Let me start with this. There’s a TON of quality on the waiver wire. I really can’t believe it. Anyone out there could cut their entire roster and replace them solely with the guys on this list and make your playoffs. Granted, you’d probably lose early in the playoffs, but if you think your team is bad at this point, then you can remake it. If you think your team is good, you can fortify your bench and make a DEEP run. Or, you could trade a couple of good guys for a blue chip star, then replenish your bench. There are plenty of options out there. Be aggressive out there. Early season waivers are just as important as your fantasy drafts.
For me, week 2 of the NFL season is used to confirm the breakout candidates from week 1. There are three on the Rams for example. Puka Nacua has done an exceptional job filling in for Cooper Kupp (and yes, I still think his targets will drop considerably when Kupp is back, but will still ball out while Kupp is gone). Atwell to me looks like the clear 2nd option – the kind of player the Rams have missed since Woods and Beckham left town. And my pre-season prediction of Sean McVay demoting Cam Akers has come true.
I was pleasantly surprised at the workshare between Gus Edwards and Justice Hill. For my money, Hill is the guy you want. I liken this situation to what we saw between Damien Harris and Rhomondre Stevenson last year. Long story short, both are capable runners, but Hill is the guy who catches more passes. The numbers weren’t great and thanks to an awful glitch with my NFL+ account, I haven’t been able to watch the Ravens game. I’ll catch up later in the week, but my feeling is that Hill will eventually break free and get more touches thanks to his receiving numbers.
This waiver column is being written DURING the Monday Night Football games, but for all intents and purposes, the analysis really extends to the Sunday games (on 9/17/2023).
Might Be Available (available in 15-30% of All Fantasy Football Leagues):
- QB, Anthony Richardson
- RB, Kyren Williams
- RB, D’Andre Swift (keep in mind Gainwell will be back soon. What we saw last week from Swift will not be the norm)
- WR, Puka Nacua
- WR, Jordan Addison
- WR, Jahan Dotson
- WR, Brandin Cooks
- WR, Skyy Moore
- TE: None in this percentage, but check the regular waiver section for plenty of quality adds
- RB, Brian Robinson
- RB, Tyler Allgeier
- DST, NY Jets
- DST, Philadelphia Eagles
- DST, Pittsburgh Steelers
Overall (Available in 30% of leagues or more):
- Kyren Williams
- Justice Hill
- Gus Edwards
- Nico Collins
- Tutu Atwell
- Kenneth Gainwell
- Zach Ertz
- Hunter Henry
Good Chance They Will Be There (available in more than 30% of Fantasy Football leagues):
- Brock Purdy – he’ll probably get you 2 TDs a week, but he has the potential to grow into an excellent 3 QB/week QB. He can also scramble better than you would think
- Russell Wilson – he’s looking solid as a backup QB
- Jordan Love – I like what I’m seeing. And he’s playing well without his best players on the field (Watson has missed both games and Jones missed last week)
- Sam Howell – he’s getting better. His receivers are good, his play caller is good and he scrambles. He’s worth a bottom-bench add – especially if you’re in a 2 QB league and he’s somehow available
- Kyren Williams – I can’t believe he’s only on 60% of rosters out there. He should have been on about 80% heading into week 2. Snap him up. He’s scored twice in both games. The best thing in his favor is he catches passes and Stafford loves checking down to his backs when necessary.
- Jerome Ford – As I published this article, Nick Chubb got hurt. I haven’t seen the injury, but apparently it’s bad enough that they won’t show the replay. That usually means a broken leg or something like that. Suffice it to say, he’s out for the year.
- Gus Edwards and Justice Hill – Edwards is owned in about 32% of leagues and Hill is owned in around 7%. My pick his Hill, but both should absolutely be rostered. What is everyone waiting for?
- Kenneth Gainwell – did you see what D’Andre Swift did last week? Gainwell was the starter when he was healthy. There’s no reason he can’t do the same when he’s back into the lineup.
