Waiver Wire: Week 2
Now that the dust has settled, Fighting Chance Fantasy has you covered for your Week 2 waiver wire needs. Whether you are looking for a replacement for J.K. Dobbins who unfortunately suffered a season-ending injury, or have underperforming stars. Hopefully, you can find some answers here to get you back in the winning column
Here at Fighting Chance Fantasy, we will have a collective effort to bring some options to improve your team. Seth Quinn (@SethFQuinn) will cover quarterbacks, Michael Chasco (@ChascoFCF) will cover running backs, Matt Miles (@DirtyAirFC) will cover wide receivers, and Leo Grandio (@smooth1074) will cover the tight ends and defense streamers.
Quarterback (Seth Quinn)
Jordan Love | Packers
Yahoo! Roster Ownership: 23%
Jordan Love was a huge unknown coming into the season, both from an NFL fan standpoint and a fantasy football standpoint. However, in his first game as a Week 1 NFL starting quarterback, he put up 23 fantasy points, finishing third at the position, showing the fantasy world at least that he is capable of putting up points. With added context, the stat line becomes more impressive. Christian Watson, his likely number-one receiver this season, was out with a hamstring injury, and Romeo Doubs, who caught two touchdowns, also dealt with a hamstring injury leading up to the game. Despite a banged-up, young, and unproven receiving core, Love balled out. If he can increase his rushing production beyond three carries for 12 yards on a weekly basis, then Love can be a great value as a low-end starter for the rest of the season.
Mac Jones | Patriots
Yahoo! Roster Ownership: 9%
While he has no rushing upside and doesn't have the best weapons, it's hard to ignore Mac Jones's 25.14 fantasy points this week, finishing second at the position, against the vaunted Eagles defense. With new offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien taking over for defensive-minded Matt Patricia, the Patriots offense should be much improved, meaning Jones should be much more consistent. He struggled to start the game, but towards the end, got more comfortable and had a great day passing. I wouldn't recommend starting Jones next week unless you are desperate, but he is worth stashing to see if he can continue playing at a high level in the new and improved Patriots offense.
Baker Mayfield | Buccaneers
Yahoo! Roster Ownership: 10%
Similar to Mac Jones, Baker Mayfield doesn't have rushing upside, but he played well against the Vikings and led the Buccaneers, who were expected to lose, to a 20-17 win. Picking him up this week would be much more matchup-based than long-term, as he plays the Bears this week who were just carved up by earlier mentioned Jordan Love, but with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, it's possible Mayfield has a better season than people expected. While I don't expect him to be a start-able quarterback the rest of the season, he showed that he can put up solid numbers, and could serve as a solid backup to use against bad defenses at certain points during the season.
Running Backs (Michael Chasco)
Kenneth Gainwell | Eagles
Yahoo! roster ownership: 47%
Many wondered how the Eagles would distribute the backfield touches with new offensive coordinator Brian Johnson. Preseason usage led some to speculate Kenneth Gainwell's role as the lead back for the Eagles. Gainwell's ADP spiked late in draft season, and he eventually cracked the Top 100 in NFFC drafts in late August. The only certainty in Philadelphia: there's a four-way committee with a mix of Gainwell and veterans D'Andre Swift, Rashaad Penny, and Boston Scott. Committees are not fun for fantasy football. Even with a lead role, they will have to share a backfield with one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the league, Jalen Hurts. Value can emerge, however, and through the raindrops in New England, we may have seen some clarity on who will take the lead in Philadelphia.
If the first drive of the season had any indication of how the Eagles will use its backs, it's Gainwell's job for now. The second-year back started Philadelphia's first possession with five straight touches and carried the ball six times for 29 yards and two catches for 14 yards. He also had an explosive play of 16 yards that led to a scoring drive. Gainwell finished with the bulk of the backfield snaps with 41, compared to Swift's 19 and Scott's 8. Swift wouldn't receive a carry until the start of the 4th quarter and work primarily as a receiving option. Meanwhile, Gainwell finished with career-highs in carries and rushing yards in a single game. You can't have enough options on your bench. Make sure your bid is good enough to beat runningback-hungry teams who opted to go zero-RB in your drafts.
Gus Edwards | Ravens
Yahoo! Roster Ownership: 20%
One of the more interesting developments in fantasy football will be how Baltimore pivots from losing J.K. Dobbins for the rest of the season. Dobbins, who came into the year with a public contract dispute, might have just played his last down for the Ravens' franchise after rupturing his Achilles Sunday. Will the Ravens use more of a committee with a mix of Gus Edwards and Justice Hill? After Dobbins left with the injury, Edwards worked primarily as the lead back, with Hill subbing in high-value situations around the goal line. Hill came into last week with one career touchdown and doubled it by the time the Ravens left with a 25-9 win over the Houston Texans. Just to muddle up the situation, the Ravens recently decided to bring up veteran Melvin Gordon III from its practice squad this week. Are you going to invest in this ambiguous situation? Value can be found here but from whom?
Kyren Williams | Rams
Yahoo Roster Ownership: 6%
The Athletic's Jordan Rodrigue sent shockwaves across the fantasy community when she suggested Kyren Williams could be more involved in the passing game early in the season. Not exactly what managers wanted to hear who spent high draft capital on Cam Akers. A three-down role is what people had envisioned for Akers without the threat of a true veteran to back him up. Rodrigue's observations proved to be true in the first game against divisional rival Seattle, and Williams played a major role in the upset victory. Williams had 15 carries for 52 yards and two touchdowns while playing 65 percent of the offensive snaps. Akers would also get in the endzone on a crucial fourth down conversion and finished with 22 carries to lead the team. Coach Sean McVay hasn't been shy about using both backs in different situations, so don't expect a switch in roles. With the San Francisco defense on deck, maybe get Williams on your roster for down the road.
Tyjae Spears | Titans
Yahoo! Roster Ownership: 15%
One of the biggest surprises in Week 1 was rookie running back Tyjae Spears outsnapping All-Pro Derrick Henry. Of course, Henry doesn't need to have a ton of volume to return value, but it's worth noting the Titans turned to Spears when the team needed to throw more. Are we witnessing a change in the way Tennessee operates its offense? Traditionally, we would see the Titans use the bruising back to wear down defenses, but Henry finished with just 15 carries for 63 yards in the 27-16 loss to New Orleans. Henry has led the NFL in rushing attempts in three of the past four seasons, so are the Titans taking some workload off the 29-year-old back? Spears played 54 percent of the offensive snaps and factored as a significant player in the passing game. It's clear the Titans want to get Spears in their lineup, maybe we should do the same?
Roschon Johnson | Bears
Yahoo! Roster Ownership: 16%
Not a whole lot went as planned for the Chicago Bears on Sunday. One bright spot for the offense was the debut of rookie running back Roschon Johnson. Statistically, Johnson led all Chicago backs in snaps with 29, but that may speak more about the status of the game than the rookie taking over the lead role. Starter Khalil Herbert finished his day with 27 snaps, and backup D'Onta Foreman also contributed 21. When Johnson got his opportunities late in the game, he didn't disappoint. He brought a physicality to the game and scored his first touchdown of his career. He also factored in the passing game with six catches for 35 yards receiving. The fourth-round rookie could take over at some point this season, make sure he's on your roster when he does.
Tank Bigsby | Jaguars
Yahoo! Roster Ownership: 46%
Missed assignments and mistakes from rookie running backs are very common early in the year. But what happened to Tank Bigsby in his first career game was flat-out bazaar. Early in the 4th quarter, quarterback Trevor Lawrence was hit from behind, and the ball found its way into Bigsby's arms. The stillness of the play might've fooled the most grizzled veteran into believing the play was done. It wasn't. The result was one of the weirdest punch, scoop, and score situations for the Indianapolis defense. The gaffe didn't cost Jacksonville the game, and what came after that was most impressive for the third-round rookie.
The casual fantasy world found out why Bigsby's nickname is "Tank" later in the contest. The third-round pick powered his way through Indianapolis' defense on consecutive plays en route to his first score as a pro. Bigsby only had seven carries for the game and participated in just 21 percent of the offensive snaps. Incumbent back Travis Etienne shined in his second year as the starter and finished with 77 yards on 18 carries and caught all five of his targets for 27 yards. The lead-back role is his for the time being, as he played 80 percent of the snaps for Jacksonville. If Etienne were to lose any time due to injury, Bigsby could step into a significant role in this offense. Fill your bench spots with lottery tickets while you still can.
Joshua Kelley | Chargers
Yahoo! Roster Ownership: 6%
The loss to the Miami Dolphins fell squarely on the shoulders of the Chargers' defense. As much as this is not ideal for a real football team, it's found gold in fantasy football. Miami's Tua Tagovailoa torched the Los Angeles defense for 446 passing yards, and Tyreek Hill simply couldn't be stopped for 215 receiving yards. Just as surprising, the Chargers offense kept them in the game, and Joshua Kelley played a significant role as Austin Ekeler's primary backup. Kellen Moore's debut as the new offensive coordinator showed promise - especially in the run game. The Chargers finished the game with 243 yards rushing on 40 carries. Ekeler had 117 yards and a touchdown, while Kelley ran for 91 yards on 16 carries. If Ekeler were to miss time for any reason, Kelley could step in a role for a team that should be in plenty of shootouts in the near future.
Yahoo! Roster Ownership: 47%
Before Sunday's matchup with San Francisco, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport shared a report that the Steelers will split carries between Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren. Sharing running back duties probably wouldn't be a headline for most teams, but for coach Mike Tomlin's Steelers it's quite a development. Pittsburgh has traditionally used a workhorse back, and that workhorse has been Harris. The third-year back had logged 694 touches since 2020, the most by any player during that span. Last year, Warren complemented Harris as a third-down specialist and spelled Harris when he needed a break.
Both players bring a unique skill set to the Steelers, and if the snap count gives any clues into how both will be used, Warren is worthy of a waiver claim. Just don't look at the box score against the stout San Francisco defense because it wasn't pretty. Harris finished with just six carries to Warren's three as the team fell behind early against the 49ers. Look at the usage for both backs: Harris played 52 percent of the snaps compared to Warren's 40 percent. Warren can quickly gain standalone value and at the very worst be the best handcuff in fantasy football. Take advantage of your league mates who looked at the box score and chose to use their FAAB elsewhere.
Jerome Ford | Browns
Yahoo! Roster Ownership: 9%
Jerome Ford was a popular bestball pick early on in the draft season as he was the presumed backup behind star Nick Chubb. A hamstring injury kept the second-year back out of most of the preseason and off most fantasy rosters. Ford returned to Browns practice just in time for the season opener against the Bengals and played a whopping 30 snaps on offense. Ford finished with 15 rushes for 38 yards but had a costly fumble in the red zone. The turnover could be blamed on the messy, wet conditions that plagued both teams on Sunday. Ford's usage was encouraging despite not being targeted once in the passing game - a strength of his overall game. The running backs were only targeted four times by quarterback Deshaun Watson for the entire game (all to Chubb). Ford is an interesting flyer, and worth monitoring, possibly adding after your waiver run if you have room to spare.
Wide Receivers (Matt Miles)
Check to see if you have these Wide Receivers available to add first: Zay Flowers 71%, Nico Collins 51%, and Jakobi Meyers 50%.
Puka Nacua | Rams
Yahoo! Roster Ownership: 3%
Every year we get a surprise rookie receiver flashing in week 1, but not all are worth going after aggressively. However, Puka Nacua just might be worth a big shot of your FAAB. A 40.5% Target share along with 74% of routes on the outside means Nacua is earning a large target share in an area Cooper Kupp doesn't operate. The 40.5% is not sustainable, but even considering a Kupp return, There's a solid value in an emerging 1A with Nacua in LA.
Zay Jones | Jaguars
Yahoo! Roster Ownership: 31%
The Jacksonville Jaguars ran two wide receiver sets on 32.4% of their plays in Week 1. Zay Jones is the benefactor of this personnel shift with Calvin Ridley in town. Ridley ran 34 routes, with participation on 97% of snaps, resulting in 7 targets and a 5/55/1 line. If Jones is on your waiver wire, pick him up!
Kendrick Bourne | Patriots
Yahoo! Roster Ownership: 3%
It was a bit of a crutch argument case of who is left to throw to, but Kendrick Bourne did rise to the occasion against a solid Philadelphia Eagles defense. Bourne finished the day with a solid 6/64/2 line and participated in 91% of the snaps. Mac Jones was 2nd in Air Yards only to Tua Tagovailoa in Week 1. Offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien and head coach Bill Belichick are old-school coaches who reward players who perform, so get Bourne ASAP.
Tight End (Leo Grandio)
Check to see if these tight ends are available to add first: Cole Kmet 71% Rostered, Dalton Schultz 70% Rostered, and Juwan Johnson 53% Rostered.
Hunter Henry & Mike Gesicki | Patriots
Yahoo! Roster Ownership: 17% & 6%
Do you remember when Hunter Henry was a fantasy asset when he played for the Chargers a few years back? Well, it looks like new offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien may be the person to unlock those days again. During the preseason many in the fantasy community were touting that Mike Gesicki (who had three receptions for 36 yards) would be a sleeper due to his athleticism but it appears that Henry might be the tight end you need to roster. Henry was targeted six times and brought in five receptions for 56 yards and a touchdown. In Week 2, the Patriots face one of their divisional rivals the Miami Dolphins, who just allowed Donald Parham Jr. to score 11.10 fantasy points against them. Fantasy managers should prioritize adding Henry over Gesicki in PPR 12-team formats.
Zach Ertz | Cardinals
Yahoo! Roster Ownership: 5%
One thing is for certain, Zach Ertz seems to be all healed up from his ACL injury. Ertz did not have any big plays but was targeted 10 times. The Cardinals are a team that will be playing from behind early and often and will be consistently playing from behind. Ertz was able to catch six receptions for 21 yards. If you are in a deeper 12-team PPR league or tight end premium you should definitely consider adding Ertz.
Luke Musgrave | Packers
Yahoo! Roster Ownership: 19%
Now that Jordan Love is behind center, the slate is clean on who the quarterback’s favorite target is. With Christian Watson nursing a hamstring injury, Love targeted not only Romeo Doubs but also Luke Musgrave for four targets, which the tight end converted into three receptions for 50 yards. Musgrave is another option to add in deeper 12 to 14-team PPR league formats.
Logan Thomas | Commanders
Yahoo! Roster Ownership: 2%
Veteran Logan Thomas was another tight end that was heavily targeted by Sam Howell. Being that new offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy is from Kansas City, his offensive scheme does target tight ends. It was excellent to see that Thomas has recovered well from his Achilles injuries and was targeted eight times. If you are desperate at tight end look to add Thomas in 14-team PPR leagues.
Hayden Hurst | Panthers
It appears that we have discovered who Bryce Young’s security blanket is. Hayden Hurst was heavily involved in the passing game for the Panthers. Hurst reeled in five receptions for 41 yards and a touchdown on seven targets. If you do add Hurst keep in mind that he faces the New Orleans Saints in Week 2 and they are one of the best teams at defending the tight end position. So you may want to temper your expectations for next week and look forward to the weeks to come.
Jake Ferguson | Cowboys
Yahoo! Roster Ownership: 12% Rostered
When you look at Jake Ferguson's stat line you will not be impressed. One would say what in the hell is he doing on this list with two receptions for 11 yards? What encourages me to add Ferguson to my fantasy teams is the seven targets he received in Week 1. That target total actually led the Cowboys in the season opener. This illustrates that even though offensive coordinator Kellen Moore is no longer on the team, the tight end position will remain an intricate part of the offense. You can add Ferguson in deeper 12-team PPR leagues or especially in tight end premium leagues.
Streaming Defense (Leo Grandio)
New York Giants Defense 5% Rostered: Giants have an enticing match-up versus the lowly Arizona Cardinals.
Cleveland Browns Defense 11% Rostered: Browns face the Steelers who just showed that they are vulnerable to a tough defense.
If you would like to discuss this further or have any fantasy questions, you can reach us on X at @FCFantasySports