Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: September 15
Dan Malin brings you his top waiver wire adds ahead of the second week of the NFL season!
It took a while to get here, but Week 1 is in the books. And as is tradition, Overreaction Monday was in full swing yesterday with some truly nervous folks. We’ll try to weather what is concerning and what isn’t, but if you had a rough first week or had some injuries just stay calm. We’re one week into the season. You don’t need to make a drastic move that could make your team even worse. If you're looking for some personal help with waivers, I will be in the NFL Seasonal Chat at 8:00pm ET Tuesday night fielding questions if you're struggling with who to add and who to drop.
Gardner Minshew (JAX) Let’s go back to the well with Minshew this week. He was in last week’s piece and he makes it again after pulling off the upset over the Colts. Where I was wrong in my prediction for Minshew what that he threw a lot less than I anticipated. He completed 19-of-20 passes for three touchdowns. The touchdown rate will go down, but the overall pass attempts will go up. The schedule going forward for Jacksonville is pretty tempting as well: at Tennessee, vs. Miami, at Cincinnati, at Houston, then home against Detroit before their Bye week. If the Jaguars are competitive Minshew will be very useful in fantasy. FAAB Bid: 6%
Jared Goff (LAR) Goff wasn’t unbelievably great Sunday night, but he wasn’t awful. He had just 10.5 fantasy points, but he completed 20-of-31 pass attempts, yet didn’t find the end zone. He was efficient and did well spreading the ball around (especially to Robert Woods ). They’re on the road next week against the Eagles, who present a difficult matchup on paper, but they did just allow 27 unanswered points to Washington. FAAB Bid: 3-4%
Joe Burrow (CIN) The overall fantasy production wasn’t there for Burrow, but he had a decent day overall. He completed 64% of his passes for 193 yards, but he did have an interception. He salvaged the day with 46 rushing yards and a touchdown with his legs. FA’s Sean Mitchell had some interesting points on Burrow that seemed validated on Sunday. He’s very composed and has a high football IQ. He didn’t seem to panic on Sunday and led the Bengals on an impressive drive in the fourth quarter to set the team up for a field goal to send the game to overtime. The field goal was a miss, but do keep an eye on him. He just looks like a natural NFL quarterback. He has potential for a solid game Thursday night against the Browns in primetime. FAAB Bid: 2%
Nyheim Hines (IND) With the injury to Marlon Mack , Hines becomes an immediate add. Prior to Mack’s ankle injury it was looking like Mack and Hines were the early one-two punch. In total, Hines finished with 15 total touches for 73 yards and two scores. He caught all eight of his targets and we know Philip Rivers likes to get his running backs involved in the passing game. The injury to Mack is also great news for Jonathan Taylor. Taylor also saw 15 touches, most of which came after the Mack injury and he caught all six of his targets. It’s unlikely Indy commits to a rookie as a workhorse running back so Hines is a really good target on waivers. Given the potentially workload increase, he should be rostered. But remember what happened in 2019 because we do need to keep expectations in check. We’ve seen Hines have these big games in previous years only to become a wallflower the next few weeks. When Mack went down, Taylor saw ten carries and six targets to Hines’ three carries and seven targets. The move is still to acquire Jonathan Taylor if you can, but Hines must be added if you can’t get Taylor. FAAB Bid: 20-24%
James Robinson (JAX) With the release of Leonard Fournette and the injury designations to Ryquell Armstead and Devine Ozigbo, James Robinson entered Week 1 atop Jacksonville’s running back depth chart. I do apologize for not mentioning him in last week’s article. Last week’s piece was released early Tuesday morning and Robinson’s hype came late Tuesday, into Wednesday. But if he’s available in your league he should be owned. The results weren’t outstanding on Sunday, but he did get 16 carries. Any running back that could potentially get 15+ touches needs to be rostered no matter what the results are each week. FAAB Bid: 15-18%
Benny Snell Jr. (PIT) The FAAB bid may increase or decrease depending on the severity of James Conner ’s ankle injury. Snell’s going to be a popular add, but we’ll need clarification on if Conner’s seriously hurt or not. Snell has upside, he flashed it last year every time he was presented with an opportunity. He received a majority of carries in the Pittsburgh backfield last night especially in the second half. Conner was seen on the sidelines stretching at the beginning of the third quarter and it looked like he could’ve gone back in. However, midway through the fourth quarter it was announced he was dealing with an ankle injury and would sit the rest of the night. It may have been a precaution, but we’ll have to wait until Tuesday or Wednesday for more news. It was Snell’s show last night and he was productive with over 100 rushing yards. The coaching staff obviously won’t like the fumble he had in the third quarter, but fortunately JuJu Smith-Schuster recovered it. FAAB Bid: 15-18%
