The Week 2 fantasy football waiver wire already has some big-name pickups. Puka Nacua, anyone? Before you go too crazy over Week 1 results, remember how crazy any given NFL week can be. Or, do you need a reminder of Week 1 just last year?
Before you go 🦆ing crazy over Week 1… 2022 Week 1
Chosen Anderson WR10
Just a small sample (this list and Week 1) pic.twitter.com/gw4sOUYScr
— Jake Ciely (@allinkid) September 10, 2023
There are some notable performances worthy of early waiver wire action. And, of course, tons of early worries.
- Players must be under 60% rostered on Yahoo
- Listed in order of preference — I’ll often prioritize potential upside over immediate middling production
- No FAB suggestions: It varies wildly by league tendencies and is always relative (e.g., if you lost your RB1 to injury and there is a clear backup, you’re going to be more aggressive)
- Streaming QB and TE are grouped together— weekly ranking can change once projections/ranks run — DST could shift a bit too
More Ducks (and Eggs) = More Concern
- Bijan Robinson 🥚, Drake London 🦆🦆🦆🦆, Kyle Pitts 🦆🦆🦆🥚, ATL — Robinson saw just 40% of the Falcons’ rushes but out-snapped Tyler Allgeier on passing downs (61.3% to 42.3%). This is less about Robinson worry and more about Allgeier having standalone value… London and Pitts are in trouble. We knew the Falcons would be run-heavy, but London had one target and Pitts three with Desmond Ridder completing 15-of-18 for 115 yards and a touchdown. It’s bad.
- Antonio Gibson, WSH 🦆🦆🦆 — Gibson saw just 10.7% of the Commanders’ rushes with 87.5% of his snaps on passing downs. Brian Robinson also had 47.4% of the passing down work, suggesting Robinson is the clear lead.
- Cam Akers, LAR 🦆🦆🦆🥚 — Akers had 22 touches to Kyren Williams’ 15, but only four passing down snaps to 35 for Williams, and 29 rushing yards to Williams’ 52. Akers got plenty of work, but Williams had plenty more success, potentially putting him in the lead as early as Week 2.
- Khalil Herbert, CHI 🦆🥚 — Fortunately, Roschon Johnson had three touches on third and fourth down while up by 7+ points, only behind Tony Pollard’s four. That totaled 27.2% of Johnson’s volume. Johnson is a concern, especially long term, but Herbert is a bit safer than you might assume… for now.
- Dameon Pierce, HOU 🦆 — Pierce had 35 snaps to Devin Singletary’s 15, but the touches were 13 to 7, and the talk and usage for Pierce in a bellcow role look to be a potential mirage.
- D’Andre Swift, PHI 🦆🦆🦆 — Rashaad Penny was a healthy scratch, and yet, Swift had just 4.2% of the rushes, while 88.2% of his snaps were pass plays. Swift isn’t even in starter conversations.
- Christian Kirk, JAX 🦆🦆🥚 — Kirk had 10 fewer snaps than Zay Jones, in addition to 10 fewer routes and four fewer targets. This could change a bit against the Chiefs, but at best, this is a possible timeshare at the No. 2 receiver position in Jacksonville.
- Rashod Bateman, BAL 🦆🦆🦆🥚 — Not only was Bateman behind Odell Beckham and Zay Flowers, he had six fewer snaps and routes than Isaiah Likely.
- JuJu Smith-Schuster, NE 🦆🦆🦆 — While Smith-Schuster saw a target on 25.9% of his routes, it was only 13.0% of the team’s targets thanks to a mere 27 passing snaps — tied for fourth with Demario Douglas. Sell him before it gets worse — yes, sell low.
- Skyy Moore, KC 🦆🦆 — A top-two option, at least in snaps and routes, Moore was a distant eighth in Chiefs targets per route run. This was a golden opportunity, and Moore dropped the ball (Kadarius Toney too, especially for that pun). Still, Nate Taylor, who covers the Chiefs for The Athletic, suggests patience before dropping either already:
“Fantasy managers should stay patient with Skyy Moore, especially if Travis Kelce returns to the lineup this Sunday against the Jaguars. Andy Reid will likely make it a point of emphasis to get Moore and Kadarius Toney each a touch early in the game to establish rhythm in the Chiefs’ offense. The Chiefs built their receiver room with the intention of Kelce still being Patrick Mahomes’ No. 1 target. After just one game, fantasy managers should give the Chiefs a few more weeks to see how the hierarchy shakes out with their receivers.”
- Brock Purdy, SF
- Jordan Love, GB
- Russell Wilson, DEN
- Derek Carr, NO
- Sam Howell, WSH
- Baker Mayfield, TB
- Mac Jones, NE
- Desmond Ridder, ATL
- Jimmy Garoppolo, LV
- Ryan Tannehill, TEN
- Matthew Stafford, LAR
- C.J. Stroud, HOU
- Kenny Pickett, PIT
- Bryce Young, CAR
- 😤 = I Tried to Tell Ya — players included for several weeks (not much more to add if you don’t want them)
- 🔍 = Check if Dropped — players who might have been cut loose by their managers because of other needs or impatience
- 🎯 = Long-Term Target — players with starter+ upside who require patience (stash picks)
- = Backup/Next Man Up — players who have almost no value but starter+ upside if injury occurs ahead of them
WAIVER WIRE RUNNING BACK RANKS
- Kenneth Gainwell, PHI — The reports were accurate. Gainwell is the lead for the Eagles with Rashaad Penny a healthy inactive and D’Andre Swift barely touching the ball. The Eagles will still frustrate us at times, but Gainwell is a must-roster.
- Gus Edwards, BAL — With J.K. Dobbins done, Edwards steps up as the lead, even though many might believe it’s Justice Hill by just looking at the box score. Yes, Hill will be used as well, and the goal line carries are intriguing for Hill, and a possible Edwards concern, but Edwards has been the next one up and got the first carry opportunities after Dobbins’ exit.
- Justice Hill, BAL — Hill has a high ceiling, especially if the Ravens use him as the goal line rusher, similar to Ezekiel Elliott. Unless he is also the passing game option, the upside is limited, particularly since Edwards would be the more effective lead rusher.
- Tyler Allgeier, ATL — We could be in store for a Devonta Freeman/Tevin Coleman repeat. While the Allgeier use was a damper on the Bijan Robinson for 350 touches party, Freeman was RB6 and Coleman RB19 in 2016. I wouldn’t lock Allgeier in as an every-week RB2, but he’s going to be startable most weeks in this shared backfield.
- Kyren Williams, LAR — Cam Akers dominated the carries, but Williams dominated the performance… comparatively. Williams had 52 yards on 15 carries compared to 29 on 22 for Akers. It’s Sean McVay, so I wouldn’t trust the switch… yet… but Williams could easily be the new lead for the Rams.
- Zack Moss, IND — 🔍 Deon Jackson fell flat in his opportunity to lead the Colts, and with Moss likely back, he gets his turn and can be an RB3.
- Tyjae Spears, TEN — Derrick Henry doesn’t need a ton of touches to dominate, so the Titans are keeping him healthy while Spears gets a nice share (33 snaps to 28 for Henry with 25 to 13 in the passing game).
- Sean Tucker, TB — Rachaad White is clearly the main option, but Tucker looked and played better on his touches. The alarm isn’t sounding, yet, but Tucker is a real threat to White’s lead role.
- Roschon Johnson, CHI — 🎯 See: Herbert worry report. Johnson is definitely worth a stash on the chance he overtakes the lead.
- Tank Bigsby, JAX — Some mistakes, but Bigsby had seven touches, including two goal-line attempts.
- Joshua Kelley, LAC — In potential shootouts, Kelley has some startability, and he’d be an RB2 if Austin Ekeler missed time.
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire, KC — 🔍 Matt Nagy could have been trying new things or could be putting CEH in a timeshare with Isiah Pacheco, thereby giving CEH deep value and ruining Jerick McKinnon’s.
- Elijah Mitchell, SF — Christian McCaffrey will miss time if the 49ers give him 25 touches every week.
- Jaylen Warren, PIT — The Steelers were ugly in Week 1, and while Najee Harris was still the lead, Warren took his share and could see more.
- Chuba Hubbard, CAR — Worth stashing in deeper leagues if they continue to use him in the passing game similar to a J.D. McKissic type.
- Jerome Ford, CLE — Next man up behind Nick Chubb.
- Damien Harris, BUF — Will see a goal line carry or two, but unless James Cook gets hurt, Harris won’t be startable.
- Devin Singletary, HOU — Dameon Pierce’s preseason bellcow role dissipated, and Singletary would lead if Pierce missed time.
- Ty Chandler, MIN — 🎯 Not sprinkled in much; purely a backup to Alexander Mattison.
- Keaontay Ingram, ARI — 🎯 Will only be relevant if James Conner gets hurt.
- Kendre Miller, NO — 🎯 Injured, but if Jamaal Williams continues to pull a Cam Akers, Miller could leap him on the depth chart.
- De’Von Achane, MIA — 🎯 Future half/full-PPR RB3 upside.
DUMPSVILLE 🗑️ (Order I’d Drop)
- Evan Hull, IND — Will miss time, couldn’t push past Deon Jackson and Zack Moss is returning. Would drop for any running back listed (above).
- Deuce Vaughn, DAL — Didn’t get any use until late garbage time. Sure, he can still have half/full-PPR value in shootouts, but the lack of any passing game work is a problem, even in a blowout. Would drop for anyone through Warren.
- Antonio Gibson, WSH — See: his worry report. Would drop for all options through Bigsby.
- D’Andre Swift, PHI — When could you trust him? That said, only dropping for running backs through Spears… maybe Tucker too.
WAIVER WIRE WIDE RECEIVER RANKS
- Puka Nacua, LAR — Going from speculative long-term upside stash to must-grab, Nacua is the hottest name in most leagues. As mentioned in the preseason, Nacua is the better all-around receiver than Van Jefferson, with Adam Thielen similarities and currently filling the Cooper Kupp role. It’s not an overreaction to consider Nacua for most lineups in Week 2.
- Jakobi Meyers, LV — Not only did Meyers have 38.5% of his team targets, he was also targeted on 41.7% of his routes. If healthy, Jimmy Garoppolo will have Meyers as a high-floor, modest-ceiling, WR3 at least.
- Nico Collins, HOU — Led the Texans in targets, yards and points, and even though much was in garbage time, the Texans should regularly have some garbage time.
- Zay Jones, JAX — The Jaguars dropped Christian Kirk to the No. 3 role, putting Jones in the 12-team starter conversation.
- Romeo Doubs, GB — Doubs wasn’t just Jordan Love’s top receiver, he was the only Packers player with two red zone targets and/or two end zone targets, catching both. Only Samori Toure (one end zone) and Dontayvion Wicks (one red zone) had any other of each, and neither caught his.
- Tutu Atwell, LAR — Also semi-filling the Kupp void, Atwell had eight targets for 6-119-0 and 14.9 fantasy points. He’ll be inconsistent, but he’s in play as a WR4 with Top 20 upside until Kupp returns.
- Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Rashee Rice, KC — MVS has been the only consistent top-two Chiefs receiver all preseason and through Week 1. You can do worse. Also, check the breakdown from Nate Taylor with the Skyy Moore concern. Don’t drop Moore yet, and don’t go crazy just yet, but it would be wise to stash Rice on the chance that Moore and/or Kadarius Toney have reached their chances limits.
- Allen Lazard, NYJ — Touchdown upside with Aaron Rodgers to be a WR3/4, but if Rodgers is done for the year, Lazard is down with the Robert Woods of the world.
- Darius Slayton, NYG — 🔍 The Giants stunk. But, Slayton and Parris Campbell are the No. 1 and 2, and Slayton tied for the TmTGT% lead with Darren Waller, continuing to be Daniel Jones’ top wideout… for now.
- Josh Reynolds, DET — Highest snap percentage for all Lions receivers, including Amon-Ra St. Brown. Second in Route% (82.9) and TmTGT% (21.9), and Reynolds should rank top three in those each week until Jameson Williams’ suspension is over.
- Jayden Reed, GB — Reed will be tougher to trust when Christian Watson returns, but he still can pass Doubs on the depth chart and is top-two until Watson plays.
- Kendrick Bourne, NE — He’s a flier as long as DeVante Parker is out.
- Allen Robinson, PIT — 🔍 This might make you puke as hard as I did while ending the “All in Football” pod early on Monday — if you were watching live, you know — but as long as Diontae Johnson is out, that’s how long Robinson will be a top-two option for Kenny Pickett. However, ARob and Pickett still only equal WR4 value.
- Robert Woods, HOU — Floor play. Yay?
- Adam Thielen, CAR — It was as ugly as it can get, but like Slayton, Thielen is worth holding where possible.
- Tyler Boyd, CIN — Upside and usability if Ja’Marr Chase or Tee Higgins ever got hurt.
- Curtis Samuel, WSH — Ten of his 17 games last year went for 9+ fantasy points — Samuel is a floor play for needy teams.
- Darnell Mooney, CHI — Maybe D.J. Moore absorbs all of the attention and Justin Fields takes the easier option in Mooney.
- Michael Wilson, ARI — 🎯 Already a top-two receiver for the Cardinals, Wilson just needs some functional quarterback play to be usable.
- Josh Downs, IND — 🎯 Downs was an early favorite of Anthony Richardson, and he can turn into a half/full-PPR asset in time.
- Quentin Johnston, LAC — 🎯 Impressive talent. Future WR3 upside.
- Jonathan Mingo, CAR — 🎯 Future upside as development continues.
- Rashid Shaheed, NO — It will be inconsistent value, but similar to a Tyler Boyd, the No. 3 receiver for the Saints will be a deeper play and have Top 40 value if either Saints top option gets hurt.
- Van Jefferson, LAR — While Nacua and Atwell stole the spotlight, Jefferson had the same number of routes, which keeps him as a boom/bust WR4.
- Marvin Mims, DEN — 🎯1% of the snaps. 6.3 TmTGT%. This is while Jerry Jeudy was out. Mims is a great long-term talent — stash if you can — but he’s droppable too — see below.
- Hunter Renfrow, LV — This is only if Meyers is out, and if so, Renfrow jumps up near Bourne as merely a temporary option.
- River Cracraft, MIA — We saw this last year. There will often be a third receiving option popping up for value with the Dolphins, but it’s way too volatile to count on any specific option after Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle.
- Trey Palmer, TB — We’re hard-pressed to trust the lead running back. I don’t want to gamble on the third wide receiver in this offense.
DUMPSVILLE 🗑️ (Order I’d Drop)
- Michael Gallup, DAL — Not a top-three option when you factor in Tony Pollard, and possibly not even Top 4 with Jake Ferguson figuring in the mix. Would drop for every wideout.
- Jonathan Mingo, CAR — Struggled to get open, was third in TmTGT%, and Bryce Young needs time. Wouldn’t drop him for anyone after Mooney.
- Quentin Johnston, LAC — Johnston is buried, seeing fewer routes than both starting tight ends. He still has a high ceiling, especially if Mike Williams misses time, but Johnston needs to surpass Josh Palmer on the depth chart first. Drop for anyone through MVS and down to Woods if you need points now.
- Rashod Bateman, BAL — Behind Odell Beckham, Zay Flowers and, of course, Mark Andrews. Might be coming back from injury slowly, so would only drop down to MVS for now.
STREAMING TIGHT ENDS
- NYG at ARI
- ATL vs GB
- HOU vs IND
- CLE at PIT
- IND at HOU
- CHI at TB
- KC at JAX
- LAC at TEN
- CIN vs LAR
- SEA vs CAR
- JAX vs HOU
- KC vs CHI
- DET vs ATL
- LAC at MIN
- NYG at SF
(Photo by Charles Brock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)