The top Week 2 fantasy waiver wire pickups are brought to you by UPS — “What can Brown do for you?” Sure, it’s a dated reference, but with four — count ’em, four — Browns in our full list (Marquise, Malcolm, A.J., and John), it applies. But fantasy football owners can’t just focus on one surname when making free agent adds. Well, they could, but that would be asinine. Fortunately, we have a few more, non-Browns who will likely be making noise on waivers, including handcuffs for injured starting RBs Joe Mixon (Giovani Bernard) and Tevin Coleman (Raheem Mostert), more breakout WRs (John Ross, Michael Gallup), and a stud rookie TE (T.J. Hockenson).
Because it’s Week 1, it doesn’t take much to get on our full free agent list. Anyone who scored a touchdown or had a bunch of touches is potentially intriguing. It’s likely a few of these guys won’t be heard from again all year, but it’s just as likely one or two of these players becomes a fantasy staple in lineups all season. And just in case you’re already playing the streaming game, we have some matchup-based D/STs at the end of this list.
You don’t want to go overboard with your roster moves after the first week. If you liked a guy as a sleeper 10 days ago, you shouldn’t abandon all hope. But you should always be reacting to new information. If you have a roster spot or two to play with, don’t be afraid to make a move. None of the players headlining this week’s waiver list look to be worth a No. 1 or even a No. 2 claim, but if you’re already toward the bottom of the priority list, go nuts. You never know who you might hit on.
Top fantasy football waiver wire pickups for Week 2
Unless otherwise noted, only players owned in fewer than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues considered.
Giovani Bernard, RB, Bengals. Bernard didn’t do much after Joe Mixon left because of an ankle injury (nine touches, 63 total yards), but we all know every starting running back has potential value. It’s unclear if Mixon will play next week, but with the 49ers on deck, Bernard would be an appealing option.
Marquise Brown, WR, Ravens. “Hollywood” was questionable because of a foot injury ahead of his NFL debut, but he left no question as to his potential fantasy value, catching four of five targets for 147 yards and two TDs against the Dolphins. It needs to be pointed out that he was facing what’s expected to be one of the worst defenses in the NFL, but if Lamar Jackson’s passing improvement is legit, Brown can emerge as his top target and a WR3 in fantasy most weeks.
Malcolm Brown, RB, Rams. It wasn’t shocking to see the Rams rest Todd Gurley more than usual in Week 1, but it was a surprise to see Brown reap the benefits. Playing ahead of Darrell Henderson, Brown had 11 carries for 53 yards and two TDs — the latter stat being the most head-scratching. Gurley returned late and closed out the game, but it’s clear Brown will have a role, at least as long as the Rams are playing with the lead. He’s worth adding even if you don’t own Gurley, and he’s certainly a must-have handcuff for Gurley owners.
Jamison Crowder, WR, Jets. We knew Crowder would be a PPR asset, but we didn’t expect 14 catches (17 targets) for 99 yards in his Jets debut. Despite playing with the lead for over three quarters, the Jets let Sam Darnold air it out 41 times. If they continue to pass that much, Crowder will rack up catches and get enough yards to work as a WR3 in standard formats. He obviously won’t do this every week, but he’s already looking like Darnold’s favorite target.
John Ross III, WR, Bengals. We’ve been waiting for Ross to break out, and he finally looked like the big-play speedster the Bengals were promised when they drafted him No. 9 overall in 2017. He hauled in seven of a team-high 12 targets for 158 yards and two scores against the Seahawks, taking advantage of poor tackling on a 55-yard TD just before halftime. But the targets can’t be ignored. Ross might only be relevant as long as A.J. Green is out, but with a visit from the 49ers next week, he could be in line for another big performance.
For additional waiver wire/free agent possibilities, including more RB injury fill-ins, WR fliers, and D/ST streamers, check out our full Week 2 list.
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