No day seems to shake up the fantasy football landscape more drastically than Sunday of Week 1. You can put in as much time and research as you want in the offseason, but there's only so much we can know before seeing how teams actually play once the real games kick off.
NFL Week 2 Waiver Wire Pickups for Fantasy Football
That means the waiver wire is likely as deep as we're every going to see it this season as we head into Week 2. Whether you're already dealing with some injured players or need guys to stash on your bench hoping they break out, you have options this week. Here are five players that fit the bill.
1. Jamison Crowder, WR, New York Jets
If we didn't already convince you to draft Jamison Crowder in the preseason, it's not too late to change your mind. He was highly inefficient in Week 1, averaging only 7.1 yards per reception, but his volume was off the charts, leading the NFL with 17 targets and 14 receptions. This wasn't just Crowder benefiting from his team throwing the ball a ton either, as his 40 percent target share was also the week's highest. The inefficiency is obviously no concern in PPR formats, and even in standard leagues you're not going to want to ignore volume like this.
2. Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals' lead RB Joe Mixon went down with an ankle injury in the third quarter on Sunday, and unless we get confirmation that he won't miss any games, Giovani Bernard likely becomes a must-own fantasy asset. Bernard was the only Bengals' back to touch the ball after Mixon went down in the early third quarter, notching seven carries and three targets in the second half. He averaged 13.5 carries and 6.5 targets per game in two contests without Mixon in 2018 as well, and that involvement with the passing game should buoy his fantasy value even in a Bengals' offense that may come back down to earth a bit after a big Week 1.
3. Terry McLaurin, WR, Washington Redskins
Only 14 wide receivers played a higher percentage of their team's snaps than Terry McLaurin's 92.5 percent in Week 1. 57 percent of his fantasy production came on one play (a 69-yard touchdown reception), which is always a red flag for sustainability, but that becomes less of a concern when there is still volume backing the performance — like McLaurin's seven targets (second on the team) and the big snap count.
4. Jaylen Samuels, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
It's hard to read too deeply into usage from a 30-point blowout, but the Pittsburgh Steelers' RB usage in Week 1 should still raise some eyebrows. Presumed workhorse James Conner only out-snapped Jaylen Samuels 32 to 23. Conner did get significantly more volume throughout the game, but the usage was close early, which is the opposite of what we'd usually expect to see if a blowout was skewing things. In the first quarter, Conner had three carries and one target to two carries and one target for Samuels. We can expect the Pittsburgh offense to bounce back after an awful Week 1, lifting the fantasy value for the entire group.
5. Gus Edwards, RB, Baltimore Ravens
The Baltimore Ravens are another team whose Week 1 usage was skewed in a blowout, but early indications are that Gus Edwards will get a reasonable amount of work behind Mark Ingram in the backfield. Just looking at first-half touches on Sunday, Ingram only out-carried Edwards nine to six. The Miami Dolphins' defense was egregious, so we can't draw any sweeping conclusions here, but the Ravens made an obvious shift to a run-heavy offense when Lamar Jackson took over at QB in 2018, and that looks likely to continue. In the first quarter they called five passes and 10 runs. The Ravens will need to keep scoring a ton of points to sustain two fantasy-relevant backs in Ingram and Edwards, but with the potential for a close split, Edwards now carries plenty of upside.
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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.