Fantasy football owners have a propensity to panic after underwhelming results in Week 1, and that’s not the right attitude to have when hitting the waiver-wire. Just because you're starting quarterback struggled or didn't put up the type of numbers you expected, doesn’t mean you should rush out and pick up the Buffalo Bills’ Tyrod Taylor as your new starter.
Taylor, making the first start of his career, looked terrific against an out-of-whack Indianapolis defense by leading the Bills to a victory and finishing second on the squad in rushing. But its just one game and we’ve yet to see the full breadth of what Taylor can really do before he’s deemed worthy of a fantasy roster spot.
Instead, there were several players who played very well this week that might be worth a pickup before the start of Week 2.
With eight games remaining after the first batch of Week 1‘s matchups other players will likely emerge as waiver-wire fodder, but for now here are five players to consider for a waiver-wire claim and others to monitor. And of course add and drop at your own discretion.
Dion Lewis, RB, New England Patriots
The former Eagle, Colt, and Brown made each of those teams look silly for dropping him with an excellent performance against Pittsburgh on Thursday night. Lewis will burn up the waiver wire in week 2 as he’s owned in only 17.4 percent of ESPN and 16 percent of Yahoo leagues. However, owners may hesitate given New England head coach Bill Belichick’s propensity to mix and match his running backs depending on the opponent.
Lewis tore up a Steelers D that couldn’t match up or stop the run most of the night. but that won’t happen against every opponent. Not to mention LeGarrette Blount returning in Week 2 makes Lewis a little less valuable. In very deep PPR leagues he might, however, be worth a pickup.
Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks
The rookie glided through a 57-yard punt return for a touchdown against a typically strong Rams D, and Seattle head coach Pete Carroll was quoted saying Lockett would play “everywhere” against St. Louis. A speedy and elusive receiver, Lockett garnered only a few targets, but the better he plays the more Seattle will utilize his skills in the passing game. For now he’s worth a pickup if you’re in need of a WR3 or flex player. Lockett’s currently owned in 30 percent of Yahoo, and 19.7 percent of ESPN leagues.
Alex Smith, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
Thanks to a revamped and healthy offense, Smith’s three touchdowns and his being owned in only 19 percent of Yahoo and ESPN leagues makes him a certifiable QB2 for bye weeks. But Smith also has two more weeks before byes start to prove he’s starter. Unless you are in serious need of a starting quarterback and have a roster spot open, Smith’s best as a backup on fantasy rosters for now.
James Jones, WR, Green Bay Packers
The Packers lost Jordy Nelson before the season began and Randall Cobb played through a shoulder injury that limited his effectiveness. So it only makes sense they would bring back Jones, a receiver that knows their offense far better than Davante Adams, Jeff Janis, or Ty Montgomery. Aaron Rodgers turned to Jones four times, the second-most among Green Bay receivers, and the 31-year-old Jones showed he’s still very capable of hauling in a catch with a defender draped all over him.
Owned in only 24 percent of Yahoo and 30 percent of ESPN leagues, Jones will heat up the waiver-wire, but owners should still be cautious because Cobb will heal up and get more attention as the season wears on.
Travis Benjamin, WR, Browns
Ten Browns were targeted in Week 1, with Benjamin leading the way with 89 yards off three catches and three targets. It’s more of a testament to how poor Cleveland’s receiving corps is, but Benjamin’s play has to make him the No. 1 receiver going forward. He’s a WR3 or Flex2 in any league format, but stashing him after the first week could be beneficial when byes start.
Ted Ginn Jr., WR, Carolina Panthers
With Kelvin Benjamin out for the year, the Panthers’ No. 1 receiver spot was wide open. Ginn was targeted seven times against Jacksonville in Week 1 but there’s little to suggest he’ll get as many looks on a consistent basis. Carolina used all of their running backs in the passing game, so Ginn’s numbers could fluctuate from week-to-week, especially if rookie receiver Devin Funchess gets going. Ginn’s owned in 2 percent of Yahoo and 1.6 percent of ESPN leagues, which will change but only for owners who are in serious need of a WR3 or Flex2.
Others to monitor: Jonathan Grimes and Chris Polk, RBs, Texans; Rashad Greene, WR, Jaguars; Nate Washington, WR, Texans; Richard Rodgers, TE, Packers; Marquess Wilson, WR, Bears; Karlos Williams, RB, Bills