The first week of the NFL season is officially over and now it’s time to hit the waiver wires in your fantasy football league. Before I get to some of my picks, just remember not to overreact to what happened after just one game. Players and teams are still figuring out their game plans and that top player you have can easily turn it around their next game.
WR Marquise Brown, Baltimore Ravens: There’s a reason they call him Hollywood Brown. The young wide receiver torched Miami’s defense. The first round pick out of Oklahoma had an electrifying debut with four receptions, 147 receiving yards and two touchdowns. While Brown only had five targets his home run threat is worth throwing into your line up. Not to mention he did all of that while only playing 14 snaps on Sunday! That should go up as he gets healthier. If Lamar Jackson continues his performance, it’ll be a great season for Brown.
RB Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals: During the game against Seattle, Bengals running back Joe Mixon left the game with what is being called an ankle sprain. He didn’t return to the game and Bernard took over first team duties. He also tacked on a couple of receptions for 42 yards. He’s a must play if Mixon misses any games.
RB Malcolm Brown, Los Angeles Rams: It’s really hard to ignore the touchdown opportunities Brown had for the Rams. It’s clear that they are trying to reduce the workload for Todd Gurley and Brown is the benefactor. The split in carries was 14 for Gurley and 11 for Brown. This offense will see a high volume of snaps each game and the chances Brown scores will be high.
QB Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions: Only 8% owned in Yahoo fantasy football leagues, Stafford threw 45 times in the tie against Arizona. I don’t see a lot of games where the Lions will be playing with a lead so those attempts will be consistent for the most part. He finished as the #4 QB in standard leagues.
Others to Keep in Mind:
QB Case Keenum, Washington Redskins
RB Rasheem Mostert, San Francisco 49ers
RB Carlos Hyde, Houston Texans
WR John Brown, Buffalo Bills
WR Mecole Hardman, Kansas City Chiefs
TE Darren Waller, Oakland Raiders
WR Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers: With the essential benching of Dante Pettis in game one, take a look at Samuel. He only had three targets, but Jimmy Garoppolo only completed 18 passes. He received the most snaps at WR on what should be a decent offense this year. Samuel made some big plays in the preseason and that could translate into the regular season if it continues.
RB Dontrell Hilliard, Cleveland Browns: In a shocking surprise, Hillard received a goal line touchdown over Nick Chubb. He did however exit the game in the third quarter with a concussion, but it’s a good sign they used him in the game plan early. During training camp he was one player that many were impressed when it came to the Browns.
RB Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings: It’s a name that will get lost behind a player like Dalvin Cook, but the 3rd round pick out of Boise State played really well in limited time. Mattison had 9 carries for 49 yards against the Atlanta Falcons. Minnesota spent an early pick on him, so I’m sure he’ll get some action throughout the season. He's definitely worth handcuffing for Cook and stashing in deep leagues.
Not So Fast:
QB Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans: A wonderful opener for a QB with a ton of potential, but can’t stay on the field. He’s only 8% owned in Yahoo leagues, but I’d like to see more from Mariota. He’s been efficient his entire career, but in 29 games between 2017 and 2018, he has only thrown for 24 touchdowns. I’m a little weary on if he can sustain around three touchdowns a game. I need to see another game or two before he’s worth the pick up.
WR John Ross, Cincinnati Bengals: His stat sheet for week one against Seattle jumps off the charts! 12 targets, 7 receptions and two touchdowns. Very appealing, but take away a bad play by Tedric Thompson that led to one of those touchdowns and a return of AJ Green, Ross won’t be worth spending a waiver or FAAB money on in about a week or two.
TE T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions: We knew the talented tight end out of Iowa was special, but not many predicted the debut he would have. The rookie finished with 131 receiving yards on six catches with a touchdown. But that Arizona defense looked really bad. On some of those big plays, there was no one nearby. I'd only pick him up if its a dynasty league or he's free.