NFL week 1 Fantasy Waiver Wire

by Manny Roman

We have learned a lot of things, post-week one of the fantasy season. The most surprising thing was how poor the running back position looked as a whole outside of a few stand outs. The top running backs outside of Lamar Miller all put in weak performances and made people like me who drafted Todd Gurley in the first round, look a bit silly. With that said, now that the first set of games are over, it is now the most crucial week for waiver wire pickups. Now we know which players have broken into the starting lineup and which players were just forgotten about in drafts. 

There are quite a few players on the waiver wire that are very talented and can help you whether it is in the short term or long term. At the QB spot there are a few guys people should be looking at if they need a spot start or are just looking for a new guy under center. The first guy I look at is Carson Wentz from Philly. He is a rookie, yes, but he also looked very confident behind center and had good chemistry with his number one receiver Jordan Matthews. Plus he has a great running back to throw dump offs too in Darren Sproles because he of his incredible speed and quickness. Not only that, Wentz will not be facing a difficult matchup until he goes up against the secondary of the Vikings in week seven. He is only owned in 8% of fantasy leagues and is a great backup or start if he has a favorable matchup so be sure to grab him while you can. The other QB to look for on the waiver wire is Alex Smith from Kansas City. Smith had one of the best fantasy performances of the week dropping nearly 27 points against the Chargers. He has one of the most productive tight ends in fantasy to throw to as well as one of the best receiving running backs in Spencer Ware who is another lightning-in-a-bottle type player. Now the trick with Smith is, he has a couple unfavorable matchups against the Texans and Jets over the next two weeks, but after his bye week in Week 5, he goes up against the likes of the Raiders, Saints, Colts, Jaguars, and Buccaneers in a six week span. He is a perfect guy to stash as your backup and even better start in the second half of the season. 

For receivers that are a couple guys that I have in mind that many people would completely overlook, mainly because they are both on teams that no one is expecting much from, but that is beside the point. My first guy on the list is Jeremy Kerley of the 49ers. He has only been a 49er for about 3 weeks now and has already showed that he is well liked by Blaine Gabbert. He saw a team high 11 targets on Monday night and without many proven receivers around him, Kerley seems the perfect candidate to see similar targets on a weekly basis. If you are looking for a 3 or 4th receiver and do not want to pay someone’s hefty trading price on someone, Jeremy Kerley is a free pickup with only being owned in 2% of fantasy leagues. What is the most promising thing about Kerley is that after week 3, he plays no top 10 pass defense until week 16, meaning there will be plenty of chances for him to prove himself. The other receiver I like quite a bit is Tajae Sharpe of the Titans. Even with facing a top 10 defense in his NFL debut, Sharpe still managed to get 11 targets and 7 receptions. This is a guy who has seemingly emerged from camp as the leading receiver for a Titans offense that may need to throw the ball more than they expected to going into this season. Mariota also seems to have high praise for the young receiver and raves about his route running ability. If that doesn’t tell you he is going to be getting the ball, I’m not sure what will. He is owned in just 47% of leagues so he could be readily available to you as a great flex option on a weekly basis. 

Now for one of the trickiest positions in all of fantasy, the running back. We are seeing more and more every year that teams are resorting to using multiple running backs on a weekly basis. Although it hampers production from guys like Isaiah Crowell and Jeremy Hill, it provides opportunity for quality backup running backs to give solid production to fantasy owners. The first guy I would try to aim for is Theo Riddick of the Lions. Now, is he going to get two touchdowns every week? No. However, the Lions seem to have a defined role for him which is 5-10 carries and a legitimate pass catching threat. If he can get those amount of looks on a weekly basis, he is a solid third running back option for any team. He is only owned in 36% of leagues so be sure to give him a look if you need running back help. The other running back I like is Tevin Coleman of the Falcons. In a running back by committee last week, Coleman lived up to the amount of hype he was receiving from his coaches, and delivered an impressive performance running and receiving. This is a guy who may get the starting nod by the end of the season and seems like a sure fire option for anyone in need of running back help. However with Coleman, he may not be available for much longer already being owned in 43% of leagues and sure to be rising. 

Hopefully there a couple guys on here that you like and can help you push your team over the edge and solidify positions with depth you were lacking previously. Like I said before, this week is the most important in terms of waiver pick ups because there will not be as many depth chart changes after Week One for most teams so open up those fantasy apps, and get to hunting the wire!

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