Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Fantasy Football: Top waiver targets and your first look at Chris Towers’ Week 2 rankings for every position

Fantasy Football: Top waiver targets and your first look at Chris Towers' Week 2 rankings for every position

Towers walks you though the early Week 2 preview


The biggest injury news coming out of Week 1 — besides Dak Prescott needing thumb surgery, obviously — revolved around two high-profile running backs, Najee Harris and Elijah Mitchell. We got good news about one and bad news with the other, so before we get to today’s newsletter, here’s the latest:

  • Najee Harris (foot) could play this week — Tests on Harris’ foot were negative, and according to reports, there’s a “good chance” he’ll play in Week 2 against the Patriots. I’m skeptical, but the fact that there’s even a chance is great news. Jaylen Warren is still worth adding as insurance seeing as Harris has now suffered a recurrence of his preseason injury, but he isn’t the top priority on waivers. 
  • Elijah Mitchell (knee) is on IR and could miss eight weeksJeff Wilson is the top priority on waivers, with Mitchell likely out until at least November. He won’t need surgery, but the injury is serious enough that Wilson is likely to get some extended run.

We’ve got more on the top waiver-wire targets in today’s newsletter, and we’ll spend the next few days keeping an eye out for more injury news. One item I saw that is worth keeping an eye on is that Alvin Kamara has a rib injury that bothered him Sunday. That could help explain his lackluster usage, though coach Dennis Allen did downplay the injury. That’s just one thing to watch out for heading into Week 2. 

For more on the latest news, make sure you tune in to Fantasy Football Today on CBS Sports HQ at noon ET, and for help locking in your waiver-wire claims make sure you tune into the FFT YouTube stream tonight at 8 p.m., where we’ll be taking your questions live for an hour. And, if you want to take one last look back at Week 1 before you move ahead, check out my Week 1 Winners and Losers column here, where I break down every game, including Monday’s surprise Seahawks win over the Broncos

Tomorrow, we’ll have Heath Cummings’ previews for each position plus some buy-low candidates coming out of Week 1 if you’re looking to make a trade — email your trade questions to Chris.Towers@ViacomCBS.com for some advice. And here’s what else we’ve got on tap in today’s newsletter: 

  • ➕Top Week 2 Waiver Wire Targets
  • 📈Week 2 Rankings📉

➕Top Week 2 Waiver Wire Targets


Sep 13, 2020; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Nyheim Hines (21) runs the ball in for a touchdown during the first quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. Douglas DeFelice / USA TODAY Sports

This time a year ago, Elijah Mitchell was the guy everyone was blowing their FAAB budget on coming out of Week 1. But the 49ers running back treadmill keeps churning, and Jeff Wilson is now the hot commodity. Jamey Eisenberg’s Waiver Wire column is up and ready for you to get all the help you need, whether you’re trying to figure out how much to spend on Wilson or are looking for something else. Here are the top targets for this first waiver run of the regular season: 

Jamey Eisenberg’s top targets

  1. Jeff Wilson, RB, SF (21%) — Wilson isn’t a one-for-one replacement for Mitchell, because he’s not nearly the caliber of runner. But the 49ers offense is designed to run the ball efficiently, and Wilson should get 12-15 carries per week as the lead runner with Mitchell out. That’ll be enough to make him worth starting ahead of the likes of Dameon Pierce and Damien Harris, in all likelihood. I wouldn’t blow my FAAB budget for him, but a 30% bid, if you need a running back, seems reasonable. 
  2. Jaylen Warren, RB, PIT (9%) — I’m not necessarily saying I don’t believe the reports that Harris is going to be good to go this week, but I’m skeptical, given the recurring nature of this injury. Even if Harris does play, Warren remains worth stashing given the risk of re-injury here. I think a 10% bid is reasonable. 
  3. Tyler Boyd, WR, CIN (54%) — Higgins’ concussion could give Boyd an opportunity to play a bigger role, and he put up solid numbers in the two games he played without Higgins last season, averaging 17.2 PPR points. Higgins should be back before long, so I wouldn’t make Boyd more than a 5% bid guy — you shouldn’t be that desperate in Week 2. 