Malcolm Brown (LAR) People will be enamored over what Brown did Sunday night, but I’m going to hit on some points as to why we should be cautious with the FAAB. Brown was on the field for 60% of the Rams’ offensive snaps with 21 total touches and a pair of touchdowns. Yes, he looked awesome and was the clear lead running back last night. But a year ago we saw a two-touchdown performance from Brown in Week 1 and then he only managed double-digit carries just one other game in 2019. The circumstances are a bit different this year with Todd Gurley gone, but the Rams still gave Cam Akers 14 carries, and Darrell Henderson was limited with an injury. It’s the biggest week for overreactions and while Brown is worth adding, we need to understand that the touch distribution could change on a weekly basis. FAAB Bid: 12%
Chase Edmonds (ARI) Last week I mentioned that if anything were to happen to Kenyan Drake , Edmonds could be a league winner. And while Drake is still healthy, Edmonds played second fiddle yet still found the end zone in the first half against San Francisco. If they use him more in the passing game he’ll have a solid role. But he will need an injury to Drake to have more fantasy value. On Sunday he only had nine touches, but he did manage five targets out of the backfield. He’s well worth stashing if you can afford the bench spot. FAAB Bid: 8-10%
Joshua Kelley (LAC) We don’t want to overreact to Week 1. However, Joshua Kelley had a defined role in the offense on Sunday. Austin Ekeler got a little banged up and Kelley was the guy they gave it to in the fourth quarter. Ekeler DID return and was on the field when the Chargers took the lead midway through the final quarter. But Kelley still had double-digit touches and he looked great running the ball and he scored a touchdown. The Chargers gave Austin Ekeler a big extension in the offseason so his touches aren’t in jeopardy. But Kelley did look great as a natural runner and he is absolutely worth stashing on rosters now. This could be bad news for Justin Jackson truthers. FAAB Bid: 8-10%
Adrian Peterson (DET) Only the Lions would use high draft capital each of the last two years on running backs (Kerryon Johnson and D’Andre Swift) only to sign Adrian Peterson on short notice and give him over 15 total touches. Peterson looked good on Sunday, but the role for Swift will grow as the weeks go by. Swift was actually on the field more than Peterson, despite the veteran getting more action. AP’s old and we’ve seen him have strong debuts with new teams in the past. I still have no interest in acquiring him, but RB depth is everything. FAAB Bid: 5-8%
Jerick McKinnon (SF) Remember this guy? San Francisco signed him to a pretty respectable contract, but he couldn’t make it on to the field due to injuries the last couple seasons? Well he’s finally healthy and found the end zone against the Cardinals. As far as touch distribution goes, Raheem Mostert led the way by a mile. But McKinnon slowly worked his way into the game and had involvement in the passing game. In total, he touched the ball only six times, but he had five targets and he managed to find the end zone. At this point he’s mostly a deep league addition, but there’s substance here. FAAB Bid: 4-5%
Peyton Barber (WSH) Barber gets an acknowledgement based solely off the workload. He had 17 carries on Sunday against Philadelphia and yielded just 29 yards, but he found the end zone twice. But Antonio Gibson will see a larger role as the season progresses. I know he didn’t look fantastic at times, but he did break off a 20-yard run. He’ll gradually be eased into a larger role. Remember he’s transitioning from being a wide receiver in college. Barber can be grabbed in deeper leagues if you’re desperate. FAAB Bid: 2-3%
Sammy Watkins (KC) We saw this narrative last year in Kansas City’s first game. In that contest, Tyreek Hill got hurt, but Sammy Watkins stepped up to the tune of nine catches for almost 200 yards and three touchdowns. On Thursday he led the team in receptions, targets, and receiving yards. We do need to remember that he’s the third pass catching option in this offense, and possibly the fourth when they decide to get Edwards-Helaire more involved. But this is still an offense that can cater to multiple players because the volume is so abundant. Thursday night was Watkins’ night, and while that won’t always be the case, he will be involved if he’s healthy. FAAB Bid: 10-12%
Laviska Shenault Jr. (JAX) Shenault was mentioned in last week’s article and he’s a guy I tried to draft in most of my leagues. Was he started in any of my leagues? No, but he was still pretty impressive in his debut with Jacksonville. Dede Westbrook was ruled out prior to Sunday’s game and this opened the door for Shenault. He was only targeted four times, but he caught three passes for 37 yards and a touchdown. It’s modest work, but he wasn’t going to explode right away. In time, I honestly believe he can be the WR2 in that offense that will be throwing quite a bit. Minshew only attempted 20 passes, but that number will increase. FAAB Bid: 8-10%
Russell Gage (ATL) If the Atlanta Falcons are going to throw as much as they did on Sunday then that’s great news for Gage. It’s wildly unlikely that happens. However, the Falcons are a team that will likely throw over 600 times this season and I wouldn’t be surprised if they hit 650 pass attempts. Gage tied Calvin Ridley and Julio Jones on Sunday with a dozen targets and a 23% target share. He didn’t disappoint as he turned that into nine receptions for 114 yards. Normally that would light up the stat sheet, but he actually finished third in receiving yards for the Falcons on Sunday. FAAB Bid: 8-10%
