Targeting weekly waiver picks is a completely subjective business,
but this column hopes to point out some obvious and not-so-obvious
selections to help your team from week to week while you strive
to collect fantasy wins, reach your league playoffs, and win the
elusive title that your friends say is out of your grasp. While
I’m a big proponent of making trades to bolster your roster,
the waiver wire can be an almost limitless resource when it comes
to discovering fantasy value in strange places. Each week, I’ll
highlight some of the popular (and not-so-popular) players who can
help your squad and may still be available in your league. I’ll
also provide a brief update on the players I covered the previous
Winston, NO – Winston (25-30% owned)
had an amazing Week 1 in his new role as starter, completing 14-of-20
passes for 148-5-0, adding six rushes for 37 yards during the blowout
38-3 victory over the Packers. With Taysom Hill limited to just
three touches, Winston looks like a worthy addition to fantasy rosters.
He may not have the same success in Week 2 against the Panthers,
since his stat line was bolstered by TDs.
CAR – Darnold looked comfortable and quite efficient
in his new surroundings, completing 24-of-35 passes for 279-1-0
in Sunday’s 19-14 win over his old team, the Jets. He added a
rushing touchdown but lost a fumble and is not a great play in
Week 2 against the Saints. Is he a fine backup and DFS option
in certain weeks, though? Absolutely.
Goff, DET – Goff (5-10% owned) got
his garbage time going in Week 1, completing 38-of-57 pass attempts
for 338-3-1 during the 41-33 loss to San Francisco. Goff looks
poised for plenty of pass-heavy game scripts this season with
the defense (lost Jeff Okudah for the season) looking so bad.
Carr, LV –UPDATE:
I had Carr (15% owned) listed in the “other QBs to consider”
section in Week 1, and he really responded late in the MNF game
with some great throws to his TE and WRs. Carr has a lot of weapons
and finished off his first win in the new stadium with a monster
stat line: 435-2-1.
Tagovailoa, MIA – Tagovailoa (now
up to about 50% owned) completed 16-of-27 pass attempts for 202-1-1
in the Week 1 victory over New England. He added four rushes for
one yard and a TD and should face a similar test against the capable
Buffalo defense in Week 2. He looked great in his 2021 debut considering
the game script and how he’ll have more opportunities to bolster
better fantasy numbers in lesser matchups.
Cousins, MIN – Cousins (25% owned)
completed 36-of-49 passes for 351-2-0 in the overtime loss to
the Bengals. Cousins could shootout again in Week 2 against the
Cards, who have the ability to run up the score even against a
relatively stingy Vikings D.
Fitzpatrick, WAS – Fitzpatrick (hip)
could be out anywhere from a few weeks to the rest of the season,
pending the results of Monday’s MRI. He’s safe to drop in all
UPDATE: Fitzpatrick will miss
6-8 weeks with a hip subluxation that landed him on IR.
Mitchell, SF – Raheem Mostert had
just two carries for 20 yards before getting injured, and Mitchell
(0-2% owned) stepped up in his stead, rushing 19 times for 104
yards and a score in Sunday’s 41-33 win over the Lions. It’s obvious
that Mitchell can handle starting duties against the Eagles next
Sunday, assuming Mostert isn’t available. Stay tuned.
UPDATE: Mitchell will head up
the Niners committee for the next several weeks, as Mostert will
likely miss the next two months with cartilage damage in his knee.
But coach Kyle Shanahan has pointed out this will likely be a
“hot hand” situation where everybody will get a chance.
Ingram, HOU – Ingram emerged as
the lead back in Houston and had 26 carries for 85 yards and a
TD but wasn’t a factor in the passing game as he failed to haul
in his single target during Sunday’s 37-21 win versus the Jaguars.
He’s a must-add with that kind of touch volume, even if this is
the high-water mark for him on a RB committee that may play from
behind a lot this year.
Patterson, ATL – Patterson rushed
seven times for 54 yards and secured both targets for 13 yards
in the loss to the Eagles on Sunday. He could see a larger workload
facing the Bucs in Week 2 – similar to how Pollard was more productive
than Zeke against them.
Lindsay, HOU – Lindsay ran the football
eight times for 25 yards and a TD in Sunday’s Week 1 win over
the Jaguars, but he primarily served as a change-of-pace back
for Mark Ingram, with David Johnson still involved on passing
McKissic, WAS – Antonio Gibson handled
a full workload on Sunday, and while McKissic could eventually
be involved (especially with the injury to Ryan Fitzpatrick),
the team seems to have a different plan for using him in 2021.
Pollard, DAL – Pollard (35-40% owned)
could see more usage in games where Zeke is being bottled up,
but for now he’s still just a latent-value handcuff.
Coleman, NYJ – The Jets running
game looks like a three-headed committee without any clear emergence
of a lead back, and Coleman didn’t get any targets in the passing
game. I’m completely off him for now.
PHI – Still available in about 30-40 percent of fantasy
leagues, Rego rooks like a must-add in all formats after a productive
Week 1 that saw him haul in all six targets from Jalen Hurts for
49 yards and a TD.
Shepard, NYG – Daniel Jones is simply
enamored with Shepard (25-30% owned) and we all should be too
after Week 1. I drafted Shepard in one of my leagues and he helped
carry me to victory with his 9-113-1 receiving line (on a team-high
nine targets) and great route-running skills. A must-add in all
formats, Shepard should give you more productive lines than stinkers,
even in this deep Giants WR corps.
Kirk, ARI – Kirk (3-5% owned) caught
five receptions for 70 yards and two TDs (five targets) at Tennessee
on Sunday, and while he’s not going to haul in two scores and
all his targets every week, he’s worth a look in 12-tam leagues
as a WR4.
Higbee, LAR – Higbee (70-75% owned) caught five of
six targets for 68 yards on Sunday night, and will take on the
Colts in Week 2 – another favorable matchup for the low-end TE1/high-end
TE2. I’m bullish on his prospects for a productive season with
Gerald Everett in Seattle. While he’s gone in most formats, he
should be universally owned.
Johnson, NO – Johnson is owned in fewer than 2% of
fantasy leagues and could be in line for TE2 numbers this season
after a big Week 1 that saw him productive in the red zone (3-21-2).
Edwards, LV –UPDATE:
Edwards (15-20%) had a few mistakes early but came on strong in
the fourth quarter and OT in a big statement for Carr’s
confidence in him. He’s a big-bodied WR with solid hands
and he could be ready for a breakout campaign.
Pittman Jr., IND – Pittman played
second fiddle to Pascal, hauling in just 3-29-0 on four targets
from Carson Wentz. He’ll have better weeks, but this wasn’t a
Mooney, CHI – Mooney fought through
a back injury and caught five passes for 26 yards on seven targets
in the Bears’ 34-14 loss to the Rams on Sunday.
Gage, ATL – Targeted twice with
no catches to show for it. Gage looks like an afterthought in
a new offense and TE Kyle Pitts in the picture.
Firkser, TEN – Firkser served as the primary pass-catching
tight end for the Titans but aught just 3-19-0 on four targets.
He’s likely a TE2 until further notice but has a decent matchup
with the Seahawks in Week 2.
Humphries, WAS – Fitz got hurt and Humphries finished
with just 2-10-0 on two targets. He’s safe to ignore or drop for