Week 1 of the 2023 NFL season has come and gone, and boy, were there some surprises! The Cincinnati Bengals got absolutely shellacked by the Cleveland Browns, the Arizona Cardinals almost pulled an upset against everyone’s favorite survivor pick, the Washington Commanders, and the Dallas Cowboys and their defense were the definition of dominance against the New York Giants. Then there were some horrible injuries, like Aaron Rodgers going out in the first quarter with a likely Achilles and J.K. Dobbins out for the season with a torn Achilles. There were also some players for fantasy that came out of nowhere, like Los Angeles Rams’ wide receiver Puka Nacua and running back Kyren Williams, Los Angeles Chargers Joshua Kelley, and Carolina Panthers’ tight end Hayden Hurst.

With so many early options out there on the waiver wire, and so many immediate needs already, who should you target for your fantasy football team for Week 2? I’m breaking down the top options for Week 2 and beyond. Let’s dig in and break down the best available options that could be hanging out in your waiver wire pool.


Waiver Wire Quarterbacks

Jordan Love, Green Bay Packers (Rostered in 15.8% of ESPN leagues, 31% Yahoo leagues, 38% Sleeper leagues)

Despite making an appearance in last week’s preseason waiver wire article, Jordan Love deserves another mention here. Even without his top receiver Christian Watson, and with wide receiver two Romeo Doubs on a snap count, Love still managed to rout the Chicago Bears, completing 15 of 27 passes for 245 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. Coming into Monday night, Love was the QB3 in fantasy points, even over Patrick Mahomes, Jalen Hurts, and Joe Burrow. When his top options return to full health, I expect him to continue producing after sitting behind Aaron Rodgers for three years. FAAB Bid-3-5%

Mac Jones, New England Patriots (Rostered in 4.9%of ESPN leagues, 8% in Yahoo leagues, and 13% in Sleeper leagues)

After all the talk about Mac Jones not being the guy in New England, that he was going to be traded or replaced, blah blah blah, he went out and proved that he was the face of the franchise against the Philadelphia Eagles’ Super Bowl caliber defense. Jones finished 35/54 for 316 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. It’s amazing how much better your quarterback looks when a defensive coordinator isn’t calling the plays! The Patriots may not be headed back to the playoffs, but their schedule and more close games should cause them to pass more than in years’ past to keep the games close. FAAB BID 2-3%

Brock Purdy-San Francisco 49ers (Rostered in 24.5% of ESPN leagues, 56% of Yahoo leagues, and 51% in Sleeper leagues) 

The wunderkind looked just as good as he did last season in Week 1 against what was supposed to be a stout Pittsburgh Steelers defense, going 19/29 for 229 yards and two touchdowns. Purdy is a game manager type quarterback whose ceiling isn’t very high, but he has a steady floor that we’ve seen even some of the elite guys don’t always have. He does have a fairly easy schedule going forward that could lend itself to some easy fantasy points, but beware of Christian McCaffrey capping his ceiling. FAAB BID 1%

Waiver Wire Running Backs

Tyler Allgeier, Atlanta Falcons (Rostered in 43.6% of ESPN leagues, 57% of Yahoo leagues, and 57% in Sleeper leagues)

While everyone was expecting Bijan Robinson to finally be unleashed from the cannon, it was Tyler Allgeier who actually outscored him. Allgeier saw 28 snaps to Robinson’s 32, but he saw five more carries and scored two touchdowns to Robinson’s one. We should expect the gap to widen between the two as Robinson gets more acclimated to the NFL, but over the next few weeks, Allgeier will definitely have a role. Arthur Smith seems committed to relegating Drake London and Kyle Pitts to the track team, and as long as that is the case, Allgeier will have fantasy relevance, even as the RB2. FAAB Bid 10-12%

Kyren Williams, Los Angeles Rams (Rostered in 10.2% of ESPN leagues, 6% in Yahoo leagues, and 6% in Sleeper leagues)

Let’s just admit that we knew nothing about how the Rams were going to operate in Week 1. Cam Akers should have been the lead back based on the depth chart, but Williams outsnapped Williams 53 to 28, and until the Rams had the lead locked up, he was also leading Akers in carries. He finished the day with 52 yards and two touchdowns on 15 attempts, and with Akers as inefficient as he was, don’t be surprised if Williams takes over this backfield. FAAB Bid 5-8%

Joshua Kelley, Los Angeles Chargers (Rostered in 11.3% of ESPN leagues, 5% of Yahoo leagues, and 7% in Sleeper leagues)

Well, well, well, do we have a double-headed backfield in SoFi Stadium? Austin Ekeler did his usual superstar thing, but Joshua Kelley also lit it up, finishing with 91 yards on 16 rushing attempts and a touchdown. We heard today that Austin Ekeler is also dealing with an ankle injury, so not only does Kelley have value with Ekeler in, he could have a true bell-cow role if Ekeler is absent. FAAB Bid 10-12%

Justice Hill/Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens (Rostered in .3% and 21.4% of ESPN leagues, 4% and 20% of Yahoo leagues, and NA and 20% of Sleeper leagues, respectively)

I’m going to be honest with you; I don’t really know how this Baltimore backfield is going to shake out with J.K. Dobbins out for the year. I’m thinking it could be a full-blown committee, and while that’s frustrating on so many levels, If you had to go for one, I’m leaning Gus Edwards and his efficiency over Justice Hill. While Hill should have a role, Edwards is the more efficient of the two, and he should eventually take over as the lead in the committee. FAAB Bid 8-10%

Sean Tucker, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Rostered in 1.9% of ESPN leagues, 4% of Yahoo leagues, and 11% in Sleeper leagues)

This is purely a stash play, but I'm a big fan of spotting trends before they become a thing, and Sean Tucker should definitely become a thing. Rachaad White looked atrocious, and while some of that could be blamed on the state of the offensive line, he should have been able to fall for more than 2.3 yards per carry. Tucker was talked about as one of the best running back prospects before a medical issue knocked him out of the draft, but he still has all the talent and should be ready to put it on display if White doesn’t improve drastically over the next few weeks. FAAB Bid 0-1%

Waiver Wire Wide Receivers

Rashid Shaheed, New Orleans Saints (Rostered in 2% of ESPN leagues, 17% of Yahoo leagues, 13% in Sleeper leagues)

The box score may not show it, but Derek Carr and the Saints were slinging the ball all over the field. Rashid Shaheed was a huge part of their air game, finishing with five receptions on six targets for 89 yards and a touchdown. Admittedly, he won’t always be the guy to find the end zone with Chris Olave as the number one receiver and with Alvin Kamara likely taking away some of that when he returns, but his Week 1 usage was promising. There’s also the risk of Michael Thomas getting hurt, as he hasn’t seen a full season since 2019, so if you’re looking to strike while the iron is hot, Shaheed is your guy. FAAB Bid 8-10%

Kendrick Bourne, New England Patriots (Rostered in 2.3% of ESPN leagues, 3% of Yahoo leagues, and 2% in Sleeper leagues)

All the offseason talk was around Juju Smith-Schuster being the number one receiver in this offense and Kendrick Bourne playing fourth fiddle in the wide receiver room, but boy, was that far from the truth. With DeVante Parker out, Bourne exploded against the Eagles, seeing six receptions on 11 targets, 64 yards and two touchdowns. How much of that was due to Parker’s absence and how much of it was due to the relationship between Bourne and Jones remains to be seen, but I’d be willing to bet on a large role for Bourne going forward. FAAB Bid 7-8%

Zay Jones, Jacksonville Jaguars (Rostered in 29.8% of ESPN leagues, 31% of Yahoo leagues, and 37% in Sleeper leagues)

