Fantasy Football Friday: Week 2 Waiver Wire Targets

By Steve Tsilimos | Posted 2 years ago

The waiver wire is where most leagues are won and lost. The free-agent additions are what separates the great from the good managers. A common mistake by managers is to avoid the waiver wire early because their starting lineup is intact and they still have a solid bench. I get it, it can be difficult to cut ties with someone you drafted because you obviously wanted them on your team when the draft went down. 

Every year there are obvious breakout candidates that slipped through the cracks during the draft and they need to be targeted early in the season or one of your competitors will end up with them. Don’t miss out on this year's Justin Jefferson or James Robinson. How aggressive should you be this week when targeting some of the guys I'll mention below? The answer to that question depends on your league’s settings and your current roster. 

If you have a player who was placed on the IR this week then I suggest you should be much more aggressive in trying to fill the slot, compared to dropping someone you deem pretty valuable. Do not pass up on some of these guys that are probably more valuable than some of the other guys on your bench because you ‘like’ the guys you drafted.

The list below only looks at players who are rostered in 50% or less of yahoo leagues. 

Week 2 Waiver Wire Priority List -- Top target at each skill position

1. RB Elijah Mitchell, San Francisco 49er - 8% Rostered 

Everyone thought a rookie was going to take over as the lead back in San Francisco. People weren’t wrong about that -- but it was rookie Elijah Mitchell who took the reins and not Trey Sermon like everyone expected. Sermon was a healthy scratch in the 49ers’ opener, which shows how hard it is to predict what is actually going to happen. Mitchell took over as the lead back and ran for 104 yards and a TD after starter Raheem Mostert went down with a knee injury in the first quarter. Mostert will undergo season-ending knee surgery to repair the cartilage -- It looks like it is Mitchell’s backfield now.

#49ers Kyle Shanahan says Trey Sermon simply was not among top 3 RBs out of camp, glad Mitchell ran well without hesitation today

— Cam Inman (@CamInman) September 12, 2021

2. QB Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints - 44% Rostered

Winston’s numbers were a bit ridiculous -- throwing five-TDs on 20 attempts. The Saints are going to have to throw the ball more than 20 times for Winston to be an effective fantasy QB, and they will. Winston is off to a great start and will be in the MVP talks for most of the season as the Saints continue to compete for the playoffs. If you did not draft a top-5 QB then Winston is definitely worth a spot on your team. 

3. WR Rondale Moore, Arizona Cardinals - 27% Rostered

The Cardinals’ offense exploded for 38 points in Tennessee on Sunday. QB Kyler Murray was slinging the ball all over the field completing 21-of-32 passes for 289 yards and 4 TDs. Moore caught 4-of-5 targets for 68 yards on 20 snaps. The Cardinals’ rookie was one of the best athletes in the draft and as the year progresses he will continue to see the field more and be heavily involved in coach Kingsbury’s ‘Air Raid’ offense. If Moore is taken, Christan Kirk should be available and he is set to have a breakout year -- if he can stay healthy. 

4. TE Jared Cook, Los Angeles Chargers - 26% Rostered

Any tight end that receives eight targets (the number Cook had) is fantasy relevant, especially on an offense that is expected to be near the top of the league in scoring. Many fantasy managers stayed away from the Chargers’ veteran TE because of the presence of rookie TE Donald Parham. As it stands now Cook is the primary TE who will benefit from catching the ball from the young-phenom-QB, Justin Herbert.

More Players to Target

5. RB Mark Ingram, Houston Texans - 20% Rostered

I do not want you to get overly excited about the Texans and their backfield because they will most likely not be playing with the lead in too many more games. It was expected that Houston would use running back by committee and that could definitely still develop as the season goes on -- but in Week 1, Ingram was the clear lead back. The 31-year-old received 26 out of the 37 Texans’ rushing attempts and churned out 85 yards and a TD on those 26 carries. Ingram has shown he can be effective in the NFL during his 11-year-career and he will be a weekly FLEX play with a high floor -- if he continues to get this work. 

6. WR Cole Beasley, Buffalo Bills - 45% Rostered

Beasley caught 8-of-13 targets for 60 yards in the Bills’ loss to the Steelers. The 13 targets were only one behind team leader - WR Stefon Diggs. QB Josh Allen threw the ball 51 times which is more than any game last year, but it is not a total shock because Allen did reach 40 pass attempts in seven regular season games in 2020. The Bills are going to throw a lot, meaning Beasley will continue to get plenty of targets and should be picked up in all PPR leagues. If Beasley is already on a team and you want some of the Bills passing attack then Emmanuel Sanders is also a nice add. 

7. RB Kenneth Gainwell, Philadelphia Eagles - 8% Rostered

Gainwell is the clear No. 2 RB in Philadelphia, which garnered him 11 touches -- one of them came near the goal line. Miles Sanders will continue to get the most touches as RB1 in Philly but he has injury concerns. The rookie RB is going to be a weekly RB3/FLEX and is a great handcuff for Sanders who will likely miss time this year. 


The @Eagles rookie RB scores his first career touchdown. #FlyEaglesFly

📺: #PHIvsATL on FOX
📱: NFL app

— NFL (@NFL) September 12, 2021

8. WR Terrace Marshall Jr., Carolina Panthers - 20%

Marshall received the second most targets in a game that the Panthers had a lead for the entirety. If the rookie can continue to see somewhere near six targets a game he will become a solid FLEX player. He is another ‘big slot’ out of LSU which has translated well into the current NFL. The last ‘big slot’ out of LSU was a guy named Justin Jefferson and he put together one of the best rookie campaigns ever -- just saying. 

9. WR K.J. Hamler, Denver Broncos - 2% Rostered

The Broncos’ offense looked pretty good as they rolled over the Giants on the road. Hamler’s box score was not impressive in the win, but Hamler is still a good addition because WR Jerry Jeudy is expected to miss 4-to-6 weeks because of an ankle injury. This is a perfect chance for Hamler, to get more comfortable with his QB and become a star in this league. Teammate WR Tim Patrick will also see more targets his way and could be added instead of Hamler -- I prefer the rookie’s upside.

10. TE Juwan Johnson, New Orleans Saints - 5% Rostered

Johnson only received three targets in the blowout win over the Packers and two resulted in TDs. I expect the targets to go up and for him to continue to be a target monster in the redzone for the Saints. TE Adam Trautman led the team with six targets but it was Johnson who got the premium targets. It is hard to tell if Johnson will get more work, but a good sign for him is that forty-five-percent of Winston's targets went to tight ends.

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