By Jim Saranteas. Fantasy football Waiver Wire Week 2 is always tricky. The rampart feelings of angry fantasy football managers who took a bath this week in their match-up is the perfect setting for brash and rash decisions. It’s a time to be cautious and not bold.
To wit, it’s easy to pick-up a player who looks like he’s ready to breakout, only to watch him flounder the rest of the season. A perfect example was Eddie Royal in 2013 when he played for the Chargers. That season, Royal scored five touchdowns in his first two games. Had you picked Royal up off waiver wires and kept him on your bench that season, he hauled in just three more scores in the next fourteen games and his 37 receptions and slightly better than 500 yards receiving didn’t help your fantasy football team either.
This week, the player to not get too overly excited about is the Broncos Bennie Fowler who hauled in three receptions, two of which went for touchdowns. There’s room for Fowler to grow into the Broncos offense but he’ll need over four targets in a game to develop that weekly trust in fantasy football at such an important position.
Most shouldn’t be too desperate to add a player this week especially in smaller re-draft leagues of ten teams or less unless Andy Dalton is your starting quarterback, Paul Perkins is your starting running back, or Brandon Marshall is one of your starting wide receivers. But remember, some patience is a virtue in fantasy football, at least for one more week. With injuries to David Johnson and Allen Robinson some will be forced to play the waiver wire, however.
Top Waiver Wire Adds
Tarik Cohen, Bears
Do not pass go, immediately put in for a waiver wire add for this kid. Running back Tarik Cohen tore up the grid-iron for 113 all-purpose yards and one touchdown. Cohen had near similar touches (13) to stable-mate Jordan Howard (16). Tarik Cohen was the number one targeted running back (12) in Week 1. It didn’t look like a fluke and we should see Cohen in a similar role each week. He is a must start flex-option and RB2 consideration in Week 2. Cohen is the running back to target if you have David Johnson.
Adam Thielen, Vikings
What is he doing available on some waiver wires? Thielen’s nine receptions on ten targets for 157 yards was a reminder that one of last season’s great surprises is for real and here to stay in fantasy football. Similarly, Sam Bradford made the most of the Vikings passing game rolling out 346 yards and 3 touchdowns on 27 for 32 passing. Behind a strong rushing game, Bradford looks like a strong fantasy football back-up with some strong weekly upside.
Please, do not drop a good player for any of the waiver-adds noted below.
What’s he doing on waivers?
Alex Smith, Chiefs
Likely available in most leagues, Alex Smith doesn’t get many excited based on his past track record. But, a back-up fantasy football quarterback he is. What was impressive of Smith’s fantasy performance (368 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs) in Week 1 was he threw the football 35 times. What wasn’t so impressive was he threw five times to Kareem Hunt, who took two in for a score. We can’t expect that to happen each and every week. Still, with the explosive Tyreek Hill (7 rec., 133 yards, 1 TD) and Chris Conley (2 rec., 43 yards) in the fold, and Travis Kelce among the league’s top receiving tight ends, we could see more of these sorts of stat lines from Smith in fantasy football this season. He’s worth a waiver wire add.
Trevor Siemian, Broncos
Siemian manages a balanced offense which will both run and throw the football. While his overall stat line would have been worse without his rushing touchdown, it still would have been top ten just based on his passing numbers of 17 for 28 for 219 yards and 2 touchdowns on one interception. Siemian has a great group of passing threats which will buoy his value each week.
Monitor: Jared Goff, Rams; DeShone Kizer, Browns; and, Mike Glennon, Bears.
You’ve lost David Johnson for at least half the season, now what?
Kerwynn Williams, Cardinals
Williams is the most obvious addition among Cardinals running backs, having out-touched Andre Ellington 6 to 2. However, he’ll be part of a committee which is usually not a good situation in fantasy football. The Cardinals may also bring back the soon to be thirty-two year old Chris Johnson or even consider trading for one of the veterans stuck on a team behind other running backs. Names that come to mind include Adrian Peterson and Matt Forte. This is a situation to avoid in smaller ten team leagues.
