Week 2 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Advice

The most important part of in-season roster management is working the waiver wire. Here’s advice from RotoViz for Week 2, 2017.

The parameters and assumptions of this weekly waiver wire advice column can be found in the preseason introduction. Here’s a quick review of last week’s recommendations.

Week 1 Review

Player Wk 1 PPR Note
Charles Sims N/A Still a good add. Should be off the radar and no bye to worry about.
Sterling Shepard  12  Out performed Brandon Marshall.
Austin Hooper 20.8 Trade him if you can, hold if you need a TE. Next game looks tougher.
Jamaal Charles  4  Earned 10 carries and averaged 4 yards per. Promising.
Shane Vereen 14.1 Led Giants in receiving.
Kendall Wright 6.4 Disappointing game but K. White injury gives him another chance.
Cole Beasley 6.2 About what to expect; could have had a few more points.
De’Angelo Henderson  0  Still a long term stash, value declines after Anderson/Charles performances.

Week 2 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Advice – The Top 5

Percent of ESPN leagues where the player is available is in parentheses. Players are listed in the order I prefer them, but that may not apply to your league settings. Hit me up in the comments or on the Message Boards for more specific advice.

Tarik Cohen (96%)

Tarik Cohen Profile

As of right now,1 Cohen is in Week 1’s top five for targets (12). He probably won’t get 12 targets next week, but I’m very confident he’ll get a bunch. He turned those targets (47 yards) plus five rushes (66 yards) into 113 yards from scrimmage and a TD. Look, I don’t think he’ll supplant Jordan Howard as the lead rusher. But if we read the tea leaves:

  • He had an excellent training camp and preseason.
  • The Bears felt comfortable releasing Jeremy Langford.
  • Benny Cunningham left Week 1 with an injury
  • Receiving is Howard’s weak spot.
  • Chicago’s game script will likely favor passing.

Cohen has a clear path to season-long usage and has impressed every step of the way so far. If David Johnson returns soon, I prefer Cohen over Kerwynn Williams. If Johnson looks to miss “half the season or more,” as some early reports suggested, then I’d prefer Williams over Cohen.

Kerwynn Williams (91%)

Obviously, this is a situation to monitor closely, but as of right now, David Johnson has to be considered doubtful for Week 2, and possibly much longer. Andre Ellington is also on the radar, but Williams clearly won the No. 2 job in the preseason. He was first in line yesterday and earned six opportunities (five rushes, one target) to just two (both targets) for Ellington. Williams has a golden opportunity to be a workhorse for as long as Johnson misses time, and also makes a potentially valuable trade chip.

Marqise Lee (80%) or Allen Hurns (99%)

We’re wearing sackcloth and ashes here at RotoViz headquarters. Alas, Allen Robinson, we hardly knew ye. But the show must go on, and one of Lee or Hurns will be the WR1 in Jacksonville for the rest of the season.

Lee had a mini breakout last season but I’d rather bid on Hurns. Here’s why:

  • Hurns led the Jaguars in receiving in Week 1; Lee got shut out.
  • Hurns is lesser owned and will likely cost less to acquire.
  • Hurns has a better track record. He was better in 2014 and 2015 and was better in 2016 until injuries took their toll.


The big story in Jacksonville’s Week 1 win was how often they ran the ball, but that won’t be true every week. When they need to pass, Hurns looks like the best bet for big games to me, but Lee is also a good waiver target.

Nelson Agholor (97%)

I’ve never been a fan, so it’s a little hard to write, but much like Cohen, the arrows are all pointing the right way.

  • Agholor had a good offseason.
  • It was good enough that the team felt comfortable trading away Jordan Matthews.
  • He had a great Week 1, leading Philly’s WRs in targets, receptions, and yards.

The Chiefs make for a tougher opponent in Week 2, and I still think Alshon Jeffery will be the No. 1 WR, but there’s not much reason to doubt Agholor’s role anymore. A WR3-type season is on the table.

Javorius Allen (99%)

Allen earned a bit of buzz this preseason, but he always seemed a longshot behind Danny Woodhead. Then Woodhead got carted off the field with a hamstring injury, and Allen produced 71 yards on 21 rushes. If Woodhead misses significant time, then Allen looks like he’ll have season-long value as well. He’s got a better track record as a receiver than Terrance West. But temper expectations. West performed better on the ground, and only five of Allen’s touches came in the first half. It’s also unlikely that Baltimore has another game where they’re able to run the ball 40 times.

Others to consider

These WRs aren’t in any particular order; it just depends on what you’re looking for. Kearse and Wright should have solid usage but low ceilings. Richardson, Kupp, and Amendola are all wild cards in terms of usage, but have higher upside.

  • Jermaine Kearse – Led the Jets receivers despite arriving late in the preseason. Yes, his numbers were bad in 2016, but his air yards were fine. The Jets are a bad team but Kearse could have value in very deep leagues or as a spot start.
  • Kendall Wright – Didn’t do much in Week 1, but it looks like Kevin White will miss time. Wright’s a low-ceiling option in deep (or desperate) circumstances.
  • Danny Amendola – The loss of Malcolm Mitchell creates a bit of an opening, and he had a good stat line in Week 1. Of course, he also got concussed in Week 1, and the Patriots offensive usage is always hard to project.
  • Cooper Kupp – A nice Week 1 stat line, but the Rams offense should come back to earth, and Sammy Watkins should eventually dominate the opportunity.
  • Paul Richardson – Trailed only Doug Baldwin in snaps and had a 26 percent market share. Seattle’s offense should get better.2

These RBs aren’t guys I’d want to start, but they should be rostered in all but the shallowest formats.

  • Chris Carson – The stat line wasn’t great, but he got more work than either Eddie Lacy or C.J. Prosise. This will be a tough backfield to figure out, but he should be rostered in all but the most shallow formats.
  • Chris Ivory – Earned nine attempts and averaged 4.7 yards per carry. Tommy Bohanen earned one carry, and T.J. Yeldon was inactive. Now that Allen Robinson is shelved, Fournette will be the focal point of the offense, which enhances the value of his presumptive handcuff.
  • Tyler Ervin – Played ahead of D’Onta Foreman and had more targets than Lamar Miller.

Tight end is often streamable; check with Neil Dutton later this week for advice.

  • Austin Hooper – He gets a much tougher opponent and despite the gaudy PPR production, only had two receptions in Week 1.
  • Charles Clay – He could eventually lose some work to Jordan Matthews and Zay Jones, but should be a consistent part of the Bills offense.
  • Jesse James/Vance McDonald – James caught two TD passes in Week 1, but will he eventually cede work to McDonald? The TE role in Pittsburgh should have value, but I’m not sure who the right player to own is.

General Waiver Strategy

In general, running backs should garner more of your attention and free agent acquisition budget than wide receivers. RB injuries happen more often, and usage is more variable. Specific to Week 1, there are more potentially usable WRs on waivers than there are RBs. Taken together,3 this means that you should allocate most of your waiver spending this week towards the RB position. Cohen and Williams are the clear top two, and Allen is also a good target. Among the waiver wire wide receivers, I think Hurns has the highest ceiling and Agholor the best floor.

  1. Prior to Sunday Night kickoff.  (back)
  2. Hat tip Sean Slavin.  (back)
  3. And depending on your roster needs, etc.  (back)