Week 1 in fantasy football can be a bit of a crap shoot, but if you stumbled out of the gate, there is no better week to be at the top of the waiver wire – especially if you are in the market for wide receivers – and we are here to help you find some gems off the draft scrap heap.
NOTE: All ‘Percent Rostered’ stats are based off ESPN.com fantasy leagues
You don’t want to find yourself looking for a QB after Week 1, but if you are in that unenviable position, there are a few options out there in most leagues.
Marcus Mariota, QB, Ten:
Percent Rostered: 6.2%
Week 1 stats: 248 yds, 3 TD, 0 Ints, 24 yds rushing
There is a lot of talk about Mariota’s future in Tennessee, but he came out hot in Week 1 against the offseason darlings – the Browns. Not sure you can count on this sort of passing efficiency all year, but with the Titans running game, and the return of Delanie Walker, Mariota is definitely worthy of a roster spot and not a bad option for a spot starter.
Andy Dalton, QB, Cin:
Percent Rostered: 4.2%
Week 1 stats: 418 yds, 2 TD, 0 Ints
With an all new coaching staff, a banged up and bad OL, and an injured A.J. Green, we didn’t know what to expect from the Bengals offense, let alone Dalton. After Week 1, it looks like we can expect a lot of throwing (51 passes) and some real QB1 productivity. After Week 1, your leader in the clubhouse for passing yards is…..Andy Dalton folks!
The waiver wire is usually a barren desert when it comes to running backs, but if you find yourself in need of a running back, this is the week to be in the market.
Carlos Hyde, RB, Hou:
Percent Rostered: 39.4%
Week 1 stats: 10 rush, 83 yds, 1 rec, 2 yds
Few new what to expect out of the Texans recently revamped backfield, but it looks like Hyde has value as a possible RB3 or spot starter on bye weeks. The Texans only RBs only had 19 carries, but Hyde had more than half of those (10) and was far more effective than Duke Johnson, Jr.
Chris Thompson, RB, Was:
Percent Rostered: 18.9%
Week 1 stats: 3 rushes, 10 yds; 7 rec, 68 yds (10 targets)
Thompson has independent value – especially in the passing game – but with Derrius Guice suffering a knee injury, Thompson’s value should go up.
Adrian Peterson, RB, Was:
Percent Rostered: 27.7%
Week 1 stats: Inactive Week 1
Peterson was a healthy scratch in Week 1 and may hold no value when Guice comes back, but while Guice is out, he may have RB3 value.
Malcolm Brown, RB, LAR:
Percent Rostered: 6.8%
Week 1 stats: 11 rushes, 53 yds, 2 TD
We all know about Todd Gurley’s knee concerns, but most of us believe Darrell Henderson would be second in line behind Gurley….well, maybe not. In Week 1, Brown was the number two back, not Henderson, and based on how he played, he may stay there. Gurley had the bulk of the yards (97 vs 53), but the carries were split 11-10 and Henderson was the touchdown vulture.
Ronald Jones, RB, TB:
Percent Rostered: 40.6%
Week 1 stats: 13 rushes, 75 yds; 1 rec, 18 yds
Many thoughts Jones would be the starting running back in Tampa last year, but the rookie never found a spot. That may be different in year two as the second year back got the bulk of the carries in Week 1 as well as a bulk of the yards and is still available in more than half of ESPN leagues.
Rex Burkhead, RB, NE:
Percent Rostered: 2.1%
Week 1 stats: 8 rushes, 44 yds; 5 rec, 41 yds (8 targets)
Counting on New England running backs is always dicey, but if you find yourself in a pinch, Burkhead could help you out. Week 1, Burkhead saw the second most carries for the Patriots and was by far their most effective runner.
If you find yourself needing receivers after Week 1, you are in luck because the waiver wire is chalk full of options for you.
Ted Ginn, Jr., WR, NO:
Percent Rostered: 15.3%
Week 1 stats: 7 rec, 101 yds (7 targets)
Ginn is still fast and Drew Brees and the Saints still like to throw the ball. That means he has value and it showed in Week 1. Ginn saw seven targets and caught all seven of those targets.
John Ross, WR, Cin:
Percent Rostered: 4.8%
Week 1 stats: 7 rec, 158 yds, 2 TDs (12 targets)
We had no idea what to expect from the Bengals offense and even less of an idea of what to expect from Ross. The oft-injured former first round pick seemed to always be in the doghouse of Marvin Lewis and his staff…safe to say that is not the case with the new regime. With A.J. Green out, Ross was Dalton’s top target and he rewarded Dalton and his coaches big time. Only being rostered on less than 5% of rosters, you likely will have a shot at Ross.
A.J. Brown, WR, Ten:
Percent Rostered: 5.2%
Week 1 stats: 3 rec, 100 yds (4 targets)
Who? I said the same, but he had three more catches and 100 more yards than the Titan’s apparent number one receiver (Corey Davis).
Marquise Brown, WR, Bal:
Percent Rostered: 28.2%
Week 1 stats: 4 rec, 147 yds, 2 TD (5 targets)
I didn’t think any pass catchers would have value this year in Baltimore, but after Lamar Jackson blew up in Week 1, maybe I was wrong. We may need to curb our excitement until we see what Brown and Jackson do against an NFL team, but he is certainly worth a spot on your roster if your league is one of the 72% of leagues where Brown is available.
John Brown, WR, Buf:
Percent Rostered: 35.3%
Week 1 stats: 7 rec, 123 yds, 1 TD (10 targets)
It was a good week to be a wide receiver named Brown. The Buffalo Brown had a big day as well and is available in 65% of leagues. Someone has to catch balls in Buffalo, and after Week 1, sounds like this may be the guy.
Terry McLaurin, WR, Was:
Percent Rostered: 7.3%
Week 1 stats: 5 rec, 125 yds, 1 TD (7 targets)
I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t know who this guy was before Sunday – to be fair, I really didn’t know any of the wide receivers on Washington before Sunday – but apparently Case Keenum knows who he is and likes to throw the football to him.
DJ Chark, WR, Jax:
Percent Rostered: 11.8%
Week 1 stats: 4 rec, 146 yds, 1 TD (4 targets)
Chark is a big target (6’4”) and didn’t seem to be slowed by the injury to Nick Foles. While I think Chark is worth a roster spot, I would hold off on starting him – or any Jaguars receiver – until we see how the Foles injury impacts them.
Danny Amendola, WR, Det:
Percent Rostered: 3.4%
Week 1 stats: 7 rec, 104 yds, 1 TD (13 targets tops on team)
On the depth chart, Amendola is the 3rd receiver, but he ended Sunday leading the team in targets, catches and yards, so you decide. If Amendola can stay healthy – always a question with him – he could be a waiver wire steal.
Tight ends are always thin, but if you are in the market for a tight end, you are in luck and better hop on these guys early.
Mark Andrews, TE, Bal:
Percent Rostered: 51.0%
Week 1 stats: 8 rec, 108yds 1 TD (8 targets)
I have to think the availability of Andrews in nearly half of leagues has to be the result of people not trusting Jackson, but after Week 1, it looks like Andrew and other pass catchers in Baltimore do have value.
Vernon Davis, TE, Was:
Percent Rostered: 0.6%
Week 1 stats: 4 rec, 59 yds, 1 TD (7 targets)
Davis may not have value once Jordan Reed is healthy, but there in is the issue – Reed is rarely healthy. As a result, when Reed is out, Davis has value as we saw in Week 1.
T.J. Hockenson, TE, Det:
Percent Rostered: 30.0%
Week 1 stats: 6 rec, 131 yds, 1 TD (9 targets)
I am shocked to see Hockenson is available in 70% of leagues, so if you are in one of those leagues, I would recommend putting a claim in for him this week.
Darren Waller, TE, Oak:
Percent Rostered: 26.8%
Week 1 stats: 7 rec, 70 yds (8 targets – lead team)
As shocked as I was to see Hockenson available in 70% of leagues, I was doubly shocked to see Waller available in nearly 75% of leagues. This is my break out tight end of 2019 and he is off to a good start after Week 1. While the exit of Antonio Brown will allow teams to focus more on Waller, it also means more looks for Waller.