*Collab w/ Nikko B.
The initial waiver wire acquisition period has come and gone. You attempted to put in your claims for some of the hot names coming out of Week 1. You know, your “Elijah Mitchell’s”, your “Mark Ingram’s”, your “Mike Williams” (that last one, y’all should be ashamed of yourselves. He shouldn’t have gone undrafted). Now that period is over and you missed on those guys, either being outbid with Faab or having a low waiver wire position. Fret not! There are still some guys who you can still get that are some potential sleeper plays this week and we got all that good stuff right here.
Unfortunately, Nikko is unavailable this week so I’m pitching in for him this week. That’s just how we roll. So I’ll hold it down until he gets back and take care of you guys by providing you with some prime sleeper candidates we discussed heading into Week 2.
I would be completely remiss if I didn’t start off with Saints QB Jameis Winston. Who thought that Winston would come out in Week 1 against the Greenbay Packers and completely own that defense. Winston caught the Packers completely lacking, tossing five touchdowns on just 20 passes. 20! That’s all it took. Winston should have been one of the higher-end waiver wire adds heading into Week 2 and he has another great matchup against the Carolina Panthers. Winston may have to throw the ball a bit more in this one but with the Panthers giving up 258 yards to rookie Zach Wilson in Week 1, even without guys like Michael Thomas (who’s going to be missing for a while), he should be able to have a solid game against the division rival.
Wide receiver Tim Patrick on the Denver Broncos is another guy that I’ve been adding this week from waivers. Jerry Jeudy is going to be out for a while after going down with a high ankle sprain in Week 1 against the Giants but there’s hope. Tim Patrick looks to be the guy next up to bat and should see an uptick in playing time. He finished 2nd in snaps for the Broncos in Week 1 playing 46 snaps (70%), right behind Courtland Sutton’s 53 snaps (80%). While he only saw 4 targets in Week 1, he still caught all of his targets for 39 yards and a touchdown.
With the Broncos facing off against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Patrick could be a solid flex option for Week 2. The Jags gave up 132 yards to Brandin Cooks alone and Teddy Bridgewater looks like he can get the ball where it needs to be. If you’re looking for a guy to add, don’t forget the name “Tim Patrick”. Patrick is rostered in just 5.2% of NFL leagues
I can’t lie and say I’ve been a fan of this next one and I may have to eat crow as he came out the gate and had a solid Week 1. New England Patriots wide receiver Nelson Agholor put in work against the Miami Dolphins in Week 1. Agholor saw an 18.4% target (2nd on the team) share in Week 1 against the Dolphins, catching 5 passes for 72 yards and a touchdown. Agholor was second on the team in targets among the receivers and his versatile skill set should be appealing to fantasy managers.
Heading into Sunday, the Patriots take on a revamped Jets defense. While Sam Darnold didn’t have many highlight-reel-worthy plays, he did complete a bomb to Robby Anderson for a 57-yard touchdown. Another flex option worth adding to your fantasy team. He’s rostered in 31.5% of NFL leagues. Another guy who should get some consideration for being added to fantasy teams is Hunter Renfrow. I know this isn’t the sexiest name but I’m adding him to the list. Renfrow is trusted by Derek Carr. A lot. Renfrow saw 9 targets (6 catches) for 70 yards against the Ravens. That’s a 17.3% target share and the highest among the WRs in LV. Renfrow admittedly does lack the upside and scoring potential that the other WRs have on this list but in PPR formats, it may make you think twice. Renfrow is rostered in just 1.7% of NFL leagues.
I’m starting to get the feeling that people aren’t giving Saints TE Juwan Johnson the love that he should be receiving. I know the target share has turned some of. I’ve even seen some label him “touchdown-dependent”. I think that might be a mistake. JJ, despite being targeted just 3 times, still managed to outperform everyone’s sleeper darling Adam Trautman in Week 1 (3 of 6 for 18 yards). JJ also got two of those targets in the RedZone where he cashed in for two touchdowns.
The Saints won’t have games where Winston throws 20 passes and should Juwan Johnson continue to see playing time, he’s going to be a nice addition to a team that needs pass catchers and fantasy managers. JJ is rostered in just 14.8% of NFL rosters.
If you’re still a bit thin at running back, there may be another option you could check waivers for to target. Philadelphia’s Kenneth Gainwell. Gainwell featured as part of the Philadelphia Eagles rushing attack behind starter Miles Sanders against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 1. Gainwell saw 12 touches out of the backfield, logging in nine carries for 37 yards and a touchdown, averaging 4.1 yards per carry, and getting three targets. The most interesting thing about this is that Boston Scott, the player that many had slated as the number two back, saw virtually no work in Week 1. Gainwell saw 35% of the offensive snaps while Sanders locked in 66%.
Gainwell has some flex appeal if the Eagles will allow him to get more work as the season goes on. This is a player who you might want to get the jump on ahead of a potentially big game. He’s rostered in just 13.5% of NFL leagues so you still have a chance to bag this guy.