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11 waiver wire targets in fantasy football for Week 2


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As Week 1 came and went, so did the roller coaster of emotions that comes with managing a fantasy football team. Or if you’re a degenerate like me, you find yourself in way too many leagues.

Regardless, it doesn’t matter whether you started off with a scoring victory or were cursing your lineup for dropping a dud. Scouring the waiver wire is vital to success in fantasy football.

To be eligible as a waiver wire target, a player cannot be rostered in more than 50% of ESPN leagues.

Here are 13 waiver-wire targets to help your fantasy football team in Week 2:

QB Jameis Winston (30.1% rostered)

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Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The new QB1 for the New Orleans Saints took advantage of sloppy play from Aaron Rodgers in Week 1. Despite finishing with just 148 passing yards on 20 attempts, Winston tossed five touchdown passes to no interceptions. It was a wild day for fantasy that resulted in 29.2 fantasy points in standard leagues. Winston isn’t going to do that every week, but he’s worth an add for those managers who have implemented the streaming method or for those who drafted a quarterback late.

RB Elijah Mitchell (3.8% rostered)

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AP Photo/Duane Burleson

The add of the week, Mitchell is going to be a hot commodity on the waiver wire. With the season-ending injury to Raheem Mostert, Mitchell is now the most likely candidate to lead the 49ers backfield. He will split some time with fellow rookie Trey Sermon, who was inactive in Week 1, but Mitchell proved he can be an explosive option for Kyle Shanahan. Prioritize Mitchell over everyone else on this list.

RB Mark Ingram (13.3% rostered)

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AP Photo/Sam Craft

I really don’t want any part of the Texans’ offense but when a running back gets 26 carries, you at least have to consider it. Don’t expect the Texans to be routing their opponents as they did in Week 1, which likely led to a high carry count for Ingram. But with scarce options on the waiver wire, it’s worth the add to see if Ingram will be seeing the early-down work while he’s healthy.

RB Kenny Gainwell (4.8% rostered)

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Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The rookie out of Memphis seemed to be the third option in the Eagle backfield entering the opener, but that narrative quickly changed. Gainwell was the clear backup to Miles Sanders, receiving nine carries and three targets while playing 35% of the snaps. Sanders will be the lead back, but Gainwell needs to be rostered.

WR Nelson Agholor (32.3% rostered)

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AP Photo/Steven Senne

Agholor was productive in his first game with the Patriots, and it’s clear he has a connection with rookie Mac Jones. His 38 routes run were tied for the most on the offense with Jakobi Meyers while leading the way with 72 yards and a touchdown on five receptions. He also saw the second-highest snap share among Patriots wide receivers at 85%.

WR Tim Patrick (0.7% rostered)

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Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The injury to Jerry Jeudy is unfortunate, especially because he was primed for a Year 2 breakout. But stepping right up is Patrick, who has a history of being a solid FLEX start amid injuries to the Broncos receiving corps. Patrick caught a touchdown pass after Jeudy left the game so expect him to be heavily involved in the passing game.

WR Terrace Marshall Jr. (24.4% rostered)

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AP Photo/Nell Redmond

There are a lot of mouths to feed in Carolina, but it seems the role for Marshall may be growing. Though he was out-snapped by D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson, Marshall was still on the field for 53% of the snaps and saw six targets. That was just two behind Moore and double what Anderson saw. The rookie is talented enough to see his role grow as the season progresses and is worth an add at the end of your bench.

WR Emmanuel Sanders (17.4% rostered)

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Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

It was a bit odd to see the Bills offense stumble like it did, but the Steelers defense is really good. Even so, Sanders was heavily involved in Week 1. Even though Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley were tied for the second-most run routes (55) on the week, Sanders was right behind them at 52. He also played on 93% of the snaps and saw seven targets. The Bills passing offense will be explosive again so Sanders is worth an add.

WR Sterling Shepard (30.2% rostered)

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AP Photo/Steve Luciano

Shepard is a bit of a boom/bust play, but he’s always going to be involved in the Giants’ passing attack. Even though his 13 targets were a byproduct of Evan Engram being inactive, Shepard is worth the add as a spot start in the FLEX spots of your lineup. You probably shouldn’t play him on Thursday night this week, but he’s still worth an add for solid depth.

TE Jared Cook (26.4% rostered)

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AP Photo/Daniel Kucin Jr.

The tight end position in fantasy football is a wasteland again, but Cook could emerge as a quasi-reliable option. His 31 routes run were the 11th-most at the position on the week while his eight targets were tied for the fourth-most among tight ends. Being tied to Justin Herbert gives Cook a chance to be a relevant option in a brutal landscape every week.

TE Adam Trautman (5% rostered)

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Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Most are likely putting Trautman’s teammate Juwan Johnson ahead of him because of his two touchdown receptions. However, the peripherals support Trautman being the better option moving forward. His 29% target share in Week 1 was the second-highest among tight ends while he out-targeted. Meanwhile, Trautman played 82% of the snaps compared to Johnson’s 19%, ran 18 routes compared to Johnson’s nine and had five targets compared to Johnson’s three. The long-term favors Trautman far more than Johnson.

TE Dalton Schultz (1.3% rostered)

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Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports

Schultz finds himself in an explosive offense tied to a quarterback that will throw the ball at a ridiculously high rate. His 39 routes run in Week 1 were the fourth-most among tight ends while he out-snapped teammate Blake Jarwin 58 to 47. He also had double the targets that Jarwin saw (6 to 3). With Michael Gallup out for a few weeks, Schultz can see his opportunity increase even more.

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