Most of these players are 60% rostered or lower. Just a note on this week, most people will likely overspend Week 1. This is not an amazing week for waivers, and you might want to hold onto some of that FAAB.
Darren Waller – The hype played into reality on Monday night for Waller without Antonio Brown. Waller was the #1 target for Derek Carr (7 of 8 for 70 yards), played 100% of snaps, had plays manufactured specifically for him, and showed his extreme athletic ability. He doesn’t have much competition outside of Tyrell Williams for tartgets, and has stepped into the role Jared Cook had last year as the first option. He’ll be a top-10 fantasy TE, and will have a shot at PPR top-5.
TJ Hockenson – He’s the real deal. Was on the field or 71% of snaps, and made it count with 6 of 9 for 131 yards and a TD. Hockenson has a ton of upside, and will likely have no problem finishing top-10. Top-5 upside is on the table if his usage continues. Rookie TEs rarely have much fantasy impact, but Hockenson has a chance to be exception to the rule.
John Brown – We knew he had rapport throughout the summer with Josh Allen, and it played out. He led the Bills in targets with 10, caught 7 of them for 123 yards and the game-winning TD. He’s the guy who’s most likely to be a consistent fantasy WR out of all the waiver wire pickups this week; he checks the boxes – high target share, gets targets short/intermediate/deep, and gets open deep.
Marquise Brown – Brown is a flier, so I wouldn’t overspend, but it’s a situation where you might not want to miss out on the potential upside. He was dealing with a Lisfranc injury, practiced in full only once the week before this first game, so he ended up playing only 12 snaps. Twelve. He was targeted 5 times on only 12 snaps, caught 4 of them for 147 yards and 2 TDs. Those snaps will likely go up as he gets healthier. If he plays only 25 snaps next week, though, keep in mind that he can easily end up with one or two catches. He’ll be boom/bust, but if your team can use some upside, he might be a good target for you this week.
Check if available
These guys are somewhere between 60-70% rostered, and should be closer to fully rostered. Preferred over other adds.
Michael Gallup – The Cowboys have a new-look offense led by OC Kellen Moore, and it’s a game changer compared to the vanilla offense they had prior. Dak Prescott is getting out of the pocket more, there’s more play-action, and this offense can potentially support two fantasy WRs. It’s good timing, because Gallup has taken a step forward. It started this offseason, went into the preseason, and continued in Week 1. Defenses will have to pick their position between him and Cooper, and the chances that Cooper gets tougher coverage on a week to week basis is more likely. There’s a 30% chance Gallup is available in your league.
Tyrell Williams – Williams is the new #1 WR for the Raiders, and he played very well on Monday night, catching 6 of 7 for 105 yards and a TD. He’s being used in his natural state as a deep threat, but he was also running some short to intermediate routes as well. He even caught his TD while the team was in the red zone. Could be a locked-in WR3 with WR2 upside. 37% chance Williams is available in your league.
DeSean Jackson – Jackson had an amazing matchup, and he took advantage. Carson Wentz is going to do his thing this year, and he caught 8 of 10 targets for 154 yards and 2 TDs. This wasn’t a 4-catch performance, so there’s a good chance Jackson can have a higher floor than he would have on most teams. There’s about a 33% chance he’s available in your league.
Malcolm Brown – Brown was out-touching Todd Gurley going into the 4th quarter. Gurley ended up out-touching, out-snapping, and out-performing once the game was over, but Brown did end up with the only two goal line carries, which did convert. Brown might not be the only goal line option, but we know that Gurley won’t be getting all of them. I equate Brown to a poor man’s Latavius Murray because of the system and usage. He played on only 26.4% of snaps, but it was enough to give him 11 carries and 2 TDs. Darrell Henderson played on two snaps, so I would drop him for Brown at this point if you want a piece of this backfield or want one of the top handcuffs in the league.
Giovani Bernard – Gio was the only back to touch the ball after Joe Mixon left Sunday’s game with a knee injury. The MRI came back clean, but it’s possible Mixon misses one week. If that were the case, Gio is a locked-in RB2 and gets an upgrade in PPR. He might also have standalone PPR value even once Mixon returns.
Chris Thompson – As expected the Redskins had to throw the ball a lot in this game, even after going up early in this game. He played on 64% of snaps, and racked up 7 catches on 10 targets for 68 yards. He’s efficient, and will be in play in PPR leagues as long as he’s healthy. If you just need a RB to pick up in PPR, he’s the best pickup this week.
Carlos Hyde – Hyde surprisingly played a lot on Monday night against the Saints… and actually played well. The Texans also surprisingly opened some holes for him. He only had 10 carries on 37% of snaps, but was efficient with chunk yardage, totaling 83 yards rushing. It was notable that Duke Johnson was the primary back on the field while the Texans were in the red zone, so Hyde might not see too many goal line carries. Not interested in full PPR leagues.
Adrian Peterson – With Derrius Guice missing at least a few weeks, Peterson will get all the early down work. He has Dallas and Chicago next two weeks, so not the best matchups, but could still get volume on early downs. The Redskins stayed in the game against the Eagles, but game script can shift the other way against those two teams. Thompson is the play out of the Eagles backfield, but AP has a shot at volume in a game where he’s looking to prove Jay Gruden wrong for making him a healthy scratch in Week 1.
Raheem Mostert – There will be value for Mostert as the 1b to Matt Breida while Tevin Coleman is out 4-6 weeks with a high ankle sprain. Mostert was efficient with his touches last season, and Breida also gets banged up a lot. He should be picked up as a legit flex option this week. Once Coleman left the game, Breida and Mostert split touches 10-6, so he wasn’t too far behind Breida.
