Well, that escalated quickly.
In a Week 1 that featured a tie (Lions @ Cardinals), a highest team total in franchise history (Baltimore Ravens), and a 16-point 3rd quarter deficit overcome on the road (Buffalo Bills), it also certainly didn’t come without its share of injuries to some significant starters (along with several lackluster performances). And this means you’re likely already in clicking stride to add/drop a quarter of your roster away (don’t do that). It’s alright, because we’re in this together.
Aside from the usual suspects at running back (well, not in Todd Gurley’s case), there weren’t any stalwart standouts who will be available unless you happen to be in an extremely shallow league (8-teams). And thankfully this also means there wasn’t anything too crazy going on with depth charts at the RB position, while there was a minor ankle injury inflicted to Joe Mixon. So let’s take a glimpse at next week’s potential waiver wire candidates worth your consideration if you in fact need to pull the trigger on some changes to your roster.
*DISCLAIMER: I strongly suggest only having to go to the waivers if you truly need to fill a void on your roster(s). Don’t get discouraged if you happened to be one of the Tyreek Hill owners (like myself in several leagues) who had to watch your second-round draft darling get carted off to the eventual tune of “missing several weeks”.
Unless you drafted Andrew Luck, Lamar Miller, Antonio Brown, Tyreek Hill, and Melvin Gordon, you’re going to be just fine. And even if you did: the point is there is still upside even given that catastrophic situational outlier. It’s Week 1…shit always happens. Only make moves that you can afford to make and will actually serve your fantasy team as a benefit, and not out of simply making a hair-trigger decision to say you did. Whether it’s FAAB (Free-Agent Acquisition Budget) dollars, a waiver order position, or an already-solid bench player: every move is going to cost you something.
Marquise “Hollywood” Brown (WR, BAL)
Apparently, Antonio wasn’t the only member of the family making a splash in the NFL headlines this weekend. The younger cousin of the newest member of the New England Patriots, Marquise “Hollywood” Brown was an absolute beast in his NFL debut contribution to the Baltimore beatdown of the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, and making the Ravens look genius for spending up on their 2019 draft selection.
He made his every effort count, with his first two receptions cashing in for touchdowns on both 47-yard and 83-yard strikes respectively. Churning out 147 total receiving yards on four receptions via five targets, it’s looking like the primary deep threat on this offense may be spoken for. While you have to keep in mind that this came against the team who’s already been accused of mailing it in before the regular season even began, it’s still not to take away from an outstanding introductory performance of this young receiving talent.
If you’re in immediate need of a receiver, “Hollywood” Brown would be among my top available selections in most standard-sized leagues (10, 12-team). He’s currently owned in 31 percent of Yahoo leagues.
John Ross III (WR, CIN)
Nobody saw that one coming. Remaining in 91 percent of Yahoo leagues, John Ross exploded in Week 1 with 158 receiving yards on seven receptions and two touchdowns during a hard-fought 21-20 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. While his counterpart in Tyler Boyd (8 REC, 11 targets, 66 yards) was the much higher anticipated fantasy draft pick as the intended void-filler in the absence of A.J. Green (ankle), it was Ross who led the Bengals in targets (12) as well as fantasy points.
While it may not mean as much in a couple of weeks when A.J. Green returns, if you have an immediate need at receiver then John Ross may be worth a look for your roster consideration. He’s almost certain to be available in standard-size leagues, as well as slightly deeper formats, and he draws the Niners and Bills in his next two matchups.
Malcom Brown (RB, LAR)
Speaking of some depth chart gymnastics that many of us did not anticipate, Malcom Brown propelled himself up a rung on the Rams running back depth chart behind an oddly-characteristic Todd Gurley situation that appeared to have picked up where it left off in the Super Bowl loss.
Despite not leading the team in carries, Brown was the effective back when it came to scoring attempts on the ground as he collected two touchdowns for the Rams in their 30-27 victory over the Carolina Panthers. His eleven carries on 53 yards rushing in contrast to the fourteen of Gurley (97 yards) came as a vicious surprise to fantasy owners who had thought they nailed the would-be handcuff in Darrell Henderson (1 CAR, 0 Yards) during fantasy drafts.
If you’re a Todd Gurley stockholder, I would be scrambling to get this guy on my fantasy roster. If not, I would tread lightly on the notion unless you have the roster space and think you can finagle a trade with the Gurley owner in your respective league(s).
Giovani Bernard (RB, CIN)
While the apparent ankle injury to Joe Mixon is not to be considered too serious, it comes as a lingering reminder that the importance of handcuffing key draft picks is still a rather feasible one. And if Mixon were to re-aggravate his ankle sprain, or worse, it’s clear that Gio Bernard would be the backup in this Bengal backfield that didn’t seem to get anything going on the ground in a Week 1 road loss to Seattle.
His seven carries for 21 yards were certainly not a stat line to go touting, but given the circumstances of the injury theme for the day, this segment is specifically targeted toward Mixon owners. Being that Gio is owned in just 13 percent of Yahoo leagues, the Mixon owners of the fantasy world should strongly consider the insurance bid on what’s probably their second round draft investments.
Darren Waller (TE, OAK)
Quite possibly the biggest beneficiary of the Antonio Brown exit in Oakland, Darren Waller stands with the doors to his ceiling in fantasy production wide open, as he should now certainly be one of the lead pass-catchers in Oakland.
His debut game as a Raider (coming on Monday Night Football) has yet to be played obviously but, based on the outstanding preseason he manufactured along with the news of Antonio Brown heading to New England, Waller going available in 58 percent of Yahoo leagues is absolutely mind-blowing and should be going rapidly addressed as I type this.
Jared Cook stood out in his stint as a Raider alongside Derek Carr as his quarterback, garnering 101 targets for 68 receptions, 896 receiving yards, and six touchdowns in 2018, which also was enough for a selection to the Pro Bowl. With thinned-out options in the Oakland receiving corps, Waller [in my opinion] should go owned in all standard leagues.
Other Waiver Wire Considerations
- Case Keenum (QB, WAS, 3% Owned)
- Marcus Mariota (QB, TEN, 7% Owned)
- Andy Dalton (QB, CIN, 10% Owned)
- Darren Sproles (RB, PHI, 2% Owned)
- John Brown (WR, BUF, 49% Owned)
- A.J. Brown (WR, TEN, 3% Owned)
- Danny Amendola (WR, DET, 5% Owned)
- Terry McLaurin (WR, WAS, 3% Owned)
- D.J. Chark (WR, JAC, 2% Owned)
- Chris Conley (WR, JAC, 1% Owned)
- Mecole Hardman (WR, KC, 15% Owned)
- Demarcus Robinson (WR, KC, 0% Owned)
- T.J. Hockenson (TE, DET, 51% Owned)
- Vernon Davis (TE, WAS, 2% Owned)
- Tyler Higbee (TE, LAR, 0% Owned)
- Titans (DST, TEN, 8% Owned)
- 49ers (DST, SF, 5% Owned)