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Say Hello, Waive Goodbye: Week 2

Wayne Masut | Senior Staff Photographer - Bucs quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is fantasy football's QB1 for Week 1. He recorded a whopping 40-plus fantasy points against the Saints.

Did you freak out, break your TV and delete your fantasy app when Aaron Rodgers was carted off the field during the first half Sunday night? If so you felt foolish by the time he led the Packers to an amazing comeback win over the Bears. While Rodgers survived to fight another day (he might even play in Week 2) other big names were not so lucky. But that’s why we have the waiver wire.

Week 1 was painful, especially at tight end. The Titans’ Delanie Walker is out for the season after dislocating and fracturing his ankle in a loss to Miami. Meanwhile in San Francisco, top receiver Marquise Goodwin didn’t record a catch and exited with a quad injury before sitting out most of the second half. Keep an eye on the status of Goodwin’s thigh bruise. Leonard Fournettte’s struggles with injury continued, this time with his hamstring, and he yielded backfield duties to teammate T.J. Yeldon. If Week 1 didn’t turn out in your favor or injuries hit your squad, your lineup might need a boost from the waiver wire.

Say Hello

T.J. Yeldon, RB, Jacksonville

It should come as no surprise that Fournette left Sunday’s game with a hamstring strain in the second quarter, as he has been plagued by injuries in the past. Coach Doug Marrone has repeatedly said the injury is minor, but I’m not fully convinced. Enter Yeldon, who stepped up as lead back, caught a touchdown pass and rushed 14 times for 51 yards (3.6 yards per carry) against the Giants. Yeldon doesn’t possess the running chops of Fournette, but he’s a capable dual-threat back with serious upside in PPR formats. While it appears Fournette avoided a serious setback, Yeldon should be added regardless. He’s currently only owned in about 15% of Yahoo! leagues.

James White, RB, New England

Predicting the Patriots backfield remains a tough test, as White, Rex Burkhead and Jeremy Hill all saw action Sunday. However, Hill injured tore his knee and is out for the season and rookie Sony Michel was inactive as he works back from his own knee injury. Meanwhile, White led the team in targets (nine) and caught four passes for 38 yards and a touchdown. Burkhead saw more carries, but White did have five rushes for 18 yards. White holds more value in PPR formats and needs a good game script to shine, but he’s well worth an add.

DeSean Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay

Jackson was the biggest benefactor of Ryan Fitzpatrick’s magic day, hauling in all five of his targets for a ridiculous 146 yards and two TDs, displaying his deep threat capability that the Bucs desperately need. He suffered a concussion and is in the league’s protocol so keep an eye on his status for Week 2, but even if he’s out he’s worth the add. Chris Godwin (30% Yahoo! ownership), who also caught a TD pass in the shootout, gets a bump if Jackson (25% owned) misses time and is a solid waiver wire option as well.

Keelan Cole and Dede Westbrook, WRs, Jacksonville

One of these youngsters will emerge as the Jaguars top receiver, and both have the ability to be weekly fantasy options. Cole may have a slight edge over Westbrook, but both came on strong down the stretch last season and don’t have to compete with Marqise Lee for targets. Cole (3-54-0) led the team in receiving yards against New York but Westbrook (5-51-0) saw six targets to Cole’s four. Blake Bortles’ inconsistency clouds this situation a bit, but both Cole (56% owned) and Westbrook (16%) both deserve a look.

John Brown, WR, Baltimore

A healthy Brown is a happy Brown, and Smokey (3-44-1) found the end zone as Joe Flacco and the Ravens cruised. Brown, who is behind Michael Crabtree, provides a deep threat that Crabtree can’t. If he stays healthy – a big if considering his injury history and his struggles with sickle cell trait – I think Brown will surprise many and battle Crabtree for the team lead in receiving yards and TDs. See if you can get Smokey (19% owned) before his numbers soar.

Quincy Enunwa, WR, New York Jets

Enunwa lit up the Lions (6-63-1) on Monday night and saw 10 targets to Robby Anderson’s one (which happened to be a 41-yard TD catch). With rookie Sam Darnold looking competent and getting better as the game progressed, it’s great to see the chemistry with Enunwa. It’s not hard to envision Enunwa supplanting Anderson as the team’s top receiver if Darnold keeps looking his way. Heck, he had one less target than the rest of the team combined against Detroit.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Tampa Bay

Did anybody see this coming? The Saints sure didn’t. Fitzmagic put on an epic show in throwing for 417 yards and four TDs, adding another score on the ground. He’s your QB1 for Week 1. If he keeps playing like this the Bucs have to consider keeping Jameis Winston on the bench after he returns from suspension. Fitzpatrick threw two TD passes to Jackson including one for 58 yards, and one each to Mike Evans and Godwin. The Bucs face an extremely tough Eagles defense this week, but Fitzpatrick will be on the streaming radar and is owned in less than 5% of Yahoo! leagues.

George Kittle, TE, San Francisco

The lone bright spot for the Niners in an ugly loss to Minnesota, Kittle led the team in receiving yards after top wideout Marquise Goodwin left with a quad injury. Kittle (5-90-0) figures to see an uptick in targets if Goodwin misses time, and seems to have built a nice rapport with Jimmy G. Kittle is probably the best TE left on your wire if he’s still available (75% ownership).

Chicago D/ST

Apparently the addition of Khalil Mack didn’t sway too many fantasy fans into picking up the Bears D/ST, as they’re currently owned in 48% of Yahoo! leagues. Mack put on a clinic against the Packers, racking up a sack, a forced fumble and a pick-six. For much of the first half, Mack had constant pressure on Aaron Rodgers and Deshone Kizer. He’s a game-changer in an already stout defense.

Waive Goodbye

Corey Clement, RB, Philadelphia

As someone who took a draft flier on Clement with concerns about Jay Ajayi, I watched Thursday’s season opener closely. While Darren Sproles worked in the lead role and Ajayi was missing in action during the first half, I kept waiting for Clement to get his shot. It never materialized even though he dominated snaps over Ajayi in the first half. Clement finished with 26 yards on five carries and zero receptions. Ajayi went off for two touchdowns, Sproles got plenty of work and Clement appears a distant third in this backfield.

Devontae Booker, RB, Denver

With the emergence of Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay, Booker is an afterthought in Denver. While some predicted he’d start the season ahead of Freeman, Booker slid down the depth chart and got a paltry four touches Sunday. He was outworked and outsnapped by Lindsey, who had as many carries as Freeman and also scored a receiving TD. Lindsay is the handcuff for Freeman, and has the potential to be a whole lot more.

Most of the Dallas WRs

Cole Beasley is worth owning in PPR formats. Allen Hurns, Terrance Williams, Michael Gallup and Deonte Thompson (LOL!) are not worth owning. This is truly the worst receiving corps in the NFL.

Delaine Walker, TE, Tennessee

One of the most consistent TEs over the past three seasons, Walker finished top-five at his position in 2015 and 2016, and top-10 in 2017. Unfortunately, he probably won’t see the field again this season after fracturing and dislocating his ankle.

New Orleans D/ST

Last season’s most improved defense seems to have slipped back into its terrible old ways, letting the Bucs blow them out in a scoring bonanza. Three different Tampa Bay receivers caught TDs, and Fitzpatrick even ran one in. In most formats New Orleans earned you negative fantasy points. That’s not a defense that inspires confidence. They stand to improve against Cleveland, but better options are out there (like the Bears).

Nathan Peterman, QB, Buffalo

So you missed it when he threw five interceptions in his NFL debut last season, huh? The beleaguered Bills and their uninspiring offense will now opt to throw rookie Josh Allen to the wolves.

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