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Waiver Wire: Week 2

Adolfo Ledo Nass
Waiver Wire: Week 2

Welcome to the Week 2 edition of Waiver Wired for the 2020 season. With numerous injuries to monitor, personnel shakeups, ongoing situations, and a number of players to fight for in the first real week of free agent bidding, it would be a disservice to waste time on a lede.

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As a refresher, The Drop List consists of players who are rostered in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues and are no longer must-have assets, recommended additions are available in over 50 percent of Yahoo leagues, the Watch List contains in-depth notes on fringe waiver adds, and Deep Cuts includes player notes on those rostered in five percent or fewer of Yahoo leagues.

Adolfo Ledo Nass

 

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The Drop List

QB: Daniel Jones

RB: Jordan Howard , Matt Breida , Kerryon Johnson , Sony Michel , Tevin Coleman

WR: Deebo Samuel

TE: Austin Hooper

Deebo Samuel (foot) reportedly had a setback and “got worse each day” before being moved to injured reserve. Coach Kyle Shanahan said the “plan” is for Samuel to return in Week 4, but that sounds up in the air. San Francisco faces the league’s third-toughest schedule from Week 6 based on Vegas Season Win Totals, making Samuel a risky stash if IR spots aren’t available. Among the receivers listed below, I would feel comfortable dropping him for Mike Williams , Sammy Watkins , Robby Anderson , Parris Campbell , and Jalen ReagorBaker Mayfield would qualify if it weren’t for Cleveland’s next four games against the Bengals, versus Washington, on the road in Dallas, and at home against the Colts. If he’s effective Thursday night, he’ll be back in our good graces as a matchup-based starter for that run. You can hold Austin Hooper for the same reason, but odds are it’s easy to find a replacement (including those ranked below) on the wire immediately… Daniel Jones ’ performance against blitz-burgh was admirable, but he still finished 18th in scoring among quarterbacks on the week. There’s no need to stubbornly hang onto him with the Bears, 49ers, Rams, and Cowboys on deck. He’ll likely be dropped by Week 5 and can just as easily be scooped up then… Sony Michel was always rumored to be “eased in” to open the year, but what wasn’t expected was New England’s four-headed committee between James White (8/52), Rex Burkhead (7/32), J.J. Taylor (5/32), and Michel (10/37/1). With Cam Newton clearly healthy and soaking up five carries in red zone territory and two inside the 10 — Michel’s previous monopolized area — stashing him is a hard sell since Damien Harris presumably returns to steal the show in two weeks… Mecole Hardman (29% snaps) isn’t included because he did exactly what we thought he’d do: play behind Tyreek Hill (86%), Sammy Watkins (80%), and Demarcus Robinson (48%). He remains a league-winning hand kept close to the vest in case any of the three ahead of him miss time

 

Overall Top 5

1. Malcolm Brown

2. Nyheim Hines

3. Jalen Reagor

4. Mike Williams

5. Allen Lazard

For those looking to roster the best available player(s) regardless of position, the rankings above take into account every factor from the positional lists minus players’ actual positions. These are listed in the precise order I would prioritize waiver claims in Week 1. Adjust accordingly for what you need on your roster — touches, high-upside bench stashes, targets, one-week spot-starters, etc

 

Quarterbacks

1. Philip Rivers

2. Gardner Minshew

3. Mitchell Trubisky

4. Tyrod Taylor

Running Backs

1. Malcolm Brown

2. Nyheim Hines

3. Adrian Peterson

4. Chase Edmonds

5. Benny Snell

6. Joshua Kelley

7. Jerick McKinnon

8. Myles Gaskin

Wide Receivers

CeeDee Lamb rostered in 86 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 1 add if available

1. Jalen Reagor

2. Mike Williams

3. Allen Lazard

4. Marquez Valdes-Scantling

5. Parris Campbell

6. Sammy Watkins

7. Robby Anderson

8. Laviska Shenault

9. Curtis Samuel

10. Russell Gage

11. Preston Williams

12. Tre’Quan Smith

Story continues Tight Ends

Dallas Goedert rostered in 56 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 1 add if available

