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Best fantasy football waiver wire pickups for Week 2

Chances are, around 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, you felt like you knew nothing about fantasy football. Now, you feel like you know everything. Let’s face it, we’re all closer to the former than the latter, but either way, the season stops for no one. Most fantasy owners, even those who won their matchups, are undoubtedly frustrated with at least a few players on their team, but our top Week 2 fantasy waiver wire pickups and free agent adds can help you scratch that itchy trigger finger and point you in the right direction. As usual, the opening week’s waivers period is shaped by injuries (Raheem Mostert, Jerry Jeudy) and surprise breakouts (Elijah Mitchell, Mark Ingram, Christian Kirk, Juwan Johnson, Jameis Winston). Ingram, Wiand Kirk are no stranger to fantasy rosters, but few expected them to shine the way they did right away.

Our full free agent list is loaded with more names. After all, anyone who had a TD (Nelson Agholor, Jalen Reagor, Albert Okwuegbunam, Gabriel Davis, Phillip Lindsay, Tim Patrick) or had a bunch of touches/targets in Week 1 is on fantasy radars. Chances are, it’s just a random good game (looking at you, Zach Pascal), but you never know when it’s the start of a trend that will last throughout most of the season. It’s understandable if you don’t want to cut any of your late-round draft sleepers yet, even if they did nothing, but someone is gonna snatch up some of these players, so if you don’t get ’em now, you might miss your window. Again, that’s not necessarily a bad thing (they could be back on the waiver wire by Week 3), but if you have a roster spot to play with (guy you could put on the IR, flier you don’t really care about), don’t let it go to waste. And if you’re already in the streaming game, we have QBs, TEs, and D/STs for Week 2, which can be found at the end of this list

WEEK 2 FANTASY: RB Handcuff Chart

Depending on your RB situation, Mitchell and Ingram could be worth top waiver claims. Ingram probably won’t last the entire season, but he can provide plenty of short-term value. Mitchell would be a better top option if Mostert is expected to miss multiple weeks, but even then, Trey Sermon could be activated and steal a lot of carries. Other than those two, there aren’t any obvious guys worthy of top claims. 

It’s a blessing and a curse to have a top waiver claim this early in the season. It’s easy to wait for a “sure thing” (like when a starting RB tears an ACL and his handcuff is a clear long-term starter), but sometimes you wait up waiting until Week 7 and watch all sorts of valuable players scooped up while you settle for free agent scraps every week. The one good thing about using a top claim early is it probably won’t be long until you’re back toward the top again, so if you have a good feeling about Mitchell or you really need a back who gets guaranteed touches like Ingram, don’t be afraid to stake your claim.

Unless otherwise noted, only players owned in fewer than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues considered.

Raheem Mostert (knee) didn’t last a half, and for some reason still unknown to us, Trey Sermon was a healthy scratch. That left Mitchell as San Francisco’s primary back in a highly favorable matchup in Detroit. He delivered with 104 yards and a TD on 19 carries. He handled every RB carry after Mostert went out except for a JaMychal Hasty three-yard TD run. It’s unclear if Mostert or Sermon will play next week, but Mitchell has still proven he’s worth adding. Clearly the 49ers coaching staff likes him, and he has the kind of explosive all-around ability to shine in Kyle Shanahan’s offense. Pending news on San Francisco’s other backs throughout the week, Mitchell is a legit flex next week in Philadelphia. —Matt Lutovsky

We knew we didn’t know much when it came to the Texans RBs, and after one week, we still can’t definitely say who’s going to be the best back over the course of the season. However, Ingram was clearly “the guy” after one week, leading the team in carries (26) and rushing yards (85) bywide margin. All three key RBs scored (David Johnson on a reception, Phillip Lindsay on a five-yard run), so, again, we can’t say Ingram will last long in the lead back role, but after a successful Week 1, we don’t see things changing next week against the Browns. We wouldn’t necessarily start him next week in Cleveland(not every opponent will be as friendly as the Jags, after all), but he’s obviously worth having. —ML

