Week 1 is in the books and what a wild ride it was! That means it’s time for our Week 2 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Rankings to help you sort it out!
The inevitable and unpredictable happens in football. Championships are made by your weekly decisions and working the wire when necessary. We plan to help you navigate this process successfully in 2019, week in and week out. For those just tuning in for our TFA #WaiverWireFire, we aim to create a waiver wire article different than the typical.
Most times, fantasy owners find “top 5” or top overall waiver wire adds quite easily. The same names usually appear, making it seem like there are very few options for you. However, we provide a unique, in-depth ranking of the waiver adds for each position. This also includes breakdowns of particular players we want to highlight from our rankings to emphasize their importance or the reasons for their ranking.
Our rankings provide information for owners in deeper leagues and especially for those that are future-minded. For example, we start to discuss a top waiver candidate and raise them up the rankings with enough time for a smart owner to beat out their colleagues. Just to bring this to life, we ranked Malcolm Brown, Gio Bernard, and Tyrell Williams last week as bench stashes and we hope you added them! We want you to be one week ahead of everyone else, using our rankings/codings to identify potential streaming targets and stashes for upcoming weeks.
Below is as big of a list as you will find for players to target on waivers. The goal is to illuminate players that fantasy owners can pick up outside of the most obvious targets. We don’t all play in small leagues, so upping the ante and shedding light on players who would otherwise be ignored is optimal. Only players owned in less than 60% of leagues appear in our waiver wire rankings. We want to talk to you about players you can actually snag.
We included a color code below to help you get all you can from our rankings. The colors highlight what type of waiver add priority each player possesses. Without further ado, here are the Week 1 Waiver Wire Rankings 2019.
Also, be sure to jump into our free slack channel to have all of of your redraft questions answered by our entire team.
Brief Injury Notes:
Week 1 brought it’s a fair share of injuries, unfortunately. From a fantasy perspective, the waivers should be active this week. As always, opportunity presents itself at the sake of another opportunity lost, at least for now. Here are injuries to note.
The Cleveland Browns disappointed in their efforts Sunday versus the Titans, losing 43-13. They’ve got some injuries to worry about too. Baker Mayfield suffered a bruised wrist after being tackled for a safety Sunday. He threw three interceptions in the fourth quarter alone, trying to force it to his playmakers. Mayfield said he is fine for Week 2. Running back and TD vulture Dontrell Hillard suffered a concussion Sunday as well.
Coach Andy Reid announced that Patrick Mahomes sprained his ankle during their bout with the Jags. Tyreek Hill, carted off after a hit from Jalen Ramsey early in the game, is hospitalized for a shoulder injury (sternal clavicular joint injury). It’s safe to say his Week 2 status is questionable at best.
Fellow QB Nick Foles broke his left clavicle in the first quarter of Sunday’s contest and has no time table to return. That leaves sixth-round Gardner Minshew to take the reins, for now at least. He completed 22/25 passes for 275 yards and two TDs after taking over in the first quarter. Option for two QB leagues or perhaps a streamer in future weeks. Colts WR Devin Funchess also suffered a broken collarbone and surgery is likely.
Albert Wilson left the game with a calf injury–the same one that limited him earlier in the week. Running backs Joe Mixon and Tevin Coleman both left their respective games with ankle injuries and did not return. It’s confirmed that Coleman will miss at least some time, while updates are pending on Mixon (MRI, believed to be sprained ankle).
LA Charger Mike Williams left with a knee injury and did not return. If he should miss time, this bumps up Keenan Allen, Hunter Henry, and Austin Ekeler’s target share most likely. Juju Smith-Schuster sustained a toe injury but says he will be OK for Week 2. Oft-injured Derrius Guice is injured once again, this time to the opposite knee. His MRI should confirm today that he will be out for several weeks. Adrian Peterson should take on early-down duties, with Chis Thompson retaining his third-down/receiving role out of the backfield.
Week 2 Waiver Wire Rankings
Green = Top Waiver Option (prioritize)
Red = Players to who are currently out/injured but returning, could represent an edge
Gold = Streaming Target (value for at least one week due to matchup, etc.)
