Weekend Waiver Wire Stashes (Week 1 Fantasy Football)
How many times have you heard someone telling you to “stream” a position? Whether it be quarterback, tight end, or defense, the idea of streaming is great, provided you get the players you want off the waiver wire. The issue with streaming week-to-week is that everyone knows who you’ll be targeting in those good matchups and you might have that player swiped from underneath you, or even worse, your opponent that week may snag a player just to ensure you don’t get them.
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We started this article so you don’t have to worry about that anymore. Each Saturday morning, you’ll head over to your waiver wire and snag the players who are lined up for good matchups the following week. They may have a brutal matchup for that current week. Great, even better. That just means they’re more likely to be available for you. By snagging them a week prior, you eliminate the need to spend a lot of FAB dollars on the top tier defense that everyone is chasing. Here are the players who have solid Week 2 matchups on tap, or have breakout potential in Week 1, and are less than 40 percent rostered.
Tyrod Taylor (LAC) vs KC
Once we heard that Taylor was going to start for the Chargers, you should’ve been drafting him if you took the streaming route to quarterbacks. He will play the Bengals in Week 1, which should lead to a lot of fantasy owners to the wire. Fortunately, he’ll already be on your roster. There were six quarterbacks who rushed for at least 20 yards against the man-heavy Chiefs defense. When a defense plays man coverage, their cornerbacks often have their backs turned to the quarterback, which should allow Taylor to scramble quite a bit. When streaming, you just want a quarterback who won’t crush your lineup. Taylor fits the bill.
Mitch Trubisky (CHI) vs NYG
Is it possible that Trubisky will be a top-12 fantasy quarterback through two weeks? Yep. He plays the Lions defense this week and they’re a team he’s thrown for three touchdowns against in each of their last three meetings. The Giants defense is under a new coordinator, but they don’t have a whole lot of talent after going offense early in the draft. That was evident when they allowed at least 17.06 fantasy points to 14-of-16 quarterbacks last year.
Kirk Cousins (MIN) at IND
Since Frank Reich came to Indianapolis with Matt Eberflus, they’ve allowed exactly one running back to rush for 100 yards, and that was Derrick Henry when he was on his terror last year in Week 13. They added DeForest Buckner to that defensive line. It’s fair to say they’re going to be good against the run, which means the Vikings will have to find other ways to win. We watched 11-of-16 quarterbacks score at least 15.5 fantasy points against them last year, and four of the biggest games they allowed were to pocket passers (Jameis Winston, Drew Brees, Philip Rivers, and Matt Ryan), similar to Cousins.
Solid last-ditch options: Philip Rivers (IND) vs MIN, Gardner Minshew (JAX) at TEN
James Robinson (JAX) at TEN
While writing this article, Robinson is rostered in just 38 percent of leagues. By the time you get to the wire, he may be gone. Not only was Ryquell Armstead placed on the COVID list for the second time, but Devine Ozigbo was placed on injured reserve, meaning it’s just Robinson, Chris Thompson, and Dare Ogunbowale on the roster. Thompson and Ogunbowale have never totaled more than 68 rushing attempts in a season. It’s not a good offense, but Robinson is listed as the No. 1 on the depth chart and should get 14-plus touches per week by default.
Joshua Kelley (LAC) vs KC
He should be rostered right now, as we’re going to find out a lot in the Week 1 matchup against the Bengals. Let’s pretend Kelley takes over 75 percent of the Melvin Gordon role, which would include 12-plus touches per game, including goal-line work. The Bengals are a team that he could do damage against, so he’d be highly sought-after during waivers. In Week 2, he’ll play the Chiefs, a defense that allowed 20 running backs to post top-36 numbers in 2019.
Boston Scott (PHI) vs LAR
Have you heard the rumors about how Miles Sanders may be eased into the offense after missing a few weeks of camp? Scott showed he was more than capable of being a timeshare running back last year, as he totaled at least nine touches in each of the team’s last four games. Rams opponents averaged 66.0 plays per game last year, and it led to 27.6 touches per game to running backs. Knowing the majority of touches Scott gets are through the air, they are worth much more than carries.
Decent floor options: Nyheim Hines (IND) vs MIN, Jerick McKinnon (SF) at NYJ
Should be rostered: Tony Pollard (DAL), Carlos Hyde (SEA), Darrel Williams (KC)
Parris Campbell (IND) vs MIN
It blew my mind that Campbell was just 22 percent owned. Like, who were people drafting in the double-digit rounds? Players like Adrian Peterson? Campbell has legitimate breakout potential, especially when you consider the Vikings defended tight ends better than anyone last year, and Philip Rivers continually targets players over the middle of the field. While Michael Pittman battles Zach Pascal for snaps, Campbell is locked into his role.
Robby Anderson (CAR) at TB
I suspected he would be the No. 2 receiver behind D.J. Moore in this offense, and that was confirmed when we heard negative reports about Curtis Samuel. Lastly, the depth chart highlighted him as the No. 2 option. There were just three times Christian McCaffrey scored fewer than 22 PPR points in 2019 and two of them came against the Bucs. They led the league in yards per carry and yards per target to running backs, so the Panthers need to get the ball out to their receivers a bit more here. Anderson offers splash potential as a WR4 in a matchup like this.
Bryan Edwards (LV) vs NO
There was buzz surrounding Edwards in training camp, as Derek Carr compared him to Davante Adams. That was a bit much, but once Tyrell Williams went on injured reserve, he walked into the starting lineup and opportunity will be there. This is not someone you’re picking up to play in your starting lineup next week, but rather because he might become a fantasy relevant player as the weeks progress. The matchup with the Saints isn’t a good one, but he might have an impressive Week 1 that makes him a big waiver wire target next week.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling (GB) vs DET
We hadn’t really heard Aaron Rodgers talk positively about Valdes-Scantling through his first two seasons, but Rodgers recently said that Valdes-Scantling was an MVP during training camp. At the very least, he should have a spot on the end of benches with the possibility that he breaks out in year three. The Lions are a team that’s lacking cornerback talent, particularly in the slot, where Anthony Miller should dominate them in Week 1.
Keep an eye on them: Corey Davis (TEN) vs JAX, John Ross (CIN) at CLE
Jack Doyle (IND) vs MIN
With tight ends, all you want to chase is targets. I’d be surprised if Doyle wound up with fewer than five targets in Week 1 considering Trey Burton is on injured reserve. The Vikings were the best defense in the league against tight ends last year on a per-target basis, allowing just 1.32 PPR points per target, but they’ve had a lot of turnover on their roster this offseason and will be missing their best pass-rusher. Despite the Vikings being good against the position, teams still targeted them a ton, as they saw the eighth-most targets in the league. He offers a decent floor as a streamer, even if the ceiling isn’t massive.
Eric Ebron (PIT) vs DEN
We don’t really know how the Steelers are going to use Ebron, but against the Broncos stout run defense, they should be throwing more than running. The Broncos only allowed three tight end touchdowns last year, but they allowed the fourth-most yards to them. You know which one of those numbers is more predictable on a weekly basis. If Ebron is only on the field for 30 percent of the snaps in Week 1, you’ll have to find another streamer, but he’s a good preemptive add in case he does play 50-plus percent of the snaps.
Last-ditch option: Irv Smith Jr. (MIN) at IND
Tennessee Titans vs JAX
The Titans pass rush is suddenly one of the fiercest in football after they acquired Jadeveon Clowney just last week. Meanwhile, the Jaguars offensive line is, well… not great. The Titans will be at home for their first game of the year, and let’s not pretend that Gardner Minshew is the game-managing type. They’ll be a popular streaming option in Week 2.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs CAR
We don’t know what to expect out of the Panthers offense, but we know it runs through Christian McCaffrey, right? There was one team who slowed him down last year, and it was the Bucs. Two of his bottom-three performances last year came against the Bucs. And now you bring that pass-rush against this bottom-10 offensive line? Teddy Bridgewater will be forced into throwing a bit in this game, which typically leads to fantasy points for a defense.
Last ditch option: Arizona Cardinals vs WAS
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Mike Tagliere is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeTagliereNFL.