2017 NFL Week 2 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups

David Johnson and Allen Robinson replacements here, along with some sensational rookies!

Tarik Cohen, RB, Chicago Bears (currently owned in 2.3% of all ESPN leagues):
The young rookie out of North Carolina A&T, dubbed "The Human Joystick," made a big splash in his NFL debut, especially in PPR leagues.  He rushed 5 tikes for 66 yards, most of it coming on one 49 yard run, and he caught 8 passes for 47 yards and a touchdown.  At 5'6", 179lbs, he's already drawn comparisons to Darren Sproles and have a larger role in the Bears' conservative offense than originally anticipated.  He's tough to find out of the backfield because he's so all, and he's elusive enough to make defenders miss.  With Kevin White out for the season, Cohen should have an even larger role in the passing game.  When his receiving capability is factored in, he should be an immediate pickup and deserves flex consideration in all leagues.  For more on the rookie running back, check out our rookie running backs article here.
Kerwynn Williams, RB, Arizona Cardinals (currently owned in 0.9% of all ESPN leagues):
Williams is worth a pickup this week.  DJ went down with a wrist sprain and could be out for some time.  This week, the 5'8", 198lb back will be a solid streaming option against a relatively soft Colts front.  While he's not the most explosive back, he should have a decent game if he gets most of the carries while Ellington handles receiving duties.
Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints (currently owned in 5.9% of all ESPN leagues):
Even in the Saints' timeshare, there is value to be found, especially in PPR leagues.  Kamara caught 4 passes for 20 yards, and rushed 7 times for another 18 yards.  He could be the Saints' most capable receiving option out of the backfield, making him a valuable ccommodity if New Orleans needs to move the ball upfield in a hurry.  Even if the Saints have the lead, Kamara could have a decent workload if they keep the ball on the ground to run out the clock and preserve the overall health of their backfield.  Either way, Kamara could have a big day after fellow rookie Kareem Hunt torched the Pats' defense for nearly 250 total offensive yards and a hat trick (3 touchdowns).  For more on the rookie running back, check out our rookie running backs article here.
Phillip Dorsett, WR, New England Patriots (currently owned in 1.4% of all ESPN leagues):
Amendola's head injury will be something to monitor moving forward.  This leaves the Pats with possibly just 3 healthy wideouts.  With that said, Dorsett could see an expanded role in a game that could turn into a shootout.  He and Cooks were targeted multiple times on deep passes, and that could happen again if the Pats fall behind.  At this point, Dorsett is could be an immediate pickup given Amendola's injury history.  Amendola's status will be something to monitor moving forward. 
Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams (currently owned in 12.5% of all ESPN leagues): 
Kupp had a nice NFL debut, catching 4 passes for 76 yards and a touchdown against a soft Colts secondary that was without defensive back Vontae Davis.  Sammy Watkins will get most of the tough coverage and draw Josh Norman this week.  This means the rookie should see one on one coverage in a decent matchup with the Redskins.  If Watkins continues to draw top coverage, Kupp should see plenty of success in the coming weeks.  He's easily the Rams' best receiver that's not Sammy Watkins.  For more on the rookie wideout, check out our rookie running backs article here
Kenny Golladay, WR, Detroit Lions (currently owned in 5.3% of all ESPN leagues): 
Officially listed at 6'4", 213lbs according to the NFL's website, the 3rd round rookie out of Northern Illinois University is a big target for Matt Stafford to throw to.  He was certainly a redzone target on Sunday, catching one touchdown on a one-on-one fade, and laid out for another one on a deep post.  He's not that physical or explosive wideout, nor is he the best route runner.  However, his ball skill and raw talent will be great assets if Golden Tate is forced to miss time due to an issue with his left ring finger.  Even so, Tate and Marvin Jones will command the most defensive attention, leaving Golladay open all day.  He's a speculative pickup in deep leagues, but should be watched in all leagues.  For more on the rookie wideout, check out our rookie running backs article here
Nelson Agholor, WR, Philadelphia Eagles (currently owned in 2.8% of all ESPN leagues):
As noted on ESPN's projections, Agholor is the only wideout left in Philly's offensive system from last year.  That means he hopefully has developed some chemistry with second year QB Carson Wentz.  He's a slot receiver that Wentz can dump the ball off to when the pocket collapses.  Agholor's experince in the system and his role as a possession receiver will make him an asset especially in ppr leagues.  With defenses game planning for Jeffery and (Torrey) Smith,  Agholor should be open and have plenty of targets.  He certainly made use of those opportunities in the Eagles' season opener by catching 6 of 8 for 86 yards and a touchdown. 
Marqise Lee, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (currently owned in 22.3% of all ESPN leagues): 
Lee is the move-the-sticks, possession receiver in a subpar passing attack.  He should get the majority of the short targets and could be a PPR star now that Robinson is out.  Even with Bortles' struggles, Lee caught 63 passes for over 800 yards and 3 touchdowns in a career year.  His value as a wideout is still low because of Bortles' performance, but at least he has a relatively high floor in ppr leagues. 
Allen Hurns, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (currently owned in 2.3% of all ESPN leagues):
Hurns had a career year in 2015, catching 64 passes for 1031 yards and 10 couthdowns.  However, as Bortles' performance regressed in 2016, so did Hurns' fantasy numbers.  With Allen Robinson possibly out for the season, Hurns is the next man up.  He has the best combination of big-play ability and experience in the system.  At 6'3, 201lbs, he's worth a pickup in most leagues, especially for his big-play and redzone potential.  His ceiling is capped by his own health, Bortles' play, and Jacksonville's reliance on Fournette and the run game.

Austin Hooper, TE, Atlanta Falcons (currently owned in 33.7% of all ESPN leagues):
Hooper was hyped in the preseason as a potential breakout candidate for 2017.  The sophomore tight end broke a few tackles on his way to 2 catches for 128 yards and a touchdown.  At 6'3", 254lbs, he offers Matt Ryan a decent route runner who adjusts to the pass, high-points the ball, and is tough to bring down after the catch.  Great things are on store for this young receiving option.  Good fantasy tight ends are tough to come by.  Hooper may be one of the better ones.  Grab him now.

Jared Cook, TE, Oakland Raiders (currently owned in 15% of all ESPN leagues):
Cook upgraded this year.  He showed flashes in Green Bay, but there were too many receiving options and not enough targets to go around, even in the Packers' pass-heavy offense.  With most teams stacking the box to stop Beast Mode first, Carr will need to dish out some quick passes in a defensively tough division.  With Cooper and Crabtree getting the tough matchups, Cook should be open more often than not.  He's worth a look on deep ppr leagues.  

Evan Engram, TE, New York Giants (currently owned in 12.8% of all ESPN leagues):
With Beckham Jr. out and Marshall shut down, the Giants had to find other ways to work the ball up the field.  Enter Evan Engram.  At 6'3", 234lbs, the 23rd overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft displayed a rare combination of size and speed by running a 4.42 40-yard dash.  He caught 4 passes for 44 yards in his NFL debut, and could see an expanded role as a pass catcher who stretches the seam if Marshall and Shepard continue seeing tight coverage while O'Dell is out.  He should get more looks as he gets more time in the system and develops rapport with Eli.
Julius Thomas, TE, Miami Dolphins (currently owned in 10% of all ESPN leagues):
After scoring 12 touchdowns in 2013 and 2014, the Jaguars made Thomas the highest paid tight end in the NFL by signing him for 5 years at $46 million dollars.  After 2 disappointing seasons and falling to the fantasy wayside, Thomas was traded to the Dolphins earlier this year.  Here's the thing.  Tight ends Martellus Bennett and Zach Miller had career years in Gase's system.  Cutler likes to put the ball up and gives his guys a chance to go get it.  Thomas is far and away the best tight end on the roster.  He could return to form in the new system with a new QB under center.  Grab and stash if you can.

Alex Smith, QB, Kansas City Chiefs (currently owned in 8.2% of all ESPN leagues)
IN SHORT: Grab Alex Smith.  He should have an uptick in production this year with a back who might be Jamaal Charles 2.0, and other pass-catching playmakers around him, unlike in 2013.  

Last Thursday night's game wasn't Alex Smith's first fantasy football outburst.  On December 15, 2013, the Chiefs got on the road where Smith connected with Jamaal Charles 8 times for 195 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns.  They combined for over 90 fantasy points.  While comparisons between Kareem Hunt and Jamaal Charles may not be warranted yet, it's important to remember that Smith and Hunt did this against a quality Patriots defense.  Well, it was quality until ILB D'onta Hightower went out with an injury.  Yes, Smith has been labeled as a game manager.  However, his value is in his consistency, which is important in any fantasy sport.  He's a smart QB who takes good care of the ball.  In 2013, he put up fairly pedestrian numbers because his best receiver was Dwayne Bowe.  Now he also has lots of potential upside lined up in the backfield, and playmakers who can actually catch the ball, giving him even more fantasy upside.  Pick him up as such.
Sam Bradford, QB, Minnesota Vikings (currently owned in 11.2% of all ESPN leagues):
Bradford stood in the pocket, moved around when he needed to, and made some sensational throws to Diggs and Thielen.  He dropped passes in the bucket and threaded it into some tight windows, completing 27 or 32 passes for 346 yards and 3 touchdowns.  He has a shiny new target in the backfield named Dalvin Cook, and McKinnon will continue to be a decent pass catcher.  Diggs and Thielen are both beasts, raising Bradford's fantasy ceiling.   Most importantly, he bounced back after taking some shots, and looked tough, durable.  He looked about as good as a QB could look, and should be a good pickup if he can stay healthy.  
Philadelphia Eagles (currently owned in 13.0% of all ESPN leagues):
It was the Dirty Birds' defense that dominated the Redskins home opener, recording 4 sacks and 4 turnovers to hold Washington to just 17 points.  Fletcher Cox leads a young defensive front and should continue to cause plenty of QB's to panic and force turnovers.  They'll take on a Chiefs team in Kansas City that has one of the lowest turnover rates in the league.  It should be a good test of the Eagles' ability to get takeaways.
Los Angeles Rams (currently owned in 36% of all ESPN leagues):
The Rams' defense returned 2 interceptions for touchdowns and downright embarrassed a horrendous Colts team.  With the return of Aaron Donald, this NFC West defense gets even stronger and should make life difficult for Kirk Cousins.  Cousins has struggled against teams over .500 and looked the part as he ran for his life against Fletcher Cox and his crew in week 1.  Cousins was held to 240 yards and a touchdown, but also threw an interception.  The Eagles held the Redskins to just 17 points.  The Rams have a chance to shut out the Redskins this week.  
Oakland Raiders (currently owned in 4% of all ESPN leagues):
The Raiders held a decent Titans team to just 16 points.  Since the Jets have declared they're taking this year, the Raiders' defense are this week's streaming option.

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