might be one of the biggest surprises of Week 1 as he finished with over 30 fantasy points against the Jaguars. While throwing for 313 yards and 4 touchdowns, Wentz did do some Wentz things and also tossed 2 interceptions. Who knows exactly what you’re going to get with Wentz but his Week 1 performance can’t be ignored. If you’re in a Superflex league or just lost yourself Dak Prescott, you could do worst than Wentz.
Other Targets: Daniel Jones (20%), Marcus Mariota (17%)
Jaylen Warren, Pittsburgh Steelers (7% rostered)
Only two running backs saw snaps Sunday for the Steelers: Najee Harris and Warren. Harris sadly left the game with what is believed to be a high-ankle sprain which could sideline him for three weeks. The Steelers offensive line will not make things easy for Warren who only managed seven yards on three carries against the Bengals. Still, Warren has a chance to see a starting workload which is fantasy worthy in and of itself.
Jeff Wilson Jr, San Francisco 49ers (19% rostered)
Elijah Mitchell left the game Sunday and could miss anywhere from one to six weeks with what is believed to be a MCL sprain. Wilson stepped right in for Mitchell, carrying the ball 9 times for 22 yards and catching 2 balls for 8 yards. We all know what running backs can do in Kyle Shanahan’s offense and Shanahan certainly has shown to have a soft spot for Wilson.
Khalil Herbert, Chicago Bears (47% rostered)
Herbert led the Bears in rushing despite seeing half as many carries as David Montgomery. The second year back finished with 45 yards on 9 carries and a touchdown. His 5.0 yards per carry well outpaced Montgomery who finished with a putrid 1.5. Herbert also saw both of the Bears’ goalline carries which is huge if that’s to be his role moving forward. Add Herbert now while you still can.
Caution: Dontrelle Hilliard, Tennessee Titans (12% rostered)
Yes no one would’ve predicted that Hilliard would outperform teammate Derrick Henry in Week 1 but let’s not get too excited. He’s fantasy performance Sunday looks great thanks to two receiving touchdowns. He only touched the ball five times. Henry meanwhile had 21 carries for 82 yards and a fumble to bring down his point total. Don’t go rushing to burn your FAAB on Hilliard.
Other Targets: Kenneth Gainwell (61%), Jamaal Williams (45%), Isiah Pacheco (39%), Rex Burkhead (14%)
Jarvis Landry, Saints (65% rostered)
Landry led the Saints in targets (8), receptions (7), yards (114), yards per route run (3.56), and was second in routes run (32). Basically, he was the Saints’ passing game vs the Falcons. He’s already well rostered so now is likely your last chance to get him. Given his long history as a strong to elite PPR receiver, Landry is worth burning a little FAAB to get.
Joshua Palmer, Los Angeles Chargers (29% rostered)
With Keenan Allen sidelined due to a hamstring injury early in the game, Palmer saw his role in the Chargers’ offense increase. He finished second on the team in routes run, just behind Mike Williams. He also played every snap in two-tight sets, meaning if Allen misses time, Palmer is locked in as LA’s WR2.
Jahan Dotson, Commanders (55% rostered)
Whether or not you believe in the Wentz-aissance, Dotson looks legit. The rookie finished with 3 catches for 40 yards and 2 touchdowns on 5 targets. He was second on the team in snaps (68) and routes run (40) to just Terry McLaurin, showing he’s Washington’s WR2. With a game against the Lions next on the horizon, Dotson has another chance to show his fantasy potential.
Caution: Devin Duvernay, Baltimore Ravens (20% rostered)
Duvernay is going to draw plenty of people’s attention this week on waivers after his two touchdown performance. However, he played just 51% of the offensive snaps and ran routes on just 52% of the time. That means you’re relying on him staying hyperhyper efficient with his few touches to have true fantasy value. I’m letting someone else in my league spend their FAAB on Duvernay this week.
Other Targets: Julio Jones (75%), DJ Chark (46%), Robbie Anderson (16%), Curtis Samuel (12%)
Gerald Everett, Chargers (34% rostered)
Everett should be rostered simply because he’s the TE1 on a top-5 offense. That tends to be a recipe for fantasy success. And we saw it Sunday as Everett finished with 54 yards and a touchdown on 3 catches. Everett has standalone value, but would be another beneficiary if Allen misses time.
Hayden Hurst, Cincinnati Bengals (21% rostered)
Even with all the weapons in Cincinnati, Hurst still managed to see eight targets Sunday against the Steelers. That’s certainly worth paying attention to. He also by far and away led the tight end room in snaps and routes run showing he’s the team’s clear TE1. Copy paste what I said about Gerald Everett being the TE1 on a top-5 offense.
Caution: Tyler Higbee, Rams (55% rostered)
Higbee saw 11 targets Thursday night against the Bills which normally would have fantasy managers salivating. Any tight end seeing double-digit targets is worth rostering. But I wouldn’t get too excited. The Rams were missing their No. 3 wide receiver Van Jefferson and clearly Matthew Stafford and Allen Robinson aren’t quite in-sync yet. I’d fully expect Higbee’s 27% target share to drastically drop as the Rams offense continues to get healthy and on the same page.
Other Targets: Robert Tonyan (33%), Taysom Hill (12%)