Weekend Waiver Wire Stashes: Week 2 (2021 Fantasy Football)
So, you didn’t predict the Elijah Mitchell breakout?
That’s fine, not many people did. However, if you stashed him prior to Sunday’s game, you had quite the stress-free Tuesday.
Here are a few players, all rostered in fewer than 50% of leagues (ESPN), who could be in high demand following this week’s slate of games.
A quick preamble: If a league mate dropped a player you had ranked in your top, say, 150 players, I’d highly consider picking them up. Someone like Tyler Boyd should absolutely still be rostered despite having a rough week one.
Tony Pollard (RB – DAL)
Alexander Mattison (RB – MIN)
Tony Jones Jr. (RB – NO)
Damien Williams (RB – CHI)
Devontae Booker (RB – NYG)
These are five players in one tier for me. They are all in the “handcuff” tier. While Pollard and Jones may receive more work than the others currently, none of these players are startable without an injury to their team’s starting running back. However, should any of the players leading these respective backfields sustain an injury, their backups will inherit most of or all of their touches. You’ve heard this countless times. We’re never hoping or wishing for an injury. Ever. Period. These players are insurance policies should one of their teammates be sidelined for any reason.
Amon-Ra St. Brown (WR – DET)
Tyrell Williams is reportedly unlikely to play in Detroit’s game Monday night, in the concussion protocol, leaving the Lions’ WR1 spot wide open. In week one, Quintez Cephus and Trinity Benson led Lions WRs with 6 targets each, Cephus caught a touchdown and Kalif Raymond is also in the mix. I’m riding with St. Brown because he’s the most intriguing prospect. He was selected in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft and took the second-most snaps of any Lions WR in week one. Raymond led Lions WRs in snaps, but I’d be surprised if he became fantasy-relevant. Raymond is a 27-year-old journeyman who’s never eclipsed nine receptions in a season. If Williams misses this game and St. Brown steps up, he has an easy path to finishing the year as the Lions’ most-targeted WR.
Kenneth Gainwell (RB – PHI)
I don’t speak for only myself when I say I was shocked Boston Scott didn’t take a single snap on offense in the Eagles’ season opener. The Eagles have three running backs on their active roster, and it appears as though Gainwell has secured the RB2 role after his first-ever NFL game. Many, including myself, were surprised Gainwell fell all the way to the fifth round in this year’s draft. He was touted as a versatile, explosive back coming out of Memphis. For now, it looks as though Gainwell has the Nyheim Hines role sured up in Philadelphia, playing as Miles Sanders‘ counterpart. In week one, he took 25 snaps to Sanders’ 47. Should Sanders miss time for any reason, Gainwell becomes a must-start player.
Sammy Watkins (WR – BAL)
Pardon me if I’m repeating myself — Sammy Watkins had a great week one stat line! Have we said that before? Watkins always seems to pique interest after week one … and then kind of just fizzle out. However, folks don’t appear to be overreacting to his performance, as he’s still available in nearly 75% of leagues! Marquise Brown is questionable for this weekend’s game. If Brown is out, I’d consider starting Watkins this week, nevermind picking him up off the waiver wire.
Cedrick Wilson (WR – LAC)
Michael Gallup is on the IR and Wilson is now the WR3 in this high-powered Dallas offense. Wilson is in his third year in the NFL and the opportunity he has now is as good as any to assert himself as a viable flex option. His ceiling is limited, given the presence of Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb, but their drawing attention from defenses may work to his advantage at times. Wilson caught all three of his targets last Thursday for 24 yards. Wilson is a reasonable start in deep leagues this week, as the Cowboys and Chargers game has the highest expected point total of any game, with the Vegas over/under at 55.
Donald Parham (TE – LAC)
Parham is a deep, deep league player to watch. I was fully on the Jared Cook train entering 2021, and he’ll be a solid TE option for now, but Parham took nearly as many snaps (41) as Cook (47) in week one. This is the flier of all fliers, but I wouldn’t be giving you a dart throw without some juice. Parham is a towering six feet, eight inches tall. In 2020, his rookie season, Parham had 10 receptions for 159 yards and three touchdowns. In a world where TE production is sparse, Parham’s potential as a formidable red zone threat is hard to deny.
Arizona is playing the Jacksonville Jaguars in week three. Carolina is taking on the Houston Texans. If you have an open roster spot and stream defenses like me, consider these teams solid additions before next week’s waivers.