Written by: George Haraktsis
The old saying goes as follows: “Your fantasy football season is not won or lost at your draft.”. No truer statement has ever been said. Which is why keeping up with weekly waivers is so important for any owner. Even if you think your team is stacked and needs no depth, that’s still no reason to ignore waivers. A proper waiver wire pickup could bar another owner from picking up a player they need for that week, and if you block that it could result in a win for your team.
The players below are not the only players you should pick up on waivers, but are the ones with currently the most perceived upside!
*Each of these players are owned in less than 40% of leagues. Their ownership percentage is noted. *Keelan Cole is the exception.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Denver Broncos (31.4% own)
After two amazing and completely unexpected performances, FitzMagic has firmly established himself as the top scorer in fantasy football through the first two weeks of the season. He has thrown for over 400 yards and 4 touchdowns in each of his starts and has averaged 35.5 fantasy point per game. While it would be crazy to expect Fitzpatrick to keep this sort of production up, it would be crazy not ride this wave if you’re quarterback needy. Especially against a Steelers defense who has looked so poorly in their last two outings.
Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals (18.2% own)
If I told you one month ago that Andy Dalton would be outscoring Aaron Rodgers through the first two weeks of the season would you believe me? Well that is the case after Dalton’s first two starts that saw the quarterback throw for 6 touchdowns and only 1 interception. With Joe Mixon scheduled to miss some time due to Arthroscopic surgery, the Bengals may lean more heavily on Dalton. This would boost his fantasy numbers and continue his upward trend as a top 10 fantasy QB.
Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals (39.4% own)
Bernard has scored only 6.5 fantasy points through his first two weeks of the season, so why is he on this list? Well like we mentioned above, Joe Mixon is out for a few weeks with a knee injury so Gio should be thrust into a feature role immediately. He now has a chance at a top 20 finish every week with Mixon out. He must be rostered in all leagues and formats.
Jordan Wilkins, Indianapolis Colts (29.9% own)
Marlon Mack returned but still tied Jordan Wilkins with 10 carries in the Colts backfield on Sunday. Wilkins ran for 61 yards on these 10 carries (6.1 YPC) and now has 101 yards on the ground during his first two games. Even though a carry split is inevitable, Wilkins still has value. Marlon Mack is an injury risk waiting to happen and Wilkins should be there to gobble up the featured role if need be. He’s worth a swing if you have that luxury.
Javorius Allen, Baltimore Ravens (18.8 % own)
Yes, Alex Collins is still the starter but Allen and his 22 fantasy points through two games should be kept in mind. With Kenneth Dixon out Allen has seen an increase in carries and goal line work. He should continue to see the same workload and continue to perform in PPR leagues as the Raven’s third down back.
Keelan Cole, Jacksonville Jaguars (48.5% own)
Cole is the only exception on this list. It blows my mind that a receiver who’s on pace to see almost 100 targets is owned in less than half of fantasy leagues. He just had his first 100 yard game of the season and is firmly Blake Bortles number one target. With a great matchup against the Tennessee Titans this week Cole should continue this trend as a top 20 fantasy WR.
John Brown, Baltimore Ravens (24% own)
Brown has clearly become one of Joe Flacco’s favorite options through the first two weeks of the season. He has 14 targets on the year with 10 coming last Sunday. While his volume may never be large, his greatest asset, his deep speed will be utilized with Flacco’s big arm. He has a touchdown in each game played and should continue seeing targets in the upcoming weeks.
Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (34.1% own)
Godwin has been a huge beneficiary of the Fitz magic down in Tampa Bay. He has caught a touchdown in each game he has played and has averaged 5 targets per game. With an anemic Steelers secondary coming up in the team’s next matchup Godwin should continue providing good upside due to his rapport with Fitzpatrick and his red-zone usage.
Jesse James, Pittsburgh Steelers (3.2% own)
It’s pretty easy to put up some numbers against a very weak Chief’s defense, but James’ 5/138/1 performance on Sunday should not be ignored, especially with the position so anemic this year. While he may prove to be just a streamer in the long run, he has some great upside if he secures a starting role in the Steelers powerful offense.
Eric Ebron, Indianapolis Colts (16.8% own)
All Eric Ebron does is keep catching touchdowns, and at a position that's been so up-and-down it’s a statistic we must keep chasing. Some might think the Colt’s can’t possibly continue providing enough production for two fantasy relevant tight ends to emerge, but Doyle and Ebron have a great chance. The Colt’s lack receiving threats past Hilton in their receiving corps and Ebron should continue to benefit.
New York Jets (25.4% own)
After another solid outing, even in a loss against the Dolphins, the Jets D/ST must be rostered. They are fantasy’s highest scoring D/ST. They forced two fumbles against the Dolphins and sacked Ryan Tannehill four times. If it were not for turnovers and short fields given to them by their offense, they might have had a better outing. Their defense will continue to be a strength and will win them a game or two.