It’s finally here. The first in-season waiver wire column of the 2022 fantasy football season. Ahead of Week 2, there are already a few injuries to navigate. Fantasy football managers may also be licking their wounds from poor Week 1 performances, as well. The good news is there are plenty of names to consider on the Week 2 waiver wire. While I don’t think any of them present immediate league-winning upside, it’s important to sift through this group of players and identify those that present the most potential value for any point of the 2022 fantasy football season.
You may be dealing with injuries, bye weeks, or just need to cycle out players from your bench. Whatever the case may be, the waiver wire is there to help. There’s not always a need to put in a claim for players each week, but if you do, make it count. Below, we’ll look at players at each position, who are on 50% or less of most fantasy football rosters, that could be considered on the Week 2 waiver wire.
Week 2 Waiver Wire By Position
Darrell Henderson, Los Angeles Rams
I’ll make things easy for you to start my Week 2 waiver wire column. If Darrell Henderson is available, he should be everyone’s top waiver wire claim. The Ram’s offensive line doesn’t look particularly good, but not many lines would against the Buffalo Bills’ defensive front. Even so, Henderson is the guy in this Rams backfield. In a game where volume is king, Henderson’s 18 touches absolutely dominated the next closest back’s totals, Cam Akers’ three. Henderson is realistically available in some leagues after going undrafted! Double check! Now check again!
Jeff Wilson, Jr., Jordan Mason, Tyrion David Price, San Francisco 49ers
Elijah Mitchell is expected to miss roughly eight weeks following a Week 1 knee injury. In his place, after his injury, Jeff Wilson led the team in carries. While rookie, Tyrion-David Price, was a healthy scratch, he will now likely suit up for the team moving forward.
As for what to do on the Week 2 waiver wire, I’m targeting Mason if I don’t need a starting running back right away. Jeff Wilson is the quick plug-and-play but has a lengthy injury history of his own. I love David-Price’s potential, but I just don’t trust head coach Kyle Shanahan enough to give him a fantasy friendly workload, especially after his treatment of Trey Sermon from last year. Remember, too, that Deebo Samuel and Trey Lance will continue to see carries of their own. That will make matters messy for the San Francisco run game from a fantasy football perspective. I am personally avoiding this backfield, but I definitely understand the appeal.
Jamaal Williams, Detroit Lions
D’Andre Swift is the clear top running back on this team. He’s running behind arguably the best offensive line in football, and running well, with 144 rushing yards alone after just one week. Williams, behind Swift, is one of this season’s top handcuffs to add on the waiver wire. Of his 11 carries, three of them were inside the five-yard line. He scored two touchdowns for the first time in his career and is very much a must-add in all fantasy football formats. Just don’t expect him to start every week unless Swift is out for whatever reason.
Dontrell Hilliard, Tennessee Titans
Dontrell Hilliard is no longer just the handcuff to Derrick Henry. He is valuable to add to any fantasy football roster off of the waiver wire this week. If Derrick Henry were to go down, Hilliard becomes far more of an asset. Of the two backs to replace Henry last season, Hilliard remains on this year’s roster. In Week 1, on just 18% of the Titans’ offensive snaps, Hilliard scored twice as a pass catcher on four targets. His second touchdown helped the Titans take the lead in the third quarter. Hilliard should mix in more in a receiving role, but this will continue to be Derrick Henry’s show on the ground until further notice. All managers with Henry must add Hilliard.
Khalil Herbert, Chicago Bears
Herbert is just one of three running backs to make the Bears’ initial 53-man roster. In a sloppy weather setting in Week 1, he played 29% of the offensive snaps behind David Montgomery. He’s the most successful ball carrier of the weekend for the Bears averaging 5.0 yards per rush, though on just nine carries. Herbert isn’t going to start on any fantasy rosters any time soon. However, if Montgomery were to go down, which we’ve seen before, Herbert becomes a must-add. Scoop him up now on the Week 2 waiver wire if you have the bench space.
Rex Burkhead, Houston Texans
The 34-year-old veteran’s Week 1 performance is worth discussing. Logging 14 carries and eight targets isn’t something we can completely ignore. Additionally, he burst Dameon Pierce’s debut bubble with 71% of the snaps to Pierce’s 29%. Burkhead is likely going to maintain a receiving role, so he’s worth an add in deeper PPR leagues if you need to. However, on a much lesser amount of snaps, Pierce logged just three less carries. It’s only a matter of time before the rookie is running away with the starting job. I think by Week 5 at the absolute latest, when the Texans host the Jaguars, Pierce will have his first 100-yard rushing game. From there, we’ll never look back.
Isaiah Pacheco is a thing in Kansas City. I just don’t think he’s enough of a thing to prioritize on the Week 2 waiver wire. His 12 carries and 62 yards led all Chiefs led all running backs. He also scored the team’s lone rushing touchdown in a 44-point effort. It was quite meaningless, though, as the team was up 37-15 about halfway through the fourth quarter. Pacheco played on just 23% of snaps while Clyde Edwards-Helaire (39%) and Jerrick McKinnon (39%) played more, especially when the score was closer. Let someone else pick up Pacheco because they just glanced at the box score.
