Week one of the 2020 NFL season is in the books and your fantasy season is already over and it’s time to look at the week two waiver wire. In one of the most unique football seasons in human memory, one thing remains the same – you still screwed up your draft. You thought Aaron Rodgers had no big games left in him. And you were wrong. You thought James Conner might not be made of glass. And you were wrong. You thought Odell Beckham was only a number two receiver off the field. And oh boy, were you wrong. Lucky for you, fantasy football leagues are won on the waiver wire and I’m going to provide you with the best options available.
If I don’t mention someone whom you think I should be talking about, just know there are many reasons why I overlooked them. Maybe they are rostered in most leagues. Maybe they are so bad I don’t even consider them. Or, maybe it’s because your opinions cannot be trusted. After all, you are here.
Week Two Waiver Wire QBs
Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings (28% rostered)
Speaking of garbage-time quarterbacks, did you get a chance to watch Kirk Cousins play in week one? If you did, you might actually be excited to watch Mitch Trubisky. Kirk managed to throw for 17 more yards then Mitch, but he also had two more turnovers. Kirk Cousins is Minnesotan for “buyer beware.” Leave him on your waiver wire.
Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville Jaguars (21% rostered)
While Minshew didn’t have the yards that Cousins and Trubisky had, he did throw for three touchdowns against a quality opponent. Moreover, he did all his scoring when it mattered. Most important of all, up until his bye week, Minshew has some very favorable match-ups, including the Dolphins, Bengals, and Lions. While his week two matchup against Tennessee isn’t the most favorable, if he can repeat his numbers, he will definitely be someone worth owning. There is always a quarterback who sits on the waiver wire for a few weeks that nobody quite believes is good. This year, that might be Minshew.
Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears (3% rostered)
In week one, Mitchell “Mitch” Trubisky finished as a low-end QB1, throwing for 242 yards and 3 touchdowns. If you did not watch the Bears play, you might be impressed by those numbers. However, if you did watch the Bears play, you probably aren’t able to read this article, having gouged out your own eyes in frustration for what Trubisky did for three quarters. I think it is better to say that the Lions were a low-end QB1 in week one and Mitch Trubisky is someone to avoid.
Week Two Waiver Wire RBs
James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars (43% rostered)
James Robinson is only starting because Ryquell Armstead is on the COVID-19 IR for a few weeks. In his first start, the UDFA rookie had 90 all-purpose yards, but he is hard to get excited about. You don’t know how long he’ll be starting and you aren’t sure how good he’ll be. If you have space and can’t get any better, I guess you can grab him. But if your waivers don’t reset, I’d be hesitant to pull the trigger.
Chase Edmonds, Arizona Cardinals (39% rostered)
The situation in Arizona is an interesting one to monitor. Edmonds had a solid game with 45 all-purpose yards and 1 touchdown. However, his 34% snap share was probably his most eye opening stat. While this usage might indicate that the very talented Edmonds will receive a lot of opportunities in Arizona’s high-powered offense, it might also be an indication that Arizona is easing Drake in after his preseason injury. If Edmonds continues to see this usage, he will be a high-upside flex option with the potential to be an RB1 in Drake continues to struggle with production or struggle with injuries.
Adrian Peterson, Detroit Lions (34% rostered)
If the year was 2015, this would be a definite yes. But let’s be real. If Adrian Peterson was still a star, Washington would not have cut him. Also, please consider that the Lions are just waiting for D’Andre Swift to take over. Most important of all, HE PLAYS FOR THE LIONS!!! What part of the last ten years of fantasy football makes you think you want anything to do with that backfield? Hard pass.
Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts (28% rostered)
There is a lot of discussion about the top waiver wire priority, so let me make it easy for you. It should be Nyheim Hines. In week one, he had 73 all-purpose yards and 1 touchdown. He also led the Colts running backs in snaps, playing on 53% of them. Now, you may be thinking that the reason he got so many snaps is that Marlon Mack died a hero’s death on the field, and you would be right. But Mack is also out for the season, which means that he will be firmly entrenched as the third-down back for the Colts. Philip Rivers loves throwing to his running backs and Nyheim Hines has a ton of upside as an RB2/Flex for the rest of the year.
Malcolm Brown, L.A. Rams (17% rostered)
Most experts will probably rank Malcolm Brown as the number one waiver pick up for week one. He posted 110 all-purpose yards and 2 touchdowns, so it is hard to argue against him. However, I think it is important to bear in mind that his value is probably as high as it is going to go. The Rams drafted Cam Akers in the second round of this year’s NFL draft, whereas Brown has been in the league for five years and has no draft pedigree or financial investment to push the Rams towards leaning on him. At some point, Akers is going to take over. So if you do pick him up, be prepared to let him loose in the near future.
Benny Snell, Pittsburgh Steelers (15% rostered)
When James “Glass Cannon” Conner got hurt in the first half of the Steelers/Giants game, it opened up the door for Benny Snell to rush for 113 yards. If James Conner’s ankle injury is at all significant, then Benny Snell is a must-add at running back. Nobody leans on their primary running back more than the Steelers. Monitor this situation closely and if you own Conner, claim Snell immediately. Hell, it might not be a bad idea to add him anyway. It’s not like Conner is likely to stay healthy, especially since he’s already hurt.
Joshua Kelley, L.A. Chargers (12% rostered)
If you listen closely, you can hear the collective screams of the Austin Ekeler owners. “WHY!!! WHY DO THEY KEEP GIVING THE BALL TO JOSHUA KELLEY???” The reason is that he is a really good football player. He is one of my favorite running backs to have a very strong second half of the season and is worth rostering for that reason alone. Kelley averaged 5.0 yards per carry for 60 yards and 1 TD in his NFL debut. He’s probably going to be hit or miss for the first few weeks of the season, but if you have space on your roster to hold him, he is definitely worth it.
Peyton Barber, Washington Football Team (3% rostered)
Washington can’t even get their team name right. What makes you think they’ll do the same with their running backs? Save yourself the headache and grab one of the other guys I mentioned who are actually good at football.
Myles Gaskin, Miami Dolphins (1% rostered)
In case you didn’t think your running back options could get any worse, let me introduce you to Myles Gaskins. While everyone was wondering whether Jordan Howard or Matt Brieda would take control of the Miami Dolphins running game, Myles Gaskins “dominated” the Dolphins backfield by playing in 63% of their snaps and tallying 66 all-purpose yards. Brian Flores brought many things to Miami from New England, including a running-back committee that nobody wants any part of. Hard pass.
Week Two Waiver Wire WRs
Parris Campbell, Indianapolis Colts (26% rostered)
There are a lot of really interesting wide receivers on the waiver wire in week one, but my absolute favorite is Parris Campbell. While plenty of people had better numbers, I think his trajectory throughout the rest of the season is better than everyone else. Campbell and Hilton both led the team with 9 targets. Campbell also led all receivers in snaps, just eking out Hilton. He’s my favorite type of acquisition: a receiver entering his second year with a draft pedigree and opportunity. He was also highly touted coming out of college and the only reason he wasn’t drafted higher in fantasy leagues this year is that his rookie campaign was derailed with injuries. Basically, I love Parris Campbell.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling/Allen Lazard, Green Bay Packers (5%/34% rostered)
If you watched the Packers in week one, you know that you want some shares of that passing game. Aaron Rodgers looked like vintage Rodgers, destroying a depleted Vikings secondary. Before the season, I had Rodgers penciled in as a top-five fantasy quarterback, so you definitely want one of them. The question is which receiver is the guy to own. MVS had six targets to Lazard’s four, but Lazard was on the field 87% of the time to MVS’ 54%. Both had strong week ones, but the usage seems to indicate that Allen Lazard is the receiver to own, so if you need receiver help, take a long, hard look at Allen Lazard.
Robby Anderson, N.Y. Jets (49% rostered)
Robby Anderson had one of the best performances of any week one receiver. Having said that, he is very much a buyer-beware player. Sure, 6 catches for 115 yards and 1 touchdown look great on paper, but a closer look at his career should give you pause. In his 4 year career, he has 40 games with 50 yards or less. He is the definition of boom or bust, and he will be fighting for targets between Curtis Samuel and DJ Moore. He is a player I would avoid.
Russell Gage, Atlanta Falcons (3% rostered)
Russell Gage is a hard player for me to decide on. He was a sleeper in many fantasy circles and there is no denying that his 9 catches for 114 yards is exactly what I want out of a wide receiver. While I worry about his opportunities, his targets were on par with Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley this week. When I look at his usage, he was on the field 70% of the time, which is not a bad number. What I struggle to get past is that he is the third receiver on the team, and the two receivers ahead of him are not going to lose targets to him. I guess the question you have to ask yourself is if you think the Atlanta Falcons offense can sustain three fantasy-relevant receivers. I’m not sure I believe it.
Sammy Watkins, Kansas City Chiefs (48% rostered)
Sammy Watkins opened the season with 7 catches for 82 yards and 1 touchdown, reminding people why he was the first receiver taken in the 2014 NFL draft. Now let me remind you that last year, Watkins had 198 yards and 3 touchdowns in week one. Over the next 15 games, Watkins only had 475 yards and 0 touchdowns. This is me reminding you not to waste your waiver claim on Sammy Watkins.
Lavisha Shenault, Jacksonville Jaguars (10% rostered)
Shenault is probably not someone you absolutely need to claim on waiver wires in week one, but he is definitely someone you need to pay attention to. His week one performance of 3 catches for 37 yards and 1 touchdown is just the tip of the iceberg for Shenault. If you are looking for a deep stash in your leagues, you want Shenault on your team. By the end of the year, he will have entrenched himself as the Jaguars number two receiver. He was a favorite in fantasy football circles before the year started and his first week in the NFL shows he is on a clear trajectory towards being a receiver you will want on your roster. Even if you don’t grab him, make sure you keep an eye on him.
Corey Davis, Tennessee Titans (5% rostered)
Remember Corey Davis? He’s back, in waiver wire form! The former top-ten draft pick did his best 2019 DeVante Parker impression, starting his 2020 redemption tour/fifth-year breakout off with a bang. He took the Broncos to school, catching seven balls for 101 yards. Corey Davis being fantasy relevant might be the most unexpected thing to happen in 2020 but enjoy the ride, he’s worth a pickup in deeper leagues just to see if that first game was legit.
Week Two Waiver Wire TEs
Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles (42% rostered)
The week two waiver wire for tight ends begins and ends with Dallas Goedert. But what about Logan Thomas? What about him? He’s a tight end and tight ends are inherently terrible. Are you saying Tom Brady can’t fix O.J. Howard? I’m saying nobody can fix the tight end situation in Tampa Bay. Once every few weeks, a tight end comes along who I declare “not bad.” This week, that tight end is Dallas Goedert. For some reason, he is available in 58% of leagues. I assume that is because that 58% didn’t read about how much we love Goedert here at Football Absurdity. Don’t worry, you messed up. We get it. But you can make up for your awful decision making by claiming the number one fantasy tight end in week one and our hearts. Get Goedert!
[Editor’s Note: If you had read us all summer, and listened to our podcast, you would already have Dallas Goedert (Evan Hoovler’s TE5), Parris Campbell (a WR loved by Mike Valverde of the Football Absurdity Podcast), Nyheim Hines (the face of Jeff Krisko’s Sleeper Running Backs article), Gardner Minshew (the official quarterback of the Football Absurdity Discord) and of course, Waleed Ismail’s favorite player in the entire universe (Mitchell Trubisky). You could almost take the week two waiver wire off!]
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