Football is just over 24 hours away. So is your chance to pick players from the week 1 waiver wire. For us here at 5 Yard Rush, we have spent the last 5 months doing hundreds of drafts. This is so we could identify trends and work out the best value for players. And where to draft them. The sudden shift of talking about theoretical rosters and game theory, to talking about actual football is exciting, but also quite a mindset adjustment.
Week 1 and Week 2 on the Waiver Wire are 2 of the 3 most important weeks of the wire. This is the chance to correct your roster before the season. You might have drafted Lamar Miller, Jerrick McKinnion, or your late round flyer is current without a home after being cut at the weekend. That’s fine, that’s what happens in Fantasy Football.
Below are some players that you can either stream, or you can pick up on the waiver wire and have on your roster for the season. Either way, they were all less than 30% owned as of Tuesday afternoon. For more in-depth analysis you can listen to our podcast that came out on Tuesday on the players below.
Josh Allen vs NYJ- 20.2% Owned
Josh Allen is a polarising character. He is someone that is criticised for not being able to throw accurately. And that is a fair criticism of him so far of his NFL career. However, Gregg Williams knows how to stop the run and make the Quarterback beat his defense. Allen will rack up some rushing yards in this game, not because of designed plays, but because he will be running for his life away from the Jets much improved front 7. Expect Allen to rack up between 60-80 Rushing Yards and maybe a Rushing TD in this one.
Matthew Stafford vs ARI- 16% Owned
Matt Stafford has had an up and down career, that seems to be in a bit of a freefall. His numbers last year were pretty shocking. However, the news of him playing with a broken back last year seems to account for this. It’s impressive that he was able to perform at all. We don’t think Stafford is a season long play, but this week, he is lining up against the worst defense in the NFL. A defense with no elite corners, a weak front 4, and one that won’t bring the blitz all too often. Stafford will have time to make passes to Golladay, Jones and Hockenson and will find some time to fire off a couple of strikes in the red zone on Sunday.
Justice Hill vs MIA- 17.9% Owned
We couldn’t believe Hill was under 18% owned. It seems impossible, as we have never seen him not go undrafted. However, as it stands, he is less than 20% owned on ESPN. If you play in leagues against us, he is not unowned. He is too valuable. He might not be a week one starter, but we aren’t 100% convinced Mark Ingram is the guy going forward. And even if he is, the Ravens will run the ball more than any other team in the AFC, meaning there will be plenty of work and opportunity for Hill. Hill could go off in week one. It’s not outside his range of outcomes. However, we believe he will be ready to explode halfway through the season and really take off when it matters; The Fantasy Football Playoffs. He is a steal for free.
Frank Gore vs NYJ- 15% Owned
We know we just talked about Gregg Williams scheming against the run and making Allen throw, but Gore will start the season as the number 1 in Buffalo. He is unremarkably consistent and someone who can bring a safe floor to your line-up for this matchup. We wouldn’t expect Gore to last the season as the lead back, however, we didn’t expect it last season. And yet he was. Gore is someone who will carry the ball, injury permitted, nearly 200 times this season for 800-900 yards. Can you name anyone else on the wire right now you can put that same production against? We can’t. Even just pick him up to stash him if you have to.
Marquise Brown vs MIA- 27.1% Owned
Over the coming weeks with this column, you will see a theme. Any WR1 on their team’s roster playing MIA or ARI, and currently on the wire, will probably feature. These two teams are going to concede a lot of points this season. And until they prove us otherwise, they are going to be the target of our waiver wire picks. This week’s beneficiary is Marquise “Hollywood” Brown. He has been banged up in the offseason, but the 2019 1stround draft pick should be ready to rack up some steady production this week against a Cardinals defense with no Patrick Peterson. He should see some solid targets and production this weekend.
Ted Ginn Jr. vs HOU- 13.8% Owned
Another team not mentioned so far with a terrible defense is the Houston Texans. They have given up some stars on their roster to concentrate on rebuilding their offensive line. Something they should have done better in the draft. As a result, we fancy this game to be a bit of a shootout. And that means we want Drew Brees’ number 2 WR, who we expect will see favourable coverage that he can exploit. Ginn is not the man to own moving forward, but in what we expect to be a high scoring game, why not take as many relevant fantasy pieces as you can find for week 1 from this game.
Albert Wilson Jr. vs BAL- 24.8% Owned
Murf has been banging on about Albert Wilson since February/March. So much so, the whole team is sick to death of hearing his name. But with the trades this weekend, Wilson has been crowned at the number 1 target in Miami. In 2018 he had more fantasy points per route run then any Wide Receiver in the NFL. Yes, this offense is going to be bad, but working from the slot, Wilson can work against favourable coverage. He also has the jets to break off big plays, with over 10 yards after catch average per season in each of the last 3 seasons. This is also not a Week 1 play, but more of a long-term stash. Wilson will start strong, but when Rosen takes over, he will get even more targets and receptions.
Darren Waller vs DEN- 17.8% Owned
Waller is the darling of Hard Knocks. He also has little to no competition for his place in the team. Let’s not forget that just 9 months ago, Jared Cook was the TE5 overall in fantasy last season in this offense. Yes, it has gained Jacobs and Brown, but there is plenty of targets up for grabs, and Waller will grab them. We expect Waller to be a TE1 at the end of the season. He should, with opportunity, finish around TE10 overall. So, grab him and feel confident starting him or rostering him for the season.
Noah Fant vs OAK- 10.7% Owned
This is a pure upside play. All this historical research tells us that Noah Fant will be bad in 2019. But why not take a shot. Joe Flacco target’s Tight Ends and makes average ones very fantasy relevant. From 2008-2018, Joe Flacco at the Ravens had a Tight End finish inside the top 3 amongst catches on the team 70% of the time. Over the last 3 years, he targeted a Tight End on 23% of his passes. That put him fifth in the league over that time behind Carson Wentz (32%) Alex Smith (31%), Andrew Luck (26%) and Marcus Mariota (26%).
We know the offense isn’t stacked with talent. However, Sanders is still recovering and might or might not last the season. With almost guaranteed volume locked in and incredible talent to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft, would you not want to take a punt on Fant? Especially over the likes of Jack Doyle, Jordan Reed or Delanie Walker, whose volume for targets, and their health are in question.
K’s and D/STs
For these final categories, we won’t be writing a blurb. Our Kickers are ones you should consider for the season and the D/STs are matchup dependant week to week. Moving forward, our Kickers will also be weekly matchup dependant picks also. If you want more information, listen to our podcast with our waiver picks for this week.
Matt Bryant vs MIN- 16.3% Owned
Matt Gay vs SF- 3.3% Owned
Cowboys vs NYG- 26.6% Owned
Seahawks vs CIN- 13.8% Owned
That’s it for this week. Tune in next week for our Week 2 Waiver Wire picks and also tune into the podcast for more Waiver Wire picks and selections. Our rankings will also be updated in the next 24 hours to help you be ready for week one also.
But until next week, good luck week 1. Keep Rushing.