Bell and Murray are the next men up in the Ravens’ RB room after a trio of unfortunate season-ending injuries to JK Dobbins (ACL), Gus Edwards (ACL), and Justice Hill (Achilles’). Ty’Son Williams is no longer under-the-radar, but Bell and Murray are still available in a ton of leagues. Who knows how the touches will be divvied up on a weekly basis, but it’s worth taking a flier on this ambiguous backfield. Neitherplayer is all that attractive in PPR leagues because of the Ravens’ system, but both could present value in standard leagues down the road. —Jackson Sparks

Kirk has been a popular fantasy sleeper in the past, but after the additions of A.J. Green and Rondale Moore, Kirkwas almost a complete afterthought in drafts this year. Well, he made fantasy owners pay, catching all five targets thrown his way for 70 yards and two scores. He’ll have big days like this in Arizona’s high-powered offense, but not all matchups will be as favorable as this one in Tennessee. Next week’s in Minnesota is solid, though, so Kirk will be on the WR3 bubble. –ML

Agholor was quietly a solid fantasy WR last year, and he looked like Mac Jones’ No. 1 WR in Week 1. He had two fewer targets than Jakobi Meyers but ended up with five catches (seven targets) for 74 yards, and a touchdown. He is New England’s best deep threat and scored the Pats’ lone touchdown on red-zone target. His matchup with the Jets in Week 2 makes him an attractive play at the flex spot. —JS

Winston looked strong running Sean Payton’s offense and will be a viable starter moving forward. While he passed for fewer than 200 yards, he was ultra-efficient and finished with five touchdowns. We can expect his yardage to pick up when the Saints aren’t blowing people out, and we like Winston’s chances next week at Carolina. -JS

Fantasy owners are always looking for breakout TEs, and there’s usually at least one who emerges every year. After catching two TDs against the Packers in Week 1, Johnson, a converted WR, has that breakout vibe to him. To be fair, Johnson had just three catches (three targets) and 27 yards while teammate Adam Trautman had six targets, but even if Johnson is just the primary TE in the red zone, that will give him value. If you were one of the last people in your league to grab a TE and you’re planning to play the streaming game, Johnson is worth adding now. –ML

Although Coleman had a bad game (nine carries, 24 yards), but everyone not named Corey Davis on the Jets had a bad game, so we won’t worry about that too much. More important is that he was clearly the lead back in the Jets’ backfield, at least early on. Ty Johnson (4-15) and Michael Carter (4-6) were also involved but clearly failed to impress. You shouldn’t bang the drum to go grab any of these guys, but especially in deep leagues, touches matter. At some point, maybe Coleman will make an impact. If you must have a piece of this backfield, Coleman is the guy based on early indications, but he’s not worth starting next week against the Patriots.— JS

Gainwell netted 11 touches (two catches) for 43 total yards and a touchdown in his NFL debut. He impressed early, and it’s obvious he’ll be a factor in this Eagles offense that looked good against Atlanta in Week 1. The Eagles host the 49ers’ in Week 2, and we saw San Francisco’s defense wasn’t the elite one we expected early on. It will be tough to start Gainwell in any format, but he’s a great stash and priority handcuff for Miles Sanders owners. –JS

White looks like he will get the same opportunities he did with Tom Brady — targets, targets, targets. Don’t go out and get him in standard leagues, but an RB who is a shoo-in for at least five targets a game certainly has value in PPR. In Week 1, he was targeted seven times, yielding six catches and 49 yards. He also got four carries but didn’t do much with them. In deep leagues especially, he has starter potential at the flex spot. Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson both lost fumbles vs. Miami, so White could see an increased workload. He plays a bad Jets defense in Week 2. —JS

Moore caught four-of-five targets for 68 yards against Tennessee. As expected, the Cardinals used four-wide receiver sets very often in this game and will continue to do so moving forward. He was also targeted on a deep ball in the end zone, so Kyler Murray obviously trusts him. Arizona will host Minnesota in Week 2, so Moore is definitely an attractive flex consideration in deeper leagues. — JS

Reagor was another Eagle who impressed in Week 1, catching all six targets for 49 yards and a touchdown. DeVonta Smith had just two more targets, so Reagor still looks to get work. In deeper leagues, he’s well worth a roster spot. He’ll take on the 49ers in Week 2. — JS

