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, Winston, and Kirk are no stranger to fantasy rosters, but few expected them to shine the way they did right away.

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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. 

Quarterback | Running Back | Wide Receiver | Tight End | D/ST | Kicker

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. (Update: Mostert is expected to miss around eight weeks, giving Mitchell even more upside going forward.) Other than those two, there aren’t any obvious guys worthy of top claims. 

Quarterback | Running Back | Wide Receiver | Tight End | D/ST | Kicker

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.

WEEK 2 DFS LINEUPS: DraftKings | FanDuelYahoo

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

    UPDATE:Mostert is expected to miss the rest of the regular season with chipped cartilage in his knee.

  • 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

  • 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

  • Ty’SonWilliams got the start at RB and looked good early, finishing with 65 rushing yards and a score on just 10 carries while adding another 29 receiving yards on three catches. So, why are we mentioning Murray? Well, he actually wound up with one more carry than Williams and alsoscored a touchdown. He managed just 28 yards on the ground, but considering he had been with the team for less than a week, it’s a bit curious he led all backs in rushes. Unless Williams really runs away with the job in the next game or two, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Murray continue to eat into his touches. In the Ravens’ system, two backs can have fantasy value, so Murray is worth a pickup based on that alone if you’re in one of the 36 percent of Yahoo leagues where he’s available. (Check to make sure he wasn’t dropped and forgotten about after the Saints released him last week.)If he takes over as Baltimore’sprimary back, which is very possible, his value will really take off. He could even be worth using as a flex next week against the Chiefs. —ML

  • 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

  • Jerry Jeudy figures to miss at least the next three or fourgames because of a high ankle sprain, which opens the door for Patrick or K.J. Hamler to step in and function as the WR2 opposite Courtland Sutton. In Week 1, Patrick caught all four of his targets for 39 yards and a score. Hamler caught three-of-four targets for 41 yards, but the lone misfire to him would have been a long TD hadHamler notdropped it in the end zone. Clearly, both have upside, but we like the 6-4, 212-pound Patrick to get more opportunities in the red zone and be aworthwhile WR3 candidate most weeks. With the Jaguars and Jets on tap the next weeks, Patrick could be in for a run of nice games. —ML

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Watkins came up big in his debut with the Ravens on Monday, leading the team in targets (8) and yards (96). Obviously, Watkins isn’t worth a waiver pickup based on that line, but the targets make him at least somewhat interesting going forward. He should be in line for a decent amount next week against the Chiefs in what could be a shootout. It’s not a bad idea to stash him now in case he becomes a more coveted free agent heading into Week 3. –ML

  • Edwards had just one target and no catchesuntil the final 37 seconds of regulation on Monday. From that point on, he caught four passes for 81 yards and came within a half-yard of scoring a walk-off touchdown. Ultimately, it’s tough to get too excited about that performance, but Edwards entered the season with some sleeper buzz and came up big when it mattered most for Vegas. Darren Waller is clearly the Raiders’No. 1 receiver, but Edwards, Hunter Renfrow (6-70 on nine targets), and Henry Ruggs III (2-46 on five targets) are very much in a battle for the No. 2 job. Renfrow might be the guy to add in PPR leagues and Ruggs has more boom-or-bust upside, but Edwards can be a mix of both. For now, he’s probably no more than a watchlist guy, but if he produces against the Steelers in Week 2, he’ll be worth adding. –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

  • Rountree had just 27 yards on eight carries in Week 1, so it’s not like he’s some “must-have pickup,” but he was clearly operating as the Chargers’ primary backup ahead of Justin Jackson (one carry) and Joshua Kelley (inactive). The rookie out of Mizzou is a tough inside runner and has a little burst, so he could be in line for a bigger role going forward. Either way, Ekeler is undersized, somewhat brittle, and has already dealt with a hamstring injury this year. His handcuff is one you want, even if you don’t own him. LR3 is that guy. —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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Is Carr a priority fantasy pickup? Not at all, especially with the Steelers on tap in Week 2 and the Dolphins after that in Week 3. But it’s worth remembering that he finished as the QB13 in fantasy leagues last year. After his 435-yard, two-TD performance against a solid Baltimore defense on Monday night, it’s entirely possible he dinks-and-dunks his way to another starting-caliber year. To be fair, Carr’s stats looked pretty pedestrian less night until the final 37 seconds of regulation and the overtime, but he was solid last year, so why couldn’t he a legit bench option/matchup-based streamer in single-QB leagues again? —ML

  • 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 Giants weren’t particularly impressive in their opener, but getting Taylor Heinicke and Washington on a short week — even on the road — could be what they need to jump start the defense. This is a solid unit that should be in line for a nice Week 2.

  • The Panthers are owned in 53 percent of Yahoo leagues, but they should be owned in more after a solid Week 1 against the Jets. Jameis Winston and the Saints looked sharp in their opener, but we know Winston is not the best decision-maker. Perhaps he’s put that in his past, but we’re willing to test him again with the Panthers’ big-play defense this week. —ML

  • 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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