Week 1 was as wild as expected, and now we’ve got perhaps the spiciest fantasy football waiver wire we’ll see all year. Don’t be bashful about moving on from that long-shot who you drafted that didn’t get any playing time. Now, who to move on to for Week 2? That’s where I can help!
Here are my top wavier wire targets with their rostered percentage (via Sleeper) and the percent of your FAAB (Free Agent Acquisition Budget) I’d recommend spending on said player.
Elijah Mitchell, San Francisco 49ers (6% rostered)
Raheem Mostert was knocked out of Week 1 early with a knee injury. The presumed second man on the depth chart, third-round pick Trey Sermon, was a ‘healthy scratch’.
Queue Elijah Mitchell, a rookie sixth-round pick of the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns. Mitchell ended up with an impressive stat-line of 19 carries, 104 yards, and a touchdown.
— Matt Waldman (@MattWaldman) September 13, 2021
Mitchell didn’t just put up a good stat line, he looked every bit at home leading an NFL backfield. He wasn’t exceptionally quick or clairvoyant with his reads, but he showed good quickness and plenty of speed, breaking a nice 38-yard TD run. As we saw last year, any back getting most of the carries for San Francisco is an every-week starter, and Mitchell might have just claimed this backfield for his own.
Meanwhile in regards to Sermon, it seems between the final week of the preseason and Week 1, Mitchell and Jamycal Hasty beat out Sermon for the RB2 & 3 job, pushing Sermon to be a healthy scratch. This isn’t exactly a vote of confidence for Sermon managers and his value moving forward. However, with Mostert now out eight weeks, Kyle Shanahan will have to activate Sermon for Week 2 as the 49ers’ No. 3 back.
I’m excited about Mitchell and given the turmoil with Sermon, I would spend 25-30% of my FAAB to make sure the 49ers’ top running back is on my roster. One last note, I believe that by the end of the year, Sermon will lead the backfield. One last note on that last note… the end of the season is a long way away.
Tim Patrick, Denver Broncos (3% rostered)
With conformation that Jerry Jeudy will be sidelined four to six weeks with a high-ankle sprain, Patrick steps into a much larger role in Denver. Against the New York Giants, Patrick filled in, catching 4-of-4 targets for 39 yards and a touchdown. This comes after a season in which Patrick caught 51 balls for 742 yards and 6 touchdowns filling in for Courtland Sutton.
Patrick will be a coveted free agent after this season. He has balled out in limited time with a Broncos team who drafted phenomenal receivers and forgot about the QB.
Nelson Agholor, New England Patriots (31% rostered)
Agholor picked up right where he left off in 2020, picking up 5 receptions, 72 yards, and a touchdown on 7 targets. More importantly, the Patriots were a fairly well functioning offense considering they started a rookie QB in Mac Jones and played against what I expect to end up as one of the better defenses in the league in the Miami Dolphins.
Agholor will be a nice WR3/flex option for you throughout the year. The Patriots play the New York Jets in Week 2, then host the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Saints and Bucs are clear avoids, but after that, the Pats schedule is a good one.
Kenneth Gainwell, Philadelphia Eagles (32% rostered)
Gainwell got a TD against the Atlanta Falcons, but more importantly, the Eagles plan at running back seemed to be Gainwell in for goal-line and lots of third-down work. Miles Sanders looked excellent in Philly’s first game, but Gainwell may end up getting the highest-value touches, making him a risky flex option. At the very least, there’s a RB committee in Philly and you want to get a part of it.
Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Denver Broncos (23% rostered)
Bridgewater ended up with 36 attempts in a game that was never really in question against the Giants. Even with Jeudy exiting the game, the Broncos receiver corps is surprisingly deep with Courtland Sutton, Tim Patrick, and the dynamic tight end Noah Fant.
Teddy and the Broncos square off against the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 2. The Jags just gave up 291 passing yards, 2 passing TDs, and 40 yards rushing to Tyrod Taylor and the Houston Texans. The Jaguars also moved the ball fairly well (granted, against the Texans), and so Teddy and the Broncos passing game should be poised for big things in Week 2. Bridgewater is a perfect stream at quarterback if you need one.
Daniel Jones is available everywhere, and the Giants take on a Falcons defense that made Jalen Hurts look Hall of Fame ready in Week 1. I expect a big bounce-back game from the G-Men in week 2. (1% FAAB)
Pharaoh Brown had a big game in Tyrod Taylor’s debut with the Texans. With a new QB and new coaching staff, we’ll be well served to jump on what may end up as the new normal for the Texans. Houston probably won’t win a ton of games this year, and we may have just seen the high-water mark for this offense. If Brown is Taylor’s big receiving option in this offense, you will get serviceable TE numbers at no cost with this pickup. (3-5% FAAB)
Arizona Cardinals DST made a mockery of the Tennessee Titans offensive line in Week 1, tallying six sacks. The red-birds will face a Minnesota Vikings team who ceded three sacks to the Cincinnati Bengals in their season opener. The Cardinals also held Derrick Henry in check, holding him under 70 scrimmage yards. Watch out Dalvin Cook! (1-3% FAAB)
Cordarrelle Patterson split time with Mike Davis in the backfield for the Falcons, and so my wild speculation that Patterson was brought in to bolster the Falcons rushing attack proved prophetic. This is an add you’d only make if you have a roster spot you don’t need anything from, but Patterson could turn in to something for us fantasy nerds before the year is out. ($1 FAAB)
Who did I miss? Have questions about someone I didn’t write up, hit me up on the Twitters @NFLClark and we’ll chat!