Whether your draft has you already deciding between diving head-first into your money Scrouge McDuck style or build a moat with your winnings, or if your roster looks just about as attractive as the Jets, you still want to make the best pick up possible on the waiver wire. Only a fool would let their fantasy roster sit week after week without making the necessary roster moves, unless they’re genius enough to play with the type of owners who think it’s a smart move to get the best kicker available in the third round. For those in the latter, here are the top waiver wire pick ups for your fantasy football team this week.
Week 1 is never an easy week for pick ups. At this point, everyone’s team is still in it, even if their team scored less points than a middle school basketball team. Plus, after just one week of football, it still isn’t easy deciphering just what kind of role certainly players have on their teams. With so many players available, it’s time to weed out the pretenders and focus on the players who could have huge fantasy seasons going forward. Here are the top dogs heading into Week 2.
Honorary Mention: Jermaine Kearse- New York Jets, WR (2%)
10. Philip Dorsett – New England Patriots, WR (owned in 1.2% of ESPN Leagues)
— PFF NE Patriots (@PFF_NewEngland) September 2, 2017
It doesn’t matter if the Patriots passing game doesn’t look good. It doesn’t matter that Dorsett was third on the depth chart of a team that looks more like a Pop Warner team than an NFL team until he was traded a few weeks ago. It doesn’t matter than he’s behind all the other receivers considering how new he is to the team. None of it matters. What matters is the fact that the Patriots are going to score points this season, and Dorsett has a chance to be apart of it, which means big things from a fantasy aspect.
The former Colt was only on the field for 18 snaps and received only one target on opening night, but no Patriot will benefit more from this past week than Dorsett. The receiver now has a long week to continue to get acclimated with Brady and this offense, and now has a better chance than anyone originally thought to see more targets with Malcolm Mitchell and Julian Edelman both on the IR. Danny Amendola is currently in the league’s concussion protocol and could miss Week 2’s matchup against a team that might as well ask the concession stand workers at the Super Dome to play in the secondary. If he’s one of only three receivers this week, he could carve himself a huge role as a home run threat for one of the best projected passing offenses in the league.
9. Allen Hurns – Jacksonville Jaguars, WR (1.3%)
That’s right, Allen Hurns is still in football. It’s been a while since Hurns has been fantasy relevant, but Allen Robinson’s recent injury has thrust him back into a position where he can be a waiver wire hero once again. With Robinson expected to miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL, Hurns finds himself in the weird spot where the fact that he plays for a bad team actually helps him out fantasy-wise. Yes, the Jaguars may be 1-0 and no, that doesn’t mean anything considering the fact that they beat a Houston Texans team that could barely field an offensive line. Unless we live in some sort of strange alternate universe or hell has frozen over and we haven’t realized yet (thanks a lot, global warming), the Jaguars are still going to be bad. What does being bad mean, class? It means the team will be behind a lot, and will have to throw the ball to catch up. See where I’m going with this?
We saw Hurns become a fantasy stud back in 2015 for this very reason, and now that he’s healthy and currently the team’s top option, he has the chance to get a ton of garbage time fantasy points. It doesn’t matter when he scores, it just matters that he does. Don’t let his three catches for 42 yards on four targets scare you off. Jacksonville won’t have a lot of leads this season, but they will have targets for Hurns.
8. Javorious Allen – Baltimore Ravens, RB (.6%)
— Evan Silva (@evansilva) September 11, 2017
Opportunity breeds success, and now that Danny Woodhead is out, Allen has the opportunity. Just because Woodhead is more brittle than a Nature Valley bar doesn’t mean your fantasy team has to suffer. The Ravens found themselves in the strange position where they were up for most of the game, and had the chance to keep the ball on the ground. What was even stranger is the final snap count for Baltimore’s backfield.
Ravens final HB snap count: Javorius Allen 32, Terrance West 28, Danny Woodhead 6(injured). Out of 66
— Nathan Jahnke (@PFF_NateJahnke) September 10, 2017
Allen is known as the team’s pass-catching option out of the backfield with Woodhead sidelined, but that’s not how the Ravens operated, giving Buck the rock 21 times on the ground. If he can steadily receive hand offs while still getting the bulk of the running back targets, he’s relevant in every single PPR league.
7. Paul Richardson – Seattle Seahawks, WR (3.2%)
The Seahawks/Packers matchup was surprisingly one of the hardest games to watch and was an absolute snooze fest, but we did get proof that Richardson would be the man to take the bulk of the snaps now that Jermaine Kearse is in football purgatory as a Jet. His four catch performance for 59 yards isn’t anything to catch your attention, but his seven targets should.
With Wilson throwing him the ball more than any other wide receiver in Seattle, it’s clear he’ll have a big role for this team, and as a fantasy option. As per usual, Seattle’s offense looked awful to start the season which should be no reason to stay away from Richardson. Now that this team is away from their personal hell that is Lambeau and facing the 49ers secondary, expect him to prove just how big he’ll be this season.
