There aren’t any must pick-ups this week unless you have Leonard Fournette. All pickups are close to 50% owned or less on Yahoo.
If you own Leonard Fournette, Yeldon is as must-add. Corey Grant had only one touch on seven snaps last week, even with Fournette leaving in the second quarter. Grant should have a bit of a bigger role if Fournette misses time, but Yeldon should be on the field on all three downs. No word on whether Fournette is missing Week 2, but they’ve come out and said that it’s a minor hamstring injury. I’m not optimistic, so I’m not taking a chance if I have Fournette; we know he’s injury prone, so Yeldon needs to be on your roster anyway. If you don’t own Fournette, I wouldn’t break the bank or use a #1 waiver priority for him, as this can be a one-week or no week thing.
Lindsay led the Broncos in touches in Week 1, and is the preferred back in passing situations between him and Devontae Booker. Booker got his snaps as well, but I can’t imagine that lasts for too long. Hopefully this backfield reduces a bit to just Royce Freeman and Lindsay, so the upside for even more snaps is there for Lindsay. We know Vance Joseph likes to keep his backfield as unpredictable and have as many backs as possible in the rotation, but let’s hope he cuts the dead weight in Booker out of the rotation. I prefer Lindsay in a PPR league, but he did get the same exact amount of carries and yards Royce Freeman had. Not sure that continues, but when he was on the field, he had a carry or target on 70% of those snaps.
Nyheim Hines – Full PPR only
The Colts are going to be down a ton, and this is how we envisioned Hines would be used. The Colts didn’t want to show how they would use Hines in preseason, but he seems to be their passing down back. Mack, Wilkins, Christine Michael, or Robert Turbin don’t have the type of pass-catching skillset Hines does, and Hines caught 7 of 9 targets. He lined up at WR on 9 snaps, which was tied for the most for any RB outside of Alvin Kamara. With the lack of pass-catching playmakers, I like Hines as a good depth add at RB for your PPR league with him being Andrew Luck’s best pass-catching option out of the backfield.
Ekeler isn’t going to get a ton of work on a weekly basis, but the Chargers clearly want him to touch the ball. Melvin Gordon will get his every week, and Ekeler doesn’t need a whole lot of touches to be fantasy relevant. Ekeler is very efficient with those limited touches, as he totaled 126 yards on 10 touches. He has a nose for the end zone as well, so Ekeler has upside every week. He’s going to give you down weeks because we can never depend on efficiency, but I rather start a guy like Ekeler than a guy getting a few more touches because of Ekeler’s playmaking ability. He needs to be owned, preferred in PPR, and he’s a flex play that adds upside to your solid, high floor team.
Jalen Richard – Full PPR only
The Raiders got into a deficit on Monday night, and Richard was their clear hurry-up and passing down back. We should expect the Raiders to be behind more often than not, and without the other backs in that role, Richard can continue to see some volume in the pass game. If you’re in need of some RB depth in PPR leagues, he’s worth an add to see if the Raiders defense continues to not stop anyone, and as a result put their offense in negative game scripts.
Powell is the starter for the Jets, but this is a split between him and Isaiah Crowell. Powell is the safer weekly play because of the Jets preferring him as their hurry-up and passing-down back in addition to his early down work. Crowell popped off a big TD run in this game, but Powell should continue to see close to 15 touches every week. He needs to be owned, but his upside is capped with Isaiah Crowell in the mix.
The touches were split pretty evenly between him and Alfred Morris, but Breida did outproduce Morris. It was a tough matchup in Minnesota, so I can’t read too much into the split or production. Breida might be the preferred pass-catching option (even though he’s not that good at it), but Jimmy G doesn’t like passing the ball to RBs; in 5 full games last year, Hyde and Breida combined for only 19 targets, and only targeted the Morris/Breida twice in this game. Because of that, I prefer Morris as the better outside zone runner, and he’ll probably be the preferred goal line back as well. Breida is still worth an add because of the touches he’ll get, but I rather have upside guys like Ekeler and Hines.
James White – Full PPR only
With the lack of dependable WRs, James White saw 9 targets on Sunday. Jeremy Hill is done for the year with a torn ACL, so now the backfield is bit more clearer, and White can continue to have a role. He’s probably the least versatile of the three backs left, but he’s the best pass-catcher on the team. With Edelman out and Michel possibly out for another week, White can continue to get volume in the passing game. He can see the end zone, but the receptions are more predictable than that, which is why I prefer him in PPR leagues.
