2020 Waiver Wire - Week 2
We welcomed both fantasy and real football back this weekend and it did not fail to entertain and disappoint us all at once as it usually does. Maddening timeshares, underperforming studs, and season ending injuries were all present in the NFL’s kickoff weekend and that likely has most of you looking to the waiver wire this week in order to help instill confidence in your team again. Maybe you need to bolster your wide receiver depth or replace an injured player, either way I have you covered. This is my weekly Waiver Wire Whisper column in which I will give you my take on some stash/start worthy players that are rostered in 50% or less of Yahoo leagues. That is the cutoff so please don’t slide all in my mentions on Twitter about how I could possibly leave off Jonathan Taylor (98%), or J.K. Dobbins (91%), or even James Robinson (56%) and Dallas Goedert (56%) from this article.
As always you can find us on Twitter or Instagram and DM your waiver wire questions to us there as well. If you are curious about my preference or priority between a player in the particular positional groups I will rank them from top to bottom priority in this article. If you are curious about my priority or preference between positions, you will need to make that decision based on your roster construction. Typically in most formatas running backs are the top priority but maybe you have a deep RB corps and need WR or TE help. Make good decisions, folks.
Benny Snell Jr., Pittsburgh Steelers, Rostered in 16% of Yahoo leagues
Benny Snell came into Monday night as the direct handcuff for the projected Steelers bellcow running back James Conner. Conner exited the game after the third Steelers drive.
The injury to Conner is being called a sprain and the team is hopeful he can return soon whatever that means. Snell took over for Conner early on and filled in admirably as he ran 19 times for 113 yards at a 5.6 ypc clip. Snell gets the nod over Malcolm Brown for me over waivers because if he has won over Tomlin this offseason with his work ethic and Conner has a littered injury history. Snell should be a priority if you need running back.
Malcolm Brown, Los Angeles Rams, Rostered in 27% of Yahoo leagues
After repeatedly stating that he would ride the hot hand between his 3 running backs, Sean McVay appeared to do just that, giving the official start to rookie Cam Akers but giving more carries to journeyman Malcolm Brown. Not only did Brown get 18 carries to Akers’ 14 but Brown was more effective as well averaging 4.4 YPC while the rookie only managed 2.8. Brown is topping my list this week given the efficiency the Rams offense showed on Sunday night and the fact that he had 100% of the team’s goal line work, turning that into two scores while also leading all Rams RBs in targets with 4 which he turned into 3 catches for 31 receiving yards.
Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts, Rostered in 20% of Yahoo leagues
Make no mistake, Jonathan Taylor’s time is now after the Marlon Mack news but as we have seen before in both Frank Reich and Philip Rivers offenses, the pass catching, scat back role can be highly lucrative for fantasy football purposes. That was the case in Sunday’s contest against the Jaguars as Hines posted a team high 8 catches on 8 targets and scored both on the ground and through the air. What was most intriguing about his usage was that even early on with Mack in the game, Hines saw upwards of 65% of the red zone usage both on the ground and through the air for this team. This could continue for him as we have seen Rivers be fond of players like Austin Ekeler and Danny Woodhead in the red zone in previous seasons.
Joshua Kelley, Los Angeles Chargers, Rostered 13% in of Yahoo leagues
There was some obvious likely opportunity to be had in the Chargers backfield outside of Austin Ekeler heading into 2020 but the question remained was it going to be Justin Jackson or Joshua Kelley. That question was answered on Sunday and to be frank, fantasy GMs with Ekeler on their roster could have a frustrating situation on their hands. Joshua Kelley not only got two more carries inside the ten than Akeler which led to Kelley’s score, but he was the more effective runner as well. Ekeler, granted, did lead the team in carries with 19 but his 4.4 YPC was bested by Kelley’s 5.0 on 12 carries himself. Kelley is locked into at the very least the backup role ahead of Justin Jackson but he could be playing a very profitable “Melvin Gordon” type role in the coming season.
Adrian Peterson, Detroit Lions, Rostered in 46% of Yahoo leagues
Not Kerryon Johnson, Not even electric prospect D’Andre Swift, but Adrain Peterson was the most effective runner for the Lions on Sunday against the Bears. Peterson looked nimble and motivated on his way to 14 carries for 93 yards on 6.6 yards per carry. That is not a typo, WhisperNation, Peterson did as he had done a few times in Washington over the last two seasons and turned back the clock on his MVP/Minnesota days. Now Stafford did look at Swift’s way the most of his running backs but Peterson was targeted 3 times and caught all three for 21 yards. Peterson looks to be in the Lions plans at RB until he can’t do it anymore and if you are hurting for RB depth Peterson should be rostered.
