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Fantasy Football Waiver Wire, Week 2: Buy Puka Nacua, Kyren Williams

Is Nacua now the Rams' top fantasy target?
Matthew Berry, Connor Rogers and Jay Croucher break down Puka Nacua's big fantasy performance in Week 1 and how the rookie stacks up within the Los Angeles Rams' receiving room moving forward.

For the most part, I will only be including players who are rostered in less than 50 percent of Yahoo fantasy football leagues in this article. I’ll make a few exceptions for players close to 50 percent who should be approaching 100 percent. A player’s roster percentage will appear in parentheses next to their name. I will also make FAAB recommendations when necessary. The lists within each position will be roughly ordered by how much of a priority each player is on waivers. Denny Carter is mercifully handling the kicker portion of this article which will be added Monday evenings. Updates from Monday Night Football will be added on Tuesday mornings.


Jordan Love, Packers (31%)

The next two quarterbacks on this list are speculative plays with solid Week 2 matchups. Love, on the other hand, could be a long-term hold. He ranked second on the week (through Sunday) in EPA per play by tossing three scores on just 27 attempts. He also kept a clean sheet of interceptions and took only one sack.

At a high level, the talented quarterbacks put up the most fantasy points, and the most talented quarterbacks are rostered at a 100% clip in all formats. There is a strong chance Love is better than his redraft ADP indicated, making him a good stash for teams that want to hang on to a second quarterback.

Mac Jones, Patriots (8%)

As a rookie with Josh McDaniels as his offensive coordinator, Jones averaged a respectable 7.3 yards per attempt with a 4.2% touchdown rate. His numbers plummeted with Matt Patricia, a career defensive head coach, on the sticks in 2022. Now under Bill O’Brien, Jones was relegated to a dink-and-dunk offense in Week 1, but the stylistic change led him to three passing touchdowns and just one interception on 54 attempts. He also took just town sacks on the absurd number of dropbacks.

For Week 2, Jones gets a Miami defense that gave up the 10th-highest EPA per dropback through Sunday Night Football. For teams that are already down bad at quarterback, Jones is the priority streamer this week.

Baker Mayfield, Bucs (10%)

Mayfield gets that dreadful Chicago defense in Week 2 and is coming off a serviceable debut as a Buccaneer. He threw two scores, took one sack, and was not intercepted versus the Vikings. Mayfield is purely a Superflex start or a DFS deep cut, but there is a place for him on certain fantasy rosters.

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Running Back

Tyler Allgeier, Falcons (56%)

Allgeier is available in less than half of all leagues but this number should soar past 80% on the upcoming run of waivers. He put together a 15/75/2 rushing line while adding three catches in Week 1. Allgeier also out-carried Bijan Robinson 15-10. Denny Carter, who preached at the Allgeier pulpit all summer, wins this round.

Kyren Williams, Rams (5%)

Per Pro Football Focus’s Nate Jahnke, Williams out-snapped Cam Akers 53-28 including a 12-2 split on third downs. The two backs split LA’s goal line carries evenly. Williams ran a route on 79 percent of the Rams’ dropbacks. Akers, on the other hand, saw most of his work in the form of low-value carries to salt the game away. Akers will still be involved in the backfield, but this appears to be the Kyren Williams show. Williams is my No. 1 waiver wire add of the week. Back the FAAB Brinks truck up for him.

Kenneth Gainwell, Eagles (46%)

Gainwell completely iced out the rest of the Philly backfield in Week 1. Rashaad Penny was a healthy scratch and D’Andre Swift earned one carry. Gainwell logged 14 totes and reeled in all four of his targets. He also earned a 62% snap share, good for a career high. Gainwell has league-winning potential if something even close to his Week 1 role holds throughout the season. He should be rostered in every league and is worth a massive portion of your FAAB if you need a running back.

Justice Hill, Ravens (3%)

With J.K. Dobbins done for the year because of a torn Achilles’ tendon, Justice Hill appears in line for a considerable role. He out-carried Gus Edwards at the goal line 2-1 and was the team’s primary back on passing downs. Hill punched in both of his goal line attempts while seeing eight total rushes.

Most importantly, Dobbins appeared to be on track for an uptick in receiving work. He saw four targets—one of which was negated by a penalty—through three quarters. If the Ravens are looking to pass to their running backs more, that role will fall into Hill’s lap. The Ravens could bring in a veteran to help ease the workload on Hill and Edwards, making both backs slightly risky for FAAB spending purposes. However, until that happens, I will be ranking Hill as a high-end RB3 while Edwards’ lack of goal line work or passing involvement sends him to the RB4/5 range.

Roschon Johnson, Bears (16%)

Johnson tallied 17.5 PPR points in Week 1, but nearly 16 of those points came while the Bears were down at least three scores. He did not see a touch in the first half. Still, Johnson proved to be a high-end receiver out of the backfield and looked solid in pass protection as well. Don’t plan on starting him in Week 2, but the rookie runner looks like a strong bet to see an increased role early in games going forward.

