NFL

Fantasy football Week 1 waiver wire: Is Demaryius Thomas worth a pickup?

Fantasy football Week 1 waiver wire: Is Demaryius Thomas worth a pickup?

The 2019 NFL regular season begins Thursday, which means fantasy football's "draft season" is all but over. (If you're still drafting, we've got you covered.)

But now is no time to rest on your laurels.

For various reasons, plenty of players slip through the cracks in fantasy drafts. Additionally, some players' situations have changed drastically since you held your draft thanks to injuries, trades or ongoing holdouts.

So, while the other owners in your league boast about how strong their squad is, why not sneak a peek at the waiver wire and add some players who could benefit you down the line?

For all the intrepid fantasy owners out there, here are the best waiver wire pickups at each position for Week 1:

QUARTERBACK

Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills (owned in 34 percent of Yahoo! leagues): There's something to be said for the "streaming quarterbacks" strategy, and Allen is a prime example.

The Bills quarterback gets a favorable Week 1 matchup at the New York Jets, who allowed him to scamper for 101 rushing yards in their Week 14 matchup last season. This is a guy who posted at least 18 fantasy points in five of his final six games as a rookie, so Allen is a great streaming option who should be there for the taking in one-quarterback leagues.

Other quarterbacks to target: Kirk Cousins (MIN), Jimmy Garoppolo (SF), Derek Carr (OAK)

RUNNING BACK

Carlos Hyde, Houston Texans (33 percent owned): Hyde was buried on the Kansas City Chiefs' depth chart until Saturday, when he suddenly became Duke Johnson's direct backup thanks to a trade to the Texans.

Hyde doesn't have Johnson's burst and averaged just 3.3 yards per carry last season. But he could easily become Houston's early-down and goal-line back, which makes him worth a flier in deeper leagues.

Other running backs to target: Justise Hill (BAL), Frank Gore (BUF), Justin Jackson (LAC)

WIDE RECEIVER

Jamison Crowder, New York Jets (46 percent owned): Crowder is the third fiddle in this new Jets offense behind Le'Veon Bell and Robby Anderson. But Anderson is still recovering from a nagging calf injury, and Crowder developed a solid rapport with quarterback Sam Darnold during the preseason.

If you're in a deep PPR league, Crowder is worth looking at as a plug-and-play WR3 who could get you six-plus catches.

Other wide receivers to target: Albert Wilson (MIA), Tyrell Williams (OAK), Demaryius Thomas (NE)*

*A brief note on Thomas: N'Keal Harry heading to short-term injured reserve means the veteran wideout could make hay in New England's offense. Tom Brady has a lot of mouths to feed -- Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon, Jakobi Meyers and Phillip Dorsett included -- but if you liked Thomas' two-touchdown performance in the Patriots preseason finale, you may want to carve out a roster spot for him.

TIGHT END

Darren Waller, Oakland Raiders (23 percent owned): Want proof the Raiders believe in Waller? They released veteran tight end Luke Willson over the weekend.

You're not going to find many starting NFL tight ends lying around on the waiver wire, so even Waller doesn't pan out, he's worth rostering if you don't have a stud at the position.

Other tight ends to target: T.J. Hockenson (DET), Jack Doyle (IND)

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Fantasy football Week 16 waiver wire: Breshad Perriman can be a league-winner

Fantasy football Week 16 waiver wire: Breshad Perriman can be a league-winner

It's not about how you start the fantasy football season. It's how you finish.

If you're reading this, chances are your squad is loaded enough to roll through your league's playoffs to the championship round.

But there's always room for improvement, and the Week 16 waiver wire includes a couple players who should be legitimate starters in any fantasy lineup, regardless of depth.

Want to win the whole thing? Start by doing your due diligence on the waiver wire. Here are our top free-agent pickups at each position entering Week 16.

QUARTERBACK

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami Dolphins (owned in 25 percent of Yahoo! leagues): We hope you have a better QB1 option than Fitzpatrick if you've reached your league's championship. But if you're in a two-QB league, the ageless, bearded wonder is a fine pickup: He's attempted 37 or more passes in five consecutive games and gets a beatable Cincinnati Bengals defense.

