2019 Waiver Wire – Week 2
Week one was a wild one. We saw a running back throw for 5 touchdowns, LeSean McCoy lead an Andy Reid offense in rushing yards, and the Browns drop a home opener to the …wait for it …Titans. But regardless of how crazy it can get in the NFL and in fantasy football, we as Fantasy GM’s need to do our best to adapt and roll with the waves. This is Big Travy and Chris Thomas’ weekly column on speculative waiver wire adds. Remember that for this article we only highlight players owned in 40% or less in both Yahoo and NFL or with high variance between the two. This article is designed to highlight most, if not, all the justifiable adds this week but it is your responsibility to understand which, if any, would be best for your squad.
Marquise Brown (32% owned in Yahoo and 8% owned in NFL)
The man they call “Hollywood” certainly put on a show. Marquise Brown was absolutely electric catching 4 of 5 targets for 147 receiving yards and 2 receiving touchdowns in the Ravens week one beatdown of the lowly Dolphins. And it’s likely that Brown could have had an even bigger day if the starters hadn’t been pulled for Baltimore in the second half. As a rookie and a big play threat, Brown will be a hit-and-miss fantasy option but given his earth-scorching speed he has the ability to pop the top off of any defense on any given week. Those who pickup and roster Brown give themselves week-winning upside as long as he is healthy and the matchup is right.
Terry McLaurin (5% in Yahoo and .8% owned in NFL)
McLaurin flashed the wheels with his 69 yard catch and run TD en route to a 5 catch (on 7 targets) showing the well hyped big play potential. Realized. Case Keenum proved he could move the ball against a strong Eagles defense. McLaurin clearly has gained trust from his current QB1. He will be a boom or bust WR4 option as he tries to build on his impressive week 1 performance.
Vernon Davis (2% in Yahoo and .9% in NFL)
One of the more heartfelt stories from week one was Vernon Davis who on Saturday, had to bury the man who raised him – his grandfather. Davis honored his late father-figure by burying the Eagles secondary, amassing 48 or his 59 receiving yards on a beauty of a play in which Davis hurdled a defender and ended up in the endzone overcome with emotion. Obviously, the age-old tragedy theory was at play here but the man in front of Davis on the depth chart, Jordan Reed is hardly the model of health. Maybe even more substantial than Reed’s medical records is the fact that in 2017, when Case Keenum was throwing to Kyle Rudolph in Minnesota, Rudolph was the TE8 scoring 8 touchdowns on the year. The upside is the for Davis who has elite speed and the red zone prowess to be one of Washington’s few passing game weapons.
Raheem Mostert (1% in Yahoo less than .5% in NFL)
After showing flashes at the end of last season and having an encouraging preseason, Mostert was forced into action on Sunday. Mostert had 9 carries for 40 yards and added 1 catch for no gain. There are a few disclaimers with this addition: Coleman has been ruled out with a high ankle sprain (2-6 weeks) and Matt Breida missed some time with dehydration but returned as the top RB. Also note it has been speculated Jeff Wilson will be called to the active roster to further muddy the backfield. Add Mostert as a speculative upside player or handcuff at this point.
John Ross (11% in Yahoo and 1.2% in NFL)
We may owe you a bit of an apology, WhisperNation. We assumed similarly to last year that with A.J. Green’s absence that Boyd was the WR to own in Cincinnati. Well, for week one at least, we were wrong. John Ross tore up the Seahawks to the tune of 158 receiving yards on 7 catches. Maybe more impressive than Ross’ team best 158 yards was his team leading 12 targets. While this may not be sustainable, Ross’s big play ability is always on the table with his top end speed.
Gio Bernard (14% in Yahoo and 2.3% in NFL)
Immediate disclaimer: Joe Mixon may suit up in his usual three down role as soon as next week. However, with Mixon out Gio filled the workhorse role. In addition, the organization renewed their faith in Gio in the form of a 2 year extension. If Mixon were to encounter complications Gio would immediately fall into an RB2/Flex role. Bernard has a strong skill set and a decent track record, making him a strong handcuff. That said, if mixon returns his stand alone value is limited.
Randall Cobb (10% in Yahoo and 6.9% in NFL)
As a Packer fan, I’ll admit, it is weird to see Cobb in a Dallas Cowboy jersey. As weird as it may be, however, Cobb had a heck of a debut in Dallas on Sunday. Randall Cobb gained 69 with 5 catches on 6 targets for 69 yards and a touchdown. The caveat is that Cobb may need a perfect matchup to produce for you fantasy team, but luckily for Cobb and those who may add him, Dallas plays the Redskins and then the Dolphins in the next two weeks.
