Drafting in fantasy is the most fun part, regardless of sport.
Of course you can set your team up for success throughout your drafts, but many leagues are won on the waiver wire.
Whether your league uses as a classic waiver system or FAAB (free agent acquisition budget), it’s up to you, the owner, to be aggressive on a weekly basis. Let’s get to work. All players listed below are owned in less than 60% of Yahoo! leagues.
Bills’ Josh Allen (at the New York Giants)
Jets’ Sam Darnold (vs. Cleveland)
Raiders’ Derek Carr (vs. Kansas City)
Jaguars’ Gardner Minshew (Two-QB leagues)
Part of the reason fantasy analysts tell you to wait on the quarterback position in leagues where you only start one is because you can just stream QBs in the best matchups.
Possibly the best streamer in Week 2 comes in Josh Allen, the second-year signal-caller of the Buffalo Bills. Allen faces the New York Giants, who just got picked apart by Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys.
In their Week 1 matchup, Prescott threw for 405 yards and four touchdowns, finishing as the second highest-scoring quarterback on the week. The Giants’ defense struggled and Allen has some options now in John Brown, Cole Beasley, and Devin Singletary.
It was a mixed bag for Allen in Week 1 against the Jets but he did some positive things. First, he completed 64.9% of his passes, something he did in only two games as a rookie in 2018. Second, he rushed 10 times for 38 yards. The 10 rushing attempts were the most by any quarterback in Week 1. While Allen can be turnover-prone, he mitigates those with his upside in rushing yards.
From Week 12 on last season, Allen was the highest-scoring quarterback in fantasy points per game because of his rushing prowess. Look for him to have similar success in Week 2 against the Giants.
When it comes to Sam Darnold and Derek Carr, they don’t offer nearly the same upside as Allen because they are not rushing quarterbacks. Their matchups, however, are plus ones.
Darnold looked pedestrian in Week 1 against the Bills, throwing for just 175 yards and one touchdown. I’m looking for the bounce back against the Cleveland Browns on “Monday Night Football” in Week 2, a defense that was just picked apart by Marcus Mariota.
Mariota threw for 248 yards and three touchdowns against the Browns in Week 1, finishing as a top 10 quarterback. It’s similar for Carr, who is now throwing to the likes of Tyrell Williams and Hunter Renfrow, not Antonio Brown.
Carr and the Raiders will host the Chiefs in Week 2, a defense that just allowed sixth-rounder Gardner Minshew to come off the bench and complete 22 of 25 pass attempts for 275 yards and two touchdowns.
Speaking of Minshew, for those who play in superflex or two-QB leagues, he should be a target of yours. Nick Foles was the starter for the Jaguars, but was placed on injured reserve because of a fractured collarbone he had in Week 1. Minshew looked pretty good and put up some gaudy numbers last year at Washington State.
Bengals’ Giovanni Bernard (vs. San Francisco)
Buccaneers’ Ronald Jones (at Carolina)
49ers’ Raheem Mostert (at Cincinnati)
Rams’ Malcolm Brown (vs. New Orleans)
Redskins’ Adrian Peterson, Chris Thompson (vs. Dallas)
Eagles’ Darren Sproles (at Atlanta)
Joe Mixon is the starting running back for the Cincinnati Bengals, but he sprained his ankle in Week 1. He’s day to day but Giovanni Bernard should be added regardless, especially by Mixon owners. Last year Mixon missed two games and in those games, Bernard averaged 91 total yards on 18 touches per game, scoring three touchdowns during that span.
If Mixon can’t play in Week 2, the Bengals face the 49ers who just allowed Bucs running backs to rush for 108 yards with seven receptions for an additional 63 yards.
Speaking of the Bucs, Ronald Jones is next up in terms of your waiver priority. Jones played just 31% of the team’s offensive snaps in Week 1, but he was clearly the most potent of the bunch, running for 75 yards on 13 carries (5.8 yards per carry). Jones was a second-round pick in last year’s NFL draft who struggled as a rookie. After adding muscle and some much-needed confidence, Jones has a very clear opportunity to take over the starting running back job in an above-average offense.
Not only did Mixon suffer a sprain but 49ers running back Tevin Coleman is suffering from a high-ankle sprain, which could keep him out 2 to 6 weeks. As a result, Raheem Mostert is the next running back up, joining Matt Breida in that committee. Mostert looked good against the Bucs, rushing nine times for 40 yards (4.4 YPC).
Entering the season, the most polarizing player was Todd Gurley because of his knee. In Week 1, Gurley looked fine except for the fact that Malcolm Brown was the running back used in the red zone. The Rams had five red zone carries and all five went to the backup Brown.