Blue = Bench Stash (Potential Value if you have a bench spot available)
Purple = Deep League Stash (could develop value with key injuries or opportunity. Pick up and hold for now)
- Matthew Stafford
- Derek Carr
- Sam Darnold
- Jimmy Garoppolo
- Josh Allen
- Marcus Mariota
- Andy Dalton
- Gardner Minshew
- Case Keenum
- Jacoby Brissett
Matthew Stafford – After being ignored during draft season, Stafford reminded all of us that he can still be a solid option at QB. He finished with 385 yards and 3 TDs good for 27 fantasy points. While his performance was aided by overtime that ended in a tie, it was still his best performance since 2017. The Lions’ offense key acquisitions also played a big role in his performance. Danny Amendola and rookie TE TJ Hockenson appear to be major upgrades for an offense that relied solely on Kenny Golladay in 2018. While the Lions want to be a run-first offense, they will likely face negative game scripts the next few weeks with matchups against the Chargers, Eagles, and Chiefs before their week 5 bye.
Derek Carr – After all of the drama that has surrounded the Raiders the last few weeks, it’s hard not to feel good for the Raiders who desperately needed some positivity injected into their veins after all of the AB drama. The Raiders defeated the Denver Broncos at home 24-16. Derek Carr wasn’t spectacular with 259 yards and a touchdown on 22-of-29 pass completions. Next up the Raiders will take on a Chiefs defense that was just torced by rookie QB in Gardner Minshew. Carr has QB1 upside this week due in large part of the Chiefs poor defense and with bring 8 point underdogs at home, the Raiders should be in a positive game script the entire game.
Sam Darnold – This wasn’t a pretty performance for Sam Darnold but it’s not really his fault as he was under duress most of the day. He was sacked four times and only had 175 passing despite passing 41 times. It should be mentioned the Bills allowed the fewest points to the position last season and they have picked up where they left off. This week the Jets have a home matchup on Monday night football against a Browns defense that was just throttled by the Titans. Darnold is one of the top streaming options heading into Week 2.
Josh Allen -His rushing upside alone makes for an intriguing weekly option. Despite a poor performance agaisnt the Jets he still managed 16 fantasy points. This week the Bills will get a matchup against a Giants defense that was roasted by the Cowboys and Dak Precott. Allen makes for a borderline QB1 this week and should be a viable streaming option.
- Malcolm Brown
- Gio Bernard
- Chris Thompson
- Raheem Mostert
- Rex Burkhead
- Justin Jackson
- Alexander Mattison
- Justice Hill
- Darren Sproles
- Ronald Jones
- Ito Smith
- Gus Edwards
- Chase Edmonds
- CJ Anderson
- Mike Davis
My interest in Gio Bernard increased towards the end of the summer, when coaches noted they planned to expand his role. Then, Joe Mixon left Sunday’s game with an ankle injury, not to return. The team is getting an MRI to determine the extent, deemed a sprained ankle at this point. If he should miss time, Bernard should transition into the RB1 role, including his involvement in the receiving game.
Gio rushed seven times for 21 yards and caught two for 42 yards, in a game where the rush was abandoned early on. The Bengals shouldn’t be forced to throw 51 times this week versus the SF 49ers. SF just allowed 100+ yards to the likes of Ronald Jones and Payton Barber, so I’m confident Bernard is in the RB2/3 conversation if Mixon is out or limited. He isn’t a sexy pick, but a direct handcuff with standalone value should be more than 14% owned (yahoo leagues).
I deemed Malcolm Brown one my undervalued fantasy targets earlier this season. Many believed Darrell Henderson to be Todd Gurley’s handcuff and direct beneficiary should he miss time or need a timeshare. But, the Rams decisions told a different story. LA matched Malcolm Brown’s $3.3 million dollar offer sheet to keep him and didn’t play him in preseason.
In Week 1, Malcolm Brown rushed 11 times for for 53 yards and two touchdowns. Todd Gurley received 15 touches (104 all-purpose yards) and ended with a healthy 6.9YPC. This looks to be a timeshare, with Gurley’s ceiling limited due to Brown’s heavy involvement, especially near the goal line. However, Gurley outsnapped Brown by a considerable amount (70% compared to 27% according to FootballGuys). So, he’s on the field a solid amount and his role is safe. Gurley’s efficiency and consistent usage keep him as a RB2 with RB1 weekly upside (touchdown-dependent). Spend that waiver. We tried to tell you earlier!
Who received the 2nd most targets for a running back in Week 1 ? Washington’s Chris Thompson with 10 targets. Thompson represented a late-round target for Zero-RB drafters this summer. Now, we see clearly how the backfield is going to look. Adrian Peterson was a healthy scratch in Week 1, but after Derrius Guice’s knee injury, AP will resume early-down duties. Thompson’s role remains the same, giving him PPR upside every week.
It’ll be tough sledding for Peterson running inside the tackles in the next two weeks, as they face Dallas and the stout Chicago. This is only good news for Thompson’s fantasy value, as Case Keenum will continue to need to dump off and target him in space. Owned in just 14% of Yahoo leagues, Thompson is a great add, particularly in PPR leagues. His role is solidified and they will be playing from behind often.
