Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 2 (Fantasy Football)
Disappointed by the outcome of your Week 1 matchup? The beauty of fantasy football lies in the fresh start each week, wiping the slate clean. As you gear up for your second matchup, leveraging the waiver wire becomes a vital step in building a championship-worthy team. Remember, titles are not won or lost on draft day or in the first week of the season. It is the strategic choices throughout the season that secure your seat on the throne at the end of the year. Join me in exploring potential additions for your championship-destined rosters for the inaugural Waiver Wire Wednesday of the season.
|LAR||Puka Nacua||10%||SF / @CIN / @IND|
|GB||Romeo Doubs||45%||@ATL / NO / DET|
|LV||Jakobi Meyers||51%||@BUF / PIT / @LAC|
|NE||Kendrick Bourne||2%||MIA / @NYJ / @DAL|
|NO||Rashid Shaheed||13%||@CAR / @GB / TB|
|JAX||Zay Jones||37%||KC / HOU / ATL|
|PIT||Allen Robinson II||5%||CLE / @LV / @HOU|
|HOU||Nico Collins||44%||IND / @JAX / PIT|
|LAR||Tutu Atwell||7%||SF / @CIN / @IND|
|KC||Rashee Rice||53%||@JAX / CHI / @NYJ|
|GB||Jayden Reed||25%||@ATL / NO / DET|
|DET||Josh Reynolds||4%||SEA / ATL / @GB|
|HOU||Robert Woods||9%||IND / @JAX / PIT|
|CHI||Darnell Mooney||49%||@TB / @KC / DEN|
Puka Nacua, WR, Los Angeles Rams – If you adjusted your eyes to just the right angle on Sunday afternoon, Puka Nacua might have looked eerily similar to Cooper Kupp. Nacua, a fifth-round rookie, had an outstanding NFL debut, hauling in 10 receptions for 119 yards on 15 targets. His 15 targets mark a rookie wide receiver record since this statistic was introduced in 1992. Additionally, his 119 receiving yards were the most by a rookie in their professional debut since Cooper Kupp had 76 in 2017. With a massive 41% team target share, he stepped up admirably in the absence of the aforementioned superstar, who was placed on the IR to start the season. While this very well could be his best game of the season, it is unwise to underestimate his potential for future fantasy contributions. He is a must-add in all leagues and all eyes will be on him in Week 2 to see if he can continue to put the league on notice.
Romeo Doubs, WR, Green Bay Packers – “O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?” The answer to this Shakespearean question likely places Romeo in the heart of the Midwest, where he is diligently racking up touchdowns for your fantasy teams. Despite grappling with a hamstring injury that cast doubt on his availability for most of the week, Romeo Doubs managed to secure four out of five targets, amassing 26 yards and two touchdowns during Sunday’s commanding victory over the Chicago Bears. While his fantasy performance might have seemed less impressive without those crucial touchdowns, what truly stands out is his budding connection with his new quarterback, Jordan Love. However, it is essential to keep in mind that Doubs will face competition for targets once Christian Watson, who is anticipated to return from injury, re-enters the picture.
Jakobi Meyers, WR, Las Vegas Raiders – Before suffering a suspected concussion in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s win over the Denver Broncos, Jakobi Meyers put on an absolute clinic. He showcased his uncanny ability to get open by snaring nine of 10 targets, amassing 81 yards, and notching two touchdowns. He seems to be emerging as the clear WR2 in this offense, lining up alongside Davante Adams. Although his Week 2 availability appears uncertain, it is imperative not to underestimate his remarkable performance and significant role. The Raiders made a conscious effort to acquire Meyers, hinting at his potential to become a favored target for Jimmy Garoppolo moving forward.
Kendrick Bourne, WR, New England Patriots – What’s the deal with all these wide receivers finding the end zone twice in Week 1? Kendrick Bourne was the latest to join the club, hauling in six receptions on 11 targets for 64 yards and two touchdowns during Sunday’s matchup against the Eagles. While his upside might face constraints once DeVante Parker and Tyquan Thornton return from injury, Bourne still offers weekly potential as a boom-or-bust flex option.
Rashid Shaheed, WR, New Orleans Saints – Amidst the spotlight on Chris Olave and Michael Thomas in New Orleans, Rashid Shaheed has continued to quietly carve out a reputation for himself in the opening week of the 2023 season. Besides possessing one of the coolest names in the league, Shaheed displayed his extraordinary speed, reeling in five of six targets for an impressive 89 receiving yards and a touchdown. Throughout the offseason, we have stressed the importance of injecting volatility into your lineups. Shaheed could very well be the ideal catalyst for weekly upside with his significant big-play potential.
- Complete Waiver Wire Rankings
|PHI||Kenneth Gainwell||34%||MIN / @TB / WAS|
|MIA||Raheem Mostert||74%||@NE / DEN / @BUF|
|ATL||Tyler Allgeier||57%||GB / @DET / JAX|
|BAL||Justice Hill||0%||@CIN / IND / @CLE|
|BAL||Gus Edwards||20%||@CIN / IND / @CLE|
|LAR||Kyren Williams||6%||SF / @CIN / @IND|
|LAC||Joshua Kelley||7%||@TEN / @MIN / LV|
|IND||Zack Moss||12%||@HOU / @BAL / LAR|
|PIT||Jaylen Warren||52%||CLE / @LV / @HOU|
|CHI||Roschon Johnson||30%||@TB / @KC / DEN|
|TEN||Tyjae Spears||24%||LAC / @CLE / CIN|
|TB||Sean Tucker||11%||CHI / PHI / @NO|
Kenneth Gainwell, RB, Philadelphia Eagles – The running back situation for the Philadelphia Eagles was uncertain leading up to the season opener. However, the unexpected healthy scratch of Rashaad Penny in Week 1 brought some clarity. While D’Andre Swift had garnered much pregame attention, it was Kenneth Gainwell who started the game behind Jalen Hurts and made the most of his opportunities. Gainwell played 41 snaps (62%), rushing for 54 yards on 14 carries and catching four passes for 20 yards. The other running backs had limited involvement, solidifying Gainwell as an intriguing option for Week 2 against the Minnesota Vikings, as he aims to continue to earn the team’s trust.
Raheem Mostert, RB, Miami Dolphins – In Sunday’s thrilling victory over the Los Angeles Chargers, Raheem Mostert carried the ball 10 times, gaining 37 yards and a touchdown. He also contributed with two receptions for 13 yards. The Dolphins opted for an aggressive passing game approach, limiting Mostert’s rushing opportunities. Nonetheless, he emerged as the primary back, with no other running back receiving more than three touches. De’Von Achane could carve out a complimentary role as he returns to full health, but Mostert is the primary running back to roster in Miami. He is more heavily rostered than other options at the position but there are still too many leagues out there where he is available.
Tyler Allgeier, RB, Atlanta Falcons – While it might slightly disappoint managers of Bijan Robinson, Tyler Allgeier remained heavily involved in the team’s season opener. Despite being a fifth-round pick in last year’s draft, Allgeier defied expectations by surpassing 1,000 rushing yards last season. In Atlanta’s Week 1 victory over the Carolina Panthers, Allgeier not only received more touches than Bijan Robinson but also seems to have secured the role of the team’s goal line back. This led to him scoring two rushing touchdowns and finishing as the RB4 on the week. Looking ahead, Allgeier offers legitimate flex appeal and remains one of the most valuable insurance policies in the league.
Kyren Williams, RB, Los Angeles Rams – It is astonishing how many intriguing waiver wire options the Rams have after Week 1. While many expected the team to rely on the run game due to Cooper Kupp’s absence, the spotlight was not on Cam “Ron” Akers, who managed only 29 rushing yards from 22 carries. Instead, it was second-year running back Kyren Williams who stole the show in the impressive win against the Seattle Seahawks. Usually known for his prowess in the passing game, Williams turned heads with 15 carries, resulting in 52 rushing yards and two touchdowns. He also out-snapped Akers, being on the field for 65% of snaps. Williams seems poised to build on this performance, making him an enticing flex option moving forward with room for upside.
Justice Hill/ Gus Edwards, RBs, Baltimore Ravens –Injuries, the unfortunate downside of football, reared their ugly head once again in Week 1. Our thoughts and prayers go out to J.K. Dobbins, who suffered a season-ending Achilles injury. However, his absence undeniably opens up an opportunity in the Baltimore backfield for someone to step up. Justice Hill managed only nine yards on eight carries and did not receive a single target. On the other hand, Gus Edwards, while playing slightly fewer snaps than Hill, had more production with eight carries for 32 rushing yards. Both players should be considered valuable additions in most leagues due to the potential opportunities ahead. It is also worth noting that the team might explore free agency for additional help, making Kareem Hunt and Leonard Fournette intriguing stash candidates to keep an eye on.
- Complete Waiver Wire Rankings
|NE||Hunter Henry||7%||MIA / @NYJ / @DAL|
|DET||Sam LaPorta||56%||SEA / ATL / @GB|
|DAL||Jake Ferguson||23%||NYJ / @ARI / NE|
|GB||Luke Musgrave||28%||@ATL / NO / DET|
|CAR||Hayden Hurst||12%||NO / @SEA / MIN|
|MIA||Durham Smythe||1%||@NE / DEN / @BUF|
|LAR||Tyler Higbee||86%||SF / @CIN / @IND|
|BAL||Isaiah Likely||42%||@CIN / IND / @CLE|
Hunter Henry, TE, New England Patriots – Week 1 saw many top-tier tight ends sidelined due to injury, turning the position into a complete gamble. In fact, only two tight ends managed to score in double digits. Leading the pack as the TE1 of the week was Hunter Henry, who compiled five receptions on six targets for 56 yards and a touchdown. In a position that struggles to produce, Henry at least stands out as a featured target in his offense.
Sam LaPorta, TE, Detroit Lions – Rookie tight ends typically face challenges when it comes to producing, but Week 1 showcased a couple of exciting exceptions. One standout rookie worth keeping a close eye on is Sam LaPorta, who made an impressive debut. Filling the void left by T.J. Hockenson in Detroit’s offense, LaPorta hauled in all five of his targets for 39 yards during his team’s Thursday night victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.
Jake Ferguson, TE, Dallas Cowboys – While Jake Ferguson may not have made the most of his opportunities, his name is still worth mentioning in this segment. In a game where his team’s victory did not depend on him, Ferguson stood out with a team-leading seven targets but only managed to secure two of them for 11 yards. It is worth considering that poor weather conditions might have contributed to Ferguson’s drops. His role in the offense is something to keep an eye on. However, for him to become a dependable fantasy asset, his actual production will need to align with his volume of opportunities.
- Complete Waiver Wire Rankings
Brock Purdy, QB, San Francisco 49ers – Making a triumphant return from injury, Brock Purdy showcased his skills by completing 19 of 29 passes for 220 yards and notching two touchdowns in Sunday’s commanding victory over the Steelers. He also added to his performance with three rushes for 20 yards. Purdy’s resilience and winning spirit shine through, and in the right matchup, he has the potential to thrive as a streaming option. When you supply an efficient signal caller with a plethora of elite weapons, good things tend to happen.
Jordan Love, QB, Green Bay Packers – Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers…and now, Jordan Love. Is Love poised to become the next great starting quarterback for the Green Bay Packers? In his inaugural game of the 2023 season as the team’s starter, he certainly made a compelling case. Love completed 15 of 27 pass attempts, amassing 245 yards and delivering three touchdowns in the team’s impressive win over the Chicago Bears. Additionally, he added three rushes for 12 yards to his performance. Like Purdy, Love might offer streaming potential in favorable matchups, but his consistency and reliability could be less assured.
Mac Jones, QB, New England Patriots – Under the guidance of Bill O’Brien as the team’s new offensive coordinator, Mac Jones appears to have undergone a potentially significant transformation. After a challenging sophomore season that followed a promising rookie year, Jones is off to an impressive start to the 2023 season. He nearly orchestrated a comeback victory against the Philadelphia Eagles, completing 35 of 54 passes for 316 yards and three touchdowns. Jones is now set to carry his promising start into Week 2, where he will attempt to keep up with the high-powered Miami Dolphins offense.
Consider this list of players your secret weapon for tomorrow morning’s waiver wire. I can never seem to get a good night’s sleep on Tuesday nights during the fantasy football season. I toss, I turn, waking up hourly, all in anticipation of whether I was fortunate enough to snag that week’s coveted player. This week features intriguing names to get excited about, such as Kenneth Gainwell and Puka Nacua. Best of luck to everyone, and here’s to the first of many potentially restless nights of sleep throughout the season.