Shepard was easily the most productive player on Giants’ offense, grabbing seven passes for 113 yards and a touchdown vs. Denver. While this is a bad team with a bad QB, the target-hog in an offense is always valuable, especially in PPR. The Giants play Washington on the road in Week 2, so it’s tough to start Shepard immediately if you do grab him. — JS

Pascal always sits on the bubble of being fantasy-relevant, and he was definitely a viable option in Week 1. He caught four passes for 43 yards and two touchdowns against Seattle. With T.Y. Hilton (neck) out, many looked to Michael Pittman or Paris Campbell, but Pascal cannot be forgotten in this attack. Next week, the Colts host the Rams, so he obviously faces a tough matchup, but he has some upside as a deep-league streamer. — JS

Patrick recorded more receptions than Courtland Sutton this week (four to one) and looked comfortable with Teddy Bridgewater early on. Jerry Jeudy went down with a high-ankle sprain and will likely miss aroun da month, so Patrick could step into the No. 2 WR role. Next week, the Broncos play the Jaguars, a juicy matchup against the team that just let the Texans steamroll them. — JS

To come after the Sunday night game

Jones looks to have fully taken on the Latavius Murray role as Alvin Kamara’s handcuff with standalone value. He had 12 total touches for 53 yards against the Packers and squares off with the Panthers next week. It’s always tough to start a backup RB, but in super-deep leagues, he may be worth consideration. At the very least, he’s a must-have handcuff.— JS

Lindsay was clearly behind Mark Ingram (26 carries, 85 yards, TD) on the depth chart, but he does seem to be the primary handcuff. He ran eight times for 25 yards and a TD against the Jaguars, and we still don’t trust Ingram to last long in the lead-back role. Lindsay is a worthwhile stash, though he shouldn’t be started next week against Cleveland. — ML

Johnson did about what we expected in Week 1 — six total touches (three carries, three receptions) for just 28 total yards. However, one of those catches went for a TD, so we feel obligated to mention him. Mark Ingram (26 carries, 85 rushing yards, TD) was clearly Houston’s “lead back,” and even Phillip Lindsay (eight carries, 25 yards, TD) was more involved in the running game. However, we don’t trust Ingram to last all year, and Johnson does seem to at least be established as a the “receiving back.” That might be worth a stash in PPR leagues, especially if you own Ingram. Either way, we need to see more from Johnson before starting him in a matchup like next week against Cleveland.— ML

Hamler recorded 41 yards on three catches and dropped a deep ball when he was wide open the end zone against the Giants. With Jerry Jeudy (ankle) likely out for around a month, Hamler looks to be worth consideration in standard leagues next week at Jacksonville. — JS

Beasley was highly productive last year both in standard and PPR leagues. He picked up where he left off despite the presence of Emmanuel Sanders, posting eight catches (13 targets) and 60 yards against a tough Pittsburgh defense. Buffalo did have some quasi-garbage time late, but it’s clear Buffalo is going to remain pass-happy, which means Stefon Diggs, Sanders, and Gabriel Davis can all eat. Next week against the Dolphins will be another tough one, but Beasley will still be in play in PPR leagues. — ML

Davis is yet another Bills receiver who did work against Pittsburgh, catching two-of-five targets for 40 yards and a TD. Davis is more of a boom-or-bust play most weeks, but those players always have value, especially when the byes kick in. He’s worth stashing, as he’ll see a huge boost in value if Stefon Diggs, Emmanuel Sanders, or Cole Beasley get hurt. He’ll once again be a risky WR3 next week against Miami. — ML

Sanders shook off a nagging foot injury to catch four-of-eight targets for 52 targets against the Steelers in Week 1. There’s nothing special about that line, but the targets should make you take notice. Sanders is worth stashing on your bench, as he can clearly have value as is, and he would take off if any of Stefon Diggs, Gabriel Davis, or Cole Beasley get hurt. Don’t use him next week against Miami, but play the long game. — ML