Sometimes the preseason tells us what we know, and that was the case with Zay Jones and Christian Kirk. While his ADP suggested it was going to be Kirk staying in at two wide receiver sets, it was actually Jones, and he made quite the impression, even as second fiddle to Calvin Ridley with five receptions, 55 yards, and a touchdown. This Jacksonville offense is firing on all cylinders, and even as the second option in this offense, Jones should have weekly upside. His floor is a little low when the matchups aren’t good, but the upcoming schedule looks favorable, at least for the next few weeks. FAAB Bid 10-12%

Puka Nacua, Los Angeles Rams (Rostered in 2.5% of ESPN leagues, 7% in Yahoo leagues, and 10% in Sleeper leagues)

Everyone was talking about Van Jefferson being the number one wide receiver in Week 1 due to Cooper Kupp’s absence, but Puka Nacua said, “hold my beer.” He saw a massive 15 targets, came down with ten of them, and finished with 119 yards in a game that was supposed to be a blowout the other way against the Seattle Seahawks. The question around Nacua is will he fade into obscurity when Kupp returns, or will they find a way to keep him in the lineup rotation? Either way, he’ll be good for at least the next three weeks with Kupp on injured reserve, so you could afford to drop a little FAAB just in case he remains relevant all season. FAAB Bid 12-15%

Romeo Doubs, Green Bay Packers (Rostered in 19.1% of ESPN leagues, 31% of Yahoo leagues, and 45% in Sleeper leagues)

To be honest, I’m a little puzzled that Doubs is available in so many leagues, but I guess it’s because he was injured going into the season. Even though his target share and snap share weren’t great, the Packers clearly had a plan to make the most of his limited snaps, as he found the end zone twice. Once he’s healthy, he’s going to be a huge part of this offense as he clearly has chemistry with Jordan Love, and he should have a better floor than Watson from week-to-week. Don’t be shy about spending some FAAB to get him. FAAB Bid 12-15%

Waiver Wire Tight Ends

Hunter Henry, New England Patriots (Rostered in 1.4% of ESPN leagues, 16% of Yahoo leagues, and 7% in Sleeper leagues)

The Hen-dog is back in the henhouse! After a disappointing 2022 campaign, Henry took that personal, and he finished as the TE1 on the week (barring any Monday night heroics from the Bills or Jets) with five receptions, 56 yards, and a touchdown. We’ve seen Bill O’Brien heavily utilize tight ends in his offense in the past, and it looks like he’s pulling out the same old playbook here in New England. With the current landscape of the tight end position, Henry is one of the most reliable options available and should be able to immediately produce in your starting lineup. FAAB Bid 3-5%

Hayden Hurst, Carolina Panthers (Rostered in 4.8% of ESPN leagues, 11% of Yahoo leagues, and 12% in Sleeper leagues)

I’ll go on record and say that although I was in on Hayden Hurst early in the offseason, but after seeing the Panthers’ offensive line in the preseason made me back off. Always stick to your guns, kids! Hurst led the team in targets with seven, hauling in five of them for 41 yards and a touchdown. There is some risk with Hurst, as he did only see 41 of the team’s 77 offensive snaps, but Bryce Young did seem to rely on him in important situations. Be sure to check out Andrew Cooper’s Yin and Yang tight end article for more on this. FAAB Bid 3-5%

Sam LaPorta, Detroit Lions (Rostered in 34.3% of ESPN leagues, 65% of Yahoo leagues, and 56% in Yahoo leagues)

Put the “rookie tight ends don’t do anything” narrative away. Admittedly, Sam LaPorta may not have done a ton, but he did enough to finish as TE8 this week in PPR leagues with five targets, five receptions, and 39 yards. The Lions are severely lacking in pass-catchers, and LaPorta played nearly all of the Lions’ 70 snaps. Until Jameson Williams comes back, and maybe even after, LaPorta figures to be a big part of the Lions’ passing game. FAAB Bid 3-5%


NFL Links: