The waiver is an integral part of winning your fantasy football league. The catch is figuring out when to spend your FAAB money, or when to spend your first waiver. Week 1s heroes can often be zeros in just a few games, so be careful.
The players below may be on your league’s exception thread. I have not rated them, so please read my analysis to see how I feel about downloading them.
Joe Burrow, CIN
Burrow fought a bit against the Chargers, but let̵
Mitch Trubisky, CHI
Trubisky is not going to play the Lions defense every week, but he pulls the Giants home in Week 2, which should be good enough for 250 passing yards and 1-2 TDs. The offensive weapons are there for Trubisky if he can find consistency.
Gardner Minshew, JAX
The Jaguars shocked the NFL with their huge win over the Colts. Most weeks, however, the Jags play from behind, which should mean a good production of the waste time for Minshew. He needs to be placed in all deeper leagues.
Kirk Cousins, MIN
Minnesota’s secondary is young and inexperienced, and most teams will try to take advantage of this. How does this help cousins? If the Vikings give points, it means they will have to score points to win games. Cousins could end up getting a couple of big games, making him a sneaky exception.
Teddy Bridgewater, BIL
Bridgewater fought the Raiders at times, but for the most part he played well enough to give his team a chance to win. The Panthers have excellent skill players and the team does not want to drive McCaffrey to the ground, which could mean more passing attempts for him than fantasy football bosses expected.
Malcolm Brown, LAR
Rams head coach Sean McVay mentioned before the season that he would go with a selection and he was true to his word in Week 1. Brown led the Rams to run back into touch and, more importantly, their finish line was back. He will cost a ton in FAAB and for that reason I think I will pass him on and let someone else pay too much as I still think Cam Akers will show up.
Nyheim Hines, IND
Colts coaching staff spoke to Hines at training camp and said he would be the Austin Ekeler type of running back that Philip Rivers enjoys using out of the backfield. The Hines had eight receptions and two TDs in Week 1, and now, with Marlon Mack out of season, the Hines are in play even if the Colts sign Lamar Miller or another free agent.
Zack Moss, BUF
Moss only had a 45% snap count, but I’m not worried the bills could get all their players getting a few snaps against the unfortunate jets. In Moss we saw a player who can definitely be a running back three-down and is one who, if he is available in your league, you should get him now.
James Robinson, JAX
Do not be put off by Robinson’s 62 rushing yards and 3.9 per yard. The average when you rate his performance against the Colts. Indianapolis has one of the best defenses in the NFL, and Robinson cleared himself well in his first professional game. What you need to focus on is that Chris Thompson did not have a touch in the game, meaning the Jaguars are fully committed to Robinson until Devine Ozigbo is ready to return from IR.
Joshua Kelley, LAC
Subscribers to our SI Fantasy Plus product know I listed Kelley as my stash-and-cash player. From the moment he was called up, Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn assumed Kelley would get a chance to play and he was true to his word. Kelley appears to be short yardage and finish line back and can siphon seven or eight rushing TDs this season. Let everyone in your league spend too much on Brown while adding Kelley.
Benny Snell, PIT
I’m as surprised as anyone to see Snell send such solid numbers; however, his performance hung on to James Conner’s ankle injury. Early reports say he should be back very soon as the severity of the injury was not serious. If you have Conner, the smart game should make sure to add Snell as a cover, as a minor tweak can become a major issue.
Peyton Barber, VAR
Rookie Antonio Gibson will inevitably be the starter for Washington, but Barber must always have short yardage & target role. He has limited value in PPR formats, but he can prove to be an excellent BYE week filler in standard leagues.
Adrian Peterson, DET
Peterson’s Week 1 success should not be shocking, given that he’s familiar with Darrell Bevell’s offense. D’Andre Swift will eventually be a full-time starter, but there is still a prominent role for Peterson in the Lions offense.
Frank Gore, NYJ
Le’Veon Bell is expected to miss out on time with a hamstring injury that will make Gore RB1 in the near future. Jets head coach Adam Gase loves Gore, but Gore should not be considered so much more than a desperate fill in the deepest leagues. I can argue that Josh Adams has greater value given his ability to catch passes out of the backfield.
