Fantasy football drafts may be where the fun is but shrewd waiver wire moves are how championships are won. We have you covered whether Week 1 did not go as planned, or you are looking to put your foot on the gas after a dominant opening week. With games stretching through late Monday night, we will continue to update these waiver wire rankings as the week progresses and new names emerge.
We kept seeing reports about how well Phillip Dorsett was doing in training camp, but it is hard to put a lot of weight on preseason info. Dorsett backed it up with a strong Week 1 performance for the Patriots, going a perfect 6-for-6 on his first six targets. There is a large void at wide receiver in New England, and Dorsett could end up being the person that helps fill that void for Tom Brady. He has a history of loving slot receivers, and Dorsett has the potential to fill that role.
Rookie wideout Michael Gallup received a lot of the acclaim over the offseason for the Cowboys, but Cole Beasley has long been Dak Prescott’s favorite target. This was the case even when Dez Bryant was in Dallas. Like most of the Cowboys offense, Beasley had a dismal 2017 but was one of the lone bright spots for the Dallas offense during Week 1. Beasley is going to be a fantasy starter this season in the WR2/WR3 range. Beasley is unowned in more than 87 percent of ESPN leagues and has a chance to be the Cowboys top receiver this season.
A pair of young running backs could lead waiver wire claims this week. Chargers running back Austin Ekeler looks like he might fill the role of Danny Woodhead from years ago as a do-everything back. Ekeler rushed for 39 yards, but also had five receptions for 87 yards along with a touchdown.
Much was made about Royce Freeman heading into the season, but the Broncos look to be giving Phillip Lindsay a number of touches as well. Lindsay especially has value in PPR leagues as he is expected to continue to be utilized in the passing game as well.
Leonard Fournette’s hamstring injury is unlikely to keep him out for a long period of time, but if you are in need of a short-term running back T.J. Yeldon is worth a look. While Yeldon is likely not a long-term solution, he can buy you some time if you are someone who has Le’Veon Bell or an injured back on your roster.
Tight end was a position of concern heading into the season, and there are a few options that could help you. Jimmy Garoppolo looked George Kittle’s way early and often. Without a marquee Niners WR1, Kittle should continue to see targets and is only 37 percent owned in ESPN leagues. If Kittle has been snagged in your league, Eric Ebron is work a look. Andrew Luck has been known to utilize the tight end, and the former first round pick failed to live up to expectations in Detroit. A change of scenery could be just what Ebron needed to jump-start his career. Russell Wilson also appears to have a new favorite target in Will Dissly, but the Seahawks do not have the best track record of utilizing tight ends.
Fans will remember wide receiver John Brown had some productive fantasy seasons with the Cardinals but fell on hard times the last few seasons. The Ravens brought in a lot of new wide receivers, and Brown looks to be one of the key contributors on the unit. Brown has always been a bit hard to know when to start with his boom or bust potential but he could end up being a solid WR3 on your roster.
Many owners will be running after DeSean Jackson, but I would proceed with caution. Jackson had five targets but took advantage of a few big plays to rack up fantasy points. Jackson’s five receptions for 146 yards and two touchdowns is not going to be an every week occurrence. That said, Jackson’s value could be a bit higher as long Ryan Fitzpatrick is playing quarterback. Jackson is typically a boom or bust fantasy player, and I would prefer to go after more consistent options.
Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @JonDAdams with specific fantasy questions.
Here’s a look at this week’s waiver wire rankings.
Waiver Wire Rankings Week 1
|1||WR Cole Beasley||Cowboys|
|2||WR Phillip Dorsett||Patriots|
|3||RB Austin Ekeler||Chargers|
|4||RB Phillip Lindsay||Broncos|
|5||TE George Kittle||49ers|
|6||WR John Brown||Ravens|
|7||WR Brandon Marshall||Seahawks|
|8||TE Will Dissly||Seahawks|
|9||WR Ryan Grant||Colts|
|10||WR Dante Pettis||49ers|