  4. Jarvis Landry, WR, NO (43%) — Landry going over 100 yards was one of Week 1’s most surprising developments, but he played basically a full snap share, so there’s clearly a role here. I’m not sure how long Landry is going to be Fantasy relevant, given Chris Olave‘s presence as a (hopefully) ascending player, but he could be a viable starter in the near term. 
  5. Sterling Shepard, WR, NYG (34%) — The Giants don’t seem to like Kadarius Toney, and Kenny Golladay looks completely washed up, so Shepard could have a chance to emerge as the go-to option. He only had two catches on four targets, but his long touchdown showed he’s still got some explosiveness coming off that ruptured Achilles. Like Boyd and Landry, he’s like a 5% bid guy for me. 

One (more) target for each position

  • QB: Marcus Mariota (18%) — If I absolutely needed a starter at QB in Week 2, I’d probably lean toward Jameis Winston (73%), but if he isn’t available, Mariota is a perfectly accepted replacement. His 12 carries in Week 1 give a good sign of what his weekly floor and upside can be, especially as Drake London and Kyle Pitts continue to develop. 
  • RB: Jordan Mason (2%) — If you don’t need a Week 2 starter, Mason is a nice low-dollar alternative to Wilson. He was active in Week 1 ahead of Tyrion Davis-Price after an excellent preseason and training camp, and he could be next in line for the 49ers. There’s a non-zero chance he’ll have a role next week alongside Wilson. 
  • WR: Curtis Samuel (5%) — If you’ve been reading this newsletter since the preseason, you know I’ve been targeting Samuel as a sleeper, and I was thrilled to see how he was used in Week 1 — 80% route participation, seven backfield snaps, 11 targets, and four carries. He won’t have that role every week, but the Commanders made a point of getting him involved early and often, and he’s a talented playmaker when healthy. There’s top-24 upside here. 
  • TE: Gerald Everett (59%) — Albert Okwuegbunam was involved enough (six targets) Monday that I don’t necessarily regret making him my favorite late-round tight end, but I do wish I had Everett in more spots. With Keenan Allen out this week, Everett could take on an even bigger role coming off an opener that saw him find the end zone. 

📈Week 2 Rankings📉



React, don’t overreact. That’s the whole goal coming out of Week 1, but it’s so much easier said than done. Here’s my first go at Week 2 rankings for every position, and if you want more, I’ve written about over 80 players at quarterback, running back, wide receiver, and tight end, and those will be updated throughout the week. These are all for PPR leagues:


You drafted Dak Prescott as a top-10 quarterback for your Fantasy Football team with the hope that, outside of his bye week, you wouldn’t really have to worry about the position. However, Prescott suffered a thumb injury in Week 1 that will likely keep him out for the next month and a half or more, and suddenly, you’re scrambling … For more on my thoughts on the QB position for Week 2, head here

  1. Josh Allen vs. TEN
  2. Patrick Mahomes vs. LAC
  3. Lamar Jackson vs. MIA
  4. Justin Herbert @KC
  5. Jalen Hurts vs. MIN
  6. Kyler Murray @LV
  7. Joe Burrow @DAL
  8. Matthew Stafford vs. ATL
  9. Russell Wilson vs. HOU
  10. Derek Carr vs. ARI
  11. Kirk Cousins @PHI
  12. Tom Brady @NO
  13. Aaron Rodgers vs. CHI
  14. Trey Lance vs. SEA
  15. Justin Fields @GB
  16. Trevor Lawrence vs. IND
  17. Jameis Winston vs. TB
  18. Tua Tagovailoa @BAL
  19. Marcus Mariota @LAR
  20. Carson Wentz @DET
  21. Jared Goff vs. WAS
  22. Baker Mayfield @NYG
  23. Daniel Jones vs. CAR
  24. Mitchell Trubisky vs. NE
  25. Mac Jones @PIT
  26. Matt Ryan @JAX
  27. Ryan Tannehill @BUF
  28. Cooper Rush vs. CIN
  29. Joe Flacco @CLE
  30. Jacoby Brissett vs. NYJ
  31. Davis Mills @DEN
  32. Geno Smith @SF

Running backs

On his 68-yard run in Week 1, Saquon Barkley hit a top speed of 21.1 mph, the second-fastest speed by any ball-carrier last week. That was the fastest speed he’s hit on a carry since 2019 – back before his torn ACL, back in the days when Barkley was arguably the league’s premier big-play artist at the RB position … For more on my thoughts on the RB position for Week 2, head here

  1. Christian McCaffrey @NYG
  2. Jonathan Taylor @JAX
  3. Saquon Barkley vs. CAR
  4. Austin Ekeler @KC
  5. D’Andre Swift vs. WAS
  6. Leonard Fournette @NO
  7. Alvin Kamara vs. TB
  8. Joe Mixon @DAL
  9. James Conner @LV
  10. Dalvin Cook @PHI
  11. Aaron Jones vs. CHI
  12. Antonio Gibson @DET
  13. Derrick Henry @BUF
  14. Javonte Williams vs. HOU
  15. Darrell Henderson vs. ATL
  16. Nick Chubb vs. NYJ
  17. Cordarrelle Patterson @LAR
  18. Josh Jacobs vs. ARI
  19. David Montgomery @GB
  20. Chase Edmonds @BAL
  21. AJ Dillon vs. CHI
  22. Miles Sanders vs. MIN
  23. Michael Carter @CLE
  24. Rashaad Penny @SF
  25. Ezekiel Elliott vs. CIN
  26. Kareem Hunt vs. NYJ
  27. Breece Hall @CLE
  28. Jaylen Warren vs. NE*
  29. Jeff Wilson vs. SEA
  30. Damien Harris @PIT
  31. Rhamondre Stevenson @PIT
  32. Kenyan Drake vs. MIA
  33. James Robinson vs. IND
  34. Nyheim Hines @JAX
  35. Devin Singletary vs. TEN
  36. Clyde Edwards-Helaire vs. LAC
  37. Tony Pollard vs. CIN
  38. J.D. McKissic @DET
  39. Zack Moss vs. TEN
  40. Travis Etienne vs. IND
  41. Rex Burkhead @DEN
  42. Jamaal Williams vs. WAS
  43. Melvin Gordon vs. HOU
  44. Dameon Pierce @DEN
  45. Sony Michel @KC
  46. Isaiah Pacheco vs. LAC
  47. Eno Benjamin @LV
  48. Raheem Mostert @BAL
  49. Kenneth Gainwell vs. MIN
  50. Alexander Mattison @PHI
  51. Ameer Abdullah vs. ARI
  52. Rachaad White @NO
  53. Mark Ingram vs. TB
  54. Cam Akers vs. ATL
  55. Avery Williams @LAR
  56. Khalil Herbert @GB
  57. Mike Davis vs. MIA
  58. Jordan Mason vs. SEA
  59. Dontrell Hilliard @BUF
  60. D’Onta Foreman @NYG

Wide receivers

If Week 1 of the NFL season is anything to go by, this is about to be a very special season for wide receivers. Justin Jefferson, Cooper Kupp, Davante Adams, and Ja’Marr Chase were probably the first four drafted in most leagues, and all four had at least 28.9 PPR points in Week 1; early-rounders like Stefon Diggs, Michael Pittman, A.J. Brown, all topped 20 points, too … For more of my thoughts on the WR position for Week 2, head here

  1. Cooper Kupp vs. ATL
  2. Justin Jefferson @PHI
  3. Davante Adams vs. ARI
  4. Ja’Marr Chase @DAL
  5. Stefon Diggs vs. TEN
  6. Deebo Samuel vs. SEA
  7. Tyreek Hill @BAL
  8. Michael Pittman Jr. @JAX
  9. A.J. Brown vs. MIN
  10. D.J. Moore @NYG
  11. Brandin Cooks @DEN
  12. Diontae Johnson vs. NE
  13. Amon-Ra St. Brown vs. WAS
  14. Michael Thomas vs. TB
  15. JuJu Smith-Schuster vs. LAC
  16. Mike Williams @KC
  17. Darnell Mooney @GB
  18. Marquise Brown @LV
  19. Jaylen Waddle @BAL
  20. CeeDee Lamb vs. CIN
  21. Julio Jones @NO
  22. Christian Kirk vs. IND
  23. Gabe Davis vs. TEN
  24. Adam Thielen @PHI
  25. Mike Evans @NO
  26. Jerry Jeudy vs. HOU
  27. Courtland Sutton vs. HOU
  28. D.K. Metcalf @SF
  29. Elijah Moore @CLE
  30. Rashod Bateman vs. MIA
  31. Terry McLaurin @DET
  32. Allen Robinson vs. ATL
  33. Hunter Renfrow vs. ARI
  34. Drake London @LAR
  35. Tyler Lockett @SF
  36. Curtis Samuel @DET
  37. Amari Cooper vs. NYJ
  38. Tyler Boyd @DAL
  39. Russell Gage @NO
  40. Zay Jones vs. IND
  41. DeVante Parker @PIT
  42. DeVonta Smith vs. MIN
  43. Robert Woods @BUF
  44. Josh Palmer @KC
  45. Chris Olave vs. TB
  46. DJ Chark vs. WAS
  47. Chase Claypool vs. NE
  48. Brandon Aiyuk vs. SEA
  49. Greg Dortch @LV
  50. Robby Anderson @NYG
  51. Jarvis Landry vs. TB
  52. Corey Davis @CLE
  53. Sterling Shepard vs. CAR
  54. Sammy Watkins vs. CHI
  55. Nico Collins @DEN
  56. Garrett Wilson @CLE
  57. Kyle Phillips @BUF
  58. Donovan Peoples-Jones vs. NYJ
  59. Jahan Dotson @DET
  60. Treylon Burks @BUF

Tight ends

Did any tight ends fundamentally change how we should view them in Week 1 of the Fantasy season? As you can see by my Week 2 rankings for the position, the answer is, “Not really” … For more at tight end, head here

  1. Travis Kelce vs. LAC
  2. Kyle Pitts @LAR
  3. Mark Andrews vs. MIA
  4. Darren Waller vs. ARI
  5. Dallas Goedert vs. MIN
  6. T.J. Hockenson vs. WAS
  7. Dalton Schultz vs. CIN
  8. Tyler Higbee vs. ATL
  9. Cole Kmet @GB
  10. Gerald Everett @KC
  11. Albert Okwuegbunam vs. HOU
  12. Irv Smith @PHI
  13. Dawson Knox vs. TEN
  14. Pat Freiermuth vs. NE
  15. Zach Ertz @LV
  16. Logan Thomas @DET
  17. Hunter Henry @PIT
  18. Austin Hooper @BUF
  19. David Njoku vs. NYJ
  20. Brevin Jordan @DEN
  21. Mike Gesicki @BAL
  22. Hayden Hurst @DAL
  23. Evan Engram vs. IND
  24. Robert Tonyan vs. CHI

Top-150 Flex Rankings

  1. Christian McCaffrey @NYG
  2. Cooper Kupp vs. ATL
  3. Jonathan Taylor @JAX
  4. Saquon Barkley vs. CAR
  5. Justin Jefferson @PHI
  6. Austin Ekeler @KC
  7. Davante Adams vs. ARI
  8. Ja’Marr Chase @DAL
  9. Deebo Samuel vs. SEA
  10. D’Andre Swift vs. WAS
  11. Leonard Fournette @NO
  12. Alvin Kamara vs. TB
  13. Stefon Diggs vs. TEN
  14. Joe Mixon @DAL
  15. Travis Kelce vs. LAC
  16. James Conner @LV
  17. Tyreek Hill @BAL
  18. Dalvin Cook @PHI
  19. Antonio Gibson @DET
  20. Derrick Henry @BUF
  21. Aaron Jones vs. CHI
  22. Michael Pittman Jr. @JAX
  23. A.J. Brown vs. MIN
  24. Javonte Williams vs. HOU
  25. Darrell Henderson vs. ATL
  26. D.J. Moore @NYG
  27. Brandin Cooks @DEN
  28. Kyle Pitts @LAR
  29. Nick Chubb vs. NYJ
  30. Mark Andrews vs. MIA
  31. Cordarrelle Patterson @LAR
  32. Diontae Johnson vs. NE
  33. Amon-Ra St. Brown vs. WAS
  34. Michael Thomas vs. TB
  35. JuJu Smith-Schuster vs. LAC
  36. Mike Williams @KC
  37. Darnell Mooney @GB
  38. Marquise Brown @LV
  39. Josh Jacobs vs. ARI
  40. David Montgomery @GB
  41. Jaylen Waddle @BAL
  42. Ezekiel Elliott vs. CIN
  43. Chase Edmonds @BAL
  44. CeeDee Lamb vs. CIN
  45. Julio Jones @NO
  46. Christian Kirk vs. IND
  47. Gabe Davis vs. TEN
  48. Adam Thielen @PHI
  49. Mike Evans @NO
  50. AJ Dillon vs. CHI
  51. Miles Sanders vs. MIN
  52. Jerry Jeudy vs. HOU
  53. Courtland Sutton vs. HOU
  54. Michael Carter @CLE
  55. Rashaad Penny @SF
  56. D.K. Metcalf @SF
  57. Elijah Moore @CLE
  58. Rashod Bateman vs. MIA
  59. Terry McLaurin @DET
  60. Nyheim Hines @JAX
  61. Allen Robinson vs. ATL
  62. Hunter Renfrow vs. ARI
  63. Kareem Hunt vs. NYJ
  64. Darren Waller vs. ARI
  65. Damien Harris @PIT
  66. Breece Hall @CLE
  67. Jaylen Warren vs. NE
  68. Drake London @LAR
  69. Rhamondre Stevenson @PIT
  70. Dallas Goedert vs. MIN
  71. Tyler Lockett @SF
  72. Kenyan Drake vs. MIA
  73. Curtis Samuel @DET
  74. Amari Cooper vs. NYJ
  75. T.J. Hockenson vs. WAS
  76. Jeff Wilson vs. SEA
  77. Tyler Boyd @DAL
  78. J.D. McKissic @DET
  79. Russell Gage @NO
  80. Zay Jones vs. IND
  81. DeVante Parker @PIT
  82. James Robinson vs. IND
  83. DeVonta Smith vs. MIN
  84. Dalton Schultz vs. CIN
  85. Robert Woods @BUF
  86. Tyler Higbee vs. ATL
  87. Devin Singletary vs. TEN
  88. Clyde Edwards-Helaire vs. LAC
  89. Josh Palmer @KC
  90. Cole Kmet @GB
  91. Gerald Everett @KC
  92. Chris Olave vs. TB
  93. DJ Chark vs. WAS
  94. Chase Claypool vs. NE
  95. Tony Pollard vs. CIN
  96. Zack Moss vs. TEN
  97. Travis Etienne vs. IND
  98. Rex Burkhead @DEN
  99. Jamaal Williams vs. WAS
  100. Albert Okwuegbunam vs. HOU
  101. Brandon Aiyuk vs. SEA
  102. Melvin Gordon vs. HOU
  103. Greg Dortch @LV
  104. Robby Anderson @NYG
  105. Jarvis Landry vs. TB
  106. Corey Davis @CLE
  107. Sterling Shepard vs. CAR
  108. Sammy Watkins vs. CHI
  109. Irv Smith @PHI
  110. Nico Collins @DEN
  111. Garrett Wilson @CLE
  112. Kyle Phillips @BUF
  113. Donovan Peoples-Jones vs. NYJ
  114. Jahan Dotson @DET
  115. Treylon Burks @BUF
  116. Dameon Pierce @DEN
  117. A.J. Green @LV
  118. Dawson Knox vs. TEN
  119. Jakobi Meyers @PIT
  120. Pat Freiermuth vs. NE
  121. K.J. Osborn @PHI
  122. Kenny Golladay vs. CAR
  123. Bryan Edwards @LAR
  124. Marvin Jones vs. IND
  125. Zach Ertz @LV
  126. Logan Thomas @DET
  127. Alec Pierce @JAX
  128. Hunter Henry @PIT
  129. Isaiah McKenzie vs. TEN
  130. Austin Hooper @BUF
  131. Marquez Valdes-Scantling vs. LAC
  132. Mecole Hardman vs. LAC
  133. Noah Brown vs. CIN
  134. George Pickens vs. NE
  135. David Njoku vs. NYJ
  136. Brevin Jordan @DEN
  137. Sony Michel @KC
  138. Olamide Zaccheaus @LAR
  139. Isaiah Pacheco vs. LAC
  140. Eno Benjamin @LV
  141. Mike Gesicki @BAL
  142. Raheem Mostert @BAL
  143. Hayden Hurst @DAL
  144. Terrace Marshall Jr. @NYG
  145. Kenneth Gainwell vs. MIN
  146. Romeo Doubs vs. CHI
  147. Skyy Moore vs. LAC
  148. Parris Campbell @JAX
  149. Evan Engram vs. IND
  150. Alexander Mattison @PHI

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