Week 1 of the NFL season has come and gone, seemingly without a hitch. Now we turn our focus towards the next 16 weeks. These 6 waiver wire targets can help you in Week 2 and beyond.
Remember, before you put in those waiver claims, try to avoid overreacting simply because a player that you drafted early didn’t live up to expectations in Week 1. I’m looking at you Austin Ekeler and Joe Mixon owners.
Also, make sure you monitor those waiver wire transactions as some people in your league can wildly overreact to one or two games. If you see a player you loved coming into the season dropped by another team, be ready to strike!
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With that out of the way, who should you be adding this week? For context, these players are in order by how I would add them to my team.
Benny Snell – Rostered in 18% of Yahoo Leagues
It seems as if the James Conner rebound season ended before it could get started. He left Monday night’s game against the New York Giants after just eight touches. He looked ineffective amassing just nine yards on six carries. He also caught two balls for eight yards.
In stepped Benny Snell who looked much more effective. Granted, the Steelers offense took a big step forward as a whole once Snell stepped in. He tallied 113 yards on 19 carries for an impressive 5.9 YPC.
Conner is scheduled to get his ankle evaluated on Tuesday to assess how much time he may miss. Even if his absence is a short term one, Snell will be given all the opportunity to steal the job.
Pittsburgh has always been a team that leans on one guy under Mike Tomlin. If Snell can be at or near 20 touches in an offense that is clearly going to get better in 2020, he could be a league winner for those that roster him.
Depending on how RB needy your team is, I’m happy to spend up to 80% of my FAAB this week. Anthony McFarland may be worth stashing in deeper formats if Snell were to falter or get injured.
Nyheim Hines – Rostered in 22% of Yahoo Leagues
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He saw 7 carries for 28 yards and caught 8 balls for 45 yards scoring two total touchdowns. Some may see the final score and assume that the volume came when the Colts were down. In fact, he was the guy who saw the majority of the early touches early including in the red zone.
Despite Marlon Mack did leaving this game with a torn ACL that will keep him out the rest of the season I’m proceeding with some caution when adding Hines.
Per Adam Levitan of Establish the Run, Taylor 10 carries and 6 targets while Hines saw 3 carries after Mack went down with 8:29 left in 2nd quarter. Taylor will be given all the opportunities to be the work horse RB many were expecting when he came out of Wisconsin.
Per Stephen Holder of the Athletic Reich said, “Jonathan (Taylor) will step into the starting role… He’s ready. Nyheim will still be a big part of the offense.”
I expect Taylor to reward owners who took him early in drafts and for Hines can be a weekly usable piece especially in leagues with any PPR scoring. Depending on need and league scoring I’m looking to spend 35%-45% of my FAAB to acquire him. I’m not sure if that will be enough but I will let others have him if it costs more than that.
Malcolm Brown – Rostered in 28% of Yahoo Leagues
It appears, at least for the beginning of the season the Rams running back to own will be Malcolm Brown. He tallied 79 yards and 2 TDs on 19 carries. Brown also saw 4 targets, catching 3 for 31 yards.
Brown was clearly the feature back for Week 1 seeing 60% of the snaps against the Cowboys per Jared Smola of Draft Sharks. Beyond Brown, Cam Akers saw 33% of the snaps and Darrell Henderson saw just 7%.
Beyond the number of snaps, Brown was also the more effective RB in Week 1. Per NumberFire’s expected points model Brown Success Rate: 66.7% while Akers success rate was just 14.3%.
Brown has a comfort level in this offense and HC Sean McVay clearly trusted him. The offense as a whole seemed to be running more efficiently with their update blocking scheme along the offensive line.
While I think Snell has more upside and Hines is safer week to week, Brown is definitely worth targeting for teams that need immediate RB help. I do have some worry that Akers will eventually take this role away but for now Brown should see plenty of volume. Like Hines, I’m fine using around 35% of my FAAB to acquire him if I need RB help.
Laviska Shenault – Rostered in 12% of Yahoo Leagues
While D.J. Chark is locked and loaded as the number one option in Jacksonville after his impressive rookie campaign, the second option is wide open. Laviska Shenault is the player I’m betting on to take the role and excel. He caught 3 of his 4 targets for 37 yards and a touchdown. Shenault also saw work on the ground rushing for 10 yards on 2 carries.
His versatility and athleticism makes him an incredibly interesting target. Per Playerprofiler.com, Shenault’s best comp is the Titans A.J. Brown. Seems fitting as both players possess a ton of speed for their size.
Gardner Minshew was incredibly efficient utilizing low ADOT throws in Week 1 despite only attempting 20 passes. Shenault excels after the catch and should be a perfect complement to his QB.
With the Jaguars at or near double-digit underdogs this week at Tennessee, I expect to see the pass attempts ramp up for Minshew this week. Shenault should be a big benefactor of the additional volume.
Add him now before he explodes and he finds a home on one of your league mates rosters. While he is my favorite option at WR, I don’t want to go crazy with my FAAB. 10% to 15% should be enough to get it done. If not, having claims on the other options at WR should land a usable option with upside.
Corey Davis – Rostered in 5% of Yahoo Leagues
Well it took four seasons but the Corey Davis breakout may be in effect. Davis along with A.J. Brown led the team with eight targets in Week 1. Unlike Brown, Davis was incredibly productive catching 7 of his 8 targets for 101 yards.
Davis is an incredibly talented WR who has never been able to put it together for one reason or another. This performance even led ESPN’s Matthew Berry to wonder if he is the Davante Parker of 2020. I’m not sure I am quite ready to go that far, but Week 1 was incredibly encouraging.
The biggest question I have going forward is the amount of attempts Ryan Tannehill will have on a week to week basis. The Titans want to utilize Derrick Henry early and often. Despite King Henry garnering 31 carries, Tannehill threw the ball 40 plus times. While I’m not expecting that kind of volume for either guy most weeks, if Tannehill can throw it 30 plus times with regularity, Davis can absolutely be a productive option this season.
Add him this week if you need WR depth and can afford to see how this pans out. Like with Shenault, I don’t want to spend all of my FAAB on Davis but am willing to spend up to 15% to land him.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling – Rostered in 8% of Yahoo Leagues
Despite all the slander going towards the Green Bay Packers this off-season about a perceived lack of weapons for Aaron Rodgers, it appears they may have not one but two viable options opposite Davante Adams. Both Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Allen Lazard showed up in their Week 1 contest against the Minnesota Vikings.
It was Valdes-Scantling who was second on the team in targets with 6 behind Adams who had an absurd 17. Valeds-Scantling was able to turn that volume into 4 catches, 96 yards and a TD.
At 6’4” and 206 pounds he is a terrific athlete for his size. He has a 96th% 40-yard dash and a 97th% speed score per Playerprofiler.com. He can absolutely be a legitimate weapon across from Adams.
It was only one game but it sure feels like the Packers may throw more in 2020 than 2019. The next few weeks will help to bear out this feeling. With Detroit, New Orleans, Atlanta, and Tampa Bay the Packers will need to put up points to win ball games. I would expect Rodgers to continue with the aerial assault.
I’m adding both MVS and Lazard in leagues where I need WR help but prefer MVS more. I would look to spend between 5% and 10% of my FAAB to land one of the Packers WRs.