Best Fantasy Week 2 Waiver Pickups: Injuries to Najee Harris, Elijah Mitchell open door for handcuffs Jaylen Warren, Jeff Wilson Jr.

Best Fantasy Week 2 Waiver Pickups: Injuries to Najee Harris, Elijah Mitchell open door for handcuffs Jaylen Warren, Jeff Wilson Jr.

Injuries and surprise workloads are almost always the big stories in Week 1, and sure enough, both factor heavily into our top Week 2 fantasy waiver wire pickups and free agent adds. Most pressing for fantasy football owners are injuries to Najee Harris (leg) and Elijah Mitchell (knee), which opens the door for handcuffs Jaylen Warren and Jeff Wilson Jr. Beyond that, some intriguing carry/target distribution figures to shake up depth charts, as guys like Robbie AndersonJahan Dotson, Curtis SamuelJamaal Williams, Devin DuvernayDontrell Hilliard, and O.J. Howard vastly outperformed expectations.

Our full free agent list features those players and others who might not have scored major fantasy points but saw a good amount of targets and touches (Rex BurkheadKenyan DrakeDonovan Peoples-Jones, Jarvis Landry, Greg Dortch). We’ve also added a short section in the middle of potential Dak Prescott (thumb) replacements that is sure to both bore and delight non-Prescott owners. We’re also already getting into the streaming game, at least with defense, recommending potential Week 2 defense sleepers you can try next week if you don’t like your starting D/ST’s matchup. Those can be found at the end of this list

MORE WEEK 2: Full waiver list | FAAB ReportTrade advice

As always this time of year, you want to be judicious with high waiver claims. That said, you also don’t want to let a potential multi-week contributor go to an opponent. Obviously, we’ll want to learn more about Mitchell’s and Harris’s injuries, but if the reports suggest they could miss multiple games, then using high claims on Warren and Wilson Jr. are warranted. (Early reports indicate Harris should be back by Week 2.) If reports are either unclear or positive for Harris and Mitchell, it’s probably best to let Warren and Wilson Jr. pass by if you have a top-five claim, especially if you don’t need RB help. The rest of the top pickups, like Dotson, Samuel, and Anderson, aren’t worth high claims unless you’re really hurting at WR. While all could have top-30 value by season’s end, it’s just as likely they’re inconsistent and no better than your current No. 5 receiver.

UPDATE: Mitchell is expected to be out “about two months,” according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Harris has a “good chance” to play in Week 2, according to beat writer Jordan Schultz.

It’s a long season, and next week will bring a new set of breakouts and injuries, so be smart with your waiver claims, evaluate all of your roster spots, and make some marginal upgrades in free agency if you have dead weight.

WEEK 2 STANDARD RANKINGS:
QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | D/ST | Kicker

Top fantasy football waiver wire pickups for Week 2

Unless otherwise noted, only players owned in fewer than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues considered.

Jeff Wilson Jr., RB, 49ers. Elijah Mitchell exited the 49ers-Bears game in the second quarter due to a knee injury, and considering he was ruled “out” immediately, it’s fair to assume the injury might be at least somewhat serious. (Update: Mitchell is expected to miss at least eight weeks.) Given his health woes last year (five separate injuries), it’s also fair to wonder if this is the start of another injury-plagued season. Wilson Jr. relieved him and finished with 22 rushing yards on nine carries and eight yards on two catches. While those numbers won’t blow you away, JWJ was the only other “running back” who received touches for the Niners, and he figures to be San Francisco’s lead back until Mitchell returns. That role has value, even with Deebo Samuel and Trey Lance constantly stealing carries. As long as he’s starting, Wilson Jr. can be at least a flex next week against Seattle. In the four games he started last season, he averaged 16.8 carries, so you know he’ll get touches.

WEEK 2 PPR RANKINGS:
QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | D/ST | Kicker

Jaylen Warren, RB, Steelers. Najee Harris was able to walk to the locker room under his own power after a nasty fourth-quarter hit, but he still didn’t return to the game for a crucial overtime. This is obviously a concern, especially for a back that had a foot issue in the preseason. Warren is the “next man up” in Pittsburgh, and despite having just just seven yards on three carries in Week 1, you can expect 15-plus touches against New England next week if Harris is out. Keep tabs on reports about Harris throughout the early part of the week. (Update: Early reports suggest Harris is expected to play in Week 2.)

MORE WEEK 2: Full waiver list | FAAB ReportTrade advice

Jahan Dotson, WR, Commanders. Dotson took advantage of a favorable matchup against Jacksonville in his NFL debut, catching three-of-five targets for 40 yards and two TDs. The Commanders threw 41 times, with 11 targets going to Curtis Samuel, eight to Antonio Gibson, six to Logan Thomas, and four to Terry McLaurin. That distribution figures to change from week to week, but if Dotson can continue to get a consistent five-to-targets, he can have value given his upper-tier skillset. The potential is there for a big game against a suspect Lions’ defense next week.

Jamaal Williams, RB, Lions. Williams is owned in just under 50 percent of Yahoo leagues, but that number should be higher. D’Andre Swift was clearly the more explosive and versatile back for the Lions (15 carries, 144 yards, TD), but Williams wasn’t far behind in carries (11) and was used as the goal-line hammer on two occasions. Given Swift’s injury history, Williams is always a play away from starting, and even if Swift stays healthy, Williams can clearly have flex value. That’s certainly true next week against the Commanders.

Robbie Anderson, WR, Panthers. We’ve seen Anderson have big games in the past only to disappear the following week, but it’s possible he has a special connection with new QB Baker Mayfield. It sure looked like it in Week 1 when Anderson caught five-of-eight targets for 102 yards and a TD. The bulk of the damage came on a 75-yard score in the fourth quarter, but Anderson was the team leader in targets right from the get-go. With his big-play ability, he’s a potential WR3/flex next week against the Giants.

For additional waiver/free agent suggestions, including more streaming options at every position, check out our full Week 2 list.