1. Logan Thomas

2. Jack Doyle

3. Eric Ebron

4. Jordan Akins

Defense/Special Teams

1. Los Angeles Rams

2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

3. Cincinnati Bengals

Kickers

1. Jason Myers

2. Rodrigo Blankenship

3. Ryan Succop

 

 

QUARTERBACKS

1. Philip Rivers , ColtsRostered in 27 percent of Yahoo leagues (Suggested 5% FAAB Bid)

Rivers will get chastised for his two boneheaded interceptions but Indianapolis’ offense, which averaged 6.6 yards per play and did not punt against the Jaguars, was flawless otherwise. The Colts’ 64% pass play rate in neutral game script (fourth-highest in the league) will likely dip in the coming weeks — after all, this is the same team that penned the infamous ‘Run the Damn Ball’ mantra — but that’s a moot point against Minnesota’s cornerbacks room that permitted 20 catches on 24 targets in coverage versus Green Bay. Rivers is the high floor, high ceiling streamer of the week

 

2. Gardner Minshew , JaguarsRostered in 26 percent of Yahoo leagues (4%)

Minshew only dropped back to pass the ball 28 times against the Colts but added fantasy juice with his legs (five carries) and averaged 8.6 yards per attempt in his regular season debut engineering OC Jay Gruden’s offense. The new schem allowed Mustache Mania the league’s third-fastest time to throw (2.34 seconds), settling the ball in his receivers’ hands rather than forcing plays on an island on his own. The one-read play-calling alone cancels out Jadeveon Clowney and the Titans’ formidable pass rush, pitting Minshew in another spot to keep inside the top-12 at his position. For thinner waiver wires with viable quarterbacks, note that the Jaguars play the Dolphins, Bengals, Texans, and Lions in their ensuing games

 

3. Mitchell Trubisky , BearsRostered in 3 percent of Yahoo Leagues (2%)

As noted last week, Trubisky has performed admirably (23 fantasy points per game) against seven below-average defenses in Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric the past year and gets another tantalizing matchup on paper against the Giants’ secondary, which allowed a (very) sluggish Big Ben to toss for three scores on Monday night. Trubisky didn’t provide the rushing floor he teased over his last six starts in Week 1, but the Bears did throw the ball on 6-of-7 plays inside the 10-yard line. Chicago also plays the Falcons the following week

 

4. Tyrod Taylor , ChargersRostered in 8 percent of Yahoo Leagues (2%)

It only amounted to seven yards against the Bengals, but Taylor’s six carries were tied with Deshaun Watson for the seventh-most under center. Couple that with his own propensity to average the league’s second-most air yards per attempt (11.6) and Taylor shapes up to be a high floor candidate who will either be taking off or launching 50-50 balls in negative game script against the Chiefs

 

Watch List: As noted in The Drop List, Mayfield’s next four opponents include the Bengals, Washington, Cowboys, and Colts

 

RUNNING BACKS

1. Malcolm Brown , RamsRostered in 27 percent of Yahoo leagues (Suggested 35-40% FAAB Bid)

Brown unexpectedly out-snapped (44 to 24), out-carried (18 to 14), and out-targeted (4 to 1) Cam Akers in the duo’s first game together at home. Having said that, coach Sean McVay made it sound as if that was the game plan all along in Week 1:

“Malcolm is such an important part of our game plan, but he was going to get a lot of opportunities in some of those later downs,” McVay said. “But again, that’s where it’s uncharted waters. You don’t have a lot of evaluation for a rookie player. It might be the same next week in Philly. It might be different. I think each week we’ll kind of present different approaches, but we feel good about three running backs.”