Robbie Anderson, Carolina Panthers
It’s been very touch-and-go for Anderson since joining the Carolina Panthers. He is my top waiver wire add at the wide receiver position after a wonderful Week 1. He led the team in targets (8), receptions (5), receiving yards (102), and scored the only receiving touchdown. His 32% target share is simply too much to let sit in fantasy football free agency. If you need a substitution for Keenan Allen, Chris Godwin, or another banged-up wide receiver, Anderson is the most enticing option.
Julio Jones, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It’s hard to believe Julio Jones is a waiver wire centerpiece and not on as many rosters. Nonetheless, in the wake of Chris Godwin’s hamstring injury, Julio is a must-add for wide receiver needy fantasy football teams. Not only does he have Tom Brady throwing the ball his way, but he is the healthiest he is going to be all season. That’s evident based on his Week 1 performance logging the second-most targets (5) behind just Mike Evans. As the Buccaneers’ WR2, Julio is an automatic flex play, at worst, on most fantasy football rosters.
Kyle Philips, Tennessee Titans
After trading away A.J. Brown, many expect either Robert Woods or first-round rookie, Treylon Burks, to take over as the top wide receiver. Instead, it’s fifth-round pick, Kyle Philips, who led the team in targets in Week 1. In fact, his nine targets were more than Burks (5) and Woods (2) combined. On a team that’s known to be run-heavy, a 29% target share should turn some heads. That makes Philips worth the add on the Week 2 waiver wire.
Donovan Peoples-Jones, Cleveland Browns
We’re really playing with dynamite as some of the wide receiver options on the Week 2 waiver wire feel odd to add. Adding Peoples-Jones is no different. It’s hard to believe a player with his skillset is able to have success with Jacoby Brissett as his quarterback. Peoples-Jones’ 11 targets are nearly 50% of the team’s target share from Week 1 and three more than every other Browns wide receiver combined. Six catches for 60 yards isn’t exactly the result you want from 11 targets, but that’s to be expected, again, with Brissett throwing the ball. DPJ is worth the add, just not worth the start. I’m not dropping too many of the guys I drafted for him just yet.
Curtis Samuel, Washington Commanders
Curtis Samuel’s best day in Washington came in Week 1 of 2022 after a miserable last two seasons riddled with injuries. He, like the aforementioned Peoples-Jones, logged 11 targets in the first game of the season, as well. Still, just 72 total yards on 13 opportunities, counting his two rushing attempts, is underwhelming. He did find the end zone, however, which is always a good thing. I like Samuel to continue to mix into the run game similarly to how he was used in Carolina under Ron Rivera just three seasons ago.
Noah Brown‘s 11.8 PPR points are nice to see on paper. If you dive a bit deeper, though, 8.9 of them were scored on Dallas’ final two drives. To make matters worse, it all came in the final seven minutes while down 16 points. Above all else, the entire Cowboys offense gets a downgrade as they scramble to figure out how to replace Dak Prescott at quarterback. Brown isn’t worth a waiver wire claim in any league format ahead of Week 2.
Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Chargers
It’s Travis Kelce and then a whole bunch of guys trying to dethrone him as the top tight end. Gerald Everett is in the mix on a new team in 2022. He had a typical successful streamer day for a tight end hauling in three of his four targets for 54 yards and a score. His four targets tied four other Chargers as a team-high. It’s hard to trust Everett, like most tight ends, to have this sort of success each week. He does play Thursday night against a Chiefs team that just allowed Zach Ertz in the end zone last week, as well.
O.J. Howard leads all tight ends after Week 1 with two receiving touchdowns. There are red flags everywhere here, though. Howard’s two targets account for just 5% of the share amongst all Texans from Sunday. Furthermore, he ran just six total routes. It’s great he caught both targets and both resulted in touchdowns. However, it’s very likely we just saw Howard’s best fantasy game of the season. There’s just not enough of a role to chase after here. Leave him in free agency. Other options that are far less touchdown-dependent will be more worth your while.
Carson Wentz, Washington Commanders
Wentz is his own worst enemy for NFL purposes, but his own best friend for fantasy football purposes. In his Commanders debut, Wentz’s two interceptions lost Washington’s command of the game. However, the closer the game, the more opportunities there are to throw and score fantasy football points. Wentz threw the ball 41 times for 313 yards and four passing touchdowns while connecting with 10 different pass catchers. Following his QB3 weekly finish, Wentz heads to Detroit to take on the Lions who allowed the fourth-most quarterback points to Jalen Hurts. If you need a streamer or a second quarterback in a 2QB league, Wentz could be in another battle with the Lions this Sunday. I have no reason to believe he doesn’t present a safer floor than most others on the waiver wire.
Marcus Mariota‘s resurgence as a starting quarterback is something I am very excited about. His 72 rushing yards on 12 carries Sunday were vintage play and he looks fresh. This is a caution, though, specifically to those looking to start Mariota in Week 2. Next up for Mariota and the Falcons are the Los Angeles Rams. Remember them? The reigning Super Bowl champions who just lost 31-10 to open the season in their own stadium on national television. Those same Rams are more than 10-point favorites against Atlanta in Week 2. With Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey, Bobby Wagener and the rest of the Rams defense hungry for a win, I’m not too keen on the idea that Mariota will have as much success in this one. He’s a streaming option with rushing upside, just not this week.