Welcome to this season’s NFL Fantasy Waiver Wire list. Each week, we’re going to give you the top five options to pick up off waivers from each position, helping you add some extra points and wins throughout your fantasy season!
- Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers, 33.5 percent availability
- Matt Stafford, Detroit Lions, 83.7 percent availability
- Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans, 93.8 percent availability
- Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals, 95.8 percent availability
- Case Keenum, Washington Redskins, 98.8 percent availability
I don’t know how Rivers is still available in 33.5 percent of ESPN leagues. Despite not having RB Melvin Gordon, Rivers is still one of the top options at quarterback this season. He has a lot of offensive weapons, such as receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams to pass the ball to. The returns of running back Austin Ekeler and tight end Hunter Henry from injuries last year is also another boost for Rivers, so make sure you pick him up if he’s somehow available in your league.
Stafford looked a lot better in his week one performance than he did all of last season. Unfortunately, the running game looked like it did over the past several seasons. It’s good for Stafford and those who plan on adding him. He seems to have a good feeling and quick connection with added weapons T.J. Hockenson and Danny Amendola. If he’s on the same page with them, he could put up big points for your fantasy team.
Mariota has always been an off and on type of quarterback. He and the entire Titans team was on in their week one game. Mariota has a strong connection with both Derrick Henry and Delanie Walker. If the three of these guys are healthy enough to play every game together, they could put up a ton of points. Mariota also has a nice set of receivers to throw the ball to, which could lead to a more consistent year for him.
Dalton and Keenum were both impressive in their first games, despite not having a lot of their talented players on the field with them. Dalton had to play without receiver A.J. Green, but that didn’t stop him from having a big game with receivers John Ross and Tyler Boyd. For Keenum, it was a chance to prove he is certainly the guy to go to at quarterback in Washington. Keenum made an offense with not many weapons look good in the first half of their season opener. Let’s see if he can continue his hot start against the Dallas Cowboys.
- Justin Jackson, Los Angeles Chargers, 59.6 percent availability
- Giovanni Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals, 67.7 percent availability
- Carlos Hyde, Houston Texans, 60.6 percent availability
- Chris Thompson/Adrian Peterson, Washington Redskins, 81.1/73.7 percent availability
- Jamaal Williams, Green Bay Packers, 89.4 percent availability
As we look at the running back situation of many teams, a lot of factors come into play. For Jackson, it’s about him sharing carries with Ekeler in the Chargers’ backfield. We haven’t seen him get much work yet, as it was the Austin Powers show, but we do expect Jackson to get more and more carries as the season goes on.
Bernard will be looking to get a lot more of the workload while Mixon nurses his ankle back to full health. If Mixon is expected to miss any time, Bernard will be the main guy to get in this week’s waivers. Bernard is a great addition to have on your roster, as the Bengals are dealing with a lot of injuries already.
Houston is going with the running back by committee approach, as we saw from their game Monday night. Hyde had a lot of touches and made good progress with them. He was traded to the Texans after running back Lamar Miller went down with a season ending injury. He is expected to have a bigger role as the season goes on.
Thompson and Peterson are both part of the running back by committee in Washington along with Guice. However, Guice may be missing time and Adrian Peterson is returning from injury. Peterson will look to be the rushing back, as Thompson continues to be the pass catching back for the Redskins. Thompson has that role with the team and would be a nice addition to your team if you’re in a PPR league.
Williams is a stretch on this list because he and his counterpart, Aaron Jones, didn’t have any success in week one. Based off the passing success of the Green Bay Packers, Williams might be more valuable this season. Add him now while he’s still available in 89.4 percent of leagues.
- Tyrell Williams, Oakland Raiders, 36.5 percent availability
- John Brown, Buffalo Bills, 64.7 percent availability
- John Ross III, Cincinnati Bengals, 95.2 percent availability
- Marquise Brown, Baltimore Ravens, 71.8 percent availability
- Danny Amendola, Detroit Lions, 96.6 percent availability
I expect everyone on this list to be added this week after their big performances.
Williams’ stock rose after all the Antonio Brown drama settled for Oakland. He found himself having a nice game on Monday night, as he had 150 yards and a touchdown in their win over the Denver Broncos. Look to add Williams in all leagues where he’s available before he’s gone. He’ll be the number one target for Derek Carr all season long.
John Brown had a lot of flashes as the top receiving option last season, and expectations were high for him heading into this one. Brown is the deep threat for quarterback Josh Allen, if he has enough time to get the ball down field to him. Brown should consistently give us 15 points in the standard PPR league, whether it just comes from touchdowns or receptions and yards.
Ross was questionable to play week one, so that’s probably why he was available in so many leagues. I know I failed to add him this week, and I’ll be trying to sneak him in this week. We expected to see this from him early in the season, as receiver A.J. Green is out with an injury. Ross has moments where he could be great and moments where we could regret adding him, but right now it seems more like greatness, so pick him up if you can.
There was a show in Miami this weekend, and the Baltimore Ravens brought “Hollywood” along. No one expected QB Lamar Jackson to get five passing touchdowns. We didn’t expect receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown to score two of them. We knew he was a speedy receiver, but didn’t know the arm strength of Jackson. I think Brown will have a successful season if he can find ways to keep getting open for Jackson.
Amendola joined the Lions after a rough year in Miami, and he’s out to prove he’s still got it. He had a nice week one, as he found the end zone with a pass from Stafford. As you might have read above, I’m expecting a better year from Stafford than we saw last season, and Amendola could be a huge part of that success.
- Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens, 49 percent availability
- Jimmy Graham, Green Bay Packers, 52.4 percent availability
- T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions, 70 percent availability
- Darren Waller, Oakland Raiders, 73.2 percent availability
- Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys, 85 percent availability
Andrews still being available in 49 percent of leagues is ridiculous! He’s been talked about as one of the tight ends with a high ceiling this year. If the Ravens’ offense does anything like it did in week one, we should expect to see Andrews continue to put up numbers for our teams, so pick him up now before he’s not available anymore.
Graham showed us he’s healthy and ready to get back to the touchdown scoring tight end we’re used to seeing. I don’t think he’s an every week starter, but it’s nice having him on the bench when your starter is on bye or when you need an extra guy.
Hockenson is one of the most talked about rookie tight ends in a long time, and we expect him to continue having success after last week’s performance. With all the pieces on the Lions’ roster, he could be one who stays a consistent weapon for Stafford. I expect him to average 15+ points weekly.
Waller will be playing the Jared Cook role in Oakland this year, and we got to see a small sample of it on Monday night. Waller didn’t score a touchdown, but he did record several catches. He led the Raiders in targets, and we should expect that to happen more often. Don’t miss your chance to add him, because that 73.2 percent availability will likely turn into 73 percent owned.
Witten came out of retirement because he knew he still had something left. The Cowboys also struggled to have success with their tight ends last season. With Witten back, that’s another weapon for the Dallas Cowboys offense, and we saw that early, as he scored a touchdown in week one. Look for Prescott to turn to him a lot in the red zone this year.
I hope you pick up the right players to help you win in week two if you fell short last week. Good luck, and happy picking!