McVay also said that Darrell Henderson was “a little bit more limited” for the team’s first game. Although we should expect Los Angeles’ backfield touches to continue being dispersed, the Rams — the third-fastest offense in the league last year — ran 71 plays in their first game on SoFi Stadium turf. And unlike Nyheim Hines (see below), Brown’s range of outcomes includes overthrowing his competition altogether. Hence his spot as the No. 1 overall addition in Week 2

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues

 

2. Nyheim Hines , ColtsRostered in 21 percent of Yahoo leagues (35-40%)

To be clear, Hines offers more short-term value than Brown since Rivers targeted his running backs at the league’s highest rate (37%) on Sunday. But Hines’ best-case scenario still cements him behind Jonathan Taylor in a 50/50 split, and we should expect Indianapolis to transition their approach closer to last year’s 48% run play rate in one-score games (third-highest in the league); it’s admittedly the team’s most optimal plan of attack with the personnel in place. That presumably puts Taylor in position to explode with Hines involved behind him. Although I have Hines behind Brown among this week’s waiver claims, I would still rank Hines over Le’Veon Bell, Mark Ingram , David Montgomery , and other headaches for the rest of the season

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues

 

3. Adrian Peterson , LionsRostered in 46 percent of Yahoo leagues (20-22%)

Notice Kerryon Johnson on this week’s Drop List? That’s because 35-year-old Adrian Peterson outright ciphoned his role (and looked spry!), handling 17 touches to Johnson’s 7. In fact, Johnson’s 26% snap rate was his lowest in a full game since Week 1 of his rookie year. Only an ageist would deny Peterson’s value in Detroit’s over-the-top offense, which should only see lighter boxes once Kenny Golladay (hamstring) is cleared to return

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

 

4. Chase Edmonds , CardinalsRostered in 41 percent of Yahoo leagues (30-35%)

Assuming it continues, Edmonds’ role against the Niners — 28 snaps, nine touches, one target inside the 10 —  is extremely valuable in simply being involved for an offense that ran 82 plays on the road in its season opener. His production (13.5 fantasy points), which ranked 21st among running backs in Week 1, is merely proof of sustainable weekly FLEX value moving forward

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

 

5. Benny Snell , SteelersRostered in 16 percent of Yahoo leagues (10-12%)

The good news is Steelers are “optimistic for a timely return” for James Conner (sprained ankle). The bad news is, assuming he gets the nod, Snell squares off against a Broncos front-seven that just kept last year’s rushing champion in check for 3.7 yards per attempt and 3.8 yards per touch. Dumping a boatload of FAAB on Snell also entails impossible lineup decisions once Conner is cleared to return. Slide Benny ahead of Edmonds if you need the touches immediately, but I would rather roster Peterson and Edmonds if prioritizing interchangeable matchup-based pieces over the next few weeks. Pittsburgh also lost RT Zach Banner (torn ACL) and RG Stephen Wisniewski (torn pectoral), the latter being David DeCastro ’s (knee) replacement, for the year on Monday

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues (and 10-team leagues if Conner is ruled out)

 

6. Joshua Kelley , ChargersRostered in 13 percent of Yahoo leagues (10-15%)

Kelley essentially replaced Melvin Gordon in Week 1, handling 12 carries to Austin Ekeler ’s 19 and running onto the field once the Chargers moved inside the 5. With Justin Jackson (quad) still recovering, Kelley offers short-term value with dark horse odds of sponging a handful of Ekeler’s carries down the stretch. If weighing the rookie as anything more than a stash for this week alone, note that Los Angeles is +8.5-point home dogs and Kelley, who only caught 11 passes in his final year at UCLA, ran just three routes against the Bengals

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

 

7. Jerick McKinnon , 49ers – Rostered in 11 percent of Yahoo leagues (10-15%)

San Francisco’s wideouts combined for five catches on 11 targets against the Cardinals, forcing McKinnon onto the field for 14 routes (two in the slot, one out wide) and five touches inside the 20. George Kittle ’s (knee) pending status is a bump for McKinnon, who will basically be treated as the Niners’ No. 1 receiver in the interim. He also offers long-term value if Tevin Coleman ’s limited usage (six snaps) was more than just the Air Quality Index coming into play

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

 

8. Myles Gaskin , DolphinsRostered in 1 percent of Yahoo leagues (2%)

Gaskin (39 snaps) only played over Breida (14) and Howard (9) on Sunday because he reportedly fits their spread offense. The lesson here is to avoid Miami’s minefield altogether, only adding Gaskin in leagues where you’re absolutely devoid of running talent

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 14-team leagues

 

Watch List: Darrel William, Chris Thompson, Tony Pollard , Carlos Hyde

Deep Cuts: J.D. McKissic , Peyton Barber , Rex Burkhead , Corey Clement , Frank Gore , Brian Hill , Mike Davis

 

WIDE RECEIVERS

1. Jalen Reagor , EaglesRostered in 38 percent of Yahoo leagues (Suggested 35-40% FAAB Bid)

Reagor would not be widely available if it weren’t for the shoulder injury he sustained during the last week of camp. But he miraculously recovered, was promptly removed from Friday’s injury report, and suited up against Washington for four targets and one spectacular grab on 59% of the team’s snaps. 

Make no mistake about it, Reagor is healthy. And Carson Wentz ’s league-high 12 air yards per attempt gifts the rookie ample opportunity downfield. You’re outbidding the market for an available starter who, although it made sense at the time, should not be available

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues

 

2. Mike Williams , ChargersRostered in 45 percent of Yahoo leagues (25%)

Taylor’s aforementioned tendency to go nuclear downfield is a blessing for Williams, who recorded team-highs in target (31%) and air yards (43%) shares in his first game in a Rivers-less offense. His production week to week will be volatile given the type of 50-50 targets he’s being asked to corral, but Williams’ skillset is an ideal fit for the Chargers’ scheme and offers upside in a pinch — a tremendous asset on benches in a pandemicized injury-riddled season

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues

 

3. Allen Lazard , PackersRostered in 43 percent of Yahoo leagues (15-20%)

Not only did Aaron Rodgers average 8.2 yards per attempt and the sixth-most air yards per throw (9.6) in his surgical symphony against the Vikings, on deck for the Packers are the Lions (currently short their top three corners), Saints (in the Superdome), Falcons, Texans, and Minnesota (a second time) for five of the team’s next six games. Buying into Green Bay’s receivers early offers weekly starters over the next two months. I rank Lazard over Marquez Valdes-Scantling if only because the former played in both 12 (two-wide sets) and 11 (three-wide) personnel across from Davante Adams on Sunday

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues

 

4. Marquez Valdes-Scantling , PackersRostered in 8 percent of Yahoo leagues (15-20%)

MVS only ran a route on 68% of Rodgers’ 44 dropbacks — compare that to Lazard’s 89% route rate — but still racked up a higher target (14.6%) and air yards (39.2%) share than his teammate (9.7%, 12.4%). We’re admittedly forced to nitpick between the two, but you can’t go wrong with either. I would also much rather FLEX one of Green Bay‘s wideouts than, say, Adrian Peterson or Benny Snell

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues

 

5. Parris Campbell , ColtsRostered in 23 percent of Yahoo leagues (15-20%)

Campbell’s 20% target share, tying T.Y. Hilton for the team lead, was a sigh of relief and a tribute to his health after he struggled through numerous injuries in his rookie season. With a similar air yards share to Hilton’s (37% to 37.2%), it’s not a stretch to consider Campbell “arbitrage T.Y.” in the team’s revamped offense. He’ll offer an extremely high floor against Indianapolis’ next six opponents: Vikings, Jets, Bears, Browns, Bengals, and Lions

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

 

6. Sammy Watkins , ChiefsRostered in 49 percent of Yahoo leagues (10-12%)

As expected, Sammy Watkins worked across from Tyreek Hill in Kansas City’s three-wide sets, running 29 routes on Patrick Mahomes ’ 33 dropbacks. Watkins has only averaged 10.4 fantasy points the past four years (including 10.7 in his last two seasons with the Chiefs), but he’s a viable matchup-based starter in simply breathing the same air as Mahomes on gameday

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

 

7. Robby Anderson , PanthersRostered in 31 percent of Yahoo leagues (8-10%)

D.J. Moore , Curtis Samuel , and Anderson all ran at least 31 routes and saw eight targets — Moore led the bunch with a 26.4% target share despite falling short in the box score (4/54). But that doesn’t move the needle for Samuel and Moore, who were coveted in this offense to begin with. It does, however, entrench Anderson into a weekly role there were doubts he had. (Sorry, Ian Thomas .) He won’t always have the benefit of being covered by Damon Arnette , but Anderson was undoubtedly one of Week 1’s top risers on usage alone

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

 

8. Laviska Shenault , JaguarsRostered in 12 percent of Yahoo leagues (10-12%)

A product of Minshew’s cognizant time to throw was Shenault’s involvement underneath, leaving Sunday with both a comfortable average depth of target (9.0) and, oddly enough, a team-high 40% air yards share as a popshot artist. His manufactured carries (2) from the wildcat formation lends a confident weekly floor over Anderson‘s (though the latter’s ceiling is higher)

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

 

9. Curtis Samuel , PanthersRostered in 31 percent of Yahoo leagues (8-10%)

Remember those notes on Carolina’s receivers? That type of usage pegs any of the three to hit weekly. Although it was Anderson against the Raiders, it could very well be Moore or Samuel, the latter who also rushed the ball one time, in any given week. Samuel is a comfortable matchup-based starter for it

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

 

10. Russell Gage , FalconsRostered in 2 percent of Yahoo leagues (5-8%)

Gage’s production on Sunday (9/114) was presumably the result of Seattle’s beefed up secondary bottling Hayden Hurst , who led all tight ends in routes run (45), and instead leaking production to Atlanta’s third receiver. But the Falcons did pass the ball at the league’s fifth-highest rate when trailing and second-highest rate within one score, logically painting a picture for Gage to succeed in 2020. Seven of his 12 targets also came in the first half when the Falcons trailed by less than six points. Opportunity will be there (though I have my doubts the production will follow). 

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

 

11. Preston Williams , DolphinsRostered in 38 percent of Yahoo leagues (8-10%)

With DeVante Parker (hamstring) playing through injury, Williams garnered a team-high 23.3% target share in a softer matchup away from Stephon Gilmore . The former UDFA has done nothing but out-perform Parker in their nine games together, out-targeting the latter 67 to 60 dating back to last season. His clean bill of health (90% snaps) following last year’s ACL tear is a plus. Miami’s Week 2 matchup against the Bills is not

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

 

12. Tre’Quan Smith, SaintsRostered in 2 percent of Yahoo leagues (2-5%)

On the surface, Smith makes sense as apples-to-apples insurance for Michael Thomas (high-ankle sprain) and, behind the curtains, was used in two-wide sets more often than Emmanuel Sanders (44 snaps to 33). The 24-year-old specimen is an easy receiver handcuff ahead of Monday night

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 14-team leagues

 

Watch List : Scotty Miller , Quintez Cephus , James Washington , Brandon Aiyuk , Kendrick Bourne , Breshad Perriman , James Washington , Steven Sims , Van Jefferson , 

Deep Leagues: Corey Davis , Keelan Cole

 

