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Week 1 gives us a good look at what should be expected through the next few weeks. In this article, I will be going over who I think are the best waiver wire pickups going into Week 2. I use my judgment based on half and full PPR scoring. PPR stands for point per reception which means every time your player gets a reception, you receive an additional point or half a point depending on whether it is half or full PPR. This gives more value to WRs and RBs who catch a lot of passes. With a week scattered with injuries and new breakout players, I will guide you through who you should be adding to your team to improve your fantasy football team.
There were questions about Todd Gurley’s role in the Rams’ offense to start the season. Week 1 answered the main question: “How will the workload be split?” We saw Gurley run the ball 14 times for an impressive 97 yards, yet he accounted for less than 50% of the team’s rushing attempts. During the preseason, it was believed that Darrell Henderson would take over as Gurley’s backup, but the Rams had different intentions. We saw Henderson touch the ball once. Malcolm Brown, on the other hand, impressed us all with 53 yards on 11 attempts. Brown also received the bulk of red zone touches ending with 2 touchdowns. If this pattern keeps up, Brown could easily pull off 10+ touchdowns this season. If you find yourself in need of an RB, I would bid aggressively on Brown this week.
The injury to Derrius Guice will likely have him out for several weeks, leaving room for the emergence of Chris Thompson. Adrian Peterson was a healthy scratch Week 1, opening the door for Thompson. The running game is not where Thompson is valuable, but he did get 10 targets, receiving seven of them for 68 yards. Peterson will be the number one back while Guice sits, but there is no way that he will become an every-down back. Expect Thompson to be heavily used in the passing game out of the backfield with slightly higher use in the run game. He is more valuable in full and half PPR leagues but is an all-around great addition to any team with more chances to get into the endzone.
Tevin Coleman’s high ankle sprain will likely sit him out for several weeks. In the meantime, Matt Breida will serve as the main back for the 49ers. Breida ran the ball 15 times for only 37 yards. As Breida’s backup, Raheem Mostert looked impressive, obtaining 40 yards on only nine attempts. With the loss of Coleman, Mostert’s value will rise dramatically and we could see him receiving an evenly split workload with Breida. I would rather be targeting Malcolm Brown and Chris Thompson if either of them is available, but Mostert will also come with high upside at a cheaper price.
The Ravens played the Miami Dolphins this week so the results cannot fully be trusted moving forward, but it is hard to overlook what Marquise Brown was able to do. Brown was targeted 5 times with 4 receptions for 147 yards. 2 of those catches resulted in long touchdowns. Brown’s speed makes him both a deep threat and a threat over the middle. Lamar Jackson’s only other main target was tight end, Mark Andrews. Brown will continue to play a large role in the Raven’s passing game moving forward. If Brown is still available, I would heavily invest in him.
The Redskins are in a similar situation as the Bengals. Derrius Guice went down with another knee injury leaving Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson as the top RB option in the offense. A likely result is a heavier reliance on the passing game. Terry McLaurin led the receiving stats with 125 yards on 5 receptions and a touchdown. The touchdown accounted for 69 of his yards, but nonetheless, McLaurin’s performance is a sign of things to come. McLaurin will continue to be Case Keenum’s deep threat in an offense that surprised everyone in Week 1.
Joe Mixon went down with an injury in Week 1, leaving Giovani Benard as their best option in the run game. Most likely, if Mixon were to miss a week or two, the Bengals will further rely on passing the ball. John Ross and Tyler Boyd are Andy Dalton’s top targets with A.J. Green out with his injury. Ross hauled in seven receptions for 158 yards and two touchdowns. Now, his two touchdowns came off a flea-flicker and terrible coverage, so I would not bet on an insane number of touchdowns coming from Ross this season, but he is a very valuable pick up for any team while A.J. Green sits out and even more if Joe Mixon’s injury keeps him off the field.
The Jaguars have planned to get D.J. Chark more involved after seeing his first season in 2018, and they have put that into motion already. Chark caught all 4 of his targets for an astounding 146 yards and a touchdown. The offseason addition of Chris Conley does take away from Chark’s market share, but, like Marquise Brown and Terry McLaurin, Chark is a major deep threat to opposing defenses. He will be able to sneak in some huge plays throughout the season with most attention focused on Westbrook and Conley. Chark is not a must-have kind of player but after a couple of weeks could be worth picking up early.
This is more of a reach with Mecole Hardman not getting any targets during his first NFL regular-season game, but Tyreek Hill’s injury makes Hardman’s value rise. Sammy Watkins was the real standout in Week 1, but the loss of Hill will put every defenses’ top defenders on Watkins, leaving Hardman with a great opportunity to break out. Plus, Hardman will act as the Chiefs returner giving him the potential for additional touchdowns which is only a positive in fantasy. The other 3 receivers are much safer options, but Hardman is a nice option to have especially if Hill’s injury keeps him out several weeks. Week 2 will be a good example of what we are likely to see out of Hardman.
The Lions spent their 2019 first overall pick on T.J Hockenson. There is obviously a reason why they did, and they showed that reason early. Hockenson pulled in 6 receptions for 131 yards and a touchdown. His large body makes him a major threat as he has the ability to overpower defenders. Matthew Stafford has been plagued with terrible tight ends in the past and will target Hockenson often. Look for Hockenson to continue to accumulate 100+ yard games.
Most major tight ends are owned already, but one stand out performance came from Vernon Davis. Davis’s value only stands while Jordan Reed sits out, but there is a chance that Reed never comes back after suffering yet another concussion. Davis racked up 59 yards on 4 catches with a touchdown. I do not see a ton of value in Davis as he is very touchdown-dependent, but if you waited too long to get any top tight ends and cannot get your hands on Hockenson, Davis is probably your next best option.
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