2018 NFL Fantasy Football Week 2 Waiver Wire Pickups

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2018 NFL Fantasy Football Free Agent Finds

RUNNING BACKS 

Phillip Lindsay, RB, Denver Broncos (currently owned in 1.9% of all ESPN leagues): 
Lindsay, is the sidestepping, spinning scatback who seems to be the perfect compliment to the hard-charging Royce Freeman.  The shifty 5'8", 190lb runner is the Broncos' change of pace back and probably the primary pass catcher out of the backfield.  He should get plenty of usage as Case Keenum settles into his new offense without much help from his offensive line.  He surprisingly took 15 totes for 71 yards against a good Seahawks front, and added another 2 receptions for 31 yards and a score.  Buyer beware: he's on the radar now and most defenses should be aware of Lindsay whenever he's on the field.  Even so, he plays in a defensively soft division and he's available in the vast majority of leagues.  He has some decent matchups coming up so he's worth an add even if owners just want to wait and see.

T.J. Yeldon, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars (currently owned in 8% of all ESPN leagues):
Yeldon rushed 14 times for 51 yards and caught 3 passes for 18 yards and a score after Fournette left the game with a hamstring injury.  Hamstring injuries can be tricky because they tend to linger.  This means Fournette could play through the pain this week but may not be at full strength, or he could miss 4 to 6 weeks.  It's tough to tell.  In the meantime, Yeldon should be available in the vast majority of leagues and should be picked up immediately.  The Jaguars bolstered their offensive line in the offseason, making them even more dominant than they were before.  

Matt Breida, RB, San Francisco 49ers (currently owned in 59.5% of all ESPN leagues):
Breida should've already been owned by all McKinnon owners in case he didn't make it back from his calf strain.  Unfortunately, McKinnon suffered a torn ACL that put him out for the rest of the season.  Alfred Morris is next in line for lead back duties and Breida figures to get into the mix.  Breida is still a good fit in Shanahan's offense and should get plenty of the work.  Breida is worth stashing until this backfield situation clears up.  He carried the ball 11 times to Morris' 12, but Breida has PPR upside.  

Bilal Powell, RB, New York Jets (currently owned in 52.3% of all ESPN leagues):
Powell has fallen to the fantasy wayside thanks to his team's mediocre reputation and Isaiah Crowell's arrival.  However, Crowell has had struggles of his own, and Powell is still more experienced in the offensive system.  While he's thought of as little more than a handcuff in most leagues, he should be owned in the PPR variety, especially since Elijah McGuire is still hurt.  While he may become hampered by injuries and the backfield is a timeshare, his situation is similar to his previous seasons.  He still puts up a flex-worthy stat line, especially once bye-weeks roll around.  He's worth stashing for now, and can be used to help build depth, especially in deep PPR leagues.  

Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers (currently owned in 11% of all ESPN leagues):
Ekeler is the nimble change of pace receiving back that compliments the sledgehammer that is Melvin Gordon.  Ekeler only produced 39 yards on 5 carries, but he caught 5 passes for 87 yards and a touchdown in a game where his team fell behind early.  This brings about speculation that he could be used to negate the need for a tight end.  Ekeler could some of the short or intermediate routes a safety valve like a tight end would normally run.  The Chargers' offensive line isn't the best, so Ekeler might be used to help take the pressure off of that offensive line.  Austin is worth a spot in leagues with deeper rosters or 12+ man teams in a wait and see. 

WIDE RECEIVER

Keelan Cole, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (currently owned in 56.8% of all ESPN leagues):
A season-ending injury to Marqise Lee opens a window of opportunity for second year receiver Keelan Cole.  Cole managed to tally 19 catches for 442 yards and 3 touchdowns during weeks 13-16 during his rookie campaign.  Sure, that means he played against mediocre opponents when games didn't necessarily matter.  However, the absence or departure of the Jaguars' 3 leading pass catching options in 2017 raises Cole's ceiling significantly.  He'll step into a leadership role with a receiving corps that includes veteran Don't Montcrief, fellow sophomore Dede Westbrook and rookie D.J. Chark.  Cole will probably line up outside and face one-on-one matchups since opposing defenses will try to stop the run first.  He also has a relatively soft schedule that will help his stat lines.  Furthermore, this kid catches it in stride or he'll reach up and snatch a dart out of the air.  Both of these qualities contribute to his big-play ability.  Cole should be rostered in all leagues.  

Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks (currently owned in 53.8% of all ESPN leagues):
The departure of Paul Richardson and Jimmy Graham leaves 176 targets to be accounted for.  This is Lockett's 4th year in the system, and the workload is there for him to make the jump.  While Brandon Marshall's role in this offense has yet to be determined, he could be a complete non-factor.  He's struggled with multiple ailments since last season and his health is in question.  Lockett is familiar with the playbook and the Seahawks' style of football.  He's barely owned in half of all leagues.  He could go as high as the middle rounds, but he's definitely worth grabbing and stashing.  

Quincy Enunwa, WR, New York Jets (currently owned in 9.5% of all ESPN leagues):
Most fantasy managers forget that Enunwa is just one year removed from being the Jets' top receiving option.  Unfortunately he missed the entire 2017 season to have a disc in his neck surgically repaired.  He's back now, and he looks like he's developing a nice rapport with rookie Sam Darnold.  Enunwa turned in 6 catches for 63 yards and a touchdown in his first game back with Gang Green.  He's worth rostering in all leagues.

"Baby Tron," as he's known, is a 6'4" 213lb speedster out of Northern Illinois University that the Lions drafted in the 3rd round of last year's draft.  His speed and ability to make highlight reel catches meant expectations for him were high going into last season.  Unfortunately he just couldn't stay off of the injury report.  He's a huge contributor when he's on the field, and sports similar speed to Marvin Jones.  Both are deep threats so there's a timeshare of sorts with Jones working the intermediate routes and Golladay tracking the deep ball.  Golladay is worth picking up in all leagues, but potential owners will want to handcuff him with Jones in case the inevitable happens.

Brandon Marshall, WR, Seattle Seahawks (currently owned in 5.7% of all ESPN leagues):
B Marsh could be in line for an expanded role after Doug Baldwin suffered a sprained MCL during the first quarter of Sunday's game.  The veteran journeyman is coming back from an injury and surgery that ended his 2017 campaign.  Russell Wilson's ability to scramble and extend the play buys time for his wideouts to improvise and get open.  In addition, Marshall's veteran ability to get open and win jump balls bodes well for his redzone targets.  As a matter of fact, Marshall actually caught 2 touchdowns against a tough Broncos defense, but had one called back on a penalty.  He posted 3 catches for 46 yards and a score for his final stat line.  The possibilities are endless if Marshall and Wilson can get on the same page. 

Dede Westbrook, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (currently owned in 8.1% of all ESPN leagues):
Westbrook is another slot guy to look at.  The Jags will win as long as Blake Bortles takes care of the ball, and Westbrook plays right into that game plan.  Marqise Lee's targets will need to be spread around, and Westbrook should get a chunk of that.  The NCAA's 2016 Biletnikoff Award winner (best receiver in the nation) is an excellent route runner and could be a great outlet for Bortles.  Unfortunately, Westbrook's small, 6'0" 178lb frame may not translate into many redzone targets but earning a point for every reception should help level the playing field.  He's a potential sleeper and  PPR special.  He snagged 5 targets for 51 yards in week 1.  

Chris Godwin, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (currently owned in 34% of all ESPN leagues): 
Goodwin contributed 3 catches for 41 yards and a touchdown in a high-flying aerial shootout with the Saints.  Fellow Bucs receiver Desean Jackson put up a monster stat line of 5 catches for 146 yards and 2 scores, but left the game in the 4th quarter with a concussion.  Jackson's stat line could be an indication of how the Bucs intend to use Godwin.  If this is the case, Godwin has a tremendously high ceiling while Jackson is out.  At 6'1", 209lbs, Godwin ran a 4.42 40 with a 36 inch vertical leap at the combine.  He's an explosive option at wideout with high upside as long as D Jax is out.  

John Brown, WR, Baltimore Ravens (currently owned in 21.6% of all ESPN leagues):
Brown could be the second coming of Torrey Smith.  While that's not saying a lot, Joe Flacco still has a cannon for an arm and he does like to let it fly.  Brown is potentially a boom or bust prospect that could have a phenomenal outing or a complete let down.  He caught 3 passes for 44 yards and a touchdown on Sunday.  While Brown is tough to trust on a week to week basis, he's worth a flier in deeper leagues.  

Geronimo Allison, WR, Green Bay Packers (currently owned in 9.2% of all ESPN leagues):
Any receiver involved in Green Bay's passing attack seems to be a good pickup these days.  Case in point: Geronimo Allison.  He slides into Green Bay's WR3 spot with the departure of Jordy Nelson.  However, there's lots of targets to go around given how many times his QB heaves it, and an injury to either Davante Adams or Randall Cobb significantly raises Allison's ceiling.  Allison caught 5 passes for 61 yards and a touchdown, and could see consistent usage if the Packers can't get things going with their ground game.  

Ted Ginn's Jr., WR, New Orleans Saints (currently owned in 17.2% of all ESPN leagues): 
Ginn proved why he's the ultimate boom or or bust prospect.  He can put up a nice stat line one week, & then put up an absolute dud the next.  A touchdown saved an otherwise pedestrian outing in standard leagues.  However, 6 catches for 58 yards and a touchdown nets roughly 17 points in PPR leagues, which makes him a decent flex play.  Unfortunately, starting Ginn is still a gamble, but at least he still has the wheels to make it happen.

BUYER BEWARE: Don't be fooled by the performance of DANTE PETTIS of the 49ers.  Pettis' performance was likely fueled by an injury that temporarily sidelined Marquise Goodwin.  Goodwin returned to the game shortly after he was checked out by medical.  If Goodwin is on the field, Pettis is relegated to a desperate deep league dart throw.

TIGHT END

Jared Cook, TE, Oakland Raiders (currently owned in 27.8% of all ESPN leagues):
Cook is certainly a tight end to Target in any format.  He caught 9 passes for 180 yards under the new regime and certainly looks like he'll have a big role in Chucky's new offense.  The Raiders' offensive line certainly isn't the best and Carr will need to dump the ball off quickly.  Look for Cook to be a safety valve or a redzone target.  Either way, volume is coming so snag him off of the waiver wire now.

George Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers (currently owned in 37.2% of all ESPN leagues): 
Kittle should be on most fantasy radars at this point, but is available in nearly 2/3 of ESPN fantasy football leagues.  He was frequently targeted on Sunday after Marquise Goodwin went down with an injury to his quads (thigh).  It's clear that Shanahan and his quarterback trust Kittle enough to target him 9 times in a single game.  He reeled in 5 of those targets for 90 yards to lead all 49ers receiving options in receptions and receiving yards.  He's worth stashing at the very least, especially at such a shallow position.
Will Dissly, TE, Seattle Seahawks (currently owned in 0.3% of all ESPN leagues):
It seems like everyone was sleeping on Dissly, and with just cause.  The 6'4", 262lb 4th rounder out of University of Washington was drafted for his blocking ability.  However, he displayed a knack for catching the ball against a tough Denver defense.  He led all Seahawks tight ends in targets with 5, and turned 3 of them into 105 yards and a touchdown.  He's available in basically all ESPN leagues and he's certainly worth keeping an eye on.

Benjamin Watson, TE, New Orleans Saints (currently owned in 37% of all ESPN leagues):
In case anyone forgot, Watson is just 2 years removed from a career year with the Saints in which he caught 74 passes for 825 yards and 6 touchdowns.  The 37 year old veteran enters his 15th season and has returned to the Saints' high-flying passing attack.  Brees is nearly 40 years old and the Saints may look to protect him and his arm.  Watson would fit directly into this game plan by working the intermediate routes in the middle of the field.  The presence of Kamara and other receiving options certainly lowers Watson's floor, but being back in the Saints' system also raises his ceiling.  He's a sleeper at a very shallow position.

Antonio Gates, TE, Los Angeles Chargers (currently owned in 26.5% of all ESPN leagues):
Gates, the future Hall of Famer is back!  He comes out of retirement and will take over the lead tight end role once more.  A torn ACL sidelined Hunter Henry for the season and Virgil Green doesn't seem quite up to speed yet.  Rivers and Gates will try to rekindle their chemistry once more.  He had just 2 catches for 16 yards in his first game back, but he should be in line for an expanded role, especially in the redzone.  Gates is worth an add at a fairly shallow position.

Eric Ebron, TE, Indianapolis Colts (currently owned in 16.5% of all ESPN leagues):
It's tough to trust Ebron after 4 relatively lackluster seasons, and inconsistent performances.  He definitely hasn't lived up to the hype of a first round draft pick.  He'll catch 10 passes for 94 yards one week, but he'll drop multiple targets the next.  Nevertheless, head coach Frank Reich will use his shiny new tight end as a part of a game plan to protect his quarterback and complete high-percentage passes.  Ebron is certainly worth a look during a week where Greg Olsen will be out for a number of weeks and Delanie Walker is done for the season.

QUARTERBACK

Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants (currently owned in 17.3% of all ESPN leagues):
It's hard to believe that Eli Manning is owned in less than 20% of all ESPN leagues.  Ok, he had a disastrous 2017 campaign in which he lost his top 3 pass catchers at the start of the season, he didn't have an effective running game to lean on, he didn't have an offensive line, and former head coach Ben McAdoo tragically ended Manning's streak for starting games by benching the Giants' quarterback for no good reason.  It's a new year with a new start.  OBJ returns, the offensive line is bolstered, and Saquon Barkley is a shiny new weapon waiting in the wings.  Manning's ceiling goes up substantially if OBJ and Barkley can both stay healthy.  Coach Shurmur could get Barkley involved in the passing game in an effort to protect the ball, especially if the offensive line needs time to become a cohesive unit.  It's no coincidence that Eli has thrown for at least 4000 yards in the past 3 seasons (over 4400 in 2 of them), 26 or more touchdowns, and 16 or less interceptions when OBJ racked up 1300+ receiving yards and 10+ touchdowns during those same 3 seasons.  Barkley is just the frosting on the cake.  Manning might be a huge value if he can be taken in late rounds, and if OBJ and Barkley can stay healthy.

Tyrod Taylor, QB, Cleveland Browns (currently owned in 37.1% of all ESPN leagues):
At first glance, it looks like Taylor had a relatively subpar outing.  However, 8 rushing attempts for 77 yards and a touchdown saved his Browns debut and made him look a heck of a lot better than his opposite number.  He'll head to the Big Easy this week to take on a Saints defense that gave up 417 yards and 4 touchdowns to Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Buccaneers and could not force a turnover.  Tyrod's full abilities and the potential of this offense we're dampened by driving rains during g their home opener, but the weather in the Superdome should be much better.  He should be rostered in all 2 QB leagues and is certainly worth starting consideration.  

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS

CHICAGO BEARS (currently owned in 39.9% of all ESPN leagues)
The Bears' defense just could not stay off of the field, giving up three 4th quarter touchdowns to Aaron Rodgers.  However, if the Bears were sleepers before, they certainly aren't anymore.  The blockbuster trade for Khalil Mack capped an offseason that looks great for the Bears on paper.  The Bears needed an additional pass rusher and Mack gives them exactly that.  Mack had multiple quarterback hurries, and contributed a sack, a forced fumble, an interception which he returned for a touchdown in his Bears debut.  To top things off, Mack has only been with the team for a week and is still learning the defense!  The Monsters of the Midway are back and they may finish in the top 5 fantasy defenses in multiple categories this season. 

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