Week One is in the books and we saw an impactful start to the NFL season. Greg Olsen went down with a foot injury, and Marcus Mariota exited his game with an elbow injury. We will hold our breath until we see how Aaron Rodgers feels on Monday after his heroic comeback win against the Chicago Bears. These injuries and more had made it imperative for fantasy owners to hit the waiver wire early for replacements. Let’s take a look at some of our options.
Week Two Waiver Wire Pickups
But first, it should be noted that we aren’t even done with Week One, and here are the injuries we are tracking:
- Devonta Freeman (knee)
- Marcus Mariota (elbow)
- Aaron Rodgers (knee)
- Leonard Fournette (hamstring)
- Greg Olsen (foot)
- Doug Baldwin (knee)
- DeSean Jackson (concussion)
- Marquise Goodwin (quad)
- Delanie Walker (out for the year)
These injuries are why being active with your Waiver Wire is so important.
This article was developed to provide actionable advice for rosters and leagues of all sizes. At the conclusion of each section, there will be a “Next Player Up” that includes quick hitters on deeper league/dynasty league target.
Quarterback Waiver Targets
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Cheifs
I was wrong. My expectation of Patrick Mahomes was for him to come out tentative and for Andy Reid to have a conservative play calling approach. I WAS WRONG. Mahomes showed why everyone was so excited about him coming out of college with a rocket arm and the mobility to extend plays. Mahomes will be playing in Pittsburgh next week and could be in line for another shootout. Be conservative with your FAAB. Quarterback is never the place to blow your budget.
Alex Smith, Washington Redskins
Going into this match-up I had my concerns about what Smith will bring to Washington. Things were exactly the same. In fact, Smith went 17/20 (85%), 171 yards (8.55 YPA), and 2 TDs in the first half of week one. Smith showed why he has been so successful over his career. Be accurate and don’t turn the ball over. Smith faces a Colts defense who allowed Andy Dalton to throw for two scores.
Next Player Up
Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns
Tyrod Taylor put up the fantasy points in Week 1, but his on field performance left a lot to be desired. Mayfield may be starting soon.
Blaine Gabbert, Tennesse Titans
Not a recommended play unless you are in DEEP quarterback premium formats. NO OFFICIAL WORD ON THE HEALTH OF MARIOTA WHEN THIS COLUMN IS BEING WRITTEN.
Running Back Waiver Targets
T.J. Yeldon, Jacksonville Jaguars
After Leonard Fournette exited the Week 1 game against the Giants, Yeldon handled almost every RB carry and almost every RB target. Yeldon ended the game with 14 carries and 7 targets. The thinking with having Yeldon is similar to having James Conner. Competent RB + Good OL = fantasy success. Even if Fournette is not miss time we need to have Yeldon rostered since hamstring injuries can flare up at any time. I would not dump my entire FAAB on Yeldon due to Fournette’s injury likely being short-term.
Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts
This may be an unpopular opinion, but the Nyheim Hines is the best running back on the Colts roster. Hines was involved in many different ways on Sunday and he could produce on a Chris Thompson-lite type of level for the rest of the season. Hines finished Week 1 with five carries and an additional seven receptions. Things may change when Mack returns, but for now Hines is the most valuable RB in this backfield and should be prioritized.
Marlon Mack, Indianapolis Colts
People will quickly forget about Mack if they need to make the HOT Waiver Wire add and dumping the injured guy might be the most likely choice for teams. If Mack is dumped
Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers
Similar to Mack, people will look to dump the unproductive asset and Jones still has one more week left on his suspension. Jones may be the added spark the Packers need, especially if Jamaal Williams continues his 3.5 YPC.
Javorius Allen, Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens ran the ball 34 times, scored three rushing touchdowns in a rain game and won by 44 points. Alex Collins had 7 rushes for 13 yards, and two fumbles. The game was a blowout, but it should be noted how well Allen ran and how quickly Collins started sharing the workload with Allen after his fumble. I would start shopping Collins and acquiring shares of Allen where possible.
Phillip Lindsay, Denver Broncos
Lindsay will likely be the #2 pick-up on most Waiver Wire columns. I recommend to stay reserved in your approach. Lindsay was used in a third down capacity and in relief of Royce Freeman. We will undoubtedly see splash plays from Lindsay throughout the season, but we will not likely see volume from him without a Royce Freeman injury.
Next Player Up
Corey Grant, Jacksonville Jaguars
Yeldon has a spotty injury history and Grant could be a deeper roster stash.
Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns
There won’t be much to see in the box score with Chubb until there is an injury to Hyde or Chubb. Be ready.
Austin Eckler, Los Angeles Chargers
One of the most exciting players to watch every week and a threat to score at any time.
Ito Smith, Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta traditionally involves two running backs in their gameplan. If Freeman misses time, Smith could be a sneaky add.
Wide Receiver Waiver Targets
John Brown, Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens offense looks like it has been rejuvenated and Brown is one of the key pieces to that success. Brown saw a Red Zone TD and was involved earlier than Michael Crabtree.
John Ross, Cincinnati Bengals
If Tyreek Hill has taught us anything after his Week 1 performance it is how much we should respect ELITE speed. Seeing the Bengals finally have the opportunity to involve Ross during Week 1 is a positive sign.
Next Player Up
Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks
With the injury of Doug Baldwin, a true WR1 market share is unlocked.
Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Already involved in the offense, Godwin could see an even further uptick of targets if Jackson is out.
Dante Pettis, San Francisco 49ers
Came in as relief for Marquise Goodwin and score a touchdown. Pettis is only considered in deeper formats.
Tight End Waiver Targets
George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers
There was a lot left on the table for Week 1 and there are positive signals of much bigger weeks ahead for Kittle. He was open for a Red Zone look and was missed wide open.
Ian Thomas, Carolina Panthers
There were specific play and packages already in place for Thomas when Olsen was playing. With full run at the position, Thomas has an opportunity to be involved early and often.
Eric Ebron, Indianapolis Colts
He isn’t the Colts’ TE2. Ebron is the Colts’ WR3 and TE2. Ebron was making Jack Doyle seem irrelevant during the first half of the Colts’ Week 1 match-up.
Next Player Up
Jonnu Smith, Tennesse Titans
The athletic upside is REAL for Smith. He did not have the same incorporation of Thomas, but Smith will likely be the man for the rest of the season.
As always please feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @TimNFL.