Corey Clement, Philadelphia Eagles, Rostered in 2% of Yahoo leagues
The Philadelphia injury woes of 2019 have continued thus far in 2020. After their star running back Miles Sanders didn’t even make the trip with the team to D.C., the Eagles watched as their productive backup from last year was helped off the field and did not return with an injury the team has yet to disclose with the likes of us. Clement is a speculative add because recent reports indicate there is some hope that Sanders will play against the Rams in week two. Clement should be added by those with Sanders on their roster but also in cases where you may need a flex start in week two.
Josh Adams, New York Jets, Rostered in less than 1% of Yahoo leagues
Starting Jets running back Le’Veon Bell injured his hamstring late in week one’s contest against the Bills after a dismal performance. This offensive line was supposed to be “better” and the lie detector determined that was a lie, at least for week one. Adams is not a sexy pick and I would only advise wasting a roster spot on the Jets RB if you were in 14 team leagues or deeper but I do prefer him over Gore because at least we see Adams has some juice left and actually got a score against the Bills stingy D on Sunday.
Peyton Barber, Washington Football Team, Rostered in 3% of Yahoo leagues
In the most Peyton Barber-y of ways Sunday, he led the Football Team from Washington’s running back corps in carries with 17. For reference that was 47% of the market share. He was very on brand, however, and only turned those 17 carries into 29 yards. Excuse me while I puke in my mouth a little bit. Barber garnered all the goal line work in this one as well and managed to punch it in for a score. I still believe and hope for the Fantasy Gods that Rivera and co. are just working rookie Antonio Gibson into the fold week by week but Barber can be rostered if he continues to see this nonsensical and putrid usage, I guess.
Myles Gaskin, Miami Dolphins, Rostered in 1% of Yahoo leagues
Gaskin is here because it was he and not Matt Breida who was the pass catcher out of the backfield for Miami. Outside of week to week Jordan Howard desperation plays this backfield is not one you want to target but keep an eye on Gaskin, especially in PPR formats.
Frank Gore, New York Jets, Rostered in 4% of Yahoo leagues
Adam Gase running backs are gros and I feel gross for even putting Frank Gore’s name here. But maybe you love the legend Frank Gore and feel like rostering him. It is your team, after all.
Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers, Rostered in 45% of Yahoo leagues
Big Mike Williams or BMW as we like to call him here at TFW, had himself a pretty good game on Sunday. Even after early reports over the last couple weeks indicated that Williams was at risk of missing the month of September, he still played on 78% of the team snaps during week one. BMW was not a decoy either, as he led the team in targets and amassed a very nice 69 yards, catching 8 of 9 targets. Williams not only played well, but looked healthy. His and Keenan Allen’s game on Sunday was a reminder of Williams’ upside due to the style of play that Tyrod Taylor is capable of as he likes to push the ball downfield.
Parris Campbell, Indianapolis Colts, Rostered in 22% of Yahoo leagues
It should first be noted that Philip Rivers did a fantastic job of spreading the ball around as 4 different Colts were targeted 6 or more times. Tied for the target lead with T.Y. Hilton was second year WR Parris Campbell with 9. Campbell caught 6 of those targets for 71 yards. What I was most impressed by was this offense seemed to be pretty efficient outside of Rivers’ two interceptions. Campbell fits nicely and could be the Indy version of Keenan Allen in Frank Reich’s 2020 offense.
Robby Anderson, Carolina Panthers, Rostered in 31% of Yahoo leagues
Coming into the 2020 regular season Teddy Bridgewater had been gaining steam as a sneaky streamable fantasy QB. The logic checks out with this Panthers defense lacking major talent across the board and the new coaching regime having aggressive former BCS offensive minds as the braintrust. Where Bridgewater and to some extent DJ Moore let us down, Robby Anderson exploded for 6 catches on 8 targets for 115 yards and a touchdown in week one. Anderson is the big play threat in this offense and that is clear, his health and career volatility could get in the way of him posting great numbers week in and week out, but if this team wants to keep up in most games Anderson will need to be involved.
Russell Gage, Atlanta Falcons, Rostered in 2% of Yahoo leagues
Rusell Gage had slipped under most of the fantasy football world’s radar this offseason but was forced in front of our faces in week one. All three of Gage, Calvin Ridley, and Julio Jones caught 9 balls as Matt Ryan threw a whopping 54 times in their shootout agiainst the Seahawks. Where I see Gage being worth a shot on this list and holding major value is that he could very well be the 3rd option in this offense ahead of Hayden Hurst who is still behind him in at least the chemistry department as Gage has history with Matt Ryan and the Falcons.
Allen Lazard, Green Bay Packers, Rostered in 42% of Yahoo leagues
The Green Bay Packer WR may or may not be on your waiver wire as he was a popular sleeper pick in drafts this year. Lazard did nothing to steer his believers away this weekend as he went 4 for 4 with 64 yards and a touchdown on Sunday. GB signal caller Aaron Rodgers looked locked in all day and if this receiving corps and this offense can take a step forward this year we will want to roster Rodgers’ weapons in fantasy football.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Green Bay Packers, Rostered in 7% of Yahoo leagues
Similar to his teammate, MVS is an interesting player this season. Aaron Rodgers and Packers fans were calling for his breakout last season but MVS had so many mental errors in his first season under HC Matt LeFleur and the breakout never came. Now, I am not saying all the mental errors are gone as MVS had several drops on Sunday that could have been big plays but he also burned the Minnesota secondary on an absolute beauty of a 45 yard TD strike from Rodgers. As mentioned above owning a piece of a Rodgers revenge tour would pay big dividends in 2020.
