Working the waiver wire

Photo via: Redskins/Facebook

Now that the first week of football is in the books, it's time to put in those waiver claims and strengthen your overall roster. You may be loaded from top to bottom, and have no moves that need to be made. Sometimes, no move is the best move. But that's not the case for every roster, and injuries often create the need for free agents. Right Tyreek Hill owners? Without further ado, let's take a look at some targets on the waiver wire heading into week 2.

Some of these players are good for the short-term, while others have more long-term value. You have to make the call on what your team needs. Immediate help to start this week, or a player to stash on your bench and hope he breaks out.


Josh Allen picked up where he left off from last season putting together a solid fantasy performance. He had a couple TDs and some of that sweet sweet rushing production that fantasy owners covet. He has a great chance to put up some numbers against the Giants this week just like Dak Prescott did on Sunday. He's available in 80% of ESPN leagues.

Matthew Stafford had a great game against the Cardinals, and it looks like his connection with rookie TE T.J. Hockenson will be a big boost for the offense. He gets the Chargers this week, and should be a good option for fantasy. He's owned in 16% of ESPN leagues.

Andy Dalton showed some chemistry with John Ross in week 1, and Dalton has typically been a QB that's pretty good every other year. Maybe this is one of his good years, and A.J. Green should return at some point to give the offense a boost. He has a nice matchup against the 49ers this week. He is only owned in 4.2% of ESPN leagues.


Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson should get more work going forward with Derrius Guice dealing with a knee issue. Thompson is a nice option in PPR, and Peterson showed last year that he can still get it done. Peterson is owned in 27% of ESPN leagues and Thompson is owned in just under 19% of leagues. They play the Cowboys this week which means Thompson might be the better play in PPR with the Redskins likely playing from behind. Peterson is a better add in standard scoring, but both players should be rostered.

Carlos Hyde: Hyde surprised me on Monday night running with power and showing he still has some juice. He'll share the load with Duke Johnson, but he should get a lot of opportunity on what looks to be a great offense. He's owned in 39% of ESPN leagues, and gets the Jags this week. Not bad.

Giovani Bernard: It looks like the Bengals dodged a bullet and Joe Mixon shouldn't miss much time, but while he's out, Bernard is a great fantasy option. Mixon isn't a lock to miss time, so you'll have to monitor his status this week. Bernard catches a lot of passes when given the opportunity, and has shown he can handle the load when Mixon is out. Nothing scary about his matchup with the 49ers this week, and Mixon owners should definitely pick him up as insurance. Bernard is more of a short-term option, and he's only owned in 32% of ESPN leagues.

Ronald Jones showed some good signs in week one rushing for 75 yards on just 13 carries. The Bucs spent significant draft capital on him, and would love to see that payoff. Also, Winston looked terrible, and they may look to lean a little more on the running game. His ownership in ESPN leagues is a little over 40%. Jones plays the Panthers on Thursday night if you're desperate.


John Brown tops the list because he was highly involved in the offense. He received 10 targets in week 1 and recorded over 100 receiving yards. This offense needs a No. 1 WR, and Brown looks to be that guy. He's owned in 35% of ESPN leagues.

DK Metcalf flashed on Sunday and was way more involved in the offense than I expected. He had the most targets on the team, and his size could make him a big threat in the red zone. He's owned in 63% of ESPN leagues, so you might have missed out on him. Metcalf gets the Steelers this week.

Marquise Brown: What a pleasant surprise he was on Sunday. It turns out the Ravens have themselves an offense. Brown wasn't on the field a ton, but you saw what he can do especially on deep balls. DeSean Jackson 2.0 seems about right. Brown is available in 72% of ESPN leagues, and has a juicy matchup against the Cardinals in week 2. Remember, Arizona is down their top 2 corners right now. I think Brown has the most long-term value at WR, and I would target him first if I have the option to put him on my bench.

Others of note:

Jamison Crowder had a ridiculous 17 targets against the Bills this week, and we know Adam Gase loves his slot receivers. Bills CB Tre'Davious White kept Robbie Anderson in check for most of the game which led to more opportunities for Crowder. Crowder's target share will surely go down, and he seems to be injured a lot, so I'm not running to add him just yet. He's owned in 70% of ESPN leagues.

John Ross exploded for the Bengals week 1 and maybe there's hope for him yet. Notice the trend of small speed receivers having success this week. Ross, DeSean Jackson, and Marquise Brown all had big performances. Ross is worth watching especially while A.J. Green is out, and he gets the 49ers this week. He is available in 95% of ESPN leagues.


Darren Waller had a solid performance against the Broncos on Monday night recording seven catches for 70 yards. His role in the offense increased after the departure of Antonio Brown. Add him if you need help at TE, he's only rostered in 26% of ESPN leagues.

