2020 Season: Week 2 Waiver Wire

(Photo Credit: Jeffrey Beall)

Malcolm McMillan (@McLateralFF)
The Lateral Writer

Did someone kill it last week only to be sitting in the free agent pool of your league? Did that sleeper you were so sure about turn out to be the third part of an RBBC, and now you cannot use him as a FLEX? Well, good news! You do not actually have to keep any of the players on your roster!

Okay, so that's not completely true. Sure, in most leagues you can, in fact, drop all the players you drafted and then replace them with new ones, but that would be dumb. What you can do though, is replace under-performing players and replace them with ones that you did not realize were going to have a significant role this season. You could also stream a player based on a match-up, but be careful, as the player you dropped is not necessarily someone you can get back.

Below you will find one player at each position that is available in 50% or more of all Yahoo leagues and one player at each position that is available in 50% or more of all ESPN leagues. Each name will be accompanied by a brief description of why you should add that player this week.

Week 2 Waiver Wire

Quarterback (QB)

Yahoo: Kirk Cousins (34% rostered)

If you want a stable floor, a solid team, and are in need of a QB after Week 1, Kirk Cousins appears to be a viable option for 2020. Yes, he finished a disappointing QB18 last season, but he is also only a year off from a QB13 season in 2018. Cousins also has some advantageous match-ups coming against Indianapolis, whose DST may not be quite gelling yet with no pre-season reps, Houston, and Atlanta. Whether he continues to be a Top-10 QB remains to be seen, but with Cousins there is a stability that other waiver options lack.

Speaking of which, Mitchell Trubisky is another QB to consider (4% rostered in Yahoo/2.7% rostered ESPN), but despite a nice slate of match-ups, he was largely saved by a game-winning 4th quarter in Week 1. With Nick Foles waiting in the wings, I simply do not trust the long-term viability of Trubisky, but consider him as a streamer for the next few weeks.

ESPN: Gardner Minshew II (14.9% rostered)

Minshew is also only rostered in only 26% of Yahoo Leagues, so he should be a target for fantasy managers on both platforms. But given the lower percentage on ESPN, I slotted him here. 

Minshew truthers had to feel elated after a borderline Top-12 performance in Week 1 (slightly ahead of Pat Mahomes!), where the Mustachioed Magician showed off the arm and the legs in an upset win over the Indianapolis Colts. As if picking up Minshew could not get any more appealing, match-ups against the genuinely bad defenses of Miami, Cincinnati, Houston, and Detroit, should make him a must-add for those in need at QB.

Running Back (RB)

NOTE: Both RBs are available in more than 50% of leagues on both platforms, and would be my top targets regardless of platform. I have assigned them a platform simply based on where they are available the most.

Yahoo: Nyheim Hines (21% rostered)

Could Nyheim Hines be Austin Ekeler for the Indianapolis Colts? Well if Week 1 was any indication, the answer could very well be yes. While I would expect Ekeler's RB25 season in 2018 to be the more likely outcome than Ekeler's RB4 season last year, especially with Jonathan Taylor set to take over the lead role, Hines should reasonably considered at minimum a FLEX each week. 

Need further confirmation? It is not like we have not been here before. Remember Ekeler's RB25 season mentioned earlier? That same year Hines finished just behind him at RB27. The combination of an expanded role with Marlon Mack out for the year, new QB Philip River's history with Ekeler in a similar role, and Hines' historical ability to handle such a role, all lead to the conclusion that he is a must add for all fantasy managers leading into Week 2.

ESPN: Malcolm Brown (8% rostered)

Right behind Nyheim Hines in Week 1 was Malcolm Brown, who finished RB5. I am less bullish on Brown than I am on Hines; he has a history of mediocrity, and last year finished off as RB67 after starting the year RB14. In short, we have been here before, so proceed with caution.

However, there are promising signs this year. Brown no longer has to worry about Todd Gurley, and is now the senior RB on the Los Angeles Rams' depth chart. He is also the starter on that depth chart, so as long as the good performances continue, there is no reason that he should not hold onto that role. Granted, that role is as part of a RBBC with Darrell Henderson and rookie darling Cam Akers, but given the expected usage for the Rams RBs after a run-heavy Week 1 Brown should be worth a roster spot until further notice.

Wide Receiver (WR)

Yahoo: Robby Anderson (31% rostered)

Full disclosure, as someone who went to Temple from 2009-2011, and whose fraternity brother used to be the mascot (Hooter the Owl, for those who were wondering), I love seeing former Temple standout Rowdy Robby Anderson succeed. Anderson's Week 1 performance was an unqualified success, with a 6/115/1 line contributing to a WR6 finish. Hopefully this is a sign that the Matt Rhule/Temple connection that was such a good story in the off-season is alive and well, and just the first step in him cementing himself as Bridgewater's number two option in a more pass-happy Carolina.

Now, time to dump the bucket of cold water on all this. While Anderson does have a unique talent that allows him to break off 75-yard TD receptions in a way that makes defenders question their career choices, he also has competition. While the number one receiver in terms of yards and fantasy points, DJ Moore and Curtis Samuel were ahead (or tied) with him in target share. Moore is the obvious WR1 in Carolina, so expect regression from Anderson regardless, but Samuel and the under-targeted Christian McCaffrey could be a threat in future weeks. Still, Anderson could probably replace an under-performing flyer on your bench, and provide excellent FLEX value in certain match-ups at the very least.

