Lookahead Waiver Wire Targets: Pick Up Tim Patrick & Cedrick Wilson In Week 2 For Future Payoff
Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images. Pictured: Broncos’ Tim Patrick celebrates with teammates.
We’ve put a bow on Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season — now it’s time to gaze into the crystal ball and see which players you should target on the waiver wire now for a big payoff later.
The fantasy football season has begun, with the first waiver claim coming up Wednesday. But winning your fantasy title requires more than just week-to-week planning, you need be a visionary. You need to look ahead. With that in mind, I will be providing lookahead waiver claims throughout the season.
This will allow you to succeed not only in the short term, but plan for future weeks as well. Look beyond the immediate games and make an early waiver claim for someone with long-term fantasy value.
Here are my lookahead waiver claims for Week 2.
Week 2 Early Waiver Wire Targets
Tim Patrick, WR, Broncos
He may not be a flashy name, but Patrick continued his underappreciated fantasy production in Week 1 against the Giants. His four receptions, 39 receiving yards and touchdown earned a WR3 performance from a player who went undrafted.
The 27-year-old veteran wideout produced four WR2 or better weeks last season when Courtland Sutton was injured. Now, teammate Jerry Jeudy is out for six to eight weeks with a high-ankle sprain, opening the door for Patrick to produce yet again.
Sutton (one reception, 14 yards) is slowly returning from ACL surgery, and speedster KJ Hamler is a more volatile receiver. Patrick is likely to be Denver’s top wide receiver option for the near future, and is worth a waiver wire pickup this week, even if Noah Fant, Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams dominate the touches. Only rostered in 2% of Yahoo! leagues, Patrick is a good bet for WR3 production while Jeudy is out.
Trey Sermon, RB, 49ers
Are we really supposed to believe that Kyle Shanahan has now found his lead running back in Elijah Mitchell? The 49ers head coach continued his “Shanahanigans” on Sunday when third-round pick Trey Sermon was a surprised game-day inactive. Since San Francisco actually traded up to get Sermon, is it realistic to think he is permanently behind sixth-round pick Mitchell and 2020 UDFA JaMycal Hasty for the rest of the season?
The biggest advantage to the 49ers’ leading rusher is an very favorable end-of-year schedule. San Francisco faces Cincinnati, Atlanta, Tennessee and Houston. Whoever earns the lead role is in the catbird seat for fantasy playoff production.
Sermon is currently rostered in 91% of leagues, but would be dropped across the board if he fails to perform (or even play) in Week 2. You can never predict what will happen next in this San Francisco backfield, which is why now is the time to pickup Sermon. If he plays in Week 3, and performs well, we could see a complete change of touch share with Mitchell. There is always the chance of an injury (Raheem Mostert), so why not take a chance on Sermon one week early? As they said in the 1989 film “Road House,” when it comes to Shanahan’s backfield, “expect the unexpected.”
Cedrick Wilson, WR, Cowboys
No one is running to pick up 2018 sixth-round pick Wilson this week. But that could change after a Week 2 game on the road against the Chargers. The Cowboys and Chargers matchup is tied for the highest projected game total of 55 points in Week 2. Wideout Michael Gallup is now on injured reserve, which opens up targets for Wilson, who has a pedigree as a dominant college performer at Boise State.
Dallas has a litany of games with high-scoring potential including the Chiefs, Falcons and Cardinals. As the next man up in Dallas, Wilson could find weekly WR3 production in a high-volume passing offense with quarterback Dak Prescott. He is currently rostered in approximately 0% of Yahoo! leagues.
Pharaoh Brown, TE, Texans
The 2017 UDFA was a pleasant surprise in Houston’s 37-21 win over Jacksonville. We still project the Texans as one of the league’s worst teams, which should translate to weekly negative game scripts. With Brown likely atop the receiving depth chart alongside Brandin Cooks, he could be worth an early waiver wire claim before your league mates realize his value.
If you are looking for a 2021 tight end version of last year’s Travis Fulgham, it could be Brown. He is another player currently rostered in 0% of Yahoo! leagues.
Kenneth Gainwell, RB, Eagles
The rookie from Memphis seems to have secured the RB2 role behind Miles Sanders in the Eagles backfield. Gainwell did score a touchdown in Week 1 and may have been drafted late in some leagues. But his elite pass-catching skills make him a candidate for increased fantasy production throughout the year.
Despite a Week 1 win at Atlanta, Philadelphia is still projected as a sub-.500 team. Gainwell should see consistent opportunities regardless of game script, and would be in line for an low-end RB1 role if anything happened to Sanders.
If Gainwell has a big game against the 49ers, he will be off most waiver wires for Week 3. With future games against Dallas, Kansas City and Tampa Bay, the passing-down running back is in an ideal spot for fantasy production. While currently rostered in 9% of leagues, he is worth an early pickup before another receiving touchdown increases attention.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR, Packers
Despite an uninspiring three receptions and 17 receiving yards, the big takeaway for Valdes-Scantling was his seven targets. This tied for the team lead with Davante Adams. There was much talk of a breakout season for the speedster, and the Packers’ 38-3 drubbing by the Saints provides the perfect cover to a sneaky waiver wire pickup. If MVS turns into a reliable WR2 option in Green Bay, he could become a Week 2 waiver wire season-winner.
Valdes-Scantling entered the week with 12% ownership, but that number should fall after the Green Bay blowout.
Parris Campbell, WR, Colts
I am an unapologetic Campbell truther, and believe his incredible talent will eventually rise to the surface. His first two years in the league have been marked by injuries, playing only nine of 32 possible games. But with elite 4.31 speed and a 135.5 (97th percentile) Burst Score per PlayerProfiler, Campbell is too perfect of a match for the indoor turf of Lucas Oil Stadium to avoid fantasy production for much longer.
Campbell was rostered in 12% of leagues, but that number will fall after this week’s waivers are run. I may be an eternal optimist, but that big game is coming.
Cardinals Defense/Special Teams
Not much was expected of the Cardinals defense, but the defensive duo of J.J. Watt and Chandler Jones could be setup to cause havoc on opposing quarterbacks. Jones started the season with 5.0 sacks against Tennessee. With Watt drawing constant attention, Jones wreaked havoc in the Titans’ backfield.
Rostered in only 8% of Yahoo! leagues, Arizona may have this year’s surprise fantasy defense with weekly ability to rush the quarterback.