Week 1 of the NFL season was full of fantasy football excitement, disappointment, and everything in between. There were also plenty of injuries, and fantasy teams are certainly looking to either find replacements or just upside bench depth. Here are 5 players on the fantasy radar as waiver wire pickups for Week 2 (percentages according to ESPN):
RB Jeff Wilson Jr. (SF) – 3% Rostered
49ers starting RB Elijah Mitchell went down with a MCL sprain on Sunday vs. the Bears. Head coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed that Mitchell would miss about eight weeks, which makes Jeff Wilson Jr. one of the top available waiver wire pickups at RB. Shanahan is notorious for the RB committee approach, but Wilson is worth the waiver claim. He will not be a bellcow by any means, but he has the potential to pay off huge dividends in fantasy. When given the starter treatment, he has proven to produce. Fantasy owners should go back to the ‘Wilson well’ in 2022.
RB Jaylen Warren (PIT) – 1.3% Rostered
Sophomore RB Najee Harris is trending towards playing in Week 2 after sustaining a foot injury on Sunday, but those are always tricky to deal with. He could potentially be on a snap count if he were to play. Jaylen Warren has been the clear RB2 in Steelers camp, so he would be the next man up if Pittsburgh were to alleviate the workload of Harris. Warren is a valuable handcuff to add at the moment, but could rise drastically in stock if Harris were to reaggravate his injury.
WR Jarvis Landry (NO) – 57% Rostered
Landry had a very nice debut for the Saints in their comeback win against the Falcons. Landry led the team in receptions (7), targets (9), and receiving yards (114). He was making plays throughout the game, proving why he continues to be a valuable fantasy asset. While he is rostered in 57% of leagues, that will increase in the coming days. Star WR Michael Thomas looked good as well on Sunday, but Landry could prove to be the better fantasy WR for these next few games. Landry should still see plenty of targets as well, making him a better add in PPR leagues.
WR Julio Jones (TB) – 43% Rostered
Jones only caught three balls in his Bucs debut, but he is in store for much more. WR Chris Godwin, who missed the end of 2021 with a torn ACL, suffered a hamstring strain Sunday night vs. the Cowboys, causing him to miss the rest of the game. Godwin is likely to miss multiple weeks, which would benefit Jones. The veteran WR looked good and fast in week 1, managing to record 69 yards on just those three receptions. Jones should be rostered and treated as a FLEX play for as long as Godwin is absent.
TE O.J. Howard (HOU) – 0.3% Rostered
Did the Texans unlock O.J. Howard? That remains to be seen, but it looks as though he has the trust of QB Davis Mills, who connected with the TE for two touchdowns in their tie against the Colts. Those two scores were the only reason Howard had a notable week, but in an offense devoid of weapons, who is to say he cannot do it again? Fantasy owners should not make it a priority to add Howard as of yet, but he could potentially turn into a viable TE streamer if he strings together a couple more nice outings. He is someone to monitor for sure if he goes unclaimed for Week 2.
Honorable Waiver Wire Pickups: WR Donovan Peoples-Jones (CLE), TE Gerald Everett (LAC), QB Jameis Winston (NO)
Guys that are unlikely on waivers but should be added IMMEDIATELY if they are: RB Darrell Henderson Jr. (LAR), RB James Robinson (JAX), RB Michael Carter (NYJ), WR Tyler Boyd (CIN)
Photo Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports