Two seasons ago I wrote my very first article, it was a waiver wire article, for a site called HTMSports.com. So, after a nine-month hiatus from writing I figured what better place to pick back up and help you all win some fantasy leagues than where it all began.
After a season filled with a bunch of behind the scenes work on my own website, I chose to take a step back and focus strictly on what truly matters, bringing you home the gold. I hope you are as excited about that as I am.
The article here is simple. Every week I’ll look through all my leagues from the 10-team redraft league with the small bench to the 16-team dynasty league with the deepest bench, and as I find the best available players in my leagues, I’ll share with you in hopes that they are the missing pieces to your championship roster.
There is good chance you’ll find many of players on this list who are available in your league, however that doesn’t mean you have to pick them all up. So, if you ever find yourself in a situation where you’re torn between who to add or drop just reach out to me on Twitter @ElvinRyan_FF, I’ll be glad to help.
I’m trying to get nine months of small talk out of my system. But I know why you’re here! So, let’s cut the crap and figure out who we’ll be adding this week.
Well, one last thing… I want you all to look at your roster after this article, there is likely a guy or two that you drafted rather high who underperformed. Stand true to what you saw when you drafted him, avoid tilt trading and please don’t drop a good player over one bad week. Sometimes the drops from Week 1 are better than the waiver pickups themselves, so be sure to scavenge through that tomorrow morning.
Okay, enough small talk, let’s see who this week’s top waiver wire adds are.
Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings: In Klint Kubiak’s first game as the play caller he let the world know he wants to pass and pass a lot. Cousins threw the ball 49 times with his former QB coach now calling the plays. He could have QB1 upside off sheer volume if this trend were to stick. While 49 attempts is unlikely to happen often, the Vikings have shown their hand and the plan is to let Kirk dish it.
Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints: In his Saints’ starting debut Winston threw five touchdowns. And while he did it on the fewest yards since the merger, it’s clear Sean Payton and Jameis are a match made in heaven. The upside for Jameis to finish as a top five fantasy quarterback is there, so if he’s on your waiver wire he won’t be there long.
Elijah Mitchell, San Francisco 49ers: When Raheem Mostert left Sunday’s game early with an injury, it was none other than Mitchell who stepped into the lead-back role. Mitchell rushed 19 times for 104 yards and a touchdown. Out of small school, Louisiana-Lafayette, the rookie made the most of his opportunity. He’s now a must-add in all formats, and at whatever the cost may be… a starting running back is worth it.
James White, New England Patriots: I was semi-shocked to see White available, while he doesn’t offer much rushing upside his floor in PPR leagues remains as steady as they come. Like he did for Brady all those years, he’s now Mac Jones’ top safety value, a role that could pay dividends. White was targeted seven times, catching six of them for 49 yards. He now draws the Jets where he will again offer a 10–12-point floor with touchdown upside.
Mark Ingram II, Houston Texans: Houston looked surprisingly good in Week 1, and being ahead allowed them to run the ball… a lot. And, because of that Ingram was able to rack up 26 carries. Despite averaging just 3.3 YPC, he blessed the few fantasy mangers starting him with a touchdown. As I mentioned under his FantasyPros’ ‘fantasy impact’ the Houston backfield still very much worries me, David Johnson and Phillip Lindsay aren’t going away, and his lack of efficiency Sunday with the added unpredictability will keep me from spending much FAAB on him. While if I were to land him, he’s just a depth piece who offers risky flex play week-to-week.
Giovani Bernard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Bernard had a fantasy night to forget, but that’s not why he finds himself on this list. While Ronald Jones is the expected starter moving forward, Gio out snapped all Buccaneer running backs with 42 snaps. He will likely clear waivers and be a free add in your league and in deeper leagues I highly recommend adding and stashing him. As his familiarity in the offense increases so should his role.
Carlos Hyde, Jacksonville Jaguars: Hyde surprisingly out-touched James Robinson Sunday. While this likely won’t happen often, it shows that the new coaching staff will not take lightly to those who fumble. And should fumbling become routine for Robinson, Hyde could find himself with real flex appeal.
Mike Williams, Los Anglos Chargers: If you’ve never heard the saying, “Chase volume, not touchdowns” Williams proved you can find both if you look hard enough. He was targeted 12 times Sunday, catching eight of them for 82 yards and a touchdown. With Keenan Allen and Austin Ekeler keeping defenses busy, Williams was an easy beneficiary. In what is expected to being a very high-scoring offense, Williams is a solid WR3 who can be flexed week-to-week.