Wilkins did the best he could with that Indy offensive line, and looked okay in his opportunities. Wilkins is versatile, and will see work in the pass game even if he’s the guy only on early downs. Marlon Mack was close to coming back on Sunday, so it’s possible Mack comes back this week. Not interested in Wilkins if Mack comes back this week as it will be a timeshare at best on early downs. If Mack doesn’t play, Wilkins will have another opportunity to show that he might be the better guy for the job, but that looks more like a long shot after an okay performance in Week 1. If you’re in a PPR league, Hines’ role is more of a sure thing.
Aaron Jones (stash)
If Jones is available in your league, he needs to be owned. Jamaal Williams had an okay performance in Week 1, so the window for Jones to potentially compete for touches and eventually be the lead guy is still open. The coaches do like Williams, as he’s a better all-around player, but Jones has more juice and is the better runner. With Rodgers banged up, they might keep Williams in as he’s the better pass protector, but Jones is worth a stash at the end of your bench for the upside, especially if you’re depending on Williams every week.
Can Golladay take over as the #1 WR in Detroit? That’s his upside. He did see more targets than Marvin Jones, and has the size and big play ability on the outside that is required from a high-end #1. He had a big Week 1 last year, but he’s seeing the volume this time around. The Lions defense looks atrocious, and with the Lions potentially having to throw it 45 times every game, Golladay has a chance to produce every week. There might be weeks where he leaves you dry, but we know Marvin was never a prototypical #1; he was doing good in that role, but he’s better suited as a 2. He has more upside than any other waiver wire pickup this week.
We know that Aaron Rodgers can make multiple WRs relevant at once… even on one leg, and we saw that on Sunday night, where all three starting WRs had TDs. But it’s not just TDs; Allison and Davante Adams both saw 8 targets, and those are valuable targets for fantasy. Throw Allison into your lineup on any given week to get a piece of Aaron Rodgers.
Sam Darnold has to throw it to someone, and Enunwa seems to be his guy. He saw almost 50% of Darnold’s targets, and appears to be his security blanket. Darnold wasn’t throwing it deep a ton, and without a legitimate tight end, Enunwa is the next closest thing lining up out of the slot. He needs to be picked up in any format, but he should have a high floor with upside in PPR leagues.
Tyler Lockett/Brandon Marshall
With Baldwin missing time after his partial MCL tear, Lockett and Marshall are the next guys up. Lockett usually lines up on the outside, but has always mixed into the slot. After Baldwin left the game Lockett ran 71% of his routes from the slot. If he takes over in Baldwin’s spot while he’s out, he would be the guy I prefer. Marshall should get an uptick in targets as well, so he should be added if Lockett isn’t available. If you just want a solid floor without too much variability, Marshall is probably the better bet for catching most of his targets and having a slightly higher target share; he even has TD upside without Jimmy Graham. He obviously doesn’t have the playmaking ability that Lockett has, so when you combine those factors, Lockett would be the guy I pick up if I had a choice.
Dede Westbrook/Keelan Cole
Westbrook led the Jags WRs in targets, but not by much. Westbrook is the far more available WR on waivers between him and Cole, and he’s probably preferred in PPR leagues. Even so, Cole has higher upside and is capable of bigger plays in the way the Jaguars use these two. Westbrook has big play ability, but the Jaguars seem to be using him more as a possession receiver out of the slot. Both WRs have upside to have their roles expanded, especially if targets are taken away from Donte Moncrief, which in my opinion, it should. This is a run-heavy offense, but it doesn’t mean these WRs don’t have value; these two have talent that can’t be ignored.
Luck will continue to throw it a ton in every game; they can’t run the ball, and their defense will leave them in negative game scripts. Grant caught 8 of his 9 targets for only 59 yards, but that’ll get it done in PPR leagues. Remember, Grant is the #2 WR behind TY Hilton, and can continue to be a high floor option.
Dorsett isn’t a sure thing, but he has the upside of getting targets from Tom Brady. He caught all 7 of his targets for 66 yards and a TD, but those numbers can easily flip over to Chris Hogan next week. Keep in mind Edelman will be back in Week 5, but Dorsett is worth taking a shot on if you want a high upside player. Tom Brady did work with Dorsett this offseason, so it’s possible this isn’t a surprise for them. I might go elsewhere for a sure thing off waivers this week, but he’s one of the upside pickups.