Deon Jackson, Colts (47%)

The Colts’ backfield is a Gordian Knot with Zack Moss missing Week 1 because of an arm injury but potentially returning in Week 2, Evan Hull going down with a knee injury in Week 1, and Jonathan Taylor possibly returning in Week 5. In the opener, however, it was all Jackson. He totaled 14 carries and, most importantly, was targeted six times. The moving parts in the backfield make Jackson a tricky player to budget FAAB dollars for, but he profiles as a potential RB2 for at least a few more weeks.

Jackson’s usage was strong, especially in the passing game, so he remains the priority for Colts back on the waiver wire, but the injury to Hull could leave enough room for both backs to post usable fantasy numbers. Hull is now expected to miss time with his knee issue. Moss averaged 14.8 carries with the Colts over the final four games of the 2022 season. He is worth more than a few speculative FAAB dollars for now and would be an even better add if we knew more about his status for Week 2.

Joshua Kelley, Chargers (4%)

Kelley and Austin Ekeler each saw 16 carries versus the Dolphins. Ekeler was on the field for 41 snaps and Kelley was on his heels at 39 snaps. The Chargers led the league in neutral situation run rate.

The Chargers have seemingly wanted a foil to Ekeler for years and may have finally put Kelley in that role. I don’t expect the team to be nearly as run-heavy going forward, but Kelley is worth stashing in all formats. He should command a far lower FAAB bid, somewhere in the 10-20% range.

Tyjae Spears, Titans (12%)

Spears played more snaps than Derrick Henry in Week 1 and was on the field for every one of the Titans’ third-down snaps. The rookie ultimately did little in the way of fantasy production, but he could return PPR value down the road and is the clear handcuff to Henry.

Wide Receiver

Jakobi Meyers, Raiders (50%)

I’m not sure how Meyers isn’t on more than 50 percent of Yahoo rosters, but if he is available in yours, go get him. Meyers posted a 38 percent target share and an identical air yards share in Week 1. He dropped a 9/81/2 line on the Broncos. His numbers will come down as Davante Adams rebounds, but Meyers looks like a fantasy WR2.

Puka Nacua, Rams (6%)

Nacua saw 15 targets and looked as in sync with Matthew Stafford as any non-Cooper Kupp receiver has in LA.

Only Tyreek Hill saw more targets than Nacua in Week 1. He made the most of the void left by Kupp with a 10-catch, 119-yard day. His numbers will take a hit once Kupp returns, but that is weeks down the road. Nacua is also more than good enough to sustain meaningful fantasy numbers. with Kupp in the lineup. I’d rather be early in bidding on a clear breakout candidate at receiver than late. Nacua is a clear chance to unload the FAAB budget. The only reason not to go all in is if your team needs a running back.

Tutu Atwell, Rams (3%)

Atwell also reached 119 yards, though he did so on just eight targets. Atwell is undersized at just 5’9/165. Still, much like Nacua, he seemed to have no issues meshing with Stafford. Atwell’s gimmick-adjacent aDOT of 4.6 was also five yards closer to the line of scrimmage than Nacua’s target depth. Both receivers are obvious adds off the waiver wire, but Nacua is the priority Ram to target.

Calvin Austin, Steelers (1%)

Diontae Johnson went down with a hamstring issue in Week 1 and is expected to miss a few weeks. Austin took his place in the lineup and logged a route on 54 percent of Kenny Pickett’s dropbacks. Myles Boykin, the Steelers’ fourth receiver, hardly played. Austin amassed 2,285 yards from scrimmage and 20 touchdowns in his final two years at Memphis. He is now in line for a starting role in three-receiver sets.

Kendrick Bourne, Patriots (2%)

Kendrick Bourne literally—in the textbook sense, not the way Zoomers use the word—did not leave the field on offense in Week 1. He logged a 100% snap share and was the only receiver to do so. Devante Parker missed Week 1, putting Bourne in a more prominent role, but the veteran receiver showed up with a 6/64/2 line on 11 targets. It would be hard to trust Bourne if Parker is back for Week 2, but he has WR3 potential until Parker returns. It’s also possible that he remains a mainstay of the lineup and Parker is treated as a secondary option once healthy.

Josh Reynolds, Lions (1%)

Reynolds posted a 28 percent target share and a 34 percent air yards share as the Lions’ clear WR2 in Week 1. Now he gets a Seattle secondary that was just torched by the Rams. He will be a sneaky start for Week 2 and is a better bet for near-term production than the players below him on this list.

Josh Downs, Colts (1%)

Anthony Richardson took his lumps in Week 1 and even suffered a minor injury, but he should be good for Week 2, and 215 passing yards is not a bad start. What matters most is how concentrated the passing game was. Michael Pittman dominated the Indy targets with 11 looks while rookie wideout Josh Downs quietly finished second on the team with seven targets. Downs is more of a late-season play, but he could be worth holding onto for teams that can afford the roster spot.

Darnell Mooney, Bears (38%)

Mooney paced the Bears with seven targets and posted a 4/53/1 receiving line. Between Justin Fields’ struggles as a passer and D.J. Moore’s role almost certainly growing in the coming weeks, Mooney is a fine upside stash, though it will be hard to start him with confidence in Week 2.

