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Through The Wire - Week 2

By Antonio D'Arcangelis | 9/14/21 |

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 week.

Feedback is always welcome, appreciated and encouraged. I’ll get to as many e-mails as I can.


Jameis 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.

Sam Darnold, 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.

Jared 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.

Derek 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.

Other QBs to consider: Mac Jones (20-25%), Zack Wilson (15-20%), Teddy Bridgewater (5%), Taylor Heinicke (0-1% owned)


Tua 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.

Kirk 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.

Ryan 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 formats.

UPDATE: Fitzpatrick will miss 6-8 weeks with a hip subluxation that landed him on IR.

Elijah Mitchell

Running Backs

Elijah 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.

Mark 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.

Cordarrelle 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.

Other RBs to consider: Latavius Murray (50%), Giovani Bernard (20-25%), Damien Williams (7-10%), Jeremy McNichols (0-1%), JaMycal Hasty (0-1%)


Phillip 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 downs.

J.D. 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.

Tony 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.

Tevin 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.

Kenneth Gainwell, PHI – Gainwell (3-5% owned) carried the ball nine times on for 37 yards and a TD and hauled in 2-6-0 receiving in the Week 1 win over Atlanta. He’s the most legitimate pickup left from last week’s wire recommendations.

Wide Receivers / Tight Ends

Jalen Reagor, 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.

Sterling 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.

Christian 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.

TE Tyler 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.

TE Juwan 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).

WR Bryan 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.

Other WRs/TEs to consider: Nelson Agholor (30%), Rondale Moore (20%), Sammy Watkins (15%), Amon-Ra St. Brown (10-15%), TE Gerald Everett (10%), Zach Pascal (2-5%), Van Jefferson (1-2%), Tim Patrick (0-1%), Danny Amendola (0-1%), Quintez Cephus (0-1%)


Michael 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 great opener.

Darnell 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.

Russell 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.

TE Anthony 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.

WR Adam Humphries, WAS – Fitz got hurt and Humphries finished with just 2-10-0 on two targets. He’s safe to ignore or drop for now.