Top Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 2 (Fantasy Football)

Sep 10, 2019

We asked our writers to name their top waiver-wire targets at running back and wide receiver for the week. Here’s what they said.

All player ownership rates via Yahoo leagues.

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Who’s your top running back pickup of the week?

Malcolm Brown (LAR): 14% ownership
Coming into the season, most fantasy owners were under the impression that rookie Darrell Henderson would be the handcuff to Todd Gurley. Well, one week into the season and that assumption is proving wrong. It was, in fact, Malcolm Brown who saw the most work behind Gurley and was very impressive finishing with 11 carries for 53 yards and two touchdowns. While I don’t expect him to get in the end zone twice a week, he is clearly going to have a role and if you’re a Todd Gurley owner, you absolutely must target him. He’s currently owned in only 6.5% of leagues. That number is going to skyrocket.
– Eli Berkovits (BookOfEli_NFL)

I was banging this drum all offseason, but the RB2 for the Rams, and the true handcuff to Todd Gurley, is Malcolm Brown. That usage panned out in Week 1, as Darrell Henderson barely saw the field. Brown must be owned in all leagues as he was the primary red-zone back and has extreme upside if anyting happens to Gurley.
– Mark Leipold (@LeipoldNFL)

A 28 percent snap share is nothing to write home about, but Malcolm Brown’s Week 1 performance was nothing short of impressive. Brown looked like LA’s most explosive back for most of the game. If the Rams were trying to cut down on Gurley’s wear and tear, they’d start near the end zone – which is exactly what they did to begin the season. Brown received three of the Rams’ four rushing opportunities inside the 10, and there’s little reason for that to stop. What that means is that Brown won’t need a huge workload in order to return fantasy value. This performance also showed that if Gurley needed to miss time with an injury, Brown would have RB1 value.
– Elisha Twerski (@ElishaTwerski)

Giovani Bernard (CIN): 14% ownership
While it appears Joe Mixon avoided a more serious ankle injury on Sunday, this scare should implore all Mixon owners to pick up Giovani Bernard ASAP. Bernard is one of the highest-upside handcuffs in the league as he scored 19.6 and 25.6 PPR points respectively in Week 3 and 4 last season as the starting running back. The UNC alum is available in 86% of Yahoo leagues, and given Mixon’s injury history, he’s a necessity for those with shares of the former Sooner.
– Josh Bricker (@joshbrickner)

Ronald Jones (TB): 29% ownership
Jones finally showed why the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made him a second-round pick in 2018. He had 75 yards rushing on 13 carries, which was more than the 44 yards rushing he had all of last year. He also added an 18-yard reception. That performance should allow him to see even more work in Week 2 and in that running back-friendly offense, there is a chance for him to carve out a larger role going forward. There is still likely to be a timeshare there early in the season, the 49ers were not a good defense last year, and this does not mean that Jones is destined for RB1 fantasy status. What it means is there is an opportunity to seize the lead role in Tampa Bay early in the year, Jones is the player that took it, and seeing he was a second-round pick a year ago and they brought in no competition this offseason, he is the player on that roster most likely to earn the bigger timeshare. I think he is a player that showed enough in Week 1 that I would want to take a flyer on him for the rest of the season.
– Derek Lofland (@DerekLofland)

Raheem Mostert (SF): 1% ownership
With Tevin Coleman’s injury starting to look more lengthy than originally expected and Jerick McKinnon on IR, the 49ers are thin at running back yet again. It seems they are jinxed at signing free agents for the position. Breida will most likely get first dibs, but Shanahan likes at least two players sharing the load. Step up Raheem Mostert, who like Breida, seems to be uber-efficient and versatile. He’s gained about 15 pounds of muscle during the offseason and looked much better in Week 1. Best of all, you’ll be able to pick him up for virtually nothing in leagues that run FAAB.
– Marc Mathyk (@Masterjune70)

Carlos Hyde (HOU): 32% ownership
Carlos Hyde is done. Those were the cries from much of the NFL community. 8.3 yards per carry on 10 rushes later and Hyde looks like the Houston Texans early-down back. Duke Johnson saw more touches and snaps overall, but Hyde should still be owned in all leagues. Hyde should see his role grow in the coming weeks, and as the Texans offense proved in Week 1 against the New Orleans Saints, they are going to be explosive. He is not going to average 8.3 yards per carry every week but is someone to target as a bye-week filler or injury replacement.
– Raju Byfield (@FantasyContext)

Who’s your top wide receiver pickup of the week?