Color me surprised like you, but Rex Burkhead was heavily involved in NE’s win over Pittsburgh this week. Burkhead ran eight times for 44 yards (5.5 YPC) and caught five for 44. He received eight targets to James White’s seven. I’m not telling you that you’ll feel confident playing Rex every week. But he will have streaming value, especially if Michel struggles. The reason I emphasize that Rex and Michel and every other NE player is streamable in Week 2 because they’re playing Miami. The team that just surrendered 200 yards and two TDs to the Baltimore running backs.
After Tevin Coleman left the game with an ankle injury and Matt Breida (dehydration) sat out part of the game, Raheem Mostert stepped in for SF. He rushed nine times for 40 yards and caught one ball for no gain. Not exactly mind-blowing stats, but Tevin Coleman is currently in a walking boot and SF already said he will miss time. Jerick McKinnon is on IR. Matt Breida will take over as lead back for the 49ers, bumping Mostert up as far as handcuff status.
There’s possible standalone value on a week-to-week basis for Mostert (as long as Coleman remains out) and Week 2 looks like another decent opportunity. The 49ers draw the Cincinnati Bengals, who just gave up 81 yards and two TDs to Seahawks RB Chris Carson. The SF offense struggled to get going or at least keep going after costly penalties stole two would be TDs to Jimmy G’s favorite target, George Kittle. If the offense can get some momentum this week (and it shouldn’t be too hard vs Cincinnati), Mostert could have some streaming value. Either way, he’s a stash at worst and a flex at best.
Thirty-six-year-old Darren Sproles received the same amount of touches out of the Philly backfield as rookie Miles Sanders in Week 1. So, there’s that. Am I going to sell you that Sproles will be your league winner? No. But he received 12 touches in backfield with at least two other mouths to feed. Jordan Howard snagged eight touches and was involved in the passing game. So, who knows how this will shake out from week to week. I will say that Sproles looked spry out there on Sunday and doesn’t seem to have lost a step.
But, the Eagles face the Falcons in Week 2. Atlanta just gave up 120 yards and 2 TDs to Dalvin Cook. There could be streaming potential in deeper leagues here. Also, in the case of injury to either Howard or Sanders, there could be extra touches for Sproles. Considering his 12 touches a game, on a good offense, and 5.2 YPC so far in 2019, Sproles is worth a stash.
Though the summer was a rollercoaster regarding Ito Smith‘s projected role and fantasy appeal, he basically split snaps in Week 1 with top dog Devonta Freeman. Freeman struggled to get going, but Minnesota’s front seven is no joke and made it difficult on the Falcons all day. Smith looked good on his six rushes (31 yards) and showed burst, but this is definitely a stash situation and not a stream in Week 2. Atlanta plays Philly, who allowed just 28 yards on 13 rush attempts in Week 1 (Washington). Week 3’s matchup is much more RB friendly, as the Falcons draw the Colts. The Colts faced the Chargers in Week 1…think Austin Ekeler hulk out. So, Smith could get some opportunities there.
- Marquise Brown
- Mecole Hardman
- Jamison Crowder
- John Brown
- Terry McLaurin
- Danny Amendola
- DK Metcalf
- DJ Chark
- Hunter Renfrow
- Demarcus Robinson
- John Ross
- Chris Conley
- Trey Quinn
- A.J. Brown
- Parris Campbell
- Kenny Stills
- James Washington
- DeVante Parker
- Cole Beasley
- Randall Cobb
- Tre’Quan Smith
- Rishard Higgins
- Preston Williams
- Ryan Switzer
- DaeSean Hamilton
- Golden Tate
- KeeSean Johnson
- Mohamed Sanu
- Nelson Agholor
- Keelan Doss
- Miles Boykin
- KeKe Coutee
Marquise Brown – After missing all of training camp and preseason due to a foot injury, Hollywood Brown exploded week 1 with 147 receiving yards, two touchdowns, on four receptions. He did all of this while playing only 12 snaps. You couldn’t have asked for a better start for the rookie receiver. This week the Ravens will square off against a Cardinals that allowed 385 yards passing to the Lions. Brown figures to be a boom-or-bust flex play moving forward. At worst, he’s certainly earned himself more snaps.
Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson – Tyreek Hill left in the first half of the Jaguars after suffering a shoulder injury. We are still waiting for more information but he could miss as little as two weeks, however, the option is still on the table to put him on the IR designated to return which means he would miss up to six weeks. With that being said, Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson, both become interesting flyers. Hardman is the closest comparison to what Tyreek Hill brings to the table with his 4.3 speed. It is worth noting that Hardman out-snapped Robinson 52-46 and also ran 44% of his routes in the slot. All things considered, Hardman figures to have more weekly upside, while Robinson might have the better floor. The Chiefs upcoming schedule features some juicy opponents. They will square off against the Raiders, Ravens, Lions, Colts, and Texans in the coming weeks. As things stand, both of them are more flex options until things sort themselves out.
Jamison Crowder – Holy hell Batman. Jamison Crowder hauled in 14-of-17 targets for 99 yards. His 41% target share is stuff of legends. His aDOT is not. You don’t need me to tell you that a target share north of 40% is unstainable. However, if he can remain in the low 20% range, he should be a viable WR3/4 on most weeks, especially with Robby Anderson dealing with a calf issue.
John Brown – Heading into the season, the pairing of John Brown with Josh Allen looked like a perfect matchup. We got some confirmation of that on Sunday. Brown hauled in seven-of-ten targets for 123 yards and a touchdown. He also led the team in air yards with 133 and his 27% target share was also far and away the best on the team. Brown looks like a locked-in WR3 for as long as he is getting that kind of volume.
Terry McLaurin – The theme of week 1 was the impressive performances by the rookie wide receivers. The former Ohio St Buckeye was selected in the third round and quickly turned heads over the offseason. He boasts the size (6’0) and speed (4.35) to be more a solid deep threat but could become a real dynamic wide receiver once he becomes a more nuanced route runner. He hauled in 5-of-7 targets for 125 yards and a touchdown. Moving forward, he has the opportunity to seize a weekly target share in the range of 20-25% which makes him an enticing WR3 flex option albeit on a poor Redskins offense.
Danny Amendola – I’m not sure if this was a one week wonder, or something more. We know Stafford loves targeting his slot wide receiver. However, I did not expect him to see 13 targets. It was an impressive day for the journeymen wide receiver. He caught 7-of-13 targets for 104 yards and a touchdown. I would not anticipate this kind of performance on a weekly basis but could be a useful flex option once bye weeks start.
DK Metcalf – Normally when a rookie wide receiver in his first week of action hauls in 4-of-6 targets for 89 yards, we would be raving about how impressive that is but he was overshadowed by the more impressive performances by Brown and McLaurin. Metcalf was the Seahawks leading receiver on the day which also included Tyler Lockett who wasn’t targeted until the second half when he hauled in a 44-yard touchdown grab. Metcalf has the opportunity to carve out a solid weekly target share. It’s within the range of outcomes for Metcalf to even lead the team in targets this season, especially how little depth the team has at the position. His upside makes him a viable add this week, but I wouldn’t expect the same type of results this week with a matchup on the road against the Steelers on tap.
DJ Chark – The writing was on the wall for the second-year wide receiver to breakout in 2019. The coaching staff raved about DJ Chark all offseason, however, no one in the fantasy community bought into him. Chark has impressive measurables standing 6’4 200 pounds and boasts 98th percentile speed (4.34) and 93rd percentile burst. He followed up his strong offseason with absolutely roasting the Chiefs secondary. He finished with 146 yards and a touchdown. The biggest concern with him are two factors. One issue is the injury to Nick Foles who will miss at least 8 weeks with a shoulder injury. Second is the crowded wide receiver core. He is in an offense with DeDe Westbrook, Chris Conley, and Marqise Lee. While I think Chark has the potential to be an elite deep threat who could develop into a nuanced route runner, I would rather take the wait and see approach with him. With so many options this week, I would probably wait until after waivers process to take a flier on him.
John Ross – We have waited the last few years to finally witness a true breakout game from the former first-round pick out of Washington. Ross secured seven-of-12 targets for 158 yards and two touchdowns in a tough road matchup against the Seahawks. I’m not really sure what to make of this performance. It could be that Zac Taylor is finally using the speedster the correct way or this is just a one-hit-wonder performance. I’m not ready to go all-in on Ross. He’s another player I would spend a ton of FAAB on to find out. Especially with the return of AJ Green only a few weeks away.
Parris Campbell – He did to move the needle yesterday against the Chargers. What intrigues me is the loss of Devin Funchess who broke his collarbone. The door is firmly open for Campbell to be the teams No2 or 3 WR, which is admittedly not as exciting without Andrew Luck tossing the rock. This is purely an upside play and is nothing more than a WR5 or 6 at best with Deon Cain competing for targets.
PPR Fliers – Cole Beasley, Hunter Renfrow, and Ryan Switzer all have a few things in common. They are all white, short, and are perfect slot receivers but have varying degrees of upside. Renfrow could have the highest with the departure of Antonio Brown, although I would prefer Tyrell Williams if he was available. Switzer is on the best offense butis the 4th or 5th option on most weeks. Beasley will certainly have usable weeks and maybe nice stash for bye weeks.
Golden Tate – Has three more weeks until he’s available. Available in more than 40% of Yahoo leagues. Worthy of a stash if you have room on your bench, although, if last season is any indication, I wouldn’t go out of my way to acquire him.
- TJ Hockenson
- Darren Waller
- Jimmy Graham
- Tyler Higbee
- Jordan Reed/Vernon Davis
- CJ Uzomah
- Chris Herndon
- Jack Doyle
- Noah Fant
- Mike Gesicki
I just want to say, I keep seeing Mark Andrews on waiver wire articles. This is exactly what we mean when we say it’s difficult to find in-depth or unique waiver rankings. Mark Andrews is owned in almost 80% of leagues. If the chances are that he isn’t on your waivers, we aren’t going to write them up like you can snag them. If he IS there, grab him.
Duder. Rookie tight end TJ Hockenson rocked out this Sunday, to the tune of 131 yards on six catches and a TD. He currently leads all TEs in fantasy points. We knew that Arizona defense was a mess, so we can’t expect monster hauls every week. But, fantasy owners can be confident with his involvement and take advantage if he’s still available.
Hockenson has great chemistry with Matthew Stafford who hits TJ in stride–giving him a chance for yards after catch. He looms large as a 6’5″ and 240lbs target in the middle of the field. The Lions face the Chargers in Week 2, which won’t be as soft as the Cardinals. In addition, Stafford won’t throw 45 passes per game, especially since they’re trying to lean more on their run overall in 2019. So, temper your expectations, but he the #1 TE waiver add by far.
Jimmy Graham leaped over a guy, caught three of six targets for 30 yards and a TD, and reminded all of us that he’s clutch. I’m not saying this is the fantasy production we will see consistently, but Graham represented the lone TD and bright point for a struggling Packers offense on Thursday. Chicago defense is legit, so don’t overreact to the offensive blunder too much. However, I think we can extrapolate that Jimmy holds potential in an inconsistent and frustrating fantasy position.
As if we needed to add another Rams offensive piece to add to their fantasy puzzle–tight end Tyler Higbee represents a decent stash/streaming option. Higbee out-snapped fellow TE Gerald Everett (52% compared to 39%) and snagged four for 20 yards and a TD. That’s good for double-digit PPR points and #11 fantasy TE on the week.
The Rams host the Saints for their first home game of the 2019 season in Week 2. This could have shootout potential, but the Saints were decent in defending against the TE position last season. You might feel more comfortable stashing Higbee this week and streaming him versus Cleveland in Week 3. The Browns just gave up five for 55 yards and TWO TDs to veteran TE Delanie Walker.
The Dallas Cowboys were in the bottom half as far as TE points scored against them in 2018. In Week 1, Giants tight end Evan Engram caught 11 passes for 116 yards and a touchdown. The Washington Redskins face the Cowboys in Week 2. Now, it gets tricky. Jordan Reed was inactive due to not passing the concussion protocol in time to play Week 1.
If Reed remains inactive or is on a snap count for Week 2, Vernon Davis becomes a streamable option. Last week, Davis saw seven targets, catching four of them for 59 yards and one TD. The majority of his yards and the TD came on one big play, where Davis hurdled a defender and somehow stayed in bounds. I guess our seasoned TEs (remember Graham’s similar hurdle) are trying to show they still have some ups. If Reed is active, I would play him but it’s risky as always.
Though I hoped that Tyler Eifert might be a good streaming option this season, it is looking more like both he and CJ Uzomah will be involved. Uzomah actually saw more snaps (54) than Eifert (38) and both saw a similar number of targets (5-6). This could be a situation like the Colts, where both tight ends eat away at each other’s fantasy value. CJ caught four for 66 yards and Eifert caught five for 27 yards. This is a stash for deeper leagues, especially because I’m doubtful that Andy Dalton passes the ball 51 times every week.
Thank you for joining us for the first TFA #WaiverWireFire of the season. We hope our Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Rankings help you start the fantasy football season successfully. Check back weekly for our waiver rankings and follow Kevin at @FantasyWrath13 and Jen at @TheOnlyJenSmith ! The Fantasy Authority will have great DFS and redraft articles all season long, so check out our content! Don’t forget about our free slack community where you can interact with TFA writers and get advice and banter live!