Welcome to the Week 1 waiver wire!
After an offseason filled with uncertainty, football has made it’s glorious return, and what a return it was. You can’t tell me you were expecting both the Jaguars and Washington Football Team to start the year 1-0, while the Browns and Falcons were unable to score over 15 points combined. And I guess there’s no such thing as growing pains when you’re DeAndre Hopkins and can just effortlessly catch 14 balls for 151 yards in your first game with a new team.
Plenty of stars of the NFL shined in Week 1, but so did non-stars who could be stars for your fantasy football team! (See what I did there?)
Here are 10 players — all under 50% rostered — who you should be targeting and working hard to get onto your fantasy team for Week 2 (percent rostered in Yahoo leagues).
RB Adrian Peterson, Detroit Lions (48% rostered)
Just a week after joining the team, Peterson led the backfield with 14 carries for 93 yards. Peterson showed last year that he has enough in the tank to be a viable fantasy play each week and if the Lions continue to feed Peterson the rock at this level, he’s well worth getting onto your roster.
RB Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts (15% rostered)
If there’s one player to make sure you get off waivers this week, it’s Nyheim Hines. Marlon Mack left the game early and it’s feared he suffered a torn achilles which would end his season. Jonathan Taylor will likely see his role increase now but he’s almost certainly already rostered in your league. Hines meanwhile is available and racked up 28 yards and a touchdown on the ground, to go with a team-leading eight catches for 45 yards and another score. Expect him to continue to have a defined role in the Colts offense moving forward.
RB Joshua Kelley, Los Angeles Chargers (11% rostered)
The backfield is still Austin Ekeler’s — he finished with 17 carries for 83 yards and a catch — but Kelley managed to get eight carries for 49 yards and a touchdown. We saw the Chargers backfield last year support both Ekeler and Melvin Gordon in fantasy viable roles so Kelley emerging as the clear number two guy in LA is note worthy. He’s well worth rostering if you’re in a deeper league given his potential handcuff upside as well.
RB Peyton Barber, Washington Football Team (3% rostered)
Of course after all the preseason hype surrounding rookie Antonio Gibson, it was Barber who led Washington’s backfield. Barber finished with 17 carries for a not good 29 yards but he did score two touchdowns. They may not be efficient touches, but if Barber continues to lead the backfield in carries and in the red zone, he’ll have fantasy value this year.
RB Myles Gaskin, Miami Dolphins (0% rostered)
After acquiring both Jordan Howard and Matt Breida this offseason, it was Gaskin who led the backfield against the Patriots, carrying the ball nine times for 40 yards and catching all four of his targets for 26 yards. There’s still time for Howard or Breida to emerge as the starting back in Miami, but for now, Gaskin is worth stashing in the hope he holds onto the main gig.
WR Sammy Watkins, Kansas City Chiefs (48% rostered)
Watkins is a fantasy enigma. Some games he is targeted like he’s the best receiver on KC and other week’s he’s a complete non factor. First week of the year, Watkins led the team in targets with nine, catching seven of them for 82 yards and a touchdown. The Chiefs offense is one you want a part of no matter how small that part might be, and being able to get a possible BIG part of the offense is an opportunity you shouldn’t pass up on. Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce are still the number one and two targets in KC, but Watkins’ strong start (something he’s done in the past), is worth noting and one to quickly take advantage of to start the year.
WR Robby Anderson, Carolina Panthers (29% rostered)
In his first game with the Panthers, Anderson led the team in both receptions (6) and yards (115) and scored the lone touchdown through the air. He also was second on the team in targets with eight, one behind D.J. Moore. Anderson has the elite speed to get downfield and be a big play threat and it seems that will be a part of the Panthers offense moving forward. The Panthers are a team likely to find themselves in a lot of shootouts given the state of their defense so getting a part of this offense is not a bad idea at all.
WR Laviska Shenault Jr., Jacksonville Jaguars (12% rostered)
Who said the Jaguars were tanking? The Jags started the year with an upset over the Colts in which Shenault showed a hint at how he’ll be used in Jay Gruden’s offense moving forward. The rookie receiver had two carries for 10 yards to go with three catches for 37 yards and a touchdown. These numbers won’t wow anyone, but the threat of both rushing and receiving is great to find in a player and as the Jaguars search for a receiver to pair with D.J. Chark, Shenault could easily emerge as that guy.
WR Russell Gage, Atlanta Falcons (1% rostered)
If you’re in a super deep league, Gage is certainly worth taking a look at. The Falcons always rank among the top in the league in pass attempts and they certainly threw the ball a lot against the Seahawks. Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley and Gage all saw 12 targets, Gage catching nine for 114 yards. He’s locked in as the Falcons’ third receiver and moving forward, could provide possible FLEX value depending on the matchup.
TE Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles (54% rostered)
It wouldn’t be a Pete Rogers waiver article if I didn’t break my one rule. Yes Goedert is over 50% rostered but let me tell you, you need to be adding him right the poop now. The relationship between Pro-Bowl tight end Zach Ertz and the Eagles is disintegrating by the second and if Ertz were to get traded at all this season, Goedert would find himself the star tight end in an offense that loves to target the position. Even with Ertz on the field this week, Goedert led the Eagles in targets (9), receptions (8), yards (101), and scored a touchdown. ADD. HIM. NOW.