In a perfect world, you would draft a perfect team and have no need to hit the waiver wire after week one. How is that perfect world working out with serious injuries to David Johnson, Allen Robinson, Danny Woodhead, and Kevin White?
Here are, in order, our expert’s top 20 waiver wire targets heading into week 2 of the NFL season.
- Tarik Cohen
There were a few players that jumped off the film this preseason, and one of the big ones was Tarik Cohen. The diminutive back is explosive and impossible to handle in space. The injury to White makes him particularly intriguing, because he will likely play an even larger role in the Bears passing game moving forward.
- Kerwynn Williams
There isn’t anything particularly intriguing about Kerwynn Williams outside of the opportunity he was just handed thanks to the David Johnson injury. Similar to the way Johnson did in seasons past, we expect Williams to slide into the Cardinals RB role and be a top 15 pack for the next 2-3 months.
- Kenny Golladay
We warned our readers about Golladay prior to the start of the 2017 season… All reports out of Detroit this summer were that Stafford, the most statistically prolific passer in NFL history through the first nine seasons of his career, looked considerably better than he ever had in the past. That trickles down to a group of receivers that missed that big body bully on the outside last season. Gollady not only caught two touchdowns, but dropped 30 and 20 yard passes earlier in the game, and almost brought in a 4th quarter 2 point conversion.
- Buck Allen
We will have to wait and see just how long Woodhead is out, but in the meantime Allen will fill in as the 3rd down/passing down back for the Ravens. The third down back in Baltimore is particularly intriguing because the team is so beat up at tight end. A lot of the check down and short passing game will go through Buck Allen for at least the next few weeks.
- Kendall Wright
Kendall Wright is another receiver we were bullish on heading into the regular season, and is now firmly on our radar after another injury to the Bears pass catchers. Wright was the 20th overall pick by Tennessee in the 2012 draft, but never fully reached his potential. Working out of the slot in Dowell Loggains’ offense may be exactly what he needs to jump start his career.
- Cooper Kupp
We focused on Everett and Higbee throughout our hunt for the LA Jordan Reed, but it turns out Sean McVay is in fact smarter than all of us and Cooper Kupp = Jordan Reed. I think Sammy Watkins is still an elite receiver in the NFL, and the number one receiver on this roster. That being said, given the youth and inexperience at the QB position, it’s the guy that always sees single coverage and has a knack for getting open that may end up being the top fantasy producer for the Rams.
- Charles Clay
I wouldn’t want Clay as my TE1 moving forward, as I think the Bills passing game will be extremely matchup dependent, and defenses will figure out that they need to key on Clay. However, he is a legit high end TE2, and in the right matchup can serve as your TE1. He has great chemistry with Taylor, and has receiver-like speed and hands. He caught 4 of 9 targets for 53 yards and a touchdown in week one.
- Marqise Lee
Following the Robinson injury, clearly both Lee and Allen Hurns will see a huge bump in targets moving forward. Of the two, I think Lee has more upside in PPR leagues, as he is a guy you can put anywhere on the field and not only will he get open, but give you YAC.
- Paul Richardson
I feel like the Seahawks do this to us every season… Look at this guy, isn’t he special? Then poof he disappears… Christine Michael, C.J. Prosise, Percy Harvin, Sidney Rice, and this isn’t the first time Richardson has filled this role. He was the 45th overall pick in 2014, is 6′ and ran a 4.3 coming out of Colorado. He flashed several times in camp and the local media reported he could be the number one receiver in Seattle, until Doug Baldwin happened. Now, with experience, we are being fed the Paul Richardson kool aid again. I would buy it, but I’m certainly not overpaying for it again. This passing game is improved, they may not have showed it in week one, but they are.
- Marlon Mack
Mack is your classic draft and stash player. His 11 point performance in week one is far better than you will likely see in the next few weeks, but he will continue to carve out a role and eventually Andrew Luck may come save this offense. If you can get a 50% share of snaps, including passing down work, when Luck gets back, you just may have stashed a gem.
- Nelson Agholar
- Chris Thompson
- Alex Smith
- Chris Carson
- J.J. Nelson
- Deshaun Watson
- Samaje Perine
- Jermaine Kearse
- Cole Beasley
- Allen Hurns