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NFL Waiver Wire: Week 2 Pickups

We finally have Week 1 in the books and now there are actually legitimate pickups on the waiver wire in most leagues to consider. Let's not waste anymore time and take a look at who's out there.



Cooper Rush, DAL - The hand injury to Dak Prescott coupled with a Week 1 loss likely means the Cowboys' season is over and Rush should be under center the next 6-8 weeks. At this point there are a lot of superflex/two-quarterback leagues out there firmly putting Rush on the fantasy radar. His weapons are limited past CeeDee Lamb and Dalton Schultz, but bye weeks start Week 6, which will increase his fantasy value. Remember, you're probably bidding against Dak's owner, who likely will be very aggressive. FAAB: $4-$8 Marcus Mariota, ATL - It's possible Atlanta has tweaked its offense to play to Mariota's strengths, and maybe he'll be a consistent fantasy contributor this season. The key is his rushing ability as he scored 19.80 fantasy points in most formats Sunday largely on the heels of his running (12-72-1). While he won't obviously score a rushing touchdown every game, he's always a rushing threat, giving him a higher ceiling than less-mobile quarterbacks. FAAB: $3-$6 Carson Wentz, WAS - This is purely about the matchup this week if you're a Dak Prescott owner or if you have a matchup that doesn't look for your regular quarterback. The Lions just gave up 38 points and a big game to Jalen Hurts while Wentz is coming off a four-touchdown performance. The over/under opened at 48.5 with the Lions a slight favorite (-2), suggesting the Commanders will score about 24 points. I wouldn't count on using Wentz on a weekly basis (he did throw two interceptions Sunday), but he'll be ranked higher than usual this week. FAAB: $2-$4

RUNNING BACKS PRIMARY TARGETS Jeff Wilson, SF - Here's the top target at the position given that Elijah Mitchell is slated to miss the next two months with an MCL sprain. The big winner might be Deebo Samuel, who should see more time as a running back, though Wilson is set for about 15 touches a game. Kyle Shanahan's offense is predicated on running the ball, and having a scrambling quarterback like Trey Lance will help open more holes for whoever is in the backfield. Wilson got 11 touches after Mitchell left Sunday. Adding Mitchell's six rushing attempts, it gives you an idea what type of workload you can expect from Wilson. There's also the opportunity for Wilson to take the job and run with it, rendering Mitchell useless for fantasy purposes when he returns. Unless you're in a league with IR spots, feel safe dropping Mitchell immediately. Like Cooper Rush/Dak Prescott, Mitchell's owner will bid aggressively on Wilson so be prepared to spend if you really want him. If you want to take a flyer on the next man up, bid a buck or two on Jordan Mason. He's an undrafted rookie out of Georgia Tech who finished with 2,349 rushing yards and currently plays on special teams for the 49ers. FAAB: $25-$40 Rex Burkhead, HOU - OK, I might have completely misread the backfield for the Texans. Burkhead had 19 touches (including eight targets) and outpaced Dameon Pierce by seven touches. It's worth noting Burkhead wasn't extremely efficient with those touches, averaging only 2.9 yards per carry and six yards per catch. However, he might have the upper hand in this committee and the volume is certainly there. I'm not in love with him but can't deny he's worth considering as a flex, at least for now. FAAB: $8-$16 Jamaal Williams, DET - Williams is gone in 47 percent of Yahoo leagues, so he barely makes the 50 percent threshold this week. It's clear he's considered the goal-line back, and his 12 touches Sunday seems like a reasonable amount of touches to expect. He'll need to find the end zone to be fantasy relevant in most leagues, and D'Andre Swift is the main ball carrier between the 20s. However, Williams has his role in his offense as being the short-yardage/goal-line back. FAAB: $5-$10 SECONDARY TARGETS Khalil Herbert, CHI, Dontrell Hilliard, TEN - I'm lumping these players together because they're backups who still will get touches. Herbert finished with nine carries for 45 yards and touchdown while Hilliard finished with three catches for 61 yards and two touchdowns. Hilliard is the more desired add in PPR formats, especially given Derrick Henry's limitations catching the ball while Herbert is more capable of stepping in as an early down back should anything happen to David Montgomery. FAAB: Both - $4-$8 Jaylen Warren, PIT - It's not crystal clear as to the availability of Najee Harris this week, though the last report suggested he could be just fine for Sunday's game. It's not a bad idea (as I've suggested in this space before) to have Warren stashed on your bench as one of the higher upside backups at the position. It's telling he was named the backup over Benny Snell, and the Steelers typically roll with only one main back as opposed to a committee. Even if Harris is fine and plays this week there's a chance he aggravates the foot injury and it's suddenly Warren's backfield. FAAB: $3-$6 WIDE RECEIVERS SECONDARY TARGETS Jahan Dotson, Curtis Samuel, WAS - The two touchdowns are the obvious stat, but only getting five targets is a bit worrisome as far as Dotson goes. Samuel seemed to be something of a focal point of the offense when he was on the field with a team-high 11 targets, which he turned into eight catches for 55 yards and a score. The Commanders will face tougher defenses (though this Week 2 is an exception) and both needed to find the end zone to have a big game. It's tough to see both having this fantasy relevance again in the same game, and the truth is it'll be tough to predict who will have the bigger game week in and week out. That said, both are on the fantasy radar this week; just realize it'll be tougher to read the tea leaves after this game in Detroit. FAAB: Both $4-$8 Joshua Palmer, LAC - Palmer was a trendy late-round pick in most drafts and the injury to Keenan Allen could reward those who had faith in him. Thursday's game at Kansas City should be a shootout, and with Allen not practicing Monday it's hard to see him be ready to suit up against the Chiefs. DeAndre Carter is worth a buck or two and had the better fantasy game Sunday, but Palmer's upside is much better than his. The second-year pro out of Tennessee showed flashes of potential in the latter part of 2021, finishing with 245 receiving yards and three touchdowns in the final five games of the regular season. His value will take a hit once Keenan returns, but for Thursday/Week 2 he's a viable option. FAAB: $3-$6 Greg Dortch, ARI - While many (myself included) eyed Andy Isabella or A.J. Green once Rondale Moore was ruled out, Dortch ended up being the receiver everyone should have considered. He had a team-high nine targets and finished with a 7-63 receiving line. Moore isn't guaranteed back anytime soon and DeAndre Hopkins won't return from his suspension until Week 7. However, Dortch definitely has a role while the team is without the services of those two players. FAAB: $3-$6 Devin Duvernay, BAL - The Baltimore receiving corps is expected to be Rashod Bateman and Mark Andrews, but there may be enough targets to go around for Duvernay. He caught two touchdown passes Sunday as well as all four of his targets, finishing with a 4-4-54-2 line. Would I feel confident in starting him on a weekly basis? Probably not. This could be the start of a Year 3 breakout and he'll likely continue to face single coverage. It helps that the Ravens don't have a running attack until J.K. Dobbins returns. FAAB: $3-$6 HAIL MARY Ben Skowronek, LAR - Skowronek appears ready to fill the void left by Van Jefferson as the Rams' No. 3 wide receiver and while his first game numbers didn't jump off the page (6-4-25) he's in a good spot. He'll attract extremely soft coverage playing with Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson and is a sneaky add in deeper leagues. The Rams offense should be fine now that they don't have to play my Buffalo Bills again. FAAB: $2-$4 TIGHT ENDS HAIL MARY O.J. Howard, HOU - Here's a classic case of overreaction as many will spend unneeded money on Howard this week after his two-touchdown performance. First, he was cut by the Bills and Brevin Jordan and Pharaoh Brown were both active and running routes for the Texans. If someone foolishly drops Cole Kmet to get Howard, please race to the next round of waivers to grab Kmet instead. There's not a doubt Kmet will be the better fantasy player by the end of the season. FAAB: $1-$2 DEFENSE HAIL MARY Cleveland Browns D/ST - The Browns seem to be in a good spot this week in their home opener against Joe "Checkdown" Flacco and the Jets. The Browns came up with four sacks and an interception Sunday, and getting six fantasy points seems like a floor this week against New York. FAAB: $1-$2

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