by Angel Maldonado Tejada
It’s Week 1 and injuries, cuts, and Covid-19 are already wreaking havoc on fantasy rosters. Luckily, the waiver wire is full of options this time of year. Whether it be a stash, a possible injury replacement, or a streamer for the week, here are my Top 5 Waiver Wire targets this week.
James Robinson is going to get all the hype, but he may not be the best back to own while Ryquell Armstead is on the Covid-19 list… or even after. Keep in mind, the only reason why Leonard Fournette was an effective fantasy option was because of his volume, especially in the passing game. That volume is unlikely to be replicated by any back on the roster, but Thompson has a chance to provide a safe PPR floor in large part due to Jacksonville’s efforts to #TankForTrevor. If the Montgomery or Fournette situations have affected your Week 1 lineup, pick up Thompson and hope Jacksonville falls behind early (and they probably will).
Alshon Jeffery is going to be limited. Jalen Reagor is out. The stage is set for the annual Week 1 Desean Jackson explosion.
Owned in only 50% of leagues, Jackson is facing the Washington Football Team to start the season. This is the same (arguably worse) team that let Desean Jackson destroy them to the tune of 154 yards and two touchdowns to start last season. With the lack of weapons (poor Went) on the Eagles at the moment, Jackson will be looked at to carry the team with his explosiveness. He is a fantastic boom or bust WR2 this week and can be started with confidence, especially in DFS.
Austin Ekeler is going to be a fantasy stud this season, but that doesn’t mean he’s the only player in that backfield with value. Enter Joshua Kelley, the 4th round pick out of UCLA who has quickly risen up the depth chart. An impressive camp has Kelley on pace to play an important role in the offense and sees him challenging Justin Jackson for the No. 2 spot on the depth chart. Jackson’s recent injury might just be what gives Kelley the opening he needs to see the field. The Chargers running back room could not ask for a better schedule to start the season as they face the Bengals, the Chiefs, and the Panthers to start the season. If Kelley sees opportunity against these three defenses, he will become a fantasy contributor far quicker than most anticipated.
I’m a big fan of streaming QBs, and Ben Roethlisberger is set for a huge game this weekend. After an elbow injury ended Roethlisberger’s season prematurely, the Steelers struggled to form any semblance of an offense as their defense carried them week in and week out. With Roethlisberger, that should change. AS long as he stays healthy, Roethlisberger has the weapons to put up big weekly numbers, especially against struggling teams like the New York Giants.
Even before Tyrell Williams’ season-ending injury, Edwards was receiving plenty of praise from beat reporters that were impressed by his red zone performance in addition to the hype from his starting quarterback. While he may not be Davante Adams, Bryan Edwards is a player who is going to get high-value touches in an improved offense. With a College Dominator ranking in the 94.8 percentile and a breakout age in the 100th percentile, Edwards has shown the ability to be a leading wide receiver in the past and has excelled at the role.
Will Edwards receive the volume needed to succeed? That remains to be seen, but it’d be better to proactively pick up Edwards instead of waiting for his big explosion.
Other Names to Consider