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Week 1 Waiver Wire Pickups & Adds


Welcome to this first installment of the Waiver Wire weekly series for the 2018 fantasy football season. I know you're still giddy about your draft and perhaps you're still riding that high, but the waiver wire is now your draft room.

We provide information on players that are owned in roughly 30% of Yahoo leagues or less, so that you can make an educated decision about who to add to your squad.

Let’s look around the league at many names who are worth mentioning as Week 1 approaches. Be sure to also check out our weekly rankings and analysis columns, with in-depth analysis for all options heading into Week 1.

Editor's Note: Get any rest-of-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive DFS Tools, Lineup Optimizer and Premium DFS Research through the Super Bowl. Sign Up Now!

 

Quarterbacks - Waiver Wire Options

Andy Dalton (QB, CIN) - 28% owned

Dalton is surrounded by a steady stud in A.J. Green, an upstart RB in Joe Mixon, a buzzy “sleeper” in John Ross and Tyler Eifert is currently healthy, knock on wood. Where does this leave Dalton? Well, in my opinion, pretty darn good shape! But most folks don’t see it that way moving forward. He’s owned in the same amount of leagues as fellow low-owned QB with great weapons Eli Manning. It’s worth noting that many experts rank Dalton as a top-12 QB for Week 1 against the Colts in Indy’s dome, and while I have him as my QB18 since he doesn’t contribute with the wheels, I still respect the long-term upside if his skill players meet their potential.

Mitch Trubisky (QB, CHI) - 19% owned

But you’re not stashing a backup QB on the end of your bench just for a safe-ish and known commodity, are you? No! That’s nonsense. Okay, so how about Trubisky, who has gone from an awful supporting cast in 2017 to perhaps the most revamped offense in all of football. He trades the archaic John Fox for the innovative Matt Nagy at head coach alongside the personnel additions of Allen Robinson, Anthony Miller and Trey Burton. Lest we forget that in just 12 games as a rookie, Trubs tallied 248 rushing yards and two TDs. If he gets more comfortable and Nagy recognizes and utilizes his speed, then a 400-yard rushing year is not out of the question.

Tyrod Taylor (QB, CLE) - 12% owned

Taylor has shown the potential to rush for 500 yards (84 totes for 427 yards and four TDs while being jerked around by BUF in ‘17) while assuming the helm of a toolsy Browns offense. Josh Gordon is ready to go, Jarvis Landry is the safest of safety valves over the middle that you can find and David Njoku appears ready to break out. Mix in one of the finer pass-catching RBs in Duke Johnson Jr. and TyGod should be a weekly threat for the top 10.

 

Running Backs - Waiver Wire Options

Jordan Wilkins (RB, IND) - 33% owned

Remember when everyone was going ga-ga over Nyheim Hines this offseason? Well, if you stuck with me and had a premium RotoBaller membership, then you read how Wilkins was the real steal of fantasy drafts and the runner best suited to provide value in Indy. Marlon Mack wasn’t present at Wednesday’s practice and it seems his hamstring injury will keep him out of Week 1’s game against Cincinnati. I don’t love picturing Wilkins running against Geno Atkins, but the opportunity is there for him to take the “1A” spot in this RB committee by the horns. You want to be a week early on these.

Ty Montgomery (RB, GB) - 30% owned

Either this means 70% of you play in standard leagues with no PPR aspect at all, or you’re just intentionally overlooking what could be a premier piece of an Aaron Rodgers-led offense. If you play in 0.5 or full PPR then TyMont at least needs to be on your bench, especially while Aaron Jones is suspended. He should open as their third-down back and this is a zero-risk, high-reward move should Rodgers decide he prefers TyMont in the backfield with him.

Corey Clement (RB, PHI) - 28% owned

One of Super Bowl 52’s bigger heroes, Clement heads into 2018 with an unclear role but lots of excitement. Simply put, Jay Ajayi is already hurt and while I love Darren Sproles as a story, I worry about durability throughout the season. That said, the season opener showed a clear 40-40-20 split...with Clement as the 20. I won’t begrudge anyone for not stashing him while Sproles and Ajayi are both healthy, but don’t forget about him. The Eagles still boast the highest-graded offensive line per PFF and Clement notched 26 yards on just five rushes.

T.J. Yeldon (RB, JAC) - 9% owned

Shoutout to FantasyPros’ Mike Tagliere for doing all that he can to put Yeldon’s potential on everyone’s radar. Everyone is swooning over how great Leonard Fournette is and I don’t want to take away from that, but Yeldon quietly amassed 41 targets in 10 games as the third-down back behind both Fournette and Chris Ivory. You could feasibly play him in the flex in PPR formats, with the potential for a top-10 RB should something happen to Fournette.