Other quarterbacks to target: Jacoby Brissett (IND), Mitchell Trubisky (CHI), Gardner Minshew (JAX)

RUNNING BACK

Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings (39 percent owned): It's still unclear if Dalvin Cook will play in Week 16 after suffering a shoulder injury Sunday. If he doesn't, that's a massive opportunity for either Mattison or Mike Boone, who found the end zone twice in Week 15 with Cook and Mattison both sidelined. If Mattison is healthy, he should be your top waiver wire priority against the Green Bay Packers' Swiss cheese run defense.

Other running backs to target: Mike Boone (MIN), Chris Thompson (WAS), Wes Hills (DET)

WIDE RECEIVER

Breshad Perriman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (13 percent owned): This one's a no-brainer. Perriman had produced double-digit fantasy points in two consecutive weeks before going off for three touchdowns last Sunday in Mike Evans' absence. With Chris Godwin also on the shelf, Perriman suddenly is the No. 1 wideout for Jameis Winston and the pass-happy Bucs.

Other wide receivers to target: Anthony Miller (CHI), Chris Conley (JAX), James Washington (PIT)

TIGHT END

O.J. Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (41 percent owned): Perriman isn't the only Bucs pass-catcher who should benefit from Evans and Godwin being out. Howard has at least four catches in three consecutive games, and the Houston Texans have allowed six touchdowns to tight ends over their last seven contests.

Other tight ends to target: Jonnu Smith (TEN), Darren Fells (HOU)

DEFENSE

Denver Broncos (25 percent owned): David Blough's stats through three games as the Detroit Lions' starting quarterback -- five interceptions, one fumble, nine sacks -- are all the evidence you need to pick up the Broncos ahead of this matchup in Denver.

Other defenses to target: Indianapolis (vs. CAR), Atlanta (vs. JAX)

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Fantasy football Week 15 waiver wire: Can A.J. Brown deliver in playoffs?

Fantasy football Week 15 waiver wire: Can A.J. Brown deliver in playoffs?

You didn't come this far just to come this far.

Week 15 of the NFL season means it's the semifinal round of the fantasy football playoffs in most leagues.

If you're reading this, congrats on still being alive. But you're not interested in a runner-up trophy, and we're not interested in providing runner-up advice.

Below are the top players at each position who are widely available on fantasy football waiver wires and are worth adding for Week 15 as you seek fantasy glory.

QUARTERBACK

Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans (owned in 48 percent of Yahoo! leagues): We'll continue to put Tannehill on this list until he's owned in more than half of leagues. The Titans gunslinger was the sixth-best quarterback in fantasy last week and faces a Houston Texans defense that just allowed 309 passing yards and three touchdowns to Drew Lock. He's your guy again this week.

Other quarterbacks to target: Ryan Fitzpatrick (MIA), Jacoby Brissett (IND), Kyle Allen (CAR)

RUNNING BACK

Adrian Peterson, Washington Redskins (40 percent owned): News that Derrius Guice has a sprained MCL means Peterson is the clear-cut workhorse on a team that loves to run the ball. The ageless veteran has touchdowns in back-to-back weeks and should see north of 20 touches against the Philadelphia Eagles, making him the safest waiver wire pickup among running backs.

Other running backs to target: DeAndre Washington (OAK), Patrick Laird (MIA), Boston Scott (PHI)

WIDE RECEIVER

A.J. Brown, Tennessee Titans (27 percent owned): The rookie wide receiver has become Tannehill's go-to deep threat, with 333 receiving yards over his last three games. Brown's low catch total makes him a bit of a boom-or-bust play, but it's the playoffs. Gotta take shots to make shots.

Other wide receivers to target: Zach Pascal (IND), Darius Slayton (NYG), Justin Watson (TB)

TIGHT END

David Njoku, Cleveland Browns (37 percent owned): Njoku caught just one pass for four yards in his first game since Week 2, but has a dream matchup against an Arizona Cardinals defense that's given up the most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season. He's a high-risk breakout candidate.

Other tight ends to target: Gerald Everett (LAR), Darren Fells (HOU)

DEFENSE

Kansas City Chiefs (32 percent owned): Is the Chiefs defense ... good? Kansas City has held each of its last opponents (including the New England Patriots) to 16 points or fewer. The Denver Broncos are riding high after upsetting the Texans, but we're sensing a turnover-filled letdown game in KC.

Other defenses to target: Oakland (vs. JAX), Seattle (at CAR)

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