With Week 2 nearing its end, the fantasy football waiver wire targets have taken form. You may have built a juggernaut fantasy roster through the draft, but whether it’s injuries or simply the need for depth, waivers will always be vital to overall success.
It’s been a bit of a strange start to the season for a variety of reasons. For starters, just ahead of Week 2, it was revealed a highly-touted fantasy player in Cleveland Browns wideout Josh Gordon would be released or traded. This led to many fantasy owners locking in on finding a replacement for him.
The Gordon news was only the start, and we’re going to look at a few of the top waiver-wire targets for the week. This list will be updated as the action wraps up, and there’s no better place to start than with a player who impressed while replacing the aforementioned Gordon.
*Note: All ownership numbers are based on Yahoo Fantasy Football.
WR Antonio Callaway, Cleveland Browns (6 percent owned)
As excited as I am about Antonio Callaway’s upside after Gordon’s release, it’s likely he’ll be brought along somewhat slowly. This makes Rashard Higgins also a potential target, but I think Callaway’s ceiling and longterm outlook are better. He only saw four targets in a Week 2 start but turned them into three catches for 81 yards and one touchdown.
Callaway has big-play potential and if he’s able to build his rapport with Tyrod Taylor, he’ll be primed for quite a bit of success while lining up opposite Jarvis Landry.
RB Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals (27 percent owned)
With Bengals starter Joe Mixon set to miss multiple weeks, the workload should fall on Giovani Bernard, who’s an exceptional pass-catching back. Even if Bernard can’t dominate on the ground in Mixon’s absence, he’ll be a focal point of the passing attack while working as a safety blanket for Andy Dalton.
Mixon didn’t miss much of Cincinnati’s Week 2 game, but Bernard still finished with six rushing attempts, 27 yards, and four catches. I like his upside, and he’s the perfect pickup for fantasy football owners who have Mixon on their roster.
WR John Brown, Baltimore Ravens (25 percent owned)
After two weeks of action, we can safely say that John Brown is one of Joe Flacco’s favorite targets in the passing game. After totaling a modest three catches on four targets for 44 yards and one touchdown in the opener, Brown took it up a notch in Week 2.
During a tough Thursday Night Football matchup with the rival Cincinnati Bengals, Brown saw 10 targets and hauled in four of them for 92 yards and one score. Brown’s big-play potential is something for fantasy football owners to get excited about, and he’s a great option if available on waivers.
QB Tyrod Taylor, Cleveland Browns (31 percent owned)
Tyrod Taylor isn’t the greatest NFL quarterback. He’s not bad, but he’s not an exceptional player. But in fantasy leagues, he makes for a great option in specific matchups or even as a bye-week filler. I debated placing Derek Carr above Taylor, but the latter’s mediocre games are still solid from a fantasy perspective.
In Week 1, Taylor completed an atrocious 37.5 percent of his passes (largely due to weather) but still had a fine day for owners thanks to his 77 rushing yards and two total scores. His ability to take off and run and the intriguing weapons on Cleveland’s roster make him a fine optiion.
WR Terrelle Pryor, New York Jets (4 percent owned)
*Note: From the group below I like Keelan Cole and DeSean Jackson more than Pryor, but their ownership means they aren’t available in many fantasy leagues.
Just because Terrelle Pryor isn’t my top wide receiver target, doesn’t mean he’s not worth considering in a variety of leagues. I wanted to make sure to offer another low-owned option for players in bigger leagues, but Pryor could be worth adding in 12-team leagues. The Jets wideout is also likely available in leagues with deep benches where you have a player you’ll never use holding a roster spot.
What stood out about Pryor and the Jets as a whole is how the games have gone in terms of targets and opportunities for wide receivers. Expected No. 1 wideout Robby Anderson saw just one target in the team’s opener, while Quincy Enunwa has proven to be rookie Sam Darnold’s go-to option. As for Pryor, he received the second-most targets (eight) from the quarterback in Week 2. It resulted in a stat line of four catches for 84 yards and offered optimism on Pryor’s future outlook.
Other Targets by Position
We’ll touch on each position below by offering a few names who may have slightly higher ownership, but if they’re on your waiver wire, are certainly worth considering.
- Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders (43 percent owned)
- Case Keenum, Denver Broncos (39 percent owned)
- Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars (28 percent owned)
- Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers (44 percent owned)
- Javorius Allen, Baltimore Ravens (8 percent owned)
- Keelan Cole, Jacksonville Jaguars (48 percent owned)
- DeSean Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (48 percent owned)
- Phillip Dorsett, New England Patriots (24 percent owned)
- Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals (2 percent owned)
- Eric Ebron, Indianapolis Colts (55 percent owned)
- Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons (16 percent owned)