Brown won’t be a running back you trust on a weekly basis, but he could jump into flex discussion during bye weeks if he keeps this red zone role. And if anything were to happen to Gurley, Brown becomes a high-end RB2.
Washington Redskins running back Derrius Guice is dealing with a meniscus injury, opening up playing time for Adrian Peterson. Peterson ran for 1,042 yards and eight touchdowns last season with Guice sidelined. Guice is expected to miss at least a few weeks. Chris Thompson and Darren Sproles are nothing more than PPR flex options, but both finished inside the top-24 at the position in Week 1.
Bills’ John Brown, Cole Beasley (at New York Giants)
Jets’ Jamison Crowder (vs. Cleveland)
Seahawks’ DK Metcalf (at Pittsburgh)
Ravens’ Marquise Brown (vs. Arizona)
Redskins’ Terry McLaurin (vs. Dallas)
Bengals’ John Ross (vs. San Francisco)
Cowboys’ Randall Cobb (vs. Washington)
Jaguars’ Chris Conley, DJ Chark (at Houston)
Lions’ Danny Amendola (vs. LA Chargers)
Every year I try and draft running backs early in fantasy football because so many wide receivers emerge off the waiver wire.
Well, surprise, surprise. Let’s start off with Josh Allen’s top target John Brown, who had seven catches, 123 yards, and a touchdown in Week 1 against the Jets. Brown is a speedy receiver that can get behind the defense, a skillset that matches his quarterback’s big arm.
Brown faces a Giants defense that just allowed 341 yards and two touchdowns to Cowboys wide receivers.
Jamison Crowder led all players in targets (17) and receptions (14) in Week 1. Crowder has long-been a talented player, he just needs to stay healthy. Crowder fits that slot receiver role perfectly in Adam Gase’s offense, one that saw Jarvis Landry put up big stats for years.
Admittedly, I was lower on DK Metcalf than most given his knee injury and lack of route-running. Well, neither of things showed in Week 1 when he led the Seahawks in receiving with 89 yards on four receptions (six targets). Marquise “Hollywood” Brown had similar concerns heading into Week 1 as he’s dealt with a Lisfranc injury.
Brown dominated against the Dolphins with 147 yards and two touchdowns on just four receptions. Furthermore, he played just 14 offensive snaps. Brown will enter boom-or-bust WR3 territory moving forward. Another rookie who made his mark in a big way was Redskins third-round pick Terry McLaurin. McLaurin dominated the Eagles for five catches and 125 yards, which included a 69-yard touchdown. McLaurin has a huge opportunity on a team that is begging for a WR1 to step up. He played 59 offensive snaps, second at the position behind only Trey Quinn.
It feels as if John Ross has been disappointing fantasy owners for such a long time when really, this is just his third NFL season. With a new offensive mind in Zac Taylor, perhaps this is exactly what Ross has need all along to unlock his potential. Against a solid Seahawks defense, Ross hauled in seven of 12 targets for 158 yards and two touchdowns. With AJ Green sidelined at least the next few weeks, Ross could have some big performances. It was odd seeing Randall Cobb in a Cowboys uniform, but that didn’t stop him from racking up 69 yards and a touchdown against the Giants. Given the creativity of new Cowboys OC Kellen Moore, I’m at least intrigued by Cobb in PPR leagues.
Lions’ TJ Hockenson (vs. LA Chargers)
Raiders’ Darren Waller (vs. Kansas City)
Redskins’ Vernon Davis (vs. Dallas)
TJ Hockenson was drafted in a good amount of leagues, but is still only owned in 52% of Yahoo! leagues. His upside was on full display against the Arizona Cardinals, catching six passes for 131 yards and a touchdown in his debut. Hockenson is the total package and will be on the field a ton of the Lions considering he is a plus blocker.
Given Antonio Brown’s release, the Oakland Raiders will be starved for pass catchers. Darren Waller had a nice training camp, earning the starting tight end role with the Raiders. Waller is ready to contribute with his massive 6-foot-6 frame. If Jordan Reed remains in concussion protocol, Vernon Davis remains a low-end stream at the tight end position. Even at his advanced age, Davis managed 59 yards, including a very impressive 48-yard touchdown.
For those who like to stream defenses on a weekly basis, I’m looking at the Bills (at NYG), Panthers (vs. TB), 49ers (at CIN), and the Broncos (vs. CHI) in Week 2.
This column was provided to The Associated Press by SportsGrid Inc., www.sportsgrid.com
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