Fantasy: Waiver Wire - Week 2
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Every Monday during the season, theScore's Justin Boone runs down the recommended waiver wire pickups.
Rostered percentages are based on Yahoo leagues. Free Agent Budget (FAB) amounts are set off a $100 salary cap. Only players rostered in less than 50% of leagues are considered.
Jameis Winston, Saints
The Saints dominated the Packers from the opening kick-off to the final whistle, often leading to short fields for Winston and New Orleans' offense and ultimately resulting in five touchdown passes on just 14 completions.
So while the final fantasy numbers look great - including an additional 37 yards on the ground - it's important to note that Winston had everything go his way in Week 1. Things might not be as easy over the next month with the Panthers, Patriots, and Washington making up three of the Saints' next four opponents.
Still, this was an excellent start to the second chapter of Winston's career and gives us hope that the former first-overall pick can become the best version of himself in Sean Payton's system.
Winston's an upside QB2 until we see him prove it against this upcoming gauntlet of tough defenses.
Taylor Heinicke, Washington
A hip injury suffered in the opener has sent Ryan Fitzpatrick to injured reserve, with the expectation that he'll miss at least six to eight weeks. That means Heinicke is about to get a long audition to be Washington's starting quarterback moving forward - a job he's capable of winning.
After Fitzpatrick left the Chargers game, Heinicke completed 73% of his passes for 122 yards and a score while adding 17 yards on the ground.
The performance brought back memories of his playoff loss to the Buccaneers last season, where he threw for 306 yards, one touchdown, and one interception while rushing for 46 yards and another TD.
Washington also gets favorable draws versus the Giants and Falcons in two of their next three contests, allowing their 28-year-old starter to ease into his new role.
Though Heinicke is more of a two-quarterback or Superflex option, his rushing ability alone should put him on the fantasy radar as a streamer in single-QB leagues.
Streaming options: Ben Roethlisberger vs. LV (39% rostered), Sam Darnold vs. NO (15% rostered), Teddy Bridgewater at JAX (11% rostered)
Long-term stashes: Trey Lance vs PHI (44% rostered), Justin Fields vs. CIN (51% rostered)
2QB/Superflex-only options: Mac Jones at NYJ (26% rostered), Zach Wilson vs. NE (17% rostered), Jimmy Garoppolo at PHI (9% rostered), Tyrod Taylor at CLE (4% rostered), Jared Goff vs. GB (7% rostered)
Elijah Mitchell, 49ers
Every offseason, we discuss the potential of Kyle Shanahan's rushing attack, and every offseason, we advise fantasy managers to stash as many members of the 49ers' running back room as possible.
That thrust another rookie, speedy sixth-rounder Elijah Mitchell, into a lead back role, and he delivered with 104 yards and a score on 19 touches. Teammate JaMycal Hasty also found the end zone, but he saw the ball just twice on the afternoon.
After the game, Shanahan explained Sermon's inactive status by crediting Mitchell and Hasty for outplaying him in the summer - an unexpected update considering beat writers failed to notice that unspoken depth chart change.
With Mostert now set to miss at least eight weeks on I.R., Mitchell appears to be in the driver's seat to start in Week 2 and potentially beyond.
It's still possible Sermon works his way back into the mix, but Mitchell is worth a significant FAB bid in case he ends up being Shanahan's next breakout back.
James White, Patriots
White's role diminished with Cam Newton under center in 2020, and his target total fell to 62 - including just four outings with seven targets or more.
In Mac Jones' regular-season debut, White was right back up to the seven target mark, hauling in six passes for 49 yards and adding another 12 yards as a runner.
The former fourth-round pick's fantasy upside is limited, and his main value comes as an option in PPR formats, but with the Pats looking his way again, fantasy managers need to do the same. White's an RB3/flex option who could buy you time until a higher upside back emerges on your bench or the waiver wire.
High-upside backups like Alexander Mattison (36% rostered), Damien Williams (5% rostered), Rhamondre Stevenson (24% rostered), and Tony Jones Jr. (23% rostered) should be rostered in most leagues.
Risky flex options: Mark Ingram at CLE (20% rostered), Carlos Hyde vs. DEN (16% rostered), Ty Johnson vs. NE (11% rostered), Tevin Coleman vs. NE (31% rostered)
Dart-throw flex options: Kenneth Gainwell vs. SF (8% rostered), Phillip Lindsay at CLE (46% rostered), Cordarrelle Patterson vs. TB (3% rostered), JaMycal Hasty at PHI (1% rostered), Giovani Bernard at ATL (27% rostered)
Other backups to roster: Chuba Hubbard vs. NO (19% rostered), Darrel Williams at BAL (14% rostered), Devontae Booker at WAS (8% rostered), Justin Jackson vs. DAL (15% rostered), Marlon Mack vs. LAR (9% rostered),
Injured reserve stashes: Darrynton Evans (4% rostered), Anthony McFarland Jr. (1% rostered)
Deeper stashes: Jaret Patterson vs. NYG (1% rostered), Samaje Perine at CHI (1% rostered), Salvon Ahmed vs. BUF (2% rostered), Alex Collins at TEN (1% rostered), Jeremy McNichols vs. SEA (0% rostered), Larry Rountree vs. DAL (1% rostered), Jerick McKinnon at BAL (3% rostered), Kylin Hill vs. DET (0% rostered), Mekhi Sargent vs. SEA (0% rostered), DeeJay Dallas at TEN (0% rostered)
Tim Patrick, Broncos
Welcome back to the waiver wire list, Tim Patrick.
Anyone who read these columns last year knows that Patrick became a weekly regular. With Courtland Sutton sidelined for most of 2020, Patrick was a top-30 fantasy wideout from Week 3 to Week 14 thanks to seven games with either 100 yards and/or a touchdown during that stretch.
Yet fantasy managers refused to pick him up for some reason, and he remained available in the majority of leagues.
Sutton is back, but now Jerry Jeudy has been lost for an indefinite amount of time due to a severe high-ankle sprain. That positions Patrick - who was already seeing snaps with the first-team offense before Jeudy's injury - to be a full-time starter in Denver once again.
With Sutton still getting comfortable after last year's torn ACL, we might see Patrick emerge as the best fantasy weapon in the Broncos' receiving corps until Jeudy returns.
At worst, he should be a WR3/flex with significant touchdown upside each week.
DeVante Parker, Dolphins
Parker led all Dolphins receivers in snaps played in Week 1 and finished with a four-catch, 81-yard day.
The Louisville product's job was made easier with shutdown corner Stephon Gilmore on the PUP list to start the year, but Parker has shown the ability to overcome tough matchups in the past.
Parker's next meeting will be with the Bills and another first-team cornerback in Tre'Davious White. However, Parker posted stat lines of 7-116-0 and 8-53-1 against Buffalo last year - the latter coming with White in the lineup.
Christian Kirk/Rondale Moore, Cardinals
After Kyler Murray's five-touchdown explosion against the Titans in Week 1, fantasy GMs should be trying to find ways to get pieces of this Cardinals' offense on their squads.
DeAndre Hopkins is the unquestioned Alpha in this unit, but A.J. Green's spot in the pecking order is far from guaranteed. After fizzling out with the Bengals last year, Green had another inefficient performance in his Cards debut, turning six targets into just two catches for 25 yards.
Kirk had one of his best days as a pro, catching five passes for 70 yards and a pair of scores. Moore was nearly as effective - minus the trips to the end zone - with four grabs for 68 yards.
Picking up Kirk and Moore is a cheap way to invest in this Murray-led attack, and the duo could see their roles grow if Green continues to disappoint. Consider them both WR4/flex plays with much higher ceilings if things keep going this way.
Flex options: Sterling Shepard at WAS (39% rostered), Bryan Edwards at PIT (17% rostered), Zach Pascal vs. LAR (1% rostered), Nelson Agholor at NYJ (33% rostered), Cole Beasley at MIA (45% rostered), Emmanuel Sanders at MIA (21% rostered), Gabriel Davis at MIA (8% rostered), Henry Ruggs at PIT (41% rostered)
Risky flex options: Darnell Mooney vs. CIN (48% rostered), Terrace Marshall vs. NO (20% rostered), Elijah Moore vs. NE (42% rostered), K.J. Hamler at JAX (2% rostered), Marquez Valdes-Scantling vs. DET (12% rostered), Jalen Reagor vs. SF (21% rostered)
Dart-throw flex options: Trent Sherfield at PHI (1% rostered), Russell Gage at TB (30% rostered), Deonte Harris at CAR (4% rostered), Cedrick Wilson at LAC (0% rostered), Van Jefferson at IND (2% rostered), Darius Slayton at WAS (3% rostered), Anthony Schwartz vs. HOU (1% rostered), Randall Cobb vs. DET (15% rostered), Marquise Goodwin vs. CIN (0% rostered), K.J. Osborn at ARI (0% rostered), Kalif Raymond at GB (0% rostered)
Injured reserve stash: Rashod Bateman (14% rostered)
Deep bench stashes: Quintez Cephus at GB (0% rostered), Jalen Guyton vs. DAL (0% rostered), Josh Palmer vs. DAL (2% rostered), Nico Collins at CLE (3% rostered), Dyami Brown vs. NYG (2% rostered), Donovan Peoples-Jones vs. HOU (2% rostered), Hunter Renfrow at PIT (2% rostered), Amon-Ra St. Brown at GB (7% rostered), Trinity Benson at GB (0% rostered), Demarcus Robinson at BAL (1% rostered)
Cole Kmet, Bears
Finding an every-week fantasy tight end starter on the waiver wire can be a tough assignment, and even after Week 1, there still aren't many candidates.
However, Kmet stands out from the pack after seeing seven targets in the opener and coming away with five receptions for 42 yards.
The 22-year-old sophomore picked up where he left off late last season, out-snapping his fading veteran teammate Jimmy Graham 51 to 14.
Streamer options: Tyler Conklin at ARI (5% rostered), Juwan Johnson at CAR (10% rostered), Jared Cook vs. DAL (26% rostered)
Risky streamer options: Dawson Knox at MIA (6% rostered), Blake Jarwin at LAC (15% rostered), Dalton Schultz at LAC (1% rostered)
Dart-throw streamer options: Eric Ebron vs. LV (9% rostered), James O'Shaughnessy vs. DEN (0% rostered), David Njoku vs. HOU (1% rostered), Pharaoh Brown at CLE (0% rostered), C.J. Uzomah at CHI (0% rostered)
Week 2 streamers
Favorable upcoming schedules: Bears DEF (22% rostered), Saints DEF (31% rostered)