Mike Gillislee (RB, NO) - 3% owned

The Saints surprised nearly everyone by cutting Jonathan Williams after he appeared to be the substitute for the suspended Mark Ingram. They then surprised us again by cutting sixth-round rookie Boston Scott in order to make room for offensive line depth, which leaves them with just Gillislee and Alvin Kamara at RB. Gilly doesn’t need to know the whole playbook in order to come in and fall forward into the end zone in Week 1 against Tampa Bay -- a game NO is heavily favored in. I’ll take those odds in a pinch.

Kenneth Dixon (RB, BAL) - 1% owned

Yikes, you guys. Just 1%? I know Dixon is no longer a “shiny new toy” after his various injuries and the PED suspension, but doesn’t it speak to his talent that the Ravens haven’t moved on? I respect Alex Collins’ talent but I don’t think a 40-40-20 split between Collins, Dixon and Javorius Allen is out of the question.

From a handcuff perspective, y’all need to own Spencer Ware (KC, RB) 14% owned, John Kelly (LAR, RB) 6% owned, Chase Edmonds (ARI, RB) 2% owned and Rod Smith (DAL, RB) 2% owned. Good work on scooping James Conner, though.

 

Wide Receivers - Waiver Wire Options

Allen Hurns (WR, DAL) - 36% owned

You guys, I know Michael Gallup (34% owned) is the flashier rookie but Hurns is the No. 1 WR on this team! Get out of here with that Cole Beasley nonsense, you’re not drafting him unless you start five wideouts in a PPR league. If you want upside and steady volume from an offense seeking a playmaker in the passing game, then take a free flier on Hurns! He should be the top target in the red zone without the big bodies/experience of Dez Bryant or Jason Witten out there.

Chris Godwin (WR, TB) - 31% owned

It’s cute how Tampa Bay listed Godwin and DeSean Jackson as co-starters across from Mike Evans, but fantasy owners are staring down a different sort of depth chart. D-Jax is not the player he once was and carries almost no upside at this point. If you’re part of the 25% that drafted Jackson, then please go trade him in for Ted Ginn Jr. (16% owned) since Ginn is actually that team’s No. 2 WR.

Anyway, Godwin boasts immense athleticism that is said to be crisper than Evans’, though obviously Evans owns him in the size department. The Bucs need to create a spark and get moving before Jameis Winston returns from suspension, as both head coach Dirk Koetter and GM Jason Licht are on the hot seat. If you buy into what Vegas is selling, then Tampa should be playing from behind and throwing often. Godwin should be a big part of that as the season evolves.

John Brown (WR, BAL) - 19% owned

Everyone’s minds seem to only have room for one season’s worth of data on a guy, with many writing off Brown due to the injury-marred 2017. I get it, the sickle-cell stuff stunk to sweat and playing in Arizona introduces a bit more altitude than Baltimore. The Ravens saw 332 targets leave their roster this offseason and their best TE, Hayden Hurst, isn’t ready to go yet thanks to a foot injury. Brown has received glowing reports throughout all of training camp, with an emphasis on his rapport and timing with Joe Flacco. He stands a good chance of being a 1,000-yard receiver by season’s end.

Geronimo Allison (WR, GB) - 11% owned

Remember when James Jones scored 14 touchdowns as the Packers No. 3 receiver a few seasons ago? Well, that’s the kind of role that Allison steps into for the 2018 season. Only he has a relatively-clearer path to more with Randall Cobb’s recent ankle surgery already putting a damper on the hopes that Cobb can stay on the field for 16 games in ‘18. Aaron Rodgers is talking up Allison to reporters and defending him against backlash in a way that parallels the ascent of Davante Adams. If Rodgers likes Allison, then you should like Allison.

Mike Wallace (WR, PHI) - 10% owned

This one is more for the short-term, but as long as Alshon Jeffery is sitting then Mike Wallace should be a solid starter for you. Nelson Agholor isn’t going to run as the lone WR out there for Philly, no matter how much I talk up their deep RB corps and their two-TE sets. Wallace may be entering the second half of his career, but he can still stretch the field and provide some veteran hands for Nick Foles as the Eagles set out to defend their title.

James Washington (WR, PIT) - 6% owned

Take what Martavis Bryant was for Pittsburgh and then edge that forward a bit. Now you have Washington! Before you get scared by the ab injury reports, note that he wasn’t put on Pittsburgh’s initial injury report for Week 1, so it appears he escaped real harm. He got hurt putting the preseason squad on his back trying to build on his 7-158-2 line over three preseason games, which only underscores his big-play potential. The 2017 Biletnikoff Award winner (best college WR) should easily beat out Justin Hunter for No. 3 WR duties.

Quincy Enunwa (WR, NYJ) - 5% owned

Enunwa could be listed as a WR/TE hybrid and I’m not sure anyone would be able to mount a counterargument. The six-foot-two, 225-pound Enunwa has breakaway speed and the power to shake off arm tackles, but is forgotten after a neck injury suffered in training camp last season took away his 2017. I’d happily let Robby Anderson handle the outside while Enunwa eats up interior DBs who will either be too slow to keep up or too small to tackle him. Remember, he put up 857 yards and four TDs with Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker around him in ‘16. Bonus points if Jermaine Kearse is out for an extended period of time.

Ryan Grant (WR, IND) - 3% owned

With Deon Cain tearing his ACL and Chester Rogers being, well, Chester Rogers, then it wasn’t surprising to see Grant rise to the No. 2 slot on the Colts’ WR depth chart. There are many ardent supporters of the Andrew Luck revival, which has translated into love for T.Y. Hilton, Jack Doyle and even Eric Ebron. Yet Grant’s stock remains low despite his earning a starting role on Washington in ‘17 over Terrelle “Bust” Pryor (who is owned in double the leagues that Grant is).

Tre'Quan Smith (WR, NO) - 3% owned

The preseason standout may have played his way ahead of Cameron Meredith in the WR pecking order, at least while Meredith gets his body back beneath him after a lengthy injury recovery. With the aforementioned Saints rushing attack looking rather slim, investing in the deeper parts of their passing game could bear fruit early. Per PFF, Smith caught all five targets he saw during the preseason with at least 10 air yards on them. I like Ginn, but I get the love for Smith.

Phillip Dorsett (WR, NE) - 2% owned

I would love to buy that Bill Belichick and the Patriots will unlock Cordarelle Patterson, but for now I need to buy into the simple facts. Dorsett is going to open as Tom Brady’s No. 2 WR and that means I’m interested. He may not actually be the No. 2 receiver, what with Rob Gronkowski, Chris Hogan, James White and Rex Burkhead all operating in the same receiving space, but the snaps should be there. If he stands out early then you have a significant piece of the Patriots offense for pennies, and if he fizzles out then you drop him for a Week 1 standout.

 

Tight Ends - Waiver Wire Options

Ricky Seals-Jones (TE, ARI) - 30% owned

Seals-Jones has a tough matchup in Week 1 against Washington, but his overall prospects are promising in an Arizona offense that should lean on intermediate throws. Sam Bradford isn’t going to air it out and so RSJ and Larry Fitzgerald should feast between the hashes. Those beautiful 3-54-2 and 4-72-1 lines from Weeks 11 and 12 when he burst onto the scene could be regular expectations for RSJ come the end of ‘18.

Vance McDonald (TE, PIT) - 16% owned

I hate myself for buying into an oft-injured McDonald when he’s already less than 100% before even seeing game action, yet the allure of starting in a Steelers offense that can put up points with the best of them is enough for me to love again. If he doesn’t suit up in Week 1 then you can move along, but if he shines and is clearly above plodder Jesse James for the Heath Miller role then look out.

Jake Butt (TE, DEN) - 5% owned

While the Broncos may let Jeff Heuerman “start” at the beginning of the season, it should only be a matter of time before Butt asserts himself as Denver’s feature TE. His draft stock and subsequent fantasy buzz fell due to a torn ACL in his final collegiate game, but he’s over a year removed from that and could be Case Keenum’s new Kyle Rudolph prototype in the Mile High City.

Dallas Goedert (TE, PHI) - 3% owned

If you’re in deep waters and don’t even have the Antonio Gates flier available to you, then check in on the Eagles rookie named for their divisional rival. Goedert should slide into the Trey Burton role and may see heavier usage from the get-go as Philly is forced to get creative with No. 1 WR Alshon Jeffery ailing. I expect more two-TE sets to get the six-foot-five second-round pick on the field, though I’m disheartened at a lousy 24% snap tally for him in Week 1. Nick Foles had Goedert for a TD that showed off his size, but led him out of bounds. The lack of size with no Jeffery was apparent throughout the game and they should wise up and utilize Goedert more.

 

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