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Fantasy football waiver wire: Best players available for Week 1

Taking a look at the best fantasy football players likely still available on your waiver wire.

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Congrats everyone, we’ve made it. Real NFL action is practically 24 hours away and it’s time to start focusing in on perfecting our lineups and starting the fantasy football season off right. Hopefully that means with a victory. I don’t know. Maybe you’re in a dynasty league and have taken a page out of Mike Maccagnan’s book and decided to throw in the towel early and try for that number one pick next year.

While turning to the waiver wire before week one even starts isn’t the greatest sign of faith in one’s lineup, you still might be so inclined to dip your toe into the free agent pool and see what’s available. I got the dreaded auto draft in one of my leagues and am currently sporting the dynamic quarterback duo of Andrew Luck and Brian Hoyer. You can bet your bottom I’m looking towards the waiver wire.

So, here are the best available options for Week 1 action, all owned in 50 percent or less of Yahoo! fantasy leagues.

QB Tyrod Taylor (49 percent)

The Tyrod love has been all over this site throughout the offseason and experienced a mild hiccup when first the Bills traded away the team’s most talented receiver, got a receiver who was injured and then when Taylor suffered a concussion. But he’s back! And he’ll be starting his NFL season against the Jets, a defense that ranked in the bottom half last year in terms of passing yards, passing touchdowns and fantasy points surrendered to opposing quarterbacks.

QB Sam Bradford (19 percent)

Sam Bradford is quickly taking the title of most boring fantasy quarterback away from Alex Smith. He doesn’t do anything flashy and rarely throws the ball more than 10 yards down the field, but he also doesn’t do anything stupid, which in the world of quarterbacking is a big plus. He’s had a full offseason in the Vikings offense and will be facing the Saints defense, a defense that we all know and love for being awful.

QB Jared Goff (6 percent)

Yes, I’m serious. Well, kind of. I’m serious that Goff could have mild fantasy value this week but also joking that he’s at all worthy of starting. This is just for those who want to completely eff with the mind of their opponent and want to look like a fantasy genius when Goff does put up a decent fantasy performance. Who knows what Goff will look like in Sean McVay’s offense but I do know what the Colts’ pass defense looks like. They finished bottom 10 in both yards per game and touchdowns allowed last year. Not good.

HB Jamaal Charles (44 percent)

Like everyone on this list, I like the Broncos’ matchup against a Chargers’ defense that ranked 30th in the league last year in rushing touchdowns (20). They also were bottom 10 in terms of fantasy points surrendered to running backs. Yes, Charles will be sharing a backfield with C.J. Anderson but if Charles is fully healthy and can even muster up 80% of his past self, he’s a better running back than Anderson and could quickly take the starting gig away from him. Am I confident he’ll do that? No. That’s why Charles isn’t owned in over 50% of Yahoo leagues.

HB Rex Burkhead/Dion Lewis (33 percent/15 percent)

I’m grouping these guys because they’re off teams for the exact same reason: they’re on the Patriots and no one knows who the Patriots will be using any given day. The Chiefs gave up the 7th most yardage last year on the ground so the entire Patriots’ backfield is in a seemingly positive matchup. I will say that Dion Lewis looked great this preseason and I would not be surprised if he’s the starting running back for most of the season. Every back in New England has their roles but I’m quietly driving the Lewis bandwagon.

WR Corey Davis (47 percent)

Yes Davis is coming back from injury and didn’t play at all in the preseason. And yes he’s a rookie. But gosh dangit if I’m not going to put possibly my favorite fantasy rookie since day one on this list. The Titans have said they will use Davis in specific situations against the Raiders this week and to me that means RED ZONE BABY! That means get him in there and throw a couple jump balls. I’ll happily take those points. Plus, moving on from Week 1, he’s a guy you’ll want on your roster. Trust me.

WR Zay Jones (45 percent)

Well, someone has to catch footballs in Buffalo. Though Jordan Matthews is expected to play this week, Jones would seem to have the chemistry advantage as he played throughout the preseason. Much like Davis, Jones is another guy who will pay off in the long run as he could be inline for a very productive season in Buffalo. I’d expect for him to receive a fair number of targets in his first professional game and you like to see that, especially in PPR leagues.

WR Josh Doctson (13 percent)

It’s still up in the air as to whether or not Doctson will play Sunday but if he does, he’ll be facing an Eagles defense last year that gave up the 3rd most points to wide receivers. Obviously Terrelle Pryor has received most of the hype in Washington’s revamped pass attack but don’t forget, there’s a reason Doctson was taken in the 1st round last year.

WR Paul Richardson (7 percent)

If you’re going to pick up anyone from this list, regardless of position, it might have to be Paul Richardson. Richardson is slotted to be the Seahawks’ second wide receiver despite whatever muttering you might be hearing about Tyler Lockett. The Tyler Lockett dream is dead people, accept it. His path also became a lot clearer when the Hawks shipped off Jermaine Kearse to the place where football careers go to die. Let’s not forget that in the final four games of last year, Richardson caught 15 balls for 213 yards and two touchdowns on just 21 targets. And to make the pot even sweeter, he starts the season against the Packers. Yes, that defense that perfectly embodied their team emblem: swiss cheese.


Who are you scrambling to add?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    Tyrod Taylor
    (1 vote)
  • 7%
    Sam Bradford
    (4 votes)
  • 12%
    Jamaal Charles
    (7 votes)
  • 16%
    Sexy Rexy/Dion Lewis
    (9 votes)
  • 21%
    Corey Davis
    (12 votes)
  • 20%
    Zay Jones
    (11 votes)
  • 20%
    Paul Richardson
    (11 votes)
55 votes total Vote Now