Javorious Allen, Ravens
“Buck” Allen out-touched stable-mate Terrance West twenty-two to twenty. The stat-line was solid with 71 yards rushing (3.4 YPC). As Danny Woodhead is side-lined with a hamstring injury, Allen should maintain a similar role going forward making him worthy of fantasy football flex consideration in deeper leagues.
Others to consider: Mike Tolbert, Bills; Shane Vereen, Patriots.
Monitor: Alvin Kamara, Saints; Marlon Mack, Colts.
In deeper fourteen or sixteen team leagues . . .
Nelson Agholor, Eagles
Agholor was a big part of the Eagles offense finishing with six receptions on eight targets for 86 yards and one touchdown. Whether he sustains this role weekly remains to be seen, but outside of Alshon Jeffery, the Eagles offense is wide open to second, third, and even fourth options for Carson Wentz. Agholor is in the running for a sustained, increased role this season.
Cooper Kupp, Rams
I rarely like recommending adding rookie wide receivers through the waiver wire so early in the season, so you may want to wait until waivers process to make a claim on him if you really want him on your fantasy football team. However, with the Rams looking like a team that will pass the football more than run it, Cooper Kupp looks to have a significant role in the offense. In his rookie debut, Kupp hauled in four receptions on six targets for 76 yards and one touchdown. He’ll have appeal as a WR3/4 if he keeps this up.
Kenny Golladay, Lions
Silent most of the game, Kenny Golladay finished with four receptions for 69 yards and 2 touchdowns. Monday night, Matt Stafford talked up Golladay in an interview on Sports Center. Golladay is more of a bench stash so early in the season. However, his arrow is pointing up in fantasy football.
Marqis Lee, Jaguars
With Allen Robinson out for the season, Marqis Lee is suddenly thrust into the role of the team’s number one wide receiver, with Allen Hurns right behind him. However, the Jaguars will not throw the football much if they can help it, maybe just 20 to 25 times per game. But, Lee can do damage on limited touches. He’s best suited for a bench spot in deeper sixteen team leagues.
Monitor: Danny Amendola, Patriots; Allen Hurns, Jaguars.
Austin Hooper, Falcons
Austin Hooper is in his second year as a pro, a year tight ends typically break out in fantasy football. Keep in mind, Hooper’s 128 yards and one touchdown came on just two receptions, one of which was on a broken play. Yet, Hooper is in an offense whose passing game’s second option is wide open. This makes him a low-end TE1 or TE2 with upside, depending on the size of your fantasy football league. Hooper is very talented and worth a waiver add.
Jesse James, Steelers
Jesse James established himself in Week 1 as the Steelers tight end to have on your fantasy football team hauling six receptions on eight targets for 41 yards and two touchdowns. You can’t expect this scoring every week, but James should continue to be in the mix. He makes for a low TE1 in larger fantasy football leagues and is a solid bye week replacement in smaller ones.
Charles Clay, Bills
Clay was highly targeted this week (9) and had four receptions for 53 yards and a touchdown to show for his effort. He’s been a tight end favorite of Tyrod Taylor’s when healthy.
Monitor: Evan Engram, Giants; Zach Miller, Bears
Top streaming defenses in Week 2 . . .
Raiders (v. Jets)
Cardinals (v. Colts)
Seahawks (v. 49ers)
Ravens (v. Browns)
Bengals (v. Texans)
Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Week 2
Alex Smith Sam Bradford Trevor Siemian Jared Goff DeShone Kizer Mike Glennon Kerwynn Williams Andre Ellington Chris Johnson Adrian Peterson Matt Forte Javorious Allen Terrance West Mike Tolbert Shane Vereen Alvin Kamara Marlon Mack Nelson Agholor Cooper Kupp Alshon Jeffery Kenny Golladay Marqis Lee Allen Hurns Austin Hooper Jesse James Charles Clay Zach Miller Evan Engram