The Week 1 waiver run is an important part of the fantasy season. Here is a look at the bountiful crop of potential adds for your teams.
Case Keenum – In one of the surprises of Week 1, the Redskins hung tough against Philadelphia and that is largely due to the play of Keenum. Despite having next to nothing in the way of offensive weapons, Keenum threw for 380 yards and three touchdowns on 44 attempts. Keenum could prove to be useful in 2QB and Super Flex leagues as the Redskins should play from behind most weeks. If he continues to get this type of volume, he should settle in fairly comfortably in the top-24 of quarterback ranks.
Marcus Mariota – Mariota and the Titans made a mockery of the storyline that the Browns will be a true contender in 2019. Despite a mediocre first half (105 yards on 8-15 passing), Mariota bounced back with three touchdown passes after intermission. Mariota’s day was helped by a 75-yard screen pass where Derrick Henry did most of the heavy lifting but he took care of the ball and added 24 yards on the ground. The schedule is up and down over the next six weeks but I am an advocate for running quarterbacks.
Andy Dalton – Despite a tough opening matchup in Seattle, Dalton threw for over 400 yards and no interceptions on a whopping 51 attempts. Unsurprisingly, the Bengals couldn’t get anything going on the ground which led to the pass heavy attack. Dalton formed a nice connection with John Ross hooking up for two big touchdown passes in keeping Cincinnati in the game. With Joe Mixon going down with an ankle injury and the defense looking iffy at best, Dalton could be another guy who benefits from huge volume.
Malcolm Brown – If you are a Todd Gurley owner, Brown should be a priority add this week. If you aren’t, I still think Brown should be on your roster. It looks like the Rams are going to do what they can to limit Gurley’s workload meaning Brown will get 10-12 touches a week. Late in the game, Gurley was the guy the Rams trusted to burn some clock but Brown’s involvement in the offense can’t be ignored. If Gurley were to go down, Brown would immediately enter the RB2 with upside conversation.
Giovani Bernard – Joe Mixon’s ankle injury could give Bernard the chance to get the lion’s share of the work over the next few weeks. Bernard had a big 33-yard catch and run on Sunday and with the Bengals offensive line being what it is, he could carve out a role in the passing game regardless of Mixon’s health. At under 20% owned, he should be available in most leagues during waiver runs this week and would be an RB2 if Mixon were to miss time. Look for an update on Mixon before deciding how much to bid.
Chris Thompson – Adrian Peterson was a surprise healthy scratch giving Thompson the chance to get most of the third down and 2-minute work behind Derrius Guice. With Guice scheduled to miss the next few weeks with a knee injury, Thompson should be a priority add in PPR leagues. The fact the Redskins will be forced to play from behind most weeks only enhances his value.
Ronald Jones II – Jones had 93 total yards against the 49ers in out-touching Peyton Barber 14-10 and clearly looked like the best running back on the roster. He showed good burst and on his lone catch made some nifty moves down the sideline. This could be a “hot hand” situation moving forward but the schedule sets up well and Jones could end up being a guy that most of the industry was a year early on.
Rex Burkhead – On a night when Sony Michel was held to just 18 yards, Burkhead was deployed all over the formation last night racking up 13 touches including five receptions. While it can be tough to trust what New England will do week-to-week in terms of gameplan, Burkhead offers the combination of dependability and flexibility that Bill Belichick covets. He can be utilized in motion of out the backfield as a mismatch against linebackers in the same mold as Rob Gronkowski giving him some deep PPR appeal.
Tyrell Williams – In most competitive leagues Williams was scooped up the moment Antonio Brown got cut but if he is somehow available, he is the priority add among receivers this week. An underrated talent, Williams was unstoppable on Monday night consistently beating the Denver secondary on a variety of routes and showing good toughness underneath. On paper this was a tough matchup but Williams had no problem getting open. He is a WR2 moving forward.
Marquise Brown – In one of the most efficient games in history, Brown racked up 147 yards and two touchdowns on just eight routes run. Granted, it came against a gutted Dolphins defense but Brown offers week-winning upside with his ability to stretch the field. He gets another prime opportunity against Arizona this week and then Kansas City in Week Three. He is firmly in the WR2 mix right now, especially in non-PPR leagues.
DJ Chark – Against Kansas City, Chark took advantage of a plus matchup and game script on his way to 146 yards and a touchdown. Unfortunately his biggest play was a 35-yard touchdown catch where Nick Foles suffered a broken clavicle. Still, Chark showed plenty of rapport with Gardener Minshew. Of concern is that he only had four targets but he averaged a robust 41 YPC. In an offense that lacks top-end talent, Chark may yet fulfill the expectations that he had coming out of LSU.
Terry McClaurin – Like Brown and Chark, McClaurin was in on some big plays as he hooked up with Case Keenum on a 70-yard touchdown and he was just overthrown on what would have been a 73-yarder. The former Ohio State star put his 4.35-speed to good use in roasting the Eagles secondary and with the Redskins looking like they will be playing from behind most weeks, McClaurin
John Ross III – Ross was targeted 12 times and reeled in seven receptions for 158 yards and two touchdowns against Seattle. He consistently got behind the secondary and even had a couple drops so he left a lot of yards on the field. With AJ Green being out and Joe Mixon looking iffy at best, Ross has a chance to carve out a role over the next month. Firmly in the WR3/Flex conversation, he is worth a look in all formats.
Courtland Sutton – Yet another receiver who looks like he will be a Year Two breakout, Sutton drew eight targets from Joe Flacco on Monday. Hitting on multiple big plays, Sutton had 120 yards on seven receptions. The issue with Sutton will be the up and down play of Joe Flacco but Sutton is a bet-on-talent add that will be in the WR2/WR3 mix most weeks.
TJ Hockenson – Hockenson drew nine targets against Arizona on his way to a 6/131/1 line. Despite Matt Patricia’s best efforts to slow him down (Jesse James somehow out snapped him), Hockenson showed good chemistry with Matt Stafford. The Lions will remain one of the more run-heavy teams in the league and they have one of the worst coaching staffs, but the target volume and his immense talent offer TE1 upside every week. A must add if he’s available.
Darren Waller – Our very own Trey Tindell has been on the Waller Train all summer and Monday night he showed us why. Going against a surprisingly soft Denver defense, Waller caught seven passes for 77 yards on eight targets. It looks as if the Raiders offense will primarily funnel through Waller, Tyrell Williams, and Josh Jacobs meaning we can give him a reasonable projection to at least approach Jared Cook‘s numbers from 2018. He has TE1 appeal at a thing position.