Scott Miller, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Rostered 6% in of Yahoo leagues
On the surface it may not feel very good to invest in yet another weapon in this Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense but Scotty Miller is a very intriguing option on the wire this week. This has everything to do with Tom Brady, his age, and his propensity to throw to the slot position. Miller had just one less target than Chris Godwin and only 6 yards less than the team leading receiver. Miller is worth a stash especially as Evans is working his way back from the hamstring and getting up to full speed.
Danny Amendola, Detroit Lions, Rostered in 2% of Yahoo leagues
On the similar take as Miller, Amendola is likely to benefit if his star WR Kenny Golladay continues to miss time. Amendola caught 5 of 7 targets for a team high 81 yards. The Lions have the Packers, Cardinals, and Saints in their next 3 and Amendola could get some extended run in those contests as Detroit tries to stay in these games.
Laviska Shenault, Jacksonville Jaguars, Rostered in 12% of Yahoo leagues
Shenault was my favorite rookie WR prospect but my least favorite landing spot in Jacksonville. Laviska managed a score on Sunday against the Colts but maybe the most interesting thing was that he managed to garner 2 rushing attempts as well. If the Jags continue to be battling through the air this season and they use Shenault on the ground in a a gadgety fashion, Shenault will be a potentially exciting flex on some weeks.
Jalen Reagor, Philadelphia Eagles, Rostered in 39% of Yahoo leagues
Initially I had planned to write about Reagor due to DeSean Jackson’s injury that I thought caused him to miss snaps on Sunday against Washington, however Jackson was having his snaps managed by the team in order to ease him back into action this year. Regardless of Jackson’s snap count, this Eagles squad is in need of pass catching options and Reagor fits the bill. Yes he only managed one catch, but with that one catch Reagor amassed 55 yards and showed a flash of his big play potential. Reagor totaled only four targets but they were deep down the field and he could be an explosive WR4 for fantasy GMs this year if he can get a full slate of snaps on any given Sunday.
Willie Snead, Baltimore Ravens, Rostered in 1% of Yahoo leagues
This is not a sexy pick for the wire this week but Snead played 66% of snaps and amassed 64 yards and a touchdown but the important thing to note is that if Lamar Jackson improves as a passer which he looked to do based off the small week one sample size, then you could do a lot worse than Snead.
Curtis Samuel, Carolina Panthers, Rostered in 31% of Yahoo leagues
Tied for second in team targets on what should be a pass happy Panthers squad.
Keelan Cole, Jacksonville Jaguars, Rostered in less than 1% of Yahoo leagues
Cole was first on the team in targets(5), first on the team in catches(5), first on the team in receiving yards(47), and scored a TD. If Minshew can keep it up on offense Cole should see more looks.
Tre’Quan Smith, New Orleans Saints, Rostered in 2% of Yahoo leagues
This is simply an insurance add for GMs that have Michael Thomas on their roster because reports indicate that he believes he can play through it but given that the game is on Monday night, it would be wise to have a backup plan.
Logan Thomas, Washington Football Team, Rostered in 2% of Yahoo leagues
A late bloomer on peoples deep TE sleeper lists this offseason, was Logan Thomas. Thomas was underwhelming in the Football Team’s upset win over the Eagles but he did lead the team in targets with 8 this past week. If he is going to garner that much of Dwayne Haskins’ attention he will be worth an add especially for those who lost Blake Jarwin on Sunday night.
O.J. Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Rostered in 2% of Yahoo leagues
Howard is not an option you will likely be able to count on especially all year long given that Gronk is on this roster. O.J. Howard could be interesting for those streaming the position early on as the Buccs look to ease Gronk back into game action this year.
Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville Jaguars, Rostered in 26% of Yahoo leagues
The jean short wearing, mustache rocking, headband sporting Jacksonville phenomenon kept his legend going this past Sunday. Minshew only had one incompletion, ONE! He went 19 of 20 for 173 yards and 3 touchdowns with no interceptisons. Minshew will be a great streaming option in the weeks to come with matchups against the Bengals, Texans, and Dolphins in three of his next four.
Mitch Trubisky, Chicago Bears, Rostered in 3% of Yahoo leagues
Trubisky’s strong showing took a while to manifest but he did throw for 3 touchdowns and no picks in this one. I would not advise trusting Trubisky if you can help it because the bottom is likely to fall out soon enough but I had to put him on here given the points he scored in week one.