Mike Williams (LAC) Mike Williams is that guy who is great at making athletic catches, only to be ruled out-of-bounds. That was the case on Sunday where he made a great diving catch but was declared out, but amidst the injury history this is a guy who was wildly efficient last season as he put together 1,000 receiving yards on 49 receptions. It was a little surprising to see he was active on Sunday and he actually led the team in targets. Williams, Keenan Allen , and Hunter Henry made up for about 85% of the team’s target share. Don’t expect that on a weekly basis, but it was a telling sign that Williams received nine targets. TyRod Taylor clearly likes him and looked for him in the end zone on one play. In total, Williams finished with four catches for 69 yards. That’s a nice day. But not great. He has great size and still has that first-round draft pick pedigree. FAAB Bid: 7-8%
Scotty Miller (TB) Miller is listed as the fourth wide receiver on Tampa’s depth chart, but that certainly was not the case. Miller had a bigger role on Sunday than Mike Evans , but we’ll give the latter a pass because he was injured heading into the game. Miller finished with five receptions for 73 yards on six targets. We know Brady likes to have a wideout in the slot that he can quickly dump the ball off to. We saw it in New England with Julian Edelman , Wes Welker, and James White (to an extent), and it looks like Miller could fill that void in Brady’s life. FAAB Bid: 5-6%
Dallas Goedert (PHI) Initially I didn’t want to overreact to Goedert’s game yesterday. After all, Ertz found the end zone as well but was largely useless the rest of the game. Goedert is really good. I needed an extra day to try and keep expectations in check, but the Eagles obviously like him and Zach Ertz is in a weird contract dispute that isn’t really a huge story, but it’s kind of a story. With the money that Travis Kelce and George Kittle got, Ertz is underpaid in comparison by a wide margin. Philly isn’t going to erase Ertz, but we might just be seeing a bigger role for Goedert this year. FAAB Bid: 13-15%
O.J. Howard (TB) I understand Gronkowski was on the field for 77% of Tampa’s offensive snaps. But he looked like he was running in quicksand. He looked awful. He’s never been fast, but he was struggling to move around on Sunday. The lack of preseason clearly impacted him and he’s nowhere near the player he was years ago. But O.J. Howard looked pretty solid. He’s been engrained in trade rumors or maybe you’ve heard the whispers that the Bucs wanted to cut him in years’ past, but he caught four-of-six passes for 37 yards and a score on Sunday. That’s not great, but if you’re streaming the tight end position that’s the kind of production you’re hoping for. FAAB Bid: 5-6%
Jordan Akins (HOU) Akins was on the field for over 80% of Houston’s offensive snaps on Thursday. That’s over double the snaps that Darren Fells saw. Akins only saw two targets, but he brought in both, one of which was a touchdown, and the other was this nifty move:
Will Fuller was the only player on Houston who really dominated the target share, but Akins is an athletic freak that might just see more work as the tape was very much in his favor from last week. Houston has a difficult matchup coming up in Week 2, but this is a guy you should want to monitor. FAAB Bid: 4-5%
Greg Olsen (SEA) It wasn’t the sexiest performance of Olsen’s career, but he caught all four of his targets and found the end zone Sunday. Tight End can be pretty tough to fill, but Olsen’s worth a grab in deeper leagues. He obviously won’t get the targets that DK Metcalf or Tyler Lockett garner, but when Seattle gets in the red zone this is a guy Russell Wilson can look to as we saw on Sunday. Next week’s matchup is a little tough against New England in primetime, but the Seahawks are competent and will be prepared for this defense. FAAB Bid: 3%
Kansas City Chiefs – A lot of people who drafted the Chiefs might dump them after an underwhelming performance last Thursday. But next week they have a much better matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers, who didn’t look all that explosive in a win over the Bengals in Week 1. The offensive line was without Mike Pouncey and Trai Turner , and Bryan Bulaga was questionable heading into the game but he ultimately did play. The running game was the bread and butter for Los Angeles and Kansas City will scheme appropriately to shut down Ekeler and force TyRod Taylor to possibly beat them through the air. After all he was only 16-for-30 on pass attempts last week. If the Los Angeles offensive line is still hurting then I expect the Chiefs to have another four-sack performance at minimum in Week 2.
The Washington Football Team – The Washington defense isn’t expected to be fantastic. However, their defensive front is one of the best. Jonathan Allen , Da’Ron Payne, Montez Sweat , and Chase Young are all first-round picks from the last four NFL drafts. And don’t forget about Ryan Kerrigan , another former first-round pick, who recorded a pair of sacks on Sunday against Philadelphia. The Eagles’ offensive line, while once great, has been decimated by injuries. The Washington pass rush took advantage racking up eight sacks on Carson Wentz this past Sunday. Next week they’ll travel to Arizona, another team with a beatable offensive line. I don’t foresee another eight-sack day for Washington because Kyler Murray can escape the pocket more than Wentz, but this team does make for an interesting streamer.