The first weekend of fantasy football is finally over. Their was plenty of joy this weekend to go along with the sadness and despair that came along with the Allen Robinson and David Johnson injuries. Don’t worry though fantasy players, for I have some of the top waiver additions you should be making this week if you have been decimated by injuries or just want to improve your bench.
Tarik Cohen- RB, Chicago Bears (15% owned in Yahoo, 23.7% in ESPN)
This should be everyone’s first try at a pickup after week 1 if you need a running back. A lot of fantasy team owners lost David Johnson this week and are scrambling after only one week of play. Let me tell you, Tarik Cohen is the truth. After playing 28 of 67 offensive snaps this week, Tarik Cohen was the most targeted player on the Bears roster with 12 targets (8 of those went for receptions). Those targets will continue to be there every week with the announcement that Kevin White is out for the season with a fractured shoulder blade. The Bears are going to rely more on the run with very few wide receiving options, which also means we could see Cohen line up on the outside from time to time. His speed and agility will keep him on the field while the Bears try to find a semblance of offense.
Suggested move: Pick up in all 10+ team leagues
Javorius Allen (Buck Allen)- RB, Baltimore Ravens (5% owned in Yahoo, 0.8% in ESPN)
Allen isn’t going to be a flashy running back, but the running back mess in Baltimore sorted itself out a bit more due to the injury to Danny Woodhead, who is expected to miss “a significant amount of time.” Buck Allen played 33 snaps to Terrance West’s 27 snaps. In that time, Allen received 21 carries to West’s 19 carries in a blowout of the Cincinnati Bengals this week. Allen is going to be a solid flex play most weeks while Woodhead is out with the fact the Ravens showing they trust him with all the snaps he played.
Suggested move: Pick up in all 10+ team leagues
Jason Witten- TE, Dallas Cowboys (61% owned in Yahoo, 72.3% in ESPN)
I know Jason Witten isn’t the flashiest or most upside player in the league, but he is only owned in 61% of Yahoo leagues and 65% of ESPN leagues. Witten is going to have better value in PPR leagues as he showed Sunday night against the New York Giants. He was targeted 9 times (tied for the most with Dez Bryant) and converted 7 of those into catches for 59 yards and a touchdown. After lackluster performances by Jordan Reed, Martellus Bennett, and Jack Doyle, owners can turn to old reliable Witten to fill their TE spot if they feel the need. The Cowboys offense is going to be consistent all year thanks to the great offensive line play, which will allow Witten to get his every single game.
Suggested move: Pick up in 12+ team leagues once waivers clear
Allen Hurns/Marqise Lee- WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (Hurns- 10% owned in Yahoo, 2.3% in ESPN/ Lee- 16% owned in Yahoo, 22.3% in ESPN)
After the Jaguars announced the loss of Allen Robinson for the season to a torn ACL, both Hurns and Lee became immediate fantasy producers. I would prefer Allen Hurns over Marqise Lee as a pickup going into week 2. Both wideouts received 4 targets each, but Allen Hurns was able to turn 3 of those into catches for 42 yards total while Lee was unable to secure any of his targets. I still don’t feel confident in Bortles as a quarterback, but fantasy is all about opportunities and Hurns and Lee will receive their chances with Robinson out for the season and rookie Dede Westbrook out for 8 weeks while on the PUP list.
Suggested move: Pick up in all 10+ team leagues
Adam Thielen- WR, Minnesota Vikings (77% owned in Yahoo, 99% in ESPN)
I didn’t think this name would be on here, but somehow Adam Thielen is on here. This is all because he is somehow only owned in 77% of Yahoo leagues (99% in ESPN). Thielen showed why he will be a force all season as he is the #2 option for Sam Bradford in the Vikings. He played in all 65 offensive snaps that the Vikings had on Monday night and used it to his advantage to record 9 receptions on 10 targets for 157 yards. I wouldn’t expect Thielen to put up these numbers week in and week out, but Thielen was a great target last year for Bradford and has already shown why he deserves a spot on your team. He will be a great WR3 week in and week out for any fantasy team. He could tread into low WR2 territory in PPR leagues in certain weeks.
Suggested move: Pick up in all leagues he is available
Nelson Agholor- WR, Philadelphia Eagles (16% owned in Yahoo, 16.4% in ESPN)
It seems like everything is finally adding up for the 3rd year wide receiver. Agholor tallied 6 catches for 86 yards and a touchdown against the Washington Redskins. After 2 disappointing years for Agholor, he seems to have found his place in Philadelphia after Doug Pederson has placed him in the slot. Agholor was on the field for the Eagles for 41 of the 68 offensive snaps (60% of the time he was on the field in that game). While it would be great to see him have a much higher snap percentage, when he was on the field, he was targeted because he usually had the matchup advantage. With Alshon Jeffery as the main threat and Torrey Smith drawing deep coverage, Agholor is going to see a lot of short to intermediate routes which will lead to consistently good weeks for the 24-year-old wide receiver.
