By Stefan Arnold and Dakota Vanderhoef, Fantasy Football Observer
Early in the season, excellent waiver wire choices are plentiful as opportunity arises, stars emerge and play-calling trends begin to show themselves. While you need to react to all these changes, do not go overboard. Hopefully, each of your draft picks were chosen with a purpose. But, sometimes, you just miss. Either way … take a look at this list and see if these guys will help clear some driftwood from your rosters.
Last week: We suggested picking up Bills WR John Brown and his QB, Josh Allen. Brown had seven receptions on 10 targets for 123 yards and a touchdown.
Note: Most of these players are owned by about 50% or less in most leagues. You should be able to put in a claim for 1-3 of them and come away with at least one player.
Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals: Dalton seems to agree with new head coach Zac Taylor’s offensive system. Dalton torched the Seattle Seahawks for 418 passing yards and two touchdowns. While the Seahawks helped with some miscues, especially on a long touchdown pass to John Ross, Dalton was finding Tyler Boyd and Co. open all day. An excellent addition to larger rosters. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 10% Next three games: San Francisco 49ers, at Buffalo Bills, at Pittsburgh Steelers — Stefan Arnold
Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills: Allen is a choice this week for his opponent … the New York Football Giants. The Giants allowed Dallas to score 35 points against them and, while home this week, face a very good Bills defense Sunday. Allen was hurt by two lost fumbles. He also threw two interceptions. If you are looking for perfection at quarterback in Orchard Park, pack a lunch, but Allen and his rushing ability may thrive this week. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 32% Next three games: at N.Y. Giants, at Cincinnati, New England — Stefan Arnold
D.K. Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks: Metcalf came down with four of his six targets for 86 yards including a couple of electric, contested catches for big gains against Cincinnati. The rookie looks NFL ready, his routes are crisp and his separation from defenders is better than expected. Metcalf matches up well with teammate Tyler Lockett, who will likely draw the top coverage of opposing teams and was double-teammed Sunday. With Metcalf’s play-making ability and Russell Wilson’s ability to extend plays, it is only a matter of time before this kid finds the end zone. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 38% Next three games: at Pittsburgh Steelers, New Orleans Saints, at Arizona Cardinals. — Dakota Vanderhoef
Terry McLaurin, Washington: McLaurin burned the Eagles with five receptions on seven targets, 125 yards and a touchdown. Later in the game, McLaurin got open on a similarly designed route but Case Keenum was unable to connect while under pressure. McLaurin not only was explosive down the field, he also looked good in short and intermediate routes. He had an impressive catch on the sideline and also showed he can make a move in open space by breaking a tackle. The seven targets are a positive sign that there is opportunity for McLaurin and, combined with his deep-ball abilities, makes him a great pick up. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 3% Next three games: Dallas Cowboys, Chicago Bears, at New York Giants. — Dakota Vanderhoef
John Brown, Buffalo Bills: Brown secured seven of his 10 targets for 123 yards and one touchdown. Brown provided quarterback Josh Allen one of the few reliable targets on Sunday as the Buffalo Bills charged back to beat the New York Jets. Brown made big plays with his speed on crossing routes and yards-after-catch ability. Not only that, Brown scored at the most crucial time and won the game for his team. If Brown can continue to get open and make big plays in key situations, he may continue to receive 10 targets a game. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 48% Next three games: at N.Y. Giants, Cincinnati Bengals, New England Patriots. — Dakota Vanderhoef
John Ross III, Cincinnati Bengals: It feels like a long time coming, but Ross blew up against the Seattle Seahawks. Ross caught seven passes on 12 targets for 158 yards and scored twice. Ross could maintain productivity when A.J. Green returns as well, as Green will pull coverage from safeties. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 9% Next three games: San Francisco 49ers, at Buffalo Bills, at Pittsburgh Steelers. — Dakota Vanderhoef
Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals: The waiver wire is a bit thin at running back, at least those taking over for injuries, as starters remained mostly healthy in Week 1. Bernard is an exception, as Joe Mixon left the Seattle game with an ankle injury. If Bernard, who finished with 63 yards total, is the lead back in Week 2 against the 49ers, expect as much as RB2 stats from him. Keep an eye on the Mixon injury to be sure Bernard is valuable this week. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 15% Next three games: San Francisco, 49ers, at Buffalo Bills, at Pittsburgh Steelers — Stefan Arnold
Carlos Hyde, Houston Texans: A favorite of mine at his draft value, Hyde produced 85 total yards Monday night against New Orleans. While he may be a hit-or-miss prospect alongside Duke Johnson, Hyde will be a nice flex option, bye-week filler or RB3 each week. If Johnson goes down, Hyde will have immediate RB2 value in that offense. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 32% Next three games: Jacksonville Jaguars, at L.A. Chargers, Carolina Panthers — Stefan Arnold
Malcolm, Brown, L.A. Rams: Brown had 11 rushes, 53 yards and two touchdowns against Carolina. If the Rams continue to rely on Brown to take some of the load off Todd Gurley’s knees, Brown will be a valuable handcuff and spot starter. He will also be positioned to take over as the top back in a great offense if Gurley misses time. Darrell Henderson owners, drop him immediately and pick up Brown. And look at his next three games … Yahoo! ownership percentage: 14% Next three games: New Orleans Saints, at Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay — Stefan Arnold
T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions: Hockenson was a rare bright spot for the Lions in Week 1, who gave up a big lead to tie the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. Hockenson had six receptions for 131 yards and a touchdown. While he face target competition from a decent wide receiver group, Hockenson should be targeted immediately by those owners who drafted tight ends late. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 53% Next three games: L.A. Chargers, at Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs — Stefan Arnold
Darren Waller, Oakland Raiders: The Hard Knocks star who is still with the team, bye Antonio, Waller broke out Monday Night against Denver. Waller finished with seven receptions on eight targets for 70 yards. Waller looks to have the trust of coach Jon Gruden and quarterback Derek Carr and may often be the first or second read on pass plays. And for Week 2, the Raiders will need to keep up with Kanas City. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 45% Next three games: Kansas City Chiefs, at Minnesota Vikings, at Indianapolis Colts — Stefan Arnold
Jimmy Graham, Green Bay Packers: Graham caught Aaron Rodgers’, and the game’s, only touchdown in the season opener against the formidable Chicago Bears defense. Graham was targeted six times, for 30 yards and three receptions. His six targets were equal to slot receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling and only Davante Adams had more targets with eight. In a limited waiver wire tight end landscape, a tight end that has chemistry with Rodgers could win championships. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 48% Next three games: Minnesota Vikings, Denver Broncos, Philadelphia Eagles. — Dakota Vanderhoef
C.J. Uzomah, Cincinnati Bengals: Uzomah was unable to find the end zone this weekend but he was utilized in the pass game when Andy Dalton targeted him on five passes. Uzomah came down with four catches for 66 yards. Fellow tight end Tyler Eifert was also used in the passing game but with very little success, four receptions for 27 yards. Uzomah was used more as a receiver downfield and could see more targets against an exploitable San Francisco 49ers’ secondary. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 2% Next three games: San Francisco 49ers, at Buffalo Bills, at Pittsburgh Steelers. — Dakota Vanderhoef
Buffalo Bills and New York Giants: The Bills tempered quarterback Sam Darnold to only 175 yards and one touchdown, despite four Bills turnovers in the first half. Next week, the Bills take on the New York Giants. The Giants receiving core is banged up and largely outclassed by cornerback Tre’davious White and friends. Either defense is streamable as this will likely be a low-scoring affair. Buffalo Bills Yahoo! ownership percentage: 45% New York Giants Yahoo! ownership percentage: 1%. — Dakota Vanderhoef
Green Bay Packers: The Packers showed some aggressiveness and coverage skills in their opening game against the Chicago Bears. The additions over the offseason, including rookie safety Darnell Savage, paid off in the opener. If the offense can get on track, the Green Bay defense will be able to hunt down the opposing QB in late-game passing situations. Yahoo! ownership percentage: 7% Next three games: Minnesota Vikings, Denver Broncos, Philadelphia Eagles — Stefan Arnold
Less available but keep an eye out for: The New England Patriots have one of the most favorable upcoming schedules. They play at Miami Dolphins, vs. New York Jets, at Buffalo Bills, at Washington Redskins, vs. New York Giants, and at New York Jets. Also, if you played the Dallas Cowboys defense in Week 1 against the Giants, hold onto them for the next two weeks. The Cowboys play Washington next week followed by Miami Dolphins at home. New England Patriots Yahoo! ownership percentage: 80% Dallas Cowboys Yahoo! ownership percentage: 68% — Dakota Vanderhoef
Plan your waiver wire picks carefully and so you can maximize your grabs. Don’t put in claims for guys if you think your league will ignore that player … pick them up later as a free agent.
Good luck in Week 2!