Chris Thompson (13% in Yahoo and 2.6% in NFL)
Thompson is not the most gifted runner on the Redskins roster, but it really isn’t about his rushing chops. Chris Thompson was a force in the Redskins passing game. CT racked up 68 yards on a whopping 10 targets. With Guice now slated to miss at least a couple weeks due to an injury to his non-surgically repaired knee, Thompson should continue to play a major role in the Redskins offense.
Adrian Peterson (38% in Yahoo and 37.8% in NFL)
Unlike nearly every other player on this list, I don’t have a bunch of stats to give you for Peterson’s week one performance because he was a healthy scratch for the Redskins opener. But unlike Peterson, Derrius Guice did play in week one and came away with dinged up knee. AP could be in line for a considerable workload for as long as Guice is forced to miss time and for RB desperate teams, Peterson is start-worthy immediately.
Rex Burkhead (5% in Yahoo and 1.5% in NFL)
As crazy as it may sound to add yet another Patriots running back, Sexy Rexy earned his way on this list. Burkhead had a strong performance on Sunday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Rex was effective in both the rushing and passing game for New England as he caught 5 balls for 41 yards and gained 44 yards on the ground via 8 carries. Burkhead could disappear in any given week, but it is worth noting that Burkhead is one of Belichick’s favorite players and gives the Patriots a dangerous advantage of being multidimensional on offense.
Ronald Jones (28% in Yahoo and 31.8% in NFL)
We haven’t been the most vocal about Ronald Jones’ upside but he was able to put together a considerably strong performance on Sunday against the 49ers. Jones only had one catch for 18 yards but ran for 75 yards on only 13 rushes and was one of the few bright spots for a dismal Tampa Bay offense. Jones has some great season-long value especially if he can expand his role in the Tampa passing game as the Buccs will likely not be in positive game scripts in many games this year.
Malcolm Brown (13% in Yahoo and 1.5% in NFL)
After week one there is more clarity regarding the backfield split between Gurley and Brown. The numbers (11 carries to 14 carries for Gurley) prove a commitment towards resting Gurley. Not only was Brown only 3 carries behind Gurley, he actually was used on the goal line instead of Gurley! He converted those carries into scores from 1 and 5 yards away. Not only does this solidify Malcolm as one of the absolute best handcuffs in the league, but he also proved he can easily have stand alone value. In the prolific Rams offense Brown has RB1 appeal if Gurley gets injured, otherwise he has flex appeal.
DK Metcalf (38% in Yahoo and 30.3% in NFL)
Metcalf converted 4 of 6 targets for 89 yards in his NFL debut. The polarizing “straight line” prospect silenced critics by not only starting week one, but turning 6 targets into 4 catches for a 22.25 yard per catch. Although he is in a run first offense, DK exhibited the skills that warranted his 2nd round pick as an athletic freak who can win red zone matchups and break a game with any catch. The Hawks receiving core is unproven outside of Tyler Lockett, so DK is worthy of a speculative add.
T.J. Hockenson (54% in Yahoo and 11% in NFL)
“At the risk of blaspheming, the No. 8 overall pick looked Gronkian…” -Rotoworld. Hock had 9 targets and converted 6 catches into 131 yards and a touchdown against a porous Cardinals defense. We have to qualify the poor defense to bring some semblance of sanity to an absolutely dominant first performance by T.J. Otherwise, in real life and fantasy the future looks extremely bright for the young TE. The Tight end position is notoriously difficult to learn at the pro level, however given the dearth of talent at the position Hock could provide TE1 upside this year.
Jamison Crowder (46% in Yahoo and 6.2% in NFL)
Jamison Crowder had SEVENTEEN targets. This is not a typo. That being said, Crowder didn’t top 100 yards only gaining 99 and failed to score, but this volume is impossible to ignore. WR-needy GM’s should take a long look at Crowder who appears to be New York’s #1 receiving option.
John Brown (50% in Yahoo and 8% owned in NFL)
John “Smokey” Brown is really really fast and Josh Allen can throw it really really far. Brown is a typical boom/bust WR in fantasy but not if he continues to get 10 targets for Allen. Pick Brown up and know that you have a high upside flex play any week.
Have you found yourself upstream without a paddle?
(Here’s a few lifeline defenses to stream on defense for week two)
Patriots Defense at Miami Dolphins
Did you watch Sunday Night Football? Did you watch the Super Bowl? The Dolphins are bad. Start the Patriots. The End.
Panthers Defense vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
No QB throws more interceptions than Jameis Winston and that’s a fact.
One more guy for good measure Carlos Hyde (31% in Yahoo and 22.7% owned in NFL)