TIGHT ENDS

1. Logan Thomas , WashingtonRostered in 2 percent of Yahoo leagues (Suggested 12-15% FAAB Bid)

Thomas was discussed in this space last week, but his performance (4/37/1) warrants consideration as a weekly starter in 10-team leagues and FLEX in TE Premium formats. Not only did the athletic 29-year-old accrue a team-high 26.6% target share in Washington’s wide open pecking order, Thomas also led the team in air yards (72) and ran a route on 86% of Dwayne Haskins ’ dropbacks. Even if you’re only looking to use Thomas for this week, he’s in an ideal spot opposite Arizona’s uptempo pace

 

2. Jack Doyle , ColtsRostered in 32 percent of Yahoo leagues (8-10%)

Doyle’s target share (8.7%) wasn’t all that impressive but his 34 routes run qualified as the fourth-most at his position and the third-most in 23 career games under coach Frank Reich . He offers exposure to this offense for half the FAAB of either Hines or Campbell

 

3. Eric Ebron , SteelersRostered in 41 percent of Yahoo leagues (5-8%)

Ebron’s 19.5 Hail Mary aDOT on Monday night was encouraging. His 6.4% target share with James Washington (9.6%) and Chase Claypool (6.4%) sporadically involved was not. I have faith his red zone and end zone targets, which he laid an egg in against the Giants, will increase, but this target tree will have to lop off a few branches before growing fruit

 

4. Jordan Akins , TexansRostered in 1 percent of Yahoo leagues (2-5%)

Akins turned upfield for a 20-yard gain in the second quarter and scored a 19-yard touchdown with the Texans down 31-7 in the second half. His production can easily be chalked up to negative game script, but his 33 routes on Deshaun Watson ’s 40 dropbacks are worth monitoring. Note that Darren Fells unsurprisingly got the nod at kick-off

 

Looking Ahead: O.J. Howard , Jimmy Graham , Dawson Knox , Irv Smith

Deep Leagues: Jordan Reed , Harrison Bryant

 

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS

1. Los Angeles RamsRostered in 48 percent of Yahoo leagues

Eagles’ patchworked o-line without LT Andre Dillard (torn biceps), RG Brandon Brooks (PUP) and RT Lane Johnson (ankle) allowed eight sacks, 15 hits and the third-highest pressure rate in Week 1. Johnson said he’ll take the field Sunday but, barring an aggressive overhaul to their game plan, Philadelphia remains an optimal target to stream against

 

2. Tampa Bay BuccaneersRostered in 25 percent of Yahoo leagues

Tampa Bay’s secondary was airtight in Week 1, holding Drew Brees to 160 yards and 5.3 YPA on eight pressures. Teddy Bridgewater ’s poor performance under pressure last year (49.1%) is a salivating process on paper. Bucs D/ST also gets Drew Lock , Tyrod Taylor and Mitchell Trubisky in its three ensuing games

 

3. Cincinnati BengalsRostered in 2 percent of Yahoo leagues

Per Evan Silva’s Matchups column , Mayfield completed 45.1% of his passes for three touchdowns and five picks in his two performances against the Bengals last year. You’re stashing Baker for his upcoming schedule, but Sunday’s performance against the Ravens didn’t inspire enough confidence to bet on him this week

 

KICKERS

1. Jason Myers , SeahawksRostered in 39 percent of Yahoo leagues

Seahawks passed the ball on 15-of-25 first half plays, dropped back to pass on 16-of-21 first half early downs, and targeted running backs on seven of said 21 first half play-calls. Yes, Russ cooked. And that’s something we need exposure towards, even if it’s just Seattle’s kicker, pronto

 

2. Rodrigo Blankenship , ColtsRostered in 4 percent of Yahoo leagues

The Colts are again implied with a top-ten team total in Week 2, which helps project red zone opportunities for Blankenship. Although we should expect the team’s neutral pass play rate to come crashing down to Earth, this offense is one to continue factoring into your lineups

 

3. Ryan Succop , BuccaneersRostered in 16 percent of Yahoo leagues

Buccaneers are implied with the third-most points (28.75) on Sunday and, as mentioned above, have a worthwhile schedule through September. Buy in