Myles Gaskin, MIA
Perhaps the most surprising thing I saw in Week 1 was Myles Gaskin, who got 62% of the Dolphins backfields snaps with Jordan Howard and Matt Breida available. Offensive coordinator Chan Gailey seems to prefer Gaskin as a form of his offense, so we want to see all three players get affected for the time being. Do not pay too much for Gaskin in FAAB this week, as I think his time as a starter is extremely limited.
Parris Campbell, IND
Campbell is a unique talent who is now finally healthy. He has game-breaking speed and good hands and must thrive all over the course from TY Hilton. He’s still a potential value at DraftKings and is someone I would definitely target in seasonal leagues if he’s on the exception thread.
Kendrick Bourne, SF
With Deebo Samuel on IR and rookie Brandon Aiyuk still recovering from a hamstring injury, Bourne is de facto the WR1 for the 49ers. While I do not expect him to have a large number this season, his Week 2 matchup is great as the San Francisco play the Jets.
Scotty Miller, TB
Many fantasy football executives will assume that Miller’s success in Week 1 was due to Mike Evans’ injury. While that may be partly true, I still think there is a role for him in this offense, as Miller runs sharp, sharp routes and has developed obvious chemistry with Tom Brady. I would bid a few dollars on him in FAAB and I could be even more aggressive if I already have Evans or Godwin on my list.
Russell Gage, ATL
From the top of your head I want you to guess which receiver led the Falcons to goal in Week 1. Well, this is a trick question as Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage all had 12 goals. Gage took 70% of the snaps and had to see a similar snap number for most weeks. Gage’s production may have been inflated due to Falcon’s waste time production, but Gage proved to me that he has an independent value this season.
Laviska Shenault, JAX
It may take a few weeks, but beware that Shenault shows up as Jaguar’s WR2. Shenault has amazing speed and is the perfect complement to DJ Chark. While he will never be a goal monster, he could thrive in fantasy leagues that give bonus points to long-distance TDs.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, GB
Valdes-Scantling is clearly Packers WR3, but I think his stats were inflated due to the Vikings’ inexperienced secondary. With Davante Adams and Allen Lazard the clear top scorers in offense, let someone else in your league pay too much for MVS.
Willie Snead, BAL
There was a lot of offseason conversation about the Ravens WRs Miles Boykin and Devin Duvernay taking over as the WR2 for the Ravens. However, in week 1, Willie Snead showed that he was still WR2, and although I do not think there will be enough goals to make him playable, he is still one to be watched given Raven’s high octane offense.
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Dallas Goedert, PHI
Often overlooked due to the presence of Zach Ertz, Goedert benefits from all Eagles injuries by wide receiver. He should continue to see a healthy number of snaps (he had close to 80% in week 1) and possibly end up scoring six or seven times this year.
Jimmy Graham, CHI
Do you know who finished second in the Bears’ goal in Week 1? Jimmy Graham. The Bears talked all preseason about involving him more in the offense, and they were true to their word. I’m not sure he will see seven goals each game, but four or five are certainly possible.
Logan Thomas, VAR
With CB Darius Slay draped on WR Terry McLaurin, Thomas WFT led in passing goals. Thomas is a giant red zone presence and could end the year as a top-15 if this production continues.
OJ Howard, TB
Howard got four passes and a TD in Week 1, but tempered your expectations as he was only on the field in 53% of the team’s snaps. I’m not convinced that Bruce Arians likes him more than he did last season, but there’s talent there, and if Gronk is not in playing form, Howard could benefit from that.
Nick Boyle, BAL
With Hayden Hurst now in Atlanta, Boyle is the clear TE2 in Baltimore behind Mark Andrews. More of a block than a receiver, Boyle is a big red zone presence, and if Andrews were ever to get hurt, I think he could be a sneaky source of production for the Ravens.
Dalton Schultz, DAL
With Blake Jarwin now out of season, the starting tight job goes to Schultz. Schultz has skill as a receiver, but I can not see him so much more as a flyer in the deepest formats.
Jordan Reed, SF
Stashing Reed may be a good call this week as George Kittle is dealing with a knee sprain. There’s still no word on whether Kittle will miss Week 2, but Reed has looked good in practice and has plenty of abilities if he can stay away from the coach’s table.
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