Marquez Callaway, New Orleans Saints: All off-season I said he would highlight the first waiver wire articles, but due to a blow-up performance in the preseason his ADP landed him on majority of rosters. However, after a one reception Week 1 performance, fantasy managers are tilting, and he’s being dropped. While he had just two targets, he still led all New Orleans receivers. I imagine Jameis will spread the ball around more, especially looking his way after a week of being shadowed by one of the game’s best cornerbacks. He will play Carolina this Sunday in what could surely be a bounce back game.
Tim Patrick, Denver Broncos: With Jerry Jeudy out with an ankle injury, Patrick finds himself once again in an opportune spot. While he shouldn’t be considered a starting option, he does provide great bench depth and has value in all leagues.
Rondale Moore, Arizona Cardinals: Moore flashed impressive route running and big play ability Sunday. He caught 4-of-5 targets for 68 yards and a game-high 17 yards per reception. Arizona clearly wants to get him involved. He will continue to battle Kirk for the WR2 role, but in the meantime he’s a great stash with huge upside.
Christian Kirk, Arizona Cardinals: Kirk has flashed his big play upside before. Unfortunately, he’s never been able to keep it going. Like a lightening bug you never know where or when it’s going to flash. For now, he’s a great depth piece. And if he were able to become more consistent, he could be worth starting during the upcoming bye weeks.
Bryan Edwards, Oakland Raiders: Anyone who watched the end of MNF saw two things… One, an incredible ending to a game. And, two, how involved the Raiders want Edwards to be. Very quiet for most of the game, when it was crunch time Carr found Edwards four times for 81 yards. He is a low-risk pickup that could become the team’s No. 2 option, behind Darren Waller, where he could truly reach the 100-target mark by season’s end.
Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry, New England Patriots: Jonnu was the superior tight end over Henry. Though both had decent playing time, neither of them was anything to write home about. Jonnu caught all five targets for 42 yards. Henry also caught all of his targets and while for less yards, he didn’t fumble like Jonnu. We shall see if that will affect playing time between the two. Both offer TE1 upside at very hit-or-miss position.
Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: This off-season Gronk tested out a time machine and he is now 10 years younger. Okay, small fib, but it did look like it! He caught eight passes for 90 yards and two TDs. I used TDs instead of touchdowns there in true Gronk fashion. It’s what he would want. Now what I want is for you to go get him on your team. This week they draw a poor Atlanta secondary, and I must note Brady didn’t even look at another TE Thursday. Their chemistry remains something you don’t want to miss out on.
Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears: Kmet out snapped Jimmy Graham 51 to 14. It’s better to get him before Fields is named the starter than miss out. That;s why he’s on this list. The TE position has tortured fantasy managers for years. Now there is hope that a waiver wire pickup like Kmet could turn to gold with the rookie quarterback just waiting in the horizon.
Gerald Everett, Seattle Seahawks: A very touchdown dependent and a risky start. However, for those waited late on a TE and are now looking for streamable options week-to-week on the waiver wire. He’s got Russell Wilson as his quarterback… That alone is worth something.
Cleveland Browns: While they didn’t look the best in Week 1, it was against the Chiefs… They now draw Houston, who looked good against Jacksonville, but the Browns have great upside against one of the NFL’s least talented offensive units.
Green Bay Packers: Another defense that will likely be dropped after giving up over 300 yards and five touchdowns. The Packers play the Lions and where they will try to return to their NFC championship form.
Brandon McManus, Denver Broncos: If consistency is what you want in your kicker, McManus is your guy. Oh, and he’s got a strong leg for those in leagues rewarding longer kicks.
Matt Prater, Arizona Cardinals: Prater is one of the few kickers from top tier offenses you will find on waivers. But he is there. His floor is solid due to the given PATs, and when the Cardinals don’t score touchdowns, they are typically in range for him to try for points.
This past 14 days has been hell, thanks to Hurricane Ida. I’m glad to have my wife, Jessica and animals back in our own home. I’m glad everyone I know is safe from the storm. And I’m glad I was able to write this waiver wire column for you. Again, don’t be afraid to reach out to me with questions, I’m here for you. Let’s win it!
Also, sorry for getting this out so late. I drove around looking for WiFi (again due to Ida) and I’m writing this from a Wal-Mart parking lot…