The waiver wire is a great place to add talent to help your roster, but it is also a place that you can ruin your roster early in the season. The easy thing to do is panic after a projected good player has a bad game in Week 1, but you have to remember that good players have bad games and bad players have good games. A one game sample size is not enough to make snap judgments for the season.
Chasing a good Week 1 performance can be dangerous, because you can end up waiving a good player that helps a league opponent and damages your roster with a player that had a good game last week and will have very little future impact. Therefore, you really should only be using the Waiver Wire in Week 2 to help out with injuries and add depth to replace players you took at the end of the fantasy draft that do not appear to have as big of a role as we initially thought.
I think a good example of that would be San Diego Chargers TE Hunter Henry. He was not even targeted in Week 1 and spent his 23 snaps blocking for QB Philip Rivers. It would be hard to start him again in Week 2 with that usage. Waiving him for a better tight end is different than waiving New England Patriots QB Tom Brady for Kansas City Chiefs QB Alex Smith. That would be waiving a very talented player for a fringe fantasy player based on an outlier game for each quarterback. If you are looking to upgrade your roster in Week 2, here are some players I would consider.
Minnesota Vikings QB Sam Bradford – Bradford had 346 yards and three touchdowns in the season opener and posted a QB rating of 143.0. It was a very solid performance by the journeyman quarterback, but it was against the New Orleans Saints D, which has been one of the worst in the league in recent years. I am still not buying Bradford until he shows more consistency, but he is on the streaming radar. A Week 2 matchup at Pittsburgh caps his upside next week though. If you need a Week 2 option, I would go in a different direction.
Kansas City Chiefs QB Alex Smith – Smith dominated the Patriots in Week 1, completing 28 of his 35 pass attempts for 368 yards and four touchdowns. I would question his ability to have another game with two 70-yard touchdowns, but players like WR Tyreek Hill, RB Kareem Hunt and TE Travis Kelce will keep him relevant in fantasy this year. If you need a quarterback, he is not going to be that good most weeks, but he offers some streaming appeal.
Denver Broncos QB Trevor Siemian – He looked very solid in the Week 1 opener, tallying 219 yards passing, two passing touchdowns, one interception and six rushing attempts for 19 yards and a rushing touchdown. He is similar to Smith; his fantasy production will be volatile, but he will have value some weeks. Denver plays a rebuilding Dallas D in Week 2 at home and he could have QB2 appeal in that matchup.
Cleveland Browns QB DeShone Kizer – Kizer had a tough matchup at home and he delivered with 222 yards passing and one passing touchdown and 17 yards rushing and another rushing touchdown. He is not a good streaming option in Week 2, he plays at a Baltimore D that shutout the Cincinnati Bengals on the road. He should have steaming appeal in future weeks, they play the Indianapolis Colts in Week 3 and the New York Jets in Week 5.
Los Angeles Rams QB Jared Goff – This is a player that I would probably not seriously target on the waiver wire, because the Colts are such a mess, I doubt whether that game has any value at projecting his future fantasy value. He did show well though, throwing for 306 yards and a touchdown, so he at least has to be on the waiver wire radar.
Chicago Bears RB Tarik Cohen – Cohen showed that with this team being limited at wide receiver, that he is going to have a role on the team. He tallied 66 yards rushing and 46 yards receiving and scored a touchdown in Week 1 against Atlanta. He is an intriguing player, but is going to be boom / bust with 10-12 touches per game. His big-play ability makes him an interesting option for fantasy owners that suffered injuries at running back in Week 1.
New Orleans Saints RB Alvin Kamara – I thought Kamara would have value in the second half of the season, because RB Mark Ingram and RB Adrian Peterson are older backs with injury concerns. Instead, Kamara rushed seven times for 18 yards and caught four passes for 20 yards in Week 1. That performance does not jump off the page, what does is that Kamara led the Saints’ running backs in carries, rushing yards, and snaps played with Peterson and Ingram healthy. If he is going to see 31 snaps per game, he is going to be on the RB4 radar and he has a ton of upside in that offense. I would add him as a RB4 stash that could evolve into a weekly play as the season progresses.
New England Patriots RB James White – White had 68 yards from scrimmage in the season opener and he plays in a Week 2 game that could turn into a shootout at New Orleans. I think the game will be fast paced down there, which favors the Patriots receiving back. He could be an interesting flex option, especially in PPR leagues.
Washington RB Chris Thompson – Thompson had only seven touches, but one of those went for a touchdown and he finished the day with 52 yards receiving. I think he is going to be very volatile most weeks, but he will be an interesting option in PPR leagues as a receiving back that has big-play ability.
Seattle Seahawks RB Chris Carson – The Seahawks running game is probably a backfield to avoid, but Carson is someone that needs to be monitored. RB Eddie Lacy looks finished and he had the best game among Seattle running backs with six rushing attempts for 39 yards and one reception for 10 yards. If he can emerged from a crowded backfield he has a chance to become fantasy relevant, but it may take until midseason for that to happen.
Indianapolis Colts RB Marlon Mack – He saw more time than normal in a 46-9 blowout loss to the Los Angeles Rams, but he finished with 10 rushing attempts for 24 yards and a touchdown in that loss. I would want nothing to do with the Colts offense until QB Andrew Luck returns, but Mack is someone that could have value if RB Frank Gore declines or goes down with an injury.
Los Angeles Rams WR Cooper Kupp – He was targeted six times in this game and finished with four receptions and a touchdown. The rookie has a chance to become a featured receiver with this team, especially with WR Sammy Watkins injury history. He is a player that has a chance to improve as the season progresses and he should be owned in all formats.
Tennessee Titans WR Corey Davis – He was targeted 10 times in the opener and he finished with six receptions for 69 yards. He is going to have a big role in this offense and if he is going to approach 10 targets most weeks, he will have WR3 value. He should be owned in all formats.
Seattle Seahawks WR Paul Richardson – He was targeted seven times against the Green Bay Packers and he had four receptions for 59 yards. The Seattle passing game is going to be volatile from week-to-week, but he is a big-play receiver that could have streaming value. Seven targets is enough for him to be on the WR4 radar.
Detroit Lions WR Kenny Golladay – I would be careful about chasing one good game, but the rookie had four targets on seven receptions for 69 yards and two touchdowns. I think he will be classic boom / bust wide receiver, but playing with QB Matthew Stafford and having good size makes him a red zone threat and may make him fantasy relevant this season.
Philadelphia Eagles WR Nelson Agholor – He had a long touchdown reception that helped him finish with six receptions for 86 yards and one touchdown, but the Eagles running game looked awful, which means that three receivers may have value in Philadelphia this year. I would chalk it up to one long touchdown reception, but he was a first round pick a few years ago and he should be on the waiver wire radar.
Atlanta Falcons TE Austin Hooper – It is hard to replicate an 88-yard touchdown reception and he was targeted only two times, but he is someone that should see an increased role in the offense and catching an 88-yard touchdown pass could help him carve out a bigger role as the season progresses.
Pittsburgh Steelers TE Jessie James – He had six receptions for 41 yards and two touchdowns, his size makes him a great red zone threat. That will make him a streaming threat most weeks and the Minnesota Vikings did give up a touchdown to a tight end in Week 1. That will be the opponent for James in Week 2.
Oakland Raiders K Giorgio Tavecchio – He had two field goals of 50 plus yards and showed that he has the composure to kick in the NFL, at least for one week. He needs to be owned in all formats playing on an offense of that caliber.
Jacksonville Defense – They posted 10 sacks in the opener, recovered three fumbles, and had a pick and a defensive touchdown against the Houston Texans. They will probably not be as desirable in Week 2 against the Tennessee Titans and there are concerns if that game will be played in Jacksonville due to Hurricane Irma. Still, they have a ton of talent and look like they will have a lot of games this year where they will be fantasy relevant.