Key NFL Injuries and Waiver Wire Week 2 Pickups
What an amazing weekend for football. Every year we forcibly align our player expectations with reality. And every year there are always injuries to account for. This year in particular you also have to account for COVID. Below are my picks for your waiver wire week 2 selections.
*Players must be rostered in less than half of ESPN leagues to qualify for the waiver wire.
WAIVER WIRE: QUARTERBACKS
Gardner Minshew | Jacksonville Jaguars | Rostered 14.9% of ESPN leagues
Minshew was a surgeon this last weekend, leading his team to victory. He completed 95% of pass plays, even if he only attempted 20. He threw for 173 yards and three touchdowns. You can expect an uptick in Minshew’s passing attempts. The man is more than shorts and mustaches.
WAIVER WIRE: RUNNINGBACKS
Key Injuries: Marlon Mack (Achilles Rupture – Out for Year), Le’Veon Bell (Hamstring Strain – placed on IR), and Duke Johnson (Ankle Sprain – week to week)
Nyheim Hines | Indianapolis Colts | Rostered 36.7% of ESPN leagues
You can’t train an old Rivers to do new tricks. The DNA of the 2019 Chargers now dwells in the veins of the 2020 Colts. Approximately 47% of Phillip River’s completions went to the running back position. Eight of his 36 attempts went to Hines who accumulated 45 yards and a touchdown. With Marlon Mack headed to IR you can expect more opportunities for the tailback.
Malcolm Brown | LA Rams | Rostered 7.9% of ESPN leagues
While the word was watching the drama between Akers and Henderson unfold, Malcolm Brown slipped from the shadows a took the crown. It makes perfect sense. In 2019, we waited for Henderson to establish himself as the next back. But Malcolm Brown proved otherwise. Akers, a second-round pick, could usurp Brown if given time, but its abundantly clear the role belongs to Brown for the near future. He rushed 18 times for 79 yards and 2 TDs – while collecting 3 of 4 targets and 31 receiving yards. He is a pickup in all leagues.
Benny Snell | Pittsburgh Steelers | Rostered 14.6% of ESPN leagues
Run for your lives! There’s a new sheriff in town. Actually, I wouldn’t go that far, but you couldn’t miss Snell’s influence once Conner went down. He rushed 19 times for 113 yards and he looked good doing it. He offered very little in the passing game, but 5.9 YPC is nothing to scoff at. Bell Snell stands behind an unreliable starter awaiting his chance to shine. He could prove useful throughout the season.
Chase Edmonds | Indianapolis Colts | Rostered 36.7% of ESPN leagues
Chase Edmonds is the perfect candidate to stash on your bench. He has RB1 upside if there is an injury to Drake, but is also more involved than your typical backup. Edmonds garnering 9 touches on a 34% snap rate. Edmonds offers low-end flex play while securing an RB1 opportunity if Kenran Drake were to go down with an injury. He’s the perfect upside play for the end of your bench.
WAIVER WIRE: WIDE-RECEIVERS
Key Injuries: Michael Thomas (high ankle – week to week), and DeVante Parker (Hamstring – week to week)
Parris Campbell | Indianapolis Colts | Rostered 29.8% of ESPN leagues
You can’t train an old Rivers to do new tricks. The DNA of the 2019 Chargers now dwells in the veins of the 2020 Colts…wait. Am I just reusing the same text from Hines! That’s right. You know why? Because Rivers is predictable. He loves the slot. 96.5% of Campbell’s routes came from the slot. As a Charger, Keenan Allen was his main go-to receiver. And signs point to a similar relationship between Rivers and Campbell.
Sammy Watkins | Kansas City Chiefs | Rostered 49.9% of ESPN leagues
In 2019, Sammy Watkins blew up for 9 receptions, 198 yards, and 3 touchdowns. This may possibly be a fool me twice type of scenario, but it was evident the Chiefs wanted to get him involved. Week 1’s numbers we modest compared to a year ago, but he still managed 7 receptions on 9 targets, 82 yards, and a diving touchdown. The chiefs have playmakers, and Watkins is one of them.
Anthony Miller | Chicago Bears | Rostered 41.1% of ESPN leagues
A breakout season is ready for the third-year receiver. At least, that is the hope after week one. Miller earned 4 receptions for 76 yards and a beautiful touchdown to match. Playing opposite Robinson, Miller offers flex appeal. However, if the rumors proved to be true and Robinson is unhappy, Miller’s involvement may skyrocket. It is smart to keep a level head when it comes to a team whose QB is Mitch Trubisky, but it is something to keep an eye on. Either way, as the Bears look to establish an identity, Anthony Miller give you wide-receiver depth for little cost.
Scott Miller | Tampa Bay Buccaneers | Rostered 5.9% of ESPN leagues
Could the Tampa Bay Buccaneers be last year’s overhyped Clevland Browns? I wouldn’t go that far, but they were certainly a letdown week 1. During the preseason the question of who Tom Brady’s third receiver was between Justin Watson and Scott Miller. There is no more question. Scott Miller is the guy. Miller had 9.8 average depth per target, and if there is anything we know about Brady is he likes to keep it short. Miller caught 5 of 6 targets for 73 yards. This is a replicable stat line when they play the weak Panthers’ defense.
WAIVER WIRE: TIGHT ENDS
Key Injuries: George Kittle (Knee – Day to Day), Blake Jarwin (ACL Rupture – Out for Year)
Jonnu Smith | Tennesse Titans | Rostered 25.6% of ESPN leagues
It is difficult to find a qualifying tight end, but Jonnu Smith is a perfect candidate. A tight end with 7 targets is nothing to overlook. The titans love the tight end position. It must be in the name. Jonnu Smith is worth a flyer.
LAST THOUGHTS ON THE WAIVER WIRE
Don’t overreact based on week one. Every year people free out. Don’t be one of those people. If you believed in them before, then believe in them now. Best of luck to you think week. Come back next week for week 3 waiver wire suggestions.
Follow Jeff Roberts on Twitter @FantasyRoberts for more.