John Brown/Willie Snead
John Brown is the preferred option here, as he has the chance to be Joe Flacco’s #1 WR. With the game over before it started, we didn’t see what this passing attack will really look like, but it wasn’t a bad outing for all three of their WRs scoring a TD in Week 1. Brown is very talented, and the only thing holding him back was his sickle cell issues. He has upside if those issues don’t linger. Snead is an option in deep leagues as the 3rd option if Brown isn’t available, but I don’t think Flacco can keep three WRs relevant over a longer sample size.
Cole Beasley – PPR only
Beasley led the Cowboys in target share with 32% of Dak Prescott’s targets – he caught 7 of 8 for 73 yards. He doesn’t have a ton of upside, but in a PPR league he can provide a high floor for now. Michael Gallup didn’t run a ton of routes compared to the other guys, and without a real option at tight end, Beasley should continue to be the guy for Prescott for the time being.
Godwin has WR1 talent if given opportunity. With Desean Jackson potentially out this week with a concussion, he can see more opportunity and give you solid production, even in a tough matchup against the Eagles. Ryan Fitzpatrick’s tendencies are more towards the WRs and less towards the TEs like Winston, so if Winston isn’t named the starter when he’s back, Godwin can continue to have value. His upside is definitely capped with both D-Jax and Evans in his way.
Cam Meredith isn’t a thing yet, and Tre’Quan Smith only saw one target in Week 1, so Ginn is the clear #2 WR for Drew Brees. With the Saints defense not looking as good as we thought, Brees might have to continue to sling it throughout the season. I’ll take his #2 every week for upside. He might not come through every week, but the upside is there, and he still has speed; Ginn needs to be on rosters.
If you’re depending on Marquise Goodwin, Dante Pettis is his handcuff. Pettis is a talented receiver who came in on the outside when Goodwin left the game this past Sunday. He has great body control and hands as well as speed, and can continue to produce if Goodwin misses this next week with that thigh bruise. He has serious upside, and can provide a ceiling for your team if you lack playmakers and Goodwin misses time.
Ebron didn’t get as many snaps as Jack Doyle, but he’s still going to be a factor for Andrew Luck when he’s out there. We know Luck likes his tight ends, so Ebron will be playable every single week. Ebron saw another TD last week after catching one in the preseason, so Luck is looking his way when they get in or close to the red zone. He caught 4 of 5 for 51 yards and a TD – not much more you can ask in his limited snaps. I’m not one to start a non-full-time player, but this is an exception at the tight end position in the Frank Reich/Luck offense.
He is the next man up after Delanie Walker lost his season due to a broken ankle and torn ligaments. Smith has talent, and was nicknamed Delanie-lite, as he has a similar skillset. He’ll get opportunity right away in an offense that featured the tight end. We know Marcus Mariota loved targeting Delanie as his security blanket and around the red zone as well, so Smith is worth a pickup to be a potential every-week starter.
Greg Olsen’s injury seems to be serious, and Ian Thomas will be the next guy up. I’m not expecting a ton from Thomas a rookie, as the Panthers do have other weapons who can compensate. They can take the training wheels off of DJ Moore, and CMC can be used more as well. There’s no doubt Olsen is Cam’s guy, so it’s still possible Thomas can make an impact right away. They do like how he’s developed this offseason, but don’t be surprised if Thomas isn’t a full-time player right away.
RSJ played on almost every snap for the Cardinals, so he doesn’t have to depend on efficiency when he made those big plays for them last year. The offense as a whole was very discouraging, but there’s only one way to go and that’s up. RSJ was third in targets behind Larry Fitzgerald and David Johnson, so his usage is encouraging if this offense can get on track.
We’ve seen this before from Cook, so I’m not going to get overly excited. Cook has had this ability for his entire career, and sure, he’s worth a pickup, but I wouldn’t depend on him as my long term solution at TE. The CB matchups for the Raiders were pretty tough, so it looks like this was more a game plan thing, and it worked. When Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib aren’t on your WRs though, we can see this passing offense playing out differently.
Alex Smith vs Ind
Case Keenum vs Oak
Tyrod Taylor @ NO
Mitchell Trubisky vs Sea
Stash: Baker Mayfield
If Tyrod continues to play terribly like he did in Week 1, we can see Mayfield sooner than later. He’s capable of using all the weapons on this Browns offense, and that would boost the entire offense and make him a potential QB1 if you account for his rushing ability. Not a fan of holding 2 QBs, but this might be an exception out of the guys who are available on waivers in most leagues.