Ronald Jones – Wow, can’t beleive he made this list. Jones was the best back in the Bucs backfield on Sunday, and since this seems like an open competition, Jones can potentially start seeing more snaps. He had the “hot hand” on Sunday, and ended up out-touching and out-performing Peyton Barber. 13 carries for 75 yards compared to 8 for 33. Jones will likely stick to early downs, but if he starts taking touches away from Barber, he can start having some actual value. By the way, Jones actually looked pretty good; night and day from last season, and that says a lot coming from me.
Mike Davis – David was the primary RB in the Bears backfield among the excitement of David Montgomery. Montgomery’s role should grow as the season goes on, but for now, Davis can hold value in PPR. While Anthony Miller is limited and Tarik Cohen assuming that slot role, Davis catching 6 of 7 targets last week is encouraging. He didn’t do much with it, but for now, it seems like he’ll have 10+ touches with most of the work coming in the pass game; that’s flex worthy.
DK Metcalf – Metcalf led the WRs in targets; was Russell Wilson’s first option over Tyler Lockett in Week 1. That might not continue, but it seems like Metcalf will get his looks and perform with it; he caught 4 of 6 for 89 yards on 77% of snaps. It’s a low-volume passing offense, but with the target distribution so tight, Metcalf has to be rostered in all leagues.
John Ross – Ross led the Bengals in targets, but I would expect him to be a little boom/bust while AJ Green is out for a little bit longer. If you watched the game, you saw that one of his TDs was scored on a trick play, and the other was scored with the safety jumping too early with the ball in the air, and Ross standing behind the two defenders – that should’ve been an interception or a tipped ball. He dropped a few passes, couldn’t handle the contested targets. I don’t see a situation where we see a repeat performance, but Ross has scored TDs with AJ Green out in the past. Not a bad WR3 play while Green is out; we know he has upside.
Terry McLaurin – The Redskins rookie WR looked great in his debut. Contested catches, deep balls – he looked the complete package. Case Keenum threw for a ton of yards and had a ton of attempts, and that might not happen every week. Also, the target share was quite distributed; he had 7 targets, but he was one of five players who had 6 or more. With that being said, McLaurin could’ve had an even bigger day after Keenum overthrew him on what would’ve been a 70-yard TD on top of his 5 of 7 for 125 and 1 TD day. He should separate from the pack and be the target share leader, and this team will throw the ball a lot with their defense lacking.
Courtland Sutton – Sutton out-targeted all the Broncos WRs, and played really well. Was targeted on deep and intermediate routes, and seemed like Flacco’s #1 option. It seemed as though Sutton has taken a step forward, and we can see him turn into a true #1 WR on the outside.
Jamison Crowder – Crowder had a ridiculous 14 catches on 17 targets. That should obviously come down, as Robby Anderson and Quincy Enunwa combined for only 10 targets. Still, Crowder has a great shot at 10 targets per week, and can remain a high-floor PPR option. Can you believe he didn’t break 100 yards on 14 catches? That’s even more impressive than catching 14 balls. Crowder’s catches might come down, but he has the ability to run after the catch. He’s a good PPR pickup this week.
Danny Amendola – Matt Stafford was looking for Amendola early and often, and was finding him on both short and intermediate routes. Stafford’s numbers took a hit once Golden Tate left, and Amendola fills that slot role very well. Amendola caught 7 of 13 targets for 104 yards and a TD. He has a tough matchup next week against Desmond King, but most teams aren’t as good at covering the slot. He should picked up in PPR.
Mecole Hardman – Hardman played a ton of snaps, but was only targeted once. He probably wasn’t a big part of the game plan, as they didn’t expect Tyreek Hill to get hurt. With Hill missing a few weeks, Hardman definitely offers upside. He’ll get playing time, and can potentially run a few of the same plays Tyreek was running. He’s an upside pickup, but it’ll be tough to start him this week without seeing how they actually use him.
Ted Ginn – Ginn was Brees’ third option after Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas. Brees has three dependable options right now in the passing game, and it doesn’t seem like Jared Cook is one of them right now. Ginn will be up and down, but he’s a good depth option at the end of your bench.
Phillip Dorsett – Antonio Brown is joining this team, so Dorsett is fool’s gold. It just shows that Gordon, Edelman, and AB will all have fantasy value. Leave Dorsett on the wire, he won’t be getting much playing time from here on out.
Deebo Samuel – Deebo is big and fast, and had the most playing time of any San Francisco WR on Sunday. Dante Pettis is in the doghouse at the moment, and Samuel will have opportunity. Samuel is probably free once waivers clear, but is worth a speculative pickup to leave on your bench.
Deon Cain – Another upside pickup. With Devin Funchess out indefinitely with a broken collarbone, Cain can potentially slide into Funchess’ role. There were other WRs playing ahead of him, but he has the size and skill to take over the big WR opposite TY Hilton. Jacoby Brissett showed some rapport with Funchess, so Cain can be a beneficiary if he slides into that same role.
Note: Less than 50% rostered
- Josh Allen @ NYG
- Matt Stafford vs LAC
- Andy Dalton vs SF
- Sam Darnold vs Cleveland
- Derek Carr vs KC
Note: Less than 50% rostered
- Houston vs Jacksonville
- Carolina vs TB
- KC @ Oakland
- Buffalo @ NYG
- Tennessee vs Indy