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Waiver Wire Prognostication - Who'll Be Hot Adds After Week 1?

Fantasy football has always been a game about predictions and reactions. We need to be able to predict what might happen and react when it happens (or doesn't). There is no week where that's more pronounced than following Week 1 of the season.

Many of our preseason predictions about roles or usage come to fruition (or not) following Week 1. The idea for this article struck me as I was doing the last of my drafts just days before opening night. With many leagues expanding benches this season to account for possible COVID-related issues, fantasy managers have been digging deeper to fill those final spots in drafts.

That got me thinking about the type of players to put there. It's not the insurance policy backs that could take over later in the season. My brain consistently went to one simple question: Who do I think is likely to be a hot pickup following Week 1?

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers won two writing awards and received 12 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. A big congrats to our very own Byron Lindeque (Golf) and Jordan McAbee (NASCAR) for both winning Writer Of The Year awards! Be sure to follow RotoBaller's analysis and advice all year long, and win more. Win More With RotoBaller!

 

Last Year's Hot Adds

In 2019, Week 1 gave us D.J. Chark, Terry McLaurin, D.K. Metcalf, Jamison Crowder, Preston Williams, Matthew Stafford, Josh Allen, Ronald Jones, and Raheem Mostert. Admittedly, this exercise is mostly about the wide receiver position as just about any running back with a snowball's chance of being relevant after Week 1 is already rostered. But at wide receiver (and a little bit at quarterback and tight end), guys will have strong performances that no one really saw coming.

My hope in writing this article is to correctly predict a player or two that ends up being that hot Week 2 pickup so that some of you can grab him now and not have to burn all that FAB so early in the season. All players are below 20% rostered according to Yahoo.

 

Bryan Edwards (WR, LV)

18% Rostered

I was simultaneously surprised and not surprised at Bryan Edwards' low roster percentage. He's not completely an out of nowhere name and is a popular late round pick with a rising ADP, but at 18% rostered, he qualifies. Edwards broke out before his 18th birthday and posted a 94th percentile college dominator rating. He very likely would've been a first round pick had he not gotten hurt prior to the combine. With Tyrell Williams done for the season with a torn labrum, Edwards is going to start and be pretty much an every down player from the get go.

After what Terry McLaurin did Week 1 last season in a similar situation where there was no clear WR1 on Washington, more people are onto Edwards, but clearly not enough. If he goes out and commands seven targets or more, expect to see Edwards all over the Week 2 waiver wire columns.

 

Irv Smith Jr. (TE, MIN)

15% Rostered

Tight ends don't typically burst onto the scene immediately and even when they do, it can be a bit of smoke and mirrors (see: Hockenson, T.J.). With that being said, Irv Smith is setup better than most to succeed right away. Heading into Week 1, we really have no idea who Kirk Cousins will throw to when he's not throwing to Adam Thielen. Justin Jefferson is a rookie and OlaBisi Johnson isn't a household name even among hardcore NFL fans. It could be very well be his tight end, Smith. If you have the roster spot, he's a nice stash in advance of Week 1 to see how things play out.

 

Laviska Shenault Jr. (WR, JAX)

11% Rostered

The situation with Laviska Shenault is similar to that of Irv Smith. There's a clear alpha WR1 in D.J. Chark, but the next man up is very much unclear. Shenault is a jack of all trades that can line up all over the field. The Jaguars could manufacture him 8-10 touches a game both as a runner and a receiver. He's also becoming a popular late round flier in drafts, but he's still very low rostered and it would not be surprising in the least if he was the premier name on Week 2 waiver wire articles.

 

Steven Sims (WR, WAS)

6% Rostered

We don't have clarity on who the WR2 is in Washington alongside Terry McLaurin, but by all accounts, it will be Steven Sims. If you recall, Sims finished 2019 on an absolute tear, with games of 15.5, 25.3, and 18.5 fantasy points. He's a sub athlete that doesn't project to be an NFL caliber player, but he's already somewhat proven his ability. If he's starting and the Football Team finds themselves trailing often and having to throw, Sims could be a volume based WR3. That will be worth a pickup if it comes to fruition in Week 1.



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