Rashid Shaheed, Saints (16%)

Shaheed’s six targets were good for an 18 percent target share in Week 1. However, he was only on the field for 54 percent of the Saints’ snaps. A touchdown turned his solid fantasy outing into a spike week. Picking when he finds the end zone will be a fool’s errand, so I wouldn’t spend more than a few dollars of the FAAB budget on him.

Tight End

Luke Musgrave, Packers (19%)

The Packers put their rookie tight end on the field for three-quarters of their snaps. He tallied three catches for 50 yards and could have had a monstrous debut had a few plays gone differently.

My only concern on Musgrave is that he will play plenty of snaps but could struggle to command targets once Christian Watson returns and Romeo Doubs is back to a full workload. Still, he sees plenty of reps and is earning downfield targets. Tight end is never a pretty position, so we’ll take what we can get after Week 1.

Zach Ertz, Cardinals (5%)

Ertz saw a sickening 10 targets and was on the field for 77 percent of Arizona’s offensive plays. Trey McBride was an afterthought and played on just 37 percent of the snaps. With Joshua Dobbs checking it down from whistle to whistle, Ertz is going to give us a PPR scam season for the ages if he can stay healthy.

Logan Thomas, Commanders (2%)

Thomas’s eight targets were the third-most for a tight end in Week 1. Sam Howell was constantly under pressure versus the Cardinals and chose to check down to Thomas and Curtis Samuel early and often. Thomas is a safe bet for a few PPR points per week, but the Commanders’ poor offensive showing makes Ertz and Musgrave better targets.

Durham Smythe (0%)

Smythe joined Kendrick Bourne as the only other WR/RB/TE to play on every one of his team’s offensive snaps. He was target seven times but was only able to bring in three balls for 44 yards. Smythe will struggle to earn targets with Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill as his competition, but he can overcome that by never leaving the field.

Hunter Henry, Patriots (16%)

As we head into Monday Night Football, Henry’s 16.6 PPR points currently have him atop the tight end weekly standings. He took the field for 79 percent of the Patriots’ snaps and scored on a red zone target. Mac Jones threw 54 passes, making his six targets look rather pedestrian as a share of the total opportunities. He is a viable streaming option, but far from the best.

Hayden Hurst, Panthers (11%)

Hurst opened the season with a 23 percent target share on a team-high, seven targets. Despite this, he was only on the field for 53 percent of the team’s snaps. He looks like Carolina’s pass-catching specialist at tight end, though if he continues to leave the field, he could struggle to get reps on play-action and in the red zone, severely hampering his weekly upside.

Adam Trautman, Broncos (0%)

The Broncos traded for Trautman, a Sean Payton alum, in the offseason. They then treated him as their starting tight end throughout the preseason. Now Greg Dulcich, his primary competition for touches, is hurt and expected to miss time. He is worth a shot in deeper leagues.

Kicker (Presented by Denny Carter)

Riley Patterson, Lions (46%)

Maybe Patterson drafters get antsy and drop the Detroit kicker after a dud of a Week 1 outing against Kansas City (zero field goal attempts, three extra points). Be sure to swoop in, screaming “regression,” and nab Patterson if he lands on the wire this week.

The Lions are five-point home favorites against an ailing Seahawks team that was just throttled at home by a Cooper Kupp-less Rams team. LA marched up and down the field against Seattle, netting 15 fantasy points for Brett Maher, who made three of his five field goal tries. Patterson could be next up.

Jake Moody, 49ers (18%)

We always want Kyle Shanahan’s kickers; the Niners head coach is a longtime enjoyer of red zone kicks. That continued in Week 1 against the Steelers, with Moody making all three of his field goal tries and scoring 14 fantasy points in his NFL debut.

The 49ers head into Week 2 as eight-point home favorites against the Rams. On a team with a dominant defense and a highly efficient offense, Moody should be locked into lineups until further notice. Very rarely will the 49ers be chasing second half points and forgoing field goal opportunities.

Blake Grupe, Saints (2%)

Grupe szn began in earnest last week against the Titans. The rookie kicker, after supplanting Wil Lutz as the Saints’ starter, drilled three of three field goal tries against the Titans, including a bomb from 52 yards.

The Saints under Dennis Allen have been among the NFL’s most conservative red zone offenses. It’s the kind of thing that generates field goal attempts no matter the game script. The Saints are three-point favorites in Week 2 against a bad Panthers team that will probably be a streaming kicker target all season. Grupe could benefit bigly from the Saints’ soft schedule, as I desperately tried to tell you in August.

Cameron Dicker, Chargers (60%)

As he was in Week 1, Dicker is in a good spot in Week 2 against a Titans defense fresh off allowing five field goal tries to the Saints. The Chargers, meanwhile, breached the red zone five times last week against Miami. Dicker had just one field goal attempt on those inside-the-20 possessions.

Dicker should benefit from neutral and positive game script throughout 2023. Pick him up if he’s out there.