Week 1 of the NFL season is in the books.
Similarly, fantasy football players around the world are taking a good look at their rosters to see who is expendable, and which free agents need to be snagged off the waiver wire. While it’s easy to overreact to whatever happened in Week 1, it’s also likely the best chance fantasy owners have to make a game-changing move on the wire to fill a hole in their lineup.
Below we’ve collected 11 potential waiver-wire targets for fantasy players looking to bolster their rosters. Whether your team is in need of a backup quarterback, a bye-week fill in for later in the year, or a potential breakout player after a less than stellar draft, there are options at every position to help you put yourself in position to win your league.
All ownership percentages come from ESPN, and scoring is based on a standard ESPN points per reception format.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
ESPN fantasy ownership: 1.5%
Week 1 stats: 417 passing yards, four touchdowns, 36 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown – 42.3 fantasy points
One thing to know:Ryan Fitzpatrick played the game of his life on Sunday. Obviously, fantasy players can’t count on a 417-yard, four touchdown performance week-to-week, but the Buccaneers looked like an unstoppable vertical threat through their game against the Saints. If you’re in need of a playable backup or in a two-quarterback league, Fitz might be worth a flyer.
Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers
ESPN fantasy ownership: 11%
Week 1 stats: 36 rushing yards, five receptions, 87 receiving yards, 1 touchdown – 23.6 fantasy points
One thing to know: While Melvin Gordon is clearly the primary back for the Chargers, Austin Ekeler showed he had the potential for some big plays for Los Angeles as well. He also caught all five of his targets from Philip Rivers, making him the most reliable pass-catcher the Chargers had on Sunday.
TJ Yeldon, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
ESPN fantasy ownership: 8%
Week 1 stats: 51 rushing yards, three receptions, 18 receiving yards, one touchdown – 15.9 fantasy points
One thing to know: The extent of Leonard Fournette’s injury is still unclear, but even if he does suit up for the Jaguars Week 2 matchup against the Patriots, it’s reasonable to assume his workload might be lightened. In his stead, TJ Yeldon could shine as Jacksonville’s primary back, at least for the near future.
Philip Lindsay, RB, Denver Broncos
ESPN fantasy ownership: 1.9%
Week 1 stats: 71 rushing yards, two receptions, 31 receiving yards, one touchdown – 18.2 fantasy points
One thing to know: Royce Freeman was highly touted as the centrepiece of the Broncos rushing attack coming into the year, but wound up splitting carries evenly with Phillip Lindsay. Lindsay was also involved in the Broncos passing game, which can be a boon in PPR leagues.
Brandon Marshall, WR, Seattle Seahawks
ESPN fantasy ownership: 5.7%
Week 1 stats: Three receptions, 46 receiving yards, one touchdown – 13.6 fantasy points
One thing to know: It wasn’t clear that Brandon Marshall would even make the Seahawks roster heading into the 2018 season, but on Sunday he emerged as a reliable target for Russell Wilson. He might be a boom-or-bust player in your lineups, but Marshall has proven before he can be an elite fantasy player.
Ted Ginn Jr., WR, New Orleans Saints
ESPN fantasy ownership: 17.3%
Week 1 stats: Five receptions, 68 receiving yards, one touchdown – 20.3 fantasy points
One thing to know: Every fantasy player has owned Ted Ginn Jr. at some point in their life, but this year might be a good year to at least stash him on your roster for bye weeks. Michael Thomas will always be Drew Brees’ first target, but he spreads the ball around enough for Ginn to shine a few times this year.
Phillip Dorsett, WR, New England Patriots
ESPN fantasy ownership: 4.7%
Week 1 stats: Seven receptions, 66 receiving yards, one touchdown – 19.6 fantasy points
One thing to know: Tom Brady can make almost any wide receiver playable, and on Sunday, Phillip Dorsett emerged as one of his favourite targets alongside tight end Rob Gronkowski. Pick him up now because he’ll likely be gone if he has another big day in Week 2.
Geronimo Allison, WR, Green Bay Packers
ESPN fantasy ownership: 9.2%
Week 1 stats: Five receptions, 69 receiving yards, one touchdown – 17.9 fantasy points
One thing to know: Despite Aaron Rodgers missing almost a full quarter of the game, wide receiver Geronimo Allison made an impression on fantasy players during the Packers’ comeback win over the Bears. With Jordy Nelson now gone, Rodgers is still in the market for a new favourite target.
Will Dissly, TE, Seattle Seahawks
ESPN fantasy ownership: 0.1%
Week 1 stats: Three receptions, 105 receiving yards, one touchdown – 19.5 points
One thing to know: If you waited on a tight end and didn’t like whichever player you wound up with, Will Dissly is available in literally 99.9% of leagues right now, and got a solid five targets from Russell Wilson in the first game of his NFL career.
George Kittle, TE, San Francisco
ESPN fantasy ownership: 37.2%
Week 1 stats: Five receptions, 90 yards receiving – 14 fantasy points
One thing to know: George Kittle lead the 49ers in targets in their season opener, and was among the top-scoring tight ends in fantasy despite failing to find the end zone. With Marquise Goodwin’s status up in the air, Kittle is well positioned to be a big part of the San Francisco offence.
Miami Dolphins Defence
ESPN fantasy ownership: 0.9%
Week 1 stats: 20 points against, three interceptions, one touchdown – 12 fantasy points
One thing to know: While you don’t want to read too much into a game that was interrupted twice by long lightning delays, the Dolphins defence forced three takeaways against the Titans, and have a matchup with the Jets set for next week. Depending on how the Jets offence looks against the Lions, Miami might be an interesting option for players looking to stream a defence.
Now check out our picks for breakout players heading into the 2018 season
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