NFL Waiver Wire Report: Week 1

Early season waivers are different than the middle weeks when bye weeks start to hit hard. Early in the year, all you are looking for is a breakout more often than not. Circumstances are different in deeper leagues with like 14-16 teams. There, finding someone who could be a five catch for 70 yard receiver on a weekly basis is important.

You will see that a bit on my list. I am looking for home runs early on. I am not going to spend even a couple FAAB dollars on someone who I hope can be a bye week starter for me.

Running backs will almost always lead my waiver wire column and almost always lead my own waiver wire claims.

I will miss on receivers more often than not. Finding a waiver wire star receiver is rare. Typically what you will find is a borderline weekly WR2/3 at best. At the running back position, if you pick the right guy and that starter goes down with an injury, you immediately have a starting caliber player.

If you bet on the talent for a high upside running back not currently getting the work, that back could jump into a starting role. There is just so much more to gain on the waiver wire in my mind by gobbling up running backs instead of a potential third receiver.

I am not likely to get any of the big adds this week because I don’t think they are worthy of the huge bids they will likely require. I think Allen is third or fourth on most people’s list so if I get any of the top options, I think I end up with him.

Just a reminder all waiver and FAAB leagues are treated differently. You have a better idea than I do how your league spends. Maybe your league doesn’t spend much early historically, maybe you are a zero RB guy and need to spend up for a RB. These are just guidelines. 

The only players considered for the list are players owned in less than a third of leagues.

If you have a question specific to a player or situation feel free to ask  in the comment section below and I will do my best to help you out. You can also reach me on twitter –

  Player Position FAAB Burn wavier Claim ESPN %Owned
1 Javorius “Buck” Allen RB 15-20% Yes 0.6
2 Tarik Cohen RB 15-20% Yes 7.5
3 Kerwynn Williams RB 10-15% Yes 1.3
4 Chris Carson RB 7-10% Yes 4.6
5 Marlon Mack RB 5-8%   2.9
6 Andre Ellington RB 5-8%   0.4
7 Chris Johnson RB 5-8%   0.2
8 Jeremy Hill RB 5-8%   24.8
9 Jamaal Williams RB 5-8%   7.3
10 Kenny Golladay WR 5-8%   7.8
11 Samaje Perine RB 5-8%   7.4
12 Cooper Kupp WR 5-8%   14.9
13 Alvin Kamara RB 5-8%   13.1
14 Marqise Lee WR 5-8%   20.1
15 Matt Breida RB 0-5%   2.2
16 Orleans Darkwa RB 0-3%   0.2
17 Kendall Wright WR 0-3%   13.3
18 Alfred Morris RB 0-3%   1.9
19 Paul Richardson WR 0-3%   3.2
20 Alex Smith QB 0-3%   28.2

1. Javorius “Buck” Allen – Regardless of what happened to Woodhead, Allen would have appeared on this list; he just would have shown up lower. With a chance to overtake West at some point, anyone combined with no Woodhead for what looks like an extended period makes Allen a good option. Just don’t go crazy because of the carries he got. A lot of them game in garbage time.

2. Tank Cohen – Showed the best of all of these running backs yesterday. But does he have a chance to overtake Jordan Howard? I don’t think so, but I think he can have value anyway as a pass catching back. Just don’t break the bank; he is actually smaller than the well-known small man Darren Sproles. Even if Howard goes down I don’t think he becomes a bell cow back.

3. Kerwynn Williams – As of now it seems like Johnson will miss extended time. Williams should be the best bet to fill in for Johnson, but I am not confident enough in it to make him the top option. It might be a combination of him, and two more guys on this list.

4. Chris Carson – Rawls was hurt, Lacy was bad, I think it comes down to Carson and Prosise to be the best back in this backfield this season. You can probably get him for less than the price I listed, but if you really want to make sure you get him, this is as high as I would go.

5. Marlon Mack – He fumbled but still got work. He looks like the next man up if Gore, who never misses time, misses time. I wouldn’t be shocked if at some point they pull the plug on Gore and want a look at the future, giving Mack some run.

6. Andre Ellington – I think he plays a part in the backfield if Johnson misses time. One of the reasons I am not going crazy over Williams right now. From last season to week one this year the Cardinals have not been good. Ellington is more likely to be the passing downs back.

7. Chris Johnson – Not currently on a roster, but it seems like he might rejoin the Cardinals. You probably don’t have to pay much, anything really, to get him if he hasn’t signed by the time waivers run.

8. Jeremy Hill – You will see a lot of people talking about the snap counts, but no one said Hill was the pass catching back. In games the Bengals play closer he will get more work. I am not saying a top-20 back or anything like that, but 10 carries and a chance for a TD is what you’re looking for if you’re this far down the list.

9. Jamaal Williams – If something happens to Montgomery he is Aaron Rodgers right hand man. As Montgomery showed this week, that is a good thing.

10. Kenny Golladay – He flashed big time this week with some impressive catches and two touchdowns. I just don’t go crazy for receivers on the waiver wire, it is just how I play it. Golladay is still, at best, the third option in this offense I think. I would let someone else blow their money on him.

11. Samaje Perine – He didn’t have a touch, but still makes it on the list. It is more because Rob Kelley and the Redskins offense wasn’t great. Some people said Perine would take over eventually, and as much as I think that was a little overblown, that wouldn’t be shocking if it happens midseason.

12. Cooper Kupp – Not a ton of upside, but should get a nice target share every week. They just won’t be playing the Colts every week.

13. Alvin Kamara – Had a really nice showing Monday night. Looks like a better option than Peterson.

14. Marqise Lee – OMG ALLEN ROBINSON IS HURT – GRAB LEE! I feel like I saw this a ton from fantasy people on Twitter. But remember how bad this passing offense was for Allen Robinson? Lee isn’t as good, and I am not completely convinced he is a bonafide top option. This offense will be run through Fournette.

15. Matt Breida – The Hyde handcuff. The 49ers looked bad, but Breida appears to be the next man up if Hyde goes down.

16. Orleans Darkwa – The offense is terrible. Darkwa could take the starting job from Perkins if the Giants just want to try something else.

17. Kendall Wright – Kevin White went down so Wright is all that is left – at least that’s what it feels like. Little excitement here, but if you are desperate he should be the top targeted receiver.

18. Alfred Morris – Darren McFadden was inactive and Morris served as the number two. I haven’t seen anything, but it wouldn’t shock me if this was a “well, if Zeke is active Morris can play some special teams, and if we need to give him a few carries he can get them” type situation – basically to preserve McFadden in case his glass body gets hurt in a three carry game. If something happens to Zeke I still think McFadden is the starter.

19. Paul Richardson – Appears to be the number two receiver in the offense. That is about all I can say.

20. Alex Smith – Huge week, but there are just way too many good quarterbacks to spend much on him.



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Andy Germani

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I am a lifelong Pittsburgh sports fan and a graduate from Penn State. Baseball was my first love and I still play to this day in an adult baseball league. I always love helping people with their questions on Twitter so feel free to follow me and ask questions.

2 thoughts on “NFL Waiver Wire Report: Week 1”

    1. I’d prioritize Allen if ou need a back now plus some potential for the future weeks.

      I don’t really want a part of that Cardinals backfield unless I am desperate. And as much as I think Cohen is explosive, in standard I don’t know if he is all that much better/different than a Darren Sproles/Duke Johnson type. He could be more, but I would bet against it as of now.

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