Fantasy Football Week 2 Waiver Wire: Down With Brown
For our Week 2 waiver wire article, we have a crazy Week 1 to cover. This is arguably the most important week to capitalize on waivers, as it was our first time seeing many of these teams and their respective offenses. We had so many players come out of nowhere to gain fantasy value and our goal here is to spread the wealth and discuss which players I’ll be reaching out for on my waiver wires. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the Week 2 waiver wire.
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Week 2 Waiver Wire: Must-Adds
Marquise Brown, WR (BAL)
It was hard not to be intrigued by the first-round pick after seeing his elite speed in training camp but it was always a question of whether the Ravens could support a top receiver. They did more than that in Week 1, with Lamar Jackson throwing for 324 yards and 5 TDs in a 59-10 dismantling of the Miami Dolphins. Brown helped to do most of that damage, providing four catches for 147 yards and two touchdowns. He picked up all of that production in about one half of play and they’ll surely add to the 12 snaps that he saw here. This is a guy who was an absolute beast in college, setting a record with 19.7 yards per reception. Look for this to be the new-age Mike Wallace.
T.J. Hockenson, TE (DET)
There are a lot of fantasy teams looking for a tight end and Hockenson should definitely be the most sought out player at that position. He had all of the talent in the world as the 8th-overall pick out of Iowa and it didn’t take much time for Matthew Stafford to establish him as one of his go-to receivers. Six catches for 131 yards and a TD is impressive in itself but he also ranked second on the team with nine targets. It usually takes a rookie tight end some time to find their way into an offense but it’s clear that he’s automatically become one of the focal points of this unit. Playing 64 of the team’s 88 snaps only emphasizes just how much they love him, as that’s a ridiculous total from a rookie TE playing his first game.
Malcolm Brown, RB (LAR)
If you happen to own Todd Gurley and don’t own Brown, stop reading this and go to your waiver wire to put in a claim. Many people had Darrell Henderson pegged as the handcuff for Gurley but he actually failed to record a touch in this game. While Gurley led the Rams with 14 carries and 97 rushing yards, Brown provided 11 carries for 53 yards and two TDs. That has to make one believe that he’ll have a role no matter what, simply because the Rams have discussed limiting Gurley’s touches this season.
John Brown, WR (BUF)
It’s strange to see a number-one receiver sitting on most waiver wires but that’s the case with Brown. While playing for the Bills may be a negative in many eyes, I see it as a positive. The simple fact is, his team will be losing a lot and that will open the door for a career-year in terms of targets. His Week 1 production showed just that, as he led the Bills with seven receptions, 123 yards, and one TD on a team-high 10 targets. He also played on nearly every single snap, playing 59 of the 69 total offensive snaps.
Ronald Jones II, RB (TB)
We have been waiting for a Buccaneers running back to emerge since the Cadillac Williams-Warrick Dunn days and fans have to be hopeful that Jones is their guy. Week 1 is a good indication of the strides he made in the offseason, as he led the backfield with 13 carries for 75 yards. Taking that leap in your sophomore season is something we’ve seen from many running backs before and making him an early second-round pick out of USC should garner him at least a chance to succeed.
Michael Gallup and DeSean Jackson are widely-owned but they’re both in consideration as waiver wire targets after combining for nearly 300 receiving yards in Week 1.
Deep League Waivers
John Ross, WR (CIN)
With A.J. Green sidelined for at least two more weeks, Ross might be a sneaky pickup. Many people were high on him out of college when he ran a 4.22 40-yard dash at the combine and he showed signs of that brilliance in Week 1. Against a stound Seattle defense, Ross led the Bengals with seven catches, 158 yards, and two TDs on 12 targets. Those amazing statistics obviously led the way for the Bengals across the board and it’s clear he’s going to benefit from Tyler Boyd seeing the opposing team’s top corner. Cincinnati being one of the worst teams in the league only adds to Ross’ value, as he should see plenty of targets with the Bengals trailing regularly. Amazingly, Ross played 61 of the teams 77 snaps, which was actually more than Tyler Boyd.
Giovani Bernard, RB (CIN)
If Joe Mixon (ankle) misses any amount of time, Bernard is probably the biggest waiver wire pickup of the week. In the two games without Mixon last season, Bernard had 27 carries for 130 rushing yards while providing nine receptions for an additional 52 receiving yards. He also provided three touchdowns in that two-game span, as he did similar damage at the end of 2017. Over his last five fixtures in 2017, Gio averaged 101.4 yards from scrimmage, flirting with 20 touches per game. That’s the production of an RB2 in fantasy and it’s going to be tough to fade that if Mixon does miss any time.
Jamison Crowder, WR (NYJ)
This is yet another WR on a bad offense who should thrive because of usage. In his first game with the Jets, he led the team with 14 receptions for 99 yards. More importantly, he had an absurd 17 targets, which happened to be the highest total in the NFL. That’s impossible to overlook and it’s clear that Sam Darnold is comfortable making Crowder his safety blanket when plays inevitably break down. It appears they want Crowder playing a ton too, as he played 65 of the team’s 72 snaps.
DeVante Parker, WR (MIA)
Parker has appeared in numerous busts articles of mine throughout the years but he’s finally worth a shot in deep leagues with people giving up on him. The simple fact is, he’s the only solidified WR on this team. Kenny Stills is now in Houston and it was pretty obvious that Ryan Fitzpatrick had an eye for Parker in Week 1. In fact, he led the team with seven targets and 75 receiving yards, doing most of that damage before being pulled in that 59-10 walloping. He also averaged 23.4 targeted air yards, which happened to be the second-best mark in the NFL. As long as he has Fitz throwing at will and as long as the Dolphins keep losing, Parker should fall into fantasy value through sheer volume.
Terry McLaurin and D.J. Chark each had breakout games in Week 1 and are both waiver wire fliers despite their limited target share. McLaurin actually played 62 of the team’s 67 snaps while Chark played 41 of the Jags 58 snaps.
Last-Minute Week 2 Waiver Wire Additions
Derrius Guice is expected to miss at least one week, which opens the door for Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson to get more touches.
Darren Waller led the Raiders with seven catches for 70 yards on eight targets and looks like the apple of Derek Carr’s eye.
If you’re looking for defensive streamers, check back on Thursday morning.
If you’d like to see more of my work or have any questions, reach me on Twitter @Bartilottajoel
Joel Bartilotta is a fantasy addict who gets paid to write about his addiction. He writes for FantasyPros, RotoWire, Razzball and now Fantrax. Joel is a basketball lifer but he also covers MLB and NFL.
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