ESPN: Parris Campbell (29.8% rostered)/Sammy Watkins (45.8% rostered)

NOTE: Both players are also available in Yahoo in over 50% of leagues

Sammy Watkins is the number two option on a dominant offense in Kansas City offense that shows no signs of stopping. He is also a known quantity, and will have some weeks where he disappears and some weeks where he is injured. If he is available, get him, but know the risks.

Okay, onto the real pick, Parris Campbell. An exciting prospect coming into 2019, he never lived up to those expectations in what was an injury-plagued rookie season. So it was certainly concerning when he suffered a concussion in an off-season car accident, potentially affecting his return to the starting lineup. There was also the arrival of second round draft pick Michael Pittman Jr., who had all the makings of a viable WR in his rookie season.

Well the doubters were silenced on Sunday. While WR27 is not exactly world-beating, it was better than anyone else on Indianapolis' roster. Combine that with the fact that he lead the team in targets and yards, and he seems likely to cement himself in the number two role ahead of Pittman and Zach Pascal. Campbell is worth an add on his value as the number two in Indy alone, but let us not forget that T.Y. Hilton has missed 8 games since the start of the 2018 season, and Campbell would be likely to feast if Hilton goes down again in 2020.

Tight End (TE)

Yahoo: O.J. Howard (17% rostered)

O.J. Howard is back??

Seems like that may be the case if Rob Gronkowski continues to struggle getting acclimated in Tampa Bay. Gronk only managed 2 receptions on 3 targets, despite being brought in personally by new QB Thomas Brady. That left a massive opening for O.J. Howard, who took off an ran with it en route to a TE8 finish. With a 4/36/1 line, Howard showed to everyone what made him such a highly rated prospect coming out of Alabama, and the talent that everyone but Bruce Arians seemed to know he had last season.

Yes there are question marks. Gronk is a future HOFer, and was Brady's preferred target in New England. So if Gronk gets rolling again, Howard could suffer as a result. However, given the talent everyone knows is there, and that Gronk was retired a year ago. Howard is the best TE option still available in Yahoo leagues.

ESPN: Dallas Goedert (27.2% rostered)/Jonnu Smith (22.1% rostered)

Sorry Yahoo managers, neither of these guys are available in more than 50% of your leagues. 

Which is a real shame, because Dallas Goedert was absolutely phenomenal in Week 1. TE1 was not Travis Kelce or George Kittle or even fellow teammate Zach Ertz this past week, Instead, it was last year's TE10 Dallas Goedert, who continues to prove he is much more than a pick the Eagles made to piss off Cowboys fans. With receiving issues likely to continue in Philadelphia, and Ertz's future on the team in question, Goedert is a must add in all leagues. There is a good chance he repeats his Top-10 finish.

Jonnu Smith also had a good week in Week 1, tying O.J. Howard for TE8, but has much less competition at the position. Goedert is the TE to add, but given Jonnu's Top-10 potential seemingly becoming a reality, he deserved to be mentioned here. Even I said that Jonnu Smith would be the TE most likely to finish ahead of my projections, and If Goedert is not available, you should take Jonnu with confidence to fix your TE woes.

Defense/Special Teams (DST)

NOTE: Both DSTs are available in more than 50% of leagues on both platforms, and would be my top targets regardless of platform. I have assigned them a platform simply based on where they are available the most.

Yahoo: Washington Football Team (5% rostered)

Washington Football Team was clearly the standout defense from last week, with the front seven proving to be nowhere nearly as bland as their cop-out of a team name. Chase Young is a lock for Defensive Rookie of the Year, continuing the tradition established by the Bosa Brothers of being from Ohio State and really f*cking good at football. Add in the serious upgrades at coaching with award-winning head coach Ron Rivera and also award-winning coach Jack Del Rio, and this team could be a contender to be 2020's version of the 2019 San Francisco 49ers.

ESPN: Los Angeles Chargers (41.7% rostered)

While the Washington Football Team is the undisputed DST to add this week, another team to consider is the Los Angeles Chargers, who were DST4 behind Washington, Baltimore, and New Orleans. That is pretty good company to hold, but let us look at the credentials:

Top-5 DST against the pass in 2019? Check. Top-5 against the pass so far in 2020? Check. An Ohio State product on the line who is really f*cking good at football? Allow me to introduce Joey Bosa. Solid Defensive Coordinator in Gus Bradley? Affirmative. The point is, this is a good DST that should continue to be good and has a nice run of match-ups from weeks 6 to 9. If you cannot get the Washington DST, definitely consider the Chargers.

Kicker (K)

NOTE: Both kickers are available in over 50% of leagues in both formats. They are also kickers, so you probably did not read this far. Maybe you threw a dart at a spreadsheet and picked that way. Could work!

Yahoo: Joey Slye (17% rostered)

Finished K1 in Week 1, and was Top-10 in 2019. The offense has gotten better, but with the awful defense in Carolina, they are going to be on the field enough to give Slye some volume. Good match-ups should provide some easy extra-points, and bad match-ups provide field goal opportunities, of which Slye hit 8 from 50+ yards out in 2019

ESPN: Josh Lambo (6.2% rostered)

Finished K1 as well in Week 1, and was Top-6 in 2019. Very similar argument to Slye, just a bit better given he rarely misses. Honestly why anyone drafted a kicker early and did not just take Lambo as a final pick is beyond me, but I drafted Justin Tucker in a league, so I get it. Still, if you need a kicker, Lambo is the guy to get.

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