Njoku looks like he could at least a stream in standard leagues. Against Kansas City, he grabbed three passes for 76 yards and faces Houston in Week 2. Of course, his numbers may be inflated since Odell Beckham Jr. (knee) was inactive, but it’s a noteworthy performance. He won’t be a weekly stud, but Week 2 is one opportunity to play him. — JS

Schultz and Blake Jarwin battled all offseason for the starting tight end spot in Dallas, and Schultz looks like the victor (albeit a one-game sample size). He caught six passes for 45 yards on six targets,while Jarwin caught three passes for 20 yards on four targets. For now, Schultz has to be viewed as the lead tight end, as he was targeted early and often. Helooks to be a solid piece at the tight end spot in PPR leagues. Obviously, we shouldn’t expect Dak Prescott to attempt 58 passes every game, but the Cowboys will be one of the league leaders in passing attempts. Cedrick Wilson could also be in play with the injury of Michael Gallup (calf). —JS

To come after the Sunday night game

Bridgewater is a top streamer candidate heading into a matchup atJacksonville. The Jags allowed Tyrod Taylor to produce north of 300 yards of total offense and throw for two touchdowns. The Broncos offense has much better skill players, so you’d think Bridgewater could be in for a big day. He had a nice performance (264 passing yards, two touchdowns in Week 1), so we can almost expect him to match or do better than that. — JS

It seems like only a matter of time before Fields is named QB1 in Chicago. A Week 2 matchup with the Bengals could be a perfect time to get his career started, but even if he’s firmly on the Bears bench early on, there’s tremendous upside here once he does take over. —JS

Jimmy G looked solid in the opening game at Detroit, but we assume Lance will eventually take the starting nod at some point. For now, he looks to have the Taysom Hill role. He rushed three times and threw a touchdown pass in Week 1. Perhaps this is a sign the 49ers are working toward moving to him to the starting role. After all, they didn’t just use their their overall pick for a glorified Taysom Hill. Get him while his stock is low. —JS

Roethlisberger received a lot of hate coming into this season, but he showed flashes of his former self (and, unfortunately, his new self) against Buffalo.Of course, 188 yards and one passing touchdown wasn’t a flashy stat line, but it was a tough matchup.The Steelers host the Raiders in Week 2, and their secondary struggles have been well documented.It wouldn’t be surprising for Big Ben to have a multi-TD game and a good chunk of yardage at home. —JS

Tua was a mixed bag in Week 1, but he passed for a touchdown and rushed for a touchdown in a tough matchup at New England. In Week 2, Miami hosts the BIlls. We’ve seen how good Buffalo’s defense is this year, but we suspect it won’t be better than New England’s. Will Fuller will be in the lineup and Jaylen Waddle looked good in Week 1, so there is a lot of potential here — perhaps not next week, but definitely down the road. — JS

We’ll excuse Jones for his one TD against a tough Miami defense. He still had 289 yards and didn’t turn it over. Now, with a game under his belt, he should be more comfortable against a bad Jets defense in Week 2. You probably won’t stream him in single-QB leagues, but he’s still worth stashing now in deep leagues since he will be picked up if he plays well again in New York.— ML

Wilson completed 20-of-37 attempts for 258 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. That isn’t too bad of a fantasy performance, but a lot of it was done in garbage time. The good news. New York will get a lot of opportunities in garbage time. The garbage-time QB is an underrated fantasy asset. The Panthers’ offense wasn’t good either, so the score didn’t get too out of hand, but in the future, the Jets will be near the top of the league in passing attempts most weeks. It doesn’t matter when you get fantasy points, it just matters that you do get them. That being said, he plays New England next week, so he should remain on your bench if you have him in single-QB leagues.— JS

The Saints’ defense looked awfully impressive against Aaron Rodgers, so how about playing them in Week 2 against the Sam Darnold-led Panthers. That feels like a smart move, right? — JS

The Packers were absolutely shredded by Jamies Winston and co. in Week 1, but we like their chances in Week 2 vs. Detroit. Jared Goff is no stranger to putting the ball in harm’s way (see the brutal pick-six he threw in Week 1), so there’s an opportunity here for a decent fantasy showing. After such a bad performances, don’t bench your stud defenses for Green Bay, but this group is a streamer candidate. — JS

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