It always feels amazing when football returns! Week 1 did not disappoint. Many things happened as expected, but that isn’t what helps us get ahead of our competition in fantasy football.
It’s the things we don’t anticipate that we should pay closer attention to — including when locating pickups for the Week 2 fantasy football waiver wire.
We need to react quickly without overreacting. I’ll help you decide which fantasy football waiver wire pickups you should be making that could benefit your fantasy teams now, later in the season, or just for the upcoming Week 2.
Note; Free-Agent Acquisition Budget dollar bid prices for Week 2 based on a season-long budget of $100. Adjust your percentage and scale accordingly for your league’s unique FAAB allotment and your remaining FAAB dollars.
(Roster % is based on Yahoo! Fantasy leagues information.)
2021 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Week 2: Top Pickups
Elijah Mitchell, RB, San Francisco 49ers (8% rostered)
Eli Mitchell was quickly thrown into action after the 49ers’ starting running back, Raheem Mostert, suffered a knee injury that took him out of the game in the first few minutes of the game. Mostert is now expected to miss the 2021 season due to chipped cartilage in his knee.
Rookie Trey Sermon was a healthy scratch, and Mitchell appears to be ahead of Sermon in the San Francisco backfield.
Mitchell had a great showing against a poor Detroit Lions run defense. He ran for 104 yards and a touchdown on 19 rushes. He certainly did enough in Week 1 to remain the starter while Mostert is sidelined.
Depending on how well Mitchell plays going forward, it now appears it’s his job to lose this season.
- Elijah Mitchell Week 2 FAAB Bid: $25
Jameis Winston, QB, New Orleans Saints (43% rostered)
Jameis Winston wasted no time showing exactly why he won the quarterback battle in New Orleans. He didn’t have to throw much and was very efficient when he did. Winston completed 14 of 20 pass attempts for 148 yards and 5 touchdowns!
Outside of the impressive 55-yard touchdown pass to Deonte Harris, Jameis Winston didn’t have to air it out very much. His other 4 touchdown passes were all short-range red zone plays.
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Winston’s stellar performance forced Aaron Rodgers and other key Green Bay starters out of the game early. I’m sure we will see much higher yardage totals from Winston going forward so long as the competition presses the Saints’ offense to sling the ball.
It’s safe to say Jameis Winston has earned his spot as the starting quarterback and should see more success this season, especially from a fantasy perspective. Get him on your roster before his roster percentage shoots up past 90%.
- Jameis Winston Week 2 FAAB Bid: $14
Tim Patrick, WR, Denver Broncos (1% rostered)
Tim Patrick was a consistent option on the Denver Broncos offense in 2020. So it’s already surprising to see he’s only rostered in 1% of fantasy leagues. He’s got a much better quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater for the 2021 season and will be a great flex option for your teams all season.
Patrick caught all four of his targets from Teddy Bridgewater for 39 yards and a touchdown. Not typically a stat line to be ecstatic about, however, it was tied for the second-most targets among Broncos’ wideouts on Sunday.
Jerry Jeudy led the Denver wide receiver corps with 7 targets. Unfortunately for Jeudy, he suffered a high-ankle sprain in the game and is expected to miss 4-to-6 weeks.
This obviously opens up opportunities for Tim Patrick and the other pass-catching options in the Broncos’ offense. His chemistry with Bridgewater will only grow as the season continues.
- Tim Patrick Week 2 FAAB Bid: $9
Deonte Harris, WR, New Orleans Saints (4% rostered)
Deonte Harris only caught two passes from Jameis Winston in Week 1, but he caught 100% of his targets and was the only wide receiver to catch more than one pass. Harris displayed his big-play ability with his 55-yard TD catch. He beat out two Packers defenders to the ball and made a difficult play look easy.
Although Jameis Winston didn’t have to throw much in this contest, you better believe he’ll look back on the biggest offensive play of the game and will gain trust in Deonte Harris’s ability to make plays when needed.
The only other Saints wide receiver to have two targets (Marquez Callaway) only caught one of them for just 14 yards. Harris finished his day with 72 yards and a score.
Early success isn’t always a sign they will be significant all season, but it’s a bigger deal to someone like Jameis Winston who needs to continue to perform with Taysom Hill lurking.
- Deonte Harris Waiver Wire FAAB Bid: $6
James White, RB, New England Patriots (33% rostered)
Another consistent option with a fairly low fantasy roster percentage. James White had himself a James White-type game.
Only 4 rush attempts for 12 yards, but that isn’t why you roster him. White was targeted 7 times and caught 6 passes for 42 yards.
Again, this isn’t a monster game from a final stat standpoint, but 6 receptions on 7 targets from White’s new quarterback, Mac Jones, isn’t something you should ignore.
This is still a Josh McDaniels offense and James White will continue to be a big part of it. James White’s 6 receptions tied for the most among all New England pass catchers in Week 1.
White was a top-10 running back in both targets and receptions in 2020 and according to his involvement on Sunday, there isn’t any reason why he can’t do it again this season.
Another thing to note: Patriots No. 1 running back Damien Harris had a great performance in Week 1. He rushed for 100 yards on 23 carries and had 2 catches on 3 targets.
Unfortunately for Harris, he had a critical fumble late in the fourth quarter that cost the Patriots the game to an in-division opponent (Dolphins). If we learned anything in the past, Bill Belichick doesn’t have much, if any tolerance for such mistakes.
If Harris has any trouble protecting the football going forward, the trusty James White will certainly see more snaps going forward.
- James White Waiver Wire FAAB Bid: $5
2021 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Week 2: Best Players To Stash
NEW — Bryan Edwards, WR, Las Vegas Raiders (19% rostered)
It appeared Bryan Edwards was going to be a non-factor against the Ravens in Week 1, but with less than a minute remaining in the fourth quarter of the Monday Night Football game, Edwards caught his first pass of the game. As the game went into overtime, Edwards was one of the top targets for Derek Carr.
Better late than never, Bryan Edwards finished the game with 4 receptions for 81 yards on 5 targets. He was stopped just short of what would have been the game-winning touchdown for the Raiders.
Edwards showed poise in critical situations, which should lead to Carr looking his way a lot more going forward.
He has a good chance of being the #2 target in this offense. Get him now before he’s rostered everywhere.
Bryan Edwards Week 2 FAAB Bid: $3
- Want more Week 2 fantasy football advice? Check out our Week 2 Fantasy Football Sleepers.
NEW — Sammy Watkins, WR, Baltimore Ravens (14% rostered)
Sammy Watkins nearly reached 100 receiving yards in his first game as a Raven. He led the team in targets (8) and finished the night with 4 receptions for 96 yards. Nearly half of his receiving yards came on a 49-yard reception in the fourth quarter which set up a score for the Ravens.
Watkins has the opportunity to be the top target in an explosive offense. He won’t always get quality targets from Lamar Jackson, but if this volume continues, he will be a factor for your fantasy rosters this season.
Sammy Watkins Waiver Wire FAAB Bid: $3
David Njoku, TE, Cleveland Browns (1% rostered)
In a sea of volatile options at the tight end position, David Njoku stood out in Week 1. He caught 3 of 5 targets for 76 yards, including an impressive 43-yard reception.
Njoku was one of only two tight ends with top-10 performances to not score a touchdown.
Why is this a good thing? It shows that Njoku is capable of providing fantasy value without relying on an unreliable stat, touchdowns.
Another encouraging sign for David Nkoju was the fact that he tied a team-high 5 targets. The other two players to have 5 targets were Jarvis Landry and Anthony Schwartz.
It’s worth noting Odell Beckham Jr. was a late scratch and will obviously demand a big piece of the target share in this offense when he returns. Regardless, the 5 targets from the tight end position is what’s important here.
The reason I have David Njoku listed as a “stash” is that his success came in Week 1 and we don’t want to overreact thinking he’s going to see that volume all year.
He did out-perform his teammate, Austin Hooper, who was expected to be the #1 tight end in this offense.
Pick up Njoku while he’s cheap and see if the pattern from Week 1 repeats itself.
- David Njoku Week 2 FAAB Bid: $3
2021 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Week 2: One-Week Streamer Plays
K.J. Osborn, WR, Minnesota Vikings (0% rostered)
K.J. Osborn could just be a one-week-wonder; however, he did see 9 targets from Kirk Cousins in Week 1. He tied Justin Jefferson with the second-most targets on the Vikings and was more efficient with his opportunities.
Obviously, I’m not saying he will be a better wideout than Jefferson, but at the very least, he’s shown quarterback Kirk Cousins that he can be relied on outside of his top-two options.
Passing volume from Cousins will be the key to any success going forward for Osborn.
The good news for Week 2? The Vikings offense will have to keep up with Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals, who put up 38 points against the Tennessee Titans in Week 1.
Expect Kirk Cousins to throw a bunch more in Week 2, and you can expect K.J. Osborn will get more opportunities as well.
- K.J. Osborn Week 2 FAAB Bid: $3