Waiver Wire Watch: Week 2
Editor's Note: We're happy to have Brandon Niles on the Waiver Wire Watch this year. He'll work in conjunction with Senior Editor John Paulsen to compile the weekly list of pickups and generate recommended prices for FAAB leagues.
Here is a look at the top waiver wire pickups for Week 2. To be eligible for discussion, the player must be owned in 50% or fewer Yahoo leagues, though we’ll stretch the rules a bit for the RB position, which is usually very thin. We’ll also include suggested bid prices (with a $100 budget) for those leagues that use Free Agent Acquisition Budgets (FAAB). Of course, player value depends on league characteristics and team needs. Players are listed by position in order of importance. For extremely shallow or extremely deep leagues, be sure to review our Rest-of-Season Rankings (updated every Tuesday) to get an idea of how to value players not on this list.
Osweiler had 231 yards, a pair of touchdowns, and a pick against the Bears in Week 1. He looked more comfortable and efficient as the game wore on though, and he looks to have already developed quite a rapport with rookie WR Will Fuller, a good sign for the future of this passing attack. Osweiler is still a bit of an unknown as a long term fantasy option, but Bill O’Brien’s offense threw the ball 619 times last year, gained 4,079 yards and had 29 touchdown passes last season with extremely sub-par QB play. If Osweiler can build off his first start as a Texan, he could become a viable week-to-week starter. He’s got tough matchups the next couple of weeks, but will face the Colts, Titans, and Jaguars twice apiece this season.
Smith had a great game against the Chargers with 363 yards and a pair of touchdown passes. Plus he ran a third score in himself and rallied his team to an overtime win. It’s hard to bid a lot on Smith because at this point in his career, we all know who he is, and he’s never been a consistent fantasy option. However, he has a great schedule coming up starting in Week 6, making him an interesting streaming option down the line.
Fitzpatrick is a known quantity and he’s owned in 42 percent of Yahoo leagues, so he may not be available on your wire. However, he’s a starting QB with solid receiving options, which makes him fantasy viable. He’s coming off a rough day against the Bengals, putting up only 189 yards and a pick, but he had a pair of touchdown passes as well and the Jets offensive line looks like it’ll give him some protection this year – he was sacked only once in Week 1. What hurts his value most is a brutal schedule to start the season, with potentially tough matchups until Week 8 against the Browns. Fitzpatrick is more of a week-to-week matchup and streaming option than he is a viable starter worth targeting this week.
Carson Wentz had an excellent NFL debut, putting up 278 yards and two touchdown passes in a Week 1 victory over the Browns. He only completed 59 percent of his passes, but didn’t throw any picks and looked far more polished than he did in his limited pre-season action. Wentz is far from perfect and may have benefited greatly from a squishy matchup against the Browns. Only the Eagles and the Saints gave up more touchdown passes than the Browns last year. While Wentz isn’t a sure-thing, the fact that he threw the ball 37 times in a win means Head Coach Doug Pederson won’t hold the reins on his rookie passer. A Week 5 matchup against the Lions looks awfully tempting for streaming purposes.
Cutler couldn’t hold on against a tough Texans defense in Week 1, but he looked pretty efficient in the first half of the game, leading a pair of scoring drives. He ended up with only 216 yards, a touchdown, and a pick, and was sacked five times in what had to be a painful day for the veteran. Cutler is a known quantity at this point in his career, but with matchups against the Lions, Colts, and Jaguars coming up starting in Week 5, he has some value as a streaming option.
Tannehill didn’t have a great game against a tough Seahawks defense, but the Dolphins’ playcalling was encouraging. Tannehill took several shots downfield and was used on several designed runs, including on Miami’s lone touchdown. While he only had 186 yards passing, his touchdown run added to his fantasy totals. His usage was encouraging for fantasy owners looking for streaming options, and he has a juicy matchup at home against the Browns in Week 3.
Flacco looked fine against the Bills in Week 1, putting up 258 yards and a touchdown. He’s never been the most prolific passer, but he’s made a fantasy career of being a solid QB2 or bye week filler. He’s actually a very good streaming option right now with the Browns, Jaguars, and Raiders coming up in the next three weeks. All three of those teams struggled against the pass in Week 1 and Flacco should get better as his rapport with newcomer Mike Wallace continues to develop.
Siemian ran hot and cold in his debut as a starter, showing poise in the pocket, and some playmaking ability when protection broke down. However, his efforts still ended up netting him only 178 yards, a touchdown, and two picks. While he won’t face a defense as tough as the Panthers every week, and the Colts in Week 2 is a tempting matchup, Siemian is a low-end fantasy QB at this time and still needs to prove he’s worth being considered even a streaming option.
Jimmy G. had a nice first start of his career, coming away with a victory over a tough Arizona Cardinals team. Garoppolo had 264 yards and a touchdown, but most importantly didn’t throw any picks and was only sacked twice, meaning the Patriot offensive line might be in better shape than originally thought. He has a tough schedule coming up and his value is only good until Brady returns from his four-game suspension, so his value is very limited. However, if you’re in a deep league and you’re a Brady owner, you can be a little more confident about rostering Jimmy in the short term.
RG3 didn't have a good start to the season, with only 227 total yards and a pick in Week 1, and is out for the year with a serious shoulder injury. As a result, Josh McCown is worth a look. He doesn't have a great schedule coming up, but he quietly put up solid numbers last year in a pass-happy attack and he has better weapons this year. He averaged 263 yards and 1.5 touchdowns per game in 2015, which might put him in streamable territory in some league formats. (Editor's Note: McCown under center is good news for TE Gary Barnidge and RB Duke Johnson, who both posted significantly better numbers with McCown.)
Case Keenum had a disastrous start to the season, and it won't shock me if he gets benched sooner rather than later. If you're in a large league with a lot of bench spots, then it might be worth puttin gin a minimum bid on Goff or Mannion just in case they pan out. The way things looked Monday night against the 49ers, Keenum's stint as the starter may be very short-lived.
If Russell Wilson’s ankle keeps him out of next week’s matchup, people are going to be scrambling to grab Boykin as a replacement. Resist the urge. Boykin is unproven and going up against the Los Angeles front four. While backup QBs can always surprise you, the smart money is that the Seahawks play it safe offensively while they wait for Wilson to get right. He’s worth a cursory add in large leagues or if you’ve got Wilson as an insurance policy, but his value is limited.