Week 1 is winding down and now starts the critical time period to bounce back from your first-week loss. Early week 2 waiver wires start running soon. You can turn your season around by grabbing the best fantasy football pickups this week. There were plenty of unexpected players who put up solid numbers and appear to be in line to be reliable producers throughout the rest of the season.
For consideration on the waiver wire target players have to be rostered in less than 50% of leagues (per ESPN). Players are also ranked in order of priority on overall value.
Early Week 2 Waiver Wire Pickups
Nyheim Hines – RB (34.4% of Rosters)
Hines played a big role in the Colts’ loss to Jacksonville, leading them with 15 touches for 73 yards and 2 touchdowns. Hines was consistent and reliable all day for the Colts and while Jonathan Taylor got the hype all preseason, Hines was quietly securing a large role. It showed especially with his trust near the goal line as he scored two touchdowns. Although Taylor had a slightly flashier stat line, that was skewed by one 35 yard reception. There will be room in the offense for both of them and with Marlon Mack suffering a torn ACL, target Hines heavily in your leagues. You will get a solid RB2 if you manage to scoop him up in your early week 2 waiver wire.
James Robinson -RB (29.1% of Rosters)
The Colts/Jags game was full of running backstories and James Robinson showed up for Jacksonville today. As an undrafted rookie not much was expected of him, but he vaulted up the depth chart and seized the starting job. Jacksonville ran the ball 23 total times, and Robinson had 100% of the Jags running back carries (16). He turned those 16 carries into 62 yards, a respectable stat line. It seems that Robinson will continue to dominate the Jags’ running back touches. He has to be rostered and should get flex consideration each week on most rosters. Spend heavily to get Robinson as your waiver wire target.
Joshua Kelley -RB (11.3% of Rosters)
If you did not take a late flier on Joshua Kelley you clearly have not read anything by me. Shame on you. Kelley has quietly surpassed Justin Jackson for the 1B role on the Chargers and was rewarded with 12 carries today. He turned those carries into 60 yards and a touchdown and seems to have the trust of Anthony Lynn. Sure, Austin Ekeler had 20 total touches, but Kelley was second for running back touches with 12. Last year Melvin Gordon averaged 17 touches per game while Ekeler averaged 14. This Chargers offense can support two productive backs and Kelley seems like he may be the trusted back in close. Scoop him up off waivers and put him into your flex consideration each week.
Dallas Goedert – TE (27.2% of Rosters)
The MASH unit that is the Eagles’ wide receivers was unspectacular on Sunday against a feisty Washington defense. Dallas Goedert though announced his presence with authority to the tune of 8 catches for 101 yards and a touchdown. He led all Eagles with 9 targets and was productive in all facets of the passing game, even out-producing Zach Ertz. In the wake of Ertz’s heated contract situation, Goedert may be in line to lock down the lead tight end role in Philly. If Ertz really is on his way out of town, then Goedert will not only have tight end value but flex value as well. The leading receiving target on any team is a valuable commodity and it is rare to find one on waivers, go get Goedert ASAP.
Parris Campbell – WR (29.8% of Rosters)
In a similar vein to Goedert, Parris Campbell seems to be emerging from the chaos of the Indianapolis pass-catchers to secure a top role. Philip Rivers targeted Campbell 9 times on Sunday and he caught six of those targets for 71 yards. He led all Colts in receiving yards and seems to be picking up where he left off after an injury-shortened 2019. Campbell is a second-round talent and if he has emerged as the second option for Rivers he could be in line for a Mike Williams-esque breakout this year. Should Campbell maintain this pace he could rise into the low-end WR2 range. He should be rostered in all leagues and will be at least a flex play each week, great value for a waiver wire target.
Keelan Cole Sr. – WR (0.1% of Rosters)
Gardner Minshew was a picture of efficiency against the Colts completing 95% of his passes for three touchdowns. Minshew targeted 10 different receivers on Sunday. However, the Pride of Owensboro, Keelan Cole, was the Jags leading receiver in yards, targets, and catches on Sunday. Cole stepped in as Dede Westbrook was a healthy-scratch. As we talked about with Sean & Kramer weeks ago, Cole has sleeper potential. They love him in Jacksonville and he has the talent to produce. It is criminal Cole is only rostered in 0.1% of leagues and should be rostered in any league with 12 or more teams. If you get to him first on waivers, consider him in your flex rotation each week for now. If he continues to produce and Jacksonville throws more, he may climb into the WR3 conversation. Either way, he is a valuable waiver wire target.
Russell Gage – WR (3.8% of Rosters)
The Falcons threw the ball 52 times against Seattle and spread it equally among their top three receivers. 12 targets for Julio, Ridley, and Russell Gage. Yet for some reason, Gage is only rostered in 3.8% of ESPN leagues. Gage was targeted 74 times and produced for a 2019 Falcons team that threw the ball 41 times per game. Austin Hooper and his 97 targets walked in free agency so there are plenty of vacated targets to go around. Gage seems to have staked his claim to a large portion of those targets. He caught 9 of 12 targets and had 114 yards. There will be weeks where he out-produces Julio and Ridley due to coverages so be the beneficiary of that and roster him. He is a set and forget flex play each week and will be a serviceable WR3 most weeks.
Adrian Peterson – RB (21.3% of Rosters)
It is very clear that the Detroit backfield will be a running back-by-committee, but right now Peterson seems to be the chairman of the committee. He had 17 total touches Sunday to lead all Lions backs. He turned those touches into 114 total yards, some ridiculous output for someone just signed. Peterson is only on 21.3% of rosters and it looks like Patricia wants to roll with the veteran early. This makes him a priority waiver wire target this week who should produce for a few weeks. Consider him a lock for the flex, and RB2 if you are desperate, but keep an eye on trading him for some value if you can find it after a few weeks.