Week 1 provided us with Aaron Rodgers’ amazing comeback against the Bears, Ryan Fitzpatrick carving up the Saints and … some tight end named Will Dissly going for 100+ receiving yards?
Unfortunately, just as Hurricane Florence barrels toward the East Coast, we also endured a hurricane of injuries to key fantasy players in their season openers.
But not to worry — each week I break down top waiver wire targets to help your fantasy team navigate injuries, suspensions, running-back committees and probably some relationship problems along the way.
Every week, I highlight players who are owned in fewer than 50% of ESPN fantasy leagues. I also recommend an auction price (in parentheses) for each player for leagues using a Free Agent Acquisition Budget system (which I highly recommend, by the way). All recommendations are made based on a $100 FAAB budget.
Notable Week 1 Injuries
- QB Aaron Rodgers (knee): Questionable
- RB Kenneth Dixon (knee): Questionable
- RB Leonard Fournette (hamstring): Probable
- TE Delanie Walker (dislocated ankle): Out for the season
- TE Greg Olsen (foot): Questionable
- WR Doug Baldwin (MCL sprain): Out indefinitely
- WR Marquise Goodwin (quadriceps contusion): Questionable
It’s Cuffing Season
In life there are few absolute certainties: Death, taxes and fantasy football injuries. In this section, I highlight players to target on waivers when top players inevitably get hurt or suspended.
George Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers ($8)
With Delanie Walker out for the season and Greg Olsen questionable following a foot injury in Week 1, many fantasy players will be looking for replacement value at tight end. Kittle posted a 5-90-0 line last week and saw nine targets against the Vikings. He boasts the ninth-best median projection and sixth-best ceiling projection among tight ends for Week 2.
Eric Ebron, TE, Indianapolis Colts ($6)
The Colts targeted Jack Doyle and Ebron in Week 1. Doyle had a 7-60-0 receiving line, but it was Ebron who earned a receiving touchdown. Head coach Frank Reich and quarterback Andrew Luck both have a history of heavily targeting tight ends, and last week proved that there are enough targets to go around in Indianapolis. Target Ebron as a high-upside replacement tight end.
T.J. Yeldon, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars ($6)
Leonard Fournette‘s hamstring injury appears to be minor. Still, if he does not play next week, Yeldon is first in line for RB1 touches. Last week, Yeldon amassed 69 total yards and one receiving touchdown on his way to 15.9 fantasy points. Given Fournette’s bruising running style and injury history, Yeldon could be worth a long-term stash on your bench.
Brandon Marshall, WR, Seattle Seahawks ($5)
Doug Baldwin‘s second knee injury in two months leaves his season-long potential in question. In his place, the Seahawks could look to Marshall to stretch the field as their best remaining deep threat. Last week, Marshall posted a 3-46-1 receiving line on six targets. His target market share could improve moving forward, and he could offer multiweek value, depending on Baldwin’s prognosis and recovery.
Top Streaming Quarterback Options
Each week, I highlight top quarterback streaming options for Late Round QB-truthers. These quarterbacks are week-to-week options and are not necessarily viable long-term.
Tyrod Taylor, QB, Cleveland Browns ($4)
Taylor was my top streaming pick for Week 1, and he holds the top spot again this week. He rushed for 77 yards and a touchdown on his way to 23.6 fantasy points against the Steelers last week. His rushing upside makes him a high-floor streaming quarterback candidate; he boasts the 10th-highest floor projection among quarterbacks for Week 2.
Case Keenum, QB, Denver Broncos ($2)
If you’re looking for streaming quarterback upside, Keenum might be your guy. He threw for 329 yards and three touchdowns against three interceptions in Week 1 and boasts the 15th-highest floor projection among quarterbacks for Week 2. He’s somewhat of a boom-or-bust candidate in a week when streaming quarterback value might be harder to find via waivers.
Buy and Hold
The following players with season-long upside deserve immediate roster consideration.
Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers ($15)
Ekeler had a 5-39-0 rushing line and 5-87-1 receiving line in Week 1 against the Chiefs. The Chargers demonstrated their willingness to target Ekeler and Melvin Gordon out of the backfield. The duo combined for 14 receptions and 189 receiving yards. Ekeler seems to have secured a stable role as the Chargers’ No. 2 running back. If he continues to post consistent usage week to week, he might offer Tevin Coleman-like FLEX upside.
DeSean Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($11)
Jackson had a monster game against the Saints, hauling in five receptions for 146 yards and two touchdowns. However, he exited the game with a concussion and will be subject to the concussion protocol heading into Week 2. Despite his current injury concern, Jackson is a nice FLEX option, boasting the 36th-best ceiling projection among wide receivers for Week 2. If Jackson misses action, wide receiver Chris Godwin could also be worth a speculative add this week.
Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers ($9)
After waiting over a year for the first-rounder to produce, he finally delivered in Week 1, posting a 5-81-0 receiving line on six targets. Though he failed to score a touchdown against the Chiefs, Williams could still offer touchdown upside as the Chargers’ go-to red-zone target with Hunter Henry out for the season. Time will tell whether Williams’ Week 1 performance is sustainable, but for now, he’s worth a speculative add on waivers.
Cole Beasley, WR, Dallas Cowboys ($7)
Last week I highlighted Beasley as a potential target-monster after the departures of Jason Witten and Dez Bryant. Beasley demonstrated that potential in Week 1, hauling in seven receptions for 73 yards on eight targets. As a slot receiver, his touchdown upside likely isn’t great, but his target volume might still make him a high-floor FLEX option from week to week.
Quincy Enunwa, WR, New York Jets ($6)
Enunwa was Sam Darnold‘s favorite receiver against the Lions, posting a 6-63-1 receiving line on 10 targets. No other Jets receiver had more than three targets in the game. While Robby Anderson remains the top Jets receiver to own, Enunwa might offer modest value as the No. 2 receiver in New York. Given his Week 1 target share, Enunwa projects as a high-floor, low-upside FLEX option in Week 2.
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The Watch List
Every week, I highlight players who should be on your watch list — players to monitor who aren’t necessarily worth an add this week but who could develop into viable season-long options. Current ESPN ownership percentage for each player is in parentheses.
- Anthony Miller, WR, Chicago Bears (29.9%)
- Courtland Sutton, WR, Denver Broncos (21.7%)
- Dante Pettis, WR, San Francisco 49ers (0.8%)
- Dede Westbrook, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (8.0%)
- Geronimo Allison, WR, Green Bay Packers (9.2%)
- Javorius Allen, RB, Baltimore Ravens (13.3%)
- John Brown, WR, Baltimore Ravens (21.6%)
- Nyheim Hines, RB, Indianapolis Colts (7.0%)
- Ryan Grant, WR, Indianapolis Colts (9.7%)
- Ted Ginn Jr., WR, New Orleans Saints (17.2%)