6. Kenny Golladay – Detroit Lions, WR (7.8%)
— NFL UK (@NFLUK) September 11, 2017
Remember when I listed Golladay as one player who would eventually become a household name this season? Well, t looks like it happened a bit quicker than expected.
The Golladay Inn Express started off big with four catches for 69 yards and two touchdowns on seven targets. There are a lot of mouths to feed in Detroit, but after a big week, you can expect him to constantly remain a huge part of this offense. He may not receive the same amount of targets as Golden Tate, but he’s already established himself as the team’s big play threat.
— Matt Harmon (@MattHarmon_BYB) September 11, 2017
With the rushing attack looking non-existent and Matt Stafford proving there’s no reason to not chuck it all the time, expect Golladay to get plenty of chances for your fantasy team this season.
5. Jesse James – Pittsburgh Steelers, TE (5%)
Everybody always goes nuts for Gronk and Jordan Reed, but there are always tight ends that sit on the waiver wire and save your season. This year, it very much well could be the NFL’s favorite outlaw.
His nickname probably needs a bit more work, but otherwise, there are few tight ends that look as good. With Ladarius Green out of the picture, James goes from no-name option last season to a big-time receiving option for the Steelers. Even with Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell and Martavius Bryant on offense, he was still the top red zone target, finishing with two touchdowns. If Big Ben is going to trust him in the end zone with all eyes on the plethora of threats on Pittsburgh’s offense, then you can continue to bank on these scores going a long way.
Mike Tomlin called Jesse James' red-zone play 'exceptional.' The Steelers tight ends needed to produce. https://t.co/LeBNvCdPXL
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) September 11, 2017
You make coach happy, you make fantasy owners happy. Simple as that.
4. Nelson Agholor – Philadelphia Eagles, WR (5.3%)
The Wentz Wagon is riding high after a big week, and no receiver in Philly looked as good as Nelson Aghlor. Everybody talked about how much the personnel changes would affect Philly’s Ginger Jesus, but in reality, it was a huge help for Aghlor.
For some reason, it was extremely easy to forget that Agholor isn’t far removed from being a first round pick. He looked like one on Sunday, finishing with six catches on eight targets for 81 yards and a long touchdown. All eyes are constantly going to be on Torrey Smith and Alshon Jeffery, which leaves Agholor wide open for some big days. The fact that he was targeted so much speaks even louder than his big play ability, something that will hopefully remain high as the Eagles continue to lean on Wentz and the passing game.
Alex Smith – Kansas City Chiefs, QB (28.2%)
After this weekend where you overdosed on football and whatever beer/food combo you decided to go with, you can’t forget about what happened on Thursday. Alex Smith’s huge performance in Foxborough shouldn’t be taken lightly at all. This wasn’t just a fluke game, it was a game where Smith officially flipped two big fat middle fingers to anybody who called him a game manager. The biggest difference wasn’t just the fact that he looked more like Brady than Brady did, but the Chiefs finally let Smith sling the ball downfield a little bit.
Alex Smith had 178 yards on deep balls tonight. He only gained 521 in all of 2016
— Mike Renner (@PFF_Mike) September 8, 2017
Everyone was curious about how the Chiefs would use players like Hunt and Hill, and it showed that they’re going to let those boys fly. With Hunt and Hill both serving as big play threats, Smith is going to just watch them scamper to the end zone all season while he racks up points for your fantasy team.
2. Kerwynn Williams – Arizona Cardinals, RB (1.3%)
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) September 10, 2017
Time and time again you can do as much planning and analyzing as you want, but nothing is bigger than an opportunity. With David Johnson likely heading to the short-term IR and completely ruining the leagues of many owners who drafted him first over Le’Veon Bell, Kerwynn Williams rises out of the ashes as the running back with the highest ceiling.
The problem with Williams isn’t his skill, as he’s done fine taking big carries in the past. It’s the fact that he’s not the receiving threat DJ is, which means he may have to split snaps with other running backs like Andre Ellington. The Cardinals are even rumored to look at other running backs like Dion Lewis (who should get picked up immediately if he gets traded to Arizona). Arizona needs a big time play maker to even pretend to look like an NFL offense this season, and Williams has the best chance to receive the bulk of the carries.
1. Tarik Cohen – Chicago Bears, RB (7.5%)
There’s always a few guys who you’ve legitimately never heard of that end up being a huge part of a team’s offense. Cohen is one of those pleasant surprises, unless you’re a Jordan Howard owner and spent your Sunday cursing about the Bears’ newest weapon the entire time.
— ProFootballReference (@pfref) September 11, 2017
Howard still got his, rushing 13 times for 52 yards and a touchdown, but what separates Cohen from everyone else on the list is just how many ways he could beat you. He finished with a team high 66 yards thanks to a big 46-yard run, and eight catches on 12 targets for 47 yards and a touchdown. With Howard’s limits in the passing game and yet another receiver hitting the sidelines in Kevin White, Cohen is easily the most exciting option on the Bear’s offense. Versatility is important in fantasy, and nobody available is more versatile than this man.