Marquise Brown (BAL): 32% ownership
I know that Brown is not going to have 147 yards and two receiving touchdowns per game, but quarterback Lamar Jackson showed me something on Sunday, even if it was against a bad Miami team. Coming off a season where he had 147 rushing attempts versus six touchdown passes, he had five touchdown passes against Miami and he ran the ball only three times. He was able to find Brown on a couple deep routes that resulted in big touchdown plays. That does not mean Brown will have those plays every week, but if the Ravens are actually going to throw the ball downfield and Jackson has the ability to hit players deep, that changes the calculus on Brown being a fantasy-relevant player. There are lots of deep threats that we play as a WR3 and hope they have one or two big catches per game. Brown just entered that conversation on Sunday, and he has a ton of upside as a rookie that should continue to grow in that offense. I am not chasing 147 yards and two touchdowns, I am chasing a player that showed Baltimore may have a better vertical passing game than we thought in the preseason.
– Derek Lofland (@DerekLofland)

Marquise Brown should be the top waiver wire add of the week. He was dealing with injuries throughout the summer and ended up getting overlooked in many fantasy leagues. Available in 68 percent of Yahoo leagues, Brown did all of his damage on just 14 snaps. With a full-time snap count, records may be in his future. He is owned in most competitive formats, but if he is somehow still available in yours, now is the time to make the waiver bid.
– Raju Byfield (@FantasyContext)

Mecole Hardman (KC): 15% ownership
Does anyone want the new WR2 for Patrick Mahomes? I do. With Tyreek Hill set to miss time, the speedster out of Georgia has a lot of appeal in the next several weeks. Hardman should compete for snaps early and is the closest replacement for Hill on the roster. There are plenty of other receivers that are worthy of a waiver claim, but few if any have as much weekly upside as Hardman over the next month-plus.
– Mark Leipold (@LeipoldNFL)

Mecole Hardman was drafted as a potential replacement for Tyreek Hill. In the preseason, Hardman looked like he’d be able to live up to the task if Hill were to miss time. Well, Hill is going to miss time. Hardman had a 90 percent snap share in Week 1 and chances are that he’s about to fall into a some of the most valuable snaps in the NFL. Few things in fantasy are worth more than a Patrick Mahomes’ target. Hardman will probably be a volatile performer, but there’s a good chance that he will have some week-winning games for you. The best part is that Hardman will be relatively cheap because some other rookies put up unsustainable stat lines.
– Elisha Twerski (@ElishaTwerski)

Terry McLaurin (WAS): 6% ownership
Redskins rookie wide receiver Terry McLaurin was drawing plenty of praise throughout training camp and he followed through on that with a big Week 1 performance. He finished Sunday’s game with five receptions for 125 yards and a touchdown. As great as his stat line was, I’m most excited about his snap count. McLaurin played on 93% of the Redskins’ snaps showing he is going to be an every-down player in this offense. Look at a guy like Marquis Brown who had a monster rookie debut. He only played 14 snaps! Brown is a game-changer, but with such a limited workload it’s hard to imagine he has consistent fantasy value. I like McLaurin to be a more steady presence in your lineup while carrying plenty of upside.
– Eli Berkovits (BookOfEli_NFL)

College dominator ratings be damned as Terry McLaurin finds himself as the most talented wide receiver on the Washington Redskins. The Ohio State product led all Washington receivers on Sunday in targets (seven), receptions (five), and yards (125) while playing on 93% (!) of the offensive snaps in his NFL regular-season debut. McLaurin will make for an intriguing weekly WR3 play as his competition for targets is underwhelming (Paul Richardson, Vernon Davis [I’m not convinced Jordan Reed plays soon with his concussion history], etc) to say the least, but please exercise caution. There will be weeks where this offense is hapless and Terry needs garbage time to stabilize his fantasy floor. The likely quarterback change to his college teammate Dwayne Haskins will only be more good news to those with shares of the former Buckeye.
– Josh Bricker (@joshbrickner)

A.J. Brown (TEN): 3% ownership
There are many intriguing wide receivers to pick up this week, D.J. Chark, Hollywood Brown, John Ross, and Terry McLaurin to name a few. However, I am putting my claim on A.J. Brown. He looks like the receiver everyone wanted Corey Davis to be. He has the size, he’s got the athletic profile, and has the production that teammate D.K. Metcalf wished he had. Brown can play X, Z, and in the slot. He has great hands and proved in Week 1 to be a YAC monster. I am still not convinced the Titans have a great offense but appear to be approaching it from the way they didn’t last year, which is run-first with Henry which opens the passing game. Brown will compete with Davis and natural slot receiver Adam Humphries. Despite missing some time in the preseason, Brown looked more like the Alpha Dog when he was on the field for limited snaps. Look for his snap-share to increase dramatically in the upcoming weeks. He might be your first waiver wire pick up that you will keep putting in your starting roster.
– Marc Mathyk (@Masterjune70)

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