Greg Olsen is available in 33% of ESPN leagues, and he may be able to help you...until he gets hurt again. He plans to play on Thursday night against the Bucs, but he's already dealing with a back issue.

Jimmy Graham came through with a TD catch against the Bears, and that's really all you're hoping for with him. TE is a wasteland for the most part, so Graham does have some appeal because of the position scarcity. He's available in 53% of ESPN leagues.

If you have any questions, feel free to hit me up on Twitter or listen to my radio show with Jerry Bo Sundays from 10-noon on ESPN 97.5 FM. We talk all things fantasy football and NFL gambling getting you ready for kickoff every Sunday.

@JoshJordan975 @Moneyline975

Deshaun Watson had an up and down day. Tim Warner/Getty Images

So what does Bill O'Brien have in store for a Sunday encore in the clock management follies department? All's well that ends well for the Texans if another Billy Botch episode comes with another win. Get it and home games vs. the Panthers and Falcons make 4-1 a very legit possibility.

The Texans have a good shot to get the win in Los Angeles Sunday. They may have half the crowd rooting for them. The Chargers have the lamest homefield advantage in the NFL. L.A. has largely yawned at them since their move up the coast from San Diego. In their home opener the Chargers couldn't sell out the 27,000 seat soccer stadium serving as their temporary facility. Next season they move into the monument of wow and greed they'll share with the Rams. That place will hold about 70,000.

On the field it's a big game for the also 1-1 Chargers if they hope to hang with Kansas City in the AFC West race. The Chargers' three following games are at the joke Dolphins, then home vs. the not good Broncos and the Roethlisberger-less Steelers.

For the Texans, one major subplot is a constant. How porous will the offensive line be? Deshaun Watson has been sacked 10 times over the first two games. The Chargers have one of the NFL's better pass rushing duos in Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. If the Texans can protect, opportunity knocks for big plays downfield with the Chargers down both of their starting safeties. Rookie All-Pro Derwin James is on injured reserve recovering from a broken foot, Adrian Phillips broke an arm last Sunday at Detroit.

Warm California sun

So if you were 300 strikeout man Gerrit Cole, what would you be thinking about re: 2020 and beyond? I mean after next month ideally helping the Astros win the World Series. And if you are the Astros what are you thinking?

In his two Astro seasons Cole has been tremendous. The ballclub is tremendous, and if Cole re-signs it that much more figures to stay tremendous for at least another couple of seasons. But Gerrit Cole is to become the most highly coveted free agent on the market. The low end of what he should be able to command is probably in the six years 150 million range. Heck, he could get seven years 250 million.

Next year the Astros payroll is set to soar into competitive balance tax territory. Meaning, in addition to the payroll itself, the Astros are looking at paying millions in penalties if they pay up to keep Cole. To counter that the Astros certainly could pivot and trade Zack Greinke. They basically will be open to giving away Josh Reddick and the 13 million he'll make in the final year of his contract.

Maybe Jim Crane and his partners say this is such a special era, we'll forego huge chunks of profits to keep this core together. That would be fantastic, but drawing a line on how far they'll go to keep Cole would not be miserly. Long term megadollar pitching contracts carry large risks. Cole turns 30 next season.

Cole grew up in Southern California. His wife too. It's where they live in the offseason. He went to high school under five miles from Angels Stadium and grew up an Angels fan. The Angels have a desperate need for starting pitching. Even with Cole though, the Angels can't essentially promise perennial contender status. But the Dodgers can, every bit as much as the Astros, and the Dodgers have much deeper pockets. If the Coles want to spend the rest of Gerrit's prime pitching years living year-round back home in SoCal, no one should take offense. Still, if the Astros’ bid is competitive when factoring in income tax rates, proven comfort level with the team, air conditioned comfort for home games…

Big weekend for Aggies

Better college football schedule this week after the garbage card of a week ago. The biggest game nationally is seventh ranked Notre Dame at number three Georgia. Big game for Texas A&M vs. Auburn at Kyle Field Saturday. The 17th ranked Aggies are three and a half point favorites over the eighth ranked team in the nation. A hard fought loss wouldn't be shameful, but would mean that with games yet to come vs. Alabama, at Georgia, and at LSU, the Ags would have to pull off at least one upset to finish better than 7-5. 75 million dollars to lure Jimbo Fisher were not spent to yield any 7-5 seasons.

Buzzer Beaters:

1. Major Applewhite would have coached the Cougars to a 1-3 start much more economically for UH than Dana Holgorsen has. 2. The Tulane Green Wave wearing powder blue uniforms is just as dopey as the St. John's Red Storm and Duke Blue Devils wearing black. 3. Names that Houstonians should rule out for daughters: Bronze-Imelda Silver-Allison Gold-Alicia

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