Welcome to the Fantasy Football Week 2 Waiver Wire pickups where we give you the players to start right away, stash at the end of your bench, or stream for the immediate future.
Let’s look back at Week 1 and dissect the future prospects for the fantasy football Week 2 waiver wire.
Note: Roster % based on Yahoo and should hover around 50% or less
WEEK 2 WAIVER WIRE PICKUPS
- Jeff Wilson Jr., RB San Francisco 49ers (16% rostered)
- Jarvis Landry, WR New Orleans Saints (42%)
- Curtis Samuel, WR Washington Commanders (4%)
- Rex Burkhead, RB Houston Texans (13%)
- Gerald Everett, TE Los Angeles Chargers (27%)
Sure enough, we have an early 49ers injury occurring in the backfield as Eli Mitchell is set to miss eight weeks of action following an MCL injury. If you read our early look waiver article, Jeff Wilson Jr. was one of the guys we highlighted as an early add. Now, Wilson is looking at the RB1 role in San Francisco for the next two months. While Deebo Samuel and Trey Lance should still take a portion of the carries, Wilson will have a firm grasp on the top running back role in one of the league’s top rushing offenses.
Somehow, Jarvis Landry is only 42% owned and he quickly reminded us that he’s still got some talent left in the tank. Landry led the Saints with 11 targets, seven catches, and 114 yards on the day. A shift from the Browns passing attack to the Saints with Winston is very favorable for Landry playing alongside Michael Thomas and Chris Olave. He was also utilized more downfield than ever. If anyone can make two or three receivers fantasy-relevant at once, it’s Winston.
I definitely was not the only one who let out a, “he’s still playing?” when I saw Curtis Samuel shredding the Jacksonville secondary on Sunday. He had a team-high 11 targets and eight catches in the game, going for 55 yards and a score. He was electric and looked like the true playmaker he was drafted as out of Ohio State. The best part was that the offense looked like it opened up with Carson Wentz, who wasn’t afraid to take shots. He carried the ball four times and also ran an extremely high number of routes in the offense. Just please stay healthy.
Pour one out for all the Dameon Pierce hype train conductors as they have been put to rest by 32-year-old Rex Burkhead who dominated the Texans backfield. Pierce was out-snapped, out-touched, and out-produced by old man Rex, who looks like he has the trust of the coaching staff. The worst part about it for Pierce truthers is that it was the perfect game script for the rookie. Still, Pierce had RB1 usage and the Texans look to be competitive this season. For such a razor-thin position, Burkhead is posting better numbers than a majority of the players at his position.
For those short at the tight end position, new Chargers Gerald Everett might just be able to help. Playing in a Justin Herbert offense is attractive enough, but Everett has a clear TE1 role, playing 65.6% of snaps and running a route on 23 of 34 dropbacks. This high-powered offense has no problem spreading the ball around, and Everett has shown he can work well in the red zone. His work will only increase as long as Keenan Allen is sidelined with a hamstring injury.
- Jaylen Warren, RB Pittsburgh Steelers (4% rostered)
- Jahan Dotson, WR Washington Commanders (23%)
- Jamaal Williams, RB Detroit Lions (47%)
- Devin Duvernay, WR Baltimore Ravens (31%)
- Dontrell Hilliard, RB Tennessee Titans (6%)
- Robbie Anderson, WR Carolina Panthers (10%)
- Khalil Herbert, RB Chicago Bears (41%)
- Jordan Mason, RB San Francisco 49ers (1%)
- Carson Wentz, QB Washington Commanders (12%)
- Logan Thomas, TE Washington Commanders (6%)
- Eno Benjamin, RB Arizona Cardinals (8%)
- DJ Chark, WR Detroit Lions (40%)
- Taysom Hill, QB/TE New Orleans Saints (10%)
- Isaiah McKenzie, WR Buffalo Bills (51%)
- Hayden Hurst, TE Cincinnati Bengals (10%)
- Isaiah Pacheco, RB Kansas City Chiefs (31%)
- Zach Moss, RB Buffalo Bills (6%)
To be honest, I don’t know what to make of Najee Harris’ foot injury this week.
He dealt with a Lisfranc injury this offseason and then he injured his foot or ankle and missed the entirety of the overtime period against the Bengals. When Harris was out, Jaylen Warren played every snap for the Steelers backfield and we all know how juicy the RB1 job is in Pittsburgh. While it looks like Harris may not miss time, after all, he’s racking up lower body injuries that could result in re-injury. Warren is one of the most valuable handcuffs in the league.
His exposure was short, but rookie Jahan Dotson made the most of his three catches, going for two scores. Dotson looked great in his NFL debut. He was super shifty and created separation with ease throughout the day against Jacksonville’s secondary. Dotson was out there for 68 of 77 offensive snaps and he looks like the most comfortable rookie receiver of the bunch.
Hard Knocks star Jamaal Williams, famous for his emotional breakdowns after practice, must have really taken it to heart as he plodded in for two touchdowns yesterday. While D’Andre Swift dominated the snaps and the majority of the usage, Williams took over in short yardage and the valuable goal line situations. The Lions’ offense looked solid to start, meaning more potential points and red zone opportunities for Williams to shine.
We wondered who would step up to be the WR2 in Baltimore and the early leader appears to be Devin Duvernay after he racked up 4-54-2 on four targets. Surely behind Mark Andrews and Rashod Bateman on the receiving totem pole, Duvernay is benefitting from Lamar showcasing his passing talents more often this year as he awaits a new contract. The Ravens are still one of the league’s most run-heavy offenses, so don’t expect many blowups like what we saw this week.
One of our previously addressed handcuffs, Dontrell Hilliard didn’t need Derrick Henry to go down in order to be productive. Instead, Hilliard was used as the third-down back and caught three balls for 61 yards and two scores. Hilliard appears to have carved out a role in the passing game, giving him some standalone value, while keeping his top-tier handcuff status intact as Henry is fresh off his season-ending injury.
The Panthers’ passing attack didn’t have much to offer this week aside from the resurgence of Robby Anderson. Playing with arguably his best quarterback, Anderson got back to his deep threat prowess when he caught a 75-yard touchdown to finish with a 5-102-1 stat line on the day. He’s playing nearly every snap and running a route on every dropback, so this is elite WR usage we like to see from a thin receiving core.
Bears backup RB Khalil Herbert found the end zone this week and slightly confirmed the preseason rumors that he would be seeing more action this year. Montgomery still led the Bears in nearly all running back categories, but Herbert’s goal-line usage could be something to keep an eye on.
While Jeff Wilson tops our waiver rankings, we’d be idiots not to include Jordan Mason here. Mason was the highest graded rusher in the preseason and forced Tyrion Davis-Price into street clothes for Week 1. Shanahan does not care about draft capital and will always play the best runner. Would it surprise anyone if Mason was this year’s Elijah Mitchell? Wilson has not looked good since suffering a number of knee and ankle injuries over the last year-plus, and the spry rookie could steal the job if given the chance.
Woah baby, Carson Wentz! He sure showed his true colors in Week 1. One moment he was looking absolutely dominant and the next moment he was throwing two picks on back-to-back throws. Still, he finished with 313 yards and four touchdowns on the day. He won’t face the Jaguars every week, but Washington showed the willingness to let him sling it and take chances that they might not have been able to with Taylor Heinicke last season. With Brian Robinson Jr. out, the lack of a true running game behind Antonio Gibson pushed the play calling towards a more pass-heavy approach.
We’re changing our name to the Roto Street Commanders after listing the entire offense in this article. Old friend Logan Thomas looked healthy coming off his season-ending ACL injury and caught three-of-six targets for 46 yards in Week 1. The tight end averaged 15 yards per reception, highlighted by a 27-yard grab. Not sure if Wentz has the ability to make all of these guys viable, but there’s talent in DC that needs to be rostered.
Keep an eye on Cardinals backup RB Eno Benjamin who got most of his work done in garbage time and passing situations, but he was the clear RB2 behind James Conner. His performance led to zero snaps for Darrel Williams and was pretty much useless going forward. Conner’s injury history makes Benjamin an interesting stash.
DJ Chark appears to be the WR2 behind Amon-Ra St. Brown and was second on the team in all categories — catching four balls for 52 yards and a score on eight targets. As mentioned with Williams above, Detroit’s offense looks better this year, and they should be able to move the ball more consistently. Chark played 56 of 69 offensive snaps and ran a route on 36 of 39 dropbacks, meaning he’s locked into this offense.
The man simply refuses to go away. You’d think the departure of Sean Peyton would all but erase Taysom Hill from our lives, but of course not! The fantasy “TE” ran the ball four times for 81 yards and converted at the goal line. His QB/TE dual usage is what makes him valuable, especially given how thin tight end is. I don’t love him, but he’s annoyingly still very much involved in this offense.
Did anyone look better than the Bills this week? Josh Allen looks like the 2022 MVP and Isaiah McKenzie is currently the WR3. He shared snaps with Jamison Crowder, which wasn’t ideal, but he still produced and snagged a touchdown. If Crowder misses time, McKenzie will ball out (and vice-versa).
Hayden Hurst was a late-round sleeper The Wolf was starting to fall for, naming him “the 2022 version of Dawson Knox.” We saw the Bengals’ offense struggle early but also saw how unstoppable they can be at times. Tee Higgins is currently dealing with a concussion, and Hurst played 75% of offensive snaps, meaning he should have a more significant role should Higgins miss time. Hurst’s eight targets were the third-highest on the team behind Ja’Marr Chase and Joe Mixon.
Rookie Isaiah Pacheco was getting a lot of preseason love this year as a late-round stash and he ended up leading the Chiefs in rushing this week with 62 yards on 11 carries and a score. Granted, this work all came in the fourth after Kansas City had built a huge lead, but it was nice to see the rookie do well with the opportunity given to him. CEH has dealt with injuries in his limited time and Jerick McKinnon has never really been a lead back. Pacheco could carve a role here.
While Devin Singletary handled most of the Bills’ running back work in the opener, Zack Moss was present and a factor in the passing game. Despite only playing 37% of snaps, Moss ended with six catches and offers upside for PPR owners looking for RB depth.
- Joshua Palmer WR Los Angeles Chargers (21% rostered)
- Cleveland Browns D/ST (26%)
- Pittsburgh Steelers D/ST (30%)
- Greg Dortch, WR Arizona Cardinals (0%)
With Keenan Allen’s hamstring injury, he seems pretty unlikely to play in Thursday night’s matchup against the Chiefs. Joshua Palmer filled in nicely as the slot receiver and should see a big bump playing a key role in the Chargers passing attack. Palmer can play on both the inside and outside, and is the ultimate “handcuff” receiver if there’s such a thing.
The Cleveland Browns did a good job of limiting Baker Mayfield’s offense aside from the Robbie Anderson touchdown. This week, they get Joe Flacco and the hapless Jets, so they look like a great streaming option.
Pittsburgh’s defense was swarming all game and forced five turnovers against Joe Burrow and the Bengals offense. The loss of TJ Watt is a huge blow, but they are still talented enough to put up points. They get a Patriots offense at home that looked horrible last week, turning the ball over three times against the Dolphins.
If you had Greg Dortch leading the Cardinals in receiving Week 1, go buy a lottery ticket. With Rondale Moore out from a hamstring injury and DeAndre Hopkins suspended, Dortch was the WR2 and was in on 91% of the team’s snaps — going for 7-63 on nine targets in the game. Arizona has another high potential scoring game against the Raiders this week so he should be a factor again with increased usage.