- Jeff Wilson Jr. – he’s on IR, but he should be the primary back once he’s back in action. Pick him up and stash him.
- Roschon Johnson – He officially supplanted Foreman as the #2 back and he’s nipping at the heals of Herbert, who I like quite a bit. Johnson basically had one big run and then a bunch of crud this week. But that’s one more big run than Herbert had. Keep an eye out.
- Zack Moss – I’d have him a bit higher, except Jonathan Taylor will probably be back at some point. The Colts simultaneously don’t want to pay Taylor and want big compensation for him. This is trending toward a franchise tag after the season. All signs point to drama.
- Tyjae Spears – if you have Henry on your roster, pick him up. If you’re in a very deep league, he’s worth rostering. He had 10 touches last week and is explosive with the ball in his hands.
- Chuba Hubbard – he did well with his carries. Sanders is still the guy, but keep an eye on Hubbard
- Nico Collins – he looks like the #1 guy in Houston regardless of what their depth chart says.
- Tutu Atwell – his game vs a tough 49ers defense confirmed my suspicions. He’ll be an excellent #2 WR and runs those deep cross routes very effectively with the Rams
- Romeo Doubs – when Watson comes back, he’ll get plenty of 1 on 1 matchups deep downfield
- Josh Reynolds – he’s the steady outside presence the Lions want. I think he’ll be a consistent decent player going forward.
- Adam Thielen – NOTE: I’m writing this during the Panthers/Saints game, so if he’s injured, forgert it. But he gets a lot of targets and the Panthers offense will eventually start scoring points.
- Tank Dell – I’m not sure he’ll consistently get the amount of targets he got this week, but it’s worth watching. Houston will be throwing the ball a lot since they’ll be trailing in many games.
- Marvin Mims – he’s a fine add in TD only leagues, but I worry about his target percentage so he’s further down on my list.
- Jayden Reed – he’s further down because Christian Watson would have had both of those TDs last week had he been on the field. When Watson is back, Reed will still be good, but not as good as he’s been the first two weeks.
- Robert Woods – yes, there are 3 Texan receivers on this list. It’s because they’ll have to throw the ball 50 times a game thanks to their struggling running game and likelihood of losing many games late. Woods will score well. He’s worth a bench spot.
- Kadarius Toney – he bounced back nicely in week 2. I think he can build off of it moving forward.
- Zach Ertz – he’s getting a ton of targets. It won’t be long before he starts catching TDs in volume.
- Hunter Henry – he’s playing exceptionally well (and consistently well) in this offense. Snap him up.
- Sam LaPorta – he’s been the best rookie TE so far. He hasn’t scored yet, but TDs will come in this offense.
- Logan Thomas – Thomas is older and injured a lot, but just like Ertz and LaPorta, he gets plenty of targets and will eventually start scoring TDs
- Cade Otton – I like his snap share percentage and he’s getting consistent targets. I have him lower than other similar guys because the the offense itself has a lower ceiling than some of the others.
- Luke Musgrave and Dalton Kincaid – both are playing well, but they’re also far down the pecking order in the red zone. I’d focus more on the guys higher on this list.
Note: I’m not picking these based on offensive opponent this week. I don’t start looking at those types of matchups until week 3 or 4. It’s too early in the season to really worry about what happened in week 1.
- New England Patriots vs NY Jets– they are always solid. They also happen to have a dream matchup in week 3.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Philadelphia Eagles – Todd Bowles knows how to coach defense and they’ve played well so far. Don’t love the Eagles matchup though.
- Jacksonville Jaguars vs Houston Texans – great job vs the Chiefs and their division will turn the ball over quite a bit when they play. Jacksonville has Houston next week and then Atlanta the week after.
- Arizona Cardinals vs Dallas Cowboys – they collapsed in the 2nd half, but they rush the QB. You can see the influence of their coordinator early. I like what I’m seeing. Not loving their matchup vs the Cowboys, however.