Suggested move: Pick up in 12+ team leagues
Cooper Kupp- WR, Los Angeles Rams (5% owned in Yahoo, 0.8% in ESPN)
There was a lot of hype around Kupp leading into the regular season and he showed us why this past Sunday. Cooper Kupp ran very solid routes and knew when and how to make cuts to fake out defenders to earn the separation. He was playing against the Colts, but he earned his 76 yards on 4 catches (6 targets) against one of the worst pass defenses. Kupp looked the part as an NFL wide receiver, but due to the work that the Rams defense did on Sunday it is hard to judge everything about Kupp and his usage. Kupp looked great and played in 65% of the team’s snaps, which means we should see plenty of usage out of the rookie week to week. He isn’t worth a top waiver spot, but is worth keeping an eye on.
Suggested move: Pick up in 12+ team leagues, add after waivers clear in shallower leagues
Kenny Golladay- WR, Detroit Lions (21% owned in Yahoo, 21.3% in ESPN)
One of my favorite guys coming into this season was Kenny Golladay. He surpassed 1,100 yards and with 8+ touchdowns in his last 2 years of college ball with NIU. He flashed the potential on Sunday as he snagged 4 catches on 7 targets for 69 yards and 2 touchdowns. Golladay was able to do all of that while 62% of the 70 offensive snaps for the Lions. The Lions haven’t had this type of potential in a receiver since Calvin Johnson left, but the addition of Golladay will allow the Lions to open up the playbook a bit more. Golladay has a ton of potential with his size and speed and will quickly become a favorite target for Matthew Stafford this season.
Suggested move: Pick up in all 12+ team leagues
Kerwynn Williams- RB, Arizona Cardinals (10% owned in Yahoo, 5.5% in ESPN)
I was originally ready to mark down Williams as my 2nd best pickup for the week, but then the Cardinals picked up rookie DJ Foster off of the Patriots practice squad while rumors spreading that the Cardinals may sign veteran Chris Johnson. Williams didn’t see much play until David Johnson left the game, but when he did he saw 5 carries for 10 yards. There isn’t a lot there it seems, especially behind that questionable offensive line, but we already know Ellington isn’t a feature back. I expect the Cardinals to look to Williams for all of the between the tackles work while Andre Ellington will be the tailback in for all passing downs. Williams is worth the add with David Johnson expected to miss at least 8 weeks.
Suggested move: Add in 12+ team leagues
Corey Davis- WR, Tennessee Titans (46% owned in Yahoo, 93.8% in ESPN)
This was the major wide receiving addition that the Titans needed to jump start the offense. While Davis didn’t have a spectacular NFL debut, Mariota consistently looked at him for a total of 10 targets, 6 of which were converted into a total of 69 yards and 0 touchdowns. Corey Davis is going to make a huge impact for this Titans offense as we now don’t know what to expect out of Eric Decker after how poorly he played on Sunday. With the lack of quickness out of Decker, Davis is going to have more opportunities to show what he can do in an evolving Tennessee Titans offense.
Suggested move: Add in all leagues
Post waiver additions
The next 3 players are ones that should be added to any 12+ team bench if you are in need of depth at that position. These players will not start for you right now, but will allow you to beat the waiver wire process if a starter gets injured here in week 2. Having a deep bench early season is always important to achieving that all important fantasy championship.
Charcandrick West- (11% owned in Yahoo, 11.4% in ESPN)
West isn’t a necessary waiver claim this week, but is a guy that should be rostered after what we saw last Thursday. With Spencer Ware out for the season, West becomes the automatic handcuff to the explosive Kareem Hunt. West ended up seeing 23 total snaps to Kareem Hunt’s 39 (out of a total 65) in the surprising win over New England. West isn’t going to take work away from Hunt with everything that he showed, but if anything happens to Hunt, Charcandrick West is going to be highly sought after in that Kansas City offense that loves their tailbacks.
Charles Clay- TE, Buffalo Bills (11% owned in Yahoo, 12.2% in ESPN)
Another TE makes the list this week in Charles Clay, but with the lack of major receiving options, his week 1 performance is no fluke. Clay was the most targeted player for the Bills on Sunday with 9 targets with McCoy trailing him at 6 and Zay Jones at 4. Clay is in his 3rd year with the team while Jordan Matthews and Zay Jones are in their first year with the Bills. Clay clearly has some good chemistry with Tyrod Taylor and Taylor will continue to look for the big tight end, especially in the red zone. The best thing about Clay is he was on the field for 89% of the offensive snaps, meaning he will be a part of the gameplan all year.
Alvin Kamara- RB, New Orleans Saints (14% owned in Yahoo, 5.9% in ESPN)
The Saints backfield is a mess, but there is a bright spot with Alvin Kamara. I think he is a running back that the Saints love after picking him in the 2017 Draft. Kamara will be much more valuable in PPR leagues because of how threatening he is out of the backfield as a receiving option. He isn’t a must grab off of waivers this week, but he is an intriguing option for a bench spot. Should anything happen to Mark Ingram in terms of poor performance or injury, I think the Saints will use Kamara as their lead back since the snap count for Monday night was Kamara 31 (of 62 snaps), Ingram 26, Peterson 9. Kamara had 7 rushes for 18 yards and 4 receptions on 6 targets for 20 yards. All of that was against a stout Minnesota Vikings defense, but the Saints clearly want to use Kamara in every way they can.
For fantasy questions, I can be found on Twitter @JButlerPSF. I take fantasy questions all week at any time for add/drops or who to sit or start.