Well Rush Nation, here we go again. It’s been over 8 months since I last wrote one of these. So it’s going to be a little bit like riding a bike, right? This Waiver Wire NFL Week 1 2021 is here to help you get off to a great start. If you lost players due to injury like Cam Akers, JK Dobbins, or Irv Smith, then I am here to help alongside all the 5 Yard Rush content. So let’s strap in, and get ourselves off to a big win in Week 1.
So let’s get straight into the top targets for Waiver Wire NFL Week 1 2021.
Jameis won the starter job for the Saints. Whilst he might be a little short of weapons, with Michael Thomas going down, the prospects of a fruitful Marquez Callaway partnership appears strong based on the Preseason. Winston’s previous season as a starter, in 2019, saw him finish as the QB3. Whilst he has his flaws, he has significant upside.
Waiver Wire favourite Ryan Fitzpatrick makes his first appearance of the 2021 campaign in this column. He has been a staple of this column over the last three years, and for good reason. With a fantasy average per game north of almost 17 points per games in games in which Fitz completed the game, he has huge upside. He does have a mistake in him. However, with this Washington team building something special, I really am excited by what Fitz can deliver in 2021. Fitzpatrick represents a top Waiver Wire NFL Week 1 2021 pick and I am confident this won’t be the last time he is on this list.
Williams is a shock name. Two weeks ago, not even the most diehard of Ravens fans would have bet on his making the roster. However, the injury to J.K Dobbins, alongside some strong work in the Preseason, has left Williams as the man behind Gus Edwards in the Raven backfield. However, with the way the Ravens work their offense, Williams will get solid work every week. Expect 10-12 touches each week as a minimum. And if he capitalises, he will get a bigger role. Not to mention, if something does happen to the Gus Bus, he will be one of the premium handcuffs you can own.
Arguably one of the biggest winners of the change of Quarterback in New England. White’s role is intact, and will be used as a crutch to help Jones as he settles into life as an NFL Starting Quarterback. White has averaged almost 6 targets per game since 2016, and should see numbers rise to when he was at his best. Harris and Stevenson will be working hard running the ball downhill, whilst White will be used a lot more now they have lost the mobility of Newton in the backfield. White will probably not be available for selection again in this column, so go grab him now. He is a significant must add off your Waiver Wire NFL Week 1 2021 list.
Nothing to overthink with this one. Williams is the WR1 in Detroit. Yes, its not a great offense. Yes, it has Jared Goff at QB. However, he has little competition for targets. Especially now Breshad Perriman has been cut. Expect Williams to be busy. This is a pure volume play. Besides, how often do you get to add a team’s WR1 off Waivers before the season.
I cannot believe that Russell Gage is less than 30% owned. He is the WR2 on a pass first offense, without a significant pass catching weapon in the backfield. Russell Gage has been slept on a for too long. In the final 5 games of the 2020, when Julio Jones went down, Russell Gage was the WR10. He has the same QB, little competition for targets, and a more offensive minded coaching staff who will want to get the ball down the field. Expect big things from Russell Gage this year and he is someone else, who I doubt will be in this column again this season. He is my Wide Receiver must add off your Waiver Wire NFL Week 1 2021 list.
The Falcons were the worst team against Tight Ends in Fantasy Football last year, giving up 12 Points Per Game on average. Ertz did not get traded, meaning he will be in a 1A/1B option with Dallas Goedert in Philadelphia until further notice. Let’s not forget the pedigree of Ertz, and what he has achieved in his career. He was a 3rd/4th round pick up until this season in fantasy drafts. Sleep on him at your peril.
Whilst the prospect of playing against the champions Week 1 is daunting, there are a couple of reasons why this is a smart move. The first is that the Bucs have been a bottom 12 defense to Tight Ends over the last three years. The Bucs are prepared to give up contained yards up the middle to limit the big plays on the outside. Just watch Super Bowl LV again to witness this. Also, With Zack Martin out, and the Bucs posting one of the best pass rush in football, Dak will need to get the ball out of hands quickly. Expect Jarwin to get quick “out” targets up the middle to avoid Dak having to take sacks.
I can only assume the K7 last season is this low owned due to his bout with Covid-19. With him back to full health, kicking at home, in a high scoring game with two high scoring offenses, it seems like an easy decision to get your set him and forget him kicker in 2021.
I expect this to be the first and last time I pick the Jaguars as a streaming logic. However, considering they are playing against a team with arguably the worst offense in football, with all of their preparations disrupted by the ongoing controversy of their star QB, this could be a really contrarian play. I expect the Jags to secure a turnover or two in this offense that has been thrown together in a weird scattergun approach.
Don’t forget, all of my picks come from those owned under 30% on ESPN.com Fantasy Football. If you want to hear other suggestions, subscribe to the 5 Yard Rush Podcast and listen to the Waiver Wire Podcast for other suggestions.
Don’t forget to listen to all our podcasts this week as we work with you to deliver a ship for you this season. However, until next week Rush Nation, where I will be back for Week Two picks, Keep Rushing!
– Murf (@Murf_NFL)