Football is officially back, so let’s all just take a moment and appreciate that we are here today able to consider our waiver wire options for week one. A quick reminder that all my players I write about are less than 60% rostered, according to ESPN Fantasy. I don’t waste your time with guys you know should be picked up if available. So let’s get right into it!
Waiver Wire Pickups
Running Back 34.4% rostered
All eyes were on rookie Jonathan Taylor, but it was Nyhiem Hines who put together the best day for the Indianapolis Colts. Even before the Marlon Mack injury, which is feared to be a season-ender, Hines got the goal-line carries and receptions and was productive with them. If Mack were to miss, Hines would be almost guaranteed an every-week flex play in leagues of 12+. Expect Taylor to be the primary runner, but if Week 1 was any indication of anything, it’s that Frank Reich looks at Hines as more than just a receiving back moving forward.
Benny Snell Jr.
Running Back 14.6% owned
I stayed far away from James Conner in every league of mine for two reasons. I’m just not a believer in the skill anymore and he is one of the most injury-prone backs in the league. Well, two quarters into his 2020 debut he proved both of those things to be right opening the door for Snell to breakout, taking 19 carries for 113 yards. The off-season reports on Snell were that he skimmed down and worked on his speed and after watching that game it was very apparent. I don’t remember ever seeing Snell as fast as he was on Monday night. Even if the Conner injury isn’t serious, I expect Snell to be heavily involved moving forward and if Conner misses a few weeks, he won’t get it back. It very well may be the Snell show in Pittsburgh moving forward. Add him everywhere.
Running Back 29.1% rostered
The undrafted free agent out of Illinois State got the start and took 16 carries for 62 yards and one catch for 28 yards. That kind of volume is worth rostering in all leagues. Yes, there is a question of will that volume stay once Ozigbo and Armstead return, but we still have at least two more weeks of Robinson to prove that it will. Minshew and the coaches had nothing but praise for Robinson after his first start and ai think he is here to stay as a flex/RB3 with upside depending on game script.
Running Back 11.3% rostered
If you put in any research in the off-season, you knew there would be a back with at least 10+ touches behind Ekeler on a weekly basis. The discussion was would it be Justin Jackson or Joshua Kelley. Well, that was answered today as Kelley took 12 carries for 60 yards and a touchdown. Head Coach Anthony Lynn said that they wouldn’t have won without Kelley, cementing him as the RB2 Behind Ekeler and worth rostering in leagues of 12+. He is the favorite for goal-line work and I think it is only a matter of time before he evens out, or even beats the rushing attempts over Ekeler.
Running Back 22.3% rostered
Kerryon Johnson (Three years with the team), D’Andre Swift (Six months with the team), and Adrian Peterson (Seven days on the team)…Yet AP led the team in carries this week. He had an efficient 14 carries for 93 yards along with three catches for 21 yards. Kerryon was a non-factor and Swift dropped the game-winning touchdown (Dog house anyone?). Available in about 75% of leagues, AP is definitely worth a roster spot in most leagues. Just remember this, he doesn’t care about winning at this point in his career, he is just chasing records. He wouldn’t have chosen Detroit if he wasn’t promised work. AP will get his.
Wide Receiver 3.8% rostered
If there was any waiver wire guy I knew I’d be writing about week one, it would be Gage. I have been raving about him all year as a screaming value so if you didn’t get him on your team in the last round already, shame on you. Gage exploded for nine catches and 114 yards. In my Dynasty buy low article, I explained how he saw 7.3 targets per game as the WR3 in Atlanta once Sanu was traded away and he far exceeded those expectations Week one. The Falcons project as one of the most pass-heavy teams in the league, so a steady dose of at least six targets per game should be expected of Gage, making him an ideal WR4 with upside for weeks we saw today, especially once bye weeks roll around.
Wide Receiver 29.8% rostered
Parris was a popular pick amongst the fantasy community for a second-year breakout. After losing most of his rookie season to an injury, word was that Campbell was showing out in camp, justifying why he was such a high pick in last year’s draft. Well, that transferred to the field as he caught six balls for 71 yards, which led the team. He has the feeling of a Jarvis Landry/Jameson Crowder type out of the slot who will provide you with a nice floor in PPR leagues most weeks. He should be rostered everywhere.
Wide Receiver 45.8% rostered
Is football really back if Sammy Watkins doesn’t come out guns blazing in Week 1, only to be followed by duds for the rest of the year? Well, we haven’t gotten to that point yet, and hopefully, we don’t, but the volatile nature of fantasy Sammy must be remembered. While healthy, he provides you with either week winning upside or a week losing floor. Hopefully, that changes this year, so for the time being, he looks healthy and is the clear number two option in the Kansas City passing attack and that is worth rostering in all leagues.
Wide Receiver 3.7% rostered
Sure, Mike Evans was clearly at less than 100% this week, but if you have been following Bucs camp at all, you should be familiar with the name Scotty Miller. Brady and Miller have developed quite a relationship with each other including talking about each other on multiple occasions in interviews and connecting in camp. Miller looks to be the third option in the passing attack as a super fast and shifty guy who lines up both outside and in the slot. With all eyes on Godwin, Evans and the tight ends, Miller should find himself at an advantage when it comes to beating coverage. For now, Miller should absolutely be on all dynasty rosters regardless of league size. I’m not quite adding him in 10 team redrafts just yet, but leagues of 14+ he should be added.
Tight End 27.2% rostered
To my surprise, Goedert is only rostered in about 27% of leagues according to ESPN ownership. He looked like the Eagles best player on the field out there on Sunday and I don’t think that it will be just a one-week thing. Ertz and the Eagles are already at odds with his new contract, so if they truly are making a transition at the position…watch out. If Ertz were to ever get traded or injured, Goedert would be in the top four discussion behind Kelce, Kittle, and Andrews. But for now, he should be rostered in all leagues, that’s even if you already have a top tight end as Goedert could turn into a weekly flex play in deeper leagues if this continues.
- Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdez-Scantling have been vying for that number two spot behind Davante Adams all year. Well, both had nice games this week, but if you were to go after one, my choice would be Lazard who should provide more floor weeks as opposed to the boom-bust nature of MVS.
- At the tight end position, Logan Thomas seems to be the starter for Washington, OJ Howard looks to be a real part of the Buccaneers offense and Dalton Schultz is the next man up after losing Jarwin for the year. None are startable options for me right now outside of deeper leagues, but if TE is a weak point for your team, these are three guys I’d consider outside of Goedert.
- While Peyton Barber did score two touchdowns, he was horribly inefficient taking 17 carries for only 29 yards. I would rather take a shot on guys like Jamaal Williams, Jerrick Mckinnon, and Myles Gaskin in deeper leagues.
- Tyrod Taylor looked awful and it’s only a matter of time before we see the Justin Herbert show. Surrounded by weapons at every position, Herbert has sneaky upside (See rookie year Daniel Jones), especially when considering his rushing potential. If you waited on Quarterback and aren’t happy with what you have, scoop up Herbert now while he’s free once waivers clear.
- Laviska Shenault has been a popular name within the fantasy community and his Week one touchdown has twitter filled with Shenault victory laps. I’m not quite buying just yet